Sony really messed up when they introduced the XCP copy protection, without telling anybody about it. The XCP scheme messes with the registry and has other nasty tricks up it’s sleeves.
Oh well, as a Mac user there’s no problem, as with other copy-protection schemes, the XCP scheme only affects Wintel PCs. Anyway, on most Wintel PCs the copy protection schemes, I’ve seen, like on the Missy Elliott album THIS IS NOT A TEST!, has been quite simple to bypass: simply browse the CD using Explorer, then you can RIP it, it will fail if you just try to RIP it. I discovered this by chance.
I have nothing against copy-protection of Copyrighted material per-se, but Sony and others should stop trying to implement stealth copy protection schemes, they simply have to wait until there are industry standards.
Philips has been very clear about this: audio discs that uses copy-protection schemes, will NOT qualify to carry the Compact Disc logo.
But the biggest threat to consumers is that playback using non-licensed or OpenSource players/decoders, like MPlayer, might be rendered illegal, once the copy protection schemes are in place.
I guess that the solution is to start buying online. I think that the iTunes DRM strategy, Fairplay, that allows playback on 5 PCs and all iPods, is acceptable, even though I’d prefer if the record companies started trusting their paying customers.
BUT: copying and sharing of copyrighted material IS illegal, the fileshares should start accepting this.
The solution dear fileshares: make your own media, or start using media that is released as public domain or under a Creative Commons license.
Don’t steal music – make your own!