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ShinyDisk watch: The Beastie Boys

Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing reports that the new Beastie Boys record has copy protection, and responds to it in the same way that everyone else does when confronted with this technology:

... If the Beasties wanna treat me like a crook, I don't want to be their customer.

Note that the only thing that this DRM is doing here is pissing off the honest fans who want open CDs; the DRM on the CD didn't stop my source from making me a set of MP3s. In other words, if you plan on listening to the new disc on your iPod or laptop, you're better off downloading a copy made by a cracker and posted on Kazaa -- if you buy it in a shop, you're going to have to go through the lawbreaking rigamarole of breaking the DRM yourself.

In an update, Cory passes along a comment:

Update: Ian sez, "Hi, I'm not sure who posted re: Beastie Boys copy protection, but I just spoke with Mike D and their management and they wanted me to pass along that a) This is all territories except the US and UK -- US and UK discs do not have this protection on them; b) All EMI CDs are treated this way, theirs isn't receiving special treatment; c) They would have preferred not to have the copy protection, but weren't allowed to differ from EMI policy."

I'm pretty sure that c) is bunk. The copy protection has been the norm for EMI since the second half of 2003, but I recently bought the European edition of the remastered version of Pink Floyd's The Final Cut with a copyright date of 2004, and it's unprotected. Apparently, the guys from Pink Floyd, even now that Roger Waters is no longer talking to the others, still have enough clout to prevent Copy Control technology that, in addition to the concerns Cory raises, also harms playability and degrade the sound. Over at Virgin records, Peter Gabriel also succesfully resisted the use of Copy Control on his remaster series, so it can be done.

Beastie Boys fans on the European continent are well advised to get the UK edition from a mail order supplier (so that if it turns out to be a ShinyDisk after all, they can return it as defective).

(Just by way of a reminder: the UK-based Campaign for Digital Rights have all the info on what Copy Control technologies actually do, and it's from a reference in one of their articles (can't remember which though) that I got the idea of calling CCT "CD"s ShinyDisks.)

Comments (2)

Pissed Off:

Well, I'm pretty pissed of with the Beastie Boys for putting up with this, and more importantly forcing this crap onto me. This is the last copy protected CD I ever buy! I can't play it in my car, on my MP3 player, or my home theatre (again mp3).

I tried posting to the Beastie Boys forums, but it seems pretty closed, I couldn't post even after registering. Not happy.

Apparently this copy protection isn't on US and UK CD's (so happy that EMI want to shaft the rest of the world!), so I spose I can download it rather than rip it. EMI pushing me to download music, how ironic.

If the Beastie Boys do this again (I don't care about what excuse they have), then I will not buy the next album, even though I have every other ones.


this emi DMR issue is a mess, i don't understand why they would want to do this to people who bought the cd. doesn't seem very fair does it? i generally back up all my cds onto my computer as i own well over 500 and simply don't have the space.

so what does this mean? at least one avid cd buyer is going to be passing this album over, and i'll be staying away from EMI cds.


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