Dion's new CD crashing party for some users

I got this from Yahoo News. What a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dion's new CD crashing party for some users
Wed Apr 3, 1:57 AM ET

By Chris Marlowe

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- Celine Dion's latest release is generating heated discussions on Internet message boards. But the subject under fire is not the star's music -- it's that the CD will not play on computer CD drives.

Epic/Sony released "A New Day Has Come" embedded with Key2Audio copy protection in Germany and several other European countries. According to a spokeswoman for Sony Music Entertainment, it is clearly stated on the front of the booklet and on the back of the jewel box that the CD "will not play on a PC or a Mac" in the language of the country in which it is sold. Besides those notices, which the spokeswoman said were readable before purchase, the disc itself bears the same warning.

Should the consumer try to play Dion's CD on a PC or Macintosh (news - web sites), the computer likely will crash.

Some fans believe that the CD is more damaging than that, however. On the German discussion boards at MacFixit, Mac users claim that the CD will not eject using normal methods and that the intentional corruption of the disc's session data could unpredictably affect the drive's firmware. (Firmware is a combination of hardware and software instructions that are permanently embedded in the hardware's controlling chips, such as with a computer's CD-ROM, and altering it could cause permanent damage.)

Sony denied these allegations. "The CD will probably cause a system to crash, but it will not alter anything," the spokeswoman said. "And it won't eject properly, but that's just because the computer has crashed."

"New Day" was released in the United States on Tuesday. Industry watchers expect it to sell more than 500,000 copies by the end of its first week.

More than 10 million discs using Key2Audio CD-audio copy protection have been produced and sold, primarily in Europe. Key2Audio is a product of Sony DADC, a 100% affiliate of Sony Corp (news - web sites). of America headquartered in Austria.
As a software engineer I have to say that SONY's position that "The CD will probably cause a system to crash, but it will not alter anything," is about the siliest thing I have ever heard. Modern computers use a software disc cache to hold data in memory until it's convenient to write it. If their corrupted CD causes the computer to crash while the data is in meory but hasn't been written to the hard drive the data is lost. Even worse is if it causes the computer to crash while the data is being written to the drive. This can cause the data to be written to the wrong place on the drive and not only lose the data in memory, but corrupt the contents of the disc whether it be a program or data. If it is a program you can expect weird behavior when it executes, if it is data, then it may be unreadable. Either way it is a lose lose situation.
I've never copied a cd and I think it should be my choice if I wish to play a cd in my pc. I'll choose who I support with my puchases. I'm not going to give it to a company who views their customers as criminals who cannot be trusted to obey the laws.....you cannot punish all the innocents to deny the guilty without consumer reaction. The question is how big the reaction? Will enought reaction happen to make Sony notice? It would appear they are willing to put it to the test. Rather arrogant. And they want us to support sacd? Sony could be playing with fire here, it will be interesting to see...I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about this....
Vote with your wallets folks. You have the right to listen to a CD you bought in your computer, car, home stereo, portable CDP, etc. You also have the right to make personal copies of music you purchased. You have your rights and nobody, including Sony, should be able to determine how and when you exercise your rights. If Sony wants to take this approach there's plenty of other labels that won't include this "feature". Fortunately I'm no Celine Dion fan so this one won't matter to me, but where there's smoke, there's fire.
It's incredibly tough to get a genie back in the bottle.

Is Dion's CD clearly marked on the outside as having this limitation?

I think it's a blessing. The fewer CD players that play Celine Dion the better IMO.
Sean, I agree the woman has a striking resemblance to Lassie, she married a dude her dad's age (probably cuz she looks like a Collie, can't be too choosy), and her songs are lame beyond belief. But...what happens if one of your favourite bands releases a new recording on Sony? Boycott Sony and miss out on some great music? Tough call guys and girls.
Nobody should be listening to Celine Dion anyway. If you do I guess you deserve what you get. Sorry to be harsh, but what schmalz.
There's another interesting legal issue to this. The courts ruled that the record companies could not break into users computers or in any way damage their data in enforcing their copyrights. If I was a user and my data was corrupted, I would sue them so fast it would make your head spin. Of course, I wouldn't buy the discs so it really wouldn't be much of a problem...

BTW - I do have to admit that I agree that the fewer CDs playing Celine the better. Thanks for that thought!

OK. I have a stupid question, but here goes: Do any of you think this copy-protection software could be heard in the kinds of systems we all have? Would it degrade the quality of the audio in any way? If that's the case, I think I'll sell it all and buy Bose.
Usually the basis for copy protection to prevent CDs playing back on computers is to make some of the data on the disc unreadable. Computer CD drives have a lower tolerance for errors than home audio players, since they need to reject bad discs (and data) rather than the copy the aim of the home CD player which is to play back the CD if it's at all possible. To do this, audio players will interpolate data and take a guess at what should be there. Since these drop outs are relatively short in duration people will not usually notice them. Computer drives don't do this because guessing is not really an option.

I saw a site where a guy had compared the errors between one of these protected discs and a non-protected disc and the difference was huge, as I remember thousands of times more errors from the copy protected CD. CD drives can tolerate some problems because they use error correction which lets them figure out what the data is even if part of it is lost. At some point you will lose data though, in spite of this and this means audio information.

How close to this line the manufacturers are tiptoeing I can't tell without actually having one of the discs to disect, although I would guess that they have crossed right over the line. This is just a gut feeling though, so take it with a grain of salt.