Feeds

Belgian watchdog sues record biz over copy protection

Anti-piracy protection illegal?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Belgian consumer watchdog Test-Achats (Test Aankoop), known for its crusade against Nokia's "unsafe batteries", starts the new year with a fresh assault on the music industry. It is taking the music giants EMI, Sony, BMG Music and Universal Music to court for installing anti-piracy systems on their audio CDs.

In a press release, Test-Achats says it has received lots of consumer complaints in recent months about CDs equipped with anti-piracy systems, in particular 'Laundry Service' by Shakira, '1 Giant Leap' by Faithless and Bjork's 'Greatest Hits'. Often, these CDs can't be read by PCs and car stereos, and prevent users from making legal private copies, according to Test-Achats.

Test-Achats is thought to be the first consumer watchdog to challenge the music industry in court over anti-piracy protection.

In 2001, a Californian woman filed a lawsuit against an independent record label for embedding technology in CDs that blocked people from listening to songs on a PC. The defendant settled the case by implementing a return policy. From then on, record companies began to include a warning that copy-protected CDs are not designed to work with DVD or CD ROM players.

In 2002 the US congressman Rick Boucher got in on the act, delivering trenchant criticism of moves by record labels to protect CDs against copying. He also argued that blocking consumers from copying their own CDs could violate US copyright law, but didn’t pursue the matter further.

Also that year, Philips, the custodian of the CD standard said said it was prepared to sue manufacturers if they failed to include clearly inform users that their products are copy-protected.

However, lately both Philips and Sony are pushing the Super Audio CD (SACD) format, which offers protection against both piracy and consumer copying. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?