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Music Media

Cactus Data Shield Tries Again 378

autocracy writes: "Midbar, an Israeli company that developed the breakage of standard called Cactus says that they have released more than 10 million CDs to the U.S. and Europe. They now claim that there will be no issues playing it but you will lose quality if you try to copy. I'm just wondering how it is that you can play it on a system at perfect quality, but when you copy it things don't sound right. Do they not know about optical output? Lame quotes including comments by the makers of how this is a 'proven technology' can be found at C|NET."
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Cactus Data Shield Tries Again

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  • by The Llama King ( 187264 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @11:57PM (#2998332)

    I seriously doubt there are 10 million "on store shelves." Probably 10 million in warehouses. And I suspect they're not putting this copy protection on the most popular artists' CDs ... probably more apt to be on other Charlie Pride titles!

    • That was simply a misinterpretation by CNet. Here is the accurate quote:

      "Each executive was given 10 million dollars to put these broken things on store shelves."

      So, Phillips has the different standards for CD's. Red book, Orange book...
      how about a new one:
      *black book*, that's what we can call it. And, instead of the traditional CD symbol, it will say:
      ddd Compact
      d d iii ccccc
      ddddd d i i $$$$ c ccc c
      d dd d i i $$ c c cc
      d d d d i i $$$ c c
      d dd d i i $$ c c cc
      ddddddd iiii $$$$ c ccc c
      Cactus Broken Audio cccccc

      What do you think?
  • Proven? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by topside420 ( 530370 ) <(topside) (at) (> on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:01AM (#2998358) Homepage
    How many times do we have to explain that no anti-piracy technology will ever work flawlessly nor will it not be broken over time.

    If they want to make money, they should spend more time getting REAL artists and not just 'performers' then maybe people would be more interested in supporting them and buying their music.

    This technology WILL cause many problems and WILL be able to be copied flawlessly within days if not already. This is how it does and always will work. Do they not see that they are losing more money tring to stop us than anything? Is it not time to give up on the anti-piracy CDs?

    All it takes is 1 person to copy the CD then EVERYONE can get it. Its that simple.

    • Re:Proven? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
      Here, here.

      Good post. It seems every 2 weeks we go through this on /.

      Also keep in mind when your kid wants the latest and greatest teeny-bopper cd for 29.99$ you can be thankful you are supporting the no-talent hacks ad "Midbar technologies".

      It takes a complete friggin moron to think they can make bits uncopyiable. Like Bruce Schneier said once:

      "Making bits uncopyable is like making water not wet".

      I think the trick will be just not to support the so called "performers" [as you call them] since most of them are just abused hacks anyways [ahem, spears....]

      • Re:Proven? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by psamuels ( 64397 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @01:02AM (#2998606) Homepage
        you can be thankful you are supporting the no-talent hacks ad "Midbar technologies".

        It takes a complete friggin moron to think they can make bits uncopyiable.

        Hey - they don't think they can make bits uncopyable. They think they can convince the record companies that they can make bits uncopyable.

        Big difference. I don't think Midbar are morons at all. They sold a large load of snake oil to some very big customers for (probably) a lot of money. Not bad.

    • Re:Proven? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:32AM (#2998507)
      I have a friend who cut an album for Shanachie. Her next album she produced herself. Why?

      She wanted to support the "artist."

      When someone pays $20 for a CD at Tower if the artist gets a buck of it they're way ahead of the curve.

      When Kenny Rogers was riding the country crossover wave he said that it wasn't until he had had five number one hits in a row that he made any money.

      When I give my friend only $10 for her self produced CD I get a CD for half the price I would pay in a store, AND I know that $9 of that is profit in her pocket.

      I believe in supporting the artist, and when the RIAA records a musical performance I'm willing to hand $10 to them personally for I'd be glad to do so.

      • if the artist gets a buck of it they're way ahead of the curve.

        If the artist sells 2 million CD's, even at $1, they are well, well ahead.

        • Re:Proven? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anthony ( 4077 )
          Not if they have been given an "advance" from the distributors. See Courtney Love's Salon Article []
        • Re:Proven? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jag164 ( 309858 )
          U2 probably gets a buck for each album.
          Creed proabably gets $.10
          Wannabes (Marketing bands such as Spears, Boyz something) proabably see a penny if that.

          Artist don't make money off of albums, they make money off of tours. New artists don't get to tour much you'll notice. They're usually back in the studio for a sophomore album before they can get make money for themselves. But it's an evil catch. The record industry practically owns the airwaves and store shelves so the musician who wants to make big money signs deals to get exposure and some spare change from record sales. Then hopefully with sucess running into and after a sophomore album they can finally tour.

          Unfortuneatly, I don't see the loop ending.
          It doesn't really take a genius to figure it out.
          They're will be musicians (and wannabe performers) who want to make a buck. The marketing nimrod actually does realize that current pop culture thrives on the shit they put out. Whenever comsumer confidence shrinks, (let's say a wide boycott b/c of non standard CD's) the industry will back off, suck up to the consumer, and then play the consumer again after they have recovered confidence. The few people that don't like the actions now (such as the sampling of readers from /.) do not make an impact on the industry's marketing decision.

          Thank goodness they're will always be that small chunk of local, unsigned music that pleases me.
          • But it's an evil catch. The record industry practically owns the airwaves and store shelves so the musician who wants to make big money signs deals to get exposure and some spare change from record sales.

            How about this: Get some artist to produce an album and then market it and distribute it entirely over the Internet. Since the artists don't make money off album sales anyway, they wouldn't lose anything in that regard. They might lose some exposure initally that they would enjoy from radio play, but maybe the 'net could fill the void. They would make make the bulk of their money from a tour...just like they do now anyway. And some of us might just be willing to pony up a buck or two for digital music delivered via the 'net if most of it went to the artists!
            • by jag164 ( 309858 )
              Sounds great, but it has been tried. Even big name bands (aerosmith??) have tried this scheme to little success.

              The net is still imature compared to big brother media. Beleive it or not, it still not taken seriously by a lot of brick and mortar companies.

              The internet vs. radio/mtv exposure rate is too favored toward the latter for a serious "wanting to break it big" budding band to try it. And for the bands that do try it, good luck. You'll be black listed from major labels b/c your tried to circumvent the industry's system.

