copy protection

(redirected from copy-protected)
Also found in: Dictionary.

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 ?
Sony readers can read only copy-protected material bought from the Sony bookstore, and that material cannot be transferred to another brand.
Avoid copy-protected applications and media files as much as possible.
In addition to on-demand mobile TV streamed over mass-market 2.5G via satnav, services include copy-protected movies stored on memory cards for play on mobile phones, Java, SMS and P2P games, place-shifting to mobile devices and VoIP mobile calling.
has begun selling DRM-free music tracks on its Web site, taking aim at the future of copy-protected music and Apple's iTunes.
(63) Finally, the bill would have ensured that consumers get notice before they purchase the new nonstandard copy-protected CDs being introduced in the market.
A so-far unnamed client will use his technology so its copy-protected content will play on iPods.
In the past two years, Cinea has sent out free DVD players that play specially copy-protected DVDs.
Sony Music could not very well support a Sony product that encouraged piracy, so it opted out of supporting MP3 and attempted to push ATRAC, its own copy-protected format.
The new alliance, which also includes the digital rights management company Intertrust Technologies, will be called the Marlin Joint Development Association and will develop a common digital rights management system that will ensure that legal copy-protected digital media can be played on any electronic device, regardless of manufacturer.
(3) Second, copyright owners have begun to use very innovative technologies, such as the copy-protected music CD, to protect their copyrighted materials.