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Copy protection

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Copy protection is an anti-piracy measure designed to stop unlawful duplication of works under copyright. Often hotly debated and sometimes thought to infringe on customers' rights, for example, the right to hold a backup copy of works, especially computer software, or to use it on multiple computers, or to be able to use the software without the distribution medium (often Compact Discs) that it comes with, especially in mobile[?] environments.

Copy Protection in modern times tends to be transparent to the end-user, for example CD subchannel data[?] or other protection mechanisms such as SafeDisc[?] which only become apparent once an attempt to copy is made. Back in the 80s and early 90s copy protection tended to involve the software requiring some evidence from the user that they have bought the software, for example asking a question that only a user with a software manual could answer (for example 'what is the xth word on the yth line of page n?'). This approach backfired, however, as pirates easily circumvented it, resulting in pirate software that was more convenient that original software, creating a disincentive to buying an original. As a result user-interactive copy protection of this kind has disappeared.

See also Digital rights management; Copy protection in Japan.

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