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Indie music label rejects lock-down CDs

'NO copy protection - respect the music'

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A European indie music label is taking an unusual approach to the issue of CD copy protection - it is branding all its releases with a sticker proclaiming the absence of any such control measure.

While the major labels and other indie labels are considering the use of copy-protected CDs in order to prevent disc contents being quickly ripped and posted on P2P networks, !K7 has rejected the idea.

"Copy protection kills customer relationships," the label says on its website. "That's why, from now on, !K7 releases will carry a new logo: 'NO copy protection - respect the music."

The company believes it's all a matter of trust. "Only those to whom respect is given show respect themselves," it notes. In other words, treat your customers as potential pirates and they'll soon tell you to f**k off and not buy your product.

Such an outcome certainly appears to have prompted labels who once touted copy-protection technology to drop it. In September, for example, Sony Music Entertainment and fellow Japanese label Avex both announced plans to stop using CD lock-down mechanisms.

!K7's approach is founded upon the principle that P2P downloads don't in fact represent lost sales - they're casual listeners who probably wouldn't buy its CDs in any case.

That's not to say the company is happy with the P2P situation. The logo "makes it clear that you've bought a CD and you can use it however you want. It's also clear, therefore, that good music has a prerogative - it has a right to be treated with respect," it says, pointing to the quid pro quo: if we agree not to lock-down CDs, we expect you not to abuse the move. ®

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