Aw heck, here's my rant as posted recently to a newsgroup.
The topic of the thread was "New music stinks because we're burning CDs? Whatever"
Which linked to this newspaper article: New music stinks because we're burning CDs? Whatever
Now my rant.
Some of us have stopped buying CDs from the major labels because we don't
like being treated like potential criminals by the labels and we don't
like buying CDs that are intentionally defective to prevent ripping or
saddled with other attempts to prevent ripping. Who in their right mind
is going to buy a CD that attempts to install a driver on your computer
that restricts the use of the CD/DVD drive?
I stopped buying CDs from the major labels four years ago after I bought
two CDs that both came with copy protection. One of them has an audible
pop that I can hear on every one of my audio CD players and is even more
noticeable on the computer. The other CD literally locked up my computer
(Windows 2000) when it tried to read the disk. My Plextor drive got so
confused trying to read the disk that it froze and locked up the OS. I
had to power off and loose all work that was not saved. A drive firmware
upgrade was required to fix the problem that caused the drive to hang.
After that I yelled and swore and sprayed spittle all over the monitor
then promptly swore to never ever ever buy a CD from a label that pulls
that kind of crap.
I have also sworn to never buy a digital music file encumbered by DRM.
I'm not going to buy a file that is not playable on all of my equipment
that I have now and may have in the future. I'm not going to buy a file
that may become useless when I screw up and forget to properly transfer
the incense when I sell the computer. I'm not going to buy a file that
may become useless if I screw up and don't back it up properly along with
the license and other needed data if my HD crashes. I'm not going to buy
a file that may not be playable on whatever computer system I happen to be
using in 10 years or 20 years.
When I buy music I want to be able to listen to it 20 years from now. I
have CDs that are approaching 20 years old. I have albums that are over
20 years old. They all still play. With care they'll be playable 20
years from now too. Some of the old disks are getting to the point that
they need to be ripped and backed up because they're starting to
deteriorate. One is suffering from bronzing. Fortunately all of them are
easily rippable because labels didn't put anti-copying technology on them
back then. I want, I need, to be able to copy the disks later to be able
to archive them and be able to play them 20 years from now.
That is the same reason I refuse to buy digital music files that have DRM.
I have no way to guarantee that I'll be able to play the file 20 years
from now on whatever computer system I have at the time. What if I buy a
file protected by Real Audio technology and Real goes out of business?
Will I still get support to be able to play the music I paid for? What if
I buy a song protected by Microsoft's DRM technology and 20 years from now
I'm running on some variation of Linux that Microsoft doesn't support?
Same problems with Apple's DRM files.
When I buy music I want to be able to listen to it later and not just in
the here and now.
So I've changed my music listening habits. I now listen to more indie
music. I've also always liked classical music so I listen to that more.
I'm listening to anything I like that is not crippled. Right now, as I
write this, I'm listening to free music that I've legally found on
artist's web sites and other legal and honest sources.
So RIAA this middle finger is for you. You want to know why your sales
are down? People like me have stopped buying your music and have found
other sources for music. I have more than 250 major label CDs and would
have continued to buy even more over the past four years had you not
pissed me off so badly. So RIAA, enjoy my middle finger because it's the
most you'll be getting from me until you change your ways and stop trying
to screw me.
And thank you to the independent artists and to the labels who don't hate
their customers. You have allowed me to continue enjoying music.