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Latest Blu-ray Disc copy protection circumvented by PC software

Although Hollywood movie studios have little choice in which format they release their high-definition content, companies such as Disney and Fox chose Blu-ray Disc for its added copy protection features.

Since the AACS copy protection scheme was defeated, Blu-ray Disc had BD Plus (BD+), launched in June 2007 as a secondary protection method.

Like any other software protection scheme, however, it was only a matter of time before BD+ would be circumvented. In the latest version of SlySoft AnyDVD HD, released on Wednesday, the top new feature notes that the software can now remove the BD protection from Blu-ray Discs. The release note also mentions that the removal of BD+ increases compatibility with titles released by Twentieth Century Fox.

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.

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RE: Why bother
By BZDTemp on 3/20/2008 9:49:16 PM , Rating: 3
Sure it is.

Those making the copy protection know that it will not work forever the real point is to make copying impossible for the average Joe. Sure us geeks will find a way but it will take some time for the tools to be wide spread meaning the copy protection will work fine for the majority of the products sold.

It is the same thing with for example copy protected PC games. You and I know how to make a disc image and download a No-CD crack in minutes. But the less computer savvy do not so they are not able to make a copy and/or pass on the game while still being able play on their own system.

Of course eventually even the average Joe catches on and find out how to get copies of whatever but even then it still leaves Joe Stupid to "benefit" from the copy protection.

RE: Why bother
By bill3 on 3/20/2008 10:17:45 PM , Rating: 1

Take say, pirating Xbox 360. Is it possible? Sure. Is it easy enough for the average mainstreamer to do without a lot of hassle? No, not really.

Therefore the copy protection is successful.

RE: Why bother
By feraltoad on 3/21/2008 1:52:03 AM , Rating: 2
You mean it's not worth the trouble of modding Xbox360 replacements over and over. :)

j/k point taken. I also think the companies have to exist in a sweet spot, and don't want the piracy of console games to get too hot. When that happens a man of letters will be knocking on their door.

RE: Why bother
By Alexstarfire on 3/20/2008 10:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
That is just faulty logic to me. I agree that protection is used to keep the average joe from copying it. Hell, even now most people don't copy DVDs even though it is INSANELY EASY. The problem with using that argument for newer protections is that if the average joe can't copy the old discs with the old protection, why implement a new protection. That's just stupid. Of course, without knowing how much they spend on researching new copy protection schemes it's impossible to say, though I think we can safely say it's not going to be less than $1000.

RE: Why bother
By MrDiSante on 3/21/2008 12:28:09 AM , Rating: 3
Two problems:
1) They'll wrap a nice GUI on it, make it a one-click process and then it won't be (see DVD-ripping these days)

2) Filesharing: average Joe will download the movie.

RE: Why bother
By Timeless on 3/21/2008 2:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
One problem with your problem:
1) Does the average joe have a fast enough connection to download HD movies?

RE: Why bother
By Webreviews on 3/21/2008 8:44:06 AM , Rating: 3
You've gotten to the heart of the matter. Bandwidth.

Having cracked BD+ and "liberated" the bits, it will be tough to share a 30-50GB image (for the time being - but perhaps easier in 5+ years).

Most likely, the image will be transcoded to something like DivX HD, which is a more efficient HD encode, so allows sharing of a smaller file.

There will be a trade-off between having a portable DivX HD and the real thing with uncompressed audio and video streams.

So this liberation and transcoding means that there will still be sharing and trading of these unlocked movies, but they will not be true HD quality.

The same thing happens today, the Torrent sites have DVD "rips" which are seldom the whole 8GB DVD, typically transcoded down to 4GB, 1.4GB, and 800MB sizes. This liberates the locked content from a DVD, but this is "good enough" for most average Joes.

RE: Why bother
By rninneman on 3/21/2008 9:31:31 AM , Rating: 4
Divx HD is MPEG4 just like most Blu-ray discs. All a lower bitrate is going to do is reduce image quality which kind of defeats the purpose of watching it in HD. The reason why DVDs can be shrunk so much is because the difference between the efficiency of MPEG2 and MPEG4 is significant.

RE: Why bother
By Yawgm0th on 3/21/2008 11:17:38 AM , Rating: 3
You can convert a BD rip or HD-DVD rip into H.264 in a Matroska container. That's how people share BD rips now. No one shares BD images. I do see some DivX HD, but H.264 Matroska files are much more common.

Your average 1080p film is 8-11GB, but I can still download most of them on my Comcrap connection in under three hours. I'm not aware of any real quality loss in the ripping or converting procedures, though I'd imagine there is some. But 9GB or so is very reasonable if you've got a 6-10mb cable connection to saturate.

RE: Why bother
By Shawn on 3/22/2008 2:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
that's assuming that the whole movie takes up 30-50gb. it does not. once you rip out the special features, menus, and extra audio tracks it is much smaller. Around 10-15gb for just the movie.

RE: Why bother
By gramboh on 3/24/2008 2:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
The way the HD 'scene' works now is private torrent trackers where both the original untouched Blu-ray/HD-DVD image is uploaded (20-35GB usually) as well as x264 encodes in the .MKV container. As said above, for 720p (with DD 5.1) these are roughly 4-5GB (fit on a single DVD) and for 1080p with DTS 5.1 audio they are 8-12gb depending on the length of the movie. People also encode to WMV-HD for streaming via the Xbox 360.

On one hand, the userbase doing this is relatively small and sophisticated due to the bandwidth and HDD space requirements, so Hollywood probably isn't too concerned versus DVD piracy, but on the other hand, they are probably upset it is happening so easily/quickly with HD content.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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