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 Home > News > Optical Storage > Alcatra...
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Saturday, August 12, 2000
Alcatraz Copy protection


"..From a technical point of view, Alcatraz is based on a "watermark" system: i.e. the data structure of the relevant software is modified during the glass mastering process. Consequently, the commercially available CD that has been authorised as a legal replication cannot be copied, or only with great difficulty.

The four copy protection levels of Alcatraz Level 1: At the lowest level, the copy protection system developed by kdg acts as a copy prevention facility. In other words: Level 1 makes it difficult to copy product on to a 74 min CD-R. This kind of copy protection is ideal for applications such as mass products with a relatively short product life cycle.

Level 2: Prevents reading and copying using standard copy programs. This level of copy protection is recommended for second or further editions of a CD-ROM product (particularly when sought after by enthusiasts).

Level 3a: Is targeted against professional piracy; pirate copies of Level 3 protected CDs are unusable. This application can independently test and recognise whether the user is working with a legal or unauthorised copy.

Level 3b: This form of copy protection comes in the form of a "protective layer" wrapped round the application during the pre-mastering stage. It inhibits or completely prevents the installation and start of the application if this is based on an illegal copy. Responses activated by an "illegal" start attempt range from a simple warning message through to a system crash and even right down to re-formatting of the disc drive..."

CDRINFO Comment: Even this protection is not out yet in any massive CD title we think that CloneCD will not have any problem copying it since as it seems based in watermark (like SecuROM did). But then again we cannot be 100% sure unless we face the challenge of making a backup of it.

Another interesting point is that "..Responses activated by an "illegal" start attempt range from a simple warning message through to a system crash and even right down to re-formatting of the disc drive..". That's something we had faced in past (past CDRWin protection against illegal serials) but never from massive CD protection. :(



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