Macrovision is set to roll out an updated version of its CDS 300 system that it claims can beat attempts to bypass Windows' auto-run feature but goes some way to balance that by allowing users to burn copies of the CD for personal use!
According to THe Register
'...CDS 300 was launched earlier this year and like older versions blocks access to the CD audio, 'Red Book' portion of a disc when it's played on a PC. Instead, PC users are provided with compressed audio files, currently in Windows Media format (at 192Kbps on the test pressing we saw), on a data portion of the disc. While Macrovision initially provided its own playback software, CDS 300 ties into Windows Media Player.
CDS 300 relies on Windows' auto-run feature to fire up WMP, but as has been well documented elsewhere this can be bypassed by holding down the Shift key, which in turn stops the software installing code that blocks unauthorised access to the audio session. CDS 300 Version 7, which is currently at an alpha testing stage before going beta next month, has sufficent hardware protection - errors in the data, essentially - to block attempts to rip a protected disc's CD audio session.
The upshot, says Macrovision, is that users are forced to used WMP, which invokes the installer. This time round, users are asked if they want to install a "licence" on their PC, but on goes Macrovision's Active Software Protection (ASP) code too, which actively blocks rippers and cloners.
UK marketing chief Simon Mehlman told The Register that ASP is 99 per cent effective against 15 of most common rippers and cloners, but admitted that protection isn't at 100 per cent.
CDS 300 Version 7 is due for release in September, with certification of production facilities to take place shortly after. Shipping discs protected with the new version depends on Macrovision's record label customers, but Q4 looks set to see the widest selection of protected releases yet. Macrovision is already preparing a CDS 300 update for Q1 2005..."
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