Copy Prevention – Prevent Copying of Files and Information
Beginners guide to copy prevention: prevent information copying
Copy prevention is something that is easier said than done. To quote Steve Mathews, “Computing is all about copying”. It doesn’t matter when or how you enter or view (or hear) information on a computer, it is as a result of being copied.
So copy prevention – preventing someone from being able to make a separate copy of information is not very easy and people providing that service can get it very wrong.
There have been some very interesting developments in the CD and DVD industries where they have come up with ways of putting information on those devices that makes it very difficult to copy them successfully. But, as with many things, making something difficult to copy successfully and achieving copy prevention are different things.
To take a practical example, in the CD/DVD industry there was an attempt to prevent people from being able to play information if the hardware they were using did not originate in the same geographic region as the CD/DVD was encoded for. This required controls to be built into hardware devices and also into software. So those industries were exposed to the willingness of many manufacturers to implement controls that met their copy prevention controls.
But things didn’t always work out how they planned.
Digital audio tape (DAT) was the first real attempt to introduce very strong controls to prevent copying. These were so strong that users could not guarantee to be able to copy their own recordings, never mind recordings from other sources. And solely because of the copy prevention system, DAT never became a commercial success in the consumer marketplace, and now lives, if at all, only in commercial studios. And the manufacturers lost significant sums of money as a result.
Regional controls on CDs and DVDs was an attempt to introduce use controls to ensure that you could only use a work in the region in which it was sold. This was not copy prevention per se, but it limited the market that copies could be sold into, trying to make copying less commercially valuable to the copier. It failed because the manufacturer’s of players found that consumers would not accept this restriction because consumers took the view that what they had purchased fairly they had a right to view, and that the player manufacturer did not have the right to make artificial distinctions. One result of this was a French law requiring player manufacturers to make machines that would play all formats regardless of security settings! The end result has been that manufacturers have made multi-region players available, thus achieving their (and the consumers who are their customers) market demands and the IPR owners found that they had to give way or watch their own markets fall apart because they did not have a strong enough economic case with the consumers.
So copy prevention controls, if they are to be effective and accepted, must not seek to introduce controls that effectively prevent legitimate users from using the rights that they have purchased. But one has to be careful to look into what are the commercial and social factors that one must take into account, and understand that these may be different for different specific types of IPR.
An alternative was of achieving copy prevention is not to prevent it at all, but to make the copy of no value if the user is not licensed to use it. This might sound a bit esoteric, but if the person who has purchased something is able to copy it freely, say for backup purposes, and may use any of their copies at any time, but other people are not able to use those copies, then you have achieved unlicensed copy prevention, which might actually be the real objective.
Download copy prevention software
Download copy prevention software with digital rights management (DRM) controls that prevent copying of files, pdf documents, ebooks, web pages, portals, html, images, elearning courses and software. Prevent copying of files, printing, and downloading of your content. DRM copy prevention software that ensures the security and use of your information.
Control what users can view your content, what they can do with it (copy, print, etc.) and when it can no longer be viewed (expire).