MMJ, stellastarr* Circumvent Copy-Protection

Last month, SPIN.com reported on Sony BMG’s use of computer-crashing XCP anti-piracy software on many 2005 releases, a technology that stealthily installed spyware on users’ computers (read more). In an effort to combat this software, which was embedded on their latest album Z without their consent, My Morning Jacket has posted information on their website showing fans how to avoid the XCP software and get Z to play on their PCs. If those who purchased Z still can’t hear their precious MMJ, the band has taken to burning copies of the album for stalwart fans. MMJ’s manager, Mike Martinovich, emailed a statement to MTV.com: “As our fans have been experiencing varying degrees of difficulty with the copy-protection mechanism employed by Sony BMG, we have responded to each e-mail with an apology…If that didn’t work, we offered to burn a copy of the album and send it to the fan who already purchased a copy of Z. To date, we have sent out over 100 copies.” Members of MMJ have yet to comment on the issue themselves.

stellastarr* is another band who has tried to combat Sony’s copyright protection software. In a statement on the band’s message board, lead singer Shawn Christensen wrote, “We have fought Sony BMG about recent developments in there copy protected CDs…The higher-ups at Sony are forcing ALL artists from this year forward to abide by there [sic] ill-advised rules. This is one battle we have unfortunately lost…I will post a detailed memo on the homepage of our new site, outlining the extra step it will take inside your laptops and desktops to get our record into your iPod/iTunes ASAP.” While no official word from Christensen appeared on the stellastarr* website, fans have posted their own dastardly tricks on how to download the band’s new album, Harmonies for the Haunted, on the message boards. Fans interested in taking copy-protection matters into their own hands can look into supporting the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose written mission is to “defend freedom in the digital world.”

My Morning Jacket official site
stellastarr* official site
Electronic Frontier Foundation official site

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