decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books


Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

You won't find me on Facebook


Donate Paypal

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Monday, January 02 2006 @ 01:14 PM EST

No doubt you've seen the BoingBoing article about Coldplay's incredible DRM-EULA requirements. Some thought it must be satire. Others thought it was just a regional issue, because the individual that posted the insert is in India. But it seems to be more widespread than that, judging from complaints I'm reading online from customers in other countries.1 So, I got intrigued, and I did a little digging. If you thought Digital Rights Management was just about protecting someone's Most Holy IP, take a look at what I found.

First, while many of you can read the terms from the photograph on Boing Boing, I don't think the blind or sight-impaired can, so here's what the Coldplay insert tells you the consumer must not do and might not be able to do with the CD:
Cold Play


Thank you very much for purchasing this CD and helping the cause of "Anti-Piracy". The recordings in this CD have an anti-copying function. They cannot be copied into a PC. In order for you to enjoy high quality music, we have added this special technology.

Before using, please read the following:


This CD cannot be burnt onto a CD-R or hard disk, nor can it be converted into MP3 for file sharing.

This CD has been manufactured for usage in regular CD players but might not play in the following players:

  • Some CD players that have the capability of burning into an MP3 (such as portable players or car stereos)
  • Some CD players that possess CD-R/RW functions (such as portable players or car stereos)
  • Some car steros with satellite "Guidance" systems
  • Some CD players or car stereos with hard disk recording capability
  • Some CD-R/RW Recorders used for music
  • Some portable CD players
  • Some DVD players
  • Some CD/LD Convertible Players
  • Some Game Players

Although you can use your PC's Windows program to listen to certain tracks, this does not mean that the CD can be played in all PC's.

The first time that this program is used (in Windows automatic starter software) it gets registered in Windows File. Thus, programs already registered do not affect Windows operation.

Windows OS also uses the latest files.

This CD does not support MacIntosh PC software.

Except for manufacturing problems, we do not accept exchange, return or refund.

My first reaction was that this might just qualify as an unconscionable contract. Remember Sony getting sued over that issue? An unconscionable contract is one that no one in their right mind, absent duress, would accept. Here Coldplay's music company sells you something that they know isn't going to work for many of you, and if it doesn't, they disclaim all responsibility. How about a list in advance, so we can at least have some star to guide us? And as for the "no exchanges, returns or refunds" language, I thought, in how many states of the US do they think they can get away with that? Surely you can't sell something you know doesn't work and then refuse to take it back. Can you? In the Brave New DRM World, they think they can.

On's Coldplay download page, they admit that DRM is a "hassle" for customers, but say without it the major labels won't let much of their music be available online. So they view it as a tradeoff. The thing is, the DRM doesn't actually stop a determined pirate, as they like to call them. It just annoys normal people sufficiently that they end up going the DRM-free route to escape what any normal person would view as unconscionable terms.

Now let me say here and now that I believe in keeping the law. That is what Groklaw is all about. And I personally won't file-share until someone does something about the current imbalance in copyright law and remembers that fair use is also part of the law. I assert that we *all* should be law-abiding, including the DRM-crazed content owners, who, I believe, have an obligation to keep the part of the law that they don't like, the fair use part, just as the rest of us have a legal obligation to keep the part, the thou shalt not stuff, that we don't much like. So I don't sample music or download it, unless I paid for it first. Which does raise another point, now that I think of it. It used to be you could listen to music on the radio, or go to a record store and listen to a song to see if you wanted to buy it. Nowadays, the radio doesn't play anything I'd personally like to buy, no matter what part of the US I go to. And I don't remember the last time I went to a record store, if they even call them that any more.

So here is my question. How are you supposed to know what you might like to buy? iTunes lets you listen to a brief couple of seconds, and while that's enough to know if you've found something you remembered hearing before, it's not enough to know if you like something new. I played the sample on a Bernadette Peters song once, and it was entirely her chatting with the audience before she started to sing.

Here's another example: I was reading about Mozart the other day. Now, I don't much care for Mozart, as it happens, because his music makes me hyper. I'll go anywhere to escape, like a whale beaching itself to escape military sonar. But when I read recently about his Clarinet Quintet in A, I thought I ought to try again. I have always assumed that I must be wrong about Mozart, that maybe it was just over my head. So I went on a quest to find it to see if I'd like it. I didn't want it enough to go to a store in meat space, but if I could find it online, I'd buy it if I liked it.

So, I went to Google and began to look. First, I searched for

"Clarinet Quintet in A" Mozart

I couldn't find any links that didn't require you to buy before you could listen. So I added the word 'play'. Then I found some now-broken links, where I used to be able to find Benny Goodman playing it -- now that sounded like fun -- but nothing currently. So I hopped on over to BBC FM Listen, hoping to catch it during Mozart week, or whatever they are calling it. I found a link to Classic FM, which told me some interesting things about Mozart, including this bit:

In some ways, it is his very human fallibility that lends the music its miraculous quality for, as pianist Lili Kraus put it: 'There is no feeling, no depth, no height the human spirit can reach that is not contained in Mozart's music.'

Not everyone agrees, of course, and there are those who share the opinion of Emperor Joseph II, after hearing a rehearsal for The Abduction from the Seraglio, that the music 'contained too many notes'. ('I ask your majesty's pardon,' replied Mozart, 'there are just as many notes as there should be.')

That's exactly how I feel, too many notes, but I gather the Emperor and I are in the minority. When I tried to listen to Classic FM, I got this message: "To listen to Classic FM online you need to have Windows Media Player installed."

Oh, great. That leaves me out totally. Do they think the whole world uses Microsoft software? Or is that someone's goal?

I also learned some interesting things about copyright in Mozart's day. It was a lot like today. The Big Boys claimed special rights, on pain of God knows what, and most artists died paupers, including Mozart:

It was during this time (1769-71) that, as legend has it, Mozart wrote out the entire score of Allegri's Miserere from memory after hearing it sung once in the Sistine Chapel. Copyright of the papal choir's music was jealously guarded and infringement risked excommunication. In fact, Mozart had almost certainly seen the score and returned for a second performance to check what he had written down.

Good golly, Miss Molly. Mozart was a pirate. I thought for some time about Mozart risking excommunication by copying the Pope's choir music, or more accurately, leaping from it into the creative sky. And yes, he died poor:

Their finances were perilously poised, despite many commissions and concert appearances. No court appointment materialised and, though not exactly on the breadline, he wrote begging letters to friends - many to his fellow Mason, the Viennese banker Michael Puchberg. (These loans were never repaid and Mozart had no scruples in not paying his debts.) Yet, between 1784 and 1786, he composed nine of the greatest piano concertos in the literature and, in his last year, was writing three of these concurrently with The Marriage of Figaro! The year 1787 saw the death of his father and the premiere (in Prague) of his second operatic masterpiece, Don Giovanni. He also secured a position as Kammercompositor in Vienna, succeeding Gluck, who had been paid 2,000 gulden, whereas Mozart had to make do with 800. Though bad luck and lack of money were constants in his life, Mozart was still able to compose with a fluency and organisation that is given to few. ...

It is said that Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave. Not so. The funeral was all Constanze could afford. After the service, held in the open air at St Stephen's Cathedral, with Mozart's body probably putrefying, no-one chose to accompany the coffin to the cemetery of St Marx - a good hour's walk away. The result is that the precise final resting place of one of music's greatest geniuses is unknown. His remains seem to have been moved from their original location when the family failed to pay the mandatory dues.

Some things never change, I see, including folks willing to risk it all to hear music. Anyhow, I finally gave up. I was willing to pay money for Mozart; but I wanted to listen first, and I couldn't. Now, no doubt my readers will find a place where I can listen, legally, and in fact, I hope they do. But the point is, I spent some time on this project, and I couldn't find it. What should that tell the music industry? They keep shutting down and shutting down, until there is nothing left but their DRM nonsense, and no one in their right mind would agree to their terms, or at least I won't, even if it means doing without music. I wonder if they have any idea how many people there are like me out here.

Some are already bypassing the Coldplay DRM, by such astounding feats as holding down the shift key when loading the CD. There's more to it than that, but if I tell you, the RIAA will have to kill me, maybe by throwing me into the RIAA moat with the man-eating crocodiles, if I explain or link to it, so you'll just have to wonder. Or Google. Oops. They'll probably sue Google now.

Others, who bought the Coldplay CD only to find out how little it can do, are now leaving enraged comments. I saw one from a man in Canada, who said that it's driving his family to Napster, which tells you it's an older person writing that, because he doesn't know the new Napster is a hobbled version of the real thing, thanks to the music industry. But it does raise two questions: 1) does it make sense for the music industry to offer customers *less* than they can get from file-sharing? and 2) what *will* play Coldplay's CD?

The answer is: Microsoft and only Microsoft. Thou Shalt Use Microsoft, or there are hassles ahead. And so, like Alice munching on a mushroom in Wonderland, I stopped and pondered the question that hit me with unusual clarity: is this the true purpose of DRM? It's an anticompetitive tool? Microsoft might call it a feature. In fact, they have a name for it: PlaysForSure, and they suggest we look for that logo when buying music, so we can be sure the music we buy will actually play on what we own and use:

Look for the PlaysForSure logo if you're shopping for a music or video device and you want to make sure the digital music and video you purchase will play back on it every time. Match the PlaysForSure logo on a large selection of leading devices and online music stores. If you see the logo you'll know your digital music will play for sure.

How's that for marketing? Can you imagine being the marketing drone tasked with coming up with a way to sell DRM to us? No one in their right mind would want DRM. Ever. Maybe after they make it so unpleasant by chopping up the market into two groups -- Nothing Works Right and Microsoft -- they figure we'll give up and use their stuff exclusively in despair, dutifully searching for a sign that we'll be able to play what we pay for. PlaysForSure. He probably got a bonus for that. As the What Is PlaysForSure? page puts it, "The PlaysForSure logo makes it easy to find digital media stores and devices that work together." So, that's the plan, Stan. Plant your flag on the moon and claim it's yours and no one else can be there. And with Microsoft in the monopoly position, it probably figures it can harass everyone else's customers into subjection. I wonder what the DRM plans are for their XML?

Actually, DRM guarantees hassles no matter what you use, as I'll show you next, but at least you will be able to play the CD if you use Microsoft XP and Windows Media Player. I don't know why they don't just say so in the Coldplay insert, instead of leaving us all guessing. The insert could just read:

Coldplay: This CD is only for customers who use Microsoft products and only on players that are blessed by Microsoft, and for customers who are willing to accept DRM controlling how they can use the CD. If you use a Mac or GNU/Linux, you are excommunicated. And if you look for an alternative, we reserve the right to tip off the RIAA and then it'll be off with your head. Don't like it? We don't care. Watch us sitting in our offices not caring.

