I am very amazed with how CD Protection changes over the years. Now, we are faced with one big obstacles – SecureROM 4. Is it really the technology that make it possible to make 1:1 copies of CDs?
When I looked back years ago when I first own my HP 7100i CD Writer (2x2x6x), there is no such things as CD Protection as CD productions are commonly limited to manufacturers. I do not have any problems copying games like Interstate 78, Tomb Raider, and Quake3, etc. Those time was not really exactly 1:1, as I just copy all files to HD and burn it to CDs. Everything changes until CloneCD comes out.
CloneCD did make copying games way easier, as I can simply insert the master and make a copy. I can rent PC games in store and copy and sell them all I want. Until I remember SafeDisc and Overburing is used. SafeDisc 1 is used on NeedForSpeed 4, when it burns the description (file allocation table) at the end, it screwes up the writer and make a coaster. With Overburning, the CDRs are 74mins and no CD Writer officially supports overburning. Making copies lof FreeSpace 2 is impossible unless you modify the movie files.
As technology advances and becomes cheaper, CD Writers are capable of handling/defeating “unusual” patterns, files, on protected CDs. The nightmare of screwing up is over, our hardware can handle most software protections (SD2, SecureROM, Overburning, Dummy…). However, in this 2 years, I see that the protections are way beyond our “domestic” technology can support. Hence many protections are manufactured on the hardware side itself, instead of software.
My predictions of protection schemes will be very simialr to some of the poster here. Precisions, the physical of CDs, will be vastly used to protect it. Until our “domestic” hardwares can read and duplicate the physical side of the CDs, I don’t see the possibility of 1:1 copy anymore.
Just my 2 Cents.