There May Be Some Sort Of Copy Protection Crawling Around In The New Linkin Park CD

Jun 13th, 2007 // 27 Comments

linkin.jpgLinkin Park has sold a lot of copies of its latest album, Minutes To Midnight, and all those people who bought it have recieved a special “thank you” from Warner Music Group: a really hard time getting it on their computers, thanks to some copy protection. A blogger explains the three-machine procedure he went through in order to rip the album:

I buy most of my music on iTunes, because the albums are only $9.99. When the new Linkin Park “Minutes To Midnight” CD came out, I went to iTunes and to my surprise, the album cost was $11.99. No extra tracks, no videos, nothing extra. So I decided to buy the physical CD instead.

I bought the CD for $16.99, and when I went to pop it into my Macbook Pro, the CD never showed up in iTunes. And it never displayed in the Finder. I thought maybe my mac goofed, so I ejected it and inserted it again. No dice. So I popped it in my work PC, and it opened Windows Media Player and allowed the CD to play, but, when I tried to view the CD’s contents in Windows Explorer, it showed the tracks as 1kb files, which is obviously wrong. The true files are hidden. They secretly employed some type of copy protection to prevent my fair use. I have the right to copy or listen to my music on my computer.

Then I did a Google search and found out that other people had the same issues. Then I got angry. There was no disclaimer on the CD packaging. In fact, the CD had the compact disc logo, which as far as I know is a standard, but it seems that this Warner Bros. CD is not following the standard.

I decided to try the CD in my older Power PC iMac. It worked! I ripped the CD into iTunes and then added the tracks to my MacBook Pro. So I paid full price for a crippled CD from Warner Bros. And I pay for my music! Why are they trying to restrict my ability to open the CD on my Mac and rip into iTunes?? It’s conduct like this that will cause people to stop buying CDs and download illegally instead.

From this point on, I will no longer buy Warner Bros. labeled CDs, nor will I purchase them on iTunes. I will acquire music from this label by using other means. Warner Bros., this is your fault!!! And if this happens when I purchase any other CDs from other record labels, they will no longer get my money. And I will tell everybody that I know.

Now, we know that Warner Music Group is pro-DRM, but really–forcing consumers who have been willing to shell out cash for CDs to jump through hoops just so they can transfer a brand-new record to their computers seems kind of cruel. And it’s not just cruel to the consumers, either; it hurts the people who work at the label as well, since at this point any formerly paying consumer threatening to hold back his dollars can’t be good for the bottom line. Haven’t the powers that be at Warner learned anything from the rootkit debacle? Or is Warner just figuring that the Linkin Park album is the last album that’ll enjoy big sales, anyway, so why not go out with a consumer-revolt bang?

New Linkin Park CD Has Hidden Copy-Protection [Len's Blog, via The Daily Swarm]

  1. JudgeFudge

    I don’t know if this guy’s Cd wasn’t formated properly, or if the blogger’s i-book simply rejected the Linkin Park Cd as a matter of good taste.

    If this blogger had purchased the new Rainer Maria album, it might have popped up on I-tunes just fine.

  2. Hyman Decent

    I have the right to copy or listen to my music on my computer.

    Is that really a right or just an action that isn’t illegal? I figure that if it were a right, there would’ve been a class action lawsuit by now.

  3. Chest Rockwell

    So Instead of paying $11.99 for the iTunes version, he paid $16.99 for the physical CD?

    For Linkin Park? Really?

  4. Ned Raggett

    Shhh, you’re giving it away!

  5. twenty-four hour priapism

    @Marsh: But a CD is so shiny.

  6. Lucas Jensen

    Maybe this is proof of a just God?

  7. loudersoft

    Nothing personal, but if we’re talking about someone buying a Linkin Park anything, clearly this is a PEBKAC situation.

  8. Falconfire

    Actually there is a interesting case here. Having the CD logo on the package is against the use of the trademark as it MUST follow the Red Book standard Philips laid out. They have been on record stating that any company caught using DRM and having their CD logo on it will be targeted by them for breaking their trademark.

  9. 30f

    Based on this quote – “They secretly employed some type of copy protection to prevent my fair use. I have the right to copy or listen to my music on my computer.” – I think it is safe to assume that that “Len” is actually a precedent sitting member of the Supreme Court. Since “he” knows so much about cases that have never been formally ruled on – what other conclusion could there be? Which Supreme is a Linkin Park fan? My money’s on Ginsberg. She seems very nu-metal-ish. Or maybe Len is just a regular web-user in full denial mode.

  10. KinetiQ

    Am I the only person who got the impression this person doesn’t really know how to operate a computer? I mean he tried to use Media Player – ZOMG LEET HAXXOR!

  11. DJorn

    “…when I tried to view the CD’s contents in Windows Explorer, it showed the tracks as 1kb files…”

    All audio CDs show up like this in Explorer. You can’t just drag-and-drop copy tracks from a CD in Windows, you need to “rip” them with an audio application. Windows Media should do it; I wonder if he tried that.

    He may not know this if he’s primarily a Mac guy, but if WMP would rip the CD that makes 2 out of 3 machines with which the disc is fully compatible. Doesn’t sound like much of a problem to me. The issue may lie with the first Mac.

