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BTO vulnerability

A BTO vulnerability is a flaw in a copy protection system that makes a copy in which the protection is circumvented Better Than the Original in some way.

This results in an alternative to the original product that is more desirable, thus defeating the object of the copy protection by creating more customers for the alternative product, including some who would otherwise have bought the original.

There are two common examples of this:

  1. The user-interactive copy protection used in software in the early 90s (for example asking a user what a certain word within the manual was, given that only someone with an original copy of the software would have the manual). However, this meant that a copy of such a game which has had the protection removed has two advantages:
    1. If the user loses the manual, the game is still playable.
    2. The user does not have to go through the inconvenience of looking up something in the manual every time they want to play the game.
  2. The music industry's current policy of corrupting Audio CDs so that they play fine on CD players but cause problems if played in a computer CD-ROM drive, ranging from not playing to causing a computer failure. The result of this is that people who want to play the CD on their computer are instead buying an uncorrupted copied CD instead of the corrupt original or downloading the equivalent MP3s from the Internet. This list shows which CDs in the UK have been identified as corrupt.