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NSync Copy Protected CD

CmdrTaco posted about 13 years ago | from the and-close-with-a-matrix dept.

News 577

admiral2001 writes "This article from details the most mass market venture into copy protected CDs. Namely, NSync's new CD will be released in a least 3 different versions (with different copy protection techniques). Also, one of the types has (small) labelling saying that the CD cannot be played on computers."

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GOOD (2, Redundant)

NewbieSpaz (172080) | about 13 years ago | (#2380109)

Anything that will prevent the spread of Nsync's terrible 'music' is a good thing. ;)

Re:GOOD (5, Insightful)

iso (87585) | about 13 years ago | (#2380254)

Well N*Sync isn't the greatest music ever written, but they're actually pretty good. And why wouldn't they be? They have some of the highest-paid writers, voice trainers and musicians working for them. That doesn't mean that any of the people behind them are the next Beethoven, but they know how to write a catchy tune that sticks in your head.

All in all, some decent music is produced under the N*Sync brand. Their ballads are clearly targeted towards their early teen and pre-teen female audiences, but they're musically sound. Their more up-beat songs are actually quite catchy. The Backstreet Boys are more consistent in their sound, and I think that generally their music can be considered catchy more often, but when the N*Sync brand gets it right, they product some absolutely great tracks, such as "Bye Bye Bye," and "I Want You Back." Still, it's getting difficult to market the Backstreet Boys brand as the models creep closer to 30 and get married.

But that aside, we should be worried about this copy protection. If this technogy turns out to be reasonably effective for this market with few complaints, it will be much easier to roll it out on all future CDs. Remember, the RIAA doesn't assume that any technology will be 100% effective, but if it stops 99.9% of the population, then it will have done its job. Sure the geeks will still be able to obtain it, from ripping themselves or through obscure P2P clients, but the vast majority of people won't be able to get their hands on the MP3s, and that's all that really matters for the RIAA. The DMCA will take care of the misfits.

- j

Re:GOOD (0, Offtopic)

Tackhead (54550) | about 13 years ago | (#2380269)

> All in all, some decent music is produced under the N*Sync brand. [ ... ]

I'm not sure whether this deserves a (+1, Funny), or (-1, Troll). Probably both.

good... (2, Redundant)

TheShadow (76709) | about 13 years ago | (#2380111)

this will keep me from accidentally ripping this CD to MP3s and listening to crap at work.

wait... why would I have the CD in the first place?

Re:good... (1)

ajiva (156759) | about 13 years ago | (#2380267)

Yeah right, you know deep down inside when a Nsync song comes on the radio, you're singing and dancing just like the little 14 year old girls!

NSync: so what (0, Troll)

davejenkins (99111) | about 13 years ago | (#2380112)

And this affects me how? . . .

Yeah! (1, Offtopic)

ADRA (37398) | about 13 years ago | (#2380113)

No loss to me on this one ;-)

First Post? (1, Offtopic)

argel (83930) | about 13 years ago | (#2380114)

This will make or break the concept... Lets hope the CD bombs.

Re:First Post? (1)

AaronStJ (182845) | about 13 years ago | (#2380122)

Lets hope the CD bombs.

Well I know that I, for one, will be boycotting this album! ;)

NSynch Releases a new cd!... (1)

kingrat (25475) | about 13 years ago | (#2380116)

...and noone notices.

NSync are Flaming Homosexuals (-1, Troll)

Your Anus (308149) | about 13 years ago | (#2380117)

'Nuff said.

Of couse, I have to say more, or Slashcode will reject me.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380208)


Ok (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | about 13 years ago | (#2380118)

Who wants to listen to boy bands anyway? The girls who buy the CDs just want to look at pictures of older men who "love them."

I'd boycott but... (5, Funny)

rw2 (17419) | about 13 years ago | (#2380119)

I suppose boycotts work better if you were actually intending to make a purchase. Damn the man, foiled again!

easy (0, Redundant)

NeMon'ess (160583) | about 13 years ago | (#2380120)

Music that we supposedly can't copy from a band none of us wants to listen to.

Re:easy (3, Insightful)

aka-ed (459608) | about 13 years ago | (#2380277)

That is why this makes a good testbed.

The overlap between CD-rip artistes and boy band followers is presumably slim. Therefore, negative reactions to this toe in the water will be slim.

If they'd tried this on the new Basement Jaxx, Garbage, or Bob Dylan, the hue and cry would disturb the 'speriment.

Pool (2, Redundant)

Rupert (28001) | about 13 years ago | (#2380124)

Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take for a rip of this album to appear on the various P2P networks, and which one will get it first?

Re:Pool (1)

mazarino (304115) | about 13 years ago | (#2380147)

considering there is no protection on the UK version, i don't think it will take that long for mp3s to be on the p2ps...

Re:Pool (4, Interesting)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about 13 years ago | (#2380279)

From what it seems, there's a bit more to it than this. I would immagine that each version of the cd has a different watermark on it. They know that it is still gonna be ripped & coppied, they just want to find out which protection scheme is gonna be broken by the most people. The version with the least number of copies out there will be the format the industry settles on.

N*Sync music (1)

smyle (108107) | about 13 years ago | (#2380125)

So N*Sync/N*Suck can't be copied. What's the problem?

Wait a sec (2, Funny)

SnapperHead (178050) | about 13 years ago | (#2380130)

nsync already has some great copy protection. There fscking music! Why on gods green earth would anyone want to listen to it, let alone copy it!

Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (5, Insightful)

bahtama (252146) | about 13 years ago | (#2380131)

Oh I can see it now, "Why do I care, I am a l33t d00d who only listens to great music and not N'Sync." Well, I hate to tell you, but this is only the first step. If it works and only a few people complain then they will start doing this to every CD and that is when it will cause problems for the rest of us. I won't buy this CD because I wouldn't like it but that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore the bigger problem.

Re:Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (0, Flamebait)

bahtama (252146) | about 13 years ago | (#2380150)

Well that is too funny. I started my comment when there were no others and now I see that the first 13+ people that got in before me said the exact thing I just commented on. You are all sheep. Think for yourselves before posting a stupid response to a real problem.

Re:Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (2, Funny)

jazman_777 (44742) | about 13 years ago | (#2380228)

You are all sheep. Think for yourselves before posting a stupid response to a real problem

What problem? I don't listen to NSync.

Then hope it is weak. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380152)

Sure, anyone can do CD -> audio -> soundcard.

But if they 'standardize' on one, or even a few weak systems, isn't that better than finding a strong system and then standardizing on it?

Of course, I'm an old curmudgeon who still uses tape (reels, even) for some things.

Re:Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (1)

w.p.richardson (218394) | about 13 years ago | (#2380232)

You know, you are right on the money. I actually own this CD (shame), or more specifically, I bought it for my daughter who likes this twaddle. I think it's time to write a letter to the company that produced it, to let them know where I stand.

My guess is that N'Sync fans are not the most technically literate group, so the copy protection probably will go largely unnoticed, so long as it plays in the CD player.

Re:Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (2, Interesting)

Yorrike (322502) | about 13 years ago | (#2380281)

I imagine there'll be plenty of problems with all those 14 year old girls listening to Nsync while they give out their addresses on dodgy IRC channels.

The real trouble will arise when a decent band, that perhaps a large number of Geeks listen to (say, Korn, Weezer, Groove Amada, or any othe rhalf decent group), start copy protecting thir CDs.

I have no doubt that someone will find a way around this stuff, look at DVD encryption for example (I know this is different, but the challenge is still there for _some_ hackers)

Re:Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380245)

I, for one, am a l33t d00d who only listens to great music. I've got to protect me l337 pride and mention that I would never listen to NSync anyway.

Re:Part of bigger problem, not just N'sync CDs (2, Interesting)

philipdl71 (160261) | about 13 years ago | (#2380271)

If the record companies don't listen to people when they say that they want to be able to play the cd anywhere and rip from it that's fine by me. They are just digging their holes deeper.

If you enjoy ripping cd's like I do why would you even buy cd's if you can't rip them? In other words, if you don't agree with the technology in place to prevent your fair use of the media simply don't acquire the media in the first place. In short, boycott.

copy analog (1)

Teflon Coating (177969) | about 13 years ago | (#2380133)

they can't make it so you cant record the sounds from a speaker. I'm sure there is someone out there with a very good audio system that will record the CD and upload it and you wont even be able to tell the differnce.

Re:copy analog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380234)

Just a thought, but would it be possible to wire the speaker output into a mic input? I know it'd still be an analog copy but without the background noise. (I'm sure someone's already thought of this so mod away)

Re:copy analog (1)

stilwebm (129567) | about 13 years ago | (#2380289)

Or just record the SPDIF in pure digital. But that is not what this is meant to prevent. It is meant to make it more difficult to quickly rip the files (now you might have to use 1x instead of 8x+) and get them on Napster-like file sharing services.

Good test (1)

mmacdona86 (524915) | about 13 years ago | (#2380134)

The 'NSync demographic is the one that is least likely to be able to employ circumvention technology. But I want this test to be a dismal failure--so someone is going to have to bite the bullet and buy the CD so the "songs" can get on the file sharing services ASAP. Unless they are already there...

