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CD Protection Programs

Postby studiovpc on Fri Mar 21, 2003 6:42 pm

Are there any programs that put protection on cd not breaking it but putting it, i've found CCD Lock but it's only for Audio CD's and VCD's, anyone knows where can I find something like that for Data CD's? 8)
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Postby Spazmogen on Fri Mar 21, 2003 6:56 pm

SafeDisc is a pretty good product. So is SecruRom if you can afford it.

:wink:



As for cheap or free? I'm not aware of any. But I'm sure they're out there.

Anybody else have any ideas?
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Postby cfitz on Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:19 pm

What's your intended use? I'm not up on CD copy protection, but just on general principles it would seem unlikely that you could create a CD-R with effective copy protection. What could you write with a consumer-level CD burner that another burner of the same model or with equivalent capabilities (and there are many) could not read?

In addition, copy protection is not simply a matter of making your disc unreadable in standard players (liberal application of sandpaper would do that :wink: ). You have to integrate the ability to read the data on the CD with the program you are writing and including on the CD. The commercial copy protection schemes have API's that allow the programmer to access data on the disc. Are you prepared to write your own program that accesses the data and presents it to the user in some appropriate form?

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Postby studiovpc on Sat Mar 22, 2003 6:13 am

What's your intended use? I'm not up on CD copy protection, but just on general principles it would seem unlikely that you could create a CD-R with effective copy protection. What could you write with a consumer-level CD burner that another burner of the same model or with equivalent capabilities (and there are many) could not read?

In addition, copy protection is not simply a matter of making your disc unreadable in standard players (liberal application of sandpaper would do that ). You have to integrate the ability to read the data on the CD with the program you are writing and including on the CD. The commercial copy protection schemes have API's that allow the programmer to access data on the disc. Are you prepared to write your own program that accesses the data and presents it to the user in some appropriate form?

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Listen to me CCD Lock disable the recorded CD to be read in standard CD-ROM or CD-RW devices to be more accurate it won't play on PC at all so that is what I want with an Audio CD, but for the data cd I just want it to be copy protected not read protected so others can't copy it, they would be able to read it on their machines but won't be able to copy it that's all I'm asking, so if you know any program of that kind post it or pm me, thanx for understanding[/quote]
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Postby Spazmogen on Sat Mar 22, 2003 6:20 am

For commercial use, then the New version of SecuRom is what you're looking for. I have no idea what it would cost. Probably a fair amout. many game studios are putting it on their discs because most programs like CloneCD or Alcohol 120% have serious trouble copying the disc, yet the contents are readable on any computer.
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Postby studiovpc on Sat Mar 22, 2003 7:00 am

Anything that is free?
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Postby studiovpc on Sat Mar 22, 2003 7:13 am

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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 22, 2003 11:48 am

studiovpc wrote:for the data cd I just want it to be copy protected not read protected so others can't copy it, they would be able to read it on their machines but won't be able to copy it that's all I'm asking

What am I missing here? If it can be read, it can be copied, or so it seems to me. Copy = read + write. The read part is done ("they would be able to read it "), the files are on my hard disc, what stops me from writing them?

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Postby studiovpc on Sat Mar 22, 2003 12:07 pm

to cfitz

It is readable from the disc eg. when you watch DivX or something or listening mp3 form CD, but you won't be able to make copies of that disc, start CloneCD and the copying won't start or something, I've posted links for some programs it's explained there. Example is original game disc. You're able to play it but it's a bit difficult to copy it, get it? So ordinary users won't even know about that so that is what i want to protect cd so they won't be able to copy it
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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:40 pm

studiovpc wrote:Example is original game disc. You're able to play it but it's a bit difficult to copy it, get it?

I get copy protection in general. What I don't get is your particular intended use. Your situation is not analogous to a game disc. First of all, a game disc is a pressed disc, not a CD-R recorded in a home burner. Thus, the game producers can do things to that disc that you can't do on your CD-R. Second, the game disc includes an executable (the game itself) that can make a decision as to whether or not it will run, based on whether or not it sees the proper copy protection mechanisms still in place.

If I understand your circumstances (which I admit aren't entirely clear - that is why I asked about your intended use), you want to burn some plain old files on a CD-Rs (e.g. mp3 files) that the users will access with their own applications (e.g. Winamp, Windows Media Player, etc.). For this to work, the files must be readable by any third-party application and by the OS itself, with no special drivers/decoders/etc. And that is where the problem is. If the files can be read by any non-specialized application, including Windows explorer, then they can be copied to the hard disc and burned to another un-"protected" CD-R at will.

studiovpc wrote:It is readable from the disc eg. when you watch DivX or something or listening mp3 form CD, but you won't be able to make copies of that disc, start CloneCD and the copying won't start or something, I've posted links for some programs it's explained there.