  12. Feh Am Legend

    “From this point on, I will no longer buy Warner Bros. labeled CDs, nor will I purchase them on iTunes. I will acquire music from this label by using other means. Warner Bros., this is your fault!!!”

    This kind of “boycott” makes me a little nuts. If one is going to boycott a company, then you figure out an alternative to using their product. If you’re gonna take a principled stand, have some principles.

  13. RepentTokyo

    ummm this guy is an idiot – all windows .cda files are that size, was he expecting raw .wav files on an audio cd? It’s an audio cd, not a data cd. This is the kind of lunacy that gives mac users a bad name.

    Does no one at the Idolator editorial department have the slightest bit of technical knowledge on how a Redbook standard CD is encoded?

  14. Mr. Feller

    Djorn got it completely correct.

    My question, actually, is to Idolator. Surely you guys are aware that this is how cds work in Windows machines. Surely, this guy most likely had a program open that was using the cd drive in his macbook pro. this happens to me all the time when i use parallels.

    So, my question to you, Idolator, is why try and make something out of nothing? Did you guys not know these Gizmodo-related items?

  15. RepentTokyo

    Everytime I comment on that guy’s blog, it gets erased. Real childish over there.

  16. NuttyD

    I ran into a similar problem last year with Tom Petty’s Highway Companion, which was on Warner subsidiary American Recordings (Rick Rubin connection noted!)

    The first thing I do with a new CD when I get home with it (natch) is put it in the ‘puter and rip it to MP3 using Musicmatch. But with this Petty CD, it would lock up mid-rip. Had to reboot the PC three times, in fact. In the end, I ended up recording the last few songs with the Musicmatch recorder whilst playin’ it with WMP.

    I wasn’t the only one who ran into this, either. Check out the amazon discussion page for Highway Companion, some poor shlep tried to post about it and got shot down.

    Perhaps someone (hint, hint) should contact Warner and ask them if they’re up to somethin’.

  17. RepentTokyo

    Ok, that is the 3rd time today that my comment has been erased from the blog that this post is linking to. So, to recap: Idolator doesn’t understand technology, flips their wig, references blog post of equally technically challenged blogger who does not accept the posting of opinions that differ from his own. Good job, Idolator.

  18. RepentTokyo

    Now he has closed the comments on his blog, which is what I suggested he do after he deleted my comments for a 4th time. Continue to link to this person, Idolator, they are definitely the best of the web.

  19. mackro

    The real issue here is labels who are charging more than $9.99 for albums on iTunes. Had they not raised it to $11.99, then we wouldn’t have this story.

    You can induce all of this as Warners trying to “kill the CD” or not.

  20. Breliant

    Is this like the Blue Note cds, where you hit shift when you put the disc in – thus bypassing this nonsense.

  21. DigitalLogic

    “They secretly employed some type of copy protection to prevent my fair use. I have the right to copy or listen to my music on my computer.”

    Legally speaking there has been no court decision, specific to copying a CD to a computer for personal use, which has mandated it as falling under the guide lines of ‘fair use’. This is still a grey area.

    Second, the author has violated the DMCA by knowingly violating the access control on the CD. I think we should report him to the proper authorities so he may be dealt with accordingly.

  22. jam007

    I ripped my LP and Tom Petty cd’s just fine on my windows machine with itunes. I think this guy is just an idiot. Warner is not that stupid to copy protect manufactured CD’s that are for sale. TRUST ME! :)

  23. jam007

    So he really is an idiot cause the iTunes version that is $11.99 gets you an extra track (What Ive Done – LIVE) and a digital booklet.


  24. Maura Johnston

    To the Windows defenders: Not knowing about the 1K files was definitely my error; I put the blame fully on myself. I deal with Macs in my day-to-day and haven’t wrangled with audio files on a PC in at least a year.

    To the other eye-rollers: I’ve dealt with enough promo CDs that only play in pre-1995 boom boxes (and more than a few are from WMG!) to find this particular article plausible. (I also did a quick Google search and saw other people complaining, so I figured this wasn’t an isolated incident/case of incompetence.) Surely other music-writer types can chime in here? It’s probably that experience that made me cock my eyebrow at this piece.

    Finally, @RepentTokyo: If I spent all my time vetting the commenting policies of sites we linked to, I’d never get anything done–and that includes replying to comments!

  25. VanillaXtraDry

    screw this shit…give me more satellite party funnies.

  26. AcidReign

    …..The one thing not mentioned in all of the flames is that the guy still had “auto-play” turned on. We should have learned better than that, from the Sony Rootkit fiasco…

    …..If you have auto-play turned on, a lot of newer CDs just spin up, call up your browser, and open the band’s web page. I’ve had no problems ripping new CDs from WMP, although I’d suggest going to the Tools/Options panel and switch the defaults to mp3 and 192k.

    …..I can’t say about Linkin Park (not planning on getting that one), but the Petty disk ripped fine in WindowsXP/Windows Media Player.

  27. 30f

    Many folks (and bloggers esp.) are SOOOO ready to be furious and feel wronged by record companies, and DRM and the RIAA and whoever they see as “the man” for harshing the mellow of their digital music – even if the affront is only imagined. That is not to say that labels and the RIAA have not done plenty of dumb-ass stuff to earn some hate, but when people start spewing vitriol over their toaster oven not warming up their Hot Pockets properly – it makes me think that they are really working out other issues.

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