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EMI Customer Relations Tells It Like It Is

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the bring-in-da-noize dept.

Music 1080

hype7 writes "The Register is running a story about the most outrageous email sent from a customer services rep at BMI in Germany to a customer who had difficulty playing a copy-protected CD in his CD player. One of the most stunning lines from the translation: "If you plan to continue protesting about future audio media releases with copy protection, forget it; copy protection is a reality, and within a matter of months more or less all audio media worldwide are copy protected. And this is a good thing for the music industry. In order to make this happen we will do anything within our power - whether you like it or not.""

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Attention VA Employees (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626926)

sssssss uu uu ccccc kk kk mm mm yy yy rrrrrr ooooo dddddd
ss uu uu cc kk kk mmm mmm yy yy rr rr oo oo dd dd
sssssss uu uu cc kkkk mm mmm mm yyyy rrrrrr oo oo dd dd
ss uu uu cc kk kk mm m mm yy rr rr oo oo dd dd
sssssss uuuuu ccccc kk kk mm mm yy rr rr ooooo dddddd

Re:Attention VA Employees (-1, Offtopic)

Real World Stuff (561780) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627001)

I would like to take a moment and comment on this First Post. Nice work, and may all your christmases be bright.

Friday burn in direct protest of last Malda JE. "But RWS, how did you know, how did you know they were going to sell mod points?". In time, but let's wait for the IBM deal.

Re:Attention VA Employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627017)

excellent first post sir. But with pederasts like cmdr nacho and michael around, you really should be careful what you wish for.

I tried to post first (4, Funny)

nlinecomputers (602059) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626933)

but it was copy protected.

suck it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626935)


Of course they are hostile (-1, Flamebait)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626938)

people are stealing their property. I'd be hostile too.

Re:Of course they are hostile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626953)

What property is being stolen?

Intellectual property (0, Flamebait)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626964)

You know, like programs. Would you like it if your coworker went to your boss and claimed that all the code you produced was his work and then got a raise out of it?

Re:Intellectual property (2)

3141 (468289) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627037)

Is anyone claiming that they produced the music they copied? Apart from, perhaps, the musicians who sample the work of other musicians without crediting them? (-1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627142)

You missed the point. Joe Programmer has intellectual ownership of the code he produces at his company. When raise time comes around, he hopes to get a bonus based on his excellent work. Then Jane comes along and says the work his hers. When Joe protests, Jane says that "information wants to be free" and anybody can claim to own it.

If this sounds ridiculous it's because you are entirely comfortable with the idea of two coworkers knowing who owns the code. Same with music. BMI owns the music and you are stealing it.

Re:Intellectual property (2, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627118)

1. Intellectual property is an artifical construction to keep the wealthy classes rich at the expense of the working classes. There is nothing in nature which creates 'intellectual property.'

2. Nobody claims to have produced music they share with friends. They are simply helping their friends to avoid paying for the media.

Exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627094)

They still have their precious data. And one more copy isn't going to break the bank. It's a victimless crime.

Dammit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627043)

The customer is always right! If we want free music then they should give it to us!

oh well (0, Troll)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626944)

the music died a few years back anyway, all we have now is non-talented crap filling the airwaves.... no great loss

Re:oh well (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627046)

the music died a few years back anyway, all we have now is non-talented crap filling the airwaves.... no great loss

Typical... just like every previous generation, you now find the music of the current up-and-coming generation distasteful. Happens every time.

And, FYI, just because you feel the music isn't up to your "standards", it certainly doesn't make it so.

I can't remember if I cried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627059)

But something touched me deep inside,
The day the music died.

You missed a line: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627119)

I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widdowed bride.
But something touched me deep inside,
The day, the music died.
But you probably knew that anyways.

that letter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626949)

looks like it was written by a slashdot janitor. you fags really smell today.

Oh well. (5, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626956)

Now I can't buy anymore CDs, whether the music industry likes it or not. Which of us is going to blink first?

Re:Oh well. (5, Funny)

cmeans (81143) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627009)

Yes, it seems like that industry wants to "Copy Protect" itself out of business..."see ya!"

Re:Oh well. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627117)

Then they'll go and blame it on mp3s, ogg-vorbis and online file sharing. When the solution is out there. Stop ripping us off. Give us our fair use, and you'll stay in business. I stopped buying music when they began to push this issue.

Re:Oh well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627048)

That's okay.. just remember, whatever they do, even if you can't play the CDs on your computer anymore and you don't own any other cd players, you'll still be able to download the music somewhere.

The way i see it, i get the music, so i win either way. The only choice the music industry has is whether they want me to pay them for it.

The attitude! (5, Insightful)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626959)

If BMI adopts a "your concerns are worth sh~t to us" attitude and just tells people to accept inferior products, they will get a large public backlash.

If this customer service rep was not just a malcontent and really was telling the customer what was passed down from management, BMI is shooting itself in the foot.

Re:The attitude! (2)

octalgirl (580949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627141)

Maybe there is a rogue manager wandering about. This letter is not even close to professional in any manner.

Paging the Lawyers (5, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626962)

Again, I can't believe I'm saying that!

Paging the lawyers from Phillips! Paging the lawyers from Phillips! You need to get off your fat asses and sue EMI!

Re:Paging the Lawyers (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627032)

as long as emi does not brand it as a cd (though they do not have to explicetly say it is not) then phillips can ot sue on trademark or patent (which is up very soon) issues.

Re:Paging the Lawyers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627140)

It doesn't say EMI labeled it as a CD (the Philips designation), but the link to the previous story about BMG did say it had the "CD" label on it, as well as a sticker saying it was "Red Book" compliant.

So, Philips should sue BMG at the very least.

Re:Paging the Lawyers (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627040)

Are they still getting royalties from these non-cds? If so, I can see whey they`re confused about whether to sue or not.

Re:Paging the Lawyers (1)

alchemist68 (550641) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627121)

Just for clarification, the Philips company you are refering to is spelled with ONE L, not two L's.

The website is located here:

emi? bmi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626967)

err...which is it :)

Whew (5, Funny)

qaam (609419) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626969)

Boy am I glad that I have just been using Kazaa to get my music or this might really piss me off!

Bullshit (4, Insightful)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626970)

Complete and utter. However vile and loathsome record companies might be, I do not believe that any one of their drones would say such a thing. It sounds like typical FUD/satire/what-not. Can anyone establish the veracity of this supposed email?

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627053)

You DON'T believe they would send an email saying such a thing? Boy, you live in a fantasy world, next you'll be saying Microsoft is a warm and cuddly company, too.

Fix the submitters comments... (1)

AzrealAO (520019) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626971)

Think you could fix the submitters comments? The posted letter is from EMI, as the title correctly notes, and not BMI as stated in the submitters remarks.

Re:Fix the submitters comments... (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627016)

Well, to be fair, the article also links to a previous one that is about the same thing from BMI, not EMI.

That, along with 1 letter difference, makes it an easy mistake to make.

Re:Fix the submitters comments... (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627097)

Er.... BMG, not BMI.

Okay, 2 letters, they screwed up one.

Still an easy mistake :)

The scary part... (5, Interesting)

JoshMKiV (548790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626974)

The scary part is that this comes from a Customer Service Rep. CS Reps don't formulate their own ideas, they get them from management. This is a clear indication of the corporate doctrine being taught. It must be in full swing to have reached this level, and for this action to be already taking place. Feared...

Re:The scary part... (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627073)

The amusing part is that this is their public stance! Imagine what the rep was originally told, before it was converted into this "we're happy for this document to be released into the public domain as our official stance" email. I expect some sort of retraction/modification very soon! Unless they've just lost the plot!

Re:The scary part... (1)

JoshMKiV (548790) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627107)

This is not one CS Rep going out on their own. It is the entire company saying "F YOU CUSTOMER, we care not what you think". And let us not forget that NO company this size does this on their own. Business leaders from other companies ALWAYS talk. You know that a majority of them will be in agreement. No company would ever go out on their own on a topic like this unless it is going to be industry standard.

GnR understands customer relations fully (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626981)

Copyright 2002, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Axl's Absence Spurs Fan Rampage
By The Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)--Thousands of irate fans rampaged outside a downtown venue after a Guns N' Roses concert was canceled because lead singer Axl Rose failed to appear.

Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowd surging around GM Place Thursday night. There were no reports of injuries.

A band spokesman said bad weather in Los Angeles held up Rose's flight to Vancouver. The band practiced without him Wednesday.

The spokesman said a concert scheduled Friday at the Tacoma Dome, about 30 miles south of Seattle, would go on as planned.

Thursday's trouble began when the doors didn't open as scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Tempers flared when the cancelation was announced about an hour later.

Within 15 minutes, the crowd turned into an angry mob that smashed some GM Place windows.

Police and stadium security tried to move the crowd away from the broken glass, and ordered fans to disperse after a Roman candle was fired toward the officers.

The performance was to have been the first in the North American leg of the band's Chinese Democracy World Tour.

AP-NY-11-08-02 1312EST

Music Industry, take note (5, Insightful)

George Michael (467827) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626982)

I never, ever, play CDs anywhere but on a computer. I therefore will never buy a CD I cannot play on a computer. I am not alone.

Michael is a TROLLING CUNT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626984)

To setup Windows 2000 now, press ENTER

To repair a Windows 2000 installation, press R

To quit setup without installing Windows 2000, press F3

And we will respond in kind.. (5, Insightful)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626989)

And we will respond in kind by not purchasing crippled CD's from retail stores. Surely someone in that company took a business class where they were taught that the best way to stay in business to to keep your customers coming back. Pissing people off like this doesn't get your customers back...

Besides, their first attempt was defeated by a permanent marker. What will the next one be defeated by? A stapler?

Oh well.. give the RIAA enough rope, and it will hang itself. It's already acting like it's having a nervous breakdown. And with the GOP running the Senate, Fritz Hollings (aka Senator Disney) has no chance in hell of getting his SCCCCCCCCCCA bill passed.

Maybe I should buy some stock in Sanford (manufacturers of Sharpie markers)...

In other words... (5, Funny)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626990)

"All your Ace of Base are belong to us."

Don't they realize that they more they antagonize the music-sharing community the harder they will work to circumvent the copy protection? Even on the artists that really suck. It's all about principal now.

PR (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626995)

I can see the PR department at EMI kicking into high gear now...

I wonder if that CS Rep would like some salt for their foot?

Arrogant, because they can afford to be. (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 11 years ago | (#4626997)

Here's the reality: a principled few may boycott. But can there said to be competition for music? If people like Band X's music, and Band X's music comes out on Label A, then a boycott of Label A is going to mean nothing for fans of Band X, and that's the end of the story. This isn't like cars, or beverages, or hard drives, or CPU's.

Which isn't to say that a platform can't fail - vis. the Mini Disk. But there's a difference between a platform failing and trying to imagine that simple competitive pressue exists for musical content.

Re:Arrogant, because they can afford to be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627088)

If the major labels start making it so that people can't even play CD's on their regular CD players, and basically tell the customers they're lying and to fuck off when they complain, I DO believe that it will have quite a negative impact on sales. Most people won't keep buying CD's if they're unable to play them.

Re:Arrogant, because they can afford to be. (2)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627109)

Well, although it's technically not legal, don't you consider FastTrack real competition?

It's BMG, not BMI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4626999)

BMI [] is a completely different music rights organization than BMG []

Yep, but the quoted letter is from EMI. (1)

AzrealAO (520019) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627134)

The quoted letter is from EMI, not BMI or BMG.

Verification, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627000)

We all know what a burning thirst for the truth the Register has (cough, cough).

Nice.... (1)

Britissippi (565742) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627002)

Attitude. Unfortunately the only thing that companies are gonna look at is the size of the bottom line, and unless the purchasing populace vote with their wallets and don't buy the cripple cd's, its altogether possible that it could become the norm...

Yeah, I want to hand over my $18 for something that won't work in half the players I usually use. Tsk.