I went to the Coldplay Shop Help page, and DRM leads to all sorts of issues for you. Here's just a small sample of what you may have to do to play your CD, and I've marked a few things that make my hair stand on end:

Q) I have downloaded a track but am having trouble playing it.

Please follow the following steps to resolve your problem:

STEP 1: Firewalls
If you have a personal firewall or are behind a corporate firewall, you may experience problems either downloading the track(s) or acquiring a license to play the track. You can try temporarily disabling your firewall or speaking to your Company's IT support to see if they can resolve this.

STEP 2: Windows Media Player
Make sure you have Windows Media Player Series 10. You can download this for free at

STEP 3: Active X
Make sure Active X is enabled. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options > Security > Custom Level. and enable Active X controls

STEP 4: Windows Media FAQ's
Please try the Windows Media FAQ's here

STEP 5: Customer Service
Please contact us via our customer service system - click here...

Q) I'm having trouble burning a download to CD

A) Open Windows Media Player (you MUST use this to burn to CD - other CD burning software will NOT work)
1. Click Copy to CD or Device
2. In the Items to Copy pane, select the track you want to copy
3. Insert a blank CD-R in your CD writer
4. IMPORTANT: In the Items on Device pane, click one of the following:

  • Audio CD
  • Roxio CD Burning
5. Click Copy.

Before tracks are copied to your CD, they are inspected and, in some cases, converted to a file type. This process takes several minutes. ...

Q) What portable players will these downloads work with?

A) There are over 500 devices that support Windows Media Audio. Click here for a complete list.

I did click to view the complete list, and I don't own any of the players on the list. Not a single one. And as for their suggestion I turn on ActiveX and turn off my firewall at the same time, if I'm having trouble, I think I'll pass. You don't know what trouble is, until you follow that advice on a bad day. As for using XP Home and Windows Media Player, you might want to read the EULAs before you use that. Here's the bit about DRM in the XP Home EULA:


2.1 Digital Rights Management. Content providers are using the digital rights management technology contained in this Software ("DRM") to protect the integrity of their content ("Secure Content") so that their intellectual property, including copyright, in such content is not misappropriated. Portions of this Software and third party applications such as media players use DRM to play Secure Content ("DRM Software"). If the DRM Software's security has been compromised, owners of Secure Content ("Secure Content Owners") may request that Microsoft revoke the DRM Software's right to copy, display and/or play Secure Content. Revocation does not alter the DRM Software's ability to play unprotected content. A list of revoked DRM Software is sent to your computer whenever you download a license for Secure Content from the Internet. You therefore agree that Microsoft may, in conjunction with such license, also download revocation lists onto your computer on behalf of Secure Content Owners. Microsoft will not retrieve any personally identifiable information, or any other information, from your computer by downloading such revocation lists. Secure Content Owners may also require you to upgrade some of the DRM components in this Software ("DRM Upgrades") before accessing their content. When you attempt to play such content, Microsoft DRM Software will notify you that a DRM Upgrade is required and then ask for your consent before the DRM Upgrade is downloaded. Third party DRM Software may do the same. If you decline the upgrade, you will not be able to access content that requires the DRM Upgrade; however, you will still be able to access unprotected content and Secure Content that does not require the upgrade....

2.3 Internet-Based Services Components. The Software contains components that enable and facilitate the use of certain Internet-based services. You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the Software and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the Software that will be automatically downloaded to your Workstation Computer.

So, folks, you are agreeing to let Microsoft, or content owners such as music companies, scan your hard drive, "fix" any security issues, according to their definition, and download "fixes" without further notice. Microsoft says it doesn't do it, but I see nothing technically built in that would stop them from taking a look at all your private materials on your hard drive. So there's no DRM to protect *your* intellectual property, just theirs. Oh, and if they or the content owners say you must upgrade to play your music or whatever, they mean you must. If you're naughty, and not nice, they can prevent you from listening to the "protected" content.

Now, I'm not a programmer or a security expert. But as a common consumer, I fail to see the difference between this and what Sony was doing, except that Sony failed to tell anyone. But it's still like having a little spy in your computer, telling Microsoft and its designated agents what you are listening to and how you are behaving with the CDs you bought with your hard-earned money. If you really want to throw up, read the Windows Media Player FAQ. Some highlights from this Brave New DRM World:

11.8 When I try to play a file, a Web page is displayed that says I need to download a license and mentions something about license migration. What does this mean?
The file you are trying to play was ripped (copied) from an audio CD. During the ripping process, the file was protected. This limits the number of computers on which the file can be played.

To play the file on your computer, you must download a license (a process known as license migration). A license acts an electronic key that allows you to unlock a protected file and play it. To download a license for the file, on the Web page that is displayed, click Download License.

There are several reasons why you might not have a license for the protected file:

▪ You ripped the CD on one computer and you are trying to play the protected file on another computer. You need to download a new license because the original license is only valid for the computer on which the CD was ripped.

▪ You ripped the CD on the computer that you are currently using, but your licenses have been deleted. This typically occurs when you reformat your hard disk (such as when you perform a clean installation of Windows), but it can occur in other circumstances as well. To avoid this problem in the future, use the License Management feature of Windows Media Player to back up your licenses to a floppy disk (or other storage media) before you reformat your hard disk.

▪ You obtained the file from someone else who ripped the CD....

Enough. You get the idea. It goes on for miles like that. There are numerous ways to fail and not be able to listen to the music you paid for, even if you give up and use Microsoft XP Home with Windows Media Player. You certainly have to work mighty hard to play a simple CD. And they wonder why file sharing is still booming? The choice shouldn't be between unconscionable terms, breaking the law, or giving up music.

You can let Coldplay know how you feel, by the way, because Skype is offering a contest -- whoever leaves the best message will win an opportunity to talk to the band over Skype:

VoIP high-flier Skype is now offering Coldplay fans the opportunity to speak directly with the band. To enter, Skype subscribers must leave a voicemail with Coldplay explaining why they deserve the chance to chat with the group. Predictably, the winning conversation itself will happen over a Skype connection. Appropriately, the promotion coincides with the release of the Coldplay single, "Talk," the third from the multi-platinum album X&Y. "Skype offers entertainers like Coldplay a unique way to reach tens of millions of people around the world with exclusive content," said Skype vice president of global marketing Saul Klein.

Now, I like Coldplay. They have a track record of trying to protect fans from being ripped off. And I'll bet dollars to doughnuts they didn't come up with the DRM follies. No artist would. Well. Maybe Metallica. But it's not in the best interests of the artists, if you think about it, to allow DRM to shrink their potential audience, which is what the Microsoft nonsense does, or to annoy customers so much they decide never to buy music again. They treat their law-abiding customers like we are devious crooks, even though we wouldn't steal from them in the first place. Meanwhile, the real crooks are in no way deterred. In short, the world has gone mad, as the following item from the BBC's list of 100 things we didn't know last year shows:

100. Musical instrument shops must pay an annual royalty to cover shoppers who perform a recognisable riff before they buy, thereby making a "public performance".

Sigh. I hope it's true that there are alternative universes. Anyway, I've added a new topic for Groklaw, DRM/EULA, and this article is the first in that category. Here's why. Now that Sony got caught with its pants down, and got sued in part for not declaring up front what they were doing with their DRM, I think we'll be seeing more open declarations about DRM from other companies now. Let's look for it, and make a collection of how DRM works and we can throw in any incredible EULA terms that we come across as well.

1 Boing Boing has the following update: "A knowledgeable source has identified this as a Macrovision DRM and disclaimer, and noted that the label only bought licenses to sell this CD with that DRM in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. However, this report originates in India, which suggests that the CDs are either being exported out of the region, or that the label is issuing the discs without a license for their DRM. Bottom line: wherever you are in the world, there's a chance that your ColdPlay CD came with this DRM, and there's no way to find out without buying the disc and taking it home, and once you do, it's too late to take it back to the store."


More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition | 631 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Errors heah
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:38 PM EST
As if PJ ever makes them...

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Errors heah - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:11 PM EST
  • DRM nastyness - Authored by: garrett on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:56 PM EST
  • Errors heah - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 09:39 PM EST
  • Responsiblity? - Authored by: luvr on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:01 AM EST
  • Errors heah - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:27 PM EST
  • Errors heah - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 02:48 PM EST
Off-topic here
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:39 PM EST
Please make links clickable!

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: tknarr on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:46 PM EST

I notice that the case the CD's in has the "Compact Disc Digital Audio" logo on it. This may put ColdPlay, the publisher and/or the retailers on the hot seat. I believe California is one of those states that doesn't allow the retailer and/or manufacturer to refuse to accept returns on defective products. If they're claiming it's a real CD, then by refusing to accept returns because it won't play on CDDA-compliant devices they may be opening themselves up to legal action in California. OTOH, if they say it's not a real CD then they're in the clear on that but by using the CDDA logo and putting it in with other real CDs they may be opening themselves up to charges of false advertising and consumer fraud. The retailers are the ones most likely to get bit by this first, unless they're willing to eat the returns or put the labels on the spot in court.

To be honest, I think that's what it's going to take to get DRM off the shelves: putting the retailers and the labels in a legal bind that they can only avoid by segregating all DRM'd media off in it's own prominently-labelled section.

[ Reply to This | # ]

RIAA lawyers bully witnesses into perjury
Authored by: pointwood on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:46 PM EST

I thought this was a relevant story - not sure if it has been posted before:

In Motown v. Nelson, pending in federal court in Port Huron, Michigan (Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division), the defendants -- Mr. and Mrs. Nelson -- have made a motion for attorneys fees against the RIAA attorneys, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1927 for unreasonable and vexatious litigation and improperly interfering and/or obtaining false testimony from a prospective witness.

Article on


[ Reply to This | # ]

Voting with my wallet
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:49 PM EST
"Don't like it? We don't care. Watch us sitting in our offices not

Watch my money, sitting in my wallet, not moving. Won't be paying the rent on
those fancy-dancy offices with MY cash. (Now if you're done looking at my
wallet, which is staying in my pants pocket, get your eyes off my butt.

And all without breaking the law. No Coldplay songs in my collection.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: afore on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:51 PM EST
I am having problem ripping cds to put on an ipod because of the effects of this
stupid DRM. Using Suse 10.0 it is almost impossible to output and mp4 to put on
an ipod. Don't do any file sharing or anthing like that. I am having to update
the gstreamer to the latest version, of which there are no rpms for suse x86_64,
then get the appropriate plugins. Have to compile all of this and make rpms to
install. What a pain.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Tyro on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 05:55 PM EST
That's an excellent summary. If it weren't on Groklaw,
I'd suggest publishing it where it will be more widely

I particularly like:
And as for their suggestion I turn on ActiveX and turn off
my firewall at the same time, ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:05 PM EST
The music companies need to create a new media (maybe a square aluminum disc)
and sell a player with it's own stand alone speakers and 110 volt wall plug(it's
only standard).
If you buy into this scheme then you can buy and play their music, otherwise
forget their music.
The rest of the world can foster a new music market by a new consumer demand.

