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(C|Net)   Record companies quietly slip copy protected CDs into stores.   ( divider line
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3541 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jul 2001 at 8:20 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

47 Comments     (+0 »)
2001-07-19 08:39:30 AM  
'"There's no affirmative obligation to make this available," said Leonard Rubin, a copyright attorney with Gordon & Glickson. "They just can't sue you if you do it." '

Don't tell me who I can't sue.
2001-07-19 08:45:32 AM  
Have outputs on cd player, will copy!
2001-07-19 08:49:43 AM  
Damn the man...
2001-07-19 08:51:52 AM  
While I support the rights of the record companies and artist to protect their copyright intrests I get such a kick out of them thinking they can protect this stuff with software.

Drew, can you set up a poll to guess how long it will be before the code to crack this is available? My guess is by midnight Friday now that word is out and the challenge has been made.

Crap like DVD encription, Napster, etc has got to make these people understand that their attempts to secure their works while maintaining the same delivery channels are just going to fail. The entire model for delivering entertainment has to change. The entertainment industry has gotten lazy. They have had it made since the cost of production dropped with the advent of the CD. Production costs went from $2-$3 per unit to less than a $1 per unit and the retail price doubled. Bout time they get screwed a little.
2001-07-19 09:03:12 AM  
Now, I'm not a litigous person by nature, but this is just begging for a lawsuit. When they start intentionally distorting their music to keep people from making theit own LEGAL MP3s, it's time for a little Legal Smackdown (c).
2001-07-19 09:11:56 AM  
Darth_Ewok: Wanna join a frivilous class-action lawsuit against the record companies?
2001-07-19 09:16:39 AM  
I agree Jumbo, these record companies need a good taste of "screwed over". And this whole mp3 thing isn't as bad of a screw as we've been getting since the late 80's with cd's. Cd production has about a 150% profit, doesn't it? It's not like mp3's are gonna take over cd's as the prominent form of music media. First there's only the population of people with PC's at home(for the most part) playing with mp3's. Then, only the people with PC's who know how to go about getting mp3's. Even though both those numbers are rising, even more so the latter, it just isn't going to outnumber cd sales. At least, not according to my opinion, heh.
2001-07-19 09:19:01 AM  
You can "copy protect" CDs all you want.
You can make all the new encrypted music formats you want.
You can make software that follows the encryption guidelines all you want.
As long as something has output jacks like Kenh said above you can't stop it it's too late. Yeah, they stuck a fork in Napster, but the floodgates have been opened.

They should sell CDs at a reasonable price instead of continuing to gouge us like they have been for years.
2001-07-19 09:21:29 AM  
Well, I came in here to put in my two cents, but I see that the dear Madame has beaten me to it already, with Jumbotron coming in a narrow second place.

...yes, we will find a way to weed out the clicks and pops, and yes, it will take no time at fact, I'm willing to bet that the guy who figured out how to deinterlace the audio from the video while encoding DVD *.vob files to DivX format has already got this thing bypassed too.

All this nonsense about copy protection is just costing them more and more money to develop, and then their "technical geniuses" who developed the software are actually the ones who leak the information to their friends on how to bypass it.'s kinda like the people who develop the radar gun for the police...they also develop the radar detectors for the speeding motorists. Then they develop the radar detector-detectors for the cops, and sell a more-expensive radar detector-detector-mask for the speeding motorists. It's called "Job Security."
2001-07-19 09:23:16 AM  
Doesn't macrovision take up lots of space on the cd? I read on some message boards, which I know isn't the most reliable source of information, that the marcovision on dvds takes up lots of space on the dvds, so much that they can't put as high quality picture on them... is this true?
2001-07-19 09:51:15 AM  
that sucks. I make all of my cds into mp3s for conveniance purposes and not for distribution.
2001-07-19 09:59:17 AM  
Umm, the software to break this "copy protection" is already available. EAC for Windows will detect small uncorrectable errors and linearly interpolate over them like an audio CD player does.

I'd say it'll be a month or two before every other CD ripper has the same code in...
2001-07-19 09:59:37 AM  
Wasn't someone also working on some kind of scheme for movies, that you could play it only "x" number of times before the actual medium itself would degrade, making additional plays/copies impossible?? I vaguely remember someone saying something about this... Comments?
2001-07-19 10:01:25 AM  
Oh, and regarding DVDs -- no, Macrovision on DVDs takes up no space at all. There's actually no Macrovision encoding on the disc; just a copy protection flag. The DVD player adds the Macrovision protection as it plays the disc.

I happen to know this because my DVD player is easily fixable with a soldering iron to both disable the Macrovision and enable a "switch region" menu option.

Not that I would dream of doing that. Hem hem.
2001-07-19 10:05:05 AM  
jimdunlop: if they did that NO ONE would buy the stuff. simple as that. let them go ahead and put themselves out of businesss.
2001-07-19 10:13:55 AM  
so THATS why it was so difficult to find mp3's from charlie prides new album!!! and here I thought that it was because no one bought the album.....
2001-07-19 10:19:28 AM  
JimDunlop: They already have done that here in the Netherlands. 2View or something like that it's called. The tape with a 'premium' film would be erased after two viewings (hence the name). They went for sale on a wednesday morning and by 12 o'clock thatafternoon, there was word here on the news that someone had broken the code so that the erasing would not happen.

