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Tuesday, November 07, 2000
Copy Protection for CD and DVD Duplication Systems


"...It's obvious that a growing number of software publishers are embracing copy protection to safeguard their products. From a business perspective, the CD-R duplication and custom disc production communities simply cannot ignore it. But today, commercial-grade copy protection remains the sole domain of replication, so if duplicators want to enter into that market, they need the right tools to compete.

Currently, the only company providing any type of copy protection capability within their CD-R duplication systems is MediaFORM. By optionally inserting and writing invalid blocks at the beginning of Mode 1 data CD-ROMs, MediaFORM's standalone systems furnish an elementary level of copy protection designed to frustrate commercial duplication equipment and consumer software products which duplicate discs at the block level.

Looking slightly into the future, copy protection is not just an issue that concerns duplication of CD-R. While most commercial video titles distributed on DVD incorporate the Content Scrambling System (CSS) to prevent unauthorized digital copying, companies such as TTR Technologies are also developing schemes for protecting software distributed on DVD-ROM. Older DVD-R recorders automatically wrote null data in the key area to deter copying and now the DVD-R specification mandates that all blank discs have their key area prewritten or molded at the factory with similar dummy information.

There's no denying that this approach should be helpful in deterring copying at the consumer level, but it creates a significant barrier for commercial DVD-R production systems since they can't record CSS-encrypted discs.

Incorporating commercial copy protection into CD-R production devices involves more than simply adding a few lines of programming code to a recorder's firmware. In addition to dealing with the problem of using mass-market recorders that change every eight months, there are the always significant licensing and business obstacles. Love it or hate it, copy protection is here to stay. How the CD-R and DVD-R production communities choose to deal with it will invariably influence the long-term health and expansion of the commercial duplication market.."



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