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AnyDVD HD removes AACS encryption from HD DVDs, allowing users to play movies on non-HDCP compliant hardware

AnyDVD, a software favorite for DVD movie aficionados, has hit the HD era. SlySoft has quietly released AnyDVD HD over the weekend, offering similar decryption capabilities as its standard-definition version.

AnyDVD HD removes AACS encryption from HD DVDs, which will also allow the user to watch movies over a digital display connection without HDCP compliant graphics card and display. The software will also enable PowerDVD Ultra to run titles released by Studio Canal, The Weinstein Company, Kinowelt and Optimum Releasing—studios whose movies previously did not run on the PC player.

Another feature of AnyDVD HD is what SlySoft calls “magic file replacement” to remaster any commercial movie disc using simple XML scripts. These scripts will “magically” replace the files on the physical disc so that the user can customize discs without making a copy to a hard drive.

“We could only begin our development some weeks ago and we are immensely proud to get this product out to the users so quickly,” said Peer van Heuen, one of SlySoft’s lead developers. “This speaks to the commitment to our users: get good and easy-to-use products out on the market fast!”

Other features carried over from AnyDVD include the removal of CSS encryption and region codes from DVD movies, allowing for a user’s free reign over the optical format for backup purposes. AnyDVD is capable of removing unwanted movie features, including subtitles and prohibition messages such as copyright and FBI warnings.

While the release of AnyDVD HD seems to be more than coincidental with the discovery of the Processing Key that defeats all HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc protections, SlySoft maintains that its development was independent of what the hacking community accomplished.

“The way AnyDVD HD addresses and solves the problem doesn't have much in common with the discoveries of individual members of the Open Source community in reading AACS keys from the USB bus,” said Peer van Heuen. “As one can expect from SlySoft, our solution works fully automatic with all known titles while the so-called hacker tools require laborious reading out of memory or the USB bus. This is not to say that their efforts are completely fruitless; it’s just that ours need to be user-friendly. It’s just that simple.”

The current version of AnyDVD HD supports only HD DVD, but given the similarities in copy protection, SlySoft said that a version of its software that will support Blu-ray Disc is not far off.

“When we considered Blu-Ray, our strategy was simply to initially support HD-DVD and await further developments in the marketplace. Already during the beta phase we got many inquiries about Blu-ray so we decided to go ahead and also provide support for this as soon as possible,” added Tom Xiang, SlySoft’s Marketing Director. “Blu-ray employs the same AACS process as HD-DVD. An implementation was really just a matter of form. A beta version is planned for availability this quarter.”

AnyDVD HD is priced at $79 by itself or as an upgrade from AnyDVD for $30. The software may also be first downloaded for a free 21-day trial.

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By thebrown13 on 2/19/2007 12:26:54 PM , Rating: 3
How do they expect to sell this legally? The movie industry must be getting ready to sue them as I type this.

RE: Wow...
By Lifted on 2/19/2007 12:41:38 PM , Rating: 5
They appear to be based out of Antigua, so they probably don't care much what Hollywood thinks or does.

RE: Wow...
By thebrown13 on 2/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Wow...
By Schadenfroh on 2/21/2007 12:25:38 AM , Rating: 1
The MPAA will send Magneto and the RIAA will send Gangstah rappers to invade that nation to capture the SlySoft developers and then freeze them in carbonite.

RE: Wow...
By hopsandmalt on 2/19/2007 1:11:43 PM , Rating: 2

AnyDVD doesnt do any copying. It sits in the background and strips the protection. You have to have a copy program that works with AnyDVD, ie, Copy DVD 2. So, Im sure that helps them get away with it as well.

RE: Wow...
By bldckstark on 2/19/2007 1:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
In AnyDVD if you right click on the fox head in the taskbar you will see a command that says "rip disc to HDD" or something similar. This is how I get the content onto my comp. No additional software needed.

Of course only with movies I already own for playback on my HTPC.

RE: Wow...
By therealnickdanger on 2/19/2007 8:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's not AnyDVD that does the ripping/copying. That function only works if you have DVD Decryptor installed...

RE: Wow...
By bravacentauri83 on 2/19/2007 1:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
Can someone clarify if it is unlawful to break copy protection encryption on movies? I thought this was part of the whole DMCA.

RE: Wow...
By shabby on 2/19/2007 5:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Its perfectly legal... until you get caught ;)

RE: Wow...
By bottle23 on 2/19/2007 8:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
Can someone clarify if it is unlawful to break copy protection encryption on movies?

It depends on which country you are in, and the copyright laws they have.

In the USA, I think, you can backup the content you legally bought for a personal backup copy. It falls under "fair use".

In Australia, its simply illegal to circumvent protection mechanisms. There are no "fair use" clauses or laws (There's alot of clueless idiots over here, that run the country...One wonders why they agreed to such things when the US Free Trade Agreement was being hammered out).

Regardless, its impractical to try and enforce such ridiculous laws, that are pushed in by the influence of Content Providers.

Cops, Federal Agents, and other law enforcement folks would rather catch rapists, child molesters, terrorists, etc than waste time on a bunch of filesharers.

In China, such enforcement are only "for show" to appease the country (usually USA), who's making such accusations...Once the monkey's off their back, everything goes back to as they were.

RE: Wow...
By gt1911 on 2/20/2007 2:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
As yet it is not illegal to circumvent copy protection in Australia. Federal Parliament is considering a bill at present that WILL make it an offence, although the final format of the legislation is far from certain.

The new Act is part of Australia's obligations under our Free Trade Agreement with the US.

RE: Wow...
By Flunk on 2/19/2007 1:46:39 PM , Rating: 3
Defeating DRM (Digital Rights Management) for personal use is not illegal in most countries. The only country I can think of off hand where it is illegal is the USA.

RE: Wow...
By wolli on 2/19/2007 2:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's also illegal in Germany...

RE: Wow...
By clayclws on 2/19/2007 2:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ironically...the software is also hacked by pirates...I can tell you where to get it, illegally, but then I'll have to kill you :P

RE: Wow...
By bob661 on 2/19/2007 5:33:30 PM , Rating: 2 I don't need an HDCP card to play HD DVD's on my TV. Just saved me having to spend another $300.

RE: Wow...
By ElJefe69 on 2/20/2007 10:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
haha yeah, I love this. all I need is a player. I dont want to get a separate bluray and hdvd player though. I saw several months ago someone who made and patented a dvd/hd/bluray player and doesnt cost a heck of a lot. having to have a special monitor is freakin lame. glad it got destroyed. deserves it! My 22 inch diamond pro crt has immense capabilities and incredible clarity. to say that shitty 400 dollar lcd screen is needed to watch a movie is retarded.

good going little red fox ;)

RE: Wow...
By EastCoast on 2/20/2007 7:52:13 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting, so you can use this to simply watch hd/BR movies...

By Golgatha777 on 2/19/2007 12:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'll explain my subject title now. For me, the only way I'm going to support any next-gen formats is if all the following criteria are met.

1) Allows for managed copy universally or is cracked sufficiently to allow for my own personal digital jukebox. Basically it needs to be as usable and fair use friendly as DVD is currently.
2) Allows my CRT monitor, which is perfectly capable of 1920x1080 resolution, to playback premium content without risk of the ICT kicking in at some point.
3) Drives and recordable media become reasonably priced.

Now I fully expect #3 to come to pass. Also #2 might might not be an issue if widescreen gaming becomes the de facto standard, and one can acquire a 1920x1080 capable monitor for $300 or less; again I think this is a highly likely scenario, but I certainly won't buy a new monitor just for HDCP. Criteria #1 is going to be the hardest one to meet IMO and HD-DVD only has AACS protection without anything like BD+. It seems there are some very motivated and intelligent individuals who will continue to to make AACS about as useful as CSS is now.

However, to contradict myself purposefully, I would say Blu-Ray has the stronger protection and I'm sure the MPAA will probably get a hard-on for this system if history serves as a guide. They would after all hate for their paying customers to get a reasonable value for their dollar.

By alifbaa on 2/19/2007 1:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know anything about BD+, but do you really think it will take more than a year to crack? I really doubt that if AACS was this little of an obstacle BD+ will be anything difficult. I could easily be wrong, but it seems to me that the primary motivator behind HDCP, AACS, etc. is to make copying a more clear violation of DMCA for the purpose of lawsuits, not to make a real attempt at stopping the copying itself.

By Micronite on 2/19/2007 5:21:05 PM , Rating: 4
In the grand scheme of things, I don't think this will make a difference.
The vast majority of consumers will choose one format or another based on mainly non-technical factors like price or marketing.
The unfortunate thing is that I feel like I have little effect on the survival/success of one format or another. That result will basically come from the "Average Joe's" of the world who thought, "Hmmm it says HD-DVD, so that matches my HD-TV." Or equally comical, "Blu-Ray... I have a Sony TV, so I should probably get a Sony player."

By ProxyOne on 2/19/2007 8:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
Or something like "Blu-Ray" isn't HD.

Another blow to the DMCA...
By NoSoftwarePatents on 2/19/2007 7:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
This is the futility of the DMCA. Content is going to get ripped ANYWAY no matter how much Hollywood can bribe congress into making laws to high heaven. When that doesn't work, they try to force DMCA-like laws shrouded in WTO agreements, although that's a lot harder.

All the DMCA does is simply force the reverse engineering efforts outside the US, but again, all of this was going to happen anyway. Hollywood thinks they can change the rules now that they are involved...but they have learned very little so far.

The PC industry was initially based on reverse engineering, so to me, it's sad to see Hollywood punish potential innovation under the falsehood of "content protection" (copy restrictions).

RE: Another blow to the DMCA...
By bottle23 on 2/19/2007 8:34:29 PM , Rating: 5
Its not a blow to DMCA.

Its a blow to DRM technology in general. Once again, its proven that DRM doesn't work. Even when its marketed to the clueless content providers as an "anti-piracy" enforcement tool. It has yet to effectively prove it in the real world.

As far as I'm concerned, its a "control" mechanism. Its invasive. What gives them to right to enforce what I do on MY computer?

The PC industry wasn't based on reverse engineering, it was always and has been an open platform. In the past, hardware makers use to provide technical specs such that, if you want, you would be able to write your own driver!

Reverse engineering was used to ensure the possiblity of competitors. (as in the case with the BIOS).

What content providers are trying to do, is turn the PC into a closed platform. Locking it down by using hardware, software infrastructure, and the law. This is to ensure their business model will remain largely unchanged.

DRM was never about piracy. DRM is about control. The control of end-user behaviour to guarantee the flow of future profit. (Check out Apple's implementation of Intel's EFI in their Macs. That's one from of DRM to ensure OSX only runs on what Apple allows).

Unless you want the law to gun your ass into the ground, no one reversed engineered anything! The AACS specs are publically available. All people did was study it and look for weakspots in its implementation. There has been no hardcore direct hacking or reverse engineering of AACS to circumvent it. Such actions are breaking the law.

You work around it. Study how it works, and implement mechanisms to expose the weakness of the implementation itself.

Why charge through the heavily fortified front gate when you can go around the side and enter via the secret passage?

I can see why Content Providers don't support Linux. Linux, like the PC hardware itself, is based on the principle of being open. Its a direct contradiction to what content providers want.

Besides, no one in their right mind would compile and enable DRM features on their distro. That's like shooting yourself in the foot with a shotgun! (You simply die because of unpopularity!)

RE: Another blow to the DMCA...
By masher2 on 2/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Another blow to the DMCA...
By bottle23 on 2/19/2007 9:32:29 PM , Rating: 3
Are you an idiot? Do you even know what DRM is for?

DRM is not about dissuading people. Its about control.

How is DRM working if its not serving its intended purpose?

As in, its not restricting, or controlling the access and usage of data. (in this case HD content). Its not stopping unauthorized duplication of copyright material. (ripping or copying)

Every attempt to implement such technology has resulted in failure.

Sony's rootkited DRM CDs?
(officially called "Extended Copy Protection")
=> Miserable Failure (Public awareness of the security issues it brought, killed it...Sony recalled affected CDs)

DVD copy protection (CSS and Region coding)
=> Failure (DVD Jon and company)

=> Failure (eg: AnyDVD, DVDFab Decrypter, etc)

=> Failure (proven by the application mentioned in this article and hackers via different means)

Windows Media DRM
=> Failure (eg: FairUse4WM)

Intel's EFI (implemented in Macs)
=> Failure (Hackers...Its demonstrated time and again that you can run OSX on a regular joe PC).

Apple's FairPlay
=> Failure (Thank you DVD Jon for QTFairUse)

Trusted Platform Module or TPM (on motherboards)
=> No one has used it specifically for DRM purposes. Its actually used for security instead. (as noted in Vista's BitLocker and Enforcer on Linux).

I have yet to see anyone release a distro that has Enforcer enabled. In fact, Enforcer itself hasn't been maintained in almost 3yrs! (Which means in the open-source world, its as good as DEAD).

Non-Vista players
By PrinceGaz on 2/19/2007 12:20:13 PM , Rating: 4
It doesn't matter if non-Vista playback solutions for original HD-DVD and BD disc movies dry up as you will be able to remove the protection from them and watch them using any media player app (provided you have the required codecs installed).

This also means there is no need for anything more than a standard DVI monitor connection to watch HD movies in full resolution on the PC, avoiding the unneccessary (and also costly if you don't otherwise need to upgrade) switch to new HDCP compliant cards and displays.

btw, I had to post this in a seperate thread as I got the "Oops something went wrong..." on every attempt to post as a reply to an earlier comment (about six or seven fresh attempts, pasting the text each time).

RE: Non-Vista players
By oTAL on 2/21/2007 5:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
When you click preview, let the page finish loading and only then click post. That will solve the error you're getting.

Cheers! :)

does the gpu do any work?
By semo on 2/20/2007 7:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
if i understand this correctly, if you have hdcp hardware (monitor, software, graphics card, whatever else) and play an hd movie from the original medium, the gpu does the decoding (720p or 1080p) and the cpu does minimal work.

what about unprotected hd content? will the gpu do any work or will it be all cpu?

RE: does the gpu do any work?
By alifbaa on 2/20/2007 8:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
That would depend on the codec you are using to decode the file with. By decode, I mean play, not decode the DRM. Assuming you have some sort of software capable of playing the file, then you would have the required codec, and the same codec would be used regardless of whether or not any form of DRM is being used.

Think of it like playing a ripped DVD you've put on your hard drive. CSS and all the other protections have been stripped from the file. All you have left is an MPEG-2 file that is identical to your unprotected home movies. If you use Nero to play the file, it will use its MPEG-2 Codec to decode the MPEG-2 formatted file. If you were to put a protected DVD into the drive, Nero would first use its licensed CSS decoder to unencrypt the file, then use the MPEG-2 codec to play the disc. AnyDVD is essentially an unlicensed CSS decrypter, which then allows you to do anything you want with the files on the disc. This new program uses a slightly different mechanism, but achieves similar results.

Managed Copy
By hellokeith on 2/19/2007 11:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
It will be interesting to see if this motivates the DVD Forum to get managed copy ratified.

On a different note, it would not surprise me to see non-Vista playback solutions for HD DVD (and BD) dry up, as the AACS can blacklist keys and even revoke licenses.

RE: Managed Copy
By SunAngel on 2/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Managed Copy
By NoSoftwarePatents on 2/19/2007 9:37:33 PM , Rating: 2
But not for currently released content and playback devices. Since the method to cripple the "protection" is known, it's going to shape up as nothing more than a cat-and-mouse game. Keys become known, they get revoked by new players (or firmware updates), new keys get discovered, those keys get revoked by even newer players (and more firmware updates)...Hollywood lost this round, just like last time...

By Ralph The Magician on 2/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Pft.
By ProxyOne on 2/19/2007 7:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
Where is libhddvdaacs?!?!

Ha! You mean "libhdavcodec"? Probably after HD-DVD goes mainstream, which won't happen for a while.

<no subject>
By Scabies on 2/19/2007 12:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
shoot. To my knowledge, SlySoft has been kind of under the radar with their AnyDVD, CloneCD, Virtual CloneDrive, etc. lineup. DRM and HDCP supporters have been so fanatical lately, I'm concerned that SlySoft might take some major flak for making a commercial release that allows non-HDCP playback, and opens the door to next-gen optical media copying...

"NAPSTER. BAD. /nuke"

By viperpa on 2/19/2007 2:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
When I updated my AnyDVD the other day I was impressed Slysoft had a crack for HD DVD. I thought it was going to be at least a few more months before we seen any program that bypasses the copy protection on HD DVD and BlueRay.

it's all them users fault
By KashGarinn on 2/21/2007 12:56:55 PM , Rating: 2
There is a conflict between content providers and content users, which can be boiled down to basically this:

User point of view: A video which I, the user, own = I can use it as I wish on any video device I wish to watch it on.. it's a video stupid, of course this is the case!

content provider point of view: A video which I, the provider, sells as a single media type, should only be viewed on that single media type and no other media types (which means buy the movie for dvd, for ipod, for zune, for your cellphone, for your computer, for your psp, aaaalll separately) and if something breaks, then buy it again.

they're trying to lay blame on piracy, and software which allows you to move your 'media' from one type to another, for not profiting as much as they, in a very optimistic and selfish view think they can squeeze out of people.

All piracy is to a consumer, and forever will be, is normal people who don't want to pay for a product before they decide to buy. Based on the content people decide either to buy it or that it wasn't worth the money, and for any content provider, the exposure this brings to a product is infinitely more valuable than trying to remove piracy, because if you remove piracy, then you remove the exposure a product needs to convince people to buy it.

When we get normal consumers to realise this, then politicians must acknowledge and follow suit and realise that content providers are the evildoers here by suing normal people.


By FakeDetector on 2/25/2007 3:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
In my country, selling a CD/DVD etc that dont allow the customer to make a Copy for personal use is against the law.

SO i give a xuts about RIAA MPA DMCA and any other Xuts like that

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