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Copy Protection Defeated - Again
October 7, 2003
Thomas Mennecke
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Princeton PhD student John A. Halderman has found a way around those pesky copy protection schemes. No elaborate algorithm decryption, no sharpies, just hold down the shift key and you're on your way.

Here's some background information. SunnComm Technologies recently developed a CD copy protection technique call MediaMax CD3. The way it works is quite simple. Most Windows operating systems are by default set to autorun every time you insert a CD. When you insert the CD, it automatically runs the copy protection software, MediaMax.

In addition, there are several other ways to disable and/or defeat this protection:

  • Computers running Linux or Mac OS 9 can't run the MediaMax software at all, so they can always copy the recording.

  • Many users disable the autorun feature (autostart on Mac OS), so their systems will be able to copy the disc unless the user manually launches MediaMax.

  • Windows users who haven't disabled autorun can suspend it when they play a SunnComm-protected disc by holding down the shift key for a few seconds while inserting the CD. They can then copy the data normally. (This won't work if the driver is active because the user has accepted the SunnComm EULA or because MediaMax ran since the system booted. However, affected users can still copy the disc by manually disabling the driver)

You can read a complete report with detailed instructions from John Halderman at his Princeton website.

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Technology News :: DRM

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