When having a music CD in my hands, how can I check if it has a copy protection? (i.e., I’m in a store and can’t consult online sources)

In my country it’s not allowed to circumvent a copy protection (even if it’s very easy with commonly available tools), but I want to rip all my music, so even "weak" copy protection might be relevant.

I hope there is some international standard (maybe an icon?), and that all copy protections would have to be specified on the case cover.

1 Answer 1


Audio CD copy protection, such as it is, usually involves producing discs that deviate from the CD audio standard in order to trip up CD-ROM drives, which are the only drives that should be able to copy them. Since these discs don't comply with the Red Book CD audio standard, they should not bear the CD audio registered trademark.

compact disc audio trademark

So looking for this mark is your best guarantee against copy protection.

Sources from Wikipedia:

The Red Book CD-DA audio specification does not include any copy protection mechanism other than a simple anti-copy flag. Starting in early 2002, attempts were made by record companies to market "copy-protected" non-standard compact discs. Philips has stated that such discs are not permitted to bear the trademarked Compact Disc Digital Audio logo because they violate the Red Book specification.


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