Traitors In Our Midst

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. This is especially true for music lovers who have begun to fear that record companies purposely corrupt the data on audio CDs in an effort to restrict their use as a source for copies or MP3 files.

Unfortunately, those fears are coming true: Last week, Midbar, the developer of Cactus Data Shield digital-music-use restriction technology, announced that more than 10 million Cactus Data Shield "copy controlled and revenue generating CDs" have been released in the US and Europe by major labels to date.

Midbar reports that these 10 million discs (Compact Disc patent holder Philips says they can't legally be called "CDs") include releases protected by the recently unveiled CDS-200.0.4 version, which, the company claims, addresses known issues of playability. Restricted-use discs have been found to be incompatible with many DVD, computer, and game CD players as well as certain CD players, especially portable models.

Midbar's Noam Zur puts a very positive spin on the problems encountered by his company over the last several months, stating, "It's been an exciting year, packed with great achievements as well as useful learning experiences. Midbar's CDS system continues to reign as the most effective copy control technology on the market. Topping the 10 million mark with a revenue-generating product is direct testament to this. We will continue to upgrade this already proven technology as we embark on the path to the next milestone."

Zur represented the copy control industry at the New Technology panel at Midem (International Record, Music Publishing and Live Music market) 2002, held on January 23 in Cannes, France. "I explained the basic premise behind copy control technology and clarified the common misconceptions. I believe that the industry is likely to move forward more easily should our collective purpose be better understood."