Buy a CD in Germany on Amazon.de, and you can immediately download the DRM free MP3 rip of it. You can even buy it digital only. Buy that same CD in the Netherlands on Amazon.de, and you only get the physical carrier, so you have to rip it yourself.
Of course, the music company will add copy protection. Seriously? How will that stop anyone?
My 15th Anniversary Collector's Edition contains two tracks which are deliberately 'damaged'. A regular copy in Windows fails, but dBPowerAmp CD ripper (you can buy it here) simply rips and converts the file. Done.
If you have a CD with damaged tracks which fails in your CD player, that same program sometimes manages to rescue your CD, so give it a whirl.
(As for Footloose, it's either a deliberate protection, or it is a problem with the master, because I tried 3 copies, and all 3 had the same issue.)
The sleeve doesn't mention any protection, nor does the disc itself, but I found it listed on some website as copy protected. Not sure if that means anything, as it could be refering to a different version.
Trevor Horn Reimagines the Eighties
I bought this one on Amazon.de, and it wasn't listed as copy protected. When it arrived (in a thin cardboard box, not a regular jewel case) I saw to my dismay a 'this disc contains a copy protection' label on the shrinkwrap.
I ripped it using CD ripper, as usual, and discovered no copy protection whatsoever. Trying to scare customers off?
Stop with DRM
Dear music and movie companies, you're gonna' stream everything anyway, so if you sell something on physical media, then stop with DRM as it doesn't stop anybody, it's just plain annoying.
Why do I rip CD's?
1. CD's age and rot over time.
2. CD's are awfully inconvenient when compared with a streaming application such as SqueezeBox.
3. CD's are pure disaster when using in a car. Give me my MP3 stick!
Is the quality worse?
A. Not when ripping to FLAC.
B. Personally, I have trouble hearing the difference between a good quality CBR320 rip, a FLAC rip, and the original.
C. I can live with a lower quality in my car, though with the ever cheaper memory cards and sticks it doesn't matter too much. Converting the FLACs to MP3's CBR320 is good enough.
D. Accidentally, I wrote a program for SqueezeBox LMS users that helps with converting playlists / folders to MP3's, regardless the original contents. You'll find it here.