BD+ DRM brought to its knees?

November 7, 2021

This news will certainly make some waves:

Regardless of what those oh-so-knowledgeable analysts had to say, we all knew this day was coming. Yep, that highly-touted, totally “impenetrable” copy protection technology known as BD+ has officially been brought to its knees, and it’s not at all surprising to hear that we have SlySoft to thank. The AnyDVD beta has quite a comical change log too, and aside from noting that users now have the ability to backup their BD+ movies and watch titles sans the need for HDCP-compliant equipment, it also includes a candid note to Twentieth Century Fox informing the studio that its prior assumptions about BD+’s effectiveness were apparently incorrect. You know the drill, hit the read link below to try ‘er out.

Source EngadgetHD

Some of the funny release notes read as:

  • Note to Twentieth Century Fox: As you can see, BD+ didn’t offer you any advanced security, it just annoyed some of your customers with older players. So could you please cut this crap and start publishing your titles on HD DVD? There are thousands of people willing to give you money.
  • Note to people considering to invest in HD media: Please buy HD DVD instead of Blu-ray. HD DVD is much more consumer friendly (e.g., no region coding, AACS not mandatory). Don’t give your money to people, who throw your fair-use rights out of the window.

Joost interruption of service

June 26, 2021

The following was just posted on the Joost forum:

Hi all,

You’re probably not able to run Joost, right now. We’re aware of the problem: one of the certificates the client uses to ensure security has expired. We’ll have a new version available for download in the next few hours.

Sorry for the inconvenience

A similar event brought the Joost network down a few weeks back.Hopefully this is the last time such a thing happen! Viva Beta!

A symptom of the problem is an error message displayed before the application crash when attempting to connect tot he network: “Crash report submitted successfully”.

Hackers Break AACS Volume ID

April 10, 2021

Another proof that DRM does not and will never work!


Well, it looks like you can stop worrying about Corel locking up your next gen DVD player. The clever bods at the Doom9 and XBoxhacker forums have managed to patch the Xbox 360 HD DVD to to play any disk without authentication.

HD DVD and BlueRay require that a disk authenticate itself with a Volume ID. A player can then be patched so it will not play any revoked disks.

What this hack does is bypass the check for a Volume ID you can stick any disk in the player and you’re good to go, rendering useless any future revocations. It’s still possible to lock out the actual hardware, but how long will it take the hackers to get around that?

The AACS standard was supposed to be unbreakable. We always chuckle when we hear a boast like that. The very mechanism to future proof this copy protection has now been smashed. I expect a major firestorm over this from the industry pretty soon. Anything designed to limit people’s freedom will always be in an arms race.

It’s going to be several long years until the movie industry wakes up like the record companies are starting to and just sells flat out DRM free content, but it will have to happen eventually and it’s going to be fun to watch the fireworks along the way.

DRM doesn’t work

April 8, 2021

The following is a summary of a very good post by Mark Shuttleworth. To read the original follow this link.

Of course, when DVD’s came along, content owners did not want people to buy the DVD in the USA, then ship that to Australia before the film was showing in cinemas there. Hence the brain damage that we call region encoding - the content owners designed DVD-CSS so that it was not only encrypted, but contained a region marker that is supposed to prevent it from being played anywhere other than the market for which it was released. If you live outside the US, and have ever tried to buy a small-run por^W documentary movie from the US you’ll know what I mean by brain damage: it doesn’t play outside the US, and the demand in your region is not sufficient to justify a print run in your region-coding, so sorry for you.

…The movie owners need to push hard for global digital distribution - that will let them get movies out on cinema globally on the same day (modulo translation), the same way that you and I can see everything on YouTube the day it is uploaded.

…Right now the content owners need to be thinking about how they turn this networked world to their advantage, not fight the tide, and also how to restructure the costs inherent in their own businesses to make them more in line with the sorts of revenues that are possible in a totally digital world.

…All you are doing is driving up the cost of your infrastructure - I wonder what the cost of all the crypto associated with HD DVD/BluRay is, when you factor in the complexity, the design, and the incremental cost of IP, hardware and software for every single HD-capable device out there.

…Today we see one of the digital satellite radio companies (Sirius or XM, I think) being sued by content owners for their support of a device which records their CD-quality broadcasts to MP3 players.

…Face it, people either want to pay you for your content, or they don’t, and your best strategy is to make it as easy as possible for people who want to comply with the law to do so.