Reality (3, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627005)

Firstly, The Register is the National Enquirer of the net. Take it with a huge grain of salt.

Secondly, even if this letter were authentic, it could very well be the result of a disgruntled employee who had a really bad day and just didn't give a shit anymore. Unless someone can show me widespread responses along the same line, or a mandate that this is the official response, I'll take this as no more than one guy. While the truth is that they are actively pursuing copy protection, which is their right, I find the overly hostile and confrontational content of the letter incredibly dubious.

Re:Reality (2, Insightful)

Bloodshot (8999) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627070)

Well, it may be over the top but it does point out the party line being espoused by all the record companies:

1) they want to copy-protect all CD's
2) they insist that their copy-protected media is still compliant with Phillip's CD standard
3) your complaints will be ignored and you will be labeled a pirate for your troubles

And to think... (4, Interesting)

mooman (9434) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627008)

how much grief Garth Brooks took when he protested people reselling used cds...

I think we have a new "piss off the public" " king-of-the-hill now...

Guess What... (-1)

miketang16 (585602) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627012)

Dear BMI,

Online music sharing already is a reality, and it's going to stay that way, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. BTW: I suggest reading an article on Slashdot about how COPYRIGHT PROTECTING CD'S IS A USELESS MEASURE.

Please do not plan on getting my business, ever.
Thank you,
A Music Listener

Fine, they want to play dirty (2)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627013)

I won't buy any more Music CDs.

Unless of course they are not copy protected. Most of their music sucks balls anyways.

LOL this is classic (2)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627015)

they will do anything within their power, apparently including going out of business by producing media no one can play or will pay for. Smart guys at BMI, they seem to have stumbled onto an alternate reality or somthing.

kraftwerk (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627019)

Achtung! Die Kraftwerk CD ist Copie-Protekt. Ich mache es kaputt.

*shooting in background*

A quote from the article (3, Interesting)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627026)

If however it becomes more difficult, and finally impossible, then refuseniks will be driven back to recording from the audio output.

I know people have mentioned it before; but if you listen to some of the 128kb MP3 files out there, a recording taken from the headphone jack could be an improvement. Rather than fight copy protection, I think we should educate the "pirates" as to a good encoding system (Ogg, LAME MP3)

Put the shoe on the other foot (2, Insightful)

egg troll (515396) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627027)

I'm not a big fan of this action, but I can understand BMI's point. Imagine for a second how it would be if you wrote a song and discovered a few months later that BMG had released a CD in which someone had recorded that song without your consent.

You'd be pretty angry about it.

This is exactly how BMI feels. I know I'm not taking the popular stance by not denouncing "facists tactics" or whatnot. But the truth is that BMI needs to protect its property. I think we should give them credit for at least being upfront about it.

Protest, boycott, lets do something..... (5, Interesting)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627028)

Why don't we simply boycott CD's, it would take a lot of effort and restraint by people, but I think if we banded together and worked towards a common goal we could send a message to the RIAA and record companies. Belly aching about how they shouldn't do this does absolutely no good. We need to stand up in mass against the recording industry and tell them "No we will not be treated like criminals, we will only buy CD's that work in any equipment and the US courts have shown time swapping to be legal".

Lets do something about this. Something other then complaining and giving up.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627029)

Slashdot's obviously pandering to The Register again!

Oh wait, this story doesn't say anything negative about Microsoft? Well ok then.

Copy protection (1)

nogoodmonkey (614350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627030)

Why do companies spend money developing copy protection? People will just get around it anyway. The Harry Potter DVD (I believe) was sold with NO copy protection because the studio felt that the people who were going to pirate the movie were going to find a way to do it. I think that this was a good thought on their part. But were there more bootlegged copies of the film by doing this?

welcome to freenet (1)

cel4145 (468272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627031)

this sort of attitude just rids people of any guilt about using p2p file trading. every time someone in the music industry says something like this, they just piss us off a little more.if they continue to pursue this wonderful markeing strategy, eventually, people will break the copyright protection and just put it on freenet where no one will be able to trace where it came from.

really, when are they going to get a grip?

