Copy-Protected CDs: Not All They Were Cracked Up To Be

While the recording industry works hard to keep you from playing music on your computer, it seems that at least one of their copy protection schemes (see our full article on the latest copy protection scheme, and Appleis response to it for more information) can be defeated by applying a little... electrical tape. The Register UK has published a piece titled "Marker pens, sticky tape crack music CD protection," which details the process. From that article:

Music disc copyright protection schemes such a Cactus Data Shield 100/200 and KeyAudio can be circumvented using tools as basic as marker pens and electrical tape, crackers have discovered.

It seems that, for all of the high technology that went into these nefarious discs to keep people from using what theyive purchased fairly can be circumvented with tape and a magic marker. From the article:

Simply covering up the outer track disables the protection, allowing a disc to be played as normal in a PC or Mac.

The cracking technique seems crude, but Reg reader insomnia skunk tells us he was able to use it to defeat the copyright protection on Natalie Imbrugliais iWhite Lilies Islandi CD, early version of which used Cactus Data Shield 200 anti-rip technology.

He writes: "The process is pretty easy: I took a bit of electrical tape and applied it to the edge of the CD, the ishiny sidei, - just a half inch of the stuff - and aligned it with the very edge idata track session ringi visible on these copy protected CDs. Took the tape out to the outside of the CD and put it in my CD Rom [sic]."

"And guess what - it played, and ripped, with no problems at all," he adds.

The article is a good read, and we encourage you to read it. Join in on the discussion of copy protected CDs on your Mac in our forums.

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