The future > (Like who was Johnny Cash? Who was Elvis? They had some
samples of their music on the History Channel the other night.)
I guess the new world order will include new non-record contract performers.
That new guy Pelvis Eresley? yeah I got an mp3 of him.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Question about advance notification
Authored by: Walter Dnes on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:16 PM EST
I don't quarrel with record companies' right to put all sorts of DRM on their
products, but I think that it's unconscionable that the customer doesn't find
out about the restrictions until *AFTER* they buy, with no right of refund.
While we're at it, this also applies to software EULAs.

Are there any laws being broken by these after-the-purchase disclosures?
(Probably varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction).

What can consumers do at a personal level? Maybe start reporting such
occurences to the local BBB, or complaining to government consumer-protection
agencies. In New York, maybe Spitzer might be interested in some thing like

Another option might be to put up web sites with examples of such after-the-fact
restrictions. Just be sure to host them in faraway places out of reach of
US-based SLAPP suits.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Odd - This is the "X&Y" album, isn't it?
Authored by: Cassandra on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:19 PM EST
I own a perfectly legal CD copy of this album, and I've just ripped it into Oggs without difficulty. Ironically, I can't find a "Compact Disc" logo anywhere on the box either.

And the music company logo on the box says "EMI" instead of Virgin.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Please stike fileshareing sentences out
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:20 PM EST
PJ wrote:"Now let me say here and now that I believe in
keeping the law. That is what Groklaw is all about. And I
personally won't file-share until someone does something
about the current imbalance in copyright law and remembers
that fair use is also part of the law."

I want to comment it: 1. I read the sentences a couple of
times, because at first I thought I misunderstood you.

2. Filesharing is not illegal! It is a technic to share
files. And like ftp/html/telnet etc. a technic cant be
illegal. I dont want to know how many copyrighted files
where exchange with ftp and html. You can share all files,
which allow it to you, like all under GPL (or any other
licens which allow it to you), any file you created by
yourself and thereby have the copyright over it.

3. I got the imprssion you believe the RIAA-FUD that
filesharing is evil and all fileshareres breaks the law.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Thank you from a blind Linux user
Authored by: garrett on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:21 PM EST

Thanks for giving equal access to those of us who can't see.

Distro: Slackware 102 browser: ELinks 0.10.6

Sco: the definitive source for not what to do in litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ - Hoping for a more relaxed 2006 for you
Authored by: gmwhitehead on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:27 PM EST
PJ, your work on behalf of OSS users and anyone concerned about intellectual
property over the last few years has been amazing and (especially given that
it's been given at no cost!) astonishingly thorough.

I've not posted here before, but I've been an avid follower of Groklaw since
shortly after it began. By training, I'm a performing musician (that's where my
degree is, although I now work as a programmer). I'd dearly love for you to be
able to experience the subtle relaxation and yet intense emotional expression of
the Mozart Clarinet Quintet in full. As such I'd like to offer to buy you a
copy of it on CD, ideally (in the closest I've come to my perfect performance)
played by Jack Brymer.

I don't know if there's a way to discriminate one payment to Groklaw from
another - if not, and I hear nothing in response to this, I'll make sure to send
a contribution equivalent to the value of the CD doubled (plus extra :) ) to
Groklaw via PayPal. Here's hoping, and all the best for 2006.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Speaking to your Company's IT support
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:34 PM EST
Since I do work in an area that they'd probably lump under "IT
Support", and actually have operational responsibility for our routers,
firewalls and other security-related systems, I may humbly suggest that speaking
to me or my colleagues to do what is suggested in that FAQ is likely to provoke
laughter. Not on the part of the person wanting the Coldplay music, either. That
strategy has zero probability of success in the corporate environment, even
(perhaps especially) in those environments that have numerous MS Windows desktop

[ Reply to This | # ]

Coldplay copyprotection *laugh*
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:37 PM EST
I don't even press the shift key.
I simply removed autorun (a year ago) and since it wasn't because of coldplay,
it isn't even a copy protection bypass action :)

I hope this stuff installs something exploitable, so they will be sitting in the
next cell to Sony :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozart died in poverty?
Authored by: Wol on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:38 PM EST
Actually, he didn't. He was quite wealthy. And while he had a lot of loans
outstanding, he was the lender, not the borrower. He was very poor at calling in

This whole myth is a ?Victorian? invention. The details of his funeral are
fairly accurate, and because this describes a victorian pauper's funeral, it was
assumed he was poverty-stricken. Actually, a funeral like that was *NORMAL* for
everyone below royalty, and that INCLUDES NOBILITY. A Duke would have been
treated the same as Mozart!

He had a pretty expensive farewell, and then his body was taken away to a
communal grave. It was unusual for people to follow the coffin to the grave, and
only Royalty could command a private plot.


[ Reply to This | # ]

How to Play Classic FM
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 06:50 PM EST
The ket to playing streaming media is to know what the address of the stream is.
Many internet radio stations obfuscate the stream address inside active X or
other junk.

To listen to Classic FM for example point your media player to

gxine is a very nice player for listening to internet streams and comes with
many of them preconconfigured, although it does have trouble with the BBC
streams for which I use kmplayer.

anonymous because I still cannot log in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:03 PM EST
I looked it up in my old Koechel Verzeichnis:

KV 581
Quintett ("Stadler-Quintett") for clarinet, two violins, viola,
Composed 29 September 1789, Vienna
Mozart-Verzeichnis 112
Performed on 22 December 1789, Vienna (Anton Stadler played the clarinet)

It has four movements:
1. Allegro
2. Larghetto
3. Menuetto
4. Allegretto con Variazioni

A sample mp3 of the second movement can be found on:

You can buy a recording, for instance, at:
(EUR 5.99 in Germany)

I found a free recording via Google at:
(look for K. 581); the recording quality is not very good
but one can get an impression of the music. The musicians
are not bad.

Perhaps someone with a recording can send you mp3's :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

"two groups -- Nothing Works Right and Microsoft"
Authored by: tiger99 on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:10 PM EST
Actually I make that one group! It has been so since the days of Bill's first Basic interpreter.


[ Reply to This | # ]

I humbly suggest...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:15 PM EST
...that record stores put CDs like these into a special section titled
"Music that may or may not work on your playback device. It is does not
work, we are not responsible and will not accept this product for a return or

Then just wait to see how many schmucks there are out there who actually pick up
one of these CDs and purchase it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:15 PM EST
>Surely you can't sell something you know doesn't work and
>then refuse to take it back. Can you? In the Brave New
>DRM World, they think they can.

As Joseph Heller put it:
“Catch-22,” the old woman repeated, rocking her head up and down. “Catch-22.
Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Capt. Yossarian shouted at her in
bewildered, furious protest.

“Didn’t they show it to you?” Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and
distress. “Didn’t you even make them read it?”

They don’t have to show us Catch-22,” the old woman answered. “The law says they
don’t have to.”

“What law says they don’t have to?”

“Catch-22.” The old woman said.

[ Reply to This | # ]

law of unintended conswquences...
Authored by: Latesigner on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:19 PM EST
I wonder how long it will take before the eliminate all the "paying
I won't be buying this cd and yes, before you ask, I was a potential customer.

The only way to have an "ownership" society is to make slaves of the rest of us.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: hcg50a on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:24 PM EST
It used to be you could ... go to a record store and listen to a song to see if you wanted to buy it. ... And I don't remember the last time I went to a record store, if they even call them that any more.
In my town they call them bookstores, and they sell CDs and DVDs, as well as regular, old-fashioned cloth and paper-bound books. A very limited selection of CDs can be listened to using headphones. I actually have made decisions not to buy and to buy after listening to some CDs this way.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Finding Mozart
Authored by: ALAN SWINDELLS on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:25 PM EST
I disliked most of Mozart for years, and still find his juvenilia - well,
juvenile - anything up to his early teens really, but now I love much of his
later stuff. If you want to find a legally downloadable sample of the Clarinet
Quintet I can't a.t.m. help, but if you go to href=""> click on CATALOGUE by Composer, find
the section headed Litolff - Pärt, scroll down to Mozart, you will find listed
all their currently available CDs (none of them with nasty DRM), many of them
with downloadable samples in MP3 or Real format. The Clarinet quintet is their,
but there is no sample of that disc. Samples tend to be between 3 and 10 minutes
long, so you can get a good idea of what you are in for if you buy the record.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:29 PM EST
I don't like to break te law. I never copied a cd. I don't buy a cd 's the last
5 years.

I don't mind if people wan't to earn money with music.
But I find it un exceptable how the greedy music company's and some few greedy
artist hijaked our culture.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Curious to see what Coldplay's sales figures will be
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:30 PM EST

Be curious to see how this affects Coldplay's sales. The only thing to do is
wait to see if this hurts revenue. Nothing else will matter.

Restricting play on PC's is one thing. But preventing it on car units may be
quite another.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I see the music industry's current DRM psychosis as a good thing ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:31 PM EST
... it should help to get it out of their system quicker.

(Excepting any more rootkit silliness)

If they carry on as they are then in the next 1-2 years three things are going
to happen:

1) Anyone half techno-savvy will continue to ignore their pathetic attempts to
shoehorn DRM onto the CD standard (more people than they'd like don't put ~any~
CD into their PC without holding down the shift key first);

2) They'll massively piss off the rest of the music-buying population by
preventing them playing their bought CD on their chosen CD player. And remember,
Philips still call the shots on what can, or cannot, be sold as a "CD"
or "CD player"!;

3) Their CD sales will continue to tank.

Now in theory they could carry on, year after year, blaming their declining
fortunes on the "evil pirates". Except that's not going to happen.


Because in the near future they're going to try to use that excuse to screw the
artists (more than they do already).

They're going to tell Madonna or Britney or, indeed, Coldplay that they can't
afford to pay them the royalties they're accustomed to - because no-one wants to
buy their CDs anymore.

All their fans are evil pirates who just want to download their songs for free.

The "moment of clarity" that will then occur will, I'm sure, be both
painful and far reaching!