Re:Good test (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 13 years ago | (#2380168)

And then immediently return it stating that it wouldn't play on your cdplayer (there are many audio cdplayers that think to much like a computer to play these cd's.) They can't prove that your making it up, and your increasing the precent of returns. If you just bought it and kept it, ekk. But then again I've always considered buying/copying/returning very immortal.. oh the agony. Hmm Buy/figureouthowtocopyforlearningpurpusesbutdestro ycopy/return
I can deal with that.
Or buy just to return. Now thats the ticket.

Re:Good test (3, Funny)

Chakat (320875) | about 13 years ago | (#2380251)

But then again I've always considered buying/copying/returning very immortal..

You mean I don't need Alex Chiu's immortality rings if I buy copy and return? []

I know you meant immoral, but still, I had to do this. You may fire when ready.

Re:Good test (2)

blang (450736) | about 13 years ago | (#2380292)

Not sure about that. Not all geeks and hackers fit a stereotype and share the same good tastes. Some even like C&W music, even rap, blech. Only a juvenile hacker with poor taste would like Nsync, but I am sure the nsync and cd ripping populations have some overlap.

Shucks (1)

Teutates (16902) | about 13 years ago | (#2380135)

And I needed my N'Sync fix...oh well. Guess I'll move to little Miss Spears.

New Slogan (-1, Flamebait)

nochops (522181) | about 13 years ago | (#2380138)

NSync Stories:
News for Queers
Stuff that doesn't matter

Damn! (1)

MacGod (320762) | about 13 years ago | (#2380139)

Here I was, all set to not buy the CD because the alleged "music" was god-awful, and now I have to not buy it because it's copy-protected! What ever shall I do?

I thought (1)

cheinonen (318646) | about 13 years ago | (#2380140)

'N Sync already made their music sound bad enough without using copy protection to worsen sound quality.

Built-in ass covering? (3, Insightful)

PinkStainlessTail (469560) | about 13 years ago | (#2380141)

Those available in Germany have draconian protection, a slightly weaker system is used on the US disk and there is no protection on the UK version.

So, if pirated copies do show up they can just say "Oh, the copy protection worked. This must be from the insecure UK version." Just like the Australian version of the Charley Pride CD. Clever.

Hm.. (5, Interesting)

Xerithane (13482) | about 13 years ago | (#2380142)

Well, the obvious result is to flag this as a big joke. We all know no one really wants to listen to them around here.

The thing is, this is probably just a sample. The thing to look out for is all the 14 year old girls who never play their CDs in their computers but the CD player their parents bought them for their birthday.

It'll look like a tremendous success. "Oh look! No one cares that this CD came out unsupported on computers, lets mass market!".

Next, you'll have your favorite RIAA-signed musician being forced into the same distribution plan..

Now, go talk to your little sister about how she's going to have to go with out her poppy boy band shit for a while.

Re:Hm.. (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | about 13 years ago | (#2380261)

The thing is, this is probably just a sample. The thing to look out for is all the 14 year old girls who never play their CDs in their computers but the CD player their parents bought them for their birthday.

Test: try this out on a CD that 14-year old girls buy. Implementation: Every CD, including the ones the techies are buying. Are the marketers that dumb? Can it work? Do we have to pretend to be part of the test demographic to foil this test?

Hummm.... (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | about 13 years ago | (#2380144)

We I guess morally I should feel opposed and be upset by this, but in this case I just can't work up the anger, since I feel that our community will be pretty much unaffected in any direct way.

Re:Hummm.... (1)

gosand (234100) | about 13 years ago | (#2380203)

What kind of attitude is that? If it doesn't affect me directly, then it isn't an issue?!

Please, wake up.

Idiots (2, Interesting)

SlamboS (129106) | about 13 years ago | (#2380149)

I think they are just ASKING for their songs to be put all over the internet. If it can be played, it can be ripped. Makes me want to download the entire CD and share it on a p2p network just so that cd will be the most copied cd ever!

Sheesh (1)

ErikZ (55491) | about 13 years ago | (#2380151)

What a bunch of snobs. Nsync sells a ton of CDs, though not to the average slashdotter.

I'm curious to see how long this takes to get ripped and distributed.

Heh, I maybe go out and do it just to point out to these guys. They are throwing away their money on these "Copy Protection" schemes.

Who wants to listen to that crap anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380154)


They are doing us all a favor. Save bandwidth.


If the new Tom Petty, ZZTOP, TRAIN, Foo Fighters
or GooGoo dolls came on this new format, I would
not buy the disk.

Don't they know that there is a simple crack?
play the CD on a player, Digitize each track one
by one through line out.

We should all unite and not purchase any CD
with any protection format. If we all don't
buy it then this will stop.

I thought the copy-protection applied to MUSIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380155)

not MUZAK.

