Protecting copyrighted material has been the bane of creative industry for years. In the days of VHS, videographers had some layer of protection because copies made from a VHS tape were generally poorer quality than the original. Today, however, consumers have access to many of the same tools professionals have.
At Polyline, we like to think of copy protecting your DVDs as being the equivalent of locking the front door of your house or apartment. Sure, someone can kick in the door or smash a window if they really want to get in, but the likelihood of your house being robbed is greatly reduced by the simple act of locking your front door.
Polyline is offering anti-rip options from three of the top manufacturers of disc publishing equipment. The copy protection options listed below were designed specifically for the small to mid-size user, such as event videographers.
ILY: Spartan Fortress Duplicators with DiscLock Technology
ILY's Spartan Fortress is a standalone DVD duplicator featuring hardware-based copy protection that discourages unauthorized duplication. You do not need a computer and proprietary software to create copy-protected discs so there is no per-copy royalty to pay and no one to call for software licenses. ILY's DiscLock¹ Technology embeds copy protection within each target disc making them almost impossible to copy using a computer or another duplicator.
The Spartan Fortress provides multiple layers of proprietary protection to the DVD disc that makes it difficult for the most common types of software to copy correctly. The software used to create unauthorized copies can either fail to read the content or gets stuck in infinite loops. It can also result in bad playback on the unauthorized copy. The protected discs play normally on DVD players and you control the option to enable playback on a computer.
The Spartan Fortress is available in 3-, 7- and 11-target configurations. The 3-target and 11-target can be purchased directly from our Web site. Call Polyline at 1-800-701-7689 for pricing or information on the 7-target configuration.
Microboards: CopyLock DVD Video Protect for Towers
Don't let the name fool you, Microboards CopyLock is a totally different animal than the copy protection offered by ILY's Spartan Fortress.
Microboards' CopyLock features technology that's easy to use and is offered as an option for Microboards' current lineup of premium CopyWriter Pro towers: DVD, LightScribe and Blu-ray. Although it is an option for the Blu-ray towers, CopyLock only works on DVD-Rs.
All of Microboards' premium towers come with a disc that contains the three pieces of software: recording software called ImageBurn (optional to use, you have to create an ISO file but you can use your own software to do that if you prefer), CopyLock for encrypting the ISO into a VCP file (copy protected video image file), and NetConnect (the driver that allows you to connect the tower to your computer). The CopyLock software is updated regularly and it can be set up to auto update via the web.
To use the CopyLock software, users have to purchase "dongles" (USB drives containing license information). One license per master is all that is required to embed your project/title with Microboards CopyLock protection. The CopyLock software allows the user to create an unlimited number of copies from each licensed master video image for no additional fees, making the overall cost per copy protected disc as low as just pennies.
Once a dongle has been depleted of its licenses, it cannot be recharged. A new dongle must be purchased. They can, however, be reformatted and used as a generic thumb drive once all the licenses have been used.
Microboards' 30-license, 50-license and 100-license dongles can be purchased directly from PolylineCorp.com.
Primera: PTProtect Software
Similar to the Microboards' copy protection software, Primera's PTProtect is applied to the ISO image during authoring so when content is burned to disc it is encapsulated with the PTProtect software.
PTProtect software is accessed with a single mouse click through Primera’s PTPublisher disc publishing software. (PTProtect requires PTPublisher v1.3.0 or higher. Download the newest version PTPublisher and get three free PTProtect burns.) It applies the encapsulation protection to the ISO image file prior to burning the disc.
The content on the DVD is not modified in any way and because the copy control encapsulation sits in areas of the discs not read by the DVD players, play-back quality remains unaffected. Once protected, the ISO files can be processed in the normal way for burning to DVD. It is a simple one-step process taking seconds or minutes to apply on the first disc of a run (depending on the size of the content). Very little overhead space is required, e.g. only 10MB on a full length DVD.
Protection is applied on a “click-charge” basis for each disc burned. Blocks of protection keys are conveniently purchased through an Authorized Primera Distributor via low-cost, pre-loaded USB memory sticks (or "dongles").
The compatibility of Primera's PTProtect was tested by Intellikey Labs, one of the leaders in quality assurance testing for optical and digital media content.
Compatibility was tested on a 103-DVD player test bed representing 83.40% of the DVD players sold in the USA between January 2003 and December 2005. The test concluded that all DVD players tested were able to play the disc and a single version of a Microsoft® Xbox™ 360 was unable to load the disc. The instance of a no-load represents approximately 0.12% of DVD play back devices.
Call Polyline at 1-800-701-7689 for information or pricing of Primera PTProtect dongles.
Comparison of Copy Protection Options
ILY Spartan Fortress
Primera PT Protect
Method of Protection
No licenses – one time purchase
Standalone duplication (no PC required)
License is applied to Master disc (expense decreases as number of burns increase)
Proven Compatibility via third party testing
Easy one-click application
Hard to say without knowing the method of protection.
Use caution if you choose to disable PC Playback.
License is applied per disc burned (expense)