Reply to EMI (5, Funny)

Windcatcher (566458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627041)

To paraphrase the NRA:

You can have my money when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Re:Reply to EMI (1)

ejeet (545274) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627136)

any minute now, they'll send some hitmen to whack you and take your money from your "cold, dead fingers"

They just don't get it (1)

jcrash (516507) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627042)

Most CD Players coming out these days use Data-Type CD units - which means most of the newer players will not play the newer discs. One case of where newer is not necessarily ideal, I guess. But the real numbers of "new" players should really include PC's too, and I'd have to wager that more PC's are sold in the US than new component CD players.

NONE of the PC's will be able to play these CD's.

So, basically they are dramatically limiting the market of the their discs because of a perception that less CD's are being sold due to file-sharing. This "lesser" amount is easily accounted for by the no longer booming economy. In case they haven't noticed, everything is doing worse, not just CD sales.

Do they really think that the dramatic loss of potential CD players is better than the small perceived loss due to file-sharing? If they do, they need to get a clue.

OH well (5, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627044)

1) Copy-protection on CDs is a losing battles. Computers can always be modified to get around copy protection schemes. And even if they can't, there will always be the "analog" hole. I can always take an embedded device like a CD player and pipe it straight into my sound card. 99.9% fidelity, copy-free recording.

2) None of it matters, because if one person buys a copy protected CD, does the above, and puts it on p2p, the pee-in-the-pool effect kicks in, and the copyprotection-free version will be around forever.

I wish them luck. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627049)

They must be freaking geniuses if theyu can figure out a way to copy-protect vinyl.

At odds with the other big fish? (5, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627050)

With all the hype surrounding Microsoft and Sony wanting to place console/PC style hardware at the heart of every home's entertainment systems (taking on the role of the CD/DVD player), I wonder how long it's going to take the non-recording big boys to turn around, and start complaining that the recording industry is about to ensure that their plans are being rode roughshod over...
Also, considering that most people who buy stuff want it to work anywhere and everywhere, I wonder how long it'll take the general public to simply stop buying, as it's no longer 'safe' to do so..
Especially with some of the new laws in the EU, and the UK being put forward as also written on The Register [] . And if people buy even less than they did before they protected the media, who are they going to blame? Perhaps this is a case of things needing to get worse before they get better, and perhaps even be a case of the big recording industries shooting themselves in the foot and crippling themselves..


Wow. (5, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627056)

The hubris of that email response is pretty incredible.

Anyone want to take bets on the one straw that will break the consumer's backs?

Personally, I think it will come when people regularly cannot play discs in their cars. Or PlayStations/Xboxen. There's a lot of 'convergence' devices out there. Furthermore, in the car example, many manufacturers are actually using CD-ROM mechanisms in dashboard players simply because they are cheaper and more error-tolerant (except of course, in the case of purposeful errors introduced by the record companies).

Ph33r my mighty analog plug, you slack-jawed marketroid fuckwits.

well...I guess, if you like music you hear (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627057)

on the radio, go to the concerts....that way the band gets ALL the cash and you are screwing the record company (aslong as you don't buy a cd at the concert)

The reality is... (1)

optisonic (202402) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627064)

The music industry is trying to copy protect something that isn't really physical. Information can be stored anywhere there is matter and when they sell you that information you must be able to listen to it. As long as we can listen to the music they sell, there is no way to copy protect it from duplication. It's all spin and hype so they can get a harder grip on their market. The sad thing is that I think some of them truly believe what they are saying. My these people are slow.

heh (-1, Flamebait)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627065)

I can't wait to see how the slashbots react to this one. Face it, you music pirates have been caught red handed. You can whine and cry all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that copying the new Tory Amos album from your best friend is not "fair use."

