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Lock-down CD scores No.1 hit

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Although common in Japan and parts of Europe, lock down CDs have finally landed with a splash in the United States. Bertelsmann Music Group's fourteenth CD to feature the customer-unfriendly measure, Velvet Revolver's Contraband (no, this isn't Spinal Tap, although the group contains lots of old lags) has reached No.1 in the US chart.

Lucky duckies who buy the CD will discover that BMG has used MediaMax copy protection from SunComm, which prevents Windows PCs from ripping the Guns N'Roses supergroup. To sweeten the pill, the CD includes with DRM-enabled Windows Media Player versions of the files. However, if it works, this excludes Macintosh owners from doing anything with the CD (although we're yet to find a copy protected CD that the Mac can't unbork). Prior to the release of Contraband last month, said that less than half of one per cent of borked-CD buyers, or 100 out of two million, have rung up its hotline. So far.

SunComm and rival MacroVision are planning CDs which allow a limited number of burns to a PC. ®

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