BMG moves to copy protect CDs worldwide

BMG is apparently moving to use copy protection on all of their CDs. You’d think that they’d have learned after effectively killing Natalie Imbruglia’s career by using Cactus Data Shield on her last (and probably last, nudge nudge wink wink) CD, but apparently more artists must be sacrificed.

According to a BMG unit in Kopierschutz, Germany, “There will be no cd manufactured without copyprotection any more.” This was in response to a customer who asked how they could get a CD, rather than the CD-looking thing they’d inadvertantly purchased that wouldn’t play in their CD player. It turns out that the U.S. version of the album in question won’t be protected. But…

If BMG is seen as experimenting on Europeans while leaving truculent Americans for another day, it might be subject to a certain amount of adverse publicity, and sales of the local market products might just collapse.

This is a classic case of backwards marketing — doing something that (you think) benefits you, rather than doing things that (at a profit) benefit your customers — and BMG will pay for it. I will personally avoid purchasing BMG discs if at all possible, and if it’s an album I really want, will wait until a cracked version is also available.

So if the artists lose, and the labels lose, who wins? Macrovision, who is aquiring the the Cactus Data Shield and SafeAudio “technologies” (which are really just methods of creating CDs outside of the official specification, after all). It will be interesting to see how record labels react to Macrovision fiddling while Rome burns. Link