Thursday, February 09, 2006

Coldplay X&Y: no-play DRM

The Consumerist observes that the latest Coldplay CD is "hobbled by so much DRM that a lawyer would practically have to lick the monolith at the end of 2001 to be able to figure out how someone could legally play it. "

Coldplay's label, Capitol Records, has installed extremely restrictive digital rights management (DRM) on the CD.

Although the disc packaging does clearly state that the CD is copy-protected, the buyer doesn't know exactly what the restrictions are until they've bought the CD and opened it up. Worse, the restrictions prevent the CD from being returned or exchanged unless there is a "manufacturing defect."

The DRM restrictions prevent the CD from being played in "some" CD players, CD-recordable or rewritable hard drives, DVD players, game consoles such as a Playstation or Xbox, and prevents any attempt to copy the CD or "rip" the tracks to MP3 format. The CD's restrictions also prevent it from being played or copied on Macintosh PCs.

Consumerist asks, rightly: "In one scenario, your customer is out twenty dollars and forbidden to even play his legally purchased music on his Mac, let alone make a legally-protected backup copy. In the other, he can listen to the music any damn way he wants without paying a dime. Why wouldn’t a criminalized customer base do the obvious things and become the criminals you want them to be?"

Liz always said the new album kinda sucked. This is even more justification.