CDs From Sony BMG, EMI, Secure Against iPods

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Since new compact discs from the two music distributors use Microsoft’s digital rights management, music can’t be moved to an iPod.

It looks like J.D. Lanica was right. The big media companies really don’t want us to be able to use the digital content we purchase as we see fit.

In an effort to stop what Sony BMG like to call “casual copying,” it and competitor EMI have begun slipping DRM technology into the CDs they sell. What this means to the thousands of teenage girls who have iPods and a new copy of the Backstreet Boys CD, “Never Gone,” will be that they can’t bring the Boys along when they hit the road.

Unless they want to carry around a CD player, of course. Even a relatively small CD player is bigger and heavier than a standard iPod, let alone the chewing gum pack-sized iPod Shuffle.

The move looks like another piece on the chessboard matchup between Apple leader Steve Jobs and the music industry.

Companies like Sony BMG and EMI want Apple to open up their proprietary music format so they can sell music that will work with the iPod. But Mr. Jobs has resisted their overtures, with good reason.

Each time the music industry releases a CD with Microsoft’s DRM onboard, users who want an iPod compatible version of the music will be forced to visit iTunes Music Store to obtain it.

The iPod has driven thousands of users to iTunes, which in turn has driven Apple back to the rarefied space of being a profitable company again. Turning over the keys to the revenue stream just isn’t an option for Mr. Jobs at this time.

Technology used by Sony BMG and EMI to enable copy-protection limits the user to burning a copy of the CD to three other CDs. Those copies cannot be copied again due to the DRM restrictions.

Amazon.com’s listing for the new Backstreet Boys CD does advertise it as being copy protected, so users going that route at least have a warning as to what they will be getting with their purchase.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

CDs From Sony BMG, EMI, Secure Against iPods
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