It's about time the CD's would go down in cost at the shops with say 50%. They'd still make money and i think i'd buy less burned copies of m, cos why on earth should i pa 45 Dfl (about 20 USD) for a f*cking CD from which i only like about 3 songs anyway??

Pumping money in protection which will be broken within 24 hours after release isn't the answer. $tupid ca$h management from $tupid record label$
2001-07-19 10:34:43 AM  
Seriously, what kind of copy-protection test is Charley Pride? It's like a zen koan: If you protect, but no one wants to copy, is it still protected?
2001-07-19 10:39:28 AM  
Well, they're trying, huh? I give it about 3 weeks after its really widespread, max. When will the companies learn that they can't defeat piracy? as long as someone wants that new game from his buddy or the newest CD from The hot new band, there will be pirating!

Long live the pirates!!! :P

Aaaarghhh, matey!
2001-07-19 10:47:06 AM  
Dunlop, what you're thinking about is a (thankfully) dead technology called DivX. You had to have a special DivX player to play the DivX DVDs, and it dialed out every time you played it to see how many times you had left, thus sparking consumer concern about privacy. It was introduced in the markets, noone bought it, and about 3 months later, It died!

2001-07-19 10:50:45 AM  
Dogbone: Thats easy...That way the copy protector people can say "look how good our copy protection works, not a single file is available on P2P networks". Failing to mention the fact that no one actually bought the album :)
2001-07-19 10:57:10 AM  
Hahaha, this article is funny. Seriously, do any record labels believe that they are ever going to win this battle. So far, they have managed to lose and piss off more customers, spend alot of money, and still get whooped at every turn. I mean everyone used to record movies on VHS, all your friends barrowed, dubbed, whatever a copy. Same with tape. But those mediums are both pretty cheap, so it was no biggie to buy your own nice copy. When are they going to learn that the only way they are going to overcome piracy, is to lower CD and DVD piracy, and just make copying not worth the trouble?
2001-07-19 11:08:58 AM  
I'm not an expert on copyright law, and it's been mentioned before... but don't you buy the rights of reproduction for personal use and archiving when you purchase a recorded piece of music? How is this not infinging on the legitimate consumer?
2001-07-19 11:18:35 AM  
DaveX, I think the copyright law says "yes, you buy the RIGHTS of reproduction, but no, we don't have to supply you with the means to do it."

...hence the statement in the article: "There's no affirmative obligation to make this available," said Leonard Rubin, a copyright attorney with Gordon & Glickson. "They just can't sue you if you do it."
2001-07-19 11:30:35 AM  
RIAA: "Charley, we want to partner with Macrovision to put a copy protection scheme on your next album, OK?"
Charley: "I still make albums?"
2001-07-19 11:39:09 AM  
I actually got one of those CDs.
Wasn't too hard to clean it up. I'm rarely if ever on any swapping service. I just have a Rio Volt player so I like to make MP3 CDs for myself.
2001-07-19 11:57:21 AM  
Output the CD onto a cassette tape (like we've done since the eighties), then make an mp3 from the tape. Once you put it to analog, all theire digital protection crap goes to shiat. A little more work yes but still a way to stick it to em. These asses assume we will still buy the things even if they prevent us from making our own legal Mp3s.
2001-07-19 12:00:27 PM  
Hey Meta, thanks for clearing that up!
2001-07-19 12:05:03 PM  
The recording industry saw that there was an appitite for MP3s on the web. Napster was controllable and had an incredably well-know Brand-name. They killed it. Now P-2-P services have taken over, they don't have a prayer of stopping it or cashing in.
Its amazing how a industry that is so rich, could be so clueless.
2001-07-19 12:09:27 PM  
Or just record the output instead of using a CD ripper program. Don't know about you guys, but my soundcard can play and record at the same time... Just record "what you hear" while playing the CD as a wave file and rip away.
2001-07-19 12:11:58 PM  
CharlieBrown: They just thought they were hot shiat and didn't have to worry about it. The RIAA has always been about three steps behind. Pride goeth before the fall (Charley Pride, that is).
2001-07-19 12:23:55 PM  
Its amazing how a industry that is so rich, could be so clueless.

The RIAA is a one-trick-pony though. All they know how to do is market analysis for trends and what will sell, finding a "product" (i.e., artists) that comes close to those trends and promote and exploit it into the ground until nobody's interested.... and then do it again.

MP3's and peer-to-peer and actual demands of "quality!" from consumers waved in the RIAA's face confuses and confounds them... they don't understand these things, they are foreign concepts to them.

If they do not adapt, they will die. Hence, constant resistance to anything they perceive as even a remote "threat" to the status quo... because it's all they know how to do, and they do it well.

