Universal Music Group Boycott

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Date: Friday, January 25th, 2002, 00:00
Category: Archive

I’m writing to let you know about Universal Music Group’s (UMG) new copy protection scheme for compact discs.

UMG has chosen to take the low road in the fight against music piracy by instituting a troublesome, technically immature copy-protection scheme on select UMG compact discs.

The problem with UMG’s approach is that it disallows the ‘fair use’ of UMG’s copyrighted work. Because the CDs can’t be copied or backed up to a computer hard disk, people who purchase UMG compact discs can’t make a copy of the music they’ve paid for – they must lug around the CD everywhere they go instead of making a legal copy of the music for easy portability. People with notebook computers or .mp3 players won’t be able to take their music along in a more portable form – ever.


I’m writing to let you know about Universal Music Group’s (UMG) new copy protection scheme for compact discs.

UMG has chosen to take the low road in the fight against music piracy by instituting a troublesome, technically immature copy-protection scheme on select UMG compact discs.

The problem with UMG’s approach is that it disallows the ‘fair use’ of UMG’s copyrighted work. Because the CDs can’t be copied or backed up to a computer hard disk, people who purchase UMG compact discs can’t make a copy of the music they’ve paid for – they must lug around the CD everywhere they go instead of making a legal copy of the music for easy portability. People with notebook computers or .mp3 players won’t be able to take their music along in a more portable form – ever.

This draconian approach to enforcing UMG’s rights treats their customers worse than criminals – under UMG’s system, you’re guilty of music piracy before you open the shrink wrap on the CD!

Plus, their technology is so poorly thought out, you can’t even use the copy-protected CDs on older CD players or even on some kinds of personal computers – if your stereo is your computer, you’re outta luck! UMG says they’re working on ways to ‘get around’ these technical hurdles. I just want to listen to the music I bought – not corporate excuses.

Surely, other record companies will follow in UMG’s footsteps unless the music buying public sends an unmistakable message to UMG.

  • Do you want to have to call technical support when your CD won’t play?
  • Do you want to listen to music that’s been compressed (inevitably destroying some subtlety in the music) by UMG to an “acceptable” level?
  • Do you want to be able to make “fair use” copies of the music you’ve paid for in order to listen to music on the road?
  • Do you want to be treated like a criminal by a huge corporation that sells more CDs each year, despite the advent of .mp3? I’m not buying their “rampant piracy” bull!

Send UMG an e-mail and let them know that you won’t be buying any of their titles on CD, DVD, or videotape until they treat customers with respect, and not as crooks.

UMG’s “Technical Support” Web site.

Feedback to UMG can be directed to this e-mail address.

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