copy protection

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copy protection

[′käp·ē prə‚tek·shən]
(computer science)

copy protection

A class of methods for preventing incompetent pirates from stealing software and legitimate customers from using it. Considered silly.

copy protection

The prevention of unauthorized copying of software or media. From the 1950s to the 1980s, software copy protection was not an issue. Vendor support for mainframes and minicomputers had always been vital, and only legitimate licensees could receive it. As desktop computer software became more complex, technical support became just as important, but could be obtained from many sources, not just the vendor of the product.

Software Copy Protection
In the early days of floppy disk-only computers, some software copy protection methods were used, but "copy buster" programs were quickly developed to break them. When hard disks became the norm, software copy protection was abolished. In order to defragment a hard disk, files had to be easily copied from one part of the disk to another.

The Internet has provided some assistance with software copy protection. In order to receive automatic patches and updates, the software is registered with the vendor at time of installation, and the same update will only be sent once to the same account. Other methods are used to ensure that software is always running in the same machine (see Windows Product Activation). See hardware key for an unpopular, but effective, method.

Media Copy Protection
Copy protection for music and movies is a constant dilemma for the publishing and broadcasting industries. Every recipient that receives a digital file can make a perfect copy of it unless the content is copy protected (see DRM). See DMCA, CSS, BD+ and peer-to-peer network.
References in periodicals archive ?
While the law does not expressly prohibit copying of digital works -- only the distribution and use of tools that circumvent copy prevention technologies -- all technologies used to copy encrypted technologies, such as DVDs, are at risk of being banned regardless of a companies' adherence to the law," said Robert Moore, president and founder of 321 Studios.
To prevent unauthorized copying of printed documents, the Copy Prevention Control feature embeds a pattern and text into the document.
All of the music copy prevention mechanisms have fallen apart, because people reject the idea of being punished.
Digimarc licenses its digital watermarking patents for use with audio, video, image or print content in applications such as broadcast monitoring, forensic tracking, copy prevention or play control, authentication, asset management, rights management, copyright communication and filtering, and content linking or mobile commerce.
TROY security enhancements include the new TROY copy prevention pantograph technology, patents pending, as well as TROY customizable micro-print font which helps to address the need for copy-evident features.
Features include a compact TCP layer optimized for simple memory management, data copy prevention, low memory usage and high data throughput.