I am so fucking pissed off right now I can't even see straight. No finite string of words could explain the sheer magnitude of seething rage trying to escape my mind via my pen at the moment, but the following one will attempt just that.
Virgin Music of Canada, a daughter company of EMI Music, has just pulled a wicked awesome burn on me. I assumed when I bought Joyful Rebellion, the newest CD from until recently underground-yet-still-rather-good Canadian artist k-os, that I would be able to listen to the music it contained. It seems now that this assumption, while certainly entirely unfounded, may even be approaching silly.
You see, EMI has decided that while k-os is good at what he does, he does not deserve our support. They have ensured that as long as he is signed to their record label, nobody who actually desires to hear his music will waste their hard-earned money on his CD. They have done so through patented "you can't hear our artist's music because of our barbaric and fascist copy control" technology, which works by disallowing those who purchase the CD to listen to it on any household player, computer or otherwise.
I am typing this in an awkward, stunted silence as my computer--my primary audio system--fails to play any music, despite the two hours of research I have performed in troubleshooting exactly this problem. My net gain is two hours less for my homework, which sits in front of me unfinished with the due date approaching ever-vigilantly. As you can well imagine, this does not amuse me.
The argument put forth by artists, as I recall it, says that we should purchase music to support up-and-coming artists. While I agree with their sentiments entirely--after all, even aspiring musicians need to eat--it has been continually becoming harder to convince myself that this support is warranted. The problems started awhile back with CDs which could not be copied by conventional means to a hard drive (a move whose legality is dubious at best), and have recently permuted into such frivolities as self-installing software which plays the CD and prevents other media players access to the information--frivolous because imperfect software always leaves some exploitable loopholes for informed technophiles.
The only thing these developments in copy-control technology bring is frustration to people who don't know how to work around the cumbersome software and enjoy their music. I regret having to admit this, but I am among their numbers, so if I want to hear this music I am going to an illegal piracy website to download an illegally shared copy of k-os's CD.
Congratulations EMI for supporting piracy.
As for you, my dear readers, you may have noticed that the argument against copy control measures is rife with many more an edifice. For instance, copy controlled CDs work on far fewer standard players than their non-controlled sisters. I encourage you to speak out against this travesty by directing comments to http://www.virginmusic.ca/contact.asp.