I would rather cut my hands off (1)

Lobsang (255003) | about 13 years ago | (#2380157)

...than copy a Nsync CD. :)

Few people realize it but NSYNC CDs have always been copy protected. People who know how to copy a CD wouldn't copy Nsync and people who like Nsync don't have a clue about how to copy a CD.

Oh well...

Copy protection leading to more MP3's? (2, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | about 13 years ago | (#2380161)

Ok, tell me exactly why copy protection won't lead to more MP3 swapping. Copy protection (at least some kinds, I'm not an expert) prevents the CD from being played on a computer, so not just anyone can rip an MP3 of it, you'd have to set up a conventional CD player in to your line in, which not everyone knows how or has the motivation to do.

So I want to have MP3's of CD's I own on my computer (fair use), what am I going to do? Go looking for someone else's MP3 of it! That's what! And I thought they were trying to reduce the number of MP3's being curculated around.

Potential Problem (5, Insightful)

MikeyNg (88437) | about 13 years ago | (#2380163)

Look, NSync is about a million times more popular than that first case that got posted here a couple of weeks back. (See? I can't even remember the name of that artist.) If this CD gets out there and there isn't alot of blowback, it will open the door for more copy protected CDs.

What can you do about it? Offer to make copies of CDs for people who already have them. Tell them, "well, you have more than one CD player, right? Like one in your car, a portable one you walk around with, and maybe even one in your bathroom. Wouldn't it be more convenient to just have multiple copies of something you already own? .... Hmmm... my computer can't read it. Must be broken or something. Take it back!"

Or... "Hey, let me try and listen to that in my computer." (since most of us must have at least decent sounding rigs) "WTF? This thing doesn't work at all! Take it back!"

This is the opportunity to let Joe (or Jane) Public learn about copy protection and how it infringes on THEIR rights.

Re:Potential Problem (1)

mazarino (304115) | about 13 years ago | (#2380188)

if the disks do actually come with a sticker warning that it can't be played on computers, then i'm not sure how that infringes on anyone's right.

it is also the right of the consumer not to purchase something as long as the product is clearly labled...

Re:Potential Problem (3, Interesting)

FatRatBastard (7583) | about 13 years ago | (#2380229)

Look, NSync is about a million times more popular than that first case that got posted here a couple of weeks back. (See? I can't even remember the name of that artist.)

Actually, I believe it *was* NSync from the first article. The band was actually unnamed at the time (the article just said that over 100K albums had been shipped) and a lot of /.ers (including myself... self congratulatory pat on the back) guessed NSync since their album had been released a few weeks before hand.

So, since the album has been on the shelves for a while has anyone fired up Gnutella and checked for MP3s to see if how successful they were?

What about this? (3, Redundant)

HermanBupkis (442793) | about 13 years ago | (#2380167)

Take your CD player that WILL play the CD, take the line out from the "phones" run a male to male connecter from it to the line-in on your sound card. Use Broadcast 2000 to record an unlimited wave file. Record each song and use lame to wav -> mp3.

I'm questioning if this thing they are trying to do can EVER be done perfectly?

Ya know what sucks.. (4, Interesting)

Nate Fox (1271) | about 13 years ago | (#2380170)

It just dawned on me, even tho its more than blatent: I cant make copies of these CDs! Not for pirating, not for making MP3s (for myself only), but for the sheer fact of having backups. After losing my CD collection to theft and losing some CDs to wear/tear/scratching, I started making backups of all my cds, and only playing the backups. My plan has proved itself, cause I just had all my CDs stolen once again, but this time, aside from the $5 loss of the carrying case, and the $10 pack of 50 CD-Rs, I'll be back to playin my tunes as soon as I find time to burn.

/me hops on the bandwagon to stop this movement.

Oh, come on... (2, Funny)

1337 $14X0r (445930) | about 13 years ago | (#2380172)

N'Sync? This one's just too easy ;)

Can they even properly call it a CD? (1)

gburgyan (28359) | about 13 years ago | (#2380175)

If the CD is not compliant with the Red Book audio standards, is it a CD? Or perhaps they shouldn't use the "compact disc" logo that's on everything?

I'm just waiting for a class-action suit to pop up over this.

Why N'Sync? (seriously).... (3, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | about 13 years ago | (#2380177)

Apart from the fact that this doesn't affect me, why would they do this to one of the largest selling acts out there? Don't they have the largest selling album over a single weekend? If anything, N'Sync is a testament to the fact that even though there are rippers and downloaders out there, people will still buy CDs from stores.

But if you are going to do a market study on a group, I guess you would want to test it out on one of the biggest selling groups out there.

Let's hope that it crashes and burns, and people, including parents, get up in arms about it.


