Piracy Focus: Music to CD-ROM - no problem

According to a report in The New Scientist this week there is a technical flaw in CD recorders which allows copyright material on audio CDs to be copied onto ordinary CD-ROM disks.

According to the report a gang of record companies persuaded Phillips and Sony to come up with a plan that would effectively block people recording onto CD-ROMs, forcing them to use the so called 'consumer audio disks' which are significantly more expensive. The difference is a wobble which makes some audio CDs stall on many PC CD-ROM drives.

But the wobble has failed and contrary to Sony and Phillips' plans copyright music can be successfully copied to a CD-ROM and enjoyed on either a computer or a dedicated audio CD player.

The failure is due to a manual adjustment that tricks CD recorders into recording onto CD-ROM blanks. According to one source who requested anonymity, the trick is "extremely simple" using the right equipment. He added: "In fact it's so simple most people wouldn't even consider a consumer audio disk, they automatically load a CD-ROM."

Jollyon Benn of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said he was not surprised at the revelation, adding "at least one in three CDs (audio) are a result of either bootleg, copyright theft or some other form of piracy."

To follow:

We ask the industry why it has failed so miserably to stop copyright theft. Microsoft talks to ZDNet News UK about the challenges it faces dealing with software piracy.

Plus:

Is the music industry really hurt by piracy? Send us a mail with your opinion.