I did look at the links you posted prior to my last reply. But I am still not convinced and don't understand how they can be effective. Playing around with the table of contents might stop a very simple-minded on-the-fly copy routine, but I'll bet good money that none of these protections will cause CloneCD, BlindWrite, Alcohol 120%, etc. to even break a sweat. And if the protections operate the way I understand you want them to and describe them as working (the discs are readable by ordinary programs), then they won't stop someone from copying the files one by one, either through Explorer drag-and-drop to the hard disc or through an ordinary compilation to CD-R in the likes of Nero.

I think you will find that these schemes offer very minimal protection at best - nothing that would stop anyone but the most novice of users, and maybe not even them if they think to just drag-and-drop. If that is sufficient for your purposes, then that is great. But I wouldn’t raise my expectations too high if I were you.

I am interested in being corrected if my thinking is faulty. Let me know which scheme you choose, and maybe I will try it for myself.

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Postby cfitz on Sat Mar 22, 2003 3:37 pm

Apparently my thinking is faulty. People have reported some success with making difficult to copy data files (e.g. .avi files) that are still playable in Windows Media Player, etc. by altering things such as reported file sizes and other file parameters. Apparently WMP is more forgiving about damaged files/file attributes than the OS, so that although it can open and read the files, the OS will refuse. I haven't tried it myself, but this seems to be the program of choice:

http://tzcopyprotection.cjb.net/

Of course, if these files are readable by WMP they are still copyable without tremendous effort, and the developers report that CloneCD (presumably Alcohol 120% as well) can defeat this protection, but the bar has been raised beyond what the typical non-expert user is probably able to accomplish. Simply dragging-and-dropping won't do the trick. Also be wary that these types of protections (applied to a data file) may break some third-party applications. So, for example, maybe Windows Media Player will play the file, but Real Player won't. And if that happens, that nullifies the "read but not copy" that you are looking for.

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Postby Han on Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:17 am

I think better way to protect data is to encrypt files. Encryption Plus® CD-ROM by PC Guardian does that, but I'm not sure how successful the thing is in prventing unauthorized access...
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Postby cfitz on Sun Mar 23, 2003 12:37 pm

I think encryption and copy protection accomplish fundamentally different goals. There may be situations where they can be used together in a complementary way, but they are, on the whole, orthogonal.

When encrypting data you are preventing unauthorized people from viewing the data in clear-text, but you aren't preventing it from being copied. In fact, you don't really care if it is copied, since it remains encrypted and is useless to those who do not have the decryption key.

With copy protection you aren't restricting access to the data. On the contrary you wish to allow anyone who has the data to view it. However, you don't want to allow those same people to duplicate that data and redistribute it. Instead you wish to force everyone to get original copies from you.

Because of these fundamental differences, I'm not sure that encryption products in general are a good choice for implementing copy protection. Encryption will certainly restrict access to only those with the decryption key, but that just changes what must be protected from duplication. Instead of worrying about duplication of the data, you have to worry about duplication of the decryption keys. That is doable, but requires some scheme to tie the CD to a particular machine, much like Microsoft's product activation technology. This may be distasteful to the end-users, and requires an extra layer of interaction between those users and the distributor in order to provide the customized decryption key.

Finally, the decryption method must still implement some form of copy protection independently of the decryption key. Otherwise the end-user could just copy the decrypted clear-text and thus completely circumvent the intent of the encryption as used in this case.

Encryption may be a better fit for data meant to be viewed by trusted end-users who will guard the decrypted clear-text appropriately rather than for preventing untrusted end-users from duplicating data.

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Postby Inertia on Thu Mar 27, 2003 5:46 pm

Speaking of encryption, WinOnCD 6 has a built-in encryption facility in Data / Encryption. Since so many people here have downloaded the free version of this software this feature may be useful for encrypting data when limited access is desired.

WinOnCD doesn't supply encryption codecs, but uses those installed in the system. There are many strong encryption codecs available free on the Web. If the "Disguise File Names" box is checked, all file and folder names will be randomized using 8 alphanumeric characters.

Roxio's FileOnCD is included on the encrypted CDR to facilitate decrypting and reading back the files. The files can then be restored by copying to the hard drive.

Caveats: If the encrypted disc is to be read on a different computer, it must contain the same encryption codec used on the CDR. Obviously, if the encryption key is lost, the encoded files are unretrievable.
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Postby Han on Thu Mar 27, 2003 6:58 pm

Inertia wrote:Speaking of encryption, WinOnCD 6 has a built-in encryption facility in Data / Encryption. Since so many people here have downloaded the free version of this software this feature may be useful for encrypting data when limited access is desired.

That was WinOnCD 5 Power Edition, which doesn't support encryption.
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