Fight the Monopoly [] and the Evil. [] . More at []

Re:Why N'Sync? (seriously).... (2)

Glytch (4881) | about 13 years ago | (#2380272)

Let's hope that it crashes and burns, and people, including parents, get up in arms about it.

Are you nuts? Any parents I know would beg for the chance to slow down the Lip'Sync infection.

(Redundant, I know, but what the hell.)

Windows and copy protection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380181)

I would like to know a little more about this. What versions of Windows did they try to play this under? Would it play under older versions of Windows? If so did Microsoft add something to Winodows or Media Player to prevent the playing of this type CD? There are still alot of questions that need to be answered.

Re:Windows and copy protection? (1)

Snootch (453246) | about 13 years ago | (#2380275)

OK - quick synopsis: The copy protection works in the hardware - by using dedicated CD players' fault-tolerance against them. Using some slight malformation of the CD's data, you can make a CD that a player will read, but a computer will barf at. The actual players have nothing to do with it.

However, as the article says, the line between the two is a fuzzy one - Macs can play the most strongly protected one, and dedicated players are having trouble with it too. Doesn't mean they'll stop trying, though...

Don't count out the teenagers (2)

M_Talon (135587) | about 13 years ago | (#2380190)

I made the mistake by saying in an earlier post [] that teenagers would probably not notice the copy protection. As you might notice, a lot of people were quick to shoot me down on that one. I think this is going to be the first real test of the copy protection. Can't wait to see the backlash when those kids spend their hard earned allowance on a CD that they can't burn, and then promptly throw a massive fit (and we all know how teenagers can tantrum *eg*)

I overcame one of the three copy protections (5, Funny)

garoush (111257) | about 13 years ago | (#2380192)

" least 3 different versions (with different copy protection techniques)."

I was able to copy the CD on my flat-bed copier without any problem and I ened up with a good color, detail, et. al. quality.

However, a friend of mine ended up damaging his copier as he was trying to squeeze the CD through the copy feeder on his non-flat-bed copier.

I don't know about the third method of copy prevention -- as I haven't figured it out yet.

Overcoming this in the long term (1)

Mdog (25508) | about 13 years ago | (#2380294)

How long will it be before special burners/readers are out there that defeat this stuff? Is special hardware needed, or can software/firmware hacks suffice?

NSync = NStink! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380193)

NSync is bad, what a joke to protect their music.

Easy to solve. (-1, Redundant)

NotSurprised (525043) | about 13 years ago | (#2380195)

Just get a audio CD player with S/PDIF output, connect it to sound card with S/PDIF in -- problem solved. You'll need to manually split the tracks, but hey, it's still a perfect digital copy.

There is nothing like shuting the barn door... (3, Insightful)

Foochar (129133) | about 13 years ago | (#2380196)

when the horse has already run out.

I would be willing to venture that the number of people downloading music illegaly has pretty much stabalized since the demise of napster. No other network has achieved the market penetration that napster had. Now is not the time for the record labels to do things to prevent people from ripping CDs.

There was a time when I used napster etc. I can even remember hunting for ftp sites that didn't have a ratio. Anymore I just rip my own CDs so that I can leave them in my car and still listen to them at home. If anything moves like this increase the chances of me going out and hunting for songs online. If I can't rip my own CD digitally I'll either 1) Do it analog myself or 2) Find it online and while I'm at it, find several other songs too.

All that this will do is stop the most casual of copiers. The hard core rippers will find a way to force the CD-ROM drive to recognize the CD. The general public dosen't rip what they own so they won't care. So the only people that this really affects are the casual copiers, and they will just go out and find a copy that someone else has ripped.

Re:There is nothing like shuting the barn door... (2)

[amorphis] (45762) | about 13 years ago | (#2380214)

So the only people that this really affects are the casual copiers, and they will just go out and find a copy that someone else has ripped

Exactly. Now that Napster clones have reached a critical mass of their own, casual copiers don't need the original CD to burn a copy.

Your little sister (1)

electroniceric (468976) | about 13 years ago | (#2380201)

Probably knows way more than your mom or dad about ripping and music sharing. And if "nobody likes that crap", why is so much of it copied on Nappheus?

I think this is a pretty damn smart test.
a) It's targeted at BIG tech-savvy audience, but one that's not explicitly techy.
b) If there's anything a 16-year-old loves to be, it's against the man. Then again if there's anything a /.er loves to be...
c) 16 year-olds may get furious, but they're not nearly as likely to write letters.

Smart move by the reccos.

BT (1)

shredds (241412) | about 13 years ago | (#2380202)

Isn't this disc supposed to be mixed/produced by the legendary trance master BT? I hate N'Sync as much as the next guy, but there might be a lot more musical value to this CD underneath all the superficial pretty-boy glamour.
I say we crack the CD just to prove to those motherflowers that we will ALWAYS be one step ahead of them. And just to piss them off even more, we pass the tracks through "N'Sync Filters" to remove the computer modified pretty-boy voices just so we can get some superfly BT beats.