…Someone will find a business model that doesn’t depend on the old way of thinking, and if it is not you, then they will eat you alive.

…Microsoft, Apple, SONY and others all developed DRM systems and pitched those to the music industry as a “sane ” approach to online music distribution.

…Of these contenders, SONY was clearly ruled out because they are a content owner and there’s no way the rest of the industry would pay a technology tax to a competitor (much as Nokia’s Symbian never gained much traction with the other biggies, because it was too tied to Nokia).

…One by one, some well known figures stood up and told horror stories about how they’d let the inmates run the asylum, and allowed twenty-something year olds to tell them how to spend their shareholder capital on dot-com projects. This was really interesting to me, as I’d spent the dot-com period telling big companies NOT to over-invest, and to focus on improving their relationships with existing customers and partners using the net, not taking over the world overnight.

No DRM free video from Apple any time soon

April 3, 2021

It appears as if Apple does not see DRM free video any time soon:

<<While the world continues to digest yesterday’s announcement that Apple will sell DRM-music from EMI, it’s worth taking a look at Steve Jobs’ comments from the event regarding copy-protected video. Jobs is nowhere near as enthusiastic about ditching DRM from videos, using the rather bizarre argument that it’s completely different to music because most music is already distributed without copy protection (in the form of CDs), while DVDs do have copy protection (albeit the easily circumvented CSS). Understand? Neither do we. He’s right, though, in some sense: the real difference in the DRM situation when it comes to music and video is that, arguably, it hurts movie studios and video providers much, much more than it does record labels. Movie studios’ efforts to sell digital downloads have failed miserably because they make copy-protection a bigger priority than usability. Most of the services don’t allow DVD burning, and those that do implement it in ridiculously stupid ways. Hence, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to watch movies they download on their TV, making the download services completely unattractive. Why? Because the studios prioritize pointless attempts to stop piracy above creating services people will want to use and pay for. It’s the completely wrong way to look at your business: focusing on trying to prevent shrinkage, rather than trying to create growth. This push for DRM-free media is being portrayed as some sort of consumer rights struggle, but perhaps Jobs realizes that won’t work with the movie industry. For movie studios to drop DRM, they have to be convinced it’s in their best interest commercially, and given their obsession with DRM, it’s possible that Jobs’ comment isn’t a defense of the movie industry, but rather just a comment on how entrenched their backwards mindset is.>>


DRM Free Music from Apple and EMI Isn’t Likely to Help Other Players

April 2, 2021

Michael Gartenberg | April 02, 2007, 08:13 AM

The big new from EMI and Apple wasn’t the Beatles (as I pointed out yesterday) but rather the fact that Apple and EMI have announced that they will be selling music without digital rights management. The music will come at a higher price point at $1.29 a song for singles and will have higher sound quality, albums will be DRM free, have the higher sound quality but will remain at the same price point as current albums. Format is AAC and encoded at 256kbs so we’re talking about very interoperable with other devices without a major price bump. The entire EMI catalog will be available from Apple next month and consumers will be able to upgrade their existing music for $.30 a song. Jobs also mentioned deals with other labels before year end.
As my colleague David Card points out, Apple has dominated the market for digital music players not through lock-in but through product offerings that have resonated with consumers. As Apple itself has pointed out, there’s relatively little iTunes music on each iPod so this offering is not likely to tip the scales in the favor of any other player. iPods have driven customers to the iTunes store, it’s never been the other way around and it’s still the music player itself that drives sales.

So what’s the net? This is a great PR win for Apple and Steve Jobs. Apple was seen as the company delivering DRM free music to consumers, a move that will only increase their overall mindshare and of course, mindshare has a funny way of becoming more marketshare. It also goes a long way to address regulators in Europe complaining about the iPod’s lack of interoperability.

For other vendors in the hardware space, it will eventually remove the issue of iTunes lock in but if their sales don’t take off, it will be clear that it wasn’t lock in to the iPod economy that prevented their success. For other music sellers, the news isn’t as important. It’s not likely that subscription services will be able to allow those customers to download music without DRM and that’s the core differentiation against iTunes at the moment.

It is a good step forward for consumers but more importantly, it showed Apple at the forefront of acting as “champion” for consumer interests. After all, it wasn’t Rob Glaser or Bill Gates up there with EMI.