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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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anyone successfully copy-protecting DVDs?

ok, i've just sat down with Encore 2.0 and got all excited at the prospect of being able to copy-protect my DVDs at long last...

...DAMN! now i've read on the net that this only works if you replicate with DLT (Digital Linear Tapes)!

I hear 'DVD Architect' and 'ULead DVD Workshop 2' can copy-protect too but is it the same 'DLT' issue?

Someone once told me that you can put a small scratch on the part of the DVD where there is no wedding film data and that should prevent your average Joe from copying it (but they can still watch it)...does anyone do this? is it 100% trustworthy?

or is there a successful way using software? FREE software??!

of course, I could try and pre-sell as many wedding DVD copies in the 1st place, but wouldn't it be nice to just be able to protect them in the first place, and get the orders come in afterwards?!
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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DVDA is the same. There is no way to my knowledge of copy protecting burned DVDs. My dup guy does it on replications of 1000 or more if I tell him to (of course there is an additional charge) but otherwise you're out of luck. Frankly from my point of view, when I do a wedding for someone if they want to copy it I really don't care. For the money i make on the dup it's not really worth my time but I do find that about 90% of the people I deal with that want additional copies actually do come back to me for them.

I've never heard about the scratch method you described, I guess you could burn one for yourself and try it but again for me, it's simply not worth the time.

Don
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Old November 14th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #3
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Listen carefully ...

... that noise creeping up on you are your competitors getting ready to eat your lunch.

If most of your work is spec. that requires many to buy before one profit dollar is gleaned, then read no further.

If your primary work is weddings you might want to re-think your pricing structure. When the bride asks me about number of copies I coyly say "How many would you like? They're included."

Brides aren't greedy ... they understand. But if you quote duplication separately from the production cost that leaves it looking like a profit centre after the fact where you are selling her story ... always an uncomfortable situation.

I have seen 5 referrals come from the same family that simply occured because they made duplicates and shared with friends!!! I should pay them to make the copies!!
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Old November 14th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #4
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All those authoring programs do is set flags for the duplication house to apply copy protection.

I've heard of all sorts of methods to copy protect on the cheap - permanent marker, scratches, etc.

The short answer is:
DIY methods don't work reliably, if at all.
Professional methods cost lots, won't be available unless you are doing huge quantities, and are relatively easy to circumvent anyway.

Cheers.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 01:40 AM   #5
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Conclusion

To anyone following this thread:

EXPERIMENT: I tried the scratching thing on the DVD last night, with absolutely NO success....i now have a DVD with OBVIOUS large scratches, dents, and piercings, on the outer ring, inner ring, data part, non-data part....and guess what...it STILL plays and copies 100% ok!!! I'm using titanium DVDs though, proven in this simple experiment to be the world's most indestructible household objects (unless of course i snap it in two)!

Thanks for all the pointers though.

CONCLUSION: DLT replication is more hassle + money that it's really worth, and it's not like i'm mass producing copies anyway. If large companies struggle to prevent copying, then why should we bother?!

FOLLOW-UP: A wedding couple from May this year just phoned me up to order 6 copies out of the blue, it's like they were listening in!
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:57 AM   #6
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Copy protection is all waste of time! Everything that can be protected today, can be copied tomorrow. Even the productions from the big boys (Disney, etc...), that are made with DLT tapes, glass masters are not safe.

And about that scratch. If I would get a DVD like that. You will get it back right away. I'm not paying to have scratch on my DVD.

Just calculate that duplicating into your price.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #7
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For What it is worth

Since my product price was so low (too low, but hey..... I was just entering the market) I made a hundred or so on one wedding, mainly because many family were not able to attend so they bought the DVD.

in the future, I still expect to charge for extra copies, but that is because I have to burn at 1x and use good media in order to be as compatible as possible with all players. I also provide full color printed covers and B/W inserts so my production time & cost can not be written off entirely ignorable.

