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Sony Tests Anti-cd Burning Technology

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Source: Reuters (article stolen from http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1379891.htm)

As part of its mounting United States rollout of content-enhanced and copy-protected CDs, Sony BMG is testing technology that bars consumers from making additional copies of burned CD-R discs.

Since March the company has released at least 10 commercial titles - more than 1 million discs in total, featuring technology from UK anti-piracy specialist First4Internet that allows consumers to make limited copies of protected discs, but blocks users from making copies of the copies.

The concept is known as "sterile burning" and, in the eyes of Sony BMG executives, the initiative is central to the industry's efforts to curb casual CD burning.

"The casual piracy, the school-yard piracy, is a huge issue for us," Thomas Hesse said, president of global digital business for Sony BMG.

"Two-thirds of all piracy comes from ripping and burning CDs, which is why making the CD a secure format is of the utmost importance."

Names of specific titles carrying the technology were not disclosed.

The effort is not specific to First4Internet.

Other Sony BMG partners are expected to begin commercial trials of sterile burning within the next month.

To date, most copy protection and other digital rights management-based solutions that allow for burning have not included secure burning.

Early copy-protected discs as well as all Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected files sold through online retailers like iTunes, Napster and others offer burning of tracks into unprotected WAV files.

Those burned CDs can then be ripped back onto a personal computer minus a DRM wrapper and converted into MP3 files.

Under the new solution, tracks ripped and burned from a copy-protected disc are copied to a blank CD in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format.

The DRM embedded on the discs bars the burned CD from being copied.

"The secure burning solution is the sensible way forward," First4Internet chief executive officer Mathew Gilliat-Smith said.

"Most consumers accept that making a copy for personal use is really what they want it for.

"The industry is keen to make sure that is not abused by making copies for other people that would otherwise go buy a CD."

So, what do you think?

To me, this sounds suspiciously like the EMI CCDS currently marketed. What you get is a data section of the disc with the music encoded in WMA format at a horribly low bitrate - you can listen to the music on a PC, but that's about it.

Sadly, if this goes through, it's just another victory for microsoft...

My question is, what will this mean for MD? What about ATRAC3plus, Sony's technology?

Edited by zerodB
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I know seven, count them, SEVEN different ways around that. Sure, not exactly instantaneous, but it goes around that silly scheme. Sony will be spending 99 cents to earn a dollar with this, and will end up shooting itself in the foot.

Not too worried. Remember how OpenCrudeBox had that "3 checkouts and that's it, bucko." restriction? Sony realized it was hurting the format, and now we got unlimited checkouts. And I don't hear Justin Timberlame or Britney Smears complaining about how we can get as many copies of our music on Hi-Sp as we want.

And it might be just a matter of minutes before someone cracks that DRM scheme open.

Edited by Syrius
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once again sony's huge size means that the left hand of electronics, who's freeing up a bit, doesn't know what the right hand of music publishing is doing.

i give it a week before everyone knows what the cds are, a month at most before a viable workaround is spread on forums around the net.

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Strange that they want us to trust them, but they won't trust us.

As long as they have money for ridiculus things as these, I really don't care about piracy.

By the way, I think any cdburner HIFI component can copy these CD's, and I don't see why smart programs cant see the actual tracks on the disc.

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With EAC and shift key I have been able to copy every and all cd's I have tried. With EAC it will only copy the actual audio leaving all data behind. The shift key disables auto start up of the cd inserted (windows) so the drm software has no chance of running.

The thing that scares me is the intel chip enabled DRM but I have faith that hackers will overcome the restrictions.

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