Pointless protection.

According to the Washington Post (free subscription required), Sony BMG Music Entertainment expects that by year’s end a substantial number of its U.S. releases will employ content protection technology to address piracy concerns:

“What matters the most to us is the consumer experience,” Sony BMG Sales Enterprise co-president Jordan Katz says. “Both technologies offer playability across all standard players, including CD players, boomboxes, DVD players, PCs, Macs, car stereos, video games and clock radios.”

The albums coming out now and in the immediate future will allow for three copies to be made. “We haven’t set on what the number of copies should be, other than there should be a limited number; it shouldn’t be infinite,” Katz says. “Our research shows that the consumer thinks that’s fair. So you are seeing Sony BMG taking a leadership role in this area, with increasing traction throughout the year in terms of a number of (our) releases.”

While I can agree that there should be a limit on the number of copies that can be made, why err so low in favor of the record company? If indeed the consumer experience matters at all, why not allow me to make archival copies for use in different areas – my house, my two cars, and my office? Since I can only be one place at a time, this isn’t piracy, just a convenience so that I do not contantly need to move a physical CD from place to place.

By the way, how useful is research in this area? What customer is going to admit to the record company that they intend to make 50 copies of their CD?

Companies create these arbitrary limits in the name of preventing privacy, when in fact real pirates won’t be stopped by some silly content protection technology. They are more likely to be working from master copies of the CD anyway.

(Link from Furdlog)