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Anatomy of Cactus Data Shield

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the prickly-on-the-outside-squishy-on-the-inside dept.

Music 182

meehawl writes: "This is a good analysis by CDRInfo on the current version of Midbar's Cactus Data Shield. This is the format Universal will use to protect its new audio CDs. It's been reported here already that some DVDs effectively bypass this protection, but this article addresses the specific concerns of how best to backup these protected CDs, and how to extract the music data at high quality for download to a personal MP3 listening device."

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182 comments

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First Post (-1)

negativekarmanow tm (518080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941362)

Remember when crapflooders were *REAL* crapflooders, trolls were *REAL* trolls, and first posts were *REAL* first posts?
Ah the good old days...

Because I got Linux... (-1)

Sarcasm_Orgasm (535390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941368)

It's like I don't care about Open Source, RMS, GPL, or nuthin' man
Download another Distro...
I was gonna clean my room, until I got Linux
I was gonna get up and find the broom, But I got Linux
My room is still messed up And I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux
Because I got Linux
Because I got Linux

I was gonna go to OfficeXP class, before I got Linux
I coulda' cheated and I could of passed, but I got Linux
I'm taking it next semester and I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux
Because I got Linux
Because I got Linux

I was gonna telecommute to work, but then I got Linux
I just got a new promotion, but I got Linux
Now I'm selling a distro on CD and I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux
Because I got Linux
Because I got Linux

I was gonna go to court, before I got Linux
I was gonna pay my child support, but then I got Linux (No you wasn't)
They took my whole pay check, and I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux,
Because I got Linux
Because I got Linux

I wasn't gonna run from the cops but I got Linux, I'm serious man
I was gonna hand my box right over and stop, but I got Linux
Now I'm a paraplegic, and I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux
Because I got Linux
Because I got Linux

I was gonna pay my car a note, until I got Linux
I wasn't gonna gamble on the boat, but then I got Linux
Now the tow truck's pulling away, and I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux, because I got Linux, because I got Linux
Because I got Linux
Because I got Linux

I was gonna make love to you, but then I got Linux, I'm serious
I was gonna eat your pussy to, but then I got Linux
Now i'm jacking off to Goatse [goatse.cx] and I know why,
(turn this shit off) 'cuz I got Linux
because I got Linux
because I got Linux

I messed up my entire life, because I got Linux
I lost my kids and wife, because I got Linux
Now I'm sleeping on the sidewalk, and I know why,
(why man) 'cuz I got Linux,
because I got Linux
because I got Linux

I'm gonna stop writing this very lame parody, because Linux just crashed
I'm typing this whole thing wrong, because the screen's upside down
And if this post doesn't get one reply I'll know why,
(why man) 'cuz I'm using Linux,
because I'm using Linux
because I'm using Linux

(Are you really using Linux man?) (he really is using it man!) get jiggy with it
O bring it back..say what say what oh, Because I'm using Linux
Because I'm using Linux, because using Linux

Well my name is Sarcasm_Orgasm and I'm from East pr0ndale,
and all the trolls I be postin', are bomb as heeeeeelllll (excellent delivery)
I dont belive in Open Source thats what I said' (O my goodness)
So all of you long haired penguin pumpers, please give me more head
Sarcasm mother fucking O-r-g-a-s-m

L-i-n-u-x and somtimes /gnu
We aint going to sell any of these mother fucking CD's 'cuz they're available for free
I'm gonna go back to windows and try to get my life back 'cuz fuck it
Fuck the Open Source Community biatch

Re:Because I got Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941600)

What is this to the tune of?

I thought Positive K's "I Got A Man", but it doesn't match, and it's not really well known enough, either.

Help?

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941369)

man, stop the trolling, with a few insightful posts the people on your fans list will have reason to mod you up and give you +1 if possible, what is your karma anyway?

Re:First Post (-1)

negativekarmanow tm (518080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941380)

it's -17 now, thanks for asking.

Anyway, we've all seen what happens to interesting posts, haven't we?

Is not a CD. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941385)

Phillips - why have not placed an injunction on people devaluing and harming your interests, with huge red warning stickers, and an injunction against cactus restraining and preventing them from using the word 'CD' in any dealings they have?.

Actually its a good idea for the EEC - no need to pay VAT and media taxes, as it is not a CD, and the royalties, channel through tax havens.. the british tax commissioner does not know what he is missing - see us export subsidies.

Re:First Post (-1)

Ralph Malph Alpha (551824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941389)

I know a girl named Freaky Chavez. She don't like you. She gonna mess you up good.

Mrs. Chavez (-1)

Sarcasm_Orgasm (535390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941443)

Hey Ralph, if you could please give this letter to Freaky she won't return my Instant Messages...

Dear Freaky,

Although we only met in an AOL chat room once, I feel as though we've known each other for years. I can smell your soft hair before I go to sleep, & when I wake up I always kiss the pillow next to me wishing it was you. Sometimes the thought of you by my side is the only thing that gets me through this crazy world.

When & where can I meet you? I'd worship every part of your body like it was the best tasting cheese, or most expensive piece of jewelry on earth. You could own me, beat me, kill me whatever you'd like just that I could be close to you, smell you, hear you is all I ask.

Re:First Post (-1)

Evil Inside (552726) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941429)

Ever since that CMDERtaco moron came along, slashdot sucked and im losing intrest in trolling :(.

Can they copy-protect Natalie Portman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941715)

I think this [dailyrants.com] is a good reason to copy-protect everything

iTunes is a piece if shite (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941363)

worst program ever !

Hey... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941367)

...isn't this ILLEGAL ???

Re:Hey... (0)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941378)

Yes, it probably is.

And if it isn't yet, a new law will be purchased shortly by the greedy RIAA bastards.

You're not supposed to backup the media you bought. You're supposed to buy a new copy! That's how our economy won't go the Argentine way, you communists.

Re:Hey... (2)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941481)

Prominent cases and relavent information:

SONY CORPORATION OF AMERICA ET AL. [hrrc.org]
v.
UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS, INC., ET AL.

[hrrc.org]
The Audio Home Recording Act
of 1992

RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA [hrrc.org]
v.
DIAMOND MULTIMEDIA SYSTEMS INC.

The outcome:
All district court judges firmly believe in 'fair use' of copyrighted works. What we need now is a massive collision between companies. One that is willing to stand up and fight the DMCA. I don't disagree with copy controls, I disagree with the penalties for distributing technology which bypasses them. I urge everyone to become educated and at the very least; read the Court Opinions from these cases.

Whats the Point? (4, Insightful)

sargon666777 (555498) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941381)

This is really getting old it seems to be a constant battle. They come up with some new means of protection, and we devise a way around it (we as a collective of consumers). They discontinue it, and release a new one, and we work around it again. Besides no matter what they do you can always play it and pipe the sound back in and record it *shrug*. They should just give up and allow people to buy and play the music normally. In the end although there will be some theft they will increase profits becuase I can't imagine anyone will buy these once the word gets out to the general public a bit more. After all who wants a CD you have to fight to play or use in a manner which you have been accustomed when you can jsut buy a good old normal CD. When will they ever learn :-)

Re:Whats the Point? (1, Informative)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941390)

After all who wants a CD you have to fight to play

You're forgetting that most people will never have any problems with playing these CDs.

They use dedicated CD players not CD-ROMs.

Re:Whats the Point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941488)

Right now, yes, I agree with you that most people use dedicated CD players. But with the continuing introduction of "convgergence" devices like Sony's PS2, Microsoft's X-Box (and followon products), combined with the ever-increasing number of consumer devices that allow MP3 playback (Aiwa, Phillips, Sony, Pioneer, Yamana, Denon, not to mention scores of lesser-known brands), more and more people are going to have problems enjoying music THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO LISTEN TO IN A LEGITIMATE FASHION!

Independent analysis of the recording industry have failed to indicate even a single instance of them not turning a profit in any fiscal or calendar year. The RIAA (and some independent analysts) claim lower profits for last year. Hey, guess what, the economy is in the dumper right now! 99% of the companies out there are showing reduced revenue, and many of those have gone from having a profit to showing a loss.

The RIAA claims piracy is a major problem right now, yet they have never provided a single independent analysis to back up their point. I can understand them wanting to be proactive in protecting their market, but these manipulations do absolutely nothing to prevent the kind of large-scale piracy that impacts their business. The real 'pirates' have equipment that does a bit-level extraction and is used to create new pressing masters that contain all of this wonderful content-control technology. The people inconvenienced by technologies like CDS are the consumers who only want to exercise the same rights, privilidges, and convenience they have had for decades.

Re:Whats the Point? (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941506)

That's just not true, most students I know have a have a computer, and use it to play CDs. Why buy an additional CD player?

Re:Whats the Point? (0)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941524)

Most people are not students.

Re:Whats the Point? (2)

arkanes (521690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941841)

Car CD players are also (often) affected by this, because of the skip protection they use.

Re:Whats the Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941427)

This is really getting old it seems to be a constant battle. They come up with some new means of protection, and we devise a way around it (we as a collective of consumers). They discontinue it, and release a new one, and we work around it again.

Of course this ignores the fact that doing this is actually illegal. Not many people seem to know this. You aren't supposed to "devise a way around it". I hope you know that.

Besides no matter what they do you can always play it and pipe the sound back in and record it *shrug*.

OK but then you lose frequencies on an already lossy audio file format (ever heard of XMT??). How much is that worth?.

They should just give up and allow people to buy and play the music normally.

You can but now you dont pirate it. Big woop!

In the end although there will be some theft they will increase profits becuase I can't imagine anyone will buy these once the word gets out to the general public a bit more.

I will. Gladly. Your logic is sooooo flawed. Most people dont even care about it cuz most people obey the law and dn't go around pirating this stuff. It's not your's. Just becuase you bought it doesn't mean you own it.

After all who wants a CD you have to fight to play or use in a manner which you have been accustomed when you can jsut buy a good old normal CD.

Something we all seem to forge t is that most record companies do this to protect the consumer from people tryign to rip their CD's without consent. Most of us apprecaite this kind of design and built in protection against theft. I wonder how long it will be until people stop whining and wake up to the fact that the music biz isn't the enemy. People stealing the music is the enemy. It's pretty simple to me. Whatever! I guess in my opinion or me don't matter.

Re:Whats the Point? (1)

Kalabajoui (232671) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941774)

Nice Troll.

Re:Whats the Point? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941448)

Just remember when you go out and spend 50$ on a single cd for your kids, you can be thankful you are supporting the losers of MidBar technologies....

:-)

Re:Whats the Point? (1)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941502)

not to mention being totally ripped off!

scratch those cd's! (2)

Restil (31903) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941383)

Although this doesn't really do justice to the situation.. does anyone think that crippling cds in this matter is similiarly effective to irradiating mail to kill the anthrax? Sure.. I might be safe from the evil of the world afterwards, but I'll end up with something thats charred and melted.

-Restil

Re:scratch those cd's! (4, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941394)



You can read the mail after it's been irradiated - but forget listening to these CDs in your computer unless you happen to have the right CD ROM in your computer.

I suspect that computer CDROM players will become "smart" and eventually this copy protection will be thwarted. Expect to see some DMCA lawsuits against the manufacturers that make them though.

Meanwhile, all computer users who want to play music on their computer get burned.

One can only hope that there is enough backlash from consumers that raises awarenes to the issues at stake here. The thing that we have to worry about most is consumer apathy.

If consuners don't take a stand on this crap before long their going to have deposit quarters into their computer every time they want to listen to a song.

Re:scratch those cd's! (1)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941458)

You can read the mail after it's been irradiated

Assuming what you get in the mail is on a paper medium. What if it was a floppy disk, or a flash memory stick?

I suspect that computer CDROM players will become "smart" and eventually this copy protection will be thwarted.

I suppose this is (-1, Redundant), but of course the thing the music industry either hasn't noticed yet or keeps ignoring is that not every player has to circumvent the protection; it's enough for one electrical engineer to get something through a S/PDIF cable and an mp3 encoder ... and then game over. People already illegally download music, all the time, so what is to stop people from downloading something they already own on CD (which in my book is absolutely permissible - morally, if not legally)?

The situation will evolve like DVD players. (2)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941766)

The default state of most DVD players is to have all of the fuckware features enabled. However, hardware manufacturers have nothing to gain expending energy to protect the fuckware. Within days of a player coming on the market new firmware is available to restore full functionality. The only thing that is often necessary is to burn a firmware cd and stick in the player. In my case, I'm going to have to use a little skill to build a twenty dollar firmware burner but it won't be any big deal.

The same will happen with CD-ROM drives. The manufacturers will make them the same way they do now but not go to any great trouble to obfuscate the firmware. Why should they spend all that money on expensive engineers when it's going to get hacked anyway. It's the media conglomerates that are obsessed about this. The hardware companies (except for one's like Sony) just want to sell the kit and get out.

DMCA? (1)

stere0 (526823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941387)

Aren't these guys going to get into trouble?

DMCA? Probably not. (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941404)

Because I doubt this qualifies as a copyright scheme, neither CD players nor CD-ROM players have any built-in copy prevention. This is more a case of obfuscating and creating a standard-breaking disc. After all, the only thing needed to copy the cd is to emulate an analog CD player.

Kjella

One step ahead of the DCMA... (1)

Graelin (309958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941405)

It's sad, but you're probably right. Just in case anyone wants to archive this stuff, I thought I'd dig out links to all the software they reviewed in the article... ;)

IsoBuster [voodoofiles.com]
feurio! [feurio.net]
Exact Audio Copy (EAC) [exactaudiocopy.de]
Clone CD [elby.org]

You've got three choices: (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941393)

  • Buy more CDs
  • Steal music online
  • Enjoy the albums you already own
I'm sticking with #3 until the RIAA gets a fucking clue.

How can they be so stupid as to think that ANY kind of copy protection will ever prevent their music from getting onto the net? Clearly, they think that someone is sitting there repeatedly dubbing a CD again and again every time something is downloaded. Don't they realize that no matter how difficult they make the initial ripping, it only has to be done ONCE to make a billion copies?

The only people they're inconveniencing with these tactics are guys like me who would otherwise have paid for the material. It doesn't make it any harder to download the file off gnutella.

Re:You've got three choices: (1)

DgWatters0 (46011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941496)

Clearly, they think that someone is sitting there repeatedly dubbing a CD again and again every time something is downloaded.

And you know what we have to blame for that... Futurama. In the kidnapster episode they showed how the only way for people to download celebrities was to keep the celebrities' heads imprisoned so they can copy from the original each time. Luckily someone came up with this copy protection for CDs so instead of hurting the poor CDs everytime someone downloads off you, the CDs are protected with cactus like spikes which hurt the evil pirates trying to download music. Phew.

Re:You've got three choices: (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941611)

you're wrong....

They are making their own customers mad and pissed. If I buy a CD and cant rip it's contents to mp3, I n longer can use it with most of my audio systems.. my car has a empeg, and i have a portable mp3 player, and my audiotrons in he house... at the rate the mp3 player hardware is selling, they are pissing off a large number of customers that are not happily sharing the mp3 files on the internet.

It just proves that record company executives are and always have been dumb as a box of rocks.

Re:You've got three choices: (3, Insightful)

captaineo (87164) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941707)

I agree... The content companies need to realize that it is now impossible to regulate access to copyrighted works. No matter how hard they try, they will not be able to prevent people from giving unauthorized access to others.

But here is the key - access is only part of the value the content companies provide - there are also things like convenience (how easy is it to download one particular song or episode of a TV show?), quality (how good is the download bandwidth?), and atmosphere (you can't download the experience of watching a movie in a theatre, or attending a live concert!). Unlike access, these things can't be transmitted across a P2P network...

Only once companies wake up to the fact that preventing unlicensed access is a lost game, and start focusing on non-replicable sources of value, will they be able to accept and profit from the internet.

Re:You've got three choices: (1)

Dave_bsr (520621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2942037)

You've gotta love any place where:

"I'm sticking with #3 [enjoy the albums I already own] until the RIAA gets a fucking clue."

gets modded up to 5, insightful. You gotta love it.

thinking ahead (5, Insightful)

athagon (410963) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941401)

One would wonder if the record industries/other persons responsible for greater "security" on CDs/DVDs had thought of this:

With the current system, the following can be done:

Person A buys CD1. Person A rips CD1 to disk, and distributes MP3s to Person B. Person B likes said MP3s, and buys CD1 for his/herself.

With "rip proof" technology (at least, until its cracked), however:

Person A buys CD1. Person A tries to rip CD1, and fails. Person A tells Person B that CD1 sucks because you can't rip it. OR: Person B can't hear MP3s from CD1, so Person B doesn't know whether or not (s)he should buy it, and possibly decides not to.

With the current system, yes, the industries stand a greater chance of losing money: but they also stand a greater chance (and, as some statistics have shown, this is the case) of gaining more money; given that the majority of Napster users (apparently, and as I did) used Napster to download a few random MP3s to decide whether (s)he should/should not buy CD1. With rip-proof CDs, however, Person A, B, C... won't be able to listen to MP3s from CD1, and thusly won't know whether or not they want to buy it.

Synopsis:

It would not seem wise, at least to me, for the industries to err on the side of greater control, and away from the potential for greater sales. Penny wise and dollar foolish, they say...

Re:thinking ahead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941445)

OMG, moderators!!! Wake the fuck up!! Troll/karma whore alert!

Re:thinking ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941461)

*points at the previous comment* Yah, right there.

~Jacel

Re:thinking ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941619)

That's exactly what I did. I used Napster to look for MP3's of artists I knew little or nothing about other than one song. If I liked the rest of their music, I would buy the disc. If not, I'd trash the MP3's since I hated them anyway, or they'd get tucked away for further listening (maybe I'd change my mind?).

At any rate, during the Napster rush from early 2000 to early 2001, I must have bought about four or five CDs per month based on this trial method. Since they took Napster away from me, my CD purchased have dropped to about one every three months. I simply am not willing to waste my money buying possible industry cruft music from bands that have only a single good tune.

Last week I learned of a techno artist on DishCD (Dish Network's satellite music channel), the song was good... a little bit of loungecore and drum and bass. Not too bad. I saw the aritst, found the MP3 of the song, listened. I thought about buying the disc, so I looked for more of their music. It turns out the rest of it was all absolute crap. So an MP3 saved me some money.

About two months ago, I bought a movie soundtrack. I was not familiar with the majority of the artists so I checked out some MP3's of their other work. Sure enough, most of them were worthless. But there were three or four artists that had genuinely good other work, so the MP3's (I had to fight to find music from just one of them, thanks to the RIAA) led me to buy their disc.

So, you see, the RIAA has helped me stop buying music. In some ways, I appreciate it because all those CD's were getting expensive.

Re:thinking ahead (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941835)

It would not seem wise, at least to me, for the industries to err on the side of greater control, and away from the potential for greater sales. Penny wise and dollar foolish, they say...

You're right in suggesting that they want enhanced control. But remember, when you listen to your friend's MP3, decide you like and go out and buy it you're making a purchasing decision about whether or not you like the music based upon your friend's opinion and your personal preferences.

You're not making it based upon the music industry's marketing campaign. The industry pushes select artists that they have an investment in and want to succeed, and they would rather that you made your decisions on what to buy based upon they're selling, not upon what your friends like or what you find appealing.

The record companies, as subsidieries of media conglomerates, already have influence over TV, magazines, record stores, and radio stations (through direct ownership or payola). What they don't control is whether your friend tells you about a new disc he got and the music on it.

I'd agree that it may hurt sales, since a lot of records that have become popular have become popular because of word-of-mouth but I think more and more people are such slaves of the media anyway (radio in shower, in the car, in the office, MTV at home, etc) that many people by and large have lost their ability to generate an opinion of their own anyway.

Re:thinking ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941865)

Come on, lets be honest. Do you REALLY go and buy a CD after having the MP3's in your hand ?
Thats almost like having sex with your girlfriend, then going out and paying a hooker for it. If you want the CD, just decompress the tracks back into wave and make your own CD.
Don't like the quality of the convertaed waves ? Download higher quality MP3's.

New slashdot poll (1)

Dave_bsr (520621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2942060)

What is the source of the music your are listening to right now?
1. Paid for compact disc
2. MP3/OGG on your hard drive from your cd's
3. MP3/OGG on hard drive from a modern p2p client
4. MP3 from napster (old-school, extra points)
5. Radio
6. The CowboyNeal Opera

Come on, guys... (4, Insightful)

ekrout (139379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941403)

Come on, guys.

