Is Sony about to join JVC as a "do not buy" manufacturer?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Morris, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    First, JVC announced plans to adopt a scheme to circumvent our home recording rights and now it seems that Sony may have joined that lowly ilk. I just heard on the radio that Sony has started producing CDs which have some sort of encoding that will prevent us from making a copy of the CDs which we purchase. This means that we will no longer be able to buy and put away our original CDs while we use and scratch up our digital copies. If widely adopted, this scheme will also render my $500 Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, and all others like it, useless. Finally, the news story went on to say that attemping to play a copied CD may in fact harm our equipment(speakers?)by inducing loud and extreme distortion into the playback??? I can see the lawsuits now!!! [​IMG]
    Does anyone know if this story was accurate???
    If so, IMO, Sony looks to join JVC as another scummy manufacturer and another one worthy of boycott!
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  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have heard some talk around about copyright protection being incorporated into CDs, but I do not recall if the discussions were limited to Sony's involvement. Based on what Sony has done to prevent piracy with SACDs, I could them using similar technology with CDs. The difference I am hoping for is that we will still be able to use the digital outputs on our players with these copyright-protected CDs. With SACD, one must use the analog outputs. I agree that adding a copyright protection algorithm at this stage would be a pain, but with all the attention that Napster has garnered and with all the CD recorders out there, I guess I am not surprised. We would probably be able to copy these CDs in the analog domain (as with copying CD-Rs and CD-RWs due to SCMS), but that's a pain. I like copying CDs onto CD-Rs or CD-RWs for use in the car and would miss the ability to do that. One would think a major label like Sony is doing quite well selling big-name-artist CDs at $18+ at Sam Goody or even $13 at Best Buy.
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  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Keith: The story I heard did say that you could still copy the CDs via their analog outputs, but not make a digital copy. I am wondering how that would affect playback of the copies using a CD transport or using the DACs in our pre/pros and receivers? Would we still be able to use DSPs like DPL2 and logic 7 on these analog recordings? Would an analog copied CD even be able to output a digital signal? Would this now require an analog to digital to analog conversion?
    Additionally, I had previously heard of an encoding called something like SafeAudio, but no mention of that was made in the story I heard.
    Finally, I would guess that if Sony, by this move, renders their own Sony branded CDR/W units disabled, it seems to me like they should offer to buy them back from their previously loyal customers. That would only be the fair thing to do... I would think that someone who just spent $600 on a new RCD-W1(or god forbid $1600 on an ES unit) which could not copy Sony CDs would be plenty mad. Then again... maybe only the Sony CDR/W units WILL be able to copy the Sony CDs. [​IMG] Now wouldn't that be smarmy... [​IMG]
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    merc
    [Edited last by John Morris on August 01, 2001 at 02:40 PM]
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, we'll have to see how this plays out. Let's hope it never comes to fruition, but given the amount of money at stake, I suspect we will see such a copy protection scheme. If you think about it from the Sony business perspective, I have to say it makes sense. When it comes to copying music these days, we have four main methods: CD-s/CD-RWs, cassettes, minidisc, and MP3 (let's forget about DAT). The cassette is a dying format, primarily because of the proliferation of CD recorders (computer and hi-fi units). So, I doubt Sony is concerned about people making copies onto cassettes. Such copies generally don't sound as good as CDs anyway. Minidisc, though convenient and capable of sounding quite good, has never become a mainstream format and does not present a serious threat to the CD market, especially in the US. Furthermore, minidisc is a lossy compression format, so one cannot use it to make "perfect" copies of CDs. MP3, though I would say a better seller than minidisc, is also lossy. That leaves CD-Rs and CD-RWs, which allow one to make perfect or nearly perfect copies of original CDs in the digital domain. That is mainly what Sony (and possibly others) is concerned about. By incorporating a copy protection scheme, we are basically left with making inferior copies to CD-Rs and CD-RWs in the analog domain.
    I'm sure Sony is concerned about the distribution of MP3 files as well, but again, if one has to create such files in the analog domain, more work will be required, and Sony is probably banking on inconvenience dissuading people from making copies.
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  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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  6. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Keith: Good Points... but only if we get a chunk of Sony's profits. Otherwise, it just puts us a bit further down that slippery slope of infringement of our personal rights.
    If Sony, and others, are using SafeAudio (invented and owned by our wonderful friends at Macrovision), they are taking carefully mastered recordings and INTRODUCING distortion into those recordings. If so, then by nature, those CDs are now faulty. Maybe, once these messed up CDs are identified, a better plan than boycott would be for us to buy these CDs once and then continually return them for another copy, and another copy, and another copy until we get one which isn't messed up. [​IMG] If enough of us do this, eventually we will make our point and the distorting will stop.
    Oh yea, you are right about the ES CD recorder. I was thinking about their DAT deck. Maybe the fact that they never made an ES CDR is our second clue that Sony is already doing, or planning to do, this to their artist's works.
    It also seems that Stereophile has broken the story but has not stated who is currently releasing these purposely messed up CDs with this crap on them.
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    merc
    [Edited last by John Morris on August 01, 2001 at 03:29 PM]
     
