Macrovision Beta-Testing CD Copy Protection Technology
Safeaudio (a Macrovision registered trademark) is intended to prevent the copying of CDs, or tracks from CDs, onto CD-R discs. The technology was developed jointly by Macrovision and TTR Technologies, Inc. in response to the widespread availability of CD burners and disc compilation software. Safeaudio encoding is "applied during the mastering process at CD manufacturing facilities and is designed to prevent unauthorized copying of music CDs." The process takes place at the mastering house "on existing replication equipment . . . automating the copy-protection process and keeping the original unprotected master file secured," Macrovision claims.
"The proliferation of commercial-grade CD-recordables and inexpensive CD-R media has become a major concern to the music labels. We believe that Safeaudio provides an opportunity for the music industry to regain the billions of dollars lost to unauthorized casual copying. We are eager to start our beta trials and to get the technology into the hands of the music labels for evaluations," commented Macrovision president and COO Bill Krepick.
The system runs on standard PC Windows 95/98/ME/NT4 and Windows 2000 platforms, and consists of a "Safeaudio protection generator (SPG) program integrated with the Media Morphics and Eclipse EFM encoders." The company has a strong track record with such ventures: Macrovision's "Safedisc" CD-ROM software copy protection technology has been licensed to over 100 mastering and replication facilities throughout the world and is used by many publishers. We have no idea how this will affect the many thousands of audiophiles who use separate D/A processors.