Shield 200 - Page 1
Most Audio CD copy protection technologies are designed to prevent people "ripping"
music for distribution via the internet. But the technique has proved controversial
because protected CDs can cause problems for some older players, portable devices
and in-car stereo systems. They may refuse to play or only play with errors
on these machines. CD protection systems currently involve introducing errors
that PC players cannot cope with, or including confusing information in a CD's
"table" (TOC), which tells a player how to read its data. Critics
allege that the techniques used could also impair the quality of a disc's audio
content over time by making a disc less resilient to genuine errors.
BMG in Europe had launched two of its chart CDs, Natalie Imbruglia's White Lilies
Island and Five's Greatest Hits, with copy protection technology but have now
switched production to "clean" unprotected CDs, following consumer
complaints. The discs were launched "clean" in Australia. In the US,
Universal's new compilation CD of Fast and Furious rock music is copy-protected
but is clearly marked with consumer warnings, unlike previous discs. BMG released
both their CDs with only a small print reference to "Cactus Data Shield"
and no explanation that this meant it was copy-protected and might not play
properly on computers and some CD players.
After reading such interesting news we decided to test the Cactus Data Shield
200 protection and found out how effective is or not!
- What does the indrustry state?
Philips controls the CD standard and their spokesman says: "Any changes
that put a disc outside the CD standard result in a disc that should no longer
be described or marketed as a CD." Philips, because of conformity issues,
has warned the record labels that the discs are actually not compact discs at
all, and must bear warning labels to inform consumers.
"...We've made sure they would put a very clear warning that you're not
buying a compact disc, but something different. We've been warning some labels
to begin with, and they've adjusted their behaviour. That means labels would
also be barred from using the familiar "compact disc" logo that has
been stamped on every CD since Philips and Sony jointly developed the technology
in 1978. The attempts to graft protective measures onto the 20-year-old CD technology
have had mixed results. Because there are hundreds and perhaps thousands of
different CD players on the market, it's likely that some will be unable to
read the new discs. It's extremely difficult to retrofit the system with copy
protection without losing the ability for all CDs to play on all players. We
fear some of these so-called copy-protected CDs will play at first, but will
eventually show problems and break down..."
Even when the protection technology works as intended, Philips spokesman said
that normal wear and tear could eventually overwhelm the error correction
for the altered discs, causing them to become unreadable within a few years.