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.”
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