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: sonicfrog on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 07:51 PM EST
Coldplay Indeed. It's the consumer who is left in the cold. I am a musician and an avid music lover, and I like will NEVER buy a CD with any copy protection software installed. I find it completely offensive having my use of a product I supposedly "own" being limited and monitored as if I were a child. Instead of adapting to the realities of new technologies, the bigs are doing all they can to hamper the ability of the consumer to freely use the produce and at the same time doing nothing to hamper the massive amount of waste and graft and greed that typifies the recording industry. The are alienating the very consumer whos dollars they need to survive. The RIAA has filed suite against both XM and Sirius Satelite services because they want a bigger cut of that pie. And don't forget, the ASCAP sued the Boy Scouts a few years back for singing copyright protected songs around a campfire. Now they are are going after websites that print the lyrics to songs. It's a world gone mad! A bigger problem the record companies now face but ignore is that artists are no longer at the mercy of the record companies to produce AND distribute a good quality album. If you want free new music, check out My Space Music or AudioStreet.Net for tons of free music, and stuff to buy, where the $$$ goes to the artists. My

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google can be your friend.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:01 PM EST
Always search from the most common (as in well known) to least common items ie.
Mozart.... search within results for "Clarinet Quintet in A" within results for "mp3"

I was playing it after four clicks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

*ubergeek* "meat space"
Authored by: SilverWave on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:14 PM EST
"I didn't want it enough to go to a store in meat space"

Hah I knew you were a geek pj but now the "meat space" quote confirms
that you are an *ubergeek*...

but that’s ok as all the nice people are ;)


I used Autopatcher December 2005 on a friends XP’d PC and passed on the
"Upgrade" offered on DRM for WMP9/10… if you read the description it
was a "upgrade" which under certain conditions would allow 3rd parties
to spy on your PC! Incredible :/

"They [each] put in one hour of work,
but because they share the end results
they get nine hours... for free"

Firstmonday 98 interview with Linus Torvalds

[ Reply to This | # ] has DRM statement on *ALL* downloads
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:20 PM EST
Your gripe about the DRM statement on Coldplay on is a straw man
attack. If you had looked carefully, the DRM statement, which is in the
section, is listed for *ALL* downloads. It's not just Coldplay.

You need to do a little more research.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Classical Music on The Web
Authored by: joef on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:23 PM EST
Radio station WCPE broadcasts classical music 24/7 in a variety of streaming formats. See Follow the "Listen Online link (Top of right panel). They have MP3 at two rates, Ogg Vorbis, QuickTime, Real Audio, and Windows Media. The service is brought to you by our friends at ibiblio. Of course, there's a lot of Mozart, but all the other composers, too. It's biased toward the 18th and 19th centuries, but there is a good bit from earlier and more modern periods. And they carry the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on Saturday afternoons in season (not many stations do any longer.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reappropriating the Public Domain
Authored by: Kevin on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:30 PM EST

PJ's mention of Mozart (about whom she and I have opposite opinions; de gustibus non est disputandum) makes me think of how the UK's law is even worse than that of the US in terms of music rights. There, not only does copytight vest in the composers, lyricists, and arrangers of a piece, but even in the editors. Even though Mozart is in his grave these two hundred years, it is difficult to find an edition of his music that one can perform without owing royalties to some (perhaps anonymous) editor.

The test case was Dr Lionel Sawkins's suit against Hyperion Records (follow the link for Hyperion's announcement that its future as a company is in jeopardy as a result of its loss of the case on appeal). There is a more extensive commentary in L a Follia.

In the opinion of the trial judge - upheld on appeal - the "sweat of the brow" argument reappears:

I am not persuaded that one can reject a claim to copyright in a new musical work simply because the editorial composer has made no significant changes to the notes … It seems to me this is too rigid a test and not one which properly respects the reality of what music is. The question to ask in any case is whether the new work is sufficiently original in terms of the skill and labor used to produce it.
In other words, if an editor puts in enough work on an edition, he acquires some copyright claim to the original music of the composer.

This miscarriage of justice has even music editors offended. Sir Charles Mackerras stated :

I am shocked and horrified that the very existence of Hyperion could be jeopardised through a legal misunderstanding of what is, after all, a very abstruse and specialised area.
In the same article, composer John Rutter (one of my modern favorites; The Reluctant Dragon is hilarious, and his church music is sublime) is quoted as saying, "copyright was not designed to reward scholarship but creativity."

I once believed that one way I could be sure that my music was legal was to play it myself, on my prized 1891 Steinway parlor grand from my library of printed classical music. Now, apparently, I have to screen the printed music, to make sure that the editions can be proven to be out of copyright. OK, I have a number of editions that old (I'm also an habitué of used-book sales.)

Now, though, I come to worry. A fair number of the old printings contain some pretty egregious errors in the engraving, or give no editorial suggestions regarding, say, the interpretation of tempi, ornaments or phrasing. Am I perhaps guilty of unwitting copyright infringement if I make the same correction or adopt the same interpretation that some newer editor suggests?

After all, I could have copied unconsciously from some other edition that a performer used, and that I encountered at a concert or on the radio. For some time I took one teacher's advice to heart: "Go to concerts. Listen. If you like what you hear, learn from it. If you don't like what you hear, you'll learn even more." For some of my favorite pieces, I'd have a hard time defending my position; I've heard dozens of artists perform them, and hope that I did learn from them.

Britons need to lobby Parliament to get this precedent undone by statute. USAians need to watch out that the same nonsense doesn't appear over here. (I don't think that any of our copyright treaties make this British decision a binding precedent over here on the left side of the pond, but I am certainly none too sure of my position.)

Helen Peate sums it up perhaps best:

The judgment means that almost every edition of an out of copyright work will in fact have its own musical copyright because the law will regard it as 'original'. This will affect classical record companies and performers of classical music as they will have to seek (and pay for) a licence before performing or recording music from an edition.

The judgment also means that the threshold for copyright and 'originality' is extremely low. Given that copyright subsists in every fixation of a musical work, this will mean that each time a musical work is recorded, that particular performance could be of an "original" musical work under UK copyright law. This gives rise to the possibility of performers claiming musical copyright in addition to performing rights - something the legislators surely did not intend.

Citation for the judgment is [2004] EWHC 1530 (Ch).

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin (P.S. My surname is not McBride!)

[ Reply to This | # ]

More Mozart on the web
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:36 PM EST
Check out I haven't (yet) bought anything from them, but they
don't seem evil at all, and they have extensive previews.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:38 PM EST
Have you tried Magnatune? ( is a great company that
have a reasonable list of music (esp classical). I only ever buy music from them
and here's why:

1) You get to choose what you pay (between $6.00-$20.00) for an album.
2) You can here the entire album IN FULL before you buy.
3) If you buy an album, you can give it to 3 friends.
4) When you buy, you can download it as many times as you want 60 days after
5) There are a range of formats, from uncompressed WAV's down to MP3's and OGG
files. There's a massive range of formats for every occasion and NONE of them
have DRM.
6) The musician(s) get 50% (no less) of what you pay magnatune.
7) Help for any problems is quick, friendly, and effective.

And all the above is an ethical stance.

PJ, you might not like Bach because he has more notes than Mozart, but if you're
curious, try Lara St John's 'Bach Violin Concerto's'
( She's a brilliant violinist. I
had to persist a bit to get used to Bach, but now I play his stuff every day,
but you might get on with some of Philharmonia Baroque's stuff. They do the
Seraglio music (the link is and
to listen to a high quality stream go to

Since Magnatune arrived, I don't buy anywhere else and a whole new world of
music has been opened up for me. And the best thing is that it is entirely
ethical. The musicians get a fair deal (50% is way better than any record
company offers), you get the price and a range of formats, and you can listen to
the entire album before you buy!

Best of luck.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead and their take on sharing music
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:45 PM EST
Phil Lesh & Friends
Audio Hosting Policy

Phil Lesh & Friends and our managing organizations have long encouraged the
purely non-commercial exchange of music taped at our concerts or offered on this
website. That a medium of distribution has arisen - digital audio files being
traded over the Internet - does not change our policy in this regard. Our
stipulations regarding digital distribution are merely extensions of those
long-standing principles and they are as follow:

No commercial gain may be sought by websites offering digital files of our
music, whether through advertising, exploiting databases compiled from their
traffic, or any other means.

All participants in such digital exchange acknowledge and respect the copyrights
of the performers, writers and publishers of the music.

This notice should be clearly posted on all sites engaged in this activity. We
reserve the ability to withdraw our sanction of non-commercial digital music
should circumstances arise that compromise our ability to protect and steward
the integrity of our work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:47 PM EST
Here is what you do.

You make the music available to your fans on your own website. They download it
in "flac" format. (Fully Lossless Audio Codec). It's being done more
often these days by numerous bands.

Who needs corporate? We all know the answer to that question, don't we. Do bands
have any choice in the matter? Can they even so much as speak up? Could they put
their music on their own website, where you can pay THEM for it, then download
it in your preferred format (mp3 for dial-up people, for instance). Or perhaps
even order a CD directly from the artists? If they are locked into a contract,
probably not!

Hey, it's a job.

If you provide a quality product, you don't need DRM. Either people are going to
buy your music or they aren't. I would speculate that there is probably an
inverse relationship beween music listeners viewing your music as a quality
product and corporate being willing to sign you up for a contract.

Just make the music available in a high-quality, VBR 320 mp3 or flac, from your
website. Where people can pay YOU and then download it. If the music is a
quality product, filesharing probably won't hurt it. If the music is corporate
crap, filesharing will expose it.

Quality music is about so much more than money. There will always be people who
will be willing to pay good money for quality music. There will always be
wealthy people willing to contribute large amounts of money to musical societies
and so forth. Don't make it about money, Make it about a quality product. That's
really what music ought to be about.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Free-To-Listen Music Sources
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:54 PM EST
Since PJ mentioned it, I'd like to point out two free-to-listen music sources, both of which are dear to my heart.

The first is called iRATE radio. It's a free (as in speech), and is distributed under the GPL. It's a JAVA WebStart application which contacts a master server that contains URLs for free music files on the web. The server sends you these URLs, and your computer downloads the tracks directly from the artists' website (which gets around the whole 'distributing someone else's content' thing; you only download publically available music offered directly from the artist).

The really interesting bit is that as it plays your automatically-downloaded music, you are able to give the music ratings, or bin it entirely. The next time iRATE radio talks to the master server, it compares your ratings against the ratings from other users to find people who seem to like the same things that you like. Once it finds some, it tries to provide you with more music that those people liked.

The upside is that as you rate more music, iRATE does a better job of fetching you interesting music that you'll like. The downside is that every once in a while it will send you something that you'll really dislike. But the 'bin it' option is always there to immediately stop those tracks. Real radio stations could really use a button like that!

