Do those CDs with copy protection prevent other CDs from being ripped on the same PC?

Many CDs out there have copy protection software that installs automatically when the CD is inserted into the computer. (I’m not sure if mentioning the trivial workarounds for this is against board rules, but it probably is, so nobody mention the ways around this, no matter how ridiculously simple they are)


  1. Does this stuff, once installed, prevent the PC from properly ripping any CD, or just that particular CD?

  2. If so, can there be anti-sabotage laws (or something similar) that could be interpreted to prohibit this?
    If it’s not illegal for them to surreptitiously install software on my PC that breaks perfectly legal functionality, it should be.

You raise some good points. If I go out and buy a CD and rip it to my computer for the purpose of making a mix CD, I would be royally pissed if the CD plants some kind of code to my system. The SDMB should not impede resistance to this kind of crap.

You are right - there oughta be a law…

1.) It just prevents you from ripping that particular CD. You’'ll still be able to make copies in your computer of any other CD, as long as it is not copy right protected.

2.) Don’t know this one.

Thanks. Not that I doubt you, but do you have a cite? I’d like to read more on this.

As long as we don’t describe how to use P2P or how to defeat copy protection, I think the SDMB should have no problem with us discussing this. I’m not a mod though, so maybe one can elaborate.

Just remember that defeating copy protection, even for an entirely legal purpose, is still illegal under the DMCA. Thanks, Congress, you’re doing a great job of standing up for your constituents here.

However, with no eye towards any mechanism to defeat this protection, doesn’t its functionality depend on autoplay being turned on?

This thread is not about what the functionality depends on, so let’s please not even dance around subjects that might get the thread closed. That info is easily found elsewhere, and this thread is about simply what the protection does and what laws it might violate.

There may well be a EULA that comes with the CD stating that if you put it in your drive, you’re agreeing to whatever crap they want to install. In that case, you’re SOL.


You know, I seriously suspect any such agreement would be unenforceable. There’s actually a great deal of protection against those sorts of fraudulent attempts to enforce “agreement” to a contract. I don’t think a reasonable person would assume that inserting a CD in a computer involved agreeing to a contract. Thus I don’t think they could construe your doing so as agreement.

Usually in the case of software, you agree to the EULA by opening the inner packet/package, and it’s labeled as such. Is there anything similar in a CD package? I don’t recall every seeing it.

Of course, even if just a footnote in the liner notes I’ll bet they’re still legally covered.

I doubt it. Software EULAs are still slightly questionable legally, and they’ve been standard for years. You also explicitly click “Ok” prior to installing the software. Music has a much longer tradition of being a static work that, once sold, cannot be further regulated (except for the regulations inherent in copyright) by the original producer, and there is no explicit agreement to anything…

It is arguable that the software only protects against unlawful duplication, but it is far from a given that inserting a music cd into your computer for the purposes of playing music is implicit agreement to the installation of potentially harmful software, especially when they can’t make a good case that you even read such a statement prior to inserting the CD. How many people carefully read through all the fine print in the liner notes before playing a CD?

It’s not even arguable that the software only protects against unlawful duplication; it also prevents me from loading the music onto my portable mp3 player, which is perfectly legal.

Exactly, most notably the world’s most used MP3 player, the iPod.

Oh, and returning the actual OP regarding question (1).

No, the software which is installed does not affect CDs which are not copy-protected (or are copy-protected with some other technique).

Today you are most likely to see two different protections:

SunnComm MediaMax and Macrovision CDS300.

Thanks for the link and info RealTronic. It looks like it’s a bit less devious than before, at least it doesn’t just install without telling you:

I bet it’s still easily bypassed, but I still ain’t gonna buy a CD with this shit though.