Online music store tells how to get rid of DRM

The French retailer FNAC, specialized in cultural and technological products, has just thrown a big stone in the music majors' garden by taking a trick that's well-known to the hackers and revealing it to the public: how to circumvent the copy-protection and DRM schemes on songs purchased online by burning the songs to a CD, then ripping the copied CD back to the computer into a DRM-free and portable format such as mp3. This way, one can buy a song online anywhere and listen to it on the portable device of their choice. The retailer is telling the public that they can use this trick with songs purchased on music stores including its own, and to add insult to injury, is even offering blank CDs to its clients!

The retailer did this move after being fed up with the autism of majors which are still blindly raising the bar to move the digital music experience a big step backward compared to what consumers want to do with the music they buy and the technologies already at hand. The FNAC makes a big chunk of its revenue by selling CDs and is pursuing an aggressive effort to enter the online music store arena to prepare itself against the decrease of CD sales (which apparently isn't yet going to happen, when 9 cats out of 10 still prefer CDs).

On a related news, it is interesting to note that for the third time, EMI is being sued in France for deception on the quality of its copy-controlled CDs by a consumer association which want the copy-protection features to be removed. And this time, the FNAC is being sued along, which might not be completely unrelated to its growing frustration with the pigopolists!

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