  7. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Although no additional research has been able to verify the radio news story I heard this afternoon on Sony releasing CDs with added distortion, it may not be a coincidence that Sony stock was at a 12 month low on July 30th and has since been up. Still, BMG is the only studio I could find who freely admits using anti-copying schemes on its' new CDs.
    Here are a few links I found on this stuff:
    http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6604222.html
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    merc
    [Edited last by John Morris on August 01, 2001 at 06:24 PM]
     
  8. Carol Curtis

    Carol Curtis Stunt Coordinator

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    I hate to say this, but I did read somewhere that ALL Digital media in the future will probably be copy protected & the only way to copy things would be using analog outputs on audio & video. I think that STINKS!
     
  9. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    If the copy protection that you folks are speaking of is the one produced by Macrovision (I think someone referred to it as SafeAudio) then I don't think CD recorders are the target. As I understand it (after reading a lengthy thread over on the avsforum) this copy protection is aimed at PC's and MP3's. The scheme works by introducing missing bits of data onto the disk that a CD player's error correction fills in for seamless playback. When this same stream is recorded onto a computer and played back as an MP3, the missing data is presented as distortion (pops, clicks) since there is no error correction with MP3.
    This scheme makes more sense, since if you record a CD to a CDR/W via a digital connection, you record the entire stream of data, including the encryption (or artificial noise in this case). Since this scheme is designed to work on existing players, there's no real encrypt/decrypt path at work here, only the induced noise. If you do not hear this noise on the original, then you will not hear it on a perfect digital copy played back on the same format on the same device (or type of device).
    Companies like Sony are not that concerned with CD copying, because the transmission of copied material is rather limited when compared to the transmission potential of something MP3, which can be attached to email. This scheme is a reaction to Napster and the growth of the internet. The sad thing is, DMCA or not, someone will write a filter for the noise that Macrovision puts on thier discs and the problem will go away for computer users. Audiophiles, on the other hand, will still have thier corrupted discs...
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  10. Liz G

    Liz G Auditioning

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  11. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I think this copy protection stuff is bull! I think where the industry went wrong is when they released CD burners for both the computer and HT enviroment. Principal states that if people can get something for free easily they are going to do it! if a person has a computer burner and can make CD's from MP3 they will do it, likewise that same person will use their HT Burners to make a copy of their friend's CD that they want. Really it is the industry's fault. Furthermore we will all face the same problem when DVD burners hit street at affordable prices. People will say "to hell with $20 for a movie" and will start renting and burning (maybe even selling) if the industry doesn't want to see this happen they shouldn't make the products to do it.
    -Keith-
    [Edited last by Keith_R on August 01, 2001 at 10:53 PM]
     
  12. Evan A

    Evan A Stunt Coordinator

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    I think slashdot has an article on this today.
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  13. mctague

    mctague Stunt Coordinator

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    Get used to it folks. He who holds the licenses to the content holds the keys to the world.....the movie & music studios are sitting on a gold mine that they can do whatever they want. As long as they don't price gouge too bad, I don't think the public will put up most of a fight.
    I only make copies of my own CDs, and will absolutly miss making best-of CDs for the car...but there isn't a darn thing I can do about it..... [​IMG]
     
  14. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    For me the issue is simply one of wanting to make copies of my own CDs... the ones I already bought and own. My CDs make the trip from my house to my car to my other car to my condo to the office and back to the house. In the interim, my kids get ahold of and play many of them on their portable CD players. Time and time again, these copies get scratched or broken. It is simply common sense for me to make a copy of my original CDs and use it rather than ruining the original. I guess an example of what is to come is currently seen with Sony PS2 games. They are uncopyable. My kids have already gone through 2 original SSX disks. After buying this damn disk 3 times, I'm sorry to say that if the third one starts freezing too, its' gonna get returned to Blockbuster instead of the one I actually will rent. I am just tired of paying for Sony's paranoia and I'm just gonna let someone else pay for it. Also, if all CDs start getting produced with this copy protection, it would actually be smart of me to start downloading all of my future music. With the added distortion that the copy BS adds to the playback, MP3 just might end up being as good as the original. Finally, it would be a shame if these copy protection schemes merely shift which ones of us end up breaking the law... the reselling pirates, or folks like most of us who used to actually buy their CDs.... [​IMG]
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  15. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    I've always been anti-copy protection, but this scheme is going to backfire big time. Why? It's introducing a "protection" scheme into an already established format (CD). Anytime you do that, you violate the specifications of the format. This invariably leads to compatibility problems. Also, in order to preserve compatibility, this scheme can't be very "strong", and will easily be overcome by the creators of CD ripping/copying software on PCs.
    The intention is to make the discs playable on any CD player, but not copyable on PCs. Initially, this may work, but I see the following issues coming up:
    • Many cheap CD players have subpar error correction--that is, they lack the interpolation algorithm. On these players you'll hear a dropout, a click, or a pop on "protected" CDs.
    • Higher-end CD players do interpolation, but it's just a fill-in-the-gap measure that isn't perfect. Audiophiles will complain that bits of their music are being left out or distorted for the sake of "protection".
    • The protection scheme relies on the fact that most ripping software doesn't perform its own error correction or interpolation. Software manufacturers will recognize this, and issue updates to their software to correct the errors. The end result will not only mean that the "protected" CDs can once again be ripped and copied, but the copies will have the "errors" corrected, and as a result will be higher quality than the original! If the original clicks and pops on your Discman, burn a copy with our new "error correcting" CD copying software and the copy will play flawlessly! As I said, this scheme will backfire big time.
    • As a result of CD rippers adding error correction, all CD copies will improve in quality, not just copies of "protected" CDs. The consumers will once again have the advantage.
    Computer companies used to use copy protection in the 80s, but largely discontinued the practice. Why? It didn't work. It infringed on consumer's ability to use and maintain (backup) the software, but it also did not stop piracy. The entertainment industry needs to learn the same lesson the software industry learned a decade and a half ago.
    KJP
     
  16. Andy_S

    Andy_S Second Unit

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    It takes companies years and millions of dollars to develope stuff like this, and it'll probably be cracked by a 16 year old in 2 weeks during summer vacation. I mean, look what happened to Napster. As soon as it was taken down everyone just moved to the Gnutella net or started up their own rogue Napster servers. The internet has opened a Pandora's box that can never be closed.
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  17. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Note that it should not be that hard for CD ripping/MP3 algorithms to compensate.
    Also note that a few CD-ROM makers in the recent past specifically refrained from developing proper CD-ripping in their drives because they said that they didn't condone illegal copying (although it probably was more related to laziness on their part). Now basically every name brand tries to incorporate at least acceptable ripping into their CD-ROM drives.
    I agree in that from the superficial description giving, there WILL be compatibility problems. Very old and some cheap players have lousy error correction.
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  19. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Another huge problem that I have read about invloves car stereo units. Many of these now use CD-ROM technology and will thus not play these copy protected discs. So actually, very cheap and very expensive car CD players will be affected.
    C. Ryan
     
  20. Larry Gegel

    Larry Gegel Auditioning

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    This could get interesting for audio playback on some computers as well. I know that all newer Apple Macintosh's do not use the analog connection from the CD-ROM drive. In fact it isn't even connected. They transfer the data over the SCSI or IDE bus and do the D to A using the processor. They even do this on older computers running the latest versions of Mac OS 9. My PowerMac 8600 has the analog connection from the CD-ROM drive, but it's not used. In fact, if I disconnect it I can still play audio CD's with no problem. I suspect there may be other computer vendors doing the same thing (especially on less expensive computers) as it reduces the cost to build the computer by getting rid of some of the analog circuitry.
    Larry Gegel
     

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