Audio piracy has manifested itself in more ways than one. The most popular of them being illegally copied or burnt CDs. They are most frequently circulated in the streets, school and college corridors. By the accounts of various articles, in the year 1991, it was estimated that one out of four CDs in the market was pirated. By 2001 the number of these pirated CDs had risen so much that the number of legal ones sold equaled the pirated ones burnt. The ratio has climbed still further since the increase in the number of individuals who own CD burners has nearly tripled since 1991. Unfortunately, this brings two of the biggest industries at logger-heads with each other. On one hand, the music industry is trying to defend itself by using anti-piracy technology. On the other, the Information Technology industry with its increasingly user-friendly software rips apart (no pun intended) many of their efforts.
But it has to be said that the music industry has developed some ingenious ways to prevent copyright infringement. For example, Sony has come out with its anti-piracy software called “key2audi” which prevents CDs from being played on personal computers and CD-ROMs. They also have released the next version of the software called “key2audio4PC” which allows the consumer to play on one PC only. Another big name in the music industry, BMG Entertainment also has developed its own self-defense mechanism called “Cactus Data Shield” anti-piracy software which prevents songs from being formatted in the MP3 format. The Cactus goes one step beyond the other soft wares. While the others simply do not play the CDSs in CD-ROMs and the like, Cactus can potentially damage stand-alone CD burners. Yet another technology called SafeAudio prevents copying from music CDs. The earlier versions of the software did not allow playing on CD-ROMs. .