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Record labels' quackers idea.

Byline: with Adam Walton

``Quack quack!'' ``Kack kack!'' Ah, the unmitigated joy of teaching your baby daughter her first words. I wonder, proudly,how many other babies can do animal impersonations before they can say, ``dada''? Yes,annoyingly,I have never been happier in my life. I wake up in the morning and instead of being suffocated by an existential fog,I see rays of sunlight spangling through the net curtains even on sunless days - which is quite a trick if you can achieve it.

Where once I would drag myself along, bent and browbeaten,I now skip and frolic like a gay lamb. The world has gone from being hospital green,diarrhoea brown and Everton blue, to flashing yellow,delicious orange and Liverpool scarlet. I am full of joy and nothing,not even the hike in National Insurance contributions or the fallout from the war in Iraq,can temper that joy.

Except and I can sense my fists balling already - the rampantly outrageous behaviour of - crikey, there's steaming blood leaking out the corner of my eyeballs - certain - I think I'm going to have to shout - MAJOR RECORD LABELS!

If this responsible and erudite rag was foolish enough to allow me to swear, this is where all of the Anglo Saxon would go.

Instead,I'll swap my stream of invective for a line of asterisks:***********.

Ahhh! That feels better.Almost. Here's the rub. When I buy, with my hard-earnedmoney,a compact flipping disc, I don't want the record label responsible for that record to dictate to me where I can or can't play it,or whether I can or cannot make a legitimate backup copy of it.

You see,because of falling CD sales - caused by,according to the record labels, digital music piracy - certain major labels have introduced copy protection technology on their CDs. This means that I can't digitally copy my CDs, which wouldn't be such a terrible state of affairs if the dratted things didn't refuse to work properly after they've been scratched by something as abrasive as a wet fart. BMG are also pressing compact discs that won't play in anything but domestic CD players. So,if you want to listen to any of their music on your PC,or in your expensive DVD multimedia centre,no dice - they have decided magnanimously to treat you like a criminal and stop you from doing it.

The record companies line is that music piracy - and,let's think about the hyperbolic nature of that last word, `piracy' - defrauds the labels of money that they would otherwise invest in new talent.

Is that `new talent' as in Pop Idol,dramastudent-without-an-atom-of-musical-passion `talent'?Or Robbie Williams, pounds 80mpounds for a series of dire self-worshippingalbums `talent'? They can take their idea of `talent' and stick it up where these ill-thought policies originated. This is a blatant infringement of our rights. The honey pot at the end of this for the record companies is that people will eventually have to buy multiple copies of their favourite albums as each inevitably wears out.

Well, you selfish,fat cat,corporate whores: you aren't getting a penny more out of me than you deserve. I hereby refuse to buy any CD with copy protection on it. I beg you, the readers, to follow suit. What do you think,Ava?``Kack! Kack!'' Exactly!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 2, 2003
Words:555
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