Via Ernie, Via 37signals: Celine Dion’s new disc will not play in computer CD drives. I’ve been harping about this a lot recently, and there has been a similar amount of speculation in independent internet press on which overblown major-label artist would first allow themselves to play guinea pig to this particular corporate experiment. Ironically, Dion is one of the least relevant: music piracy is obviously most common on college campuses, but Celine is much more of an Adult Contemporary artist. It remains to be seen if labels are brave enough to similarly cripple a disc by Ms. Spears or even Metallica, as the ramifications on record sales alone are potentially horrifying — not to mention the nearly assured backlash by college-aged record buyers (and their potential to find an easy way around the protection).
Not to prematurely give birth to my aforementioned massive media essay, but record labels just don’t get the damned point. Students burns and rip discs because they aren’t realistically affordably. Record companies continue to raise prices to help maintain their profit margins, while they slash artist rosters at the same time. Maybe if brand new pop discs didn’t have an unbelievable list price of nineteen dollars they wouldn’t be so readily copied for under fifty cents. But, rather than assess their own corruption of the artistic process and of the artists’ own rights, the recording industry would rather point the finger at technology and punish buyers who listen to music at their computers. It isn’t the right way to solve things.
If any of this sounds totally ridiculous to you, then you need to boycott Celine Dion’s new disc as well as More Music from The Fast and the Furious , Universal’s first foray into infringing on our rights as record buyers. I’m sure songs from both of the cds already abound on internet retrieval services thanx to savvy buyers with a line-in function on their computers, so feel free to go and download them without any guilt; record companies have shown us that all they care about is the almighty dollar, so all we can (and should) do is withhold it from them.