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With the recent shut down of the peer-to-peer file sharing utility Audiogalaxy, copy protection of all kinds of data is a very hot topic. Distribution of music, movies, and software is running rampant, and many believe the solution lies in better copy protection.To learn the basics of copy protection, visit Link Data Security (1). This company specializes in secure products that reduce piracy, and this article explains the characteristics of good protection. The DVD Copy Control Association (2) manages the Content Scramble System (CSS), which prevents illegal duplication of DVD movies. Many documents about CSS and other projects are available on their Web site. One of the most high-profile fighters against piracy is the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) (3). The RIAA home page asserts the rules of music on the Internet and stresses the importance of obeying copyright restrictions. The other side of the argument is presented on this site (4). These activists state that recent changes to copyright laws have deprived citizens of basic rights, and they present their proposed Consumer Technology Bill of Rights, along with plenty of other information. Released on April 25, 2002, a report by the Senate examines the progress of content protection (5). The three original goals of content protection are outlined, and the status of various efforts to achieve them is discussed. Another report by the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (6) summarizes its findings about "preventing unauthorized redistribution of unencrypted digital terrestrial broadcast television." A recent article in Wired News (7) looks at how a state-of-the-art copy protection technology was broken with a remarkably easy approach. The views of a Netscape co-founder offers a bleak forecast of copy protection in this article (8), but also implies that it might not be as big a problem as many people think.
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