Copy Protection of CDs

I just wanted to see how everyone feels about the new technology that BMG and Time Warner are starting to use.Basically, new CDs would have a copy protection feature that won't allow CDs to be copied via a computer.


Active Member
I'm against it for one big reason; no more mix CD's! I don't mind them trying to curb piracy, but I have a big problem when they hinder my personal use of the music I purchase. I usually make backup copies of my CD's (as MP3's) and I creat special "mixes" that I take with me in my discman.

Hopefully Disney will not use this new technology. I live in NYC and there are CD vendors all over the place selling burned copies of the latest top 40 releases, but NONE of if is Diney material. I don't think Disney should be that worried about someone making copies of stuff like "The Book of Pooh".

Ben C.



I do not want to purchase a cd, then find out that it will not play on my cd player or computer, or have it make "humming" or "crackling" noises that these copy-protected cd's tend to do. No sir, not for me!


Ugh!!! Absolutely not! I own almost 700 cds that I have purchased over the years and there are hardly any that I listen to in the order in which they were recorded, especially soundtracks or theme park material. I rerecord them in the order I prefer, often selecting certain tracks from different albums. I used to record them onto audio cassettes, but thanks to CD-Rs, I now have dozens of my personalized CD creations. I also like to burn them so that I don't wear out the original disc and just let the copy absorb day to day wear. Of course, products like Disc Doctor et al. are a lifesaver. But as dws said, there is always a way around it. Just more annoyance, that's all.


As long as they don't put regional coding in them so I can't order CDs from the US anymore, I don't mind... :-

The Kenster

New Member
If I can hear it, I can record it. If a computer will not recognize the disc and rip it, I don't think that will stop discs from being copied. A music studio could do it, convert it and format for sharing. I am digitizing many of my cassette tapes because for one reason or another, the big companies don't think they are worth releasing onto CD. What would stop a person from digitizing a digital recording? As fast as they can come out with a technology, you will see a converter pop up soon after.
DVD burners are here. Blue light is on hold. Eisner was one of the representatives a month or so ago in Washington for piracy concerns. They will never stop it ever.

Disneyland on the other hand, cannot be duplicated. Why not invest the big bucks in the parks?

I've heard the argument that the reason there are so many Disney sequels is to protect the copyrights. Hmm. That's why Disney used to release their films every seven years to the screen, right?

The only way to stop filesharing is to turn off the internet. All the big bucks in the world couldn't do that, or so I believe. Change the formats all day long, no one will be able to enjoy your product.
Typical idiotic response from the music industry. Sales are down so lets piss off the buying public even more so sales go down even farther. They will aggrivate the people who do buy these cds and the people who are the ones making the copies will surely still find a way to do it so in the end nobody gets hurt but the general buying public. When I buy a box set of cds I often pick my personal favorites from each cd and stick them all together on one cd for my personal listening. As far as I am concerned the music industry can go out business if they are heading down this road of copy protection and not being able to play cds in our computers.


Active Member
It's all a moot point. They could make whatever copy protection they want and in no time at all, SOMEONE will have cracked the code and released the songs on the 'Net. OK, I may not have the technology or the know-how to do it myself, but someone does. And I know how to use Morpheus...if I can't burn my own personal CD's from my own purchased CD's, I'll make them from the copies I've gotten from there.

Like killing Napster was SO successful. Puh-leez.


Alex K

Imagine if I couldn't rip and digitize my parents old, old vinyl. All the great stuff, even if just I
think it's great, would be lost forever. Imagine my great grandchildren hanging on to an old
CD reader, trying to transfer old Granpa's "copy protected" Disney track to their
holographic chip recorder, and unable to do so because copy protection
had gotten so good.

Of course, it will never get to that, because making copy protection too strong would
make it impractical for even a legitimate player to reproduce the material being

It's bad enough that we're losing so much. My family's got boxes of old letters that
members had sent each other, and it is great to look at that stuff. Email has replaced
much of that, and who archives all their email files for future generations to look at?

By the way, I wonder if Trent still has a chance of retrieving
the archives of this discussion group? There is an interesting
history to all these threads.


Active Member
> Email has replaced much of that, and who archives
> all their email files for future generations to look at? friend Steve does. I've known him since the early 1990's and he's been saving every e-mail he's ever sent or received. He also has transcripts of every chat he's participated in, from the 1980's to the present .

Just wanted to clarify something--I just bought a CD recorder yesterday, basically to add on to my stereo system so I can digitalize vinyl, audio cassettes, and of course, create my own CD mixes from my existing CD's, and simply to duplicate others. Will this proposed copy protection affect this type of recording? It sounds as though it just refers to computer-based recording--is that right? The technology gets a little muddled at times. Thanks, Michael.

The Kenster

New Member
I believe the new format will not be compatible with anything as of now. I have heard how it is causing computer crashes and damaging stereo equipment galore.

I would not stick one of these discs into any equipment right now, they don't have it down yet.

Thanks for the response, Ken! And by the way, I loved your comment about putting the money being diverted into this nonsense into the parks--I know the Magic Kingdom at WDW could certainly use some financial aid! Michael.


Bad news here.
Avex already used the copy protection on some Japanese Artist CDs as a test. After they consider the customer's reactions, if there was no problem, they would use the protection to all the CDs in the future. I think Disney CDs released in Japan are included.



Active Member
Thanks for the tip, Yoshi,

What is the Japanese CD copying situation like? Is CD piracy big in Japan? What has the consumer response been so far to the copy protection on the discs?

I am really bummed about the possibility of all of the TDR CD's being protected. I guess I'll have to find some way around it...

Ben C.


Copy Protection - how it works (or does not)

Unfortunately I fear it is only a question of time till the new copy-protections reach the Disney-CDs too. Here in Germany quiet a few releases already use the new protection system since late summer last year.

