A new, encryption-based CD-ROM copy-protection technology is being developed by Japanese companies Hudson Soft Co and the Victor Company of Japan (better known as JVC).

Dubbed "Root", the system relies on a software key built into CD-ROMs as they are pressed. Illegally-copied discs lack the key, so thwarting them from being used, according to the companies.

Earlier encryption technologies have often proved quickly crackable, but JVC and Hudson Soft say Root's difference is that its encryption key remains hidden and inaccessible during normal playback, unlike the keys of other protection systems.

JVC and Hudson Soft say they will use the technology to solicit CD-ROM pressing orders from American and Japanese software manufacturers.