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DVD Drives Defeat Cactus Data Shield

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the trees-obscure-view-of-forest dept.

Music 381

jsepeta sends in a story about Cactus Data Shield, one of the schemes to be used for copy-protecting compact discs. A reporter for TechTV notes that DVD drives see right through the disc corruption that Cactus uses to supposedly prevent those CDs from being ripped.

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Speedy Gonzales is back (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764275)

and he's very fast

I have your Cactus Data Shield in my pants (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764323)

The reason Linux companies are all bankrupt is that the people running them are unrepentant theives of intellectual property. Would you buy an OS from a bunch of shameless crooks? I thought not.

Re:I have your Cactus Data Shield in my pants (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764377)

The jews would, because it saves them a couple pennies.

25 year old virgin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764408)

Right. I've had enough.

I'm not a bad looking guy and I've been told I'm extremely nice company too. I'm also a virgin and sick of it.

I've turned down several offers of sex simply because I've never had sex and have been afraid to admit it. I mean what woman of my own age group would want to have casual sex with a completely inexperienced guy? So, my options seem to be either to go either with teens or mature women who'd like to have a fling with a younger guy. The idea of using the services of prostitutes (prostitution is legal here) does not really attract me either.

Re:25 year old virgin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764449)

Here's a clue.
A guy cannot be a virgin, nothing changes after first intercourse in a guy.
You are a 25 year old retard.

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

olman (127310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764276)

There's no content. Just post.

slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764279)

is a bunch of fascist homosexual nerds

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764280)

s b c
f p

oh yeah (-1)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764281)

once again i have made first post...

GaylordFucker (n.) an eleet troll, the great one, one who owns slashdot

Soon to be illegal... (2, Offtopic)

Britano (183479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764282)

any machine that allows you to rip MP3s. They will probably put a time limit on the grandfather clause, say a year. And then everyone has to buy a "copyright compliant" macine. I can't wait to be considered an evil hacker for having old equipment. Does that mean that rotary phones will become hacker equipment too?

Re:Soon to be illegal... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764301)

Remember, hacker == terrorist, so you'll be considered a terrorist for owning a DVD drive.

Re:Soon to be illegal... (2, Informative)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764342)

That's a frightening idea. I "fully copyright-compliant computer." I guess I can just imagine big copyright-holding groups paying major computer vendors to build something like that for consumers. And in a way that seems like a good idea. If most people's computers can't rip a CD, they probably won't bother trying to fix it. But then what if they make something like that a law? You build your own computer, and it's illegal. You *have* to buy your computer from a copyright-compliant vendor or else risk fines.
Oh well, this is getting offtopic so I'll shut up now.

Re:Soon to be illegal... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764345)

But of course.

There is an excellent review of CPRM, SSSCA and the coming "Secure PC" on The Register [theregister.co.uk] . Here's a short excerpt from this article [theregister.co.uk] :

But the CPRM gambit was an early indication that the entertainment industry was deadly serious about removing the free movement of digital media on what has been, for fifteen years, on open platform. ... In August a draft bill called the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA) was proposed by Senator Hollings (D). It proposed mandatory inclusion of copy-protection schemes for domestic and imported PCs, anything in fact, capable of recording digital media.

Re:Soon to be illegal... (3, Interesting)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764374)

Here's an interesting thought;

  • RIAA and friends (via their pocket-reps) are trying to push through laws to force everyone to run a "Digital Media Rights" operating system.
  • Microsoft have already filed patents on a Digital Media Rights OS.
  • If this law was passed, wouldn't that give Microsoft control of 100% of the operating system market in any country where this law and their patent were both in effect.
An interesting turn of events..

quick (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764283)

throw away your dvd drive before you are arrested for having a copy protection circumvention device!!!

IP theft galore! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764284)

Oh joy!

So now we can get back to stealing from the artists!?

What a wonderful discovery!

Re: moron (0)

cb0y (311811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764433)

artists make $0 from cd sales, only labels make the money there, artists make all $ from live concerts.

wow... (0, Troll)

MacKinnon (246682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764285)

I saw this mentioned a few weeks ago when Patrick Norton first discovered this.

I'm glad I'm getting breaking news on Slashdot. The only thing announced first here are kernel updates. Is this site even relevant anymore?

Re:wow... (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764384)

not all of us spend as much time as you surfing the web 24/7 for interesting geek news. Some of us work, have sex, etc. ;)

All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (2, Redundant)

Gandalf_007 (116109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764286)

The article stated that the NEC dvd drive (which Dell uses in much of its computer line) read the TOC (table of contents of the CD) normally.

What it didn't say, however, is if other DVD drives, such as the famous slot-loading Pioneer (which I am blessed to have), also exhibit this behavior.

In any case, this whole copy-protection of audio CD's is a sham. If I use my computer as a CD player (which many people at work do), I should be able to play the CD normally, and do what I want with it.

Newbie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764290)

Are you a newbie to DVD piracy?

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764299)

(drivel about the right to play CDs at work)

You only have the rights the owner of the intellectual property decides to give to you. If the music companies decide that you need a license for playing a CD for each separate player device (like some programs are licensed per CPU) there's nothing you can do about it. It's their stuff and they have every right to say how their property is being used.

And no-one's forcing you to buy their music, of course.

I fully agree with the RIAA boss who said that "there is no such thing as the right to fair use". Fair use is what they deem approrpiate. Just like you can use a GPL or a BSD license for your software.

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764307)

Not only that, but if the law disagrees with how the RIAA wants their stuff to be used, the law should be changed since it's the RIAA's stuff.

Further, if I buy a car from Ford, they should be able to tell me what to do with that car later, like where to get it serviced, etc. Consumers should not own anything.

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (5, Funny)

Krimsen (26685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764315)

Ah, I see. Corporations are helping us to reach Nirvana by not allowing us to own property. They figure if we simply license everything, we won't own it and all of us will become Zen masters with no attachment to the physical world.... and here we are, all thinking that this is some scheme to gain power and extort more money from the hapless masses. Dammit, I knew corporations had the good of humanity in mind all along.

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (0)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764372)

Hahaha... that would be funny as hell, .. errr.. if it weren't so damn true. Ugh..

MICROSOFT. (-1)

Retarded_One (518093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764380)

MICROSOFT [microsoft.com] is backing off of its pro-copyright stance, but I don't suppose that this looming fact would would bother a linux zealot.

^ ^ ^ GOATSE.CX LINK ^ ^ ^ DO NOT CLICK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764428)

Goatse.cx link above. Do not click.

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764423)

Corporations are helping us to reach Nirvana...

Well, at least they aren't helping us reach Metalica...

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764326)

RIAA wants their stuff to be used, the law should be changed since it's the RIAA's stuff.

As has been pointed out many times by you IP theft advocates here, the mere fact that something has been made into a law doesn't make it right (like the segregation laws). The current "fair use" law is just as unjust from RIAAs point of view and should be changed.

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (2, Flamebait)

Krimsen (26685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764302)

this whole copy-protection of audio CD's is a sham. If I use my computer as a CD player (which many people at work do), I should be able to play the CD normally, and do what I want with it.

"should" is the key word here. We should be able to do whatever the hell we want in life as long as we aren't hurting other people. But look how gays were harrassed under sodomy laws years ago. "Should" isn't going to prevent our rights from being taken away. Especially by greedy corporations and corrupt government.

Unjust laws (1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764306)

But look how gays were harrassed under sodomy laws years ago.


And look how us working, healthy and well-off users of recreational drugs are harassed under the "War on Drugs" laws today.

Re:Unjust laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764338)

harassed under the "War on Drugs" laws

Maybe these laws are there to prevent you from losing your job, health and general well-being... you drug advocates seem to miss how much suffering is caused to children and spouses in families where one of the parents is a drug addict. Please try to think about the other people too and not only your own selfish pleasures.

Re:Unjust laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764355)

Damn right too, as the original article goes to show. We've known for a long time now that the whole of the RIAA is on crack, and look where it gets them!

Umm.. or something..!

Re:Unjust laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764392)

So those drugs that are illegal today should continue to be so because some people abuse some of them in a way that is harmful to others?

I'm pretty sure that alcoholism is the number one cause of suffering in families due to abuse of an intoxicating substance, a greater problem by an order of magnitude than illegal drugs. Yet a vast majority of people who use alcohol do so responsibly.

If you advocate making alcohol illegal too, then your opinion is consistent, but IMO overprotective.

BTW: I'm not a drug-user, I haven't even tried any illegal drugs, I only use alcohol.

Re:Unjust laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764397)

That's faulty logic.

I fully agree with what you said about alcohol. Then why should we further increase the social problems by legalising drugs?

Think about it this way. (2)

Krimsen (26685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764431)

Think about it. Kids have to usually pay an adult to go into a liquor store and buy them liquor. That's because alcohol is not a black market item. Now think about drugs. A drug dealer will sell drugs to anybody with the money, be it a 13 year old kid or someone of legal age. When things are legal, they can be regulated. When they are illegal, the government cannot regulate them.

Re:Think about it this way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764448)

I do not know any adult drug dealer who would sell to a 13-year-old. I am not saying that there arn't any, just that my experience is that young kids buy from older kids who buy from adults.

Troll? What a bunch of winners lately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764437)

Troll? What a bunch of winners lately...

famous slot-loading Pioneer? (1)

J.C.B. (141141) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764329)

What's so famous about it?

Re:famous slot-loading Pioneer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764356)

You should mail and ask CmdrTaco.

He's a famous expert on the matter of "loading the slot". Yeah, you guessed right. It's CmdrTaco-speak meaning shoving cock deep into CowboiNeal's rectum.

Re:All DVD drives...or just that NEC model? (2)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764353)

More importantly, most work computers don't have DVDs as standard, and admins don't allow installation of unauthorised software. (it's really important, I need it so I can play my audio CD?)

So they're cutting out the portion of their customers who have jobs then?

ffs, come of it, encryption? (0, Flamebait)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764289)

dvd,s are movies, why the hell do movies need encryption? easy, they dont, riaa fuckers are control freaks and wont allow foa to ensue. fuckers.

Re:ffs, come of it, encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764318)

Man, isn't it cool that movies have encryption?

I mean what could feel better than buying an ultra cool movie like Matrix and having to crack it first just to view it! Now that's what I call a movie for us l33t linux hax0rz. Let the lamers watch movies on M$ WinDoze (or on a consumer dvd player if they're ultra lame).

Now the big question: Who will cave in first? (5, Interesting)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764291)

Will this end up like the VHS market where VHS recorders started intentionally mis-recording Macrovision protected content, despite the fact they had fixed the original flaw that allowed macrovision copy protection to work? Or will the DVD drive manufacturers stand up to the recording industry?

Re:Now the big question: Who will cave in first? (4, Interesting)

Fat Casper (260409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764394)

Why should the DVD drive manufacturers stand up against anyone except their own customers? These are the wonderful folks who went along with CSS in the first place. Give it a couple months and we'll be seeing drives touted as having the "feature" of being able to "play" (not rip) "copy-protected audio CDs."

People will be lining up to buy them. When they notice that they can't rip, it'll be too late- and the only response they will get is "what, you want to pirate music? You are a bad person, I ought to report you." Makes me glad that I've already got a drive.

GOAT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764295)

I wonder if Linux has a higher than average representation in the Weblogs of Goatse.cx?

So? (3, Insightful)

Sk3lt (464645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764298)

That just means that another copy protection scheme to fail. They should pretty much just give up on all this copy protection stuff because no matter how advanced it is there is always somebody who can crack it or find away around it.

Time for a new media or new way around it perhaps?

Difference between copying and reading? (5, Informative)

hughk (248126) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764304)

Look, I know that there is supposed to be a big difference between the error correction on Audio-CD players and the normal CD-R drive, let alone a DVD drive, but in the end, it is a digital bit stream. Bits can be copied, end of story.

Another point is that many drives have maingenance modes which allow the host computer to see exactly what is on the disk without correction. This is normally used for testing, but again would be very useful for breaking the DMCA. Just read track w/o correction and aply the correction at software level ignoring the bad bits.

I guess that a DVD-rom drive is more sensitive to errors on conventional CD's as they have much finer bit resolutions for DVDs so they alreasy have the modified error recovery built in.

Protection of CDs is pointless and it interferes with customers' own rights and annoys the customer. The original article mentions a class action against Universal about Unplayable CDs.

Re:Difference between copying and reading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764413)

This is an educated guess on how the copy protection works, so don't take it as fact :)

I think they work like this. The layout of the data on the CDs is standard no matter which file-system you put on there. What I mean by that is like the sectors on the disc. There are different types of sectors. Some sectors for data, some for storing TOC, etc.. No matter if you copy a raw ext2 FS or use ISO9660, the data is still organised on the CD the same. So what the copy protection schemes do is they put a sector with a type that normally shouldn't be there, there. I think there is also some type of error detection in the cd's as well. So what also happens is they put an intentional error on the CD, which audio-only CD players ignore. A combination of both of these screws up computer CD readers.

Now that's Comedy!!! (-1, Troll)

futuresheep (531366) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764309)

AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!AHAHAHAHAHAH AH!....Not only does is the copy protection half baked, but the people that did the testing must have been as well!

Alternative OSs? (1)

Corrado (64013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764310)

The article specifically mentions that the player software on the disk is Windows only. Will I be able to play this disk on my Mac/PlayStation2/Linux/Car CD Changer? If so, what keeps me from draging the files off of the disk (on my Mac) and ripping them that way?

Am I missing something?

I nearly got arrested because of this! (3, Funny)

the_mind_ (157933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764313)

I went to the store today and asked for a DVD player. The guy behind the counter started to scream and yell and threatening to call the police and have me arrested for buying a 'device that could be used to circumvent a anti-copy protection'.

Oh my GOD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764405)

I didn't know Jack Valenti worked at Best Buy.

A theory if you will (5, Insightful)

HongPong (226840) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764314)

I strongly suspect something other than the usual theory of CD-ripping protection is going on here (inserting checksum-foiling bits or some such). These guys switched from Wintels (a lot of Dell-wintels to be even more generic) with CD players to DVD players, controlled by different automatic Windows procedures. No mention is really made of the difference in how DVD players *under windows* play regular CDs differently anyhow.

It seems to me this is just one of those CDAutoStart things that Windows responds to in particular.

I got tipped off to this by when they mention "Track 1" never plays. I BET they didn't notice the total track count go up by one, as the Windows software talking to the DVD player parses its error-handling differently (correctly), and the result is like putting a PC hybrid CD in a Mac. In fact i strongly expect this Cactus lockout thing would not work on a Mac by default, and very very likely Linux/*nix as well. The tracks would appear as normal, though possibly not that first track, because its header DOES get lost in the scrambling, maybe.

Perhaps this is hogwash, but I've heard about Macs seeing through similar schemes before. I think that these TechTV guys sort of percolated through the truth of older reports to home users that are kinda savvy but don't like leaving their Gates Paradigm Computing, thus only the windows DVD stuff, no mention of other platforms at all.

On the other hand, if this is not unique to Windows (I wonder about Mac DVD players) then maybe that program has low-level drivers which affect how the CD drive does checksums, but DVD players do differently anyway.

Yeah, another victory for the Fair Use groups, as the people designing this have their asses backwards because they're counting on all computer users (mass 37331 pirates) to be Windows computers. OOPS...

Universal, i will scout for your discs, and as a Mac user of self-proclaimed badassary, "hack" via insertion your CD, rip, burn and mail to your well-tanned California ass.... Mwahaaha... All right enough fevered fantasies of geek revenge... back to work...

Re:A theory if you will (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764395)

I've heard that MacOS was not reading these CDs...however I don't know if I really trust this rumor.

I think this rumor started when some tech jounalist noted that the included special copy protection player does not run on MacOS (or linux for that matter) since it is a windows app.

I have yeat to buy that dumb movie soundtrack that comes protected...however I have a feeling that my mac will be able to read the disk just fine out of my DVD and my CDRW drives.

I've now put this on my to-do-list. I want to find this out for sure.

Man... universial is sooo god damn stupid. I mean... if these disks don't play in my computer I am going to be forced to download their music in order to play in the my computer, the best stereo I have. These RIAA recording companies need to change how they do business. What they have been doing for all these years no longer works with the technology we have. They need to find new was of making a buck with music... and this can be done.

Another way around it: (5, Informative)

arbitrary nickname (325162) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764316)

As described in a comment on FatChucks [fatchucks.com]

(Tested it on 'Natalie Imbruglia - White Lillies Island' with a Yamaha 6x4x16x SCSI CDRW drive)

1) Get IsoBuster [isobuster.com] (A Win32 app)

2) Rip the entire disc as raw data. May struggle/take a while. Tell it to ignore any read errors

3) Open the raw file in CoolEdit (or any decent audio editor) as a 44.1Kz 16-bit stereo sample (with Intel byte ordering)

4) There you have it! The entire CD as one big sample!

5) In CoolEdit, you can use 'Edit->AutoCue->Find Phrases and Mark' to split the tracks up automatically

6) Save 'em out, and convert to MP3/Ogg if neccesssary

Re:Another way around it: (5, Funny)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764387)

That's an interesting method. Here's another that I prefer:

1) Take 'Natalie Imbruglia - White Lillies Island' CD.

2) Fasten the disc to your car's bumper with a chain.

3) Drive around until there's nothing left but the chain.

Re:Another way around it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764415)

What you say might also work because of the CDR you have.
If you try that on another CD drive, it might not work.

damnit, couldn't they be quiet? (5, Funny)

Barbarian (9467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764317)

Too bad this Cactus system didn't become the standard before this was discovered, then RIAA would be a laughingstock.

Dell. (4, Troll)

Night0wl (251522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764319)

That's cute.. Dell uses DVD drives which by-pass the copy protection...

If they enforce the DMCA on this, they can change there commercials..

"Dude, You're getting arrested!"

Re:Dell. (1)

Daniel Wood (531906) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764376)

I believe a better wording would be: Dude, you're goin' to jail!

Re:Dell. (1)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764407)

I'm starting to really dislike that Dell guy.

Re:Dell. (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764438)

How about another one -

"Dude, you're gonna get ASS RAPED!"

Once again, the VCR case. (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764325)

So, the music industry would like to prevent you from ripping cds to mp3. I still don't see what prevents a hardware company from walking into a courtroom, picking up an mp3 player (flash memory of course) and jogging around the courtroom with it. "Fair use, your honor. I like to listen to music I bought when I'm jogging."


Now, I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not a politician (Otherwise I'd be busy screwing around on my wife with an intern right now, or stuffing my pockets with money from lobbyists,) but this is fairly fucking obvious, is it not? What is it that these people don't understand!

Re:Once again, the VCR case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764368)

picking up an mp3 player (flash memory of course) and jogging around the courtroom

Why should you use an mp3 player when there are perfectly good portable cd-rom players that you could wear instead? You get better sound quality and the intellectual property remains protected.

Re:Once again, the VCR case. (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764375)

Because a mp3 player can be a lot smaller, a lot lighter, and it will never skip. That's why.

Re:Once again, the VCR case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764390)

Yeah, but you're missing the intellectual property rights.

Re:Once again, the VCR case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764378)

What they don't understand is the music industry is farqed... The digital age has removed that creamy layer on top of each CD sale. These publishers are lining their pocket with that juicy creamy layer and now it has disappeared. Evolution, revolution.

I am all for the evolutionary blow being dealt, that is what makes it interesting. Realistically there is not much they can do about it.

Although I do have admiration for them not throwing in the towel, at least they go out with a fight.

Re:Once again, the VCR case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764383)

Although I do have admiration for them not throwing in the towel I don't.

"People should know when they've been conquered".

first post! (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764327)

w00t! I rule!

dvd error correction (0, Redundant)

CordMeyer (452485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764331)

since the data on dvds is compressed & the bits are closer together they are more sensitive to scratches & dust beacuse it affects more data. BUT the error correction system on a dvd player is usually 10x greater than that on a reg. cd player so it reads around the 'copy protection' errors.

First Track (2, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764333)

From my understanding on a system that can see through the encryption you are unable to see the first track. Would this not in fact be illegal as they are not allowing you to use a product (i.e. the first track) that you purchased, even if it is unintentional.

The people who wrote this article are idiots. (5, Informative)

amitv (165482) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764334)

They keep saying that they couldn't play the first track. Of course they can't play the first track, that's what contains the filesystem with the CDS player.

Correct me if I'm wrong (nobody's perfect), but this seems pretty simple to me.

Re:The people who wrote this article are idiots. (4, Informative)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764401)

Well, The Screensavers is not a show for techies, it's a show for the average PC/Mac user. They usually go through the most simple of steps in great detail, probably so that normal users don't get frustrated and change the channel.

Really darn simple (1)

MegaFur (79453) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764429)

Of course they can't play the first track, that's what contains the filesystem with the CDS player.
Exactly. And if those bozos from screensavers could beat the, uh.. "protection", then that means that Joe Sixpack can too. And that means those Cactus guys are fairly dumb. Everyone knows that the, uh.. "protection" would never be perfect. Everyone knows someone will eventually find a way around whatever RIAA can dish out. But if it's as simple as putting the disk in a DVD drive, then RIAA will have to go back to the drawing board.

if you can listen to it, you can rip it (5, Insightful)

markj02 (544487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764346)

I don't understand why the record labels are expending so much effort and political capital on this. I mean, you can rip any CD by just connecting to the analog audio output. Sure, it's 1x, but you can do it while you listen to the CD or automate it with an audio jukebox. Given that MP3 is a bit worse than CD anyway, any theoretical loss in quality doesn't matter (and a bit of analog degradation might do the CD recording some good anyway). And once it's in MP3 format, you can send it to the whole world.

Not even watermarking is going to see them out of this. Watermarks can be removed anyway, and even if they succeed in a lunatic scheme to require that every computer audio board have some kind of watermark detection circuit, A/D and D/A converters that are fast enough and good enough are cheap, widely available, and easily hooked up to a PC.

Are the record labels just clueless or is there some other diabolical plan in the wings?

Napsterization of the nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764352)

The diabolical plan is to close, restrict and license every technology (hardware or software) that provides an easy way for Joe Sixpack to "steal their music".

They're not that worried about the technically adept minority that can build their own A/D-D/A converters to rip the music. They're worried about the napsterization of the entire nation when the ripping has been made so easy that every mom and pop can do it.

Just like the good old days! (3, Insightful)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764350)

Yep, just like the good old days of copy protecting software. They will lose time and time again.

The only way they'll win is if they make CDs connect to the Internet and verify with the record company everytime you play it, ala Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Or have some crappy activation featuers, ala Windows XP. Then again someone will work around that too ;-)

Read the classic Copy Protection: A History and Outlook [textfiles.com]

Re:Just like the good old days! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764373)

Well, aren't you people proud of yourselves?

I've never copied music, movies or programs and feel damn good about it when I read threads like these. Where's your self-respect? If you can't afford to buy it, you don't deserve to have it. Work and earn the money instead of stealing other people's property. Losers.

You enjoy music? Then support the people who make it available!

Re:Just like the good old days! (2, Interesting)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764396)

You're the loser for not grasping the topic at hand.

You said: I've never copied music, movies or programs and feel damn good about it when I read threads like these. Where's your self-respect? If you can't afford to buy it, you don't deserve to have it. Work and earn the money instead of stealing other people's property. Losers.

I dislike CDs because they only contain an hour or so of music. Therefore, I rip them to mp3 and play them on my computer. I've ripped almost all of my CDs, so I can mix and match them in this way.

I take great offense when a record company decides to produce flawed CDs to stop me from listening to my music how I like.

I do not care about the piracy side.. since pirates will always break any scheme. But it pisses me off that in certain situations I might have to rip to mp3 off of a live analog feed, instead of direct from the CD like I do now.

What the record companies are doing is not just copy protection, they're actually stopping you from using the CD in a perfectly legal manner. Many of these copy protected CDs aren't even meant to play in computer CD drives.

Believe it or not, my computer CD drive is the only CD drive I have after I sold my separates system.. I got rid of my separates because I spend 99% of my time listening to mp3s through my computer speakers!!!!

So, get your facts straight before you bitch at us for stealing music.

Re:Just like the good old days! (2)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764409)

I own all the music I have on my computer, thank you.

Ripping music does not equal stealing music.

Re:Just like the good old days! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764416)

Yeah, but allowing ripping makes it possible to steal music.

Perfect copy protection IS possible! (5, Insightful)

Tsar (536185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764365)

I have a CD with the only truly unbreakable copy protection I've yet tested. The publisher accomplished it by omitting the CD's the metal layer and, apparently, the dye layer as well. The result is a disc which is almost completely transparent. Sadly, the disc is unplayable on any of my equipment, DVD-ROM drive included. Perhaps the publisher anticipated that problem, and that's why he published it without a label, and distributed it for free with spindles of CD-R's.

All kidding aside— here is a formula that might be useful to publishers of digital data:
Rc = ( Cm + Ce + ( Ca * Pa ) - Cp ) * Vd
where
Rc = Risk of the data being illegally copied
Cm = Cost of recordable media
Ce = Cost of effort needed for duplication
Ca = Cost of being apprehended
Pa = Probability of apprehension
Cp = Cost of purchasing data
Vd = Value of the data
If L > 0, the data will be copied.

A publisher can control the level of his data's protection only to the degree that he can control these variables.
  • Cm cannot be kept artificially high, due to market forces to the contrary;
  • Ce continues to drop, as coding ingenuity continues to outstrip copy prevention standards almost as quickly as they are developed;
  • Ca is relatively low for the end user, since it usually only involves paying for software you had anyway; and
  • Pa is low because the crime is widespread and social costs are low, so enforcement at the end user level is minimal.
This leaves a publisher of digital data with two variables he can control: the data's cost and its value. This provides two options for perfect copy protection:
  • make the product free, or
  • make the product worthless.
Since neither option would be attractive to most publishers, it would appear that widespread copyright violations (and violators) will be with us for a long, long time.

Muahaha! Funny! +1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764381)

Lol. I was like "oh wow. Interesting... wait... a... second... what the hell?"

Re:Perfect copy protection IS possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764388)

So, is risk measured in dollars?
Where is L defined?
I wonder sometimes...

Re:Perfect copy protection IS possible! (2, Insightful)

offline (94346) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764398)

[elitism:ON]

Conveniently, most of the music put out by the major labels these days IS worthless. Maybe that's the plan. Personally speaking, you couldn't pay me enough to waste my time duplicating more than 99% of the music released in any given year.

[elitism:OFF]

Normal CD drives can do it to... (2)

kevina (14659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764369)

But with a little effort. See, Talkback: Is Ripping a Crime? [techtv.com] on the same site.

Good for music trading after all? (5, Insightful)

jmd! (111669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764385)

By making it slightly harder to turn your CD into mp3/ogg's, by the techniques described above (Macs, binary imaging, then spliting with Cool Edit, etc), groups will end up doing the releasing, like in the warez scene. This will ensure a more organized (complete cd's, as soon as the CD is release), high quality (decent hardware used to extract the audio) music album releases.

The only thing hurting the warez scene is games being so friggin big nowadays... multiple CDs, etc. You can't run bladeenc, or oggenc on a game.

Maybe DVD-Audio will help combat music piracy, but that's a bit off.

Re:Good for music trading after all? (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764441)

"The only thing hurting the warez scene is games being so friggin big nowadays"

Well, that and really big FBI busts.

As if this would stop mp3s from spreading (2)

forgoil (104808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764386)

It's enough that a few people figure out how to copy the data and convert into mp3s, then the wonderful invention of the internet will take care of the rest. This is only stopping normal people from enjoying the music (my advice is to just simply stop buying CDs all together). I simply don't like their tactics, and I don't like the attitude.

Re:As if this would stop mp3s from spreading (2, Interesting)

Querty (1128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764454)

And this is of course precisely the attitude they are encouraging. I own upwards of 300 audio CD's, bought in Europe at the ridiculously high prices here.I'm the last customer the record industries want to piss off.

I listen to MP3's to determine what to buy, since most record stores are not that friendly to people wanting to listen to more than one or two cd's before buying. I also rip my CD's to MP3 for convenience. (e.g. to play at work without having to carry a pile of CD's with me every day).

With this sillyness going on, I'm considering just not buying any more CD's. Why contribute to an industry that is trying to alienate me and screw me over?

So record/movie companies, if you are listening:

-> I am buying CD's/DVD's (lots of them)
-> I want to continue to do so
-> You are shafting your customers
-> Shafted customers eventually become ex-customers!

These kind of findings are exactly what will ... (2, Insightful)

jstockdale (258118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764402)

undermine the DCMA. Bear with me here, but as long as standard products are able to 'circumvent' the copyright protection via encryption etc (and i used that word encryption very lightly ...) because of how shockingly bad the implementations are the RIAA is going to be unhappy (yes the MPAA etc as well) and thus will eventually get greedy and try to prosecute some/many people.

And heres where the crappy DCMA really starts to leak water, because now these products (ie. DVD-ROM drives, etc) that are being manufactured by large corporations some of which don't give a f*** about the MPAA and the DVD Forum because they allow all of that to be handled by software, are circumvention devices, and thus illegal. All it takes is a lawsuit and there is no way that anyone can tell me that this crappy law can stand up in court when multibillion dollar industries go head to head with each other. Now IANAL but in my opinion the DCMA has the quality of construction roughly equal to that of M$'s software, and that under this much scrutiny it will (and forgive the really corny wording of this but i'm tired) BSOD.

Well at least thats what I hope happens.

Re:These kind of findings are exactly what will .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764425)

Can you tell me which company is more likely do bring a lawsuit against another company for infringing on their "right" to make DVD/CD drives that circumvent copy protection. I can tell you it certainly won't be Sony. Lets say that Toshiba is the great company to try this. Now lets say they win for some reason. They can continue to make their DVD/CD players unimpeded. So, the DVD-Forum takes away Toshiba's right to use the trade-secret (I think) information for creating standalone Video DVD players. Oops. There goes a lot more money. Do you think Toshiba would risk something like that? The DVD-Forum would probably have every right to take away that right from them.

The Question All Slashdroids Want Answered Is... (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764412)

...so, if I rip Universal CDs in my DVD drive, will I be breaking the DMCA?

- A.P.

what's with S/PDIF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764418)

Seems that S/PDIF digital output would not work anymore while playing protected CD's ? If this would work, there is no problem to connect digital output from the cd-player to the soundcards digital input and compress from there (without analog/digital convertion loss) to mp3?

"fair use" is not a right. (4, Insightful)

bluelarva (185170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764421)

It seems that everyone believe that "fair use" is a right. In fact, it is not a right but it's really a exclusion from prosecution. What this means is that if you use legally licenced copyrighted material (music, book, software, etc..) in a "fair use" manner, you cannot be prosecuted for violation of copyright. This does not mean that if you purchase a CD, you have the inalienable right to make a backup copy. There is a subtle but distinct difference.

Having said all this, record industry does have the right to implement copy protection. I'm not saying that it's good, I'm just saying that they have legal right to do so. Under current law, record company is not obligated to grant you the ability to use the material in "fair use" manner. At the same time, you are not obligated to buy copy protected CDs.

Apple will fix driver "bugs" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764426)

I have talked with an Apple employee who works on the CD driver for OSX, and he has stated that Apple will fix "bugs" in it's drivers that copy protection mechanisms reveal. We'll have to see what that means in the end though.

Music ... Then & Now (1)

triptmind (546163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764435)

Copy prot., shutting down mp3 distributions, watermarking...it all adds up to eminem! None of this crap would be happening if eminem & dre would've let their lame ass songs get pirated, same for metallica (guess they got scared of the 5 people that like them, 2 weren't paying).

All jokes aside, if it can be played by a normal stereo, all it would take is about $15 worth of Radio Shack happiness to record onto your HD.

I have not been researching or reading much about the schemes they are trying to coordinate, but I know that there are a lot of different "known" schemes so far. Exactly how much money do you suppose they are sinking into this battle for just these "known" protections? I would bet it is quite pricey, and to justly support their anti-pirating/anti-reverse engineering crusades (yes..) they'll happily stick the fool still buying cds...until of course s/he realizes, "paying $35/cd sucks" and just quits buying cds then goes back to tape recording the radio. HAHA! Never ending spiral RIAA has going, they need to learn to accept diminishing returns and be happy there still is a great number of stupid people happy to pay these increased costs. As for me, I love shoutcast =)
// TRiPTMiND //

tape recordings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2764447)

may I ask how are they going to be able to stop people from dubbing these so-called copy-protected cds to casettes? Or are they going to deem the tape recorder a circumvention device and stop the sale of any recording device???????????

All in all I think the DMCA is a bunch of bullshit.

This is idiocy, it's fundamentally a paradox. (4, Funny)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2764452)

The RIAA and MPAA are selling data to us-- and trying to protect themselves by making this data unavailable to us once we've bought it. If we can't get at the data, there's no point and we won't buy it, so the data will always be accessible somehow.

However, since the customer is allowed to hear the music or see the film, the data has been "released" into the wild and can easily be recaptured in other formats. In other words, they cannot use purely digital, "black-box" means to protect this data because we have nice analog visual and auditory systems that require this data to pass through the air in order for us to perceive and enjoy it.

Once the data is in the air, any microphone, nice camera, etc. etc. will be able to grab it out of the air again.

The only way I can see copy protection working is if in 50 years all "out-loud" music is strictly forbidden and illegal and instead, we have a DBC (digital-to-brain converter) implanted in our skull that accepts an input from the line-out jack on our "secure" digital music device.

There will have to be secret police everywhere to make sure nobody actually hums along, because if anyone does, someone with a hidden microphone (banned decades ago, but available on the black market, nevertheless) might capture it and distribute it, not to mention the 20 other people in the room who will hear this humming and thus "steal" the music without paying the original artist/composer for it...
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