The latest on CD copy protection

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
October 11th, 2003 • 6:44 pm

The whole story about the Princeton University Ph.D. student “discovering” the simplest procedure to disable the latest form of CD copy protection (just hold down the Shift key) is really laughable.

When is the recording industry going to realize that the audio CD format was simply not designed with copy protection in mind and that no amount of fiddling the format will ever change that fact?

You’ve got to love the way the recording industry now calls copy protection copy management. Whenever the industry invents such a blatant (and clumsy) euphemism, you just know that they are out to get more money from the average customer in ORDER to fatten up the pockets of already overpayed executives.

And then they argue that

In ORDER to fully prevent the antipiracy software from loading, a listener has to hold the Shift key down for a long period of time, at exactly the right time, every time they listen to the CD on a computer. Moreover, anyone who doesn’t LOAD the software won’t get access to the second session tracks, which on future CDs will increasingly include videos and other bonus material, record company insiders say.

I don’t know about you, but I only need to rip audio tracks and convert them INTO MP3 files once. After that I have no use for the CD on my computer except when I want to access the extra (non-audio) stuff (most of which can probably be copied using a DATA CD burning application anyway). So I won’t hold down the Shift key when I want to do this.

The whole thing is just risible. And the recording industry is such deep denial about it that you cannot help but feel that they are only encouraging frustrated customers to copy stuff even more.

2 Responses to “The latest on CD copy protection”

  1. Matthew says:

    if they do sue him for something thats presumably in the MS help itll be pretty disgusting.

    ..Im a Mac user, not a Windows user but im guessing that in MS help somewhere it says “Hold shift as you insert a CD to disable auto-run on that CD” – though it maybe in slightly more cryptic laguage than that, from what ive seen of MS dialog boxes.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    The company behind the security scheme (not MS) was threatening to sue him at some point, but appears to have backed off.

    I am a Mac user too, actually, so for me the equivalent of holding down the Shift key is to select “Ignore” in the “CDs and DVDs” control pane in System Preferences for the “When you insert a music CD” option.

    I wonder whether any of the extra stuff would run on a Mac anyway. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if record companies didn’t spend any money developing Mac OS-friendly CD extras, but did spend money developing copy protection software that also runs on Mac.

    That being said, most CD protection schemes are laughably easy to circumvent, either on a Mac or an PC.

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