          • This always goes in a loop. And right now we are in a "crap" music wave where talent in dancing is higher than talent in singing and music.

            But as other waves this will pass as well since people will get fed up with it. How come? Because it is a fad. Today on Swiss Music channel I heard the remake of "Saturday Night Fever" and other disco songs. AHHHHHHH.....

            Remember the TV show WKRP in Cinncinati? And remember when Johnny Fever became RipTide? Well right now there are tons of RipTides!!! The riptides died and we got real music again. This is a loop that will die! Especially now since the economy is in a slump and people are more picky about their music. Wait, coincidence DISCO died in 82-83, yes that was when there was a major slump in the economy.
    • Re:Proven? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dimension6 ( 558538 )
      It's as simple as this: as long as it's possible to listen to music, and as long as recording equipment exists, music can and will be copied. The worst possible situation regarding the copying of music means holding up a (high quality stereo) mic to some (high quality) studio monitors (in an acoustically dead room). Basically, as long as our ear drums move as a result of hearing music, we'll be able to copy it. Even a decently high-quality analog transfer of digital music is near comparable to a completely digital transfer (I.E. optical/coaxial digital off of a CD player). For the average listener, sound quality is not of utmost importance (it's trivial, given that MP3 compression itself lowers sound quality rather noticibly at a normal 128kbps or even 160kbps bitrate).

      What I'm trying to say here is......(popular) music artists (and their managers) are going to have to find new ways to make money, whether it be through concerts, advertising (doh!), or other means, such as movie integration. It is becoming too easy for people to download the latest pop tune for free...I personally think that public concerts are going to increase in popularity and complexity over the coming years. Through concerts, the listener can experience an event rather than just hear the music. Interaction is going to become a key role in the future of music, and I think that we'll be seeing some new colors in the shape of the music industry because of the industry's constant need for money. Heh sorry if I got a bit carried away...

  • Raw? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lowtekneq ( 469145 )
    Isn't copying it just coping all the bits.. now how can you lose bits when your copying them? hmmmpf?
    • Re:Raw? (Score:3, Informative)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 )
      This system works by making the 'bits' (ie: data stream) on the cd *wrong*, and by expecting the error correction used in *audio* playback (but not data readback!) to re-interpolate the data back to what was intended (they hope), therefore a data read gives the wrong data, and an audio play works.
      This makes *big* assumptions about how the cd supplies data in audio versus data modes, and is apparently not true for all cdroms (and very few dvd roms), so does not always work.
      it also assumes that an audio cd player uses a 'standard' interpolation method, any that use a different (maybe even improved) method will produce less accurate 'solutions' to their intentionally introduced errors.

      hmm, the whole thing is a house of cards, and will no doubt fall over before long.
  • by base3 ( 539820 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:02AM (#2998366)
    There will be no effective copy protection until:

    - there is an authentication server connected to our brain stem

    - there is no "untrusted" way to convert sound into electricity


    - the DMCA is backed by Colombia-style death squads

    To those who would argue that they're "raising the bar on piracy and keeping the honest people honest," I'd ask you to consider which people copying some of these CDs love more:

    - the music of Charley Pride

    - the feeling of power that comes from distributing it after cracking Cactus Data Shield

    • - the DMCA is backed by Colombia-style death squads

      You mean its not? :)

    • Perhaps that will be the RIAA's next "copyright protection software."

      "By including a buffer-overflow string at the end of the audio data that sends your current home address to our central servers when copied, we can now deal directly with software and music pirates with our brand new, combat-ready Customer Service Representives."
  • Tries again ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by spt ( 557979 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:02AM (#2998367)
    ... implies they've tried before.

    It was the "More Fast and Furious" [] soundtrack CD and the resulted in this discussion [] when it was found the protection could be bypassed with a DVD player.
    • Re:Tries again ... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slakdrgn ( 531347 )
      I love this part of that article:
      This is copy protection? Here's a better question: Are all Dell owners with DVD drives who buy CDS copy-protected discs in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act? Perhaps, if they purchase the NEC DVD drive just for the purpose of circumventing the copy protection.

      It'd really suck if your door got knocked down for buying a dell.. hrmm.. good thought there tho.. the "Dell Dude" would be behind bars =)

  • by Drake58 ( 54630 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:04AM (#2998379) Homepage
    I'm not sure if anybody noticed, but there's a crack for this in last quarter's 2600. Ta ta.
  • by GT_Alias ( 551463 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:05AM (#2998381)
    I think that no matter what technology the recording industry comes out with, the general unpopularity of it will drive it straight into the ground. After we all pay $12+ for a CD, don't we have the right to record it to our computer/MP3 player/mix CD?

    While this does allow it to become freely distributed over the internet, how is the anti-piracy technology supposed to tell the difference between our legitimate copy and the pirated copy. I really don't think they can do it without seriously pissing off the public.

    • How do you know which of your CDs have this protection until you buy them?? A particular CD might be re-released with protection, and we would have no idea, unless we happen to hear about it online. Where is the list of known cactus CDs so people can avoid them? In the present situation, this technology will thrive, because the more people hate it, the more the RIAA will love and support it. And we, being addicted to music, will just keep buying it.
  • by josquint ( 193951 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:05AM (#2998385) Homepage
    Can any media truly be 'copy protected'? If all else fails I can use a program like Ghost2002 or other forensic-certified disk duplication software to do a bit by bit copy. Basically make an exact duplicate of a disc.
    How would this be unplayable?
    • by ToLu the Happy Furby ( 63586 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:31AM (#2998497)
      Can any media truly be 'copy protected'? If all else fails I can use a program like Ghost2002 or other forensic-certified disk duplication software to do a bit by bit copy. Basically make an exact duplicate of a disc.
      How would this be unplayable?

      CDS works by purposely introducing errors into the audio data on the disc. Audio CD players are supposed to interpolate across the errors such that there is supposed to be no difference in sound quality. But CD-ROMs--being designed to read data CDs where every bit has to be correct--don't do this interpolation, and thus they see the disc as having lots of errors and crap out. You can't make an exact copy of the disc if your CD-R can't read it.