Anyway. Each music track will tell you the license under which it was provided (almost always a Creative Commons license), and other information about the band, the website, etc. In this way, iRATE radio has introduced me to dozens upon dozens of bands and distributors I'd never heard of, both local and international, including my next favourite source:

Magnatune has been mentioned here many times before, but is worth mentioning again; Extremely high quality music in many different genres, all of it free to listen to in its entirety at a reasonable level of quality. If you choose to purchase the music, you're free to download the music in whatever formats you like (including FLAC, uncompressed WAV, mp3 of various qualities, ogg vorbis, AAC, etc), you may request a printed CD be sent to you (for a slightly higher price), and what's more, you nominate your own price for the music; you pay exactly what you think it's worth ($8 per CD is suggested, but not enforced).

I've bought about a dozen downloaded-albums from Magnatune, and have nothing but good things to say about them. Real class act.

These days, Magnatune tracks can also be purchased via iTunes, and they operate several genre-based radio streams which are offered via iTunes, as well as via direct links from their website. Or you can just listen to streams of particular tracks or albums, if you're interested in listening to something more specific.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Musical instrument shops must pay to cover shoppers
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 08:56 PM EST
So, if I go into a shop and play something I wrote myself (I've done this
before) then how does the money the shop payed to enable me to "publicly
perform" this piece get to me, the copyright owner?

Cheers & God bless
Sam "SammyTheSnake Penny
PS I'm actually feeling physically nauseous contemplating this

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 09:01 PM EST
Why bother buying Coldplay CDs if they're going to do this? Just listen to someone else. After all, everything sounds like Coldplay now...

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Tufty on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 09:02 PM EST
Oh, great. That leaves me out totally. Do they think the whole world uses
Microsoft software? Or is that someone's goal?

PJ, I can't belive you asked that last question after all this time. :0

the RIAA will have to kill me, maybe by throwing me into the RIAA moat with the
man-eating crocodiles

You'd be safe then ;)

You can try temporarily disabling your firewall or speaking to your Company's IT
support to see if they can resolve this.

Don't even dream of asking me this in my technical role, we have crocodiles down
here and they ain't fussy eaters.

Make sure you have Windows Media Player Series 10.

The one I'm not allowed to have as I use Win2k so the only way I can play this
is to spend $500 on software, completely reinstal my machine and probably have
to buy a new machine to support the bloatware.

Make sure Active X is enabled.

Err, the one you just disabled to get round the latest vulnerability?

You can let Coldplay know how you feel, by the way, because Skype is offering a
contest -- whoever leaves the best message will win an opportunity to talk to
the band over Skype:

You think you will get through on this subject? Shine on.

Message for the music industry as I am sure they will read this column for

I do not pirate music, I do not download music, I do not steal music. I copy to
a blank CD to play the music I have purchased or put it on my server to play
purchase many CDs but when I do I will ensure they are not crippled or I will
not buy them. If you DRM them all, like this, goodbye.

There has to be a rabbit down this rabbit hole somewhere!
Now I want its hide.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • PS - Authored by: Tufty on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 10:06 PM EST
There's another side to DRM too
Authored by: Bas Burger on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 09:43 PM EST
While the consumers side get's full attention, the artists side of DRM however
is hardly mentioned.
For artists things look more like this:

DRM is meant to lock-in artists and lockout audience.
DRM will be a double edged tool used to let artist know that they (the fat
execs) can lock away audiences from the artist once they are disposable, that is
after the first NOT superhit.
They will be pressured into signing off more rights for NOT being disposed and
slowly become a owned entity like in fudal times.

DRM is meant to manipulate both ends of the channel of which they try to stay
middle men of and set them and their rights up to each other.

What irritates me most about DRM is the sheer number of corrupt people that try
to force this through our throats,
somehow the memes in the corporate world is still that it's cool to be corrupt,
and the blatant arrogance which is displayed while doing this.

Real Hobbesian behaviour. I wonder how these Mercantiles took power from modern



[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 10:12 PM EST
The last four paragraphs/sentences aren't written in good English and really
don't make much sense:

<<The first time that this program is used (in Windows automatic starter
software) it gets registered in Windows File. Thus, programs already
registered do not affect Windows operation.

Windows OS also uses the latest files.

This CD does not support MacIntosh PC software.

Except for manufacturing problems, we do not accept exchange, return or

"Windows OS also uses the latest files."
What exactly does this mean?

"... we do not accept ... refund."
Shouldn't that be "we don't issue refunds" ?

Who writes these things?

And what law department reviewed this policy and the insert before
approving it? As others here have already pointed out, the advice they give
about activating ActiveX controls and disabling firewalls sounds like reckless
endangerment to me.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Caution: Marketing Geniuses At Work
Authored by: Prototrm on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 10:24 PM EST
Let me get this straight.

The record companies see their demographics (adults with money to spend on
music) aging, so they dump Rock and Roll and replace it with Rap, Hip Hop, and
various forms of soft porn that appeal to a much younger crowd (teens and
pre-teens who pirate all of their music because they have better things to spend
their money on),

Then, they replace the 45 single with more expensive CD singles, thus reducing a
customer's ability to try music without spending a lot of money for the whole

Finally, they give us a choice of a low-quality download that's heavily
play-restricted, or a CD that won't play on all equipment (or only plays if you
let it add a root kit).

Now their sales are down, and they're busy pointing the finger at everyone else
but themselves. Tell me something, are these people the same geniuses behind
SCO's Great Plan to sue the planet? Sounds like it to me.

Someone should clue these music companies in to what ID Software discovered back
when they introduced Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom: give away a nice
taste of your product, free and clear with no restrictions, and rake-in the
money when people come knocking on your door to buy more of the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: tonyxfar on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 10:49 PM EST
One thing I have wondered about? Can they call this disk a "CD". I
"CD" and "Compact Disk" were trademarks and the disk had to
obey the
standard to use the name. The last DMR disk I picked up (a "Nora
Jones" disk)
did not mention CD on the cover at all.

The retailer certainly used the term CD in their display so I suspect I had a
refund case under Australian law if it was not really a CD. (Fortunately, as a
user I was just able to ignore their scheme - through one of my machines did
have a problem with it).

[ Reply to This | # ]

What if there were no Song Lyrics On Line?
Authored by: Prototrm on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 10:51 PM EST
PJ related her experience trying to find Mozart. Just this past weekend I had my
own frustrating experience trying to find a piece of music. I would have been
even more frustrated if these RIAA folks had their way.

I program computers for a living. Most of the time, I do so listening to music.
Sometimes its Yanni or Enya, but most of the time it's Trance music (for the
uninitiated, that's a type of techno dance music, not the name of a band). I was
listening to a European Internet Radio station, when a vocal caught my
attention. The MP3 tag didn't name the song, so I hit Google with some of the
lyrics. I intended locating the CD the song was from, with the intentions of
buying it on line. Unfortuntely, the group, Solarstone, doesn't have a CD with
the song I was looking for, "Speak in Sympathy", and that song turns
out to feature a guest singer on vocals. Rules that out, I guess, but I'll keep
checking back on the group's web site, just in case they release something I
find interesting.

If these laudible RIAA lawyers get rid of the lyric sites, they will be
protecting their golden IP at the expense of sales. Hmmm, hope the record
companies pay them in (DRM enabled) downloads.

But, you know, those darned people who are pirating the song lyrics are causing
the record companies lost sales, donchaknow!

[ Reply to This | # ]

What an industy unaccustomed to real competition creates
Authored by: globularity on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 11:00 PM EST
Just one more thing in long list this industry has come up with, their real
skills are politics and deception, for years they have got away with paying
politcal bodies, stacking committies and ripping off the creators of the works
they claim as their own. They add little value to the artists work other than to
own a distribution channel and even that is managed poorly. When I was a
teenager I bought bootlegs (recordings from a distribution company other than
the one the artist is contracted to). It amazed me that the bootleggers could
make money producing better work with much smaller sales volumes, the arguement
that they wern't paying the artist royalties, doesn't hold as artist royalties
are ASFAIK less than 20% of the cover price and the artist bears many of the
production costs. for me it seemed that the artists should be furious with their
record company for not taking advantage of this market, not to mention the
superior mixing and production that some of the bootlegs had. I guess the music
industry doesn't really understand music. The other thing I did as a teenager
was record off the radio, some of the albums I ended up buying others I didn't
but I was far more likely to buy something that I recorded than something that I
had just heard thesedays the radio isn't worth listening to so I don't even own
one and I don't buy music any more either The other things what prompted me to
buy music was listening to it in the university record library and hearing it or
getting copies from mates (how else do you get to check out a new band) Instead
of accepting copying as a marketing cost the record industry employs people to
market their products my take on the industry is get rid of all the overheads
(marketing bribes to politicians etc) and choose a cheap distribution channel
like the internet, music is a commodity and should be priced as such. If they
had real competition like having no artist lock in this industry would have
sharpened its act a long time ago.

If I get back into music I will be looking for artists that direct market, I am
not paying an industry to bribe the politicians that I elected and whose wages
my taxes pay to further reduce my rights

"It's all about myths and conceptions" I think that is what Darl meant to say.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: jsusanka on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 11:20 PM EST
this is exactly what microsft wants - they want yet
another illegal way to keep their monopoly going.

I guess they haven't learned from the first trial.

I just hope someone in the DOJ has some sense and is
looking at what is going on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: blacklight on Monday, January 02 2006 @ 11:48 PM EST
I don't think that the record companies are competing: they sign exclusive
contracts with the artists, and their leverage on the artists is that they
control their distribution channel to the retail stores.

I believe that there is a need for an Internet-based portal that acts as a
marketplace for the artists to distribute their music. The intended result is
that both the consumers and the artists benefit, while the major record labels
starve. If the balance of power decisively shifts away from the record labels,
expect them to respond by fighting to weaken the copyright protections on the
artists' music so that they can pirate it.

Know your enemies well, because that's the only way you are going to defeat
them. And know your friends even better, just in case they become your enemies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

advanced notice, the UCC, and, say, Best Buy?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 12:08 AM EST
So, I would be delighted to buy a cold-dead-play CD at bestbuy in Richfield MN
(2 blocks from BB HQ), and then return it opened for a refund.

Could someone who is a lawyer with LRM to practice in Minnesota care to advise
on the best way to ask for my refund, and how to document the exchange as a test
case for a class action in my state?

The 2-fer is to get Best Buy's attention.
Someone else can do the same for Wal(wekillyourtown)Mart.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 12:26 AM EST
Just insert coin here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • PlaysForSure - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:11 AM EST
More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: davcefai on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 01:18 AM EST
I rather like this one:

▪ You ripped the CD on the computer that you are currently using, but your licenses have been deleted. This typically occurs when you reformat your hard disk (such as when you perform a clean installation of Windows), but it can occur in other circumstances as well. To avoid this problem in the future, use the License Management feature of Windows Media Player to back up your licenses to a floppy disk (or other storage media) before you reformat your hard disk.

Which translates into: This Operating System frequently trashes your installation. You lose your rights to the music when this happens. The fact that you paid for this piece of trash is your problem, not ours.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Silly People!!!!
Authored by: grayhawk on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 01:20 AM EST
All these companies that are trying to prevent you from making a copy of their
CD's forget that there is plenty of recording software available that lets you
record directly from your sound card while you are playing their CD in a cd
player, or cd drive and have it convert the file to MP3 which you later can use
to burn another cd. Just like you record from radio or record an LP (everyone
remembers vinyl) to tape you can record your cd to your hard drive. Go Figure
folks, they aren't very bright now are they.

All ships are safe in a harbour but that is not where they were meant to be.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - A few random thoughts
Authored by: Pogue Mahone on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:34 AM EST
DISCLAIMER: I don't own a copy of the Coldplay CD, nor have I any intention of buying one. But that's not going to stop me adding my comments, so here goes ... ;-)

This insert doesn't read like a license agreement to me - it looks more like a disclaimer. The kind of thing manufacturers put into their shoddy products to protect their backsides. In the wake of the Sony fiasco it's only to be expected.

Some of the sentences don't make any sense whatsoever. The one beginning with the word "Thus", in particular, has no logical connection with the preceding sentence.

I wouldn't mind betting that if you stick this CD into your Linux box you'll have no trouble ripping it. I haven't bought many CDs recently, but those that I have bought have ripped quite nicely thankyou. Sometimes I have problems in the DVD drive, but if that happens I try the CD burner instead - never had problems there...

It also occurs to me that there's a simple way to get rid of the collecting societies. They only work because the number of producers is small compared with the number of consumers, so the way to destroy them is to increase the number of producers. Using the internet, everyone can be a publisher. Writing music is very easy - all you have to do is put a few assorted black splodges on some pre-printed stave sheets. Or use a notation program (lilypond, rosegarden etc.). I never said it has to be good music, and the definition of "good" is pretty subjective anyway. Put the results on your web site. You are now a music copyright holder, so you can apply to the composer's collecting society for your share of the booty.

If you used notation software, you can transform it to midi. Play the midi on a synth program and redirect the output to a file. You are now a recording artist. Publish your works on your web site, and go and claim your share of the booty from the collecting societies that extort money for recorded works.

If enough people did this, the existing state of affairs would break down and something would have to be done about it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

India? That explains something
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:56 AM EST
Not saying that Indian english is bad or anything, it's just that this document
reads more like a technical guideline than a license agreement, which could
simply be due to a subtle semantic shift that wouldn't be unusual once you cross
the line from west to east.

Nowhere in that document does it say what you, as a user, are allowed to do or
not do with the music on the cd. They would like you to assume that's what it
says, but it doesn't say that at all. The way it reads is as a list of technical
limitations of the cd, and that's not some kind of unreasonable stretching of
the meaning of the words. It actually does, to my reasonably educated eye, read
like a list of technical limitations, and not a license agreement.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft and Trusted Computing
Authored by: JRR on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:48 AM EST
I seem to recall reading somewhere that Microsoft originally came to DRM reluctantly, but were presented with a difficult choice: play the game by the RIAA/MPAA rules, or be left out. They chose to play by the rules. Subsequently they seem to have discovered some benefits to themselves of playing the DRM game, and of the Trusted Computing platform required to fully implement DRM. I highly recommend Ross Anderson's Trusted Computing FAQ to anyone interested in the wider implications of DRM and Trusted Computing technology and legislation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Should Mozart be in the public domain?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:51 AM EST
I though music from Mozart is supposed to be in the public domain? How can
content providers still claim copyight over such works?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Return of the...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:14 AM EST
I came to GROKLAW after watching the part of Lord of the Rings where Éowyn killed the Witch-King of Angmar at the Battle of the Pelennor Field. PJ seems to have returned in the same fighting mood.

Mozart? I would suggest Wagner with helicopters.


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Stinker! - Authored by: Ian Al on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:26 AM EST
Thou Shalt Use Microsoft!
Authored by: luvr on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:21 AM EST
There's quite a bit of reference to Microsoft in the article, and when I read:
"with Microsoft in the monopoly position, it probably figures it can harass everyone else's customers into subjection"

that triggered memories of some talk, a few years ago, about Microsoft wanting to change course and enter the media business. They had gotten involved in MSNBC, and the commentary had it that that was just a matter of "testing the waters."

According to the comments, Microsoft was beginning to discover that there were limits to the software business - It couldn't keep adding features indefinitely (which would be mostly "bloatware" anyway), and expect that people would keep rushing out to buy new software versions when their current software did everything they needed.

With a little forward thinking, Microsoft had come to the conclusion that the media business was where the real money could be made; I remember even reading something to the effect that Microsoft may want to turn itself into a media company, and deemphasise (or perhaps even quit?) the software business. Software would, then, actually become just the tool to support their media business - Which I now presume to mean their media monopoly position.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: nulleh on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:47 AM EST
Y'know, it's a sad day when a consumer is forced to break the law by purchasing

All DRM does is to restrict what you can or cannot do with the music you
purchase. So why should I put up with that?

I own an MP3 player. It's not a brand named one (I'm not rich and I don't care
for logos. It plays music and I haven't had to sue the manufacturer because of
scratches yet) so it's not "supported" by the music pigopolists. That
is to say I am not "allowed" to copy music such as Coldplay's X&Y
to it.

Right, let's just put that another way:

I purchased a music disk (bet you can't find the Phillips CD logo on X&Y) on
faith on the basis that it would play on my device.
I purchased a music player on faith on the basis that it would play music I
chose to purchase.
I am not allowed to play music I have purchased on my device.

Why not? Well, obviously because I, as a music consumer, am an evil pirate and
by copying this album onto my player it will automatically be shared with the
whole Internet by magic and no-one else will ever by X&Y again.

Yes, I'm overplaying things a bit. Some die-hard fans (like me) will purchase it
to make sure the 27p the band gets actually gets to them. Some will buy it for
the artwork.

The world-view supported by the music industry is one that normally gets you a
Psych nurse and a course of anti-paranoia drugs. The policy makers obviously
need our help and pity as, once more, Care in the Community fails those Mental
Health patients most at need.

Sorry, just to re-itterate, as a consumer I should put up with a sub-standard
product with severe restrictions that _may_not_even_work_ becasue if not the
music industry will collapse.

Bye guys. Let's start again. X&Y will be my last "music disk"



My opinions are my own. I value them highly but I can't blame anyone else for

[ Reply to This | # ]

The inch became tied to the metric system ..
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 07:56 AM EST
.. in the first part of the last century as a result of the invention of the "JO blocks" by the inventor Carl Edvard Johansson.

" ... and on March 13, 1933, the ASA Standards Committee approved American Standard Recommended Practice for Inch-Millimeter Conversion for Industrial Use, setting 1 inch = 25.4 millimeters exactly." (ref:

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: ftclausen on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:53 AM EST
I suggest only using online music sites that offer DRM-free downloads, see this

(the box labelled "A Few Alternatives".)

Granted that these sites will not have as many mainstream artists but I think
the quality of music is definitely top and I have gained far more exposure to
what is on offer in my favourite genres. Rather than listen to the same tired
old pop they play on the radio everyday.


[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:08 AM EST
My oldest son, a music teacher, gave me a copy of bond's "Born" album
(EMI) for Christmas. I love the album and have played it almost every day since
then. It sits right next to Ray Lynch in my CD rack.

I would now like to buy more of their albums, but don't want to get any with DRM
of any type. How do I look at an album cover in Barnes and Noble and determine
what types of DRM, if any, are embedded inside?

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ, try streaming audio
Authored by: elronxenu on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:18 AM EST
I find Digitally Imported quite good. They stream MP3s to you in a variety of genres and at a variety of bitrates. I've been known to listen to the Classical and Salsa streams, but also Goa and Trance.

I would never have known about Goa music if it were not for

Of course you don't get to choose what they play, so if you are looking for a particular piece of Mozart, better try instead.

Another cool thing you can do is try and search the roughly 11000 "internet radio" stations they list, for something which suits your mood. It's good that the internet has enabled "radio stations" to specialise somewhat. Of course these "stations" cannot reach millions of listeners (until we develop a streaming technology which works like BitTorrent) but the most popular stations on shoutcast are serving several thousand users at once.

[ Reply to This | # ]

It's also on Nikka Costa. Nikka who??
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:22 AM EST
Anyone heard of Nikka Costa? The first big grown-up CD from her: 'Everybody Got
Their Something' was a lot better than her latest and I could even buy it over
the counter. Sadly it also sounds very muffled and needs full treble to sound
remotely normal - but Hi-Fi apart it's got some good tracks.

Her latest "Can't Never Did Nothin" is not so good, still no one has
heard of her and I had to buy mine on ebay from China!! I got the Japanese
version as there is an extra track on it and I noticed it's also got exactly the
same copy protection notices on it as the Coldplay one.

Because most CDs are spoilt by excessive clipping in the mastering (e.g. do not have a CD player
anymore - I just rip them as WAV or mp3 and serve then using my own version of
Daapd in Debian to iTunes on my Mac, which de-clips the guilty tracks in real
time and prevents my pro-audio D/A from getting upset. Yes, half my CDs (which I
paid GOOD MONEY for) are useless in quality and can sound worse than a cassette

All the protection stuff was in Japanese on the sleeve note - so I visited the
Toshiba based web page it gave and got google to translate - it is the same
system. Eventually I tried to just GRIP it under Debian and it worked fine
except no CDDB info. In fact the WAV files seem fine (includes treble this time
and also not too much severe clipping).

What I found REALLY ironic is that they are protecting someones record who quite
frankly you cannot even buy over here, there is no merchandise and no DVDs,
ANYWHERE for her - it is quite the most appallingly miss-marketed person in the
history of pop. And they protect the her latest record - trying to stop me
listening to it even once! Doh! Doh! Doh I'm a teapot I'm a teapot lalalala

[ Reply to This | # ]

DRM - Who's rights are being protected?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 11:09 AM EST
This whole DRM things is an excercise in futility.

Industry claims this is necessary to protect their revenue. Their revenue is
falling faster now than before. Some protection that is.

Industry claims DRM protects their contect against piracy. Riiiiigghht....pull
the other one it has bells on it. Any competent audiophile can tell you more
than one way to record the content off any of these protected CDs. Here's a
question I would love to ask someone in the industry. "Tell me, you say DRM
prevents piracy, how does the inconvinience of using high quality analogue
playback equipment to source a master copy prevent a pirate? Such a pirate
would see the hour or two spent ripping and reproducing the CD as a minor
investment in time compared to the $1000s made selling the forgeries. Isn't it
true that DRM does nothing to prevent such piracy?" I think we already
know the answer to this.