Ergo==> they are rich, but that's about it. Wealth can carry with it an enormous amount of power... but nobody can make people buy something they don't want or need.
2001-07-19 01:03:08 PM  
yarrrr! batten down the hatches and man the gunwhales! record executives on the starboard bow!
2001-07-19 01:43:55 PM  
Since I end up paying full price for a piece of dookie cd that I usually only like one song from, I like to take them and burn multiple 'one-good-song-cd's' to *ONE* cd so that I don't have to lug around 15 cd's and spend my drive switching cd's every 2:00 or so minutes.

Those retards don't get that there are millions of people smarter than them, and the code will get figured out. It's a matter of time, every time. They spend so much money trying to figure out how to *save* their own monies, and asses...

And I'm tired of hearing already rich bands biatching about how much of the money they make, they don't see.
Well it looks like you're seeing something, mister gold-teeth, rolls-royce, $500.00 bottle of wine, $10,000 a night hooker, pimpsta.
2001-07-19 01:44:32 PM  
Hahaha! Anybody remember the early days of DOS, when companies tried to copy-protect their software? Anybody remember those wonderful protection-defeat tools like Copy2PC? Heheheheh! This just makes the whole game a bit more interesting!
2001-07-19 02:04:16 PM  
To paraphrase a critic from another article, it's like cutting gashes in priceless paintings to keep them from being stolen.
2001-07-19 02:10:05 PM  
Here's more information on the technology. My guess is that invalid data (noise) is injected in to the stream which normal players are unable to reproduce audably, but will make burners choke when attempting to cut a new disc.
2001-07-19 03:02:31 PM  
The EU has already protested against these sorts of restrictions by the record companies. Greedy bastards. This just makes me even more determined to screw them back with KaZaA!
2001-07-19 03:30:23 PM  
I bet macrovision is making a pretty penny out of this. Record companies=sukkas.
2001-07-19 03:42:28 PM  
They mess add actual errors in the music pushing the limit of the actual error correcting on the cd player. Burners/CDroms copy theses errors exactly hence you hear the noise. Since these cds are pre flawed, a slightest scratch willl cause tremdous problems since the Error Correct system of the cd player is being pushed to the limit by the copy protection.
2001-07-19 04:00:51 PM  
Way to ass fark the people who bought MP3 players, etc.
2001-07-19 05:33:56 PM  
I don't think it's errors that are corrected by the player using oversampling or anything, but rather invalid (impossibible) audio that is simply ignored. Burners that attempt to copy data exactly are unable to reproduce it correctly and burn garbage instead because it's beyond the specifications.

I'm guessing that any high end player which adheres strictly to the standards will attempt to play the invalid data and yield the same results.

This technique is nothing new. Years ago when booming bass boxes were all the rage in cars, they started "injecting" bass tracks directly on to discs because normal audio equipment would just distort a 2Hz wave.
2001-07-19 05:54:45 PM  
They had one of these copy protections in
germany too. People complained that the CD
couldn't be enjoyed on a normal player as they'd
farked the algorithm on the cd.

People took the CDs back to the store and were told
to copy it on to tape on a CD player that worked.

Lawyers stepped in and declared the copy protection
violated the whatever-book standard audio CDs go by
and BMG was forced to remove it.

People 1:0 Arseholes
2001-07-19 05:56:31 PM other words, imagine a 100KHz sine wave injected in to the track. Players aren't normally built to reproduce sounds beyond the audible range, and would ignore it. A burner would attempt to copy the sine wave as is, and the signal would distort. Probably as a clipped harmonic of the original wave like 10Khz.

Another possibility would be peaks and valleys pressed on to the disc that would reflect the laser at such an angle that the IR eye would never see it. A burner would see "no signal" and write the same white noise you get when tuning your TV to an empty channel.
2001-07-19 07:26:53 PM  

The CD sampling rate has to be larger than about 40 kHz to fulfill the Nyquist criterion that requires sampling at twice the maximum analog frequency, which is about 20 kHz for audio. The sampling frequency is chosen somewhat higher than the Nyquist rate since practical filters needed to prevent aliasing have a finite slope. CD audio sampling rate is 44.1 kHz. So you can't inject a 100 kHz sine wave into CD audio, even if you want to, not because the player isn't built to read it, but because it's beyond the resolution of the format.

I'm not sure what you meant about injecting bass tracks. You're never going to reproduce a 2Hz wave 'musically' About the only thing a wave like that is good for is ANDing with a higher frequency wave for things like beeping alarm clocks (alternating silence with beeps)

Maybe we're saying similar things, but I don't quite get what you mean.

Also, more people probably bought Charley Pride's CD to try to hack it than to listen to it. Clever marketing, there.
2001-07-19 08:19:19 PM  
Oh, I'm by no means trying to speek authoritativly. It's been a while since I've read anything on the CD specs, and haven't read anything beyond the URL's I posted about the copy protection... I'm just throwing ideas out there, pulling numbers out of the air to use as examples, and, well, talking out of my ass. :)

Injecting sub-audio tones in to the tracks was done for vibration effect, not acoustical.
2001-07-19 08:51:02 PM

thats my two-cents.
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