Sony DTC-2000ES DAT recorder SCMS Scams

Sidebar 2: SCMS Scams

What really pisses me off about SCMS is that it wasn't even necessary. The CD standard already included a provision for placing a marker flag that would prevent any digital copying, but for whatever reason, it seems no CD manufacturer ever used it. (This may have had something to do with a Supreme Court ruling that consumers have the legal right to duplicate copyrighted stuff for their own private use.) But that CD anti-copy flag could be used to invoke a modified SCMS that would limit duplication of copyrighted material to a single generation, but would still allow unrestricted duping of uncopyrighted material.

Here's how it would work: Instead of getting flagged by just any ol' digital signal, a DAT machine could look for the CD's anti-copy flag and use that to set its own flag, which would then prevent any further copying. But if the digital original didn't contain the CD-protect flag, it wouldn't kick in the SCMS, so any number of generations could be copied from that copy. Unfortunately, this great idea will probably never be implemented, because it takes an act of Congress to get a dumb law changed, and Congress never does anything sensible without being bludgeoned about the head. So SCMS will probably be with us indefinitely. Sigh.—J. Gordon Holt

jimtavegia's picture

I still use my DTC 690 to record WABE FM NPR  broadcasts for listening later, but not much else.  I also had a Portable 7, but once it quit for the 2nd time and the repair was over $300 I was done.  My 690 is still rolling long nicely to this day. And yes, tapes are still available. I also still use my Sony Minidisc 330 as well when quality is not a real issue. 

I must admit that my 3 Tascam SDHC recorders; 2 DR-2ds that do 2496 and my older DR-07 that is redbook are now my go to recorders for everything that I want to transfer to CD or DVD - or + R. 

Poor Audiophile's picture

Nice to hear from you again!


I purchased a pair of Sony 75ES decks and later a 87ES deck as well as a PCM 300. These are gone now as none quite satisfied. But, I still have and use a pair of Sony PCM--7010F DAT Recorders connected to a Sony RM-D7200 Dual Remote Controller. The remote controller allows for auto edits with 3 frame accuracy. I think my PCM-7010F's represent DAT recording performance as good as it ever got. I do not have any more modern technology which sounds better.