EMI copy protected CDs don't affect Linux and Mac users (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Tue, 17 Aug 2004

EMI copy protected CDs don't affect Linux and Mac users

The Register had an article on the copy protection in the Beastie Boys' new CD. The relevant bit: the copy protection is only for Windows PCs (it uses a data track with an autorun file) and even then, it does nothing if autorun is disabled. For linux and mac users, it does nothing at all, and works as a normal CD. And Windows third-party CD burning apps can burn copies of the CD just fine.

The CD publisher, EMI Italy, was asked about this, and said they weren't worried at all about linux and mac users, or PC users who know enough to disable autorun (or use a CD burning app?); they think the majority of PC users will be stopped by this.

Assuming that Windows users who know enough to rip a CD and then distribute it online, but not enough to google for how to disable autorun, may seem a bit weird. But I guess if that's the kind of copy protection they want, we should be happy for it. Personally I still wouldn't buy a copy protected disc (I don't buy CDs from RIAA publishers anyway, a little personal boycott) and of course there's no guarantee, knowing the RIAA's history, that they won't decide to come after linux and mac users later; but for now, I suppose we should be happy that if we accidentally happen on this sort of disc, we don't have to worry about the Windows-oriented copy protection getting in our way.

(Would this constitute an anti-DMCA argument that the protection is not "effective"? It certainly should, but I'm still not entirely clear on the legal definition of "effective" except that it means something different from what the word means in normal English.)

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[ 18:04 Aug 17, 2004    More politics/rights | permalink to this entry | ]

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