Lying Media Bastards

January 2, 2006

\”CD\” Stands for \”Content Licensing Agreement Between the Consumer and the Party of the First Part\”

Fellow buys new Coldplay CD. Opens package, and finds ridiculous copyright restrictions all over it. Essentially, you probably can’t play the CD in any device that might possibly be used to copy or rip the music. This includes high-end CD players that play multiple disc formats. Meaning that there’s a decent chance that you didn’t buy a musical recording so much as you bought a useless circle of plastic,

If you’re a CD manufacturer, it might make sense to make this sort of CD, to cut down on piracy. And it wouldn’t be that shady, if you clearly marked the CD with some sort of label stating “This disc will only play on certain machines.” But this one doesn’t. You wouldn’t find out about this till after you’ve taken it home and cracked it open.

It would also be helpful if the company told you what specific CD players or models will play this disc. But they don’t bother

And once you open your disc and find out that you don’t have any equipment that will actually play it, the insert in the packaging alerts you that “except for manufacturing problems, we do not accept product exchange, return or refund.” You just sold me a CD that won’t play on most CD players without telling me, fucker! You better give me a refund!

Irony of ironies, the blogger who posted this info tells us that he managed to rip the disc to mp3 just fine. Consumers: 1, Paranoid Corporations: 0.

This article is getting a lot of buzz, but few are pointing out that this CD was purchased in India. No word on whether or not this tech is used on all Coldplay CDs, all EMI CDs, all Coldplay CDs in India, all EMI CDs in India, or if this is a fairly isolated event.

Posted by Jake on January 2, 2006 5:51 pm


  1. Reminds me of the problem I had with the new Foo Fighter’s CD. It wouldn’t let me put it on my ipod because some program on the CD automatically installed on the computer and kept me doing it- so I found the way around it online and posted it on my blog. The funny thing is now the #1 reason people visit my blog is because they’re looking for the solution.

    Comment by Me — January 3, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

  2. I love that copy protection almost never fails to punish the legitimate user, yet somehow the ability remains to back-up the product with no real problem.

    Seems to me the Corporations are forcing people to steal their own shit just to use it. Bravo, lads. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Obzai — January 3, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

  3. I work tech support, and tell my customers who can’t play these things on their computers the same thing — check the packaging. Do you see the little “Compact Disc” logo? No? That’s because these aren’t really CDs. A CD conforms to a particular specification laid down by… I think Philips or Sony or both twenty-some years ago. These discs don’t do that. They contain computer data, and some of that data is used to fool CD players into thinking they’re CDs. Computers, however, see the data side, and the rules that are in place to prevent copying (such as DRM). Obviously, it doesn’t work with all CD players. So they break the devices that are supposed to be able to play their product, in the name of preventing computers from copying the music. Brilliant.

    Comment by Monkeyangst — January 8, 2006 @ 7:45 am

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