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CD/DVD copy protection

In spite of the widespread use of digital sales channels, CD and DVD are still popular, because it is a cheap way to distribute electronic information in the regions where Internet has poor penetration or you want to have binding to the media instead to the user’s device.

You can record any type of data on discs: for example, software for commercial use or learning materials for students. However, writable CDs and DVDs can be bought at any shop and it is very easy for anyone to copy information from one disc to another and spread it without the copyright holder’s knowledge.

Adding copy protection technology to optical discs is still the only effective measure against this kind of piracy. StarForce offers a reliable disc protection solution, which is invisible to end-users but becomes an unbreakable barrier for potential pirates.

We care about user experience, so an end user will never know about built-in StarForce protection as long as he or she uses a protected disc in a legitimate way.

How protection works

The main method of copy protection is "binding" to a material object that can’t be imitated.

At first files are protected with StarForce solution and after it the content is bound to the original optical disc topology and can’t be launched from replicated or emulated CD and DVD discs.

1         File encryption         StarForce protects files by encrypting them in a special way.
2         Key on a disc         A key for decryption is located on a CD or a DVD.
3         Disc in the drive         The protected files can be opened only if an original disc with the key is inserted in the PC.

Would you like to burn files by yourself or order it at a CD/DVD manufacturing plant?

CD/DVD manufacturing plant
Burning discs by myself

Order at a CD/DVD manufacturing plant

Optical media plant

1. CD/DVD protection with disc keys

A disc key is required to activate a protected disc. The protection system matches the disc key entered by a user to the physical parameters of the protected disc. Protected discs can be replicated without additional equipment at any facility.

     Disc can be printed in any number at any replication plant.
     An end user enters a disc key manually at the first run of a protected disc.

2. CD/DVD protection without disc keys (Keyless)

No disc key is required to activate a protected disc. When the disc is activated, the protection system authenticates the disc automatically and no actions are required from the user. Protected discs can be replicated without additional equipment, but only at the plants certified by StarForce.

     An end user doesn’t need to enter a disc key – there is a silent activation.
     Discs can be replicated only at the plants certified by StarForce. For the list of certified plants please see here

I will burn discs by myself

Burn CD at home

1. CD-R/DVD-R protection with discs in one bundle

Best suited for distribution in small batches. This method includes CD-R or DVD-R media developed by StarForce engineers. No disc key is required to activate a protected disc. Protected discs can be burned using any disc replication equipment or household CD/DVD drive.

     You purchase discs with built-in protection which can be recorded wherever you like
     An end user doesn’t need to enter a disc key – there is a silent activation
     You need to order CDs and DVDs from StarForce Technologies (Russia)

2. USB flash drive binding instead CD/DVD

We recommend to use a USB flash drive instead CD/DVD if you are planning to create protected materials by yourself. In this case you can take any USB Flash Drive you like and prepare your content for distribution within a few hours without leaving your home.

     You use any USB flash drives which can be recorded wherever you like

Read more about copy protection on USB flash drives


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How much does it cost?   The cost includes a license for 12 months and a fee for CD/DVD quantity. To learn the details please complete the form above.
Can I use usual CDs and DVDs which can be bought at any store to burn protected files?   StarForce protection is based on binding to an optical disc which has unique characteristics that cannot be falsified. That is why we designed special CDs and DVDs with nonstandard geometry, where keys for decryption are located. For small batches we offer to purchase discs from our office in Moscow, Russia, and big batches can be ordered at local plants certified by StarForce.
Can I copy protected files from a StarForce CD or DVD?   The files can be copied but they will be encrypted. And a user will not be able open them without a StarForce disc inserted in the PC.
What types of files can be protected?   The list is the following:
  • Applications (exe, dll).
  • Video and audio (avi, mpeg, mp4, mp3, etc.).
  • Flash files (flv, swf).
  • Documents (pdf, doc, xls, jpg, etc.).
  • HTML files.
  • Presentations (ppt).

Is there a difference between protection of different types of files: applications, video and documents?   Yes, there is some difference. Every file format requires special algorithms and protection tools.
Can I protect files and burn discs by myself or do I need to send it to StarForce?   You can choose the variant you like. For protecting software and multimedia files you may need programming skills.
Is it possible to use protected DVDs in DVD players or other devices besides a PC?   No, it isn’t. Protected discs work only in PCs with Windows OS.

You still have question? Ask a question!

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