A European consumer watchdog body is suing the world’s largest music companies for selling copy protected compact discs that won’t play in car stereos and on computers, the Belgium-based organisation (‘Test-Aankoop’) said on Monday.
Industry observers believe Test-Aankoop’s suit is the biggest European legal challenge yet to the music industry’s controversial campaign to release copy-protected discs, to minimise the impact that digital piracy is having on sales.
Test-Aankoop cited more than a dozen top-selling releases including Radiohead’s “Hail to the Thief” that could not be played on multiple devices. EMI, Radiohead’s record company, has been named in the suit, which is expected to be heard this week in a Belgium court. The group said it wants the labels to end the practice of issuing protected discs and to reimburse customers.
Since introducing two years ago copy-protection technology — which typically amounts to a layer of data embedded on the rings of a compact disc that prevent playback on all but a home stereo or portable hi-fi device — the music industry has been hit with torrents of criticism from individual consumers.
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