The CDs are easily to recognize as they have written "does not play in PC/MAC" in large letters on the front and rear cover usually (or at least on teh rear-cover). So far I have seen the system only utilized on new releases of big name bands / solo stars and on popular compilation CDs (e.g. best love songs of 2001, chart hits of 2001, ...).

The result? NONE besides disgruntled CD-buyers who now may reduce the number of CDs they buy even further (in times where the CD-industry anyway is fighting sinking sales-figures).

Why no results? Well ... you know there are quiet a few computer-magazines out there for sale which package a CD-Rom with the magazine every month and nearly all of those at one point or another had a blarring headline on their front-cover "How to copy protected CDs - all necessary software included for free", not to speak of the fact that the software is available on the net without problem.

Why is it so easy to copy these protected CDs? This has to do with the type of protection they chose. See when CDs where introduced they came up with a standard how the data must be saved on the CD. Basically this standard says: one block of music-data behind each other without anything else in between. Only if the music is written down in this way the CD may show of the wel known "Compact Disc"-logo. The new copy protected CDs are not showing the "Compact Disc"-logo for the fact that they are not following the old rules set up when the CD was introudced as a music-medium.
Instead the copy protected CDs make use of the fact that music-CD-player usually have an error-correction-system. If a music-CD-player encounters unreadable/unplayable/non-music-data-blocks between the music-data-blocks on a CD it just skips over them and continues to play the music track without any glitches / pauses with the next available music-data-block. These error-correction-systems where introduced by CD-player-manufactures to allow use of scratched CDs without the CD-player ending up stuck trying to read an unreadable / scrached block on the CD. So what the new copy-protection-system basically does is adding countless of garbage/non-music-data-blocks in between the music-data-blocks of each song. The usual CD-player tries to read them, figures out it is no music, skips over them and continues playing the track without a pause. Unfortunately this is only true if it has a usual error-correction-system. Even so I never heared of any report about a CD-player/music-equipment being damaged by the new copy-protection-system (the only way for this to happen I could imagine is if the CD-player actually plays one of the garbage-blocks and the noise produced by this causes damage to the boxes / the amplifyer - just as was reported in the past when people tried to play their non-music-CD-rom-tracks on their stereo) there have been reports about some CD-players following the official guidelines for music Compact-Discs that exactely that they don't have a good enough error-correction-system and therefor are stuck on the copy protected CDs and can't play them. It seems there were some people who planned to go to court because their player (a CD-player which was part of a stereo only) couldn't play the new copy protected CDs - but I never heared of this again. What I do know is that the first copy protected CDs were still showing off the "Compact Disc"-logo but the record companies had to call them back and reissue the CDs without the logo as a lawsuit was already being prepared for unallowed use of the logo as the CDs weren't matching the criteria for the "Compact Disc"-standard due to the "garbage-data-blocks".
No why is this "garbage-data-block"-adding a copy-protection-system? Every CD-Rom-player build into a PC / MAC comes with it's own operating software which basically similar to that of the CD-player in your stereo, but then a CD-Rom-player originally was not intended to play music-CDs. But if you sratch a CD-Rom a error-correction-system ordering the player to jump foward to the next usefull/readable block would cause the computer to miss vital information / parts of a computer-programm which would make the programm unusable (while skipping a damaged block of music-data on a scratched music-CD just cuts out a few notes of the song in some cases is not even recognizable for the listener which would make it even more unpleasant to have a whole CD unplayable due to a small scratch). Therefor an error-correction-system would be of no use for a CD-Rom-drive (keep in mind: these were never originally intended to play music-CDs) as the program after the skip of the damaged block would be unexecutable anyway. Therefor the firmware of CD-Roms does not include any error-correction-system (it would be of no use). The new copy-protection-system just makes use of this fact. So if you insert your copy-protected CD in your CD-rom-drive and order it to play it as a music-CD it starts and stops (due to the missing error-correction-system which would order the player to skip ahead) after a few notes of the first track (if it is able to read the tracklist at all a task most drives are not able to). So the new copy-protection-system is less a copy-protection-system (if you have a music-CD-player with a digitial line-out and a CD-recorder with a line-in you can copy the CDs without a problem) as a system that prevents the CD from being played at all on PC/MAC-CD-Rom-drives (and unfortunately on stereo-CD-players following the original Compact-Disc-guide-lines to exact).
To get the CDs playing on CD-Rom-drives anyway (and once you got them playing on these you can copy them) all necessary is a piece of additional software which tells the CD-Rom-drive to skip ahead if it encounters a garbage-data-block. This kind of software is the more complicated but allows to play these CDs on your CD-Rom-drive there are other software programs which are taking an even more basic approach: they don't try to get the CD-Rom-drive to play the CD they are just mend to allow you to copy the CD. All these pieces of software do is stop the original firmware from stopping the reading-process if the player encounters garbage-data / error-data, instead the player then continues to send the data to the connected CD-writer and the garbage-data is burned onto your copy too. This way you end up with a "copy-protected" copy which you can't play n your PC/MAC but everywhere else (or nearly everwhere else - see above).

As the software was spread out by the magazines and the web the new protection has barely any success - everybody who wants to copy the CDs easily gets the software necessary to do so and only the guy occassionally copying a CD gets into trouble...

By the way: copying a CD which you OWN is legal and spreading the software to do so is legal too, the european law even states that it is legal to make a copy of a CD you own for personal use (e.g. the original is at home and the copy in your car) and in Europe the producers of CD-writers have to pay a certain amount for each writer sold to a agency which then spreads that money among the artists who release CDs as a kind of extra-payment for the music-CD-copies going to be produced with those writers.

Hope this was of some interest.


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