I don't charge an Arm or Leg for the copies (<$20 depending on type of case, color cover, etc). But most customers want me to make the copies because they aren't sure about compatibility issues. Heck, I'm still tinkering around with that myself.

jason
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Old November 15th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #8
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"anyone successfully copy-protecting DVDs? "

no..

and with DVDr its a physical impossibility

in addition to this, there are MANY apps out there which can even get rid of macrovision etc etc so theres really no point in wasting time and resources into it.

Offer the product at a reasonable price and people will buy..
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Old November 15th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
"anyone successfully copy-protecting DVDs? "

no..
Heh. I'd say "No" with no qualifiers.

BRD and HD-DVD will probably be another matter, but as far as DVDs go not even the big boys with millions of dollars can't do it.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Ringin
BRD and HD-DVD will probably be another matter
Those new copy protections for Blue-ray Disc and DVD HD are also going to be cracked, no matter wich protection they are using. There are always guys who are smarter then the once who make the protections. Sad, but true!
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #11
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Pretty much....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
"anyone successfully copy-protecting DVDs? " no.. and with DVDr its a physical impossibility in addition to this, there are MANY apps out there which can even get rid of macrovision etc etc so theres really no point in wasting time and resources into it. Offer the product at a reasonable price and people will buy..
That is how I pitch it. I tell them they get a copy protection free DVD. They can copy / burn if they want and good luck go nuts. Or they can buy it from me and I print off full color cover and provide inserts etc. Only one clients said he intends to provide the low quality (cheap case, no insert / cover) for relatives. He is a reasonable guy (very tech savvy as well) and knows what it takes to do waht and how much it costs so we got along great. Speaking of that customer, his video is sitting in the pipeline waiting for spare time.

jason
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 02:49 PM   #12
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Knowing the technical aspects of the devices you are using is always helpful, and can save you time and money. I think it's funny that people actually tried scratching the discs where there is no footage. The old black marker around the edge trick worked good for GAMES because that's where the copy protection information was stored. Movie DVDs don't store anything there, unless of course you squeeze a ton of footage onto the disc. And the intentional bad bit information won't work for a few reasons. One, your software can't WRITE the bad information. And second, the DVD player will freak out if it encounters it.

I agree with Jimmy McKenzie. If they are copying your discs and giving them out, that's one less advertisement you have to pay for. Your name and work is being spread, free of charge. If a multi-million dollar company can't protect their professionally made commercial discs then there's no way small business will do it. Take the free advertising.

That's not to say I think it's RIGHT to copy the discs. It's a loss of potential income and that sucks.

-Michael
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Old May 4th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #13
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The safe bet is to assume that your final product will get copied. Anyone with a dvd burner and some freeware can copy your DVD.

One thing that might defer them is to burn onto dual-layer. Most off-the- shelf brands are still a bit expensive, and it won't be obvious to a newbie that the disc is dual layer so when they try to burn it don't work.
Plus if they want to wait 30 minutes to burn a dual layer after spending $4 a disc, then they deserve the copy.

Just a thought.
Jim
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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #14
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Wow... dead thread back from the dead...

As others have said copy protection is pointless there are tons of applications out there that will let them back your DVD without much trouble. For my video work I normally build the cost in the price as others have suggested for a number of copies and then I tell them that I welcome them to make copies, I also happen to give them Inkjet printed DVDs in a clear case that have a very nice look and they normally dont mind spending $5~10 extra for extra copies from me. They would rather have a nice one I made for a few bucks rather than spend their time and get a Office Depot DVD with hand writting. I have found setting a "low" price for extra copies often results in more sales anyhow. I try to make my money off the main work. I know every body has a burner out ther so Ill let them do it if they want.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:50 PM   #15
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On another forum the scratch method was put to the test and worked successfully. However the scratch wasn't a surface scratch but rather a large, almost a cut into the disc. The person who did it actually had to cut into the disc about 1/16th of an inch. The disc was able to play but could not be copied. But, it seems like alot of work to make a few extra bucks. We allow them to make as many copies as they want but normally they come back to us so that they can get the covers and hard cases and printed dvd's.
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