It turns out that the tape renders the data track unreadable, forcing the PC to simply skip to the music section of the disc.
Gartner offers this remarkable observation:
"After more than five years of trying, the recording industry has not yet demonstrated a workable DRM scheme for music CDs. Gartner believes that it will never achieve this goal as long as CDs must be playable by stand-alone CD players. The industry may now refocus its attention on seeking legislation requiring the PC industry to include DRM technology in its products. Gartner believes the industry would be better-served by efforts to develop solutions that use DRM as an accounting/tracking tool, rather than as a lock. This approach would enable them to move to play-based business models not tied to hardware, and to track their digital assets without complicating users’ ability to move legitimately acquired content to whatever devices they choose."
So much for DRM . . . Nice work, Sony!
UPDATE: November 21, 2005 8:33pm
CM notes in the comments the old (and supposedly safer) trick of "obliterating part of the data
track with a black marker pen. The trick is to identify where the data
track starts, not too difficult because of the track gap, so as to not
impair the audio portion."
Sony seeks treatment for severe chronic pain
GMSV, November 21, 2005
Gartner: piece of tape defeats any CD DRM
Anti-piracy technologies ‘easily defeated’, reports analyst
Tom Sanders in California
vnunet.com 21 Nov 2005