Scientists Discover New Method to Uncover Bootleg CDs

{{A new technique proposed by the Department of Optics at University of Granada details a means to identify whether a CD has been recorded using a method different to the process used in the industrial production of CDs and thus, differentiate between the real thing and bootleg.}}

The idea is that the light diffraction from the surface of a real CD is different to what you’d get with a fake. Information on the study will appear in the American Journal of Physics the team from the University of Granada, which has filed a patent application.

One of the biggest problems with CDs was the rate at which people were burning them. Back in the day you could buy an album and then burn ten copies for your family and friends. 11 people get the CD and the record companies only got the profit for one purchase.

With the introduction of MP3 players, sales of CDs plummeted. No one wanted to buy CDs when they could just as easily get the same thing online (a lot of the time for free) and not have to carry around anything but their music player when they wanted to listen to music.

That said, that hasn’t stopped people making bootleg CDs. They can download the songs (again, downloading pirated music isn’t exactly unusual) and burn them to CDs to use in their cars or where ever else and the record company would see zip in profits.

While we’re not sure this new technology is going to stop the regular Joes and Janes from burning CDs for their friends, it could be pretty handy when it comes to people selling bootleg CDs in bulk and trying to pass them off as the real deal.

Read the [official release from the University of Granada here->].

  • squatchman
    I don't know. Unless they could get this technology down to the size of a keychain, I don't really see the market for it. At that size, local officials can test street stand merchandise or some-such without an arrest or sending a sample off for a lengthy and expensive lab examination.

    That still doesn't seem to be easier than checking the underside to see if it isn't silver.
  • cl_spdhax1
    lol, who buys cds anymore? cavemen?!?
  • Pei-chen
    LOL, most bootleg CD/DVDs I see on the street are pressed.
  • elbert
    This is ok but worthless. CD/DVD emulation kills it dead. Just take a burned CD/DVD and use an image. Doesn't matter what tech you have to read the CD/DVD. The emulation will tell the program its the real disk. Just adds a step that most already use to not have to find disks.
  • joex444
    While I do think it is interesting that they can differentiate between a burned CD and an original pressed one, you have to keep in mind that not all burned CDs are illegal. Backups are perfectly legal to make for personal use -- in fact, I would never put the original in my car. I've tried using CD-RW in my car and by the time I get back the sun has actually erased the disk (I left it in the CD Player). I was surprised by this, so I tried it again, and sure enough it was erased. (It is surprising because the laser erases CD-RW at 400F, but this is very quickly, I'm sure over a couple hours you could erase it at a mere 130F -- like a car in the sun during the summer).

    Oh, and the only way I would ever buy music is on CD, unless the artist is selling it in FLAC, WAV or APE. Regardless of whether I can hear the difference between the original WAV file and an MP3, I'm not going to pay money for something which is lower quality. CD is the best I can get, so that's what I want -- FLAC/WAV/APE are all equivelant to CD.
  • kelfen
    epic fail!!!
  • RoadKillGrill
    Hasn't this already been done, I remember for a while I could not read burned CDs in my first CD player. Whats it matter that they can intentionally make a cd player than can't read burned cds, there so many cd players on the market that there will be no shortage of functional cd players in the future.
    BTW I burn all my CDs for my car, the car wrecks them in about 6 months a cd. I have allot of signed copies I won't let them near that CD player.
  • hemelskonijn
    Creating a cd player that doesn't read burned cd's would not be fair to a lot of people who actually pay extra tax over blank cd's to compensate the loss of sale from downloading.
    Here (Holland, The Netherlands if you prefer) you pay 11 cents per blank disk even if you use the disk for lets say ... a backup of your text documents.

    It would be unethical to let people pay for the use of blank cd's in combination with downloaded music wether they take use of it or not AND fix the hardware so they wont be able to take use of it. :s
  • enewmen
    The police should do mass random metal/CD raids of pedestrians to see who carries CDs - also break into cars searching for CDs, then check if they are used with a different burn process. Enforce a zero tolerance policy. I won't be surprised if this really happens soon with the decline of civil liberties.
  • This is moronic! CD burners can clearly tell the difference between different brands of media and adjust their write strategy appropriately, and I'm sure there is some property of the reflected laser beam that would allow a reader's electronics to easily tell the difference between stamped and burned CDS -- say the sharpness of the transition at the edge of each pit. Sounds like someone just filed another useless patent.