How does Copy protection work?

Please excuse my all encompasing subject. I’m from an electronics rather than a computing background, and I was wondering if someone can give me a general overview of how these systems work. I’m curious as I’ve seen references to a scheme called Starforce which may be uncopyable. If something can be read off a CD how can it not be written back.

I realise in the past that some schemes exploited CDR drive circuitry, but I then heard that certain drives (LiteON) got round this. If game executables are encrypted, then the key must be somewhere on the CD, i.e. readable

Is there an area on pressed CD’s that isn’t on CDR’s ?

As I said this is curiousity on my part, any links etc would be appreciated.


Basically because StarForce 3 is so hard to copy is it’s protection method. Angle timing. Because this has to be very precise burners have trouble doing it. That’s why some Copy Protections Employing this method must have an RMPS emulation.

You should check out the “Optical Storage Technical Discussions” forum: