Lawsuit over crippled Charley Pride CD settled.

The suit brought by California woman Karen DeLisle against Music City Records and SunnComm over Charley Pride’s A Tribute to Jim Reeves has been settled – with the plaintiff getting pretty much everything she asked for, including some legal costs.

Among other conditions, the settlement says:

  • Downloads of the music will be completely anonymous, and all information collected to date will be purged;
  • People buying the CD second-hand will be able to download the files too;
  • The companies will accept returns of the disc from people it won’t play for;
  • The disc will include a warning that it doesn’t play directly in CD-ROM drives;
  • The disc will include a warning that it can’t be ripped to MP3;
  • The disc will list minimum system requirements;
  • The disc will include a warning that the downloadable files can only be downloaded six times. (Though that wouldn’t seem to square with complete anonymity of downloads.)

While the settlement does not set a legal precedent, the defendants’ complete capitulation may indicate great fear of setting such an adverse precedent to any degree, and may be seen to set a first approximation of a workable industry standard.

Full settlement document here (PDF). Slashdot discussion here.

I’m not entirely happy that, using something like this as a template, record companies will be able to pass off cripplediscs as proper CDs. (Though it’s probably unavoidable, since it’s their disc and their copyright.) I do like the idea that they may have to warn you in detail just how crap the item in question is, though.

The SunnComm site is a goddamn nightmare of Flash. I gave up on even downloading the fucker.

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