Epic Records Desperate Over CD Security

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Epic Records Desperate Over CD Security

Epic Records is issuing preview copies of its new CD artist releases to music reviewers/writers in permanently affixed, glued closed Sony Walkman players with permanently affixed, glued on headphones. We’ll repeat that again: the openings are glued closed and places that could be affixed to a recording device have likewise been glued shut. Epic claims these measures are necessary to ensure that prerelease CDs are not recorded and converted to MP3 files, then distributed over the Internet, which Epic says happened with Tori Amos’s latest prerelease CD. This CD appeared on a file-sharing service on the Internet, even before the CD was officially released by Epic. While these measures may seem an overreaction, the Recording Industry Association of America claims that Internet music sharing files have directly caused a decline in CD sales. MP3 users do not agree with this claim. And considering that the record labels have not yet figured out a way to lock CDs into our players and to trace them, it is unlikely that the piracy practices of some listeners will be impacted by this move. Perhaps the record labels should try lowering the prices of CDs as a more effective incentive to reduce piracy.