Arthur, I don’t think you’d have much success ripping any version of this CD. I don’t know a lot about this, but, like you said, it’s highly protected. Not to mention, anyone willing to sell this CD to you has their name attached w/i some sort of coding to the songs. If you downloaded and spread around the community, (assuming songs are different), you’d be jeopardizing that person’s integrity.
I think this is more of a concern before the album is released though. Whatever happens, just be careful. I wouldn’t go cutting holes in the cardboard either. To me, that would bring the value down.
I wouldn’t have the balls to open one of the cardboard envelopes!