DRM on music CDs and DRM encumbered MP3s are not targetting piracy, they target
the consumer. The consumer is restricted in terms of the playback device and
their fair use of the content in terms of making *personal* backups. This same
things is of course true for DVD, and the ever so wonderful and yet somehow very
pointless region coding scheme that does nothing more than inconvinience
consumers. Search Ebay and you'll find plenty of evidence that DRM on CD and
region coding on DVD are pathetic anti-piracy measures.

With regard to CDs there are any number of ways to rip the content from a
'protected' CD. The first thing any Windows user should do is permanently
disable autoplay on their computer, Google provides dozens of hits on how to do

Next get a decent CD ripper, many are available. Often the very algorithms used
to allow CD playback to ignore scratches on the disks allow the rippers to read
'protected' content.

Alternately get a good audio CD player, a good audio cable and hook it up to
your sound card. Play the CD, record it to a high sample rate WAV format and
then down convert to MP3.

Do not purchase MP3s online, this will only encourage the RIAA into believing
that they are actually doing the right thing. MP3 files purchase online (or MP4s
at I-tunes) are typically of relatively poor quality, they are certainly not of
the same quality as an actual CD. Why would I pay a dollar a track for an MP3
or equivalent recorded at a paltry 128Kbps? It's a con trick of the industry,
selling an inferior product with sever DRM encumberance.

I may be going against the grain here, but buying an actual CD and ripping it is
the only way to go. I don't and will not give any kind of support to the RIAA
and it's brand of fraud and blackmail. I don't and will not give any kind of
support to piracy of copyright material. I do, however, reserve my right or
privilege to make a personal backup copy of anything I purchase. Until the
recording industry (and movies too) is willing to replace my damaged CDs and
DVDs at a nominal cost, I will continue to make backup copies when I can to
preservemy purchase. I paid for the disc, I paid for the licence to listen to
the content. If the physical embodiment of the content I purchase is damaged,
that does not alter my purchase of the licence to use it.

Digital Rights Management. A consumer translation : My Rights are being Managed
away and the industry is raising their middle Digit to me.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's really pathetic about this...
Authored by: Jude on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 11:42 AM EST
... is that Microsoft's advertising slogan "Plays For Sure" is nothing
but an admission of how bad the whole DRM mess really is.

Back in the days of vinyl LP's and plain old standards compliant CD's, it was
*expected* that the media would play on any equipment, and any media that failed
to play was considered obviously defective and could easily be exchanged.

Now that we have DRM, the expectation is that customers will have problems, and
Microsoft wants us to believe that their product is better because it supposedly
doesn't cause as many problems as some of the alternatives.

"Plays For Sure" is newspeak for "Doesn't suck as much".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Lots of rubbish
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 12:12 PM EST
Thank you very much for purchasing this CD and helping the cause of "Anti-Piracy". The recordings in this CD have an anti-copying function. They cannot be copied into a PC. In order for you to enjoy high quality music, we have added this special technology.
Actually, the part in bold is not exactly the truth as I would word it. If fact most of the paragraph falls short.
Thank you very much for purchasing this CD and helping the cause of "Anti-Piracy".
Probably the reason for purchasing the CD was the music, and without thought or regard to helping or hindering any particular cause.

Seems someone is paranoid you will buy the CD and then steal it after you bought it.

The recordings in this CD have an anti-copying function.
It would be better worded - The recordings in this CD have an anti-copying frustration for the technically uninclined.
They cannot be copied into a PC.
Well sorta true, I guess, but they certainly can be ripped to format of your choice, if you know how to avoid the frustration function.
In order for you to enjoy high quality music, we have added this special technology.
I woulda been okay enjoying normal CD quality music. Otherwise I have real problem with the logic behind this weird sentence. Am I the only one?

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 12:14 PM EST
I've done it many, many times. Those copyright-infringing lyrics websites have
sold a LOT of cds.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A DRM idea
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 12:17 PM EST
You know, this DRM thing seems doomed to failure, it's to inflexible and too

I have an idea for a DRM scheme that actually could work, but it takes a little
effort on everyone's part, as well as some patience on the part of the content


Encrypt the content using a two key encryption scheme.

Give me, the consumer, a key device (a small bluetooth capable device that is
robust and waterproof) that stores my personal key.

When I purchase a CD or DVD the content is encrypted at the time of purchase
using my key and the industry key and burned to the media (or downloaded to my

The encrypted file is useless to me unless I use my key for playback. My PC,
audio player, video player car stereo, portable audio device can all request the
playback key from my key device, and play the track. If I take the disk or
whatever to a friends house, it will play there too, I just need to take my key
with me.

The encryption scheme and key technology needs to be an open standard to allow
for mass production without heavy license costs. The key length can be something
completely ridiculous to prevent easy real time decryption of media files.

Now, if my disk breaks I can get another easily, my purchase was recorded at
the store, a replacement can be burned in minutes.

Of course this protection scheme will eventually be broken, someone will make
un-encrypted content and try to sell it. However, most people are honest. Most
people will actually pay for things instead of stealing them. Making the legal
choice flexible and convinient to the consumer provides an easy choice to all
but those already inclined to do the wrong thing.

One last element is using the encryption model to bundle additional content,
that is only available to the keyholder on an interactive basis. This provides a
further incentive to purchase the legal way.

Now, this will never happen because the RIAA and MPAA are not patient enough or
farsighted enough to try it, not to mention Microsoft and Intel have almost a
vested interest in the current DRM technologies, where as this scheme would put
the control back in the hands of the consumer and the manufacturers of consumer

[ Reply to This | # ]

As long as there are speakers
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 01:10 PM EST
Then you'll be able to make copies of your music. Even if it means taking the
speaker out wires into a jack that plugs into my old digital minidisk recorder.
The point is no one should have to go through that effort.

I'm sort of torn on this one. I hate to see users put through that, but every
time one of these DRM stories break site traffic surges on my online music site
where full non-DRM sample tracks are available under a CreativeCommons license.

It's a little disingenuous to complain too loud when record label stupidity is
boosting my user base.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Music copying used to be normal
Authored by: rweiler on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 01:18 PM EST
Back in Mozart's day, copying music was NOT a crime in any sense, though you
certainly weren't going to enhance your reputation as an artist merely by
reproducing somebody elses work. In fact, most composers learned their craft by
copying and extending scores of earlier masters. Lots of music credited to J.S.
Bach may have in fact been written by his sons, or others extended themes
created by Bach, and Bach himself copied and extended the work of his
predecessors and contemporaries. The most famous example of this is Charles
Gounod's version of Ave Maria which is based on the first prelude from Bach's
Well-Tempered Clavier. If you look at Bethoven's first couple of piano sonata's,
they are clearly derived from Hayden's work. Eventually, Beethoven develops his
own style and becomes a master in his own right. Given the extreme productivity
of composers before the existence of copyright, I'd not persuaded that copyright
laws do anything to encourage musical creativity.

Incidentally, the Goodman story is interesting. Goodman. like a lot of others,
made a pile of money by taking black music and making it accessible to white
audiences. To Goodman's credit, he was one of the first to employ black
musicians in his orchestra. Despite making a lot of money, he felt his clarinet
playing was substandard and made a significant effort to become an accomplished
classical player as well.

Sometimes the measured use of force is the only thing that keeps the world from
being ruled by force. -- G. W. Bush

[ Reply to This | # ]

More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 01:22 PM EST
Well, that settles it.

I'm a pretty good music industry customer. I'm not opposed to buying CDs with
only one or two good songs on 'em (in fact, I've got a couple shelves of CDs I
bought just for one or two songs...) and I have enough disposable income to buy
several (more than 10) CDs a year.

I find new music by listening to radio. Good old FM.

Coldplay is one of those "sorta-like" bands. I've seen 'em on SNL,
heard 'em on the radio, and generally think their sound makes nice background
"white noise". Much nicer than Celine Dion or Metallica. (your taste
may vary) Because of this, they had been on my "pick up if in the bargain
bin" list.

With this DRM crap, though, I will absolutely never own a Coldplay CD. If I
ever need a Coldplay song to round out a "late 90's" mix for my mp3
player, I will use my AM/FM/Casette player (vintage 1984) to record an *analog*
copy, then digitize it to create an mp3.

Congrats, morons, you just lost a customer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Question: what should IP look like in the Digital Age?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:09 PM EST

I was discussing issues of copyright and intellectual propery with my wife last night based of this article. This Coldplay fiasco is another example of what IP should not be. In fact, it is one of the worst examples I have ever seen.

I wonder, however, what a "good" example of IP would look like? Unlike some within this community, I think that there should be some limits against free flow of information, just as there have to be some limits on free speech. An obvious example of the latter is yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater. The danger to community is so great that it outweighs the freedom of speech.

And what about the rights of the author of music, software, etc.? It seems like he should be able to say, "I will only release this [art/software/etc.] under the following conditions".

Obviously, in today's world, the supposed "rights" of the author [and, unfortunately, most often the RIAA, MPAA, etc.] are considered paramount and the "rights" of the public are considered inconsequential. Esepcially with the "rights" holders exercising money and muscle on Capitol Hill (in the US), it is an un-even, unfair, and unjust dynamic.

I would like to see the laws change to release the stranglehold that some corporations have over ideas. I just don't know what I think they should change to. I just read that there is a new political party in Sweden that wants to abolosih ALL IP laws. I'm not sure that I think that course is wise.

Lawrence Lessig asserts that there should be some IP rights, but that they have to be modernized to deal with the reality of the digital world (e.g., what good is copyright in a world where even loading an object on your computer is a copy). He states, and correctly so, that the country (the USA) is not yet ready for that kind of discussion (on what IP should and shouldn't be) because any time you challenge the current laws, you are labeled a "pirate".

So, my open question to this group is what should "modern" IP laws look like? Do we have any good examples of "IP" now? Does copyright have a place in the modern world? What about patents in general? Patents for software? What kind of trade-offs do we having in protecting the producers and consumers of ideas? If you could re-write IP laws from scratch, what would they look like in your "perfect world"?

-- Seth N (sethjn -at-

[ Reply to This | # ]

At last, some honesty -- More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:15 PM EST
Hey, this is a whole lot better than the garbage they used to kick out with all
this stuff on the CD and they didn't tell you. Now I know I shouldn't waste my
money on this crud, when they tell you up front.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Learning the hard way
Authored by: Ninguino on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:29 PM EST
My daughter is 12 years old. She just got a CD this christmas, and of course she
tried to do what she does whith her new CD's, upload it to her ipod.

