Encryption and Copy Protection get a lot of attention in the press and when discussing disc duplication. Two elements are important to remember.
- Are you planning on encrypting or copy protecting your content?
- Are you planning on breaking someone elses encryption or copy protection?
We will start with number 2
First as it's the most important.
In the United States and most countries, breaking or disabling copy protection or encryption is illegal. Duplication equipment is not capable of breaking or bypassing copy protection or encryption. This applies more to DVD and Blu-ray then it does CDs. Most CDs are not copy protected/encrypted. They may have a copy protect "flag" on the disc which will then make it impossible to use a duplicator. Nor should you, right?
You may be able to use a computer drive to back up a disc but anything designed for production will not work. The controllers are designed to reject any copy protected discs. DVDs use Macrovision and CSS for the most part to actually encrypt or distort the data. You may find DVDs that are not encrypted and you can copy them for personal use if you own the disc. Blu-ray has more advanced encryption. For our Blu-ray duplicators (and all duplicators sold by other companies) it is impossible to copy an original disc via the duplicator. CD-R, DVD or BD you can't run out and rent a disc and copy it en masse for some kind of tag sale at the expense of the label's owner.
The main point being the content is owned by someone else and you are licensed for one copy if you purchased it. The issue of backing up your discs is valid but that is beyond the scope of this post.
We are discussing duplication equipment, The equipment will not break the encryption nor copy and even if it could one should not steal.
It's not an issue of how many locks the recording industry puts on their discs: One should not steal.
This leads into the next element which is protecting your own content. unfortunately as we all know people seem to share data files,
or "digital assets" to whom they belong,call them.
There are a number of different copy protection schemes out on the market for low volume production and recently DVD has been added to the mix. Even CSS, At one time could only dwell in the realm of the big studio productions can now be added for a relatively inexpensive price to more budget minded productions.
So let's break it out:
- Copy protection: copy protection uses various schemes to make casual copying very difficult. Fake TOC or illegal file structures are common practices. The disc will play most of time but it can be problematic with some players. Copy protection can be as simple as a copy protect flag in disc lead in. MacroVision, which one saw more in video tapes distorts the image if it's copied. There are some DVD duplication systems that can create an illegal disc format that will play on a player and not any other equipment.
- Encryption: Encrypting data actually "scrambles" the data making it unreadable. A special key or keys are required to "unlock" the content. So it might be possible to copy an encrypted disc but you will not be able to use it. essentially the DVD disc becomes permanently locked.
Typically both methods are used to make a DVD disc or Blu-ray disc unreadable and impossible to copy.
We have a few solutions to offer for disc copy protection and encryption. Most of the options can be incorporated into a disc publisher like the Rimage Disc Publisher family. To learn more about DVD duplicator publishers and DVD duplication, click on the button to request a free buyers guide to disc duplication