Music Leaks

This is a discussion on Music Leaks within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hey guys Is it possible for a company to write a program to encrypt new release audio cd with a ...

  1. #1
    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
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    Music Leaks

    Hey guys

    Is it possible for a company to write a program to encrypt new release audio cd with a code to prevent new music from being leaked onto the internet?

    I mean somthing like the record company includes the release date of the music then when it is attempted to be leaked the program checks it against the users system clock and if they do not match then it stops the leak...

    It seems very far fetched I know, but all I am asking is if it is actually possible for a program that advanced to be designed and made to do excatly that.
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  2. #2
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    Well, first of all, I don't think "leaked music" would necessarily come in the form of the production CD in the first place. The music is obviously recorded and processed in several steps before it's published as a CD, each of these steps can have leaks.

    And what's preventing you from setting the clock forward to a future date, if that's the case? Then you need a network clock, but that would prevent you from using it on air-planes and such where network connection is non-existant (or extremely expensive).

    There have been examples of "copy protected" CD's, but one of my former collegues found an easy way around it [using some "interesting" debug hooks].

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  3. #3
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    But if all it takes is to fiddle with the clock, it won't take people that long to figure it out.
    Plus, when someone knows it, pretty soon everyone else knows it as well.
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  4. #4
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    It is impossible to prevent music from leaking. I've ripped music myself, it's very easy, just plug one computer's microphone port into the other computer's speaker port. Listen to the "free listen, not free download" music, you may not hear it, but the other computer is recording it. And there is no way a program knows what I have plugged into the speaker port. So yeah, it's like with anything, it's just a matter of time.
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    And one of quality. The audio out being analog, you lose quality.
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    That's a funny point, actually - most of the protection companies are chuckling away to themselves given that they've now covered digital content end-to-end. What they fail to comprehend is that common analogue recording instruments (such as a mic), in the right environment, can still produce excellent output. This is before you even consider professional-level equipment.

    The same can also be said for recording video, although light-based distortion tends to be more pronounced. In the end, the protection works by guaranteeing you HD quality where a rip would give you a slightly blurred (but still watchable) image.

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    DRM fails because it is hypothetically and utterly stupid and I deplore any attempt to implement it. It's analogous to putting pulse-beam-super-lasers on the Mona Lisa so that anyone who views it without paying royalties to DaVinci will have their eyes instantly cauterized.
    Like paintings and images, with music, once you hear, you own it. DRM would work if you *always* had to pay to hear it that one time, but for the simple existence of century old technology such as the radio and audio speakers, many people can hear supposedly "protected" content for free. You can put all this silly effort into stopping people from obtaining digital copies through other sources, but once you hear it, you now have an "illegal" copy inside your head, and I'd like to see them try to manage that content (and god help us all if they do).

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    Isn't CD copy protection only effective on Windows? I've ripped many a copy protected CD (usually one of Sony's), and never had a problem on Mac or Linux. Other easy ways of circumventing media DRM include using software to capture audio and sound output before it actually reaches the hardware. And I'd assume the quality is better using this method, since the sound and video stays purely digital.

    Sometimes I think DRM and other related technologies hurt the legal consumer more than the pirate.

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