      At least that's what's supposed to happen. It has since come out that 1) many DVD-ROMs read the discs just fine; and 2) *certain* combinations of CD-Rs and ripping software can manage alright.
      • by Shiny Metal S. ( 544229 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @04:40AM (#2999055) Homepage
        CDS works by purposely introducing errors into the audio data on the disc. Audio CD players are supposed to interpolate across the errors such that there is supposed to be no difference in sound quality. But CD-ROMs--being designed to read data CDs where every bit has to be correct--don't do this interpolation, and thus they see the disc as having lots of errors and crap out.
        Take a look at CDDA Paranoia []. I use it to rip old CDs, full of scratches, which are unplayable on any CD audio player I have. But after I rip them with Paranoia, I can't hear any defects.

        One of the answers on Paranoia FAQ [] nicely explains all of the problems with ripping CDs, and generally all of the differences between playing CD on audio CD player, and reading audio CD as a stream of bits with a computer. These differences are exactly what is addressed by all of those so called "copy-protection" techniques.

        The "copy-protected" "CDs" have to be played by audio CD players (otherwise no one would buy them), but not ripped with computers (like it made any problem with copying them, even if it's possible to make CDs completely unplayable on CD-ROM drives... When will they learn?) so all they can do, is to address the differences [] between them. It's very good to know, how it really works.

        The legend of characters on Paranoia progress meter [] gives a good introduction to what Paranoia can and what it can't fix (yet):

        • A hyphen indicates that two blocks overlapped properly, but they were skewed (frame jitter). This case is completely corrected by Paranoia and is not a cause for concern.
        • A plus indicates not only frame jitter, but an unreported, uncorrected loss of streaming in the middle of an atomic read operation. That is, the drive lost its place while reading data, and restarted in some random incorrect location without alerting the kernel. This case is also corrected by Paranoia.
        • An 'e' indicates that a transport level SCSI or ATAPI error was caught and corrected. Paranoia will completely repair such an error without audible defects.
        • An "X" indicates a scratch was caught and corrected. Cdparanoia will interpolate over any missing/corrupt samples.
        • An asterisk indicates a scratch and jitter both occurred in this general area of the read. Cdparanoia will interpolate over any missing/corrupt samples.
        • A ! indicates that a read error got through the stage one of error correction and was caught by stage two. Many '!' are a cause for concern; it means that the drive is making continuous silent errors that look identical on each re-read, a condition that can't always be detected. Although the presence of a '!' means the error was corrected, it also means that similar errors are probably passing by unnoticed. Upcoming releases of cdparanoia will address this issue.
        • A V indicates a skip that could not be repaired or a sector totally obliterated on the medium (hard read error). A 'V' marker generally results in some audible defect in the sample.
        So, however the next copy-protection of the week which this time really works!(tm) will work, I'm quite sure that it will be no problem to Paranoia [], maybe after few days, because Paranoia [] simply interpolates over any missing/corrupt samples, like audio players do. No need to say, thay it will always be no problem to audio input on my Sound Blaster...
    • Exactly.
      Two letters:


      Protect against that.
    • Media could be for all intents and purposes copy protected if a new media standard were developed. If the creator of this media created its own chips to read the media. If this company prohibited any production of "burners" for this media it help. What about storing the media on another drive? Well if the chips in the drive refused to read parts of the media to the computer, then an exact duplicate could not be made. The company that designed this system would be smart to force a media-check in the drive before accessing certain filetypes copied onto a drive. Expecting the software to be cracked eventually, the company should include software updates on newer media. This software would be read by the drive and would update the software on the computer. The drive should not play if the computer is not running the latest version of software.

      While software can be defeated, it takes time. If the software can be updated quickly enough, it will remain unbroken for the duration of its intended lifespan.

      Finally, the drive and/or software should insist on connecting to the internet or "secure" hardware every so often to prevent copyright infringers from copying older media with an old, cracked drive and software. If the updates don't happen, the drive and software don't play.

      This is not true copy protection, but it will discourage perhaps %99.95 of potential copyright infringers. If the number of people offering copied and recompressed movies on Kazaa can be kept below a certain threshold, movies will not spread quickly enough to attract users to the service who only wish to download movies. If someone spends a week downloading one movie they spent another week just finding, it is unlikely they will see Kazaa as a worthy way of spending their time.

  • Not good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ratajik ( 57826 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:06AM (#2998394) Homepage Journal
    As someone who generally buys all his music, this is VERY annoying. I've pretty much changed how I listen to music these days, and I wish companies like this wouldn't muck with it. I normally:

    1. Buy the CD
    2. Rip the CD
    3. Throw the CD away (well, OK, store it just in case... but I rarely see it again).
    4. Play the music on my machines (Either directly or via the shoutcast server I run locally, and only locally, on my network).
    5. Sometimes re-burn to CD so I can listen to it on my car.

    This is all legal, from what I can see. If they're preventing me from doing any of the above, then I've got a problem with it. They need to come up with something else, something that doesn't interfere with my fair use of the music.

    I wish they had more details in the article. I can't honestly tell if they're going to muck with any of the above, but I've got to guess at step #2, I'll be out of luck.

    • <sarcasm>

      Duh! Dude, don't you know you can just get all your music for free with Kazaa and stuff! You're such a sucker for actually BUYING music!

      but really... I feel ya. I take it up the ass on huge middle-man markup in the name of trying to do the honest thing by paying for my music, and then 10,000 kiddies all go and reinforce the idea that copy-prevention is a required technology for all new media formats. *sigh*...

    • Re:Not good. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SirShadowlord ( 32925 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @01:09AM (#2998627) Homepage
      I can go one better. For a long time I stopped purchasing CDs, and just listened to whatever was playing on the radio, or in my Cube (my 4Pod mate has his stereo system wired through 23' of cable into speakers that sit on my side of the cube so as to give him that "real" surround sound. Flatscreen monitors hide the speakers on my side and don't get all gaused up like a CRT. But I digress).

      But, I was kicking back, listening to the Steve Jobs Key Note at MWSF, and I totally and completely got caught up in the patented "Jobs Distortion Field". Part of it was iPhoto (I have close to 6000 poorly organized digital pictures), and part of it was how cool OS X is looking, but withing a month of the Keynote, I am now the proud owner of an iPod, Powerbook 667, and, (and I don't think I'm isolated here), about $200 worth of CDs in the last two weeks alone.

