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Monday, May 27, 2002
Macrovision post comments upon the felt-tip marker trick

Internet newsgroups and websites have recently been circulating news of users having circumvented Sony’s Key2Audio™ audio CD copy protection by scribbling around the rim of certain copy protected discs with a felt-tip marker to intentionally corrupt the data indexes of the CDs. The Internet postings claim that the marker (or even a piece of tape) can be used to corrupt the index, and thereby circumvent the copy protection feature and allow the user to copy the music tracks to a hard drive. These same postings suggest that other copy protection products can be circumvented using the same hacking technique.

Macrovision Statement:

The felt-tip pen hack may work on audio copy protection products that rely on the single data index copy protection technique. Macrovision’s SAFEAUDIO™ V3 is resistant to this hack approach because we have implemented a tunable multi-layer security solution, which is based upon multiple patent-pending technologies.

It should be noted that using ink of any sort on the playing surface of the CD can cause loss of the entire contents of the CD. Introducing ink or foreign materials on the playing surface of a CD can also damage the CD player reading device. Consumers should be aware that any damaged media or corrupted media files caused by this hack may void any warranties for such media, the content contained thereon, or the playback or recording device.

Attempted use of this hack is also likely to prevent access to entertainment content (such as videos, photographs, lyrics, pre-compressed audio tracks for export to PCs and portable players, etc.) stored on the “second session” of multi-session CDs and protected by Macrovision’s SAFEAUTHENTICATE™ product. Macrovision strongly discourages consumers from attempting this hack on any CDs enabled by SAFEAUDIO and SAFEAUTHENTICATE.

For more information: Please visit the Macrovision website at

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