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Studios, labels scramble for copy-protection

As DVD recorders pick up steam, movie studios concerned with the piracy the format brings to the market are scrambling to develop a copy-protection solution, c|net reports. Applications have already emerged that crack the DVD format, allowing titles to be copied to a hard drive and later burned to a blank DVD or Video CD. Industry watchers, however, express concern that any copy protection initiative could jeopardize a user’s rights, while analysts such as P.J. McNealy of the Gartner Group note that “[Movie studios] have some time. It’s not a big window of opportunity, but it’s a window.” Meanwhile, an interesting Wired article documents the dispute between Philips, which manufactures CD recorders and blank CDs and has been an outspoken critic of copy-protected audio CDs, and the five major record labels. “Could Philips take on the major labels and win? Yes, it could — but the company may only be hastening the death of the 20-year-old compact disc format.”

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