Well, this one was sony OMA (or whatever) thing, and there is no way to do it.
She doesn't have cd player, she doesn't listen the CD's at all, she only uses
the CD to purchase the music, and ipod is her only player

Now she has learned that not all CDs are created equal, some she can play and
enjoy, some others not, even if she has paid for them the same (or more). Her
learning: from now on she will be very careful selecting who produces the CD,
not only the singer. Of course Sony is in her black list. Life is hard, even for
12 year old teenagers!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sampling Music is Not Always Illegal -- depends on terms
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:49 PM EST
So I don't sample music or download it, unless I paid for it first. Which does raise another point, now that I think of it. It used to be you could listen to music on the radio, or go to a record store and listen to a song to see if you wanted to buy it. Nowadays, the radio doesn't play anything I'd personally like to buy, no matter what part of the US I go to. And I don't remember the last time I went to a record store, if they even call them that any more.

Have you tried CD Baby? Just about all the albums have songs that you can legally download (in non-DRM mp3 format) and listen to. They sell you ordinary CDs without the spyware and they offer a very wide selection of artists.

The answer to DRM is to point-blank refuse to deal with anyone who uses it. There are alternatives. Encourage your friends.

PS: it is bad to reinforce the mental association between sampling music and breaking the law. The law only protects the ability of the copyright holder to set license terms -- the details of those license terms are up for negotiation. Just because a few prominent copyright holders are dictating unreasonable terms does not make for any sort of legal standard that everyone else must follow.

[ Reply to This | # ]

1984 is now here, say hello to big brother aka drm
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:07 PM EST
nice isnt it that they do this , and imnal but isnt it fraud to seel somehting
that you cant guarantee work and dont know what it works with, how can such a
EULA hold up in say canadain law with our privacy laws so strong. (you must be
given written consent EACH time you use my inforamtin of enter my SPACE)
I see this as a way to protect us oh yah i see also the new vista is slowly
slipping more DRM into it as well... here we go in a few months time it wont
matter as millions will get stuffed right.
As the attorney general of the US said and for once i can agree, yah its your
music , but its my computer. YOU ARENT MESSIN WITH MY PUTER.

[ Reply to This | # ]

    Cdasaurus Diplodocidae
    Authored by: Tufty on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 07:38 PM EST
    In struck me this morning that this whole DRM issue is moot. In actual fact the
    music CD is extinct. The information has not filtered through to the forebrain
    from the hind brain yet but the fact is it is extinct. It is a case of the tail
    wagging the Dodo, if I may mix metaphores.

    Why? How many people are saying that they no longer buy CDs, how many download.
    The pod is king! It takes a certain critical mass for a technological revolution
    where the price falls to an acceptable level and avaiability increases along
    with choice. Expect to see portable CD players dissapear, forever, first. It is
    becoming a pod world whether the record companies like it or not.

    Who will buy DRM enabled CD players? Well, by the time you have replaced the one
    in your lounge, the one in your car, your jogging one, the one in the home cine
    set, the one in the boys room how much will you have spent to replace them all?
    Just because they cannot play the new, wonderfull, protected ones. Then out
    comes DRM II and they won't play that. Just how long willl consumers be prepared
    to continue plunging hand into pocket.

    As the price, availability, ease of use and ease of downloadability of pods
    changes then they will naturally replace the lumbering CD as the new rulers. My
    portable player, never less than 1 CD in diameter, will get replaced by a pod
    not a CD player. Just look at the size for a start. Pods will become part of the
    hifi replacing the CD as the CD has pushed out vinyl.

    The music companies will be sidelined. Studios will rise from the ashes. Why?
    Artists will use them to produce their own music that they will sell directly.
    The studio will develop into a rapidly configurable, drop in shop that artists
    can hire and walk away with a recording. Some musicians will produce at home
    but others may want a couple of hours worth of the studio's pet orchestra. A
    huge culture shift is about to happen.

    The music companies will be left holding a bag of old catalogue material that is
    declining in worth as musicians become forgotten. A whole new music scene will
    rise, mammel like, from under the feet of the fallen dinosaur.

    There has to be a rabbit down this rabbit hole somewhere!
    Now I want its hide.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    My solution:
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 07:56 PM EST
    I only buy music from sites that give it to me in un-DRM'd format (,, etc). Yeah, I don't get the cold-play's and the mariah carey, but
    frankly I am of the opinion that small time artists are higher quality because
    they have to work harder, and I think they should be rewarded for it.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:18 PM EST
    On the original site that I saw about this license, I also saw a photo of the
    jewel case with the "CD" logo visible. I thought that Phillips, the
    owner of the "CD" trademark, had declined to allow its use on silver
    disks implementing DRM, as they did not adhere to the standards defining how
    actual CD's are to store data.

    1) Is this true?
    2) How might it affect any of the statements about the validity of the license,
    as the silver disk within was mis-represented as being an actual CD?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    today I god a cd
    Authored by: energyman on Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:45 PM EST
    Mezmerize from System Of A Down.

    The first thing I did: opening the auidiocd:// plugin of
    konqueror and copied the whole cd as high quality
    ogg's into my ogg-folder.

    After that I took the cd out of the drive and put it
    away safely.
    This way I can jump around in the soungs, listen to
    the same point over and over again without the fear of
    damaging a drive or cd.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Mozart's feat only awe inspiring to non-musicians
    Authored by: davidf on Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:36 AM EST
    I find it quite odd that people think writing down a piece of music after
    hearing it is some sort of magical or even remarkable feat. While it might be
    for a 12 year old boy. It is not for a skilled musician. But then I have studied
    music all my life.

    As Richard Stallman pointed out in his lecture on software pantents, what a
    professional in one field sees as common place and simple, others not familiar
    with it see it as remarkable and uniuqe. That is a lovely myth about Mozart's
    brilliance as a child. But for a musician writing down what he heard is they
    same as a secretary taking dictation on a note pad or a court repporter being
    able to acurately trancsribe the proeceedings by hand. While it is a laudible
    skill, its not something that is totally uniuque. The Vatican, it seems did not
    understand that what can be heard can be written down. It seems that Music
    Publishers share the same short sightedness with the Vatican.

    Other musicians of the time could have done the same thing,for example, Franz
    Joseph Haydn. However they were to busy writing music for their own employers.
    Haydn was employed for most of his life as the court composer for Prince
    Nikolaus Esterházy. For an interesting account of Haydn's life, and of the times
    in which both he and Mozart lived, read this essay:
    < > .

    Haydn himslef was concerned about owning the rights to the music he wrote for
    the court and worked diligently to keep the rights to his work. He was also
    concerned about people stealing his music and passing it off as their own. As
    well, he had reason to be concerned that some composers were selling their own
    scores as Haydn's work because they would fetch more money.

    None of these rights issues are new it seems. By the way, Mozart and Haydn new
    each other hand they both had great respect and admiration for the other.



    [ Reply to This | # ]

    How I found links to Mozart's Clarinet Quintet K. 581 for free download
    Authored by: Arthur Marsh on Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:27 PM EST

    For the benefit of PJ and everyone else, I did a search on for Mozart's Clarinet Quintet K. 581 using the search string:
    mozart "clarinet quintet" download
    and found on the fourth results page the URL: which contains links to MP3 files of the music itself, which I have not downloaded, but verified as valid links using the the link checker at, so feel free to browse, download and give the brave clarinetist who made these recordings available a thankyou.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
    Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:41 PM EST
    It's remarkable how many posters miss one simple technological point: if there
    is even one dumb CD player in the world that will play the Coldplay disc, that
    means there is unencrypted Red Book audio on the CD. It isn't necessary to make
    an analog conversion or to capture streaming digital audio on its way to the
    sound card. All that is necessary is to configure the computer as a dumb CD
    player, which on a Windows machine means turning off Autorun/Autoplay.
    How can it be a violation of the DMCA to extract digital content that is not
    encrypted and to which access is therefore not prevented by a technological
    protection measure?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    BBC story - racketeering?
    Authored by: dan_d on Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:35 PM EST
    100. Musical instrument shops must pay an annual royalty to cover shoppers who perform a recognisable riff before they buy, thereby making a "public performance".

    Forgive me for being crazy, but might not this fall foul of racketeering statutes? I mean, they're essentially saying, "we know your customers are doing public performances of our songs. We can't be bothered to prove it, but give us some cash and we won't break your kneecaps, er, I mean, sue you." Can that be legal?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Artist Uses Creative Commons for DRM
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 11:25 AM EST
    I have not seen this posted in the thread or related ones. Sorry if it is duplicated elsewhere. One of Coldplay's competitors, 50 Foot Wave - a loud alternative band from Boston, recently distributed a new release called Free Music under the Creative Commons license scheme. Their reasons for doing so are interesting to read:

    "The band states its goal as simply to circumvent the 'money cycle' and get high quality (free) recordings into the hands of a maximum number of people for evaluation at their leisure."

    More details at their website.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    More DRM Follies - The Coldplay Edition
    Authored by: Emu on Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 08:50 PM EST
    Well know, since I do not own a seperate cd player at the moment (and have no
    plans to buy one in the near future) and usually use linux for anything (bar
    games that just wont run in linux), I guess I will just have to forgo the latest
    crude from Coldplay. I did like 'Parachutes' and (to an extent) 'Rush of blood
    to the head'.

    Anyone ever noticed that most bands have good songs, get signed up by big labels
    and they start releasing (mass-market) crude.

    Also, just out of curiousity, when these bands release 're-makes' of old songs
    (ie re-make of 'The Tide is High' by some girl group, 'What about me?' by that
    Aussie Idol guy etc), does it re-new the copyright held by the labels?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    finding Clarinet Quintet in A Major
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 09 2006 @ 05:13 PM EST
    I searched WorldCat and found a record for a recording put out by Deutsche Grammophon that includes Mozart's clarinet quintet in A Major. I can't find the same record on Open WorldCat, or I'd link to it; however, it's listed on You might try seeing if your local library has a copy or if they can get it for you through interlibrary loan. duct/B00000IX73/

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Not just Windows, but this version of Windows
    Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 11 2006 @ 12:35 PM EST
    The DRM software on the CD is not just tied to Windows, but to a particular
    version of Windows. Remember that the Sony DRM caused problems if you tried to
    install it on Windows64, and that's not becoming current. Will this CD be OK on
    Windows 64, or Windows 128, or whatever future version of Windows or any other
    operating system becomes standard in future?

    It's not so bad now. I hadn't noticed the problem. I bought the CD and ripped it
    to Ogg Vorbis on my Linux box fine. It looks like all this just hinders the law
    abiding but not those that want to make illegal copies.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
    Comments are owned by the individual posters.

    PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )