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Schematic of the BD Plus system
BD Plus now available to help prevent Blu-ray piracy

Blu-ray Disc is getting another layer of content protection with the availability of BD Plus (BD+). The system, from BD+ Technologies LLC, is now complete and available to all Hollywood movie studios and content developers for implementation in Blu-ray Disc media.

Issued by BD+ Technologies are system specifications, key management rules, test specifications and various agreements. Also launched are a key issuing center, testing centers for players, and testing facilities for disc playability.

With the recent compromises to the Advanced Access Content System (AACS), BD Plus represents a new DRM scheme in hopes to thwart piracy. The BD+ system is believed to play a part in several Hollywood movie studios’ choice of which high-definition optical format to support. As the HD DVD specification does not account for BD+, movie studios such as Fox may have sided exclusively with Blu-ray Disc for its extra levels of protection.

The attacks on the AACS have also had a noticeable effect on the release of movies from Blu-ray-exclusive studios. Neither Fox (which holds the Star Wars movies) nor MGM (has the entire 007 catalog) have released any Blu-ray movies since April. The release of the new BD+ system, however, may soon change that.

BD+ differs from AACS in its complexity. Effectively an embedded virtual machine inside player hardware, BD+ allows content providers to include executables on Blu-ray Discs to perform specific, content protecting functions. For example, the BD+ virtual machine could run diagnostics on the host environment to see if the disc player has been modified, or to verify that the keys have not been changed.

As part of the BD+ scheme, video may be deliberately corrupted or modified to prevent the ripping of the data stream for piracy purposes. The BD+ environment, once verified, will correct and descramble the content to render it viewable.

“BD+ will be the proverbial thorn in the side of Blu-ray movie rippers,” said optical storage analyst Wesley Novack. “With AACS and BD+ switching up encryption keys and methods routinely (BD+), it might become too much work to determine how to rip every Blu-ray Disc title out there.”

BD+ is a system made for Blu-ray Disc, but not all implementations of the media are required to support the system. In fact, support for BD+ is less that for AACS. Of all categories of BD-ROM, only game consoles, movie players and BD PC software are required to work with BD+ encoded media.

Although an entire generation of Blu-ray Disc (and HD DVD) titles were cracked by a single AACS processing key, the extra layer of BD+ should make it much more challenging for hackers. Unlike AACS, BD+ can protect each Blu-ray Disc with a title-specific code, making the circumvention of the scheme much more involved than finding a single “silver bullet” processing key. Crackers would need to reverse-engineer each title individually to bypass the protection. While that task may be difficult, it may not be impossible as PC software with virtual machine-based protections, such as StarForce, are still being circumvented.

“Only time will tell and there is no guarantee that BD+ will be effective against the persistence and tenacity of the talented online community,” added Novack.

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By mdogs444 on 6/21/2007 3:46:47 PM , Rating: 5
If they can code it, someone can crack it. Its just common sense.

Make it as difficult as they wish, but I really think hackers get off on that. The harder it is, the more gratification they get from overcoming the protection.

And in the online DVD piracy communities defense....until we see BD/HDDVD Burners on the market for an affordable price, I could really care less whether it is or is not possible to copy Blue Ray.

By Terberculosis on 6/21/2007 3:50:02 PM , Rating: 5
The best defense against piracy would be to make the disks completly unreadable. Just burn whitenoise on the whole disk. Then the damn hackers could never get the video off of the disk. Foolproof!

By mdogs444 on 6/21/2007 3:52:41 PM , Rating: 4
And the crazy white noise ghosts will haunt them in their computer monitors!

By Webreviews on 6/22/07, Rating: 0
By splint on 6/21/2007 8:29:48 PM , Rating: 5
Did anyone notice how carefully those quotes were constructed so as not to inadvertently taunt the crackers? I remember how the hubris of the CSS developers lit a fire under the collective ass of the cracking community many years ago. It seems the DRM guys learned their lesson.

By Duraz0rz on 6/21/2007 3:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
So true about the cracking thing.

I'll admit to ripping movies, but I would rather have them run off the hard drive of my computer (where it's relatively quieter) than in the DVD drive. It's less of a distraction when I'm watching movies on my PC.

And with my plans to use my PC not only as a gaming machine, but also my movie watching machine, I'll be ripping more movies that I own onto the hard drive.

By mdogs444 on 6/21/2007 3:54:40 PM , Rating: 1
Divx/H.264 -> 700MB vs 4.7GB on my HD, ill gladly take the compressed codec :-)

By Duraz0rz on 6/21/2007 3:55:51 PM , Rating: 3
I hate compression, though. Even though DVDs are already compressed, it's not as compressed, and the visual quality is usually lacking, too.

I usually rip to straight ISOs and mount them via Daemon Tools.

By mdogs444 on 6/21/2007 3:58:31 PM , Rating: 1
Ill have to try that. I only have two 250gb HD's, so that isn't going to go very far!

By Tmansport on 6/21/2007 4:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
Try x264 and I'll be damned if you can tell the difference between a 1.4GB encode and the original DVD. It will take more resources to play than xvid/divx, but the quality is indistinguishable (to me) and you save ~3-5GB per movie. I really wish there was a method of retaining the special features other than using Divx 6 though.

By Duraz0rz on 6/21/2007 4:11:57 PM , Rating: 4
How's the audio quality? Special features don't matter to me anyway...I buy DVDs for the movie haha.

