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Apple: Some CDs don't compute

Apple Computer has determined that customers void their warranty if they attempt to use its products to play copy-protected CDs.

It lists Shakira’s “Laundry Service,” Jennifer Lopez’s “J to Tha L-O!” and Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come,” all of which are on the Sony Music label Epic Records, as releases known to be protected.

The topic is addressed in an online help document that is part of the AppleCare Knowledge Base section of Apple’s official Web site. Consumers are directed to the document, article ID No. 106882, if they ask for help because their computer starts up to a gray screen or becomes unresponsive or they cannot eject what Apple describes as “copy-protected audio discs, which resemble compact discs but technically are not.”

Consumers are warned that the three listed titles are probably not the only ones that may cause these problems. “Apple is aware of record companies, including but not limited to Sony, that use such copy protection in new CD audio releases,” the document says.

It continues to instruct people to look for a warning on both the cover and the disc stating “Will not play on PC/Mac” and explains that the CD logo will not appear because “the audio discs are technically and legally not compact discs (CD format).”

Apple offers several actions that may correct problems caused by the discs but adds that if none of them work, then an authorized repair service will be necessary, and the warranty will be void because “any attempt to use nonstandard discs with Apple CD drives will be considered a misapplication of the product.”

Representatives of Sony Music could not be contacted by press time.

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