Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Once again the recording industry has shown just how much difficulty they're
having coping with the threat modern technology poses to their profits.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
The latest fiasco involves the Apple iMac personal computers and the
industry's ridiculous belief that they can protect audio CDs from being
According to reports, the latest Celine Dion album and the sound track CD
from episode 2 of Star Wars are both causing significant grief to users
of Apple's cute little tinted boxes.
Of course the disks concerned do carry a little warning that they are
not designed for use in personal computers -- but I think the average person
could be forgiven for thinking that this simply means they won't work.
Coming Up This Week|
In response to reader demand, I'll be publishing and archiving an updated
version of my guide to website promotion and online marketing. If you've
got a website that needs more traffic, or if you're trying to sell
products or services online then this is the type of information that
you can pay big money for elsewhere. Don't miss it.
The reality however, is far more frightening.
iMac users who are silly enough to put one of their CDs into their computer
suddenly find that the disk can't be ejected and that their machine won't
acknowledged the problem
but say that it's not their fault and they bear no responsibility for the
They do however, offer some suggestions to try and solve the problem -- but
reports indicate that this work-around doesn't always produce the desired
results and many iMac users are having to take their computers in to an authorised
Apple service center for repair.
So who's really to blame here?
Is it the user's fault because they ignored the warning on the disk?
Is it the recording industry's fault because they should not be shipping
non-compliant CDs that produce such a devastating effect on an otherwise
perfectly fine piece of equipment?
Or, is it Apple's fault for building a computer that can be knocked out of
service so easily by the simple insertion of a non-compliant CD?
I suspect that this is something that will be debated for some time without
But here comes the crazy bit...
The problems created by these CDs in an iMac are caused by the lame
copy-protection scheme included on the disk. The recording industry keep
telling us that they're forced to adopt this type of protection because
pirates are burning CDs and ripping their contents for distribution over
Well, as it turns out, this sophisticated copy-protection scheme can actually
be circumvented by using common office or household items such as black marker
pens or bits of sticky tape.
This is one of the great things about such security systems -- they cost
millions of dollars to develop and implement yet can often be foiled by
using a few cents worth readily available of equipment (and some smart
I'm afraid that the recording industry is rapidly
running out of feet and bullets.
Upgrades At Gunpoint?
I'm working on a column for later this week which will deal with the
way that some software companies are no longer relying on selling
upgrades on the basis of the value they offer -- but are instead
holding a gun to customers heads and saying "upgrade or else."
If you've got a piece of software that has now locked you into a vicious
upgrade cycle, please drop me a line -- I'd like to know about it.
Note -- I already know about Microsoft's new upgrade policies so don't bother
with those, its other vendors I'm interested in.
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