A global game of chicken! (1)

MacTechnic (40042) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627066)

Well now that Bertelsman and EMI have made their intentions known about copy protection for Audio CDs. The used CD market will become much more popular. New CD's will take a noticable decline for at least 6 months. Note that the article at New Scientist, notes that copy protection will apply to PC CD drives, not to most personal audio CD drives. I don't think there would be anything wrong with hooking the line out from a regular audio CD drive into your computer audio in and RIPing the audio to MP3 or your format of choice. And there goes the fruitless attempts of copy protection. The computer game companies figured out a long time ago that copy protection is a hopeless cause. I wonder what will be next, mandatory registration of all audio CD with biometric restricted access!?

Customer Kickin^H^H^H^H^H^HService (3, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627068)

Screw you buddy. You're an idiot and a thief and if you ever complain again we'll have you arrested. Now smile as we grease you up.

With customer service like that, how can anybody complain? (without getting arrested, I mean).

What do they offer? (2)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627076)

For many companies, marginal products are often offset by good support.
For the music industry, it seems that they offer 90% of the time is a poor product (and one that's getting increasingly poor as copy-protection makes them less compatible).
The attitude toward the majority of consumers is that we're all music pirates.
And now this. There is no customer service, and an increasingly degraded product.

And yes, they wonder why CD sales are down? Truly, what do the major music companies have to offer except a bunch of aging big-names and song-of-the-moment artists who have been caught in contract hell?

Where'd they get this stat? (5, Insightful)

daoine (123140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627077)

There are 250 Million blank CDRs and tapes bought and used this year for copying music in comparison to 213 Million prerecorded audio media.

I'm always curious to find out how they get stats like this. Where do they get the 250 million blank CDRs and tapes number? Sales alone is rather inaccurate, as it fails to account for data and photo CDs, as well as what *could* be considered legitimate backup CDs.

But obviously, all CDRs that are purchased are for the sole purpose of piracy...

Who is this policy hurting? (3, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627081)

As a techie, I am quite confident I will never have a problem getting my music for free. With kazaa and my cd-rw, I havent bought a CD in years (come get me, jackasses). Even if I did buy a copy-protected CD I am sure I could break it (if I can hear it, I can rip it, duh).

My grandmother (and any other AOL user, really) on the other hand, if she had the experience mentioned on the register, she would be pretty much out of luck. So, this policy really only hurts the non-tech-savvy.

so BMI hates my grandmother
From now on, I am going to make a point of trying to find BMI stuff to download off kazaa. Guess I better learn to like n'stync

Look back to Lotus & 1-2-3 (5, Insightful)

cmeans (81143) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627082)

As I recall it (Lotus 1-2-3) started out without copy protection...then when they (Lotus) thought they saw a lot of poeople stealing their work, they implemented various forms of copy protection...all of them caused legit users problems they didn't want...and Lotus eventually dropped the copy protection...

I think we can look forward to the same with the music industry.

As Mark Twain once said (something like), History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

sigh - ah well (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627085)

So for years we have all bought CD-ROM players for our computers to play audio CDs. How many millions of them are floating around now-a-days? And now the music industry seems to be taking an attitude of thumbing its nose at us. You know, my wife and I don't have a stereo/CD/home entertainment center. (We've been saving up to one day buy a nice one.) On top of that, I haven't really bought a CD in a long time (aside maybe from a couple soundtracks). The way things are going, I might as well save the cash on buying a CD player component all together: I won't have CD's to play on it since in the meantime they won't play on my PC. Gee... start calling me Blue Beard, I guess. I never thought *I* would come to this. (sigh)

*snark* (2)

paitre (32242) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627087)

As others have already mentioned, it's questionable that the email is real, due to the absolutely combatative attitude contained in it.
That said, I'm going to treat it like it was legit for the remainder of this post.
1. there's something stinky in the music industry, and it's their general attitude that -all- of their consumers are pirates. Fuck that noise. They wouldn't -exist- if it were for the bands and their fans.
2. I play music on my computers -exclusively-. if a cd won't play because it's copy protected, then they obviously don't want my business. oh wait, that's right, they'ver already said they don't want my business....(points at point #1).

Seriously, though: a boycott here -will- -not- -work-. which is unfortunately. Why won't it? Because the bands' fans will still buy, regardless of the new effort it will take to listen to the CDs.