Copy/Listening Protection (1)

rjs0977 (236144) | about 13 years ago | (#2380204)

How about a new copying/listening protection scheme...One that only plays music worth listening to?

Yeah, I know, too idealistic.

Three differrent mechanisms? (1)

epsalon (518482) | about 13 years ago | (#2380205)

What's there to stop Joe customer to buy the one with the protection mechanism he can bypass. And in any case, MP3s will always be avialable for download anyway.

Ahh, the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380209)

This is the group whoose second album was "no strings attached". Truth in advertising?

(no one else posted this yet- it just goes to show you how low the musical taste of slashdot readers is!)

What should be done... (5, Interesting)

cmowire (254489) | about 13 years ago | (#2380211)

Quick.. Everybody steal a page from Scientology!

Everybody buy a copy of the CD. And then return it a few days later, complaining that it doesn't work on your computer or CD player. Go to another store, rinse, repeat.

If enough people did this a few times, all of the sudden, the return rate would be abnormally high on the CD. All of the sudden, the record industry would see this as troublesome and reconsider copy protected CDs.

Marketing Move (1)

RichMan (8097) | about 13 years ago | (#2380222)

In a great marketing move they have just captured not only the teen girl market but also the geek must see if the ripper works market.

How did they find out? (2)

selectspec (74651) | about 13 years ago | (#2380223)

Is seems so unlikely that somebody would actually attempt to listen to an NSync albumn. Time to fsync nsync to /dev/null.

what about copying to MiniDisc (1)

steve.m (80410) | about 13 years ago | (#2380227)

When I buy any album, it's usually for 1 or 2 good tracks, which get copied to MD so i can listen to what i like. Does this scheme prevent me from doing that ?

old hardware (1)

pcardoso (132954) | about 13 years ago | (#2380230)

I wonder... this and all other copy protected CDs will have to be somewhat backwards compatible.

if it can't be played in modern cd-rom drives, will a 4 or 5 year old drive bypass the protection?

like macrovision in vhs, which makes some assumptions about the tv and/or vcr. I had a old philips tv that could't show some rented movies (top of the screen all messed up), but a vcr I owned (an old panasonic model) could make perfect copies (at least as perfect as vhs allowed that to be) of the same movies, using another more recent vcr as a player.

instead of bypassing the cd protection in some way, which for you americans would be illegal under the DMCA, would old hardware be immune to this sort of protection and thus no bypassing needed?

mac users good? (4, Interesting)

customs (236182) | about 13 years ago | (#2380241)

any idea why mac users have been succesful in ripping the disc while windows users have not? other OS's could do it, maybe?


Copy Protected CDs (4, Interesting)

mikers (137971) | about 13 years ago | (#2380242)

More troubling is that Vivendi Universal is converting ALL of their music released on CD to protected formats.

It is just a matter of time before everything you buy will not play on computers. You will have to rip a disc using the line-in on your soundcard from a regular CD player, break up the tracks and then MP3 them. It won't stop trading, it will slow it down.

I think what might turn this around is... If at least one large music publisher converts all their offerings to CD protection - suddenly that may affect a lot of people (who listen to music on computers) and the number of returns (lost sales) may sky rocket. Consumers may get upset and this will probably cause CD sales in total to tumble maybe an additional 5% or so. Remember that Vivendi et al. are upset because the market dropped 5% over the last year.

I can also see at least one lawsuit (perhaps class action) if they piss off enough people. And if they convert all their offerings - they will piss off a lot of people. Sign me up for the class action when it happens.

It is also worth noting that many people who don't read slashdot have cd burners now - even those not computer literate. This will surely piss them off too. Not to mention that the question "Why can't I make a mix cd from cds I bought?" will come up VERY often, and be difficult to answer.

There will be backlash if a critical mass of CDs are copy-protected. I'm really interested to see the fallout. Remember, the consumer is king... And this sort of copy protection is definately "pissing on the king's cornflakes".

Haiku (3, Funny)

575 (195442) | about 13 years ago | (#2380243)

Copy protection:
As if one needs more reason
To not buy N'Sync

The balance has been reached (1)

Glorat (414139) | about 13 years ago | (#2380246)

Also, one of the types has (small) labelling saying that the CD cannot be played on computers

I think would be good news and I hope that type of labelling becomes widespread either voluntarily or by law. They have made a concious decision that putting anti-ripping protection and keeping users informed is more worthwhile than producing copyable CD's. The free market philosophy is based on the customer having perfect information. Since the customer has been informed, we let the free market decide! Maybe they will sell more because the CD is copied less or maybe they sell less because we don't like a protected CD. But at least they aren't trying to deceive us. If you still don't like this, vote with your wallets!

