AfterDawn: Tech news

More artists take a stand against DRM

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Dec 2005 12:14 User comments (24)

More artists take a stand against DRM The battle between artists and Sony BMG over the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) copy protection on audio CDs just got even more interesting as some more artists have decided to act. This time it is My Morning Jacket, who's album "Z" is copy protected. They are doing their very own recall of the CDs and get this... they are burning unrestricted copies of the CDs themselves and sending them out to fans. Oh I wonder how Sony BMG feels about that.
It would appear that their actions are actually clear violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), even though it is a CD with their own work on it. They aren't the first to make their thoughts heard on DRM either; Foo Fighters, Switchfoot and Dave Matthew's Band have all done so but none of them have actually burned copies of CDs for fans.

Sony BMG is re-evaluating copy protection on CDs following the XCP DRM nightmare that has only died down a bit recently. Immediately following the XCP situation, MediaMax became a problem also when a vulnerability was revealed. However, more artists standing against DRM is a good sign and if more artists make their thoughts heard, then Sony BMG might just cave in to the pressure.


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24 user comments

116.12.2005 12:46

:D Go My Morning Jacket!! I have not heard of them but, ANYONE who stands up against XCP/DRM has my vote (and maybe my money) Even though, like the article says, they are illegaly doing that (which I think is BS, after all it is their own music) I would do the exact same thing (copy un-crippled CDs and send them out to fans) if I found out DRM S*** was on a CD with my bands name on it! Peace, Pop Smith

216.12.2005 18:49

I wonder if it's illegal to make your own music as well? How could that possibly be against the law; they own the music rights, they made it, and they are releasing it to their fans who bought a bad copy. We should be praising them for having the cojones to do so! I'd like to buy a copy of their work from the CD-rip they supply!

316.12.2005 19:04

Well it's illegal because they have a contract with the company that owns their rights to said album. And they do so until said contract is fulfilled. Meaning if they have a contract for 5 albums they have to make 5 albums for them. As for the DMCA I haven't read it and don't know what they did wrong.

416.12.2005 21:31

Foo Fighters, Switchfoot, My Morning Jacket and Dave Matthew's Band and all other bands/artists involved. Being a recording engineer for 30 yrs. or so I applaud you for sticking up for your rights & fighting back against the so called "Big Guys". Remember that: "People Power Wins" not "Big Corporations" in the end. I wish you all the best...(My opinion only)...Regards: dejc/aadservices...

516.12.2005 21:33

What they're doing is copyright infringment, because even My Morning Jacket, legally it's not theirs, Sony BMG owns it.

616.12.2005 22:49

" What they're doing is copyright infringment, because even My Morning Jacket, legally it's not theirs, Sony BMG owns it." -lol, Wonder if Sony BMG is gonna sue them for making illegal copies of their own music. If you look at it like that, then the artists own consent isn't good enough because they don't own the music, they just make it...

716.12.2005 23:36

Now the RIAA is going to have to sue its own artists to prevent DRM from being circumvented - hilarious. If a grocery store made a habit out of suing the farms that sell to them just because they sold a few of their crops directly rather than sell through the store, or of suing the customers that grew some of their own food rather than buy it from the store, the store would not only get no business, but be a complete laughing stock. That's exactly where the recording industry is headed. They need to get it into their heads that not everyone is going to want to sell/buy through them and play by their obsolete marketing rules.

816.12.2005 23:42

It isn't the Artist that will dictate the future of DRM it is the buying public. No one will buy Sony's discs if they will cause damage to a computer that the bought disc is being legally played in!!! Wake up Sony, hurt your customer base you go BROKE!!! DRM is not the answer... scratch resistant media and fair priced music will make you rich beyond your dreams. Syeberman

917.12.2005 04:48

How twisted has this world gotten? It´s their music and it´s their fans that are getting screwed because of the copy-protection - yet the band might get in trouble because they´re helping people who bought their CD.

1017.12.2005 05:45

Here's a bit of info from ATO Records (the sub-label of BMG/Sony? - I'm not sure) with some tips if you got stuck with a buggered-up music CD: 10.07.05 Information Regarding Our Artists' Music, Copy-Protected CDs and your iPod We at ATO Records are aware of the problems being experienced by certain fans due to the copy-protection of our distributor. Neither we nor our artists ever gave permission for the use of this technology, nor is it our distributor's opinion that they need our permission. Wherever it is our decision, we will forego use of copy-protection, just as we have in the past. Meanwhile, Sony has set up this site to help you deal with any issues you may have: Or go to: ... Fill out a support ticket and they will email you instructions for one of several "workarounds" you can find for this "Sony BMG" "copy-protection." There are a few other ways around this copy-protection that you should be able to find online. We also recommend assuring that "auto-run" is not enabled for all discs you use on your PC, and not accepting Windows Updates that include changes to your "DRM" or Digital Rights Management (especially those in Windows Media Player 10), until we can guarantee these problems won't arise. In the meantime, the easiest way around these issues is to use Apple Computer products in conjunction with your iPod. We can not apologize enough for the difficulties you've encountered trying to experience the disc you've purchased. We hope you'll continue to have a long and rewarding experience with music after this regrettable situation is sorted out. Thank you for your support. ATO Records

1117.12.2005 09:37

I cancelled my account of 15 Years with BMG 2 yrs ago over P2P bashing by them, poor accounting pratices and No Customer Relations. I will not buy anything from them until they stop what they are doing. I was going to replace my Big Screen Sony with another HD Sony TV. Again, I will not buy anything they make until they stop what they are doing. Since they will not support the Little People of the world on this copy right problem. I will not support them with my purchases. They use the RIAA to beat on us, I will use my Money to support companies that don't. Just Slows opinion

1217.12.2005 11:49

I never purchased a music cd in my life but I will directly purchase from My Morning Jacket.

