Sony claims to be testing out new CDs with technology from First4Internet that incorporates security features that will allow users to only make a limited number of copies. Known as "sterile burning", the technique is intended to stop casual piracy such as ripping and burning by people who want to share their music purchases with their friends.

"The casual piracy, the school-yard piracy, is a huge issue for us," Thomas Hesse said, president of global digital business for Sony BMG.

"Two-thirds of all piracy comes from ripping and burning CDs, which is why making the CD a secure format is of the utmost importance."