For every technological solution, there's a technological "hack", right?

Name one anti-piracy tactic employed by any corporation for use in consumer products that has not, is not, and will not continue to be hacked. Still thinking? I thought so.

Whatever they think of will be hacked in a matter of days (or hours even), no matter how many times or what media/record companies think up a different scheme. If we can get the ones and zeros, then that's it. I'm not sure why more people don't understand this.

The only question is how long it will take Patti Q. User to get a purdy little Windows app that will rip her new N*Sync CD flawlessly.

Who says that she will? (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941419)

The only question is how long it will take Patti Q. User to get a purdy little Windows app that will rip her new N*Sync CD flawlessly.
I doubt that, way too much cat-and-mouse game. I think it's more likely she'll find the latest Napster-clone (they seem a dime a dozen these days), get a quality mp3 and stop buying "defective" cds...

Kjella

Re:Who says that she will? (1)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941466)

I doubt that, way too much cat-and-mouse game.

Hey - all of us agree, CDS and similar measures suck kidney stones through Fallopian tubes, but if Big Media were to make it clear that they would only use technological measures "against" their customers and never call down the lawyers for piracy/DRM issues, I figure that's almost a fair deal. I just hate it when they call down the lawyers.

Unfortunately we know they would never agree to tie their legal hands like that....

Re:Come on, guys... (1)

heideggier (548677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941485)

For every technological solution, there's a technological "hack", right?

hmm... seems a controversial question, the reason I say this is that: if "they" continue to try, then it might only be a matter of time before "they" come up with a technique that, while not unbreakable, will not be worth anyones time to crack. I sometimes think that by breaking this technology we are just beta testing "their" products.

I'm more inclined to take the view that the development of such tech is illegal because it is something which takes away my rights of fair usage. I should not need to crack something just to use it in a way which is completely within my rights.

Also, it tends to piss me off that these actions also break the redbook standard and thus they are selling more-or-less broken CD's. However this is a minor concern inrelation to the above

To best illustrate my view, imagine if the government attempted to fix cars to make them impossible to break the speed limit, I gurantee the response of the average person would not be "It doesn't matter cause my kid can break it with in seconds with a flathead" but that it is a infrignment of liberty. The same kind of thinking should be applied to copy-protected CD's IMHO.

Re:Come on, guys... (1)

Kuad (529006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941558)

hmm... seems a controversial question, the reason I say this is that: if "they" continue to try, then it might only be a matter of time before "they" come up with a technique that, while not unbreakable, will not be worth anyones time to crack.

Hah! I remember back in tha' day when they had really nasty copy protection on floppy disks. Every time some idiots wasted 6 months of their lives to come up with a new copy protection scheme, it took three weeks maximum for a crack to appear. You can see the same result in more recent times with the advent of SafeDisc2. It took several months to find a way to perfectly copy the damn thing, but you could make an imperfect copy and play it with a crack in about two weeks.

Never, ever underestimate the coolness points you get with the 1337 h@X0r crowd for circumventing a new copy protection scheme. There's no shortage of 17 year-old crackers desperate to crack the bloody thing.

Hasn't been hacked yet (1)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941645)

How about the X-box?

Re:Hasn't been hacked yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941656)

Bleemcast, the dreamcast PSX emulator, has not been cracked yet, and that's been out for atleast 5 months.

Jargon to English Translation (5, Funny)

Skirwan (244615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941406)

How does the Cactus Data Shield work?
Translation: How can I circumvent it?
As Midbar explains "...The Cactus Data Shield proprietary technology was developed in-house by a multidisciplinary team of experts in the fields of information security, physics, mathematics, electronics, cryptography and algorithms.
Translation:We got a whole room of smart people who worked on it. Sometimes we race them.
The technology includes proprietary electronic circuits and software algorithms.
Translation:It uses computers and stuff. It's like the Jetsons.
The Cactus Data Shield processor is the engine behind the protection and serves as a platform for encoding original content through robust, multi-layer protection schemes.
Translation: I wanted to just call it Bob, but the head of marketing has a cactus fetish.
An engineering solution, the protection schemes are adaptive, easily updated and significantly more robust than software solutions.
Translation: Even though it's basically done in software we can't say that, 'cause it confuses the VPs.
The Cactus Data Shield copy protection slightly alters the information on the CD in several ways while maintaining perfect audio quality.
Translation: We only fucked it up a little.

--
Damn the Emperor!

Further Analisys of a Damn Stupid System: (3, Funny)

Romancer (19668) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941473)

They hope to sell more of these altered CD's that have copy protection, cause less people will use piracy?

Wait a sec, this sounds too stupid.
Try to follow a little train of thought that'd probably help
some executives somewhere in the recording industry:

Why does someone buy a CD?
To listen to the music.

What does the industry do to get more people to buy the CD?
Not let people listen to the music, by:
a. limiting the playability
b. limiting the portability
c. limiting the quality

Why do people download MP3s?
to listen to the music free.

Why do people upload MP3s?
to let people listen to the music free.

What does the industry do about it?
force us to download the music, by:
a. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in any of our PCs
b. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in some of our DVDs
c. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in some of our cars
d. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in any of our MP3 players
'cause we can't get them there

If I cannot listen to the music from a CD that I just paid for, and I have to go download it off the internet because I cannot easily rip it to an MP3 to play in my MP3 player I am a very small step from not paying for the CD in the first place and just going and downloading the songs for free.
I can make a regular cd from the MP3s that will play on anything, and the media costs a whole lot less than $9-$18 and I get to pick the tracks!

Freakin brilliant RIAA!
Thanks for making my decision so easy!

Not letting us listen to the music that is the sole reason we paid for the CD, is the most retarded thing I have heard of in a long time.
People make choices with some consideration to the ease of using the result.

CD w/ security = Hassle = less are going to choose
Free MP3 = Easy = more are going to choose

This was mentioned before, by the way... (1)

ekrout (139379) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941410)

This was mentioned before, by the way.

Us Slashdotters read about this Cactus crap back on November 18th. And on several other dates, too.

one of 'em [slashdot.org]

So, if the only CD player I have is a CDROM (4, Interesting)

pyramid termite (458232) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941413)

... I can only listen to the music as a 128 bps MP3. Why should I pay 12-13 bucks to do that when I can download 128 bps MP3s for nothing? (And yes, a person who knows how to record from one audio source to a computer can make an MP3 that's indistinguishable from one ripped from a CD.)

This is a shameless rip-off of the consumer. It's fraudulent, in fact. When I buy a CD, I expect CD quality music, not MP3s. They should have to put a sticker on the case explaining that computer users get MP3 only quality.

And yes, my only CD player IS a CD-ROM. I won't buy one of these "CDs" ever.

Re:So, if the only CD player I have is a CDROM (1)

Dave_bsr (520621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2942117)

Another tact would be to blindly buy the cd's you want, and then take the ones back that are 'broken' for your cd player. Unless they are obviously labelled, play 'dumb customer,' and if that doesn't work play 'grumpy customer,' and if you really have to play 'outraged customer.' Eventually the store will accept your return, especially if you are openly making a fuss about not being able to play a cd that "JUST DOESN'T WORK AT ALL!!!"