      And my process is identical to yours -

      o Buy the CD (Okay, it's more like, Buy every major domestic album U2 has ever produced),
      o Rip the CDs with iTunes (The 667 get's a little warm, but it works flawlessy)
      o Throw the Jewelcase away and Pack the CD into my CD-208 Binder (which also handily stores software and DVDs)
      o Listen to the Music on the Powerbook or iPod.

      I can honestly state I have not, in over a year, listened to music being played _directly from a CD_. And, while I recognize that I'm in the minority here (I don't drive, so I don't worry about car CD players), I can say with some assurance that for every 100,000 iPods or other MP3 players get sold, the chance of copy protection being acceptable gets diminishingly less.

      That's It, it's all over - If nobody buys copy protected CDs (and nobody with an iPod will or MP3 player will), it's game over. DIVX went down not because it was broken, but because nobody was interested in buying the Discs.

      It's too late - The revolution has been won. There will be no Copy Protection that prevents people from converting their Music into MP3s, because nobody will buy that media.

      You heard it here first. (Err, well, maybe not, but I haven't seen it written anywhere but above before... )

      • Re:Not good. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tackhead ( 54550 )
        > I can honestly state I have not, in over a year, listened to music being played _directly from a CD_. And, while I recognize that I'm in the minority here (I don't drive, so I don't worry about car CD players), I can say with some assurance that for every 100,000 iPods or other MP3 players get sold, the chance of copy protection being acceptable gets diminishingly less.
        > That's It, it's all over - If nobody buys copy protected CDs (and nobody with an iPod will or MP3 player will), it's game over. DIVX went down not because it was broken, but because nobody was interested in buying the Discs.

        Good point. I never thought of it that way, but when I buy a CD, I, too, listen to it once or twice at the most - either to find out what my downloaded MP3s were missing, and then to gauge the quality of the MP3s I just encoded off it. (Side note: LAME rocks. Rocks hard enough that I've pretty much not had to bother doing CD-MP3 comparisons, as I've stopped being able to tell the difference, even on headphones at 192. I encode at 256, just to be on the safe side. Maybe someday I'll have a stereo system where I could tell the difference, hard drive space is cheap, and I'm not uploading 'em to anyone else, so the space is mine to waste.)

        But after the rip/encode day, it's computer and MP3 player from that point on. Last time I listened to a CDDA was a set of compilations/mixes that I burned for a car stereo and a long trip. Even then, I didn't even bother to dig out the original CDs to create the .WAVs, I just decoded the MP3s.)

        Put it on unprotected CD-DA, and I'll buy it. Hilary still gets her 90% of the artist's money.

        Put it on copy-protected discs, and I might think it's worthwhile to work around the protection to get the format I want. Hilary might still get her cut of that money.

        Make it so I can't work around it, and I'll download it from a P2P source. Ms. Rosen can take a long hard suck on my arse.

    • So now it's:

      1. Buy the CD
      2. Throw the CD away
      3. Download the CD

    • Whoever has kids knows CDs aren't as indestructible as they're advertised as. So, I buy a CD, either copy it or record it to tape and stow the original away (No, nothing fancy here...). Same with the Jungle Book DVD - just copy it over to VHS and voilà if my two barbarians decide to eat/crush/unwind it, easy, no problem.
      And I too consider this 'fair use'.

      BTW: I recently read an article about analog (horribile dictu) copies from CDs/DVDs - they aren't near as bad as one would suspect. Surely good enough for a rainy sunday afternoon...

      If copy protection starts to kick in, well, I'll be out of this game. Be happy with your shitloads of unsellable media and leave me alone.

  • Again and again. Good quality analog in mix with nice encode software result: Almost perfect compressed file out. No big deal.

    So it takes a little more work. How long will it take for someone to automate this process like the digital ripping one before?

    Move on..
    • Sure, this will work.. but like everyone else you fail to realize that doing that takes WAY longer than just ripping the CD. I can rip at 12x on my crappy CD-ROM, and have high quality lame-encoded files of a whole CD within 15 minutes.. and I don't need to be present either.

      If I had to do it the long way, I'd be sitting there for sixty minutes.. no way I'm wasting that amount of time, I just won't buy the CD.
    • Actually, this is the process a lot of rippers used to use, and I'm sure you can find several that still support it. Audiograbber probably does, and you can use LAME with that.

      So what if it takes an hour? There's no law saying you can't be doing anything else on your machine while it happens.
  • Midbar says it is continuing to upgrade its technology

    Yep, they don't do it the same way twice, so you'll never know what these disks won't play on! Play hardware roullette!

    Whereas, a bit for bit rip through a player that emulates an audio cd's error correction will work every time, regardless of their new and improved method.

    Anybody think they'll ever figure out it's a little late in the Compact Disc Arena to try to make such a fundamental change as copy (fair use) prevention to the system?
  • And... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Heh ( 558506 )
    As far as I'm concerned, those copy protected will stay in those warehouses and out of my purchase plans. The only way these people are going to learn is to hit them in the wallet!
  • by TheQuantumShift ( 175338 ) <> on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:12AM (#2998418) Homepage
    Why is there all this crap about copyprotecting cd's? Tapes are just as easy to copy. Yet there was no "analog rights management" back in the eighties. Nobody launched ad campains calling you a thief if you tape your favorite show. (at least none I remember) Yet now that it's all digital, there seems to be this attitude that there will be more piracy. I still can't download bootleg movies. Maybe I'm just not a "leet" enough "hax0r" to get copies of "Rush Hour 2 special straight from in front of the projector crooked edition with all those wonderful sounds" As far as I know, "losses of revenue" due to piracy in the eighties and such were compensated by jacked up blank tape prices. Why not just jack the prices on blank cd's back up, and maybe charge a reasonable price for originals. $18 for a cd? I think not. That's what drove people to napster, that and that special rush of "getting away with something".
    • two points.

      Firstly, there was quite a fuss with analogue recording (primarily with video, but also with the start of the compact casette tape), it was, as you say, addressed with a 'media corperate' tax being applied to these items, and the feared drop in profits never happened (infact quite the opposite), so the recording industry made big $$ out of this.

      Secondly, the reason this *should* not happen to newer digital media is that a crapload of this is NOT used to record copywrited, stolen, artistic stuff. Much (most?) of the writable digital media (cdrom, harddrives, dvd, etc) are use for storage of computer data.

