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 ?
22 an album, undercutting Apple's popular iTunes service, which sells its proprietary, copy-protected music for 99 cents per track and about $9.
SoundTaxi has been developed to give users the ability to legally convert copy-protected music and audio book files.
Not only do the copy-protected CDs limit users' options, they also limit their mobility.
The CH7315A HDMI transmitter is a mixed-signal IC that transmits uncompressed, copy-protected video and audio data over a secure link from PCs to external televisions, HDTVs, DVD recorders and A/V receivers.
Copy-protected content, such as digitally transmitted programs, pay-per-view programs, and premium content downloaded from the Internet, can normally be played only on the devices on which they were recorded, and are not directly available over a home network.
Renesas) today announced that they have reached a licensing agreement enabling Renesas to incorporate SMSC technology providing Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP) for DVD audio and video, including copy-protected DVDs.
Without this support users will be prevented from playing copy-protected content.
DVI/HDCP transmitters are mixed-signal ICs that transmit copy-protected video pixel data over a secure link from PCs to external displays.
In addition, the new generation of home media center computers detect Macrovision's technology and either disable recording of copy-protected content or record an encrypted copy that can only be played on the machine it was recorded on, thereby inhibiting unauthorized Internet file sharing.