Maybe things are going to change... (2)

foistboinder (99286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627089)

At one time (for most of history), musicians primarily made their performing live. Composers made money by having their music published (for musicians to perfom live...).

Anyway, maybe cheap digital recording, file sharing, etc. will bring about the end of the recording industry and the music industry will go back to the old model.

Maybe the last hundred years will be seen as an anomaly in music history and the music industry will primarily be considered a live performance and publishing business.

Time to make a statement (3, Interesting)

niola (74324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627090)

I have for the most part been on the side in this issue. People I knew who downloaded free music I used to encourage to buy the music they really like so that the artists get their cut.

Not anymore. I have a CD collection of well over 300 CDs I have bought over the past ten years. I am no longer going to buy ANY pre-recorded music until the industry stops treating good, responsible consumers like myself as criminals.

I am going to catalog my CD collection and put it on eBay. I will donate the proceeds to the EFF.

I will send the link into /. when I am ready.


Copyprotection? (2)

Squareball (523165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627096)

Hmmmm... so let me get this straight... These CDs are copy protected, yet we can still get them off Kazaa and other P2P networks. Yet the legit customers have difficulty playing these CDs. So exactly what did this accomplish for the record companies? Ahh yes, MORE piracy. Great idea guys! Way to go! This is like saying "Our software is being pirated because it costs too much. We are going to have to raise the price of our software to compensate". Any ways, why WOULD any one buy these RageAgainstTheKornBizkit Cds???

Consequence of a Monopoly (3, Interesting)

Amadaeus (526475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627098)

Branding all customers as pirates, giving out terse PR statements, and not providing satisfactory responses are just consequences of the record companies having exclusive access to popular media.

Look at the airline industry: polite, apologetic, and responsive. Why? There's hundreds of competitive airlines out there.

Look at the Record Industry: rude, unresponsive, and completely devoid of PR sense -- Consequence of record companies colluding with each other record companies to maintain their monopoly.

There ARE avenues of competition, such as pay-per-use Internet media distribution, but they nixed it at governmental levels because it threatens their monopolistic attitude.

What record companies don't understand is that if they treat consumers with respect and ship products at reasonable prices to compensate for a good piece of recorded media, consumers would be more inclined to purchase such products instead of downloading it off of Kazaa. What's worse is that these "state of the art" copy protection measures are so breakable that they tend to show up on Kazaa in no time flat.

Time to do something (1)

Ost99 (101831) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627099)

Time to get the news out.
Write you your representative in congres / parliment and ask what they are doing about this kind of monopolistic abuse. Ask them to consider making new laws to protect the uninformed consumers.

In europe, where consumer rights still exist, it has atlease some chance of makeing a difference.

- Ost

Where's the science in this? (2)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627100)

Boy, these music execs seem to be a bit dull don't they?

I mean, if they're going to copy-protect *all* CDs, how will they know whether it's a move that pays dividends?

Surely, if they are really going to get an accurate indication as to the effect that CP has on sales, they need to include a "control" represented by some albums sold on unprotected disks.

If the sales of the unprotected albums remains unaffected but the sales of CP disks goes up or down then they're much better positioned to determine the commercial merit of CP.

It's almost as if they don't care whether CP affects sales isn't it?

What next? Copy-protected audio cassettes that come pre-tangled? :-)

Copy Protection== Death of Mass Culture (3, Insightful)

mrkurt (613936) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627102)

I don't really buy a lot of CDs, nor do I get a lot of music online. The reason: some of the acts that the record cos. put on platters totally s*ck. The most salutary (and ironic) effect of this trend toward copy protection of CDs, movies, etc. would be for people to drop out of the slavish worship of mass culture-- the top-down delivery of music, movies, literature, and news. Whether it's because you can't afford it anymore, or because you are disgusted with their antics, it is increasingly becoming an attractive alternative. Wouldn't it be refreshing for us to drop a dime on a local club, where we can hear a band play live music? Hell, even if they are covering someone else's tunes, it would be better than stuffing the pockets of greedy record companies, who feel they owe us nothing and apparently think they own us. We owe them nothing.

