Linkin 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?