fuck you, EMI

I made the mistake of bringing an EMI CD to work today. I mainly brought it in to lend it to a co-worker who was thinking of purchasing that album and wanted to listen to it first (like you can in record shops, but without a sound system competing with the shitty headphones). It appears that we cannot listen to it without installing EMI's own software on our machines - a shitty player and who knows what the fuck else (would you trust them?). The results:

  1. I can't listen to my CD at work.
  2. The co-worker hasn't heard the CD and is peeved at EMI; and now won't be buying the album no matter what. If he can't listen to it at work and/or whack it on his iPod... it's no use to him.
  3. Another co-worker wasn't even game to *try* the CD since he uses a Mac.

Result: one sale lost immediately; I'm wondering why I'd ever buy anything from EMI again; and nobody is listening to music.

This is hardly a new issue; but it has finally hit me directly - I guess I've just been lucky enough not to buy any copy-crippled CDs up until now. What's really galling is the fact that the technology is supposed to prevent copying the CD; but what it accomplishes is preventing legit customers listening to legit CDs. If this was a pirate CD there would be no problem - to put it another way: if I hadn't done the right thing, I'd be listening to the CD right now.

Update 2004.06.20:

This post has been mentioned over at Zenarchery: EMI CDs won't play on computers w/o software? ...and I thought I should add some info to the existing post.

The CD does claim to work on Macs (OS 8.6+); however said workmate was too worried by cases of Mac CD drives getting screwed up by dodgy copy protection attempts. Not to mention he wouldn't want to install EMI's software either.

Of course, it wouldn't help anyone running Linux. Or Solaris. Or Mac OS 7. Or anyone who is totally barred from installing so much as a plugin on their work machine, like my girlfriend (her machine is locked down very tight and even gets scanned daily for MP3 files).


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