1317.12.2005 12:46

Right on My Morning Jacket!!!!!! - The best part of this is that My Morning Jacket are a fantastic band. They have a very catchy and unique sound. Thanks MMJ for taking a stand and making your voices heard! Peace,

1417.12.2005 15:42

Unfortunatly nonoitall, supermarkets do sometimes get away with things like that. It's the unfortunate farmers who don't get anything, because all of the super-large corporations who own their land can and will do what they want, one of the biggest is ConAgra, which in many cases would do that.

1518.12.2005 13:23

Okay, the supermarkets are ridiculous too then. :P

1618.12.2005 22:50

LOL, I thought it was more insane than ridiculous.

1719.12.2005 03:40

What has happened with this music culture that can be widely explored?? its been taken over by big companies who like to exploit those who enjoy music. Ive been downloading music for years and years, i enjoy it, i like listening to it and if its got my approval then ill buy the cd to support the artist (and the fact they look good in my DVD cabinet ;-). Ive discovered huge numbers of decent bands by downloading music that have been overlooked and ive supported them by buying their cd. If the RIAA wanna kill P2P then theyve killed a potential customer and possibly many more. What gets me is no matter how much copy-protection you put on a cd u can basically record it onto tape (The good old days) or onto mp3 player so what is the point charging over the top prices for a protection that can be bypassed?? If these companies decide to obsolete CDs and turn us to mp3 buying then im not gonna buy, Why?? cos mp3/wma is a compression of the audio, its poor quality..its a portable file format. CDs are not the best quality digital music anyway but the way BMG are going, people are gonna give up on cds altogether and P2P will grow larger and theyll be f**ked and not get anywhere. thats all i gotta say, lol

1819.12.2005 10:21

It's about time that the music artists stood up and told the big recording companies "Hey, you are making US look bad now, by putting this unfair and probably illegal form of DRM on our CD's. Now, we are going to start releasing CD's OURSELVES with NO DRM, and cut out the middleman that makes the prices go up so high and pisses off our fans."

1920.12.2005 22:04

this is why i luv my mac...

In the meantime, the easiest way around these issues is to use Apple Computer products in conjunction with your iPod.

2022.12.2005 14:17

DRM screwed up my home movies. My wife had around 15 hours of video that she wanted me to convert to DVD. Windows XP popped up a message saying that I did not have a license to these videos and that I should go online to the owner's website to obtain a valid licence. They were my own damn videos. DRM is going to control the world....

2122.12.2005 20:09

dufas... rule of thumb....turn off your windows media on line connect and no play list ..if your going to burn with windows..go to tools>options and change windows will snitch on you in a heart beat... just an old highway tramp ---Bill---

2223.12.2005 04:57

Regarding the ownership of material, one way "out from under" is to do what Marillion did - get the fans to buy the album before it gets made. If they will do that then the boot is on the other foot: the band has (and owns) the music and an established track-record of sales for the album. The record companies will want to do business with the band, as it's a low-risk or no-risk proposition (most music is very high-risk for the record companies). Marillion have done this at least twice. Everybody who buys in advance puts out a very small risk (compared to a record company), and gets their name on the sleeve. On one Marillion CD they even asked for pictures of pre-buyers and put them on the sleeve ! Pretty cool - to have a CD with your own pic and name on it :)

2323.12.2005 08:36

Hopper.... I should have been more expicit. These are videos that my wife made years ago of our kids and reletive's kids growing up. Birthdays, Christmas, school plays, etc, etc. The tapes were getting old and brittle and generally deteriorating. Way back in my Win95 days, I had converted the tapes using RealTV PC capture board and program. At the time, the best codec for audio/video was M$'s asf format. Win95 would not allow large files, but RealTV PC could stream multi-media to a dat tape. XP can handle video in DVD sized chunks, so, I started to retrieve the video from the dat tape only to find out that M$ has patented the asf format and will not allow anyone to manipulate anything made in that format. The early version of VirtualDub will convert an asf file to an AVI file but, for some reason, not in this case. Window's MovieMaker usually takes an asf file and will allow one to convert it to a wmf file which usually can be converted to a DVD compliant mpg file. I get the 'not licensed to access this file' message when I load the asf file into MovieMaker....

2424.12.2005 23:29

Bravo to My Morning Jacket. I wouldn't want a recording label to stick crap on my art either. Good work guys. THERE IS SOME HOPE!

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