Versions, eh? (5, Funny)

Denor (89982) | about 13 years ago | (#2380247)

NSync's new CD will be released in a least 3 different versions


- Initial release
-- CD uncopyable
-- Band unlistenable

- 2.0 release
-- Fixed 2,144 bugs enabling people to copy CD. CD now uncopyable.
-- Changed demographic to younger audience; teens beginning to sense lack of talent. Note that this breaks backward compatibility

- 3.0 release
-- Fixed 53,944 bugs enabling people to copy CD. Gave up.

- 3.0.1 bugfix
-- Fired previous maintainer when it was discovered he had a soul.
-- Fixed another 128,535 bugs enabling people to copy CD. CD uncopyable.
-- Discovered simple cabling could be used to make a D-A-D copy. Sucessfully lobbied to illegalize cabling.
-- Hired armed enforcers to prevent people from humming songs.
-- Added technology to CDs to prevent any sort of listening to them whatsoever. Players now burn in unholy flame.
-- Band still unlistenable.

Point shotgun at foot... (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 13 years ago | (#2380249)

Are these companies honestly trying to force people to bypass the CD store and steal their music online?

In the closed-plan office where I work (no cubicles, just lots of small rooms), people can play whatever music they like, and most have a stack of legitimately bought CDs next to their computer. Or if they don't want to shuffle CDs all day, rip ten of them to one ogg/mp3 CD, constituting fair use.

If this kind of scheme becomes mainstream (no big loss yet, with Michael Jackson or Lip-Sync) it suddenly becomes impossible to play/dub new music in CD ROMS, forcing people to either lug in their "defect -friendly" CD players from home or download their music online from people who have taken the time to rip the music directly from the analog or digital line out of a stereo. The latter seems much more likely.
As a consequence, CD shops will become empty ghost stores, and those big music companies will have a *real* problem on their hands.
This copy protection really solves nothing - the determined people who *really* want to rip the music will always circumvent copy protection. The only ones that are inconvenienced are us legitimate listeners.

Perhaps it really is time for upcoming musicians to forget record companies and set up studios on their home hi-fi computers. Forget CDs, just ogg the music and put it on the web under a subscription license. I think most people would happily pay the amount that an artist actually makes out of a CD sale (not much) to purchase rights to download the album.

Just my 2cents

Distribution of popular music must be stopped! (1)

sjonke (457707) | about 13 years ago | (#2380250)

So, aside from blocking playback on computers, make it impossible to play on any other equipment as well.

N'Suck (0)

BigBir3d (454486) | about 13 years ago | (#2380252)

i have a hard time caring about who's album they have done this to. the fact that they are doing these things, and using such a high selling group to do it is discouraging. i can see it now..."Look at these numbers, we sold more protected cd's than not this month, I guess the attention span of America has gone somewhere else..."

just wonderfull. if Metallica does this, than i will be seriously upset...

WAIT! i have the solution! boycott N'Suck!!!

how did they slip that one past Sony? (2)

Lxy (80823) | about 13 years ago | (#2380255)

"Both the UK and US versions will play on a Windows PC and both let a PC CD burner make a copy onto a blank CD."

Yeah, that "slightly weaker" US version doesn't do anything apparently. Hope they didn't invest TOO much money into this....

Whoa... I just noticed... (5, Informative)

cmowire (254489) | about 13 years ago | (#2380256)

"Both the UK and US versions will play on a Windows PC and both let a PC CD burner make a copy onto a blank CD."

"Copying using home CD recorders is variable, with the US CD giving a "no disk" message on some recorders."

So this is lovely! The US version is still rippable. Except on the "consumer" home CD recorders that pay the royalties to the RIAA anyways because the only thing they were usable for was copying other CDs.

This is even more fscked than at first glance. ;)
It's just the German version. German geeks: your mission is clear. Buy and return as many NSuck CD's as possible! ;)

This is one case where this stuff is good (1)

skrowl (100307) | about 13 years ago | (#2380259)

Now if they would just make Nsync CDs that you can't play on computers, CD Players, stereos, walkmen, toasters, etc.

Good idea!!! (1)

hhe_hee (470065) | about 13 years ago | (#2380263)

Hey this is actually a great idea, copy protecting bad music to prevent it from spreading. This will surely make the world a better place to live ;-)

The next generation CD copy protection scheme... (2)

Vuarnet (207505) | about 13 years ago | (#2380265)

On each and every CD they're gonna start puting a big sticker that reads:

"WARNING! This CD includes N*Sync's latest hit. Not recommended for Linux users, pregnant women, MP3 rippers or anyone with an IQ over 50".