By alifbaa on 6/21/2007 4:31:29 PM , Rating: 2
I use Nero recode, and you can select a HE audio codec with whatever bit rate you want. I know it can recode Dolby 5.1. I can't remember if it can do 6.1 or not. It can't do DTS (or at least doesn't recognize DTS audio when I rip a DVD). Sound quality is every bit as good as the video quality -- you will never notice the difference unless you have an excellent system (nothing you can buy in a store), are listening to the same track back to back, and really know what to listen for and how to hear it.

I've tried a few freeware transcoders, but unless you want to make a career of learning the finer points of transcoding, I don't recommend them. Those who are motivated enough to get them to work seem to say you can get even better quality than Nero, which is hard to imagine. I think we're probably talking about different degrees of "damn good" quality levels. If you are hard up for DTS decoding, you probably have to look for one of the freeware transcoders though.

By bhieb on 6/21/2007 5:02:21 PM , Rating: 2
I personally use AnyDVD and Clone2DVD and leave it uncompressed (6.8TB server in Raid6 just like to brag a little), they work great.

< Soap Box here I come >
It really chaps my arsh that this is even illegal. I certainly understand copying stuff you don't own, but if I want an online move catalog of all the stuff I do own why the hell do I have to resort to cracking stuff. I don't care if it has DRM just give me away to store it on a central server in my home, and use it throughout my house as I see fit. Obviously if I am spending $9,000+ on the server space to store it, the extra $19 to own the DVD is not that big of a deal. IMHO the cost to store the data is deterent enough with HD.

By elpresidente2075 on 6/21/2007 7:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
IMHO the cost to store the data is deterent enough with HD.

As much as I'd like to agree with you, think of how many DVD's you can put on a $120, 500gb hd right now: 100+. Now, certainly HD content is much more space intensive, but 25-30TB drives are only a couple years off, and that would quickly invalidate your argument.

Why is it illegal? Protection of an outdated business model. I'm sure the issues will work themselves out in 10 years, and we'll all have content we can use however we want (legally obtained, of course) without any fear of legal repercussions. Until then, and even long after, don't distribute any rips you make, and you'll be fine. Noone's gonna arrest you for making backups of your content and doing it solely for backup purposes. They'll go after those who rip the ISO then distribute it over the internet or burn it to 1,000,000 disks and distribute them for $3 in Hong Kong or Taiwan or some other known pirating place.

By Tmansport on 6/21/2007 9:38:23 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I'd like it to happend, I don't think hard drives are going to get 30x more storage in just 2-3 years. They're beggining to hit a wall with current technology and would need a technology with amazing density storage to achieve 25TB on one drive, let alone four or five.

By Xavian on 6/22/2007 12:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
Holographic Storage says Hi.

Sure it may not be 2-3 years but in 5 years max, Holographic storage will mature to a point where 20-30TB Hard Drives will be possible.

By ZoZo on 6/22/2007 6:09:19 AM , Rating: 2
25TB on 5 HDDs will be possible in 2 years using current technology. Samsung just released their 3-platter 1TB HDD which means 334GB per platter. Hitachi has 1TB with 5 platters. If Samsung made a 5-platter HDD it would have 1.66TB of storage space. In 2 years we can assume that the density will have trippled, and that 1TB per platter will be possible, and so 5TB HDDs will.

By spluurfg on 6/24/2007 7:07:12 AM , Rating: 2
I take issue with your assumption that in 2 years, we can assume density will triple. The superparamagnetic effect will probably limit us before this -- the new drive platter densities already take advantage of perpendicular magnetic bit storage technology... I doubt we can achieve significant jumps in density until we move to three dimensional storage.

You can't simply plot growth ad infinum. Using your rationale, I could predict that the Earth is capable of growing an amount of corn equivalent to its own mass every year, given enough time, and using the current 1.4% growth rate in grain production (quoted in this week's Economist).

By Kuroyama on 6/24/2007 2:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
the Earth is capable of growing an amount of corn equivalent to its own mass every year, given enough time, and using the current 1.4% growth rate in grain production

Back when Dell's stock price was stratospheric it was mentioned that for the growth rate at the time to continue another 10 or so years would require half the earth's population to be buying a new Dell every year. Surprise, surprise, didn't happen!

With data storage though we are still far from storing data on the atomic level, and I doubt that in only 2 years time we will run into the realm of impossibility (the oft mentioned holographic storage being one possible way to boost capacity), just as we can likely improve farm productivity for a few more years at least.

By spluurfg on 6/25/2007 2:45:47 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly... holographic storage = three dimensional storage. Platter density was the specific technology mentioned. My point was that magnetic density is approaching physical limits. Hitachi has some good stuff out there about the superparamagnetic effect and perpendicular technology.

By spluurfg on 6/25/2007 2:48:02 AM , Rating: 2
Although there ARE technologies that are capable of fitting vast sums of data within a two dimensional surface... there is technology that is capable of orienting the spin of individual electrons... with single electron manipulation, the capability to store data would be mind blowingly high -- if only we could preserve the data for long enough periods practically.

By geddarkstorm on 6/25/2007 2:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, due to quantum mechanics and the fact electron spin energies are smaller than kT (meaning, thermal energy alone is enough to bounce electrons to higher spin energy states), I doubt that'll ever be possible unless we device a way to keep the spin orientation static--some sort of static field. But even in a 800 MHz NMR machine (16.1 Tesla), a very very small amount of the total atoms are in the low energy spin orientation needed (in line with the static magnetic field. There's more energy required to change a nucleus spin orientation than an electron, so even in such an NMR machine the electrons are totally scrambled still) which is why NMR has horrible sensitivity. I seriously doubt we'll see storage at this level for decades--not until we get into a new realm of physics and technology.

By Oregonian2 on 6/27/2007 6:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
How about just using the current new high density disk technology and applying it to the old 5.25 hard disk size rather that the current 3.5" ones? Cases still hold that size of drive (where DVD drives, etc go).

By Tmansport on 6/21/2007 6:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
Choosing a specific video codec does not lock you into a specific audio codec. You can even leave the original 1.5 mbps DTS audio in tact if you want. I have done that with several DVD Rips. Getting your encodes to play on a standalone DVD player is a seperate story, but for the PC the options are endless.

Now, on topic. I'm still detered from backing up my DVDs because of the cost of DVD9s (> $1.5 a disc still). The costs associated with burning BluRay and HD DVD discs is so astronomically high right now that it should not be of concern, not to mention the file storage requirements for each movie. What should be of concern is people ripping HD Discs to formats such as Divx/Xvid, h.264 and x264, and distributing them online. HD Torrent sites are already exploding. As far as I can tell, the new protection schemes will help against burning HD disc copies, but not really against ONE disc being ripped and converted to another format.

By leexgx on 6/21/07, Rating: 0
By Noya on 6/22/2007 3:41:53 AM , Rating: 3
That's because your PC is weak and/or you don't have the right codecs installed. I have an old AthlonXP 3000+ and it will play most x.264 that I've came across, though at 90% CPU usage. My Opteron rig will play all at only 20-40% usage and no dropped frames.

By deeznuts on 6/21/2007 4:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
Go download CD Brehmse. It runs your dvd drive at 1x or so

By gamephile on 6/21/2007 4:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
What really throws me for a loop is that all this effort into disc copy protection means nothing since the HDMI spec was cracked years ago. Even if BD+ is never cracked (fat chance of that happening) pirates will still be able to get the meat of the disc, the video stream, from the HDMI signal. IF you're downloading or purchasing movies off the street you might lose out on some special features or fancy menu's but that's it.

By alifbaa on 6/21/2007 4:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
I believe you are referring to HDCP. HDMI is the means of transmission (the chord and its plug shape), HDCP is the means of encryption. You are right, HDCP has been "cracked." What it yields is unencrypted data. In the case of a movie, that data is uncompressed video and (potentially) unprocessed audio at rates around 1Mb/channel.

Theoretically, all you need is some sort of HDCP stripper feeding a component/DVI/HDMI source to an input device on your computer which would capture the movie as it plays. In practice, the uncompressed video is flowing at an enormous data rate -- faster than your computer will be able to process and encode. Thus, HDCP being cracked only allows you to view the video on a non HDCP compliant device, such as the $5,000 TVs many people bought 2 or 3 years ago or a computer monitor.

By phattyboombatty on 6/22/2007 12:41:33 PM , Rating: 3
Why would the computer have to encode the data stream? Couldn't the computer simply write the data stream to the harddrive? In that case, the limiting factor is the write speed of your harddrive, which I believe is fast enough to write an uncompressed high def stream. Once the data stream is captured, it can be encoded later on at less than real time.

By alifbaa on 6/24/2007 12:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
Somebody check my math, but at 1080p (30fps), your hard drive would have to record approximately 186 MB/second for an 8bit signal. Unless you've got several 15K SCSI drives in a raid 0 array, you will never be able to record that fast.

Once you go to a 10bit signal (all 1080p movies are 10 bit right now), I believe you can double that amount since your computer will write in 16bit.

On a side note, all of this presupposes you have some sort of device that will accept a digital video signal via HDMI/DVI. I'm sure they're out there somewhere, but I'm also sure they are either custom hardware or very nearly so. Either way, such devices are going to be HDCP compliant (thus negating the need for this process) or will be prohibitively expensive.

By Tbonus on 6/21/2007 5:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
OK my questtion is, how long before someone cracks it? It wouldn't surprise me at all if someone dosen't already have an upper hand on the studios. Lest face it nobody realy wants a fool proof system for then how would they make any money come up with these new and improved ways of protecting content. Another thing is that there are no perfect people out there so if a human did believe me it can be broken.

By AlexWade on 6/22/2007 8:20:21 AM , Rating: 4
6 months, maybe 1 year.

Fox and Disney were holding out for BD+ and is the reason why they chose Blu-Ray over HD DVD (don't kid yourself). Now that BD+ is final, they will probably start putting titles out again. Disney would sue a starving orphan if the child violated copyrights. They are going to feel very lame when they find out they were basically buying into a promise that cannot be met.

By colonelclaw on 6/22/2007 6:40:27 AM , Rating: 2
agree 100%

so, sweepstake on how long it takes to crack? i reckon from the time of the first available public release to time of crack will be 10 days

By PrinceGaz on 6/22/2007 1:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
Spot on (+1 to you).

Highly skilled crackers love the challenge of a new more difficult system to crack, because it only adds to their knowledge. It's their hobby and they love to learn more. They all started with simple protection and worked up to where they are now, every increase of difficulty is to them just the next logical step in their cracking learning-process. BD+ will be cracked soon after some movie is released using it which is highly desirable for distribution. You can bet on that.

By RW on 6/22/07, Rating: 0
By chick0n on 6/27/07, Rating: -1
By rushfan2006 on 6/22/2007 4:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
Of course it'll be hacked. But remember, like all things security related - be it your car's alarm system, your deadbolt on the front door of your house, etc. Security systems and locks are made to keep honest people honest as the saying goes.

Anyone, or any company on the planet that thinks their encryption system, vault, lock, etc. is 100% unbreakable or hackable is a damn fool.

But you just want to make it a pain in the ass enough so unskilled people just say "all screw this" and skilled people go "son of a bitch this is more a pain than I thought".

By spillai on 6/25/2007 12:02:09 PM , Rating: 3
Absolutely Right, Unless DVD's go to the market at an affordable price for common man, it il be cracked and pirated.
Why dont they invest those money inot technologies tthat can drastically reduce the price of those discs.


By Emryse on 6/21/2007 8:20:15 PM , Rating: 5
Well I recognize that my title may seem "obvious"; I hope my thoughts below convey a deeper survey of that statement.

You know, it's so funny; 20-30 years ago, piracy was still a crime, and you still saw the blue screen of the FBI prior to whatever filmed video tape you were watching. You still had the copyright material legal jargon... what's changed?

Why now are industries in entertainment investing so much of their money to prevent piracy?

I think it’s a clear indication of how society in general chooses to value assets, property, and their use of material possessions.

20 years ago, the value was placed in “owning and possessing” a copy of the artist’s latest album. 20 years ago, you drove the car into the dirt before buying a new one; leasing was not the norm. 20 years ago, you preserved and saved your possessions and money until you had enough to buy that coveted item; whereas today you spend on credit what you haven’t earned in income yet and pay it off after the fact.

My point is this: before as a general stereotype the public placed their value in “ownership” vs. “borrowing”, consequently the entertainment industry didn’t have to worry about their record sales. They could care less that you copied the Boston cassette tape and gave it to your friends, because more likely than not your friend was going to feel a “need” to buy it too, because that was “popular” as a societal value. Piracy was a crime largely focused on the large-scale mass production illegal sales of said copyrighted material.

Today – due largely to the fact that societal values the “use” of an item, whether owned or borrowed, we see the problem of piracy taking on a much more pandemic role in the loss of profits for businesses who deal in products that are easily “borrowed” (or duplicated, in relations to this article) – the need to own is not nearly as strong as the desire to use said product free of cost.

Interestingly enough, the most successful businesses today offer a service or product for which there is no easy or practical method to duplicate or “borrow” without or at a lower cost incurred. In a sense, you could say that either they as the business or their circumstances of their industry niche afford them an effective form of “anti-piracy”.

Where my problem rests is largely with those individuals who resurrect the withering rationalization that “If I saw value in said ‘product’, I would invest money to buy it…” My response is simply that if you take the time or effort to procure and use said product in its complete format, then very clearly you have identified value in its use – whether having paid for it or not.

As for the equally aged excuse of “I was just sampling the product”; that boat no longer floats as most (if not all) businesses dealing in products (where the problem of piracy exists) offer very comprehensive demos or samples of their products to afford the potential customer a chance to evaluate the quality and determine possible value.

Don’t even go to the “but demos limit functionality” bit; you’re wasting thought energy you could more wisely invest in writing a better resume or perhaps even getting a job.

Oh, and even then if you still weren't satisfied - it's not like most companies don't have sales departments that work under special conditions with potential clients to offer more enhanced "test drive" pilot offerings... but then you'd have to be intent on actually purchasing something, now wouldn't you?

By Moohbear on 6/21/2007 9:04:27 PM , Rating: 4
I disagree with your statement. Piracy has become rampant because of the improvement in duplication technologies. At the age of the vynil/tape, making copies took time and caused a sensible loss in quality of the recording.
Nowadays, everything is digital and the copy is identical to the original, zero loss. As well, the development of the internet and the available bandwidth allowed easy and convenient access to those copies (as opposed to getting your hands on a physical recording).
People pirates music/movies/games because it's easy, dirt cheap and mostly risk-free.
On the contrary, people don't steal CDs/DVDs/Games in shops because it's a lot more difficult and they're likely to get caught.

By Lemonjellow on 6/22/2007 3:52:17 AM , Rating: 1
I don't agree that a change in values is the culprit behind the increase in piracy. I see it as a minor factor or a symptom, but overall it is the ease of the act that seems to be it. Piracy in some form or another has been around for ages, take actual (arg!) pirates for example.

I, usually purchase my movies (on DVD I'm too cheap for Blue-ray and HD-DVD) unless it is something hard to find, or just something I consider unworthy of my money, but feel a want or need to poke fun at. I haven't bought a CD in almost 10 years, though. My 50 disc changer has sat empty for a while now because I just haven't bothered with it. I mostly copy a friends CD into an MP3 or some lossless format because it is much more versatile easier for me to use. I have an iPod in my truck, a PC hooked to my stereo, and I can easily search for the one song I want to listen to without remember some god awful sequence of numbers and usually look it up in some external database then wait for the disc to load (CD 5, Track 2, instead of say typing in, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Annie's Song). I want instant gratification. I have, and I'll still consider buying stuff from say iTunes and such, but DRM just makes me avoid them because I have multiple computers and devices I want to use to listen to the song, and I don't want to pay for it twice. As far as buying and ripping it from a CD, I usually just want one song, and I already have a mountain of old CD's lying around collecting dust...

Basically I'm a pirate because I'm lazy, cheap, and overall an asshole (just ask my coworkers) who doesn't think the movie industry or the music industry needs anymore of my hard earned money just because I wanted to watch the movie Pumpkin (oh it's bad) commercial free, instead of on TBS, one night and laugh at how wrong it was when Christina Ricci molested a mentally handicapped fellow, or torture my buddy by filling my iPod with old country western tunes and forced him to listen to them on a 4 hour road trip.

As far as the new blue ray protection stuff goes, I give it a month or two after someone gets a hold of it before it is cracked. The guys who crack these things get their jollys off on sticking it to the man, and everyone knows once you get more than a tease you just can't control the erg to see the whole thing, but once you do it's always over too soon so you just keep coming back for more. (not really sure where I was going with this I wandered off after someone jingled shiny keys at me...Preview>Post)

By wallijonn on 6/22/2007 1:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nowadays, everything is digital and the copy is identical to the original, zero loss.

You are mistaken. They are "nearly identical," but the media it is being copied to has its own 'lossy factor,' the dropping of "X" amounts of bits; coupled that with the error rate of the original media and the "spindle wobble" factor of the copying mechanism and you might see a softening of the overall picture, for example; then add in the intensity of the laser, which probably isn't consistent throughout the length of the disc and you might see lighter and darker scenes on the copy. You might even have a focusing factor on the copying software, where by it can be soft, normal or sharp, thereby putting into question the specification of what "normal" constitutes.

Exact copies? I don't think so.

By Christopher1 on 6/22/2007 3:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I recently copied a DVD because it was going to get a lot of hard use by my high school teacher friend..... it copied exactly, bit for bit, onto another DVD-9 disc.

No difference in scenes, no difference in video, etc. It was exactly the same.

By oab on 6/22/2007 4:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
The OP is correct, the is a very, very slight loss in quality due to the introduction of read errors (C1 & C2 error for CDs).

It is also known that some drives read information better then others (i.e. Lite-ON and Plextor > others for reading copy-protected cds like Safedisk and SecuROM).

Add to the fact that there may be slight media transfer errors when the disk itself is pressed during manufacturing. However quality control weeds out most of the problems that will affect batches significantly.

Having said all that, it is a negligible difference in quality. You cannot really notice it. For all intensive purposes, the disk is a 1:1 copy, and copying is vastly superior to analog copying of what would be the same media (VHS to VHS for example).

By emboss on 6/23/2007 12:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, the OP is incorrect, unless you have a really damaged disc. CDs/DVDs/etc have several layers of error correction that which correct any errors that occur during reading, up to some limit. During copying, any errors that occur during the read are corrected before being written out, so do not propogate like they would in an analogue system.

Although not entirely correct, think of it as using the DVD to store data on - you're relying on the fact that you can read the data back off the disc in a bit-perfect way.

Because of the way these error correcting codes work, any errors that get through are BIG errors. You're going to get large-area corruption that persists across many frames, not just a pixel or two that's slightly the wrong shade of blue.

By Fritzr on 6/24/2007 4:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
Copies are usually near perfect. You are copying a string of digits that reperesent a numeric value. Their position on the disk & the brightness of the laser has no effect on the numeric value assigned to each digit. It is the numeric value of the digit & it's relative position in the number that determine it value as data.

To catch errors in the transmission and new storage, you copy to intermediate storage several times and do bit by bit comparison. Then you have multiple error correction options for those points where the intermediate copies differ. Finally make your new copy from the corrected intermediate & run the compare again. Repeat until use copy has fewer than what you consider the limit on acceptable errors.

Older analog media can be copied back to digital form eliminating playback errors & even media damage by using multiple copies of the original source media. A scratch for instance will not be duplicated exactly on 3 different vinyl disks. When this is done the recording has been "digitally remastered". This is great when (for instance) you have access to multiple copies of recordings on 78s that were never recorded on mag tape or in digital form.

By coversyl on 6/22/2007 3:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Funnily enough, although i would download a film using P2P and not give it a second thought, I would never take a CD or DVD from a shop even it they were totally unguarded. Am I alone in this? Why the difference?

By HrilL on 6/23/2007 11:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
Because when you download they don't lose any media and because of the risk factor. Downloading you will most likely get away with it and stealing from a store is a lot harder and not worth the risk involved.

By geddarkstorm on 6/25/2007 2:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think what the person meant is that the act over P2P doesn't cause an ethical flag in their mind to pop up, no "Oh, I'm stealing what I should be paying money for" sort of thing. There is no sense that it's wrong, a total detachment. Psychologically, it is very interesting. I think it harks back to the days when if it was on the net, it was free. I think people who grew up in that era, like myself, have a hard time shifting out of that mindset that if you can download it, then it's all fine and good.

I don't P2P movies or anything, but I totally understand what the person is getting at (if indeed the person meant that the act triggers no ethical blips to pop up in their mind, whereas they'd never steal from a store like that, even if there wasn't a soul around for miles and there was no chance they could be caught). It's a strange mindset issue, principles of the matter, nothing to do with easy or safety (for some anyways).

By SmokeRngs on 6/25/2007 2:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
20 years ago, the value was placed in “owning and possessing” a copy of the artist’s latest album. 20 years ago, you drove the car into the dirt before buying a new one; leasing was not the norm. 20 years ago, you preserved and saved your possessions and money until you had enough to buy that coveted item; whereas today you spend on credit what you haven’t earned in income yet and pay it off after the fact.

Today – due largely to the fact that societal values the “use” of an item, whether owned or borrowed, we see the problem of piracy taking on a much more pandemic role in the loss of profits for businesses who deal in products that are easily “borrowed” (or duplicated, in relations to this article) – the need to own is not nearly as strong as the desire to use said product free of cost.

Actually, I think you are missing something here. There was always the perception you actually owned something at that time even if it wasn't the actual truth. Many companies don't allow you to buy the product; just a license to use it for as long as the company feels like you can use it.

I don't have any data to back this up, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has actually been this way for a much longer time than most people realize. The companies using this didn't actually make noise about it until a later time. It wasn't until a bit over ten years ago that I realized that I had done nothing but purchased a very limiting license for my media. I had always lived under the assumption that I purchased the disc and the music (or the movie) and I could basically do what I wanted with it as long as I didn't make any money off of it. (Widespread distribution for free was not something that really crossed my mind.)

Up until this time, you didn't hear about anything other than large scale copying operations for profit getting into trouble for copying things.

Since then, many more people have been forced to realize they haven't purchased music or a movie, but just a license. The perception of value has changed for many people since they realize they don't actually own anything. A license stating the actual owner of the content can take away my ability to listen or view the media at any time and for any reason doesn't instill much worth in my purchase.

Is the "devaluation" a problem of the consumer? Or is the problem a creation of the original owner?

About the only place this is considered even remotely acceptable is the software, music and video industries. I wouldn't purchase a car with terms like this. If I dropped the money in cash for a car so nothing was owed to anyone on it, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc can't come by my home and take the car away because they feel like it. According to the licensing agreement on music, video and software; the owners of those can do that to you.

The value of the product to me is less than it was ten or so years ago. I would guess many others feel the same way which has led partially to where we are now.

The value to me was partially one of ownership. Outside of theft, I had the CD, DVD, tape, etc for life. I could replay it however many times I wanted whenever I wanted. I made many copies of old tapes and CDs to keep from destroying the originals with use and abuse. VHS tapes lost quality every time they were played and CDs would get scratched up when played in my car. I used to consider my movies and music as an investment and I wanted to be able to protect my investment. I've been told I can't do that anymore.

Perception is very strong. The judgments of the companies and their reactions to "threats" has created a negative perception. For many, that means less value for the product

By Screwballl on 6/26/2007 2:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
The "contract" for using media is almost the same as it was 10 or 20 years ago with Beta and VHS and cassette tapes. You bought rights to use that media without copying, distributing or otherwise altering the original media storage.
When you buy a Computer, you own it and can alter it as you wish even if still making payments. When you buy a car, you own it and can alter it as you wish even when making payments. When you buy a house you can alter it as you wish even when making payments.
I have always looked at music and movies the same way. I bought it, I paid for it, I can alter it if I wish and that was the original intent for the Fair Use Act. Since too many people are breaking this act is why they had to step into DRM and take these measures.
I use it freely according to the Fair Use Act and do not sell or distribute it outside of my personal use. This is what needs to be done. Go after those distributing the media, not the fair use people who do not distribute anything.

The cycle continues
By umeng2002 on 6/21/2007 4:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
This will be cracked in time like everything else.

Frankly, I don't care how much content protection they put in as long as I'm able to watch the movies on standalone player AND computers. Unless they will replace scratched discs for free, they should also allow for backing up the movie (either onto another disc or your hard drive).

I honestly think that they just keep trying new content protection in order to avoid lawsuits - or force us to watch content when and how they want.

RE: The cycle continues
By mdogs444 on 6/21/2007 4:33:04 PM , Rating: 3
Thats what i love about one can force you to do anything that you dont want - although RIAA is trying. Watch, play, listen, burn, copy, pirate, etc - what you want, when you want, how you want.

RE: The cycle continues
By ethana2 on 6/22/2007 4:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Which is why I refuse to use anything else for any task whatsoever. Yeah, I'm the guy with his wifi skype linux laptop in a man bag instead of a cell phone, in a few years, at least.

And I will always be that way. Another thing- if they won't let me play their stuff in Linux, they've got another pissed hacker on their hands right there.

RE: The cycle continues
By Proteusza on 6/22/2007 5:25:33 AM , Rating: 3
Its a waste of money. not enough people have blu ray players to care about piracy anyway. seeing as the players cost so much, those who buy them generally will have enough money for movies. piracy is most common amongst those who cant afford the media. but with the cost of entry into the market so high, that wont be a problem.

its just a case of them spending lots and lots of money to plug a non existent threat, the side effect of which is that these discs will probably not run as well as normal ones, and you can bet law abiding systems will be locked out of their movies when they bump their player accidently, or whenever sony decides their license for the content has expired and they need to spend more money.

Whats next - Blu ray license cannot be transferred, will play in one blu ray player and one blu ray player only, just like MS' Windows?

Maybe it's just me...
By Creig on 6/22/2007 8:27:23 AM , Rating: 4
but the following sentence from the article made my skin crawl. Especially since it's coming from Sony.

BD+ allows content providers to include executables on Blu-ray Discs

Didn't we just have the CD rootkit scandal from Sony? And now they're going to include executables on Blu-ray as well?

Trusting Sony with an executable is like playing 'chicken' with an oncoming train. There's no possible way you'll come out the winner.

I think Sony just made up my mind for me about which format to choose.

Heellloooooo HD-DVD.

RE: Maybe it's just me...
By emboss on 6/23/2007 12:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
Trusting Sony with an executable is like playing 'chicken' with an oncoming train.

In a tunnel.

With concrete shoes.

RE: Maybe it's just me...
By geddarkstorm on 6/25/2007 2:43:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah really, and how easy would it be for something malicious, like spyware or another Starforce scandal, to find its way into those "executables", but this time able to run from the disk in the background totally hidden from the computer and your anti-virus/spyware software. Eh, let's just say I really don't like this idea; I can see no good to come from it yet.

One hell of a pissing contest
By encryptkeeper on 6/21/2007 4:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
This is a pretty good indication that the people designing encryption just have no grasp of the situation. Players are getting cheaper, but burners are still pretty expensive. If I was charged with making new BR encryption, I would work on it for a long time until burners become more widespread (cheaper). That way, you have more time to make the encryption harder to break. And don't challenge the hackers. That hasn't seemed to work very well.

RE: One hell of a pissing contest
By alifbaa on 6/21/2007 4:48:59 PM , Rating: 3
Judging by the effectiveness of all previous DRM attempts, I would have to say they haven't challenged the hackers at all.

RE: One hell of a pissing contest
By Etsp on 6/25/2007 1:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, maybe you're on to something... maybe they should make it so easy to do, that hackers will become bored with it and lose interest =D

still kinda pointless.
By sadffffff on 6/21/2007 10:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
if you step back and look at it, they take all the data on the disk and put it under 'lock'. then they have to give you the 'key' so you can watch it. all that really changes is where in the process you get the data from. after decryption instead of before. and even if you actually wanted to unlock the content, all you have to do is hack the pc software to output to a file rather than display on a screen. no need to break the disk encryption, let the software do the work for you. sorta silly. i dont even see this slowing anyone down.

RE: still kinda pointless.
By Treckin on 6/21/2007 11:40:16 PM , Rating: 3
I would add that all the rotating keys in the world wont help once someone brute forces the algorythm (think keygen).

4 or 5 keys (the more the better), a quad opteron system with 32 gb of ram, and a weekend of dollar menu from McDonalds will have the internet STEAMING with pirated media in no time...

Essentially, the industry is 'loosing' money now because they are spending roughly 140x more on production than they were 25 years ago (adjusted for inflation even)...

They need to 'give the people what they want'. Increased piracy is indicative, IMHFO, a result of peoples general unhappiness with paying $30-$60 for HD content.

RE: still kinda pointless.
By Master Kenobi on 6/22/2007 10:34:52 AM , Rating: 2
If you could pinpoint the point at which the disk transmits the key. You could very easily write the burning software to start and attempt to play the disk. Intercept the key, load it into it's internal database (Maybe even send it back to a webserver to be sent to everyone else as well, think Definitions update to an Anti-Virus program) then start the copy using the intercepted key.

There, problem solved.

By GoatMonkey on 6/22/2007 9:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
Recently I upgraded my Comcast cable box to digital and I've been using their new "on demand" service very often. When you have a subscription to HBO it includes on demand episodes of many of the shows and a pretty good selection of the current movies. No ads or extra fees, well not on top of what you're already paying anyway. Also, there is a pretty good selection of other shows and movies that you can watch any time for no extra cost.

Now suppose that their selection is increased to the size of maybe the Netflix catalog. Once you have that there is no need to have physical media for movies anymore. If I can click through a few menus and watch anything I want at any time, why would I need a physical disc anymore? Who cares about making copies at that point?

By Fritzr on 6/24/2007 4:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yep you have free & easy access (freedom not cost :P ) to all the movies that ComCast chooses to allow you to watch. When they pull the movie you're out of luck. Copy it or ideally buy it and put it on your bookshelf and you don't need to politely ask ComCast to put it back in the lineup :) Best of all you aren't paying a monthly subscription fee for the privilege of not being able to watch the movie whenever you wish, not just when ComCast graciously grants you permission to watch the movie you paid to see.

There is a real use for the service. But for me it will never replace owning a physical copy that I can view without a "Mother may I" everytime I choose to watch it. Especially since it will diasppear again when ComCast is replaced by the new winner in the cable bidding wars or they decide to "upgrade" their services again.

By GoatMonkey on 6/26/2007 9:24:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, exactly the problem with their current system. They need a full catalog of movies always available. That's the point where physical media doesn't matter anymore. I think it's not too far off, maybe a few years.

By gsellis on 6/25/2007 3:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
If you have already bought a player, you will need to buy another one when this gets implemented. This sounds like something Sony would do. Oh wait, it is Sony. Nevermind.

RE: Translation...
By gsellis on 6/25/2007 3:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
And yes, I realize it is actually another company for BD+.

By kattanna on 6/21/2007 4:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
i see nothing in the article about backwards compatibility

will these new disks require a newer player, or not?

By Fritzr on 6/24/2007 4:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's implied in the article
BD+ is a system made for Blu-ray Disc, but not all implementations of the media are required to support the system. In fact, support for BD+ is less that for AACS. Of all categories of BD-ROM, only game consoles, movie players and BD PC software are required to work with BD+ encoded media.

Although an entire generation of Blu-ray Disc (and HD DVD) titles were cracked by a single AACS processing key, the extra layer of BD+ should make it much more challenging for hackers. Unlike AACS, BD+ can protect each Blu-ray Disc with a title-specific code, making the circumvention of the scheme much more involved than finding a single “silver bullet” processing key. Crackers would need to reverse-engineer each title individually to bypass the protection. While that task may be difficult, it may not be impossible as PC software with virtual machine-based protections, such as StarForce, are still being circumvented.

Reading these paragraph's. If your player cannot run an executable program with or without a firmware update then you're buying a new player. Note the "PC Software"...Hackers looking to crack the new scheme will be in seventh heaven with that option :D

By omnicronx on 6/21/2007 4:55:01 PM , Rating: 1
I have no doubt hackers will find a way to get past this.. but i think sony had that in mind. as the article states the key would be on an individual basis as per dvd.. although still people could eventually crack it, it will not be nearly as accessible to the normal user. where as now i can put a dvd into my computer decrypt it and burn with one push of a button.

as someone mentioned before though if you can get the hdmi streams.. all this means nothing as the major movie groups on the net will still release high def movies online.. but i think the days of insert click and burn are over

RE: hmm
By elpresidente2075 on 6/21/2007 8:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like all someone would have to do is either bypass the key altogether (virtual machine?), or hack the system that distributes the keys (key issuing center) and just take whatever keys it's distributing at the time. Then run virtualized hardware that is made to be valid to the BD+'s virtual machine, and bingo bango, unlocked data stream. To distribute the hack, you utilize normal windows calls, package it in an executable installer (which would probably would be in the 10-20MB range), and post it on a torrent/rapidshare/file hosting site. Once it gets out into the pirating community, it'll be out there forever.

Probably more difficult than it seems, but there's got to be a way to do it, since every disk will have a different key, but every (new) player will have to be able to play every new disk. It sure sounds like a virtualized BD+ player could be implemented with enough ingenuity. As has been stated before, if it can be programmed, it can be hacked.

By yacoub on 6/21/2007 3:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
The attacks on the AACS have also had a noticeable effect on the release of movies from Blu-ray-exclusive studios. Neither Fox (which holds the Star Wars movies) nor MGM (has the entire 007 catalog) have released any Blu-ray movies since April.

If that's REALLY the reason they haven't released DVDs, that's rather pathetic.

Case of Doritos and Code Red
By Mitch101 on 6/21/2007 4:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Case of Doritos and Code Red to a russian hacker and it will be over.

Im betting within the first month they get thier hands on this they crack it and within 3 months make it wide open so anyone can. Making the people who cut the checks on DRM look like an idiot again.

Im all for protecting itellectual property but when are they going to understand that if someone can put the disc in thier PC it will be cracked.

isn't this somehow good for hd-dvd
By hans007 on 6/21/2007 8:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
seeing as hd-dvd players are much cheaper than blue ray ones, and the disks are at least pirateable by the community, pirated disks tend to get people to buy players.

By smilingcrow on 6/22/2007 6:00:03 AM , Rating: 2
I’m not looking to buy into either HD format right now due to only having a 20” TV which doesn’t do the HD picture justice in my experience. This new protection mechanism is just another reason for me to stick with DVD.

By aguilpa1 on 6/22/2007 8:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
Virtual machine layer....
One virtual machine layer can be fooled by another virtual machine layer that always gives the first layer what its looking for...

By wallijonn on 6/22/2007 12:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
Crackers would need to reverse-engineer each title individually to bypass the protection.

And that is exactly what they are likely to do, since the organised cracker has the equipment not only to crack it but to make copies. To him it makes economic sense to make a million dollar profit off of one blockbuster movie. It isn't completely inconceivable to see his illegal copies being sold as originals in the major stores.

This type of cracker probably has millions of dollars to throw at the problem. He has the millions of dollars invested in equipment. And he probably lives overseas, beyond the reach of U.S. law.

By DeepBlue1975 on 6/22/2007 1:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
Why worry about blue ray coding algorithms when this technology isn't nearly mainstream and maybe won't be for some years to come?
Even maybe never ever, if some ACTUALLY COOL optical drive technology comes alone in the meantime...

By glennpratt on 6/24/2007 2:31:12 AM , Rating: 2
give them one back... STOP BUYING THIS CRAP.

Also, if they make BR to hard to crack, they'll just focus on cracking HDCP. One can only hope.

By BikeDude on 6/25/2007 11:54:52 AM , Rating: 1
I own a 30" Apple LCD. I would very much like to use this for watching HD content. However, I do not think Apple, in their great wisdom, implemented HDCP support.

So even if I upgrade my graphics card (which I am willing to do), I am still up a certain creak without a paddle?

Oh this is ironic
By Dailytechbias on 6/22/07, Rating: 0
Players don't change
By OrSin on 6/21/07, Rating: -1
RE: Players don't change
By rdeegvainl on 6/22/2007 11:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
That analogy doesn't stick (the toaster one i mean)
When you buy a toaster, you bought a physical piece of equipment. when you buy a dvd or blu-ray disk, you bought a license to view the material. And for that reason if you damage your disk, you still have the license to view the material. so you should be able to make a backup copy to view it. I hope i didn't misunderstand your post, i had a hard time reading it.

RE: Players don't change
By glennpratt on 6/24/2007 2:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
If I broke my toaster, I couldn't be arrested for trying to take it apart and fix it, or borrowing my neighbors toaster and comparing parts. Not a perfect analogy, but neither was yours to begin with.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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