I picked up two cheap CDs at Sainsbury’s this evening.

I bought Evanescence‘s Fallen on the strength of the single, currently being given away as an MP3 at MP3.com. Giving it away has not prevented it from lodging at number one in the UK charts for four weeks. All publishers of all content take note.

I also bought Annie Lennox’s latest, Bare. It will be going back to Sainsbury’s tomorrow, still sealed in cellophane.

I didn’t notice in the supermarket, but the CD is labelled as being “copy protected”, meaning it will only play on certain devices. Supposedly, you can listen to it on “most” audio machines, and on PCs running a later version of Windows than 95. It’s difficult to convey how angry this sort of thing makes me.

Let’s get one thing straight: issues of fair use aside, a copy-protected CD is not a CD at all because it does not meet the Red Book standard that defines what a CD is. Such a disc is faulty. It is unfit for its purpose. Purchasers are entitled to a refund under the Sale of Goods Act.

It will go back to the shop like my faulty copy of Anastacia’s Freak Of Nature went back to Amazon. To their credit, they refunded my payment immediately.

If you accidentally buy one of these faulty CDs I suggest you do the same. Given the feebleness of the “copy-protection” technology they use, I also suggest you “pirate” the music first before returning the medium.

Incidentally, I admire Annie Lennox’s voice and amazing instinct for melody hugely, but her lyrics and her public pronouncements are so often tosh that I hardly bother paying attention to them any more. The personal message on the back cover of her album is just embarrassing. And her Website sucks so badly I’m not going to link to it.