More Sony discs to wreck your Mac: boycott urged

Congratulations, Sony: your customers are now actually afraid to buy the legal product rather than download a free pirate copy.

A report from the Campaign for Digital Rights indicates that Sony is issuing more copy-corrupted CDs likely to break your Macintosh, and cause problems with many other CD players – so far including Celine Dion A New Day Has Come, the Star Wars Episode 2 soundtrack, Shakira Laundry Service, Sarah Connor Green Eyed Soul, Jennifer Lopez J To Tha L-O: The Remixes! and Destiny’s Child This is the Remix.

Sony is claiming to have released 70 such discs in Europe, though a representative would not list the titles in question.

The corrupt CDs are so far only being sold into the European market. However, and other sites are already urging a worldwide consumer boycott of Sony: “I’m not a thief. I’m a customer. When you treat me like a thief, I won’t be your customer.”

And (in an odd twist on the green marker urban legend) The Register reports that the protection has already been cracked by Karl Reichert and Gunnar Troitsch from Chip Online.

The Campaign for Digital Rights report lists the effects of the CDs on various players, and includes a list of CD-ROM drives that get around the deliberate manufacturer corruption.

The Campaign also has a full list of known bad European CDs – many of which have no warning label – which consumers can use in coordination with the Fat Chuck’s list. The Campaign website also includes research papers, how to run protests and useful information links.

Apple has now determined that putting one of the Sony corrupt discs into your iMac is a warranty violation: “any attempt to use non standard discs with Apple CD drives will be considered a misapplication of the product.”

Sony’s variant corrupt CD format has also been covered by the BBC, New Scientist, The Independent (“This may become the most ripped CD in history, if only out of spite”) and ZDNet.

Update, Wed 15 May 2002, 2:32am: Register and Apple links.

2 thoughts on “More Sony discs to wreck your Mac: boycott urged

  1. It would seem Apple are no longer saying inserting a cp disc is a warranty violation – here’s the full text of the current Knowledge Base article (note the change date):

    Mac OS: Cannot Eject Copy Protected Audio Disc, Computer Starts Up to Gray Screen

    Article ID:




    You may be unable to eject certain copy-protected audio discs, which resemble Compact Discs (CD) but technically are not. Some computers start up to a gray screen after a copy protected disc has been left in the computer.



    1. You insert an audio disc, which is not recognized by the computer.

    2. The audio disc will not eject.

    3. The computer starts up to a gray screen when the disc is in the optical drive.

    Products affected

    Any Macintosh computer with an optical drive capable of accepting CD-ROM audio discs.


    A small number of audio discs use a copy protection technology that can prevent the disc from being read by a computer. This may also prevent the disc from being ejected. The audio discs are technically and legally not Compact Discs (CD format), and the CD logo has been removed from the disc. In the logo’s former place is the printed message:

    “Will not play on PC/Mac”

    This appears both on the cover and on the disc. Inserting this disc in a computer may cause the system to stop responding. It might not be possible to eject the disc on computers without a manual eject hole.

    How to Remove the disc

    You may try one of these workarounds for ejecting the disc:

    Mouse button

    1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.

    2. Immediately after the system startup sound, press and hold the mouse button. Continue to hold the mouse button until the computer is finished starting up.

    This technique may force the disc to eject.

    Force Mac OS X startup

    If Mac OS X is installed on the computer, try these steps.

    1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.

    2. Immediately after the system startup tone, press and hold the “X” key. Continue to hold the key until the computer is finished starting up.

    3. Open iTunes or DVD Player (both located in the Applications folder).

    4. Click the Eject button in either of these applications.

    Manual eject hole

    Attempt to locate the manual eject hole on the optical drive. The hole is sized for a paper clip and is located on the insertion side of the device. Some computers, such as the iMac (Flat Panel), Power Mac G4 Cube, and certain models of Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver or later), may not have a user-accessible eject hole.

    Open Firmware

    1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.

    2. Immediately after the system startup tone, press and hold the Command-Option-O-F key combination. The computer starts up to a text-only screen, indicating that you are in Open Firmware.

    3. At the prompt, type: eject cd

    4. Press Return.

    5. Type: mac-boot

    6. Press Return

    If you still cannot eject the disc

    If a disc with copyright protection technology remains inside the drive after following the procedures above, or if the computer does not start up normally, it is recommended that you contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) or Apple Technical Support. Audio discs that incorporate copyright protection technologies do not adhere to published Compact Disc standards. Apple designs its optical disc drives to support media that conform to such standards.

    Document Information
    Product Area: Mac OS System Software
    Category: General OS
    Sub Category: General Topics
    Keywords: kmosx

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