Late last year, a hacker claimed to have circumvented the copy
protection scheme used to protect HD DVD and Blu-ray content. Just over two
weeks after the news broke, the online pirate community is seeing the fruits of
hacker labor with the first release of a full HD DVD available for download.
The first HD DVD movie released is Serenity,
which weighs in at 19.6 GB. The file reportedly is available in EVO format and
is playable with PC-based players such as PowerDVD at full 1080p resolution.
Other HD DVD movies have quickly followed with the release
of Pitch Black at 21.37 GB, The Chronicles of Riddick at 24.94 GB and Batman
Begins at 24.76 GB. All HD DVD movies released thus far appear to retain all
aspects of the original discs, including various audio options and special
While PowerDVD is the software of choice to play the pirated
releases, PowerDVD’s developer, Cyberlink, has publically
stated that it believes that its software is secure and is not a part of
the exploit in extracting the title keys used to decrypt HD DVDs.