(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – Tim Foreman, bass player for San Diego-based rock group Switchfoot, has taken a stand against major labels using a digital rights management (DRM) technology to keep users from copying song files. The technology, however, prevents fans from importing songs into computer programs like iTunes for use on portable mp3 players like Apple’s iPod.
Foreman wrote a letter to fans on a Sony Music message board, saying, “My heart is heavy with this whole copy-protection thing.
“We were horrified when we first heard about the new copy-protection policy that is being implemented by most major labels, including Sony (our own label), and immediately looked into all our options for removing this from our new album.
Unfortunately, this is the new policy for all new major releases from these record companies. It is heartbreaking to see our blood, sweat and tears over the past two years blurred by the confusion and frustration surrounding this new technology.
“It is also unfortunate when bands such as ourself, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, etc. are the target of this criticism, where there is no possible way to avoid this new industry policy.”
Foreman followed his emotional description of the band’s opinion on the matter with specific instructions on how to crack the digital rights protection.
He justifies his actions, saying, “We refuse to allow corporate policy to tain the family we’ve developed together.
“We deeply regret that there exists the need for any of our listeners to spend more than 30 seconds importing our music, but we’re asking as friends and partners in this journey together to spend the extra 10 minutes that it takes to import these songs.”
Fans have replied on the message board with nothing but support and solidarity for the band, while showing their displeasure with the major labels.
One anonymous fan wrote, “I have a hard time not having the attitude that record companies are evil when they do things like this to listeners. The people who go out and legitimately purchase music are always punished more than the people who find ways to circumvent this kind of ‘protection.’ But I want to support the bands I listen to and pay for their music, so protection schemes like the one on your cd are very frustrating.”
Others have advocated simply boycotting all releases by the labels using the technology.
“I now know what to look for on the back of a CD. I now see the warning. Guess what, I’m not buying anymore CDs with those warnings!!!!! Period. Sony, you just lost a customer unless you straighten,” writes one fan.
“Bottom line,” writes another, “the only way to get rid of foolishness like this is to vote with your wallet…It’s a shame bands are going to get in the middle of the crossfire, but so be it.”
Switchfoot’s new album, Nothing Is Sound, seems appropriately titled for the controversy it has generated.
To view Foreman’s letter to his fans, visit the Switchfoot discussion page on the Sony Music Forums website. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers