From:    Tom Carden
Date:    10 July 2003 11:06
Subject: The Darkness & copy protection


I am currently enjoying listening to the new Darkness album.  My thanks to
the band for a great record, and thanks also for their outstanding opening
performance at Glastonbury Festival this year...

However, my enjoyment of the new album is impaired due to the copy
protection employed on the CD.

Since my primary listening device is my computer, I am forced to listen to
the compressed tracks included on the CD.  The compression employed is,
frankly, abysmal.  The record sounds as if it is being played underwater,
with cymbals in particular being heavily distorted.  In my opinion, Windows
Media Audio @ 48kpbs is an insultingly low rate to encode good music.

Now, I understand the music industry point-of-view in employing these copy
protection methods, but here are some things I routinely do with my CDs that
I can't do with the Darkness CD:

 * listen to music as the band intended, in CD-quality, on my computer
 * make a digital copy onto minidisc, for use on my way to work and in my
friend's car (we often drive long distances and the radio isn't very good
but we can listen to minidiscs);
 * make a digital copy to my computer network for listening in my home
without moving the CD from room to room, or risking damaging the CD at all.
I also plan to get an iPod, or similar, in the future - but The Darkness
album won't be on it;
 * make a backup copy to take on holiday in case it gets lost/stolen;
 * etc. (I'm sure you get the idea)

I am also worried that the CD case says the CD will play in "most" CD
players.  If it is branded as compact disc audio, it should play in all
players!  I suspect the players it won't work with are high-end players
(such as those is expensive hi-fi separates systems and in-car CD players) -
do I now have to take my Darkness CD everywhere with me and try before I

The bottom line is that this form of copy protection hurts consumers and
won't stop professional pirates.  I urge you to do whatever you can to get
The Darkness's next records released in a standard, unencumbered format.  I
also urge you to make sure that retailers clearly state when this technology
is used - I will be contacting about this shortly.

Thanks for listening,

Tom Carden.

PS I'm aware that there are many websites out there encouraging this kind of
letter-writing campaign.  I've haven't read them for a while - this is from
the heart and not at all political.