      I would be VERY annoyed if these same companies manage to get a tax added to the rice of every HD/writable CD/etc, and believe me, they are trying, as they know this is free money for them!
      • I would be VERY annoyed if these same companies manage to get a tax added to the rice of every HD/writable CD/etc, and believe me, they are trying, as they know this is free money for them!

        For a tax like this to be really fair, they'd have to allocate a proportional share of money for the hard working, underpaid pr0n stars who's artistry surely fill up a large fraction of these disks.

        Somehow, though, I don't see something like a Ron Jeremy Digital Media Performance Compensation Act making it out of a congressional committe.

      • There already is a tax on writable media in the States and Canada.
    • Why not just jack the prices on blank cd's back up, and maybe charge a reasonable price for originals.
      Because CD-Rs are general purpose digital storage media. I don't want to pay the RIAA (mp3), MPAA (divx), PACA (images), BSA (appz&gamez), AAR (books) and everybody else that can claim losses due to digital copying (read: everybody) every time I make a personal backup of something. Just my .02

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:12AM (#2998422)
    Y'know what this reminds me of? If you're sick and the doctor says you're probably going to die, you're very prone to buying remedies from quacks. Even people who know better will do dumb things when faced with their own mortality.

    Well, everybody is telling the record companies that they're going to die, so they react just like a human...any shaman who comes along, even Noam Zur, is worth a shot because they simply don't know what to do.

    The CD is here to stay, and by its nature its unprotected. There's not a thing the record companies can do about that except release stuff that will just piss off their regular customers.

    Meanwhile, they could convince people to go to a different format, but why would you give up CDs which have pretty good quality and the ability to copy freely with some unknown format where (a) people have to buy the same records over again (b) its copy protected so you can't make copies (c) there's an installed based of players that will be around for 15-20 years (notice cars STILL come with cassette decks?).

    They really are screwed at this point. I have no prescription for them because they've gone out of their way to be deceitful and they treat their customers (us) like crap.

    They rejected business models that could make them money (Napster).

    They turn to things like copy protection (proven to fail over 2 decades ago).

    And they stand behind laws like DMCA in an attempt to get rid of first-sale doctrine.

    I am not crying a tear.

    • Reading the above I thought back to the heady days of 1999 when all of those old companies were going to go bust. Boo would win, Travelocity would crush everyone, Amazon would shutdown Borders, no-one would ever want to buy anything from a normal shop again.

      Well call me wierd but I thought it was stupid back then. And I think the idea of not having Record Companies with marketing might and recording studios is also stupid.

  • by p7 ( 245321 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:13AM (#2998423)
    Why do these people continue to annoy the consumer when in the long run it will do nothing to stop sharing of MP3s. They actually manage to stop us from running the SPDIF Out into the SPDIF in, then I bet me sticking a mike near each speaker will likely be how I have to make my MP3s. Yeah quality won't be as high, but I bet it will happen. This just tramples our fair use rights. If this continues I will have to call my congressman about supporting the guy that was looking into revoking the CDR charge we pay, because the CDR make be used to illegally copy music.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:17AM (#2998443)
    Its still just the lame trick of burning a second session that defines incorrect track locations and durations for track locations. CD players that are not multisession (CD audio players usually) will ignore the fake second and third sessions. A second lame trick called Track-O is used that furthermore uses the P subchannel to assert a large region of track 1 as "silent" and it is silent and audio player skip over to second index area where begginning of track 1 audio really starts, but computers see data blocks in the first track in the beginning section with the P channel asseting silence. This hidden data area looks like a standard ISO9660 volume and further screws up players. Its an old trick from 1992 used on nearly 80 major titles, before Blue-Book Enhanced CDs (CDPlus) shipped. It only affects computers. A third sneaky trick of putting heavily corrupted data in the track lead in lead out areas to slow down auto-rippping is usually employed. And furthemore, ANY cd driver modified to trust the first session of a audio cd disk will play correctly, especially if it understands how to IGNORE track-zero tricks. Of course a raw copy of the entire disk will duplicate it, as long as the reaw duplicate deliberately ignores copying session information past the first session.

    It merely needs to copy track 1 explicitely, all 2774 bytes per block on a Plextor or at least 2352 in raw mode.

    Macs and PCs will soon have updated THIRD PARTY cd drivers that will play any of these things. One system will suffer the most... the newest macs... thats because to eliminate EMI audio noise, the macs force users to use digital audio extraction over ATA-ATAPI bus and SCSI bus exclusively. This is fine if the media is not heavily damaged in some sections, but these corrupted disks slow down firware in standard audio extraction modes used on macs. Apple got rid of all their A-D converters, even for audio mics. And now that thier audio D-A out is in usb and uses usb speakers no mother board interference and disk drive head interference emits on speakers cranked to 500 watts.

    I miss track-0 tricks, its cool to see the world using it 10 years later.

    It explains why some cactus cds can be copied except the first audio track, with older tools.

    as for CDDA logo rights being removed by Philips.... Philips abused the tradmark symbol themselves!!! They placed it on some european audio CDs in 1994 that were 79 minutes long. That was in explicite violation of the CDDA logo standard that maintains a maximum of 333,000 blocks of audio allowed (74 minutes)

    Even since that day, Anyone is morally allowed to violate the CD-DA standard logo because it MEANS NOTHING now and is abused even by Philips.

    I wish there was a manufacturer symbol I could trust to look for that meant REALLY-CDDA not violating *ANY* part of the "Red Book" whatsoever. Then these Cactus abominations from hell could be avoided.

    Sony and Universal will soon shut down web sites that explain how a cheap 5 cent resister tied across the leads of a decrypted-USB speaker input can be used as audio in source into a D-A audio card to extract formaerly-protected encrypted limited-access audio.


    long live the resister!

  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <.gundbear. .at.> on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:17AM (#2998445) Homepage
    A mathematical or inductive proof on data quality, access, copy protection, etc.

    Inductive proof. We'll work with a single bit, and assume that it scales to multiple bits.

    A single bit exists on a medium We'll use a stone tablet, and assume that it scales to thin wafers of aluminum encased in plastic.

    A consumer who owns, for legal purposes we'll use own and not lease or license, this stone tablet can see the bit and can identify it as either a one or zero.

