|Copy protection technology is used to prevent the
unauthorized duplication of digital media.
The term copy protection refers to the wide range of techniques that prevents people from trading, sharing, and using media they have not purchased. The official term for using illegal media is piracy. When most people think of software or media piracy, they think about people selling bootlegs of CDs and videos on a street corner in Asia. Few people consider themselves pirates. After all, aren’t pirates evil sailors with eye-patches? Yet most people wouldn’t think twice about copying a CD for a friend or borrowing the Microsoft Office CD from work to install it at home. Even workplace piracy can unintentionally happen. Many information technology (IT) departments install systems using a single set of CDs. Nobody keeps track of the number of installations, and it’s not long before the office has more copies than the licenses say were purchased.
Many publishers believe that all this small-scale piracy by typical consumers can add up to real revenue loss, especially because some of these consumers might otherwise pay for the product. Compare this to the less quantifiable revenue loss due to Asian pirates, who sell to a market of people who can’t otherwise afford the product. Although Asian piracy may look threatening on paper, consumer piracy is real. It
therefore shouldn’t be surprising that the goal of copy protection is to prevent average users from sharing media they have purchased with their friends and coworkers.
The above information is the start of a chapter in "Network Security Illustrated," published by McGraw-Hill and available from amazon.com, as well as your local bookstore. The book goes into much greater depth on this topic. To learn more about the book and what it covers, click here.
Below, you'll find links to online resources that supplement this portion of the book.