Copy protection on new Asian Dub Foundation album

Asian Dub Foundation - Enemy of the Enemy

A colleague at work brought in the new Asian Dub Foundation album on CD today for me to have a listen. This album was one of those albums on the "buy without even listening first" list, but I hadn't got around to buying it yet.

So I stick the CD into my computer and to my surprise it starts installing software and demanding I reboot the computer. This is a Windows machine here at work. I killed the player application it installed and opened my usual CD playing software, but it couldn't actually see the audio CD. That's because this CD isn't actually an audio CD.

In fact, it's a Copy Control "enhanced" CD. This means it's not recognised as an audio CD by computer drives, DVD players, games consoles and the like. Instead it should work on ordinary CD players, but nothing else.

For Windows users, a crappy little player application is included which plays back bad digitised versions of the tracks on the album. The player app is appalling, cutting out at the slightest amount of system load and sounding like a scratched CD. Even worse, the quality of the digitised versions is shitful and of course I won't be able to play the CD on any other platform, such as Linux.

So instead of buying this album which, as I said, is on my list of "must buy" CDs, I'll probably end up downloading it off the net. My that sure is an effective strategy to stop people downloading instead of buying!

The ADF guys are aware of the problem and are absolutely livid about it. Unfortunately, like most sharecropper musicians they have very little control over how their music is sold.

About the only thing you can do is, perhaps, buy the CD and return it as faulty because you can't play it. You might have to argue with the clerk, but you have every right to return it. You are entitled to a refund, not just an exchange, if the goods are not fit for purpose, at least in Australia. More information is available at the Campaign for Digital Rights.

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