    Said consumer can then copy the bit to another tablet, assuming they own a tablet and chisel. Or, theoretically, a laser and a wafer of aluminum encased in plastic.

    If the consumer can see the bit, nothing can stop the consumer from copying the bit, short of a man with a knife standing over the second blank tablet. Or, theoretically, a man in a suit with a pile of papers in his hand.
  • by Peridriga ( 308995 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:18AM (#2998446)
    We can all argue till we are blue in the face that no one is going to used a crippled product. But, how many times have we seen them come and enter the market (DVD).... This shouldn't just be posted to slashdot. This article needs to be forwarded to everyone you know explaining that this company is trying to sell you a product that is cripplied in a fashion that doesn't allow you to exercise your given 'fair-use' rights....

    Successful efforts are grassroots efforts...

    As Jello Biafra said

    Don't wait for sassy to come around and say it. Get sassy and say it

    • the product is superior in other ways to existing products (as DVD video is over VCD and video tape).

      Crippling an existing format and not offering the consumer anything extra on the other hand will offer little attraction at all.

      Of course with the companies claiming that piracy costs them big bucks you'd think that pirate-proof (assuming such a thing exists) CDs should be cheaper as they would not need to be defraying those costs on those CDs. Having said that I'm fairly sure that the cost of a CD is based entirely on what people will pay and has no relation to any 'costs' whatsoever.
    • But, how many times have we seen them come and enter the market (DVD)
      DVDs added value to consumers for which they were willing to accept other inconviniences:

      a) Better picture quality
      b) Better audio quality
      c) Multiple audio tracks (languages, extras)
      d) Multiple/optional subtitles
      e) Doesn't depreciate over time
      f) Instant jump to scene
      g) Optional extras (Making of, screen savers+++)
      h) Multi-angle

      What does CDS add?

  • by ebbomega ( 410207 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:22AM (#2998462) Journal
    And the geek vs. Corporate war continues.

    Once again, the corporations losing this war on the basis that corporate types don't seem to be thinking on the same level as geeks.

    And this is why the corporations are never going to win. They are predictable, and the geeks are innovative.

    This is how it works. Picture if you will a major record company meeting room... for the sake of argument, let's call them the Big Music Guys. Systems analysts #1, #2 and #YesMan are meeting with big corporate pointy-haired type.

    Management: "This Copywrite stuff is getting out of hand and making us obsolete. Help us control people's money again by providing a useless service."
    Geek #1: "How do you expect to do that?"
    Management: "Well, we're gonna make some way that stops them from copying our releases."
    Geek #1 breaks out into laughter. Manager fires him.
    Geek #2: "Y'see, the problem is that any way that we can possibly work on it to make it inaccessible, the rest of the world will find some other way around it. We can't possibly keep up with the public domain."
    Management: "You're not being a team player. You're fired."
    Pseudo-Geek YesMan: "I'll get right to work on it."

    And YesMan, having attained his stature through ass-lipgluing as opposed to technical know-how, will spend much of his time working game #4711 of Freecell. Once he has attained this, he will spend about 12 hours putting together some simple encryption device that will fall to the suggestion of Geek #2. Management type returns to stockholders, says "We're currently working on a state-of-the-art encryption device to keep copywrite crackers from getting to our music" and stock prices go up. Shareholders revel in their smart investment as the company releases inferior technology developed by a yes-man which will get worked around approximately 12 hours after its release. Cycle continues.

    Especially since these days, with the ever-rising popularity of free-information and licenses such as GPL that companies are finding it harder and harder to set standards, because the geeks are beating them to better ones, and as a result they can't make anything with any built-in security to it...

    Yay geeks! We rule! Keep it up, kids.
  • by p24t ( 312611 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:22AM (#2998466)
    C'mon, seriously. Does anyone really expect 'copy-protection schemes' to actually work? How many different methods have various industries come up with to try to hinder use and/or copying? Macrovision? All that did was make me want to get a GoVideo. CSS? Cracked in so many different ways that to outlaw them all, the government would have to destroy all computers in the US. How long will it take for someone to crack this crap?

    I mean, AudioCD protection? Get real. I refuse to buy CD's for just this reason. (Don't get me wrong, I like to buy CD's, and I still buy local artist's albums) But I don't listen to CD's. They get stored. Ripped and stored. It's just easier to listen to my music when it's stored on a server in the closet. Not to mention, I don't have to worry about losing the disc quite as easily. I've had them stolen, scratched, lost, etc. Does this mean I no longer have the rights to the information on it? Just because my R.E.M. CD won't play anymore, does that mean that it was illegal for me download the entire disc off the internet? (to quote the great Stigmata:) FALSE.

    There will be some problem with trying to implement this new technology. I have a CD player. It came with the stereo that's hooked to my computer. It plays Red Book format discs. I don't know that it's going to play Cactus format discs. Do I expect it to? No. From here on out, I plan to buy Philips equipment, because I know that it is going to work the way I expect it to, and play the CD's I buy the way it's supposed to. If I want to buy CD's that I can't listen to, I'll just buy some bricks. At least those I can throw at RIAA executives.

    And don't throw the DMCA into this. I'm sick of this stupid law. It goes against so many things I believe in, and the very basic tenant of our freedoms. This will come to a climax, and one side will fall. Whether it's the people or the corporations, is yet to be seen.

  • So, when did we lose the right to make copies for ourself? This is obviously taking that freedom away from us. Not all copies are illegal, therfor how does this copy protection hold up?

    So, we can make copies for ourselves by law...unless someone decides they dont like consumers to have that right?

    This is just another common example that you really dont have any rights, they just like to make you think you do.

    Ask ANY cop -- if they want something they will get it.

    Cop: Can I search the vehicle?
    Person: No.
    Cop: Well, I ran out of tickets, going to have to bring you down to the station to write it up.

    Meanwhile -- your car is towed for the moment (can't leave it on the street) and a mandatory 'inventory search' is put in place. Your car has been searched. Good thing we have that 4th amendment :)

  • $5... (Score:2, Insightful)

    ...That's how much I spent on a dubbing cable from Radio Shack to break the last 5000 or so ridiculous copy protection schemes.

    Until a player comes out for a new type of media in which every part of the transmission uses new technology, including sending the audio to the speakers, piracy will be as easy as plugging in and clicking twice.
  • They now claim that there will be no issues playing it but you will lose quality if you try to copy. I'm just wondering how it is that you can play it on a system at perfect quality, but when you copy it things don't sound right. Do they not know about optical output?

    It's not about optical output, silly. When they find out that you made a copy, Roger-- The RIAA Enforcer, comes to your house and rubs a key across your copied disk. Therefore, you will lose quality.

    As if the pain of losing a CDR isn't enough, the noise made during this scrating is supposed to be untollerable.

    Losing 1 CDR, the CD Scratch Noise, and Roger's body oder will prevent you h4x0rz from copying CD's in the future...
    • > It's not about optical output, silly. When they find out that you made a copy, Roger-- The RIAA Enforcer, comes to your house and rubs a key across your copied disk. Therefore, you will lose quality.
      > As if the pain of losing a CDR isn't enough, the noise made during this scratching is supposed to be untollerable.

      Hey, I listen to industrial music. I might like that ;-)

      At the very least, it'd sound a hell of a lot better than whatever Titney Spears has put out.

  • A little math (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainSuperBoy ( 17170 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:47AM (#2998554) Homepage Journal
    Let's see.. the RIAA has said it lost $300 million dollars a year to piracy. In 2000 they shipped 942 million CDs.

    Now that they've eliminated all music piracy through their innovative copy protection techniques, we should all enjoy the price drop: $300,000,000 / 942,000,000 = $0.32 per CD. Since they are no longer losing all that money to piracy, we can look forward to paying 32 cents less for each CD! They are basically a trustworthy group, so I'm sure they'll pass the savings along to consumers.
    • Re:A little math (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bnonn ( 553709 )
      Not to put down your interesting post, but there's an easy rationale--and one that I think any fair-minded person would accept--to refute this.

      If the RIAA is currently losing money on CDs due to illegal copying (pirating is a ridiculous term), then it seems only reasonable that, if they can prevent this copying, the revenue they'd previously been losing should rightfully belong to them. I agree that the consumer should see some benefit, but it's not something that you could morally hold the RIAA to. As an analogy, think of if you wrote and sold software, and 50% of it was used without paying. That's a 50% revenue loss, and you would be justified in saying that if you could somehow reduce that loss, the money you saved should belong to you. Right? And, since you were barely covering your costs before the savings, that money should go into making your life a bit easier. Right?

      All this is, of course, purely hypothetical. The RIAA is hardly lacking for money, and I personally think the Hellmouth should open and swallow them, the MPAA, et al back to whence they sprang.

  • Remember: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @12:49AM (#2998562)
    If it's copy-protected, it's not really a CD. Thank you, Philips.
  • Screwed by BEST BUY (Score:2, Informative)

    by Veramocor ( 262800 )

    No my problem isn't this,

    "I bought a 129 GF$ and now they won't honor the price (Offtopic -1) "

    Its with their return policy and FF2/cactus data shield.

    I thought I'd buy the Fast and Furious 2 to see if the copy protection really works. The "cd" of course said I could return it if defective. I went to return it and it was a no go. I tried to explain that it didnt work, but they didnt get it.

    BTW eac is able to fix the defective TOC and then rip. Not sure about the ripped audio quality, i'm not an audiophile.

    Ver amo cor
  • by alsta ( 9424 )
    Some people may wage this "battle" by breaching the DMCA. As you know, circumventing a restrictive mechanism which aims to prevent serialized copying, is a fellony these days. I am not going to break that law, no matter how dubious it is.

    Instead I will not buy music CDs anymore. I can live without music. And if you can too, I would suggest that you'd consider doing the same.

    But I think we're missing the big picture. Why are these companies doing this? Is it because it is a fashionable thing which one can make a buck on? Possibly. Could it be that they know that the days of the CD are counted? Perhaps. Are they afraid of the Napster-like services becoming more authoritative than the labels? Damn right they are and they should be.

    These companies have been feeding off the public because they are the authoritative source of music albums. What if that authority was to change? They would have nothing. Why should somebody go buy an album for some rediculous amount of money when the same content can be downloaded for very little or nothing?

    These companies may be doing this because of the Napsterization of the world. Think about it. Napster was shut down, no biggie. Napster was based in the U.S. Clear juristiction. However what if the infrastructure was put in place and such a service was to move to say... ...Russia? There is no way Corporate America could get to that unless a) sabotage was an option or b) the U.S. Government was to issue sanctions against such a country.

    Either one could be feasible in dire straits, but certainly not considered lightly. Most likely these companies will perish when people have had enough.
  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @01:28AM (#2998677) Homepage Journal
    kazaa was limited to searching for 128kbps mp3s (sans a quick registry hack), and often the "most popular" mp3 of a particular name is of the 128k variety. i'm sure for those of us who didn't rip our own entire collection, or get alot of mp3's off of or others, 128 is perfectly fine. if reduction = 56k however...
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @01:49AM (#2998733) Homepage Journal
    How is the RIAA making money by preventing people from listening to music? Seems silly to me that they'd close a market instead of ivesting in a new one.
  • by mattr ( 78516 ) <.mattr. .at.> on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @01:50AM (#2998736) Homepage Journal

    Of course it won't work, nobody expected it to. It just appeared to work at the demo and everyone *knows* about demos. There are no 10 million CDs. There is no copy protection. There is no spoon.

    What there is a heck of a lot of, is spouting about Cactus Data Shield, which has a really good name. We are helping launch this company, people. But how to keep quiet when the only way to express oneself is to talk / type?

    We could limit ourselves to a minimum mnemonic. Don't waste words on these droids. No flamefest for lurking writers to write about. They can only write, "The Slashdot Community again voted a resounding NO with 853 negative minimum responses against CDS Corp. and 1 for them, which was by an Anonymous Coward, Guess Who."

    Some likely mnemonics:
    "DOWN WITH CDS" (or just "DOWN!@*%") - Full moral support for complete technical, business, social failure of the company.
    "DUH" (or "DUMB", or "BAKA" if you are feeling Japanese) - Breaks the laws of physics and sociology; techies know, and their investors will get it in the end. Embellishment may be added after first keyword in caps; subsequent posters can get away with "DUH (see above)".
    "CRACK IT NOW!" - Call to Arms, etc.

