"...Country music record company Fahrenheit Entertainment said it will begin selling copy-protected CDs by early next year using encryption technology from SunnComm, a little-known company based in Phoenix. They plan to begin releasing protected CDs in the first quarter of 2001, which begins Jan. 1. The labels have released music from country music artists including Willie Nelson and Roy Clark.
SunnComm said that the technology will also prevent people from copying, or "burning," albums onto other CDs but would not block them from recording songs onto cassette tapes. Record labels have long sought a method of preventing CDs from being directly copied into digital formats, but techniques to date have run into compatibility problems with some CD players that were not built with security in mind.
John Aquilino, chairman of SunnComm, said "Everyone else has done hardware-based solutions. We've altered data at multiple points in the disc to render it incapable of being copied or recognized from the standpoint of data. There's a whole lot of data aside from the audio such as the table of contents, and that's the kind of data you're altering. Those types of data typically need to be read only when copying a disc, not when simply playing it."
Aquilino said his company's solution differs from past technologies in that it does not alter a CD's audio component; it only acts upon other data written to the disc. Still he admits, protected CDs could run into trouble on some players made before 1995. "I've only had one machine fail, an old, early 1990 Pioneer machine," he said. "But we're not going to pull the project based on that because there's always further development and refinement."..." NULL