Monday, 30 August 2004

Support the French? Just this once.

Again, I said I wouldn't update on holiday and here I am. Damn.

Anyway, I was reading through ZDNet as one does... on holiday (how sad is that?) and there's a terrific article on how the French aren't gonna takes these crappy copy-controlled discs no mores.

The jist of it is the French are SO pissed off, they're taking to court EMI France and the FNAC record store chain and charging them with fraud! According to the article, "the [fraud] charges carry possible prison terms of up to 2 years for company executives, and a fine of about £24,978)." Ouch and good on ya!

How do FNAC react? By saying "it believes it acted in good faith towards consumers." By knowingly selling faulty merchandise? Are these people the Dellboy of the music industry?

They also had the gall to issue a statement saying "Fnac also agreed to give refunds to customers who found problems playing back the discs… knowing that these problems are not foreseeable." Not foreseeable? CDs are based on the redbook standard, you deviate from that you get problems. Phillips and Sony know this, they forbid these "discs" to carry the CD logo, and FNAC didn't think problems were foreseeable? That's either gullability to the extreme or the usual PR backpeddling. Either way, bring on the fraud charges, these pigopolists need to be stopped.

The other obvious question which FNAC doesn't answer is, of course, if a customer has a problem with the disc, what are FNAC going to do about getting the music in a format that the customer has use?

I borrowed a promo disc for the new Soulwax album which was unplayable on every disc player I own (mainly a standalone DVD player, car CD player and my PC). If I'd paid for this disc and had to slog back to the shop just to have some 18 year old muppet shrug his shoulders and tell me it looks like I won't be listening to that CD, I'd be seeing more than red.

These labels... they have one bullet for the customer and one for their own foot.
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