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Putting The Genie Back In The Bottle

The eternal struggle to keep copy protection off of consumer goods continues...

CNet reports: New CD copy-lock technology nears market.

The software industry has, for the most part, already learned that copy protection just frustrates ordinary users and is a mere speed bump to those determined to pirate. If you grew up with the first generation of PC's you most certainly remember dongle keys, uncopyable floppy disks, entering words or codes from the manual, etc. These kludgey copy protection schemes doomed more than a few companies, as frustrated users went to competitors products that were easier to install. These schemes rarely prevented copying. What the did help foster was an entire subculture that grew to overcome these kind of obstacles - software cracking.

Of course the music industry has completely overlooked this historical example and seems determined to try to stop customers from making MP3's from purchased PC's. They're charging ahead with uncopyable CD's, which in some cases are also unplayable. The best part are the quotes from the copy protection vendors who say that their technology hasn't been cracked. Of course that's easily explainable, since there are so few copy protected CD's available. If and when these copy protected CD's go into wider circulation expect that the copy protection will quickly be broken, freeing the sufficiently motivated to continue MP3 ripping.

[Note: I just noticed the CNet accepts trackbacks and pingbacks to it's stories, something more news organizations should be doing. If you're on Blogger, or another platform that doesn't automatically find and send trackbacks. you can use the Wizbang Standalone Trackback Tool to ping CNet articles.]


Comments (7)

Adobe require dongles for t... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Adobe require dongles for the use of some of its products at least as late as 2002.

Side note for Blogger users... (Below threshold)

Side note for Blogger users: if you get the HaloScan commenting, you can trackback (although it is manual) and have pop up comment windows. Much better, in my POV.

Trackback at CNet is a grea... (Below threshold)

Trackback at CNet is a great idea, but it's a shame the button is all the way up at the top. I had to hunt around for a while to find it. Much better to keep it at the bottom of the story with the comments, so readers can click through if they want to read more.

On a related note, the same... (Below threshold)
IR:

On a related note, the same copyright laws that are addressing the stealing of content via mp3's are applicable towards media stories. In other words, if you have a blog and continuously post the entire article to your site rather than an excerpt and a link, arguably, you are in violation of copyright laws. If your site has advertising (from which you benefit to any degree) you are DEFINITELY in violation of copyright laws.

If you're wondering what steps the MSM will take in order to lessen the stature of blogs...here's a hint. You've probably noticed that more and more MSM sources available on the net have gone to a subscription basis. Many based in Europe have gone to a subscription cost. That is the first step. In the not too distant future, some of the more pesky blogs will receive letters from those media outlets demanding that full articles be removed. Those who do not comply will be sued for copyright violations.

I suspect the Courts will eventually be called upon to specifically define what is in violation of Fair Use and what isn't. To date, it is vague where the net is involved. But, "commercial sites" can be defined as any site gaining revenue in any fashion.

See: (Washington Post/LA Times v. FreeRepublic.com)

At least they are only copy... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

At least they are only copy protecting the mainstream S*** music that no one over the age of 16 wants to buy. No one wants to crack it because it is only the crap that the corporate whores try to sell us like Brittney or Ashley Simpson or some gay boy band.

The big music labels are the ones that are trying to squeeze everyone out of the last dollar or two. The small labels and smaller bands just want to make what they can.

Remember "Napster Bad, Beer Good." =)

Just a note: the CDs that a... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

Just a note: the CDs that are "copy-protected" cannot legally be labelled as CDs - Phillips, the developer and holder of rights, has said so, because they do not conform to the standard.

So if you know a teen (or other) who has one of these things and feels ripped-off because it can't be backed up or copied to an IPod or whatever, if it has "CD" on the label a refund is in order.

Dongle protection is still ... (Below threshold)
HackThePlanet:

Dongle protection is still used today, high-end engineering software still uses it, and Server-License software is availiable from Macrovision and is used in Autocad 2005 (where the server holds a 'virtual-dongle' that it passes through the network automatically.

A Autodesk supplier once told me:
'we know you copy it and take it home, we don't care, how else can you demo it? As long as you pay for it when you use it or business.' (this was pre-win95 days) ahh, the memories.




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