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Fast and Furious had the first copy-protected music album

The Fast and the Furious didn't just kickstart a franchise, it also had the first music album protected by Universal's controversial copy-protection design

Fast and Furious had the first copy-protected music album

Over the years, the Fast and Furious franchise has cemented its place in Hollywood history. Since the first action movie released in 2001, the IP has captured adrenaline enthusiasts consistently, spawned nine sequels, and has repeatedly taken the box office by storm. However, did you know that its soundtrack also made history?

Before Spotify and Apple Music, if movie fans wanted to listen to a flick’s score, they would have to pick up a CD. Typically, once you owned a CD, you wouldn’t have any problem listening to the tracks, unless that is if it was Universal’s Fast & Furious – More Music. Back in the day, Universal Music released the soundtrack to the first Fast and Furious movie with a copy protection scheme designed to prevent the CD from being pirated. It was the first of its kind to be released in the United States, and prevented buyers from ripping the tracks and duplicating them as an MP3 format on their PCs.

While, in theory, this measure sounds all well and good, it turned out to be highly controversial. The protection on the CD meant that buyers couldn’t play the soundtrack on Mac computers, DVD players, or on compatible videogame consoles.

Luckily, this complete aversion to streaming for Universal has changed. Users can now listen to the Fast and Furious original soundtracks via Amazon Music, Spotify, and Apple Music.

However, it should be noted that the new version of the original soundtrack of The Fast and the Furious features different songs to Fast & Furious – More Music. So, it isn’t 100% perfect either, and if you don’t have a CD player, you are out in the cold, I am afraid.

All the trouble from the Fast and Furious soundtrack release really puts into perspective how streamlined digital streaming has benefitted access to soundtracks. Thankfully we won’t be needing to worry about ripping CDs anytime again in the future.

Fast 10, the latest entry in the freewheeling franchise, is set to hit theatres on May 19, 2023.