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I was reading the Wikileaks FAQ (archived here), it says:

Many CD and DVD writers will include the serial number of the DVD or CD writer onto the CD/DVDs they write. If the post is intercepted this information can in theory be used to track down the manufacturer and with their co-operation, the distributor, the sales agent and so on. Consider whether there are financial records connecting you to the CD/DVD writer sale if your adversary is capable of intercepting your letter to us and has the will to do this type of expensive investigation. Pay cash if you can for the CD/DVD writer.

Where is this number stored? Is it accessible in software by the device that wrote the CD?

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migrated from Dec 3 '10 at 7:05

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Do you want to get it programatically? If not, this question is better suited to SuperUser. – alex Nov 29 '10 at 4:26
That'd be great. – Evan Carroll Nov 29 '10 at 5:17
This is an interesting question. Favorited – abel Jan 19 '11 at 15:50

I've found reference to this on Wikipedia, starting from the section linked it describes two items that are placed on a disk:

Recorder Identification Code (RID)

Consists of a supplier code, a model number and the unique ID of the recorder.

This seems to be burnt on to the disk when it is written, and identifies the drive used - this is the code your quote is talking about.

However, I have been unable to find any specific details of implimentation...

Source Identification Code (SID):

Is an eight character code that is placed on every CD-ROM. The SID identifies not only manufacturer, the individual factory, and even the machine that produced the disc.

Quoting Philips: "The Source IDentification Code (SID Code) provides an optical disc production facility with the means to identify:

  • all discs mastered and/or replicated in its plant;
  • and the individual Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) signal processor or mould that produced a particular stamper or disc

Specifically, it looks like the SID code is stamped on when the disk is originally made, and not when you write the disk.

I managed to find a PDF file from Phillips, describing how manufacturers of CD should implement the SID code. From this we can see that the SID code are the numbers printed on the inner ring of the CD in the non-data area.

The SID code is therefore useful to identify fake or counterfeit products (but probably only to the authorities), because they will likely have the wrong SID code (the disks having been produced in a different factory to the real product).

Here is an example image of SID on a disk that I've found on the web:

Disk showing SID code

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