June 21, 2004
The Beastie Boys and the lack of copy protection

I'm a bit confused here people.

Last Tuesday I bought a copy of the new Beastie Boys album, To the Five Boroughs. I had heard there was talk of it being protected with DRM software. Posts on Boing Boing and Slashdot fed the meme into the blogosphere.

When I got back to the office, I tried ripping it to my desktop. The album riped fine using Windows Media Player on a stock Compaq desktop machine. No problems at all.

When I got home I ripped it to our media server. Again, no problems. I used Musicmatch Jukebox to do the ripping. I'm hardly using r33t haxx0r tools to get around any copy protection.

So I don't see anything that even remotely looks like copy protection on the CD.

I took a look at the disc and it does have the Macromedia director based 'Enhanced CD' software on it that autoplays when load the disc. All that does is allow you to watch a Quicktime video. I don't see any DRM software being installed.

I scoured the net to find any details of the 'silent install' and what the 'secret DRM' does. Besides many a slashdot-style screed against DRM and the Beasties, I didn't find one technical explanation of exactly what the 'secret DRM' is or where it is located on a hard drive.

I did find many, many people saying that they were able to successfully rip it. I didn't see anyone saying they had trouble ripping the CD.

Now, I'm probably wrong, but it seems to me that there is no 'secret DRM' on the new Beasties' album and the that techno-blogosphere has whipped itself into a lather over the non-issue.

Someone please prove me wrong and point the details on the secret 'silent install', but until then, I consider the 'Beasties DRM = evil' meme a false and unproven one.

Did anyone out there that bought the album have any problems ripping the CD?

Posted by michael at June 21, 2004 07:37 AM