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CD Copy Stopper

Software pirates beware: CD-ROMs might soon be armed with invisible security systems that keep their contents-games and business applications-under lock and key. The OpSecure CD was developed by Rosh-Ha-ayin, Israel-based Doc-Witness. A “smart card” embedded in the CD unlocks the disc’s encrypted content. You can copy the CD, but without the card the software won’t run. Try to install the software on more computers than the publisher allows and the smart card will shut you down. The technology works by turning an ordinary CD drive into a smart-card reader. A photodetector at the edge of the CD turns the drive’s laser light into electrical pulses, which travel to the embedded smart card and request the key. If the card deems the request legitimate, it returns the key as an electronic signal that an onboard light-emitting diode converts into light and beams back to the drive. Doc-Witness is negotiating with several business software publishers and aims to begin manufacturing the secure CDs in January 2003. The company is also working on a similar security system for DVDs.

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