Campaign for Digital Rights
Buying a new CD? Watch out for inferior imitations Friday October 19, 2018

Please note that these CD campaign pages have been frozen as of 14-1-2005, and will not be updated for the time being. However, they will still remain here as an information resource for people still encountering problems with their CDs.

corrupt disc, inferior audiocorrupt disc, inferior audio

Corrupt audio discs, aka "Copy-Protected CDs"

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Help us find Bad CDs

Home | Windows tips | Mac tips

In brief:

  • We want to know about all the UK-released CDs that are copy-protected, to put on our bad CD page, but ...
  • We can't buy every UK CD to test, and so ...
  • We want you to help us test them. If you have a computer and some CDs you've bought in the last few months, you can help us out by doing a quick test on each one.
  • Please E-mail your reports to this address.

The most reliable way to test a CD is to put it in a Windows PC and try to extract one or more tracks from it onto your hard drive (Macs are immune to some of these CDs). To do this you'll need software known as a `CD ripper' or `CD audio extractor' or something like that. (See our Windows tips and Mac tips sections above for step-by-step instructions.)

If you find that you can't extract the audio from the CD, then try some other things:

  • Try playing it normally in the computer -- does that work?
  • Try playing it on a PlayStation 2 or a DVD player if you have them -- does it play okay?
  • If you have a MiniDisc recorder and a digital lead, can you record the CD audio digitally?

The more clear information you can give us, the better, but in any case, even a simple "it won't rip" is useful to us. Here is a quick check-list of other information that is useful to us:

  • The Artist name, the CD title, and whether this is an album or a single
  • The country in which you bought the CD
  • The type of machine you're using to extract the audio (Windows PC, Mac, Linux box, etc)
  • Whether there is a warning label on the CD packaging or not
Also let us know if you are testing a promo release rather than the public release. All the UK reports will be put up on our Bad CDs page, so please let us know!


-- The Campaign for Digital Rights CD Task Force

IMPORTANT NOTE: At the moment we're concentrating on UK releases, because it would be too big a job to cover even Europe, let alone the whole world. These CDs are often released copy-protected in one country and unprotected in another (like the Heather Nova CD). If we manage to get a database-driven site up and running, we'll be able to expand to cover reports from anywhere. For now, please send US-based reports to Fat Chuck's site. Thanks.