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.
All of the music copy prevention mechanisms have fallen apart, because people reject the idea of being punished.
Macrovision Corporation (Nasdaq: MVSN) announced that the company has been informed that the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) believes more work and study is required before the DVD CCA and the Content Protection Advisory Council (CPAC) can complete their evaluation and possible selection of a watermarking technology for copy prevention and playback control of digital video content.
Applications currently using digital watermarking techniques include counterfeit deterrence, copy prevention and play control, copyright communication, online content to database linking, authentication, content tracking, and broadcast monitoring.
Coupled with the audio watermarking technology recently acquired from Cognicity, Digimarc's growing portfolio of audio watermarking is laying the foundation for our company to provide benefits to the music industry commensurate with those being licensed to the motion picture and television industries via the VWM Group copy prevention and play control and Philips WaterCast broadcast monitoring solutions.