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EMI accused of ignoring copy control complaint
August 15, 2003

By Sam Varghese
August 15, 2003

Customers who complain to EMI about anything to do with copy control technology have something additional to complain about these days - they say their complaints are being ignored.

Last month, Russell Waters, a technical officer with an electricity company in Melbourne, wrote to EMI, informing them that after he replaced the CD player in his car with a Teac PD-P219C model (with anti skip protection) he could no longer listen to the EMI music discs.

When asked about the response to Waters's complaint, EMI replied: "We have been corresponding with Russell Waters and will continue to do so."

Strangely, Waters says he has not received any such correspondence.

In Waters's latest complaint to EMI, he wrote: "I have been waiting over 1 month for a reply to the email below. Since then I have found out that Coca Cola ordered 100,000 of these units for their CD player promotion, and has presumably now sent them all out to the consumers who purchased them."

The email he referred to was the one detailed here.

"That's 100,000 brand new players which all jam at the 10 second mark of every track, of every EMI copy controlled CD played on them (unless people specifically turn off the shock protection system, which renders them unusable in mobile situations), according to my experience," Waters wrote in his latest missive. "What is EMI doing about this situation?"

The email was copied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which recently rejected a complaint by Waters about the same problem.

The consumer watchdog was approached on Monday and asked whether someone from within its ranks would like to comment, at length, on the problems which consumers have been facing with these music discs.

The ACCC spokesperson had a one-line answer: "We are considering the problem." Asked further whether any new advisory would be forthcoming - two were issued in 2001 and 2002 but do not deal with the some of the problems confronting consumers - the spokesperson was non-committal.

An EMI company spokesperson provided a terse reply when asked about Waters's continuing complaints: "...we won't be making any comment about this situation to anyone other than Russell Waters," it ran.


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