In the end, you get your money, they get some hassle, and it gets pushed right back into the music industry. Wal-Mart sells cd's, and they won't sell cd's that are 'broken' and take a lot of returns. I suspect it might be that simple.

Mutisession cd's? That's all? (2)

Elvii (428) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941424)

Well, not all, but seems part of catcus shield is just audio tracks, then data-session that plays under windows.. I have none of these cd's, anyone tried these things under cdparanoia to see if they read? Sounds like if you just ignore extra tracks that might contain false toc info, then you'd be ok.. linked article even says as much, that it's a feature in some (windows?) ripping programs to ignore the garbage designed to "protect" the data.. until everyone buys a new cd/dvd audio player, riaa and friends should just give up on copy protaction, it seems.

Re:Mutisession cd's? That's all? (2, Informative)

742Evergreen (208020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941450)

They tested about 10 drives in the article, and they all encountered some problems while reading, except for the AOpen CRW2440 (up to 91% with CDDAE, up to 100% with EAC).

They managed to copy the disc with CloneCD [elby.org] and the Aopen drive. They also tried to copy it whith one other drive (TDK CyClone 161040), but that one encountered read errors.

"The CDS200 cd-r backup does contain the CDS200 protection, however now is FULLY readable from all tested drives"

Translation: Rip away.

Also interesting to know is the amount of read errors in the original versus the copy. The diagram can be found here. [cdrinfo.com]

In short, the "real" cd was one solid block of read errors, the copy had a few spikes, but those were nothing compared to the other, both in frequency and seriousness (note that the scale in the two diagrams is vastly different).

Re:Mutisession cd's? That's all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941843)

Does this mean a pre-multisession CD rom drive might work ? Now this is assuming such a drive would even support DAE...

Kind of reminds me of a Star Wars quote... (3, Insightful)

pxpt (40550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941431)

...the tighter you squeeze, the more systems (CD sales) will escape between your fingers... well something like that anyway!

I had bought the new Natalie Imbruglia CD (here in the UK) when it first came out and discovered myself that it was copy protected. I was very annoyed to say the least and managed to return the CD and get my money back. A while later I ordered the unprotected version from BMG and now I have a CD that I can actually listen to.

There is NO WAY I will intentionally buy any protected music CDs now, or in the future. Music publishing companies will just force copying and distribution of music from these CDs via the channels that they are trying to stop. Duh! why can they not see this?...

...Maybe its due to the age old misconception that number of pirated copies equals the number of lost sales! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

The day that all music CDs are protected is the day I will stop buying them.

"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (0, Flamebait)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941446)


"...but this article addresses the specific concerns of how best to backup these protected CDs, and how to extract the music data at high quality for download to a personal MP3 listening device."


Does anyone really believe that music consumers "backup" thier discs to mp3 for purely "personal" use? Let's at least be adult enough not to sugar coat this: we want to get around Cactus Data Shield because we want to "share" [or steal] music.


Make your argument based on non-profit-based music sharing [we're spreading the music around and not making any money at it], not on some obviously disingenuous use of the language.


If it isn't stealing, and people really do enjoy the convenience and portability of technologies like mp3, no one is going to listen until the user community grows up enough to level with itself.


If the music industry is going to pull its collective head out of its collective cornhole, we're the only ones who can do the pulling.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941471)

we want to get around Cactus Data Shield because we want to "share" [or steal] music.

Bullshit. You may steal music. I rip every CD I buy so that when I want to listen to my albums, I don't have to go through the hassle of finding and switching CDs all the time. I'm then also able to stream my MP3s from home->work. I don't have to lug my CDs around everywhere I go. Having all my music on my computer is a huge convenience to me, and I do it solely for that fact. I don't do it to distribute to friends.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (1)

psamuels (64397) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941475)

Does anyone really believe that music consumers "backup" thier discs to mp3 for purely "personal" use? Let's at least be adult enough not to sugar coat this: we want to get around Cactus Data Shield because we want to "share" [or steal] music.

The majority, almost certainly, but not me. I really do use cdparanoia and oggenc purely for my own convenience. I've got 10 GB of ogg files on my hard disk here at work, every last octet of which was ripped from CDs I have at home [well a few are still at work, from being ripped]. Nobody has access to this drive except me.

I appreciate what you're saying - I bet there are more people on /. who use p2p to infringe copyrights than there are people like me - but we do exist. Not that I've given you any evidence to back up my claim of personal audio copyright integrity. (:

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (3, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941483)

I rip all the CDs I buy, so that I can transfer the mp3s to work, or just play them through winamp at parties instead of having to switch CDs all the time. Yes, I put the mp3s in my AudioGalaxy shared folder, but that's because it's up to others to judge whether they want to copy them or not.


I buy more CDs than I download mp3s off the net.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (1, Redundant)

astrashe (7452) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941487)

I've ripped a couple of hundred of my cd's to my hard disk. I never play cd's -- I use the computer as a jukebox. I have my desktop box plugged into my stereo, and I use my laptop, running vnc over a wireless network, as a remote control.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (2, Interesting)

dietz (553239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941538)

Not only do I rip all my CDs for convenience (as mentioned by other people), I also know people who rip the CDs, compress them with FLAC, and write the FLAC files and the TOC to CDR so that if the CD gets scratched (and I know this happens to me, despite my best efforts) or stolen (this has also happened to me, out of my car) they can recreate a new CD basically identical to the original one.

You don't save too much with FLAC, but enough that you can fit at least two CDs onto one CDR (if you match the sizes... pick a big and a short one, or two average ones).

400 CDrs (for 800 CDs) @ .30 = $120. You've saved money if you have to replace more than 8 or 9.

So, those people do exist. I know two.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (2, Interesting)

ammulder (265357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941613)

There is the convenience issue. Let's count:
  • Number of songs you can play without switching CDs: 15? 18?
  • Number of MP3s you can play without switching hard drives: 2000? 5000? more?
Plus, with the multi-GB players, you can take your whole collection to work, to the gym, etc. And you can just drop all the songs you don't like. And let's not forget about playlists. And...

I don't have any MP3s I didn't rip myself. But even so, why would I ever go back to CDs?

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941638)

I'll probably be marked as a troll for this but...

Screw you, asshole.

I have a plethora of mp3 audio playback devices. My car, home and portable personal devices. These devices have been on the market for over 4 years now and sold with high visibility advertising, so you know for a fact they exist and people are using them. Yes, I rip everything to mp3 so I can listen to it MY WAY, on MY EQUIPMENT, in my home and elsewhere. I place the CD I bought in a locked cd storage cabinet and that's where it sits until it's needed again. Now let's look at something else, what about the phillips CD recorder, compiler. Many more people with these or their computers like to make compiliation cd's. for their own personal use.

I am sick of your type of self-ritious attitude that marks everyone with an mp3 playback device, a cd burner, and linux or other non MS operating system as the pirates of the Carrabiean or Evil thieves. the cd's I bought ar my property, I can listen to them how I want, and I will...

and my atitude is the attitude that needs to be taken by everyone that hears someone even try to imply what you said... get in their face.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (2)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941662)


Does anyone really believe that music consumers "backup" thier discs to mp3 for purely "personal" use? Let's at least be adult enough not to sugar coat this: we want to get around Cactus Data Shield because we want to "share" [or steal] music.

On the contrary - I rip my CD's for the same reason I used to dub them to tape. Why? Cause if I only really like 3 or 4 songs on a CD, I have to change the damn CD every 15 minutes, which sucks. With MP3, I rip, I have my WinAmp play lists, and not only can I listen to them here in my room(I don't own a CD player that isn't attached to a computer BTW. I used to have one, but it broke) I can take them with me on a (small) Mp3 player or my laptop instead of dragging a book of CD's with me. If I can't get around copy protection, I don't listen to the CD. I'm not about to buy a walkman CD player just so I can actually listen to something I just paid for thats been intentionally munged.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (1)

NachtVorst (310120) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941867)

Does anyone really believe that music consumers "backup" thier discs to mp3 for purely "personal" use?
Actually, I do... It's much easier to listen to a few hours of mp3's instead of having to switch cd's. And my roommates can listen to them over the LAN without borrowing and scratching my cd's.

Anyway, even if I didn't rip the cd's to mp3, I'd still want to play them in my CD-ROM-drive (which can play audio-cd's according to the specs).

Oh, and finally, this is NOT STEALING, call it illegal copying if you will (though I don't agree), but it's not stealing. I don't go around calling speeding murder, even though there's a chance you might kill someone by driving too fast.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2942012)

Does anyone really believe that music consumers "backup" thier discs to mp3 for purely "personal" use?...

Yes.

Re:"backup" audio CDs for "personal" use? (1)

lanalyst (221985) | more than 12 years ago | (#2942018)

Heh... you must be a riaa lawyer.

We have an in-dash cd player in the car. Besides the obvious theft issues, have you ever looked closely at the back of a cd you changed while driving? It's scratched. Being left out in the heat and cold won't do them much good either, I suspect.

Now is your point I should buy 2 copies of a CD? That indeed would make the recording industry happy but I would be an idiot.

Copies made for personal use are permissable, and the recording industry is preventing that.

For myself, if there's a album I want that's copy protected and someone managed to rip it and post it to a newsgroup... I'm going to d/l it and burn my own cd.

There's no excuse for greed

Making us criminals... (2, Insightful)

fleabag (445654) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941447)

If I make 2 assumptions:

1) That this copy protection will be common place in 2 years time

2) I still want to listen to "new" music in 2 years time

Then I will have been forced into criminal activity. MP3 is my format of choice - it is convenient and easy. In the future, if I want to listen to music in the car, then I will have to download it illegally. I will have no choice but to do this. Eventually I will get pissed off with buying useless plastic discs to satisfy my conscience, and they will have lost another revenue stream.

Message to the industry:

1) A large proportion of your future customers use MP3. (i.e. anyone under the age of 15 today). By doing this you are forcing them to "go pirate".

2) A large proportion of your current customers use MP3. You are making enemies of them. This is bad marketing.

3) It's been said before, and I'll say it again. It takes one copy of a CD to be made digitally, and you've lost. The story showed that this is possible - although it says that the protection is effective, it isn't. They made a copy - and that's all it takes. Even if one person makes a really good analogue transfer, then you've lost.

My first copy-pretection experience (3, Interesting)

tjansen (2845) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941452)

Here is my first experience with a copy-protected cd:
it was 'Better Days' by JOE (Jive Records/Zomba). I got it from Amazon.de. The only sign that it was copy-protected was a very small printing on the back side "This CD is not playable on computers (CD-ROM/DVD-ROM)". So I tried it on my computer running Linux, with a Creative Dxr2 5x DVD-ROM and I could hear it on audio mode. To my surprise I was also able to rip it using cdparanoia (otherwise I would have returned it immediately, I have far too many CDs to manage them in any for but Ogg Vorbis or MP3 format). So I tried it on my DVD-Player (Yamakawa AVphile 715), and it worked, too. However I noticed that the player needed an unusual long time to detect it as a CD. Next try was my stereo, an old Sony CD player: worked fine as well. Then I tried a Windows PC with a 40x Pioneer CD-ROM: did not detect the CD. Ok, so at least in one cd drive the copy protection worked.


I thought about the possibility of returning it to Amazon, but I felt bad about the idea of returning a CD that I had already ripped and that worked in most computers, so I didnt do this. I wrote a letter to Amazon.de though, asking them to include information about copy protected CDs in the description and I told them that I would never buy a copy-protected CD, and if I would ever get another one I would return it immediately. They replied, telling that they cannot put this information in the description, but because of the special circumstances I was allowed to return even opened CDs if they are copy-protected.

Isn't this copy protection always useless ? (1)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941457)

All music playing devices have an analog output - the speakers. Nothing is easier to rip that sample this output and therefore rip the content. Unless we have some kind of digital speakers, I don't see why the recording industry even brothers with such "copy protection". It only scares away customers. Yes, there is a quality loss when sampling the analog output, but there is also a quality loss with MP3 and noone seems care about this.

Re:Isn't this copy protection always useless ? (1)

dietz (553239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941567)

Unless we have some kind of digital speakers...Yes, there is a quality loss when sampling the analog output

We do have digital "speakers". It's called S/PDIF [andrewkilpatrick.org] .

Any modern CD player and reciever should have it. (My $200 Sony disc changer does. So does my $250 Technics reciever... this stuff is consumer-grade). If you do any music production, there's a good chance you have inputs and outputs on your computer, too. [midiman.com]

Start your computer recording and then play just one track on the CD player. Strip leading and trailing silence. You now have a perfect digital copy.

Re:Isn't this copy protection always useless ? (1)

kwikfire (538877) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941820)

My 25 disc CD changer has a optical digital output, as do many other standalone cd players. Currently my soundcard does not have optical digital in, but next go around I'd get something similar to Creative Lab's Audigy Platium. It is the newer version of the Live series. The "live drive" puts some easy access ports on the front of your PC, two being optical digital in and out. By doing this you can only rip in real time. However there should not be any data loss, because it doesn't go analog and back.

Re:Isn't this copy protection always useless ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941866)

Even with a digital speaker, the audio signal is still going to drive the voice coil some how.

Unless the RIAA makes a drug that make you think you heard the music...

What about lengthy CDs? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941462)

Sticking MP3s or other digital music formats on the audio CDs works ok for Pop Star Of The Moment's latest 40 minutes of music, but what about CDs that normally would have 60-80 minutes of music? For example, the Beatles 'One' CD was over 79 minutes long - definitely no room for anything else.

So will the record companies:

A) Ship 2 CDs - 1 copy protected audio CD, and 1 data CD, and charge more.
B) Just not include digital formats on lengthy CDs.
C) Edit the music so that both the protected audio and data will fit.
D) Option C, and also release a "Collector's Edition", that contains the additional music cut from the original CD, at a higher price.

Just the idea of copy protecting audio CDs is repugnant, but when you really think about the side effects, it gets even uglier.

Re:What about lengthy CDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941469)

E) Encode the music at such a low bitrate that it will fit onto the CD. Explain that the crappy audio quality is due to the MP3 format, and how WMA would be able to deliver worse^H^H^H^H^Hhigh quality in 1/2 the space?

ummmmm.... (2, Insightful)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941468)

How can Cactus Data Shield "protect" Audio CDs, when the people who wrote teh spec (Phillips) says that TPM'd "CD"s aren't supposed to use the trademark? Cactus Data cannot protect CDs, because once Cactus Data goes on, it's not a CD.

Re:ummmmm.... (1)

Aneurin (315078) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941721)

Yes and no. IIRC it isn't compliant with Compact Disc-Digital Audio (CDDA) standard which is what Phillips has control over and therefore they can't really use the CDDA logo. But it can still be marketed as a "CD" being that it is one. :)

In case anybody has a perspective. (0, Redundant)

Romancer (19668) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941476)

They hope to sell more of these altered CD's that have copy protection, cause less people will use piracy?

Wait a sec, this sounds too stupid.
Try to follow a little train of thought that'd probably help
some executives somewhere in the recording industry:

Why does someone buy a CD?
To listen to the music.

What does the industry do to get more people to buy the CD?
Not let people listen to the music, by:
a. limiting the playability
b. limiting the portability
c. limiting the quality

Why do people download MP3s?
to listen to the music free.

Why do people upload MP3s?
to let people listen to the music free.

What does the industry do about it?
force us to download the music, by:
a. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in any of our PCs
b. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in some of our DVDs
c. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in some of our cars
d. Not letting us listen to the CD we just paid for in any of our MP3 players
'cause we can't get them there

If I cannot listen to the music from a CD that I just paid for, and I have to go download it off the internet because I cannot easily rip it to an MP3 to play in my MP3 player I am a very small step from not paying for the CD in the first place and just going and downloading the songs for free.
I can make a regular cd from the MP3s that will play on anything, and the media costs a whole lot less than $9-$18 and I get to pick the tracks!

Freakin brilliant RIAA!
Thanks for making my decision so easy!

Not letting us listen to the music that is the sole reason we paid for the CD, is the most retarded thing I have heard of in a long time.
People make choices with some consideration to the ease of using the result.

CD w/ security = Hassle = less are going to choose
Free MP3 = Easy = more are going to choose

This is stupid (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941478)

why are we letting ourselves get into this situation. Business is supposed to work on supply and demand. No-one wants copy-protection, cds and dvds cost nothing to press and the intellectual property is not worth allot, so why are they selling bits of plastic for so much money? When a dvd comes out, the film has already made a profit from the box office so why do they get away with such a high price - way higher than even the ticket you paid for to see it on the big screen? (because people are dumb enough to pay) can the interviews and out-takes that you see on tv anyway be worth so much? i think not. As for cds, why can they not understand this simple idea: "If i can hear it, i can copy it" its very simple, but no, they waste millions developing new technology that usually degrades the product that the customer pays for, and the customers take it without question, why?

You can't ban file sharing, because you would have to ban the entire idea of the internet and people would just resort to private modem-modem networks (thats if they didn't riot in the streets). So go face the music record companies - your days of extortion are over so go back to your coke sniffing and prostitutes lol

.. (-1, Redundant)

karmalien (129660) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941492)

if you build a better mousetrap your jus gonna get a better mouse.....mmmmm mice

This depresses me... (1)

Kit Lo (45824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941500)

I'm still afraid these CDs will blow up my DVD-ROM drive or something of the sorts - is that possibility still true?

Re:This depresses me... (0)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941527)

Yes, and masturbation gives you acne and makes hair grow on your palms.

In other words, the answer is no.

Those who don't learn from history... (4, Insightful)

martyb (196687) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941540)

"Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Back in the late 80's it was all the rage by software manufacturers to copy protect their software. (I still have a copy of Lotus 123 from that era.) Various schemes were used:

  • Bad sector(s) on a floppy disk that needed to be present in the drive for the program to run. The disk could not be copied easily using conventional means, but soon people wrote programs to crack the protection.

    Many customers ran into problems when trying to use a legitimately purchased copy as their system reacted differently than expected to the copy protection. The vendors would add increasingly more complicated schemes that never blocked the motivated copier, but DID interfere with legitimate users being able to use the software on certain systems.

  • Printer port dongle that needed to be present in the parallel port. This allowed unlimited copying of the software, but you couldn't run it unless the dongle was in place.

    There was a time when I had a half dozen of these hanging off the back of my PC (imagine 12 inches of dongles sticking out the back; couldn't push the PC against the wall; major leverage against the connector on the PC, etc.) Besides, each dongle interefered somewhat with the timing of the signal going through it... we had a case where a printer attached to the end of the dongle-chain needed to be powered up for the system to boot.

  • Startup questions that required the user to look up a certain value in the documentation and key it in when prompted by the application.

    The thinking was users could easily copy the software, but photocopying the documentation was a much more difficult task that most "pirates" would not go through the effort of doing. I have a game somewhere that came with a "code sheet" printed on red paper that claimed it could not be photocopied. Truly, it was difficult using the black-and-white copiers available at the time, but I persevered and got a usable, albeit poor contrast, copy. (I feared spilling a coffee on the original and becoming unable to play the game which I had legally purchased.)


In short, users began to revolt and companies eventually began to recognize they were selling fewer copies of their software as people migrated to using non-copyprotected applications.

Software vendors learned this lesson the hard way many years ago, yet we now have audio (CD) and video (DVD) treading down the same path. I'm waiting to see how long it takes for them to learn this lesson, too.

Re:Those who don't learn from history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941612)

imagine 12 inches of dongles sticking out the back

You know, your post was going quite well until you decided to boast falsely about your penis size. 12 inch dong indeed! Pheh!

Re:Those who don't learn from history... (1)

ammulder (265357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941627)

Look on the bright side:

When your next CD comes with a dongle, you'll know what's happened!

Re:Those who don't learn from history... (2, Interesting)

dietz (553239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941718)

Bad sector(s) on a floppy disk that needed to be present in the drive for the program to run. The disk could not be copied easily using conventional means, but soon people wrote programs to crack the protection. My favorite was the Copy II Plus program for the Apple II. It was a commercial program with a built-in, ever-updated list of copy-protected programs and internal instructions on how to copy them. It made pirating software trivial. (Hey, I was 9, OK? Right and wrong were fuzzy topics.) The best part about it, though, was that it actually had copy protection itself, but contained instructions on how to defeat its own copy protection. I always thought that was totally nuts.

Re:Those who don't learn from history... (1)

Aneurin (315078) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941793)

I have a game somewhere that came with a "code sheet" printed on red paper that claimed it could not be photocopied.

They could be manually copied with pen and paper and_that_photocopied and distributed. It just further illustrates that as long as any form of CP exists someone, somewhere will take the initiative to make it easier for other people. As mentioned many times, this is the same as with music: one digital copy (MP3, Ogg, whatver) is all that is needed to revert the CP to nothing and mass pirating can begin.

Speaking of older methods of ittitating users I remember the most horiffic CP "documentation" method ever: the "dual-wheel" discs. I remember them being common with popular Amiga games (Monkey Island et.al.). I do recall writing letters to the creators telling them that it was unnecessary and was alienating people - I had lost the disc many times and feared breaking it so ended up_recreating_one and archiving the master.

Nothing ever changes.

Fair Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941545)

I put every CD I own on HD. This would be >800. I hate it, if a copy-protiction is on the CD. I have no stanalone player but a DVD standalone with very good audio quality. This drive does NOT play the copy protected ones.

One of my 2 protected CDs had a sign on it, well I shouldn't have bought it. The other one has NO sign: Natalie Imbruglia.

This is annoying, very annoing. I won't buy such CDs in future and even less CDs in general, because if I have to study WWW pages with "broken disc" lists before shopping I won't do it any more.

However I could copy any CD to HD so far. One had a second broken 2nd session on it. With an PLEXTOR Ultraplex 40 an appropriate software it was easy to read the frist session (no other protection involved). Natalie Imbruglia was easy too, I ripped it normaly (cdparanoia) with my TOSHIBA CD-ROM XM-6702B. [Thank god I have 2 computers]

Furthermore the first CD (a sampler) had NO CD-AUDIO sign on it, not even on the box and a label, though it's not ok it's better than NO label AND the CD-AUDIO sign.

But BOTH of this CDs are NO audio CDs and incompatible with standalone players (at least DVDs - why by a CD player if a DVD player handles CDs as well - my player even had very good ratings in an audiophile magazine).

If this continues, I
a) won't buy CDs any more
b) will get them from somewhere else.

I know this is illegal, but I have no choice. I need to play all my music from my HD or mp3 player.

This is what hearing music means to me... (not carrying hunderts of CDs arround and scratching them, those with copy prtection have even less sratch protection)

Thanks Universal.. (1)

haggar (72771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941586)

..for pre-scratching the CD for me. It would probably take thousands of hours of careless handling for me to produce all those C1 errors in the soundtracs.

(I was just sarcastic. But seriously: when you buy one of these protected CD-likes, bear in mind that they are much less robust against scratches and dust than the "real" audi CDs.)

They need an editor (0)

FlamingAsshole (550342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941657)

Ok maybe I'm being picky, but I kept bumping into sentences like these:

"When the EAC v0.9x version is being used will automatically detect the copy protected CDs and will display only the correct Audio tracks."

"This time only 2 tracks didn't ripped correctly: "

Yaaa!! That grates..

Ability to play in a computer is questionable (3, Interesting)

Phil Wherry (122138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941674)

I'm just about to finish up ripping all of my CDs to 160 Kbps MP3 format so I can do casual listening without handling physical media. I'm not too terribly bothered by the loss in quality caused by compression, since I've got the original media to work with for those occasions when I need higher fidelity.

It occurs to me, though, that the inclusion of a compressed audio player on the CD really doesn't solve the problem, even if it's possible to copy the audio files in some protected way to a hard disk.

Here's why: my earliest CDs were purchased in early 1986. At that time, my PC was running MS-DOS 3.1. Think for a moment about the odds of a copy-protected program from 1986 working unmodified in a modern computer--let alone the computers we'll have twenty years hence. The inclusion of a copy-protected player program in lieu of a standards-compliant CD looks even more pitiful when one stops to consider the fact that the player program will be basically unuseable in a few years' time.

I see this all of the time .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941727)

I hate to nitpick but:

" ... and how to extract the music data at high quality for download to a personal MP3 listening device."

Yes ... its early Saturday morning, yes ... I am hung over like a bastard, but shouldn't that be upload?

What about CD recorders and the AHRA? (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941732)

I own a Teac RW-CD22 CD Recorder.

According to the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, I'm AUTHORIZED to make single-generation digital copies of CD's onto "Music CD-R" media, a portion of whose price includes a payment into two funds administered by the Library of Congress: two-thirds into a Sound Recordings Fund, with small percentages of this fund earmarked for nonfeatured artists and backup musicians, 40% of the remainder for featured artists, and the rest to record companies; one-third into a Musical Works Fund, to be split 50/50 between songwriters and music publishers.

My Teac appears to be rapidly turning into worthless junk. UMG's "More Fast and Furious" will not copy on it (it gives the error message "CANT COPY, SCMS ERROR").

So, the copy protection fails to prevent UNauthorized copies... but succeeds in preventing AUTHORIZED copies.

Midbar and UMG are cheating those of us who BOUGHT and PAID FOR the right to make copies.

There is another way.... (1)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941935)

and its probably just as easy.
Most CD players you buy nowadays have optical outs, and most DVD players you can buy also can play cd's and have optical outs/coax.
high end soundcards have optical/coax inputs
(getting the hint?)
set up your favorite CD/DVD player with your TOSlinks, or coax... and record those tracks into wav files.
then compress with your favorite utility.
what about quality?
isnt it still digital?
yep. thats the beauty of it.
go forth, and rip disks :)

It is Impossible to Protect Any Audio Signal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2941961)

If you can play it and get this new fangled thing called "SOUND", the signal is yours.

For the most part, ripping would be as simple as playing in a traditional CD player and running the headphone jack output into your computer.

There is no copy protection system in the world, nor will there ever be, that can prevent someone from recording SOUND.

The CD's would be on popular file sharing services within minutes of someone taking the sound files into a WAV editor, trimming them up, and running them through an mp3 compressor.

And once they are on filing sharing services, it's too late to do anything.

Proper terminology (5, Insightful)

thumbtack (445103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941964)

The proper term is CORRUPTED, not copy protected.They do not conform to Red Book Standards.

Congressman Rick Boucher of VA has written a letter [dotcomscoop.com] to the IFPI and the RIAA suggesting that under the AHRA this may illegal and asking for explanations of the methods used. Under the AHRA [hrrc.org] there is a 2% surcharge on every CD recorder sold in the US at the wholesale level (See section 1004), that goes to the RIAA, just as there is a 2% surcharge on "Music" designated CDR media.

In addition Philips refers to these corrupted discs as "silver disks with music on them, but which do not resemble CD's" See this article [boycott-riaa.com]

Boycott-riaa [boycott-riaa.com] and Fat Chucks [fatchucks.com] are maintaining a list of the corrupted CDs. Also, Check out the Home Recording Rights Coalition [hrrc.org]
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