Feeds

Belgian watchdog sues record biz over copy protection

Anti-piracy protection illegal?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.