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SafeDisc to protect software for Asia Pacific Rim
In June, -Dilla Ltd. announced the release of its SafeDisc CD-ROM copy protection solution to six facilities in the Asia Pacific region, including EastGate and DataPulse in Singapore, Toshiba-EMI and Memory-Tech in Japan; Jeil Records in Korea; and Intramedia in Taiwan. That same month Macrovision, Inc. acquired -Dilla and will control the distribution of SafeDisc among the international electronic media marketplace.

"The Asian facilities have been established in order to support the growing demand for SafeDisc from content providers," says Brian Dunn, vice-president of the computer software and copy protection at Macrovision, Inc. Indeed, Dunn confirms that -Dilla has already signed multi-year contracts with Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Eidos and will begin to copy-protect software titles on a worldwide basis.

Each of -Dilla's Asian outposts includes one production line that replicates and encodes CD-ROM discs featuring the SafeDisc protection system, but Dunn predicts rapid expansion of SafeDisc capacites at all six new locations. "When the multimedia industry adopts this product as widely as we expect it to," Dunn says, "we are certain these plants will add additional production lines that can provide SafeDisc technology." -Dilla is currently negotiating contracts with other content providers, and Dunn anticipates that they will secure several new clients by 2000.

Other Macrovision representatives agree the Asian market requires the SafeDisc solution, given that region's astronomical Piracy problem. (Japan, for instance, lost US$597 million to Piracyy in 1998 alone, according to the Business Software Alliance and the Software & Information Industry Association.) "We have requests from a large number of replicators worldwide to become SafeDisc approved," says Toby Gawin, vice president, business software division. "This is partially a result of replicators approaching -Dilla and partly a result of publishers deciding to use SafeDisc and pushing the replicators."

Gawin speculates that SafeDisc has gained popular acceptance in Asia and elsewhere because of its comprehensive and layered approach to copy protection. "It combines encryption technology with a digital signature process to provide dual level security on a CD-ROM," he says. The signature process marks the CD just prior to replication so that the software can only be run from that disc, and so that its contents cannot be copied to another CD or to a hard drive. "Anti-hacking code is also included in the encryption, but the process is transparent to the end-user," he continues, "and it only becomes apparent if an attempt is made to illegally copy the disc." And, according to Gawin, a new version of SafeDisc is released approximately every six to eight weeks to stay ahead of the hackers.

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