    Now we can mail Perl-calculated tallies to elected officials, RIAA, etc. while 1) redefining target company's name as a mnemonic, 2) limiting time we waste - adds up to a man-month, and 3) creating an intelligent, opt-in, scary voice that is news by itself. Then we distribute our own software.

    Slashdot might like to incorporate top recent keywords (they're in caps at the top) into a handy pull-down item to save irritation - adds up to 4 ulcers per month - while forcing DUH target to provide minimum grim satisfaction.

  • keep in mind, this technology doesn't have to be perfect. if it's cheap for them to do, and stops piracy just a little bit, then it's a worthwhile move, from their perspective.
    it's like the registration requirements on 'doze xp. it'll keep people from "casually" grabbing the cd from work and using it on their home computer. anybody really motivated can work around it.
    -- p
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @04:01AM (#2998990) Homepage Journal
    What offends me most about copy-restricting CD's... (copy restriction sounds far more accurate than 'protection', I'd like to thank whoever it was from Slashdot that coined that term.) that they're punishing the legitimate customer, but not the people 'pirating' the music.

    Now first let me clarify: Ripping an MP3 is not piracy. By definition it couldn't possibly be. You need the CD to rip. Though I'm sure a small # of people rip from borrowed or copied CD's, the vast majority are likely to be from legitimately owned CD's. Piracy happens when somebody gives away this MP3 to people who haven't paid for the song.

    Here are two legitimate uses of ripped MP3's:

    1.) Use in a portable system that is far more compact than a CD player

    2.) Backup copy. Example: If my CD gets destroyed, the RIAA won't replace it. Well now I can keep my CD in a safe place and listen to the MP3 version.

    By preventing these two uses, you are preventing the user from legitimately protecting and enjoying their investment. The worst part is, there's nothing to soften the blow of it.

    What if the RIAA were to offer a couple of incentives to buy the restricted product? "Well, since these copy restricted CD's will help combat piracy, we'll take $2 off these titles. It's our way of showing how grateful we are for your support." I'd have more respect for the RIAA then, but it wouldn't be enough for me personally.

    They still need to address the issue of fair use. If they won't let us make MP3's of our songs, can they at least provide WMA versions of the song with Digital Rights enabled if we have the CD?

    So far, the legitimate users have been punished severely. But what about the pirates? Now this time I'm talking about the guy who rips his songs for the express purpose of distributing them for free. Ok, so he can't rip the song directly from the CD. Yah, I bet that will last long. All he has to do is hook up the analog out to the line in and boom he an just record it to a .WAV file, and then encode it.

    If that's what it boils down to in order to make the MP3's, then people willing to do that will be in demand. When people like that are in demand, then they become internet-celebrities. "Oh I know this guy, he ripped that song." As long as somebody can achieve celebrity status, they'll be willing to jump through all sorts of hoops.

    So to summarize, the RIAA is putting piracy into demand, and punishing the legit customers for it. Wonderful business practice! If this succeeds, next Disney will open a ride called 'The Wedgie".

  • Many people here has commented that copy protection will always be broken by crackers. But in the case of music and movies, the reality is "worse" than that. The logic of the corporations is that it will take time and effort to crack each version of the protection, which will ensure the short-term value of a new cd or DVD.
    What their logic misses completely is that the copy protection scheme *does not have to be cracked*. A one-time digital-to-analog-to-digital copy is indistinguishable from the original. Thus, all one needs to do is play the thing normally and record it digitally.
    You can see how the suits think about this: they know that copying loses quality, and that people care about that. What they are confused about is that although in fact multi-generational analog copies lose quality quickly, a one-time analog copy to digital copy does not.
  • by stuffman64 ( 208233 ) <stuffman@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @05:55AM (#2999146)
    I think a more reasonable data protection scheme is the Raging Cactuar Data Shield. If an attempt to copy a "protected" disc is made, a cactuar [] will appear and attack you with his "9,999 Needles" attack. You will quickly learn your lesson that when the record companies want more money, they will do anything to get it.
  • by Catiline ( 186878 ) <> on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @08:12AM (#2999303) Homepage Journal
    There is no such thing as copy protection. Any method attempted to stop copying is bound to fail: the hardware sees copying as just another read command, and if done in software, well, what if you don't use that software?

    The only way to stop piracy with 'copy protection' is encryption. After all, what good does a copy do you if you don't understand it? (Look at CSS and the details of Cactus: rearrange some or all of the information, and suddenly the old reading methods don't work.) As if we needed another reason to hate anti-encryption legislative proposals! You can be sure that they would exempt copy protection schemes while making sure your 'private' emails remain an open book to law enforcement.

    The executives of these companies seem to be completly oblivious to two points. First is, of course, that any encryption will only deter for so long (and if you use not-that-strong stuff like CSS, that isn't long at all.) Second is that (obviously) we aren't buying from them the physical disk, but the information on it.
    But when we look carefully at what they are doing, we can see how they do understand these issues. They're using the kiddie-level encryption right now. I've wondered why, and came up with only one answer: they're waiting for SSCA to pull out the big guns. Could you imagine a CDROM encrypted with Rinjael, and 'kept encrypted' by SSCA??? They know that by trying to extra-legally limit the ways or means of access to that information, they would lose customers. Well, first they need to make that limitation legal...

    If not for the SSCA gambit the RIAA seems to be playing (more like betting the house on!), I would suggest the proper response to this nonsense would be, like with the BSA raids, to encourage it; the faster access protection schemes are shown to be nonsense by the open market, the better off we will be in the long run. But when you throw proposed SSCA legislation into the mix this idea just gets worse. All I can suggest is to not touch these disks at all. Don't buy them, don't pirate them, and if you're a store owner, don't sell them.

    I'm off to write petitions to the big retailers now. I just realized that the only way the RIAA can't raise the cry of piracy when these disks don't sell if if the vendors are the ones who don't buy them!
  • by yoshi ( 38533 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2002 @11:24AM (#3000064)
    Why is it relevant that this is an Israeli company? I've done a search, and the country of origin is almost never mentioned, and yet here it's the third word of the blurb. It's given higher priority than any other piece of information. Why is that?

    I'm not saying that I know why the author chose this contruction, but when labels are used like this, especially in the context of a critical (indeed, ridiculing) comment, it's hard not to wonder about the motivation.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington