Macrovision plugs the "digital hole"

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Andrew_K, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Andrew_K

    Andrew_K Stunt Coordinator

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    DVDs will be harder to copy thanks to new anti-piracy measures devised by copy protection firm Macrovision.

    Macrovision says its new RipGuard technology will thwart most, but not all, of the current DVD ripping (copying) programs used to pirate DVDs.

    "RipGuard is designed to... reduce DVD ripping and the resulting supply of illegal peer to peer," said the firm.

    Macrovision said the new technology will work in "nearly all" current DVD players when applied to the discs, but it did not specify how many machines could have a problem with RipGuard.

    "Ultimately, we see RipGuard DVD... evolving beyond anti-piracy, and towards enablement of legitimate online transactions, interoperability in tomorrