Copy Controlled CDs Update

I seem to be building up quite a good working relationship with someone called Ken in BMG’s copy control customer support centre. I think he’s grateful that someone is actually giving them intelligent feedback rather than simply swearing at them :)

I wrote to them last week pointing out that I was planning on buying the new Dido album until I found that it was copy controlled and therefore it wouldn’t work on my Linux computer. Ken seems to think that Linux is a brand of computer and he’s very concerned that my Kings of Leon CD didn’t work on my computer. He tells me that copy control system on the Dido CD is an improved version of the one on The KoL CD and has offered to send me a copy so I can try it out.

And their copy control system seems to have been broken anyway. The Kings of Leon CD is all over the file-swapping networks. Well, so my friends tell me :)

A month ago I heard that Beth Orton[1] was releasing a compilation CD called Pass in Time and I pre-ordered it from Play.com. When the CD appeared in the shops I saw that it was copy-controlled, so I went back to Play to cancel the order. Unfortunately I left it too late and the order was already being processed. Play are based in the Channel Islands and they source their CDs from all over the world. I was therefore very pleased to see that when the CD arrived this morning it was a non-copy controlled version.

[1] I’d link to her web site but it’s very out of date and opens in a full-screen window.

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20 Comments

  1. I’m puzzled by the ‘Life for rent’ copy protection. I discovered that the original CD will not play in a car CD player. However, a standard domestic Philips CD burner makes a perfectly good copy, and the resulting copy plays in the car.

  2. I listen to my music the exact same way as you. I’ve also managed to rip The Other Side of Daybreak onto my Mac and iPod. Bizarre. I have also been able to rip The Electric Soft Parade’s latest album whioch features the same brand of copy protection, but bizarrely enough does not list Mac compatability in the case even though it contains the software to play the pre-ripped Windows media files. I’d like to know what extactly this method is supposed to limit apart from car CD players!

  3. Hey, I inadvertantly ran across your journal while doing a search to find out how to override copy protection so that I could listen to my music CD’s on my computer.I too first ran into this nightmarish abuse of the law when I bought the new albums by Kings of Leon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jet and The Sleepy Jackson.I hadnt even encountered copy protected CD’s before. And I play all my music either at my computer or in the car. I can use them on my PC, but only via the dodgy player that comes with the CD’s. But the sound quality is atrocious. I can’t believe they can do this. That I spent money to get sound quality the likes of a very, very old and worn cassette tape. It’s frankly insulting, and I was so heartbroken to have this music I love, but to have to hear it being mutilated, that I cant even bring myself to listen to any of those CD’s anymore. Everytime I look at them I just get so angry.I swore Id avoid all copy protected albums in the future. But I unthinkingly today went and bought The Living End – Modern Artillery along with a heap of other albums, and didn’t even realise until I’d gotten home that it was copy protected! :(Just thought I’d share.

  4. I recently bought a cd, Nickelback, The Long Road. It works in my computer, it works in my home stereo (it is equipped with MASH Multi-stage noise shaping) but does it work in my car stereo? This cd does play, only after it loads for 10 minutes. Then it jumps right to track 13 of the cd. (My seek/skip button does not work with this CD). Also the fact that the shiny stuff inside the cd is already breaking down. I just bought the cd yesterday Nov 5 and the store will not take it back because it plays in their portable stereo.

  5. Really NOT impressed with this. Cheap £20 bush CD plays it, cheap Alba one in my mates living room plays it. £460 Sony car stereo goes ape on track 3 and nothing else i have will touch it.Shame, I really wanted this CDm guess I’ll return it and download it. :( WIlling to support artists that actually do make decent music, not when they use tricks like this though.

  6. I just bought Dido’s “life for rent” and am SEETHING about the fact that I am unable to add the tracks to my iTunes Library. I have spent money on some superb hardware so that I can listen to all of my music via my PC. The fact that there are only a couple of good songs on the CD makes it worse and I won’t be purchasing anymore copy controlled CDs until I find a way around it. UP YOURS to Dildo and the rest of you millionaire music makers out there – you so scared some poor people who can’t afford the original will listen to your music?

  7. Dido?1/ Disable autorun to stop the bundled player running. (hold shift when you insert)2/ Use CD DA 6.5.2, ripping using a Lite on writer.3/ Write with the same software.Thats how I did it after a weeks research. It will probably work with a Philips or Plextor drive as well. My acer CD rom did not work using this method. Left clicks all over the resulting copy.All I wanted was to have a copy in my car, which if nicked wouldn’t cost me a bomb to replace. Whether this is strictly legal? I don’t care, producing non red book standard CD’s has got to be a breach of the description of goods legislation…

  8. i heard anyone in the EU is allowed to make one copy of any cd they own. so does this not make copy protection, in the EU atleast, illegal.

  9. That you are allowed to make a copy doesn’t mean you can claim this as a right… unfortunately…

  10. My Radiohead CD stopped working after playing it only about 5 times … however, I pulled up Roxio CD Creator 5 and was able to copy all of the songs to WAV files without any clicks or distortions. I then tried copying my A Perfect Circle CD that had the same copy protection – it sounds just fine, as long as I convert to WAV before burning.I get the feeling that EMI and the rest were so blinded by their desire to eliminate lost profits due to pirated music that they completely disregarded lost profits due to a shoddy product. When the pirated version is far superior to the original – that’s just moronic. Irony is, I’d have never needed to copy either of the aforementioned CDs if they hadn’t been ‘copy protected’. Heh.

  11. Well, you wanna know how deep the rabbit hole goes – here we go…Must have a Mac compatible CD-R/CDRW/DVD-R/DVD-RW drive….Open a Mac CD writer program on the Mac, Roxio or other…..Insert Dido “life for rent” copy controlled CD into drive……Access CD writer program and navigate to disk copy/disk duplicate……The Dido Audio CD will immediately mount on desktop and”if” your iTunes is configured to play all audio CD’s it will launch displaying tracks…….Rip the tracks to MP3, RAW or AAC using iTunes 4.6, obviously lookup track and album info first on CDDB…….Hey presto copy control my rabbit foot!Remeber the meaning of life is 42 and no matter what BMG or other record labels do, if the make a CD for the current market it must be able to play and unless when buying the label they supply a specialised BMG CD player it will always be in RAW 44kHz CD quality tracks somewhere on the audio CD.The simple fact is BMG either you go online sole digital through say iTunes where you CAN produce an encoded protected version of a track or CD OR you get used to the fact that you are bound by the limits of the fact that your are simple a music business intermediate NOT the original creative artist/musician/singer OR a technical industry who actually understands the internal combustion engine – YOU ARE SIMPLY THE CHAUFFEUR !!! Get used to the SERVICE industry !!!

  12. Like AJ, I bought a copy of Living End’s Modern Artillery, and found out it was copy controlled. Luckily it played on my stereo, so just ran a line in cable from my stereo to my pc, and recorded the whole thing using a wave recorder (eg: wavepad). Ran noise reduction and normalised it, then saved it as mp3. It may have been analogue sourced, but you can’t tell the difference. Noise reduction probably wasn’t even needed. Only thing is to make sure your stereo volume isn’t too loud so u don’t get distortion.

  13. I have an creative zen touch, where I have all my songs on. then I got a few cd’s destroyed by the copy protection.What I have done:1)Installed the codec on the cd (not the “recommended update”-pop-up)2)Held shift pressed down while inserting the cd (keeping it pressed down until the computer “saw the cd”)The above has worked for me. Even Windows Media Player can read it, and I haven’t yet heard any “clicks” in the sound!ML Daniel

  14. Copy Protection sucks. I pay for it – I want to be able to decide HOW and WHERE and on WHAT kit I can play it. I dont want a company selling me stuff when they make it difficult to use the way I want !Want to be able to listen to the music I BOUGHT the way I want. Same goes for computer games – I buy a new PC game at £40-50. I want to be able to play it on my computer at home, and my laptop when travelling.There are numerous ways to defeat CD copy protection. Easily and for free. Step by step guides. Go Here. //cdmediaworld.com/. No popups or other crap. This is also the first website returned by google when you search for this topic. So its not a secret or anything !!!!!It’ll tell you how to do the multi region thing with your dvds, make copies etc. If I buy a region 1 dvd in the states on holiday I WANT to to be able to play it when I get home. I dont want to pay an inflated UK price.When it is so easy to remove / bypass copy protection, WHY DO THEY BOTHER ? It doesn’t affect the technically aware people who can bypass it, make a perfect copy for sharing / web / sellings cds to mates etc etc, etcIt only appears to affect their genuine customers who BOUGHT the product, and now are unable to use it the way they want ? If it was a fridge / tv / car etc you wouldn’t put up with it….

  15. Does anybody know how to play the new Scorpions “unbreakable” album? I have tried it with RealPlayer,WMP and Winamp. Please help me or I will give the Cd to my kids to play UFO with it.

  16. If you hold down the Shift key while you insert the CD, I believe that turns off the autorun function. Then you should be able to get to the music with Windows Media Player or other music software.

  17. I know some copy protections insert a local service on your computer that kicks in when it sees the protected cd. But how or what it looks like, i don’t recall.

  18. Just bought a copy of Beth Orton’s Comfort of Strangers, only to realise that I can’t freaking load the music into my iPod!Now, I’m not someone who is able to use her laptop everyday to listen to her music, mostly I’m on the go when I’m listening to music and how the heck can I listen to the album when the only mp3 player I own isn’t able to play the album????Anyone know how I can somehow miraculously convert the stupid protected format into iTunes-compatible mps?????

  19. My Dido cds will copy on I tunes but won’t copy to mp3 no problem I gone off her snobby music but I also have problems with red hot chili peppers best of

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