August 17th, 2005
I saw this on iPodObserver:
The Dave Matthews band has posted instructions for circumventing the DRM on their own CD. The problem is that their CD has a copy protection scheme that doesn’t allow you to just pop the CD into your computer and play it, you first have to copy the songs to Microsoft’s secure WMA format, and then play those files in the Windows Media Player (after downloading some sort of a license). Of course iTunes doesn’t support the WMA format, so you then have to burn a CD and rip it to mp3s in iTunes. Check out the ridiculously complicated process.
The stupidest thing is that you can keep all this from happening if you just hold the Shift key down when you insert the CD to temporarily disable the autorun from starting the software that keeps you from just playing the CD like a normal person. Though it’s possible that both circumvention methods are probably illegal under the DMCA. In fact, SunnComm Technologies, makers of fine copy protection software, nearly sued a graduate student under the DMCA for publishing a paper that discussed the Shift Key Method and other shortcomings of their technology. They changed their minds when they realized that was stupid.
Now I want to say “See, this is where we’re headed!” but what I really mean is “See, this is where we are!” This is happening now – your rights are being taken away by large corporate entities who don’t care about you. I am not for piracy, you really should not steal music, but this is not the solution. Like most “anti-piracy” measures, this one will not stop any pirates. But it will make it difficult for you to listen to these songs on your iPod. At best, you have to jump through a few hoops and spend another buck on a blank CD. You might even need to break the law. TO LISTEN TO A CD YOU BOUGHT WITH ACTUAL MONEY.
I don’t know why we’re not all furious about this.