Oh, and another point... (5, Interesting)

M_Talon (135587) | about 13 years ago | (#2380266)

At the risk of being redundant, someone needs to mod up one of the mentions about the UK version not having copy protection at all. How in the blue blazes is that supposed to prove anything at all? Here's the scenario:

I live in US, and I buy the CD. *shudder...just remember it's hypothetical* I try to rip it, I fail. I go to the p2p and download the entire CD. I then promptly burn that and distribute to all my friends who want the CD to play on their computers. I also distribute the mp3's to those who want them for their MP3 players.

This experiment will only prove how far people will go to circumvent copy protection, not how well the protection works. In a worst case scenario, the artists *shudder again* lose money because people quit buying the copy protected CDs and instead get unprotected copies from their friends.

Once again, RIAA, wrong answer. To quote Anne Robinson, you are the weakest link, goodbye.

Can they be returned? (1)

Tassleman (66753) | about 13 years ago | (#2380270)

So, can CDs with this bunk ass copy protection be returned to your local retailer? I know Best Buy does not allow you to return opened CDs (they will let you do a title-for-title exchange, but NO returns unless you throw a HUGE fit), but if you bring one of these back becasue you can't use it in your computer, will they take it?

If we all went out and bought these, tried to return them, and FORCED a Retail Policy change, do you think the big Chain Stores could force the Labels to knock this shit off?

Bye, Bye (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 13 years ago | (#2380273)

Bye, Bye, Bye
Hey, hey
Bye, bye (bye, bye)
Bye, bye (bye, bye)

RIAA I'm doing this tonight
You're probably gonna start a fight
I know this can't be right
Hey RIAA come on, I loved you endlessly
And you weren't there for me
So now it's time to leave and make it alone

I know that I can't take no more, it ain't no lie
I wanna see you out that door
RIAA bye, bye, bye

(Bye)I don't want to be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me but it ain't no lie
Bye, bye, bye
(Bye)I don't really want to make it tough
I just wanna tell you that I had enough
Might sound crazy but it ain't no lie
Bye, bye, bye

Oh, oh you just hit me with the truth
Oh RIAA you're more than welcome to
So give me one good reason RIAA come on
I live for you and me
And now really come to see
That life would be much better
Once you're gone

I know that I can't take no more, it ain't no lie
I wanna see you out that door
RIAA bye, bye, bye

(Bye)I don't want to be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me but it ain't no lie
Bye, bye, bye
(Bye)I don't really want to make it tough
I just wanna tell you that I had enough
Might sound crazy but it ain't no lie
Bye, bye, bye

I'm giving up I know for sure
I don't wanna be the reason for your love no more
(Bye, bye)
I'm checkin' out, I'm signin' off
I don't want to be the loser and I've had enough

I don't wanna be your fool
In this game for two
So I'm leaving you behind
Bye, bye, bye
I don't wanna make it tough
But I've had enough and it ain't no lie, bye-bye

What can *you* do about it? (5, Insightful)

kryzx (178628) | about 13 years ago | (#2380274)

So you don't like N'Synch?
Don't let that stop you from helping!!
Buy a copy - open it - return it, complaining that it is defective. Hey, you don't even have to listen to it. No cost to you, and they can't resell it after the packaging is open. While you're at it, do it at the most expensive record store around.

Let's see, (# of /.ers) * $15 return = an assload of lost revenues.

Market Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2380286)

If the publisher is releasing the CD with several
different copy protection methods, maybe they're
trying to determine which is most effective. They'd
have to have some way of differentiating the versions
that would survive MP3 compression to see which versions make it onto the various file sharing
services and which don't.

trademark? (4, Interesting)

PenguinX (18932) | about 13 years ago | (#2380287)

Has anyone thought about the trademark agreement? Doesn't Panasonic own the "COMPACT-DISC" trademark? I think I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that the way you are able to use this trademark is by insuring that everything with the label is playable in all players with the "COMPACT-DISC" trademark on it.

Any thoughts?

Buy 'em anyway (1)

Windrip (303053) | about 13 years ago | (#2380291)

Buy these things and return them. Even if you don't plan on listening.
Pull the lever if they're counting.

Many CD players will be incompatible with it (-1)

NotSurprised (525043) | about 13 years ago | (#2380293)

Most "high end" car and home CD players read the CD audio as data, much like a CD-ROM reads it, so that they can buffer the audio/process it. Schemes like this that deter ripping, will also cause these CDs to fail. This may not be a problem with this CD, with 12-year old girls listening to it on their crappy Samsung players, but for other CDs someone other people might want to play on their $10000 CEC unit, it could be a problem.
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