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26 April, 2005

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One aspect which motivates many people to buy CDs rather than download, apart from superior sound quality, non-proprietory format, ability to own the product outright, etc. (why do people download, in fact?) is the fact that a CD is an inherently attractive object.  It's shiny (black and shiny would be better, but iridescent silver's pretty good too) and usually features the added value of artwork.  I wouldn't say I'm materialistic, but I'd make a partial exception for CDs and CD artwork.

Francis Heaney reports that the FBI (sorry to employ a cliché, but don't they have better things to worry about?) has started to impose large anti-piracy warnings on the back cover of CD cases in the USA, leaving less room for artwork and detracting from the design. That's bad enough, but it seems they've started overprinting an ugly warning onto the CDs themselves too, right over the artwork.

As Francis says:

I just want to shake every single moron who works for the RIAA by the lapels and say to them, "Do you understand? The thing that makes me want to buy CDs is that I am a geek who enjoys having physical objects around. If you go around stamping ugly text directly on the artwork in a CD's packaging, you are decreasing my incentive to want to buy it, because you are making it objectively less attractive as an object."


I'm a collector by nature, I too will have to reconsider purchasing CDs/DVDs if their appearance is spoiled by anti-piracy graphics. While I collect hundreds of live recordings, I support the artists I collect by buying the official products as well....

Posted by showtaper at April 26, 2005 03:49 PM
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