h a l f b a k e r y
Outside the bag the box came in.
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Cast one of those cheap RFID tags (link) into each CD-ROM. Each tag has a unique serial number, an ID that identifies the music and basic information about the contents of the CD. The music itself is also tagged with the same ID in some hidden bits that don't affect the sound.
"Old" CD players don't
care about the tag and just play the CD. Next generation CD-Players include receivers for the RFID and compare the RFID with the ID found in the music. If those don't match the player issues a warning that the music may be pirated. The legal owner may still copy without problems. There will just be the warning. If the owner sells illegal copies they can be traced back to him/her using the ID. The illegal act would not be the copying, but tampering with the tracking system.
This system will make it easy to track criminal activities, so there is no need for full-scale copy protection. Some losses due to occasional sharing among good friends should be acceptable. Not so good friends wouldn't share because the owner knows that the music can be traced back to him/her if it enters a big market. Users who like to burn their own selection of songs into a CD at a store can also do that. The CD-burner at the store just adds the ID as it burns and the tag carries a signature for the store to signal that the CD was obtained legally.
The music industry of course will demand every penny and whine about the losses in the transition period from "old" to "new CD players, but I think it is a feasible compromise between copyright and users rights. Even the IRS has to be happy with paper trails and tracking instead of permanent observation of all citizens.
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]
US patent 7,038,985
The only patent to cite halfbakery as prior art.... [xaviergisz, May 13 2006]
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||Would we need to change cd ripping algorithms to make sure the id is preserved? Sounds like a bad idea to me, but I have to admit a strong bias against the use of RFID anywhere, unless perhaps its used anonymously.
||//need to change cd ripping algorithms to make sure the id is preserved?//
||The aritist could record each serial number into the song:
||"Oops! I did it again
Oh baby, baby
Oops! You think I'm in love
Don't copy for friends
Or you're not innocent..."
||[custard] If the watermark in the music doesn't match the RFID the system knows that it is ripped. Of course you can insert your own RFID in a CD and adjust the ID in the music to it, but the music industry can easily keep track which pieces were released with which ID on which album. It's still easy to proove that the piece was ripped.
||[jutta] No, you don't have to show your ID in the store. This system aims at large scale violation of copyright, not an occasional exchange with a friend.
You can also still use your old CDs because the music isn't watermarked.
||The whole purpose is to make ripping provable and traceable, but you still need an investigation.