Don't Buy EMI Copy Protection: Miles Davis - The Collection

Why Copy Protection Sucks

Yesterday, I purchased a copy of "Miles Davis - The Collection" in a closing down sale while visiting Greenwich. I got back today and prepared to copy the CD so that I could listen to it on my mp3 player (which happens to be a phone, but this isn't really relevant). As I inserted the EMI produced disk to my PC, it claimed I needed to "update some of the components on my PC", and offered to do so. Bugger this, I thought, killed the process, then fired up the ever-reliable CDex to rip the CD to my audio format of choice, Ogg Vorbis.

CDex claimed that only 2 of the tracks are audio, and that the rest are data, so refused to rip anything other than the first 2 tracks. Cursing, I checked the back of the CD, and noticed the dreaded phrase "This disc contains Copy Control technology". Normally I check for this sort of crap, but it had never occurred to do so for a CD by a Jazz musician who's been dead for 15 years.

Since I refuse to install EMI's crappy software I'm unable to:

  1. Rip the CD to listen to on my phone.
  2. Listen to it at work.
  3. Make a copy to listen to in the car.
  4. Listen to it on my PC.


This is clearly unacceptable. I'm a paying consumer who likes to own his music, but I do not intend to be locked into some crappy not-quite-a-CD format that I can't use as I please because the record companies think that I might be a thief.

Sadly, since I bought this "CD" a long way from home at a store that's closing down, returning it for a refund is not really an option.


It turns out that abcde and cd-paranoia are perfectly capable of ripping this CD, despite it being full of CRC errors, vastly reducing the inbuilt scratch-resistance that CDs have. This is an inferior product which should not be marketed as a CD (which despite EMI's claims to the contrary is exactly how they're sold).

I'll not be buying any more EMI products while they keep this kind of consumer-mistrust up, and I'll be recommending to family and friends that they do the same.

More Info About EMI's Copy Control

Contact: site@spod.cx