There are 250 Million blank CDRs (1)

PeterChenoweth (603694) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627105)

"Only this much: There are 250 Million blank CDRs and tapes bought and used this year for copying music in comparison to 213 Million prerecorded audio media. This means the owners are only being paid for 46 per cent of the musical content. For a comparison: In 1998 almost 90% of all audio media was paid for. " How do they know that these 250 million CDRs are used for copying music? And besides, I'm allowed to make a copy of music I already own. Just because I burn a CDR of music doesn't necessarily mean that I don't own the music that's on it.

Assholes. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627106)

The music industry has taken the stance that we are criminals until proven innocent. They have gotten tariffs imposed on blank CDs because apparently we're using all these blanks to copy their music, not back up our data.

Well Music Industry, call me a thief often enough and I'll adopt that role. It will be a cold day in Hell before I buy another CD from a major music publisher.

There you go, your prophecy is self-fulfilling, go take a long, hard suck on my ass.

sure... (1)

gyratedotorg (545872) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627108)

within a matter of months more or less all audio media worldwide are copy protected

this will never happen. they forget about the independent musicians who actually want you to copy their music and distribute it as widely as possible.

Wallet protection technology... (3, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627111)

... I have just recently implemented wallet-protection technology. It completely prevents the Record Labels from recieving any money from within my wallet. This radical step is necessary because their business practices force me to tightly control where my money goes. Only legitimate businesses should recieve money from people's wallets.

I'm doing what I can... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627114)

I haven't bought a RIAA CD in 3 years....


Return to the store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4627116)

I would think that we'd now be able to return cd's to the store stating that I wasn't capable of playing the cd on my player. Enough returns and the stores selling these CD's will begin cutting back orders.

Music companies run for profit (1)

stevenp (610846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627122)

The tona was a little bit hars, at maybe the employee that wrote it will have hard times when the news about his actions spread, but it probably is honest. The music companies run for profit and they see the people that copy illegal their music as criminals (also copying from LP and MC-s have always been illegal).

On the other hand if I have bought an audio CD and I want to play it on my PC, then I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THAT, because I am not stealing anything!

And I have bought the audio CD as playable on all red-book compliant players and I have bought my CD-ROM drive as red-book compliant, SO THE CD SHOULD PLAY!

Also, it is just a matter of time, until the CD-ROM drives come with a simple button that makes them ignore all the tracks after the first one (on which most of the protections rely), so it becomes automatically CD-protected-ROM compatible. Maybe just wait until the december shoping fever?

I am not last, I am first counting backwards

copy-protection (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627125)

ok, fair enough. I can deal with the desire to copy-protect, but whan I'm just trying to *play* the damn thing, it tends to get irritating. The attitude reflected in the story doesn't help anything, either. FWIW, the big music industry hasn't made $1 USD from me in >= 5 years, and they're not going to until they start to "get it". This especially means producing something that I might actually want to pay for, instead of an endless stream of recordings with one big hit on each, where the rest is "filler material".

Also, in case anyone is wondering: I remember very well having similar troubles during the transition from vinyl LP's to cassette tapes... and thence to cd. I still own my copies of the above-mentioned media, and it's rare indeed (perhaps once or twice a year) that I feel compelled to use p2p networks.
Practical upshot is, if I could find the music, etc. I love on cd or whatever, I prolly wouldn't use the p2p thing at all... but NO, we've got to have the business types try and determine our tastes thru their sales figures, and then listen to them bitch bout p2p, etc...

No DRM on small labels... (2)

Frobnicator (565869) | more than 11 years ago | (#4627131)

Raising public awareness of the problems of DRM is one front we need to take, but the other is re-discovery of music.

I haven't bought a major label CD for years. I've found more than enough good music through independant and small groups. I've even had a group accept a small payment online and download a few of their songs that I could burn to CD myself. The very few big-label songs I do want I grab off the radio to tape, and if I really want it on CD, I'll record it a few times and remaster it on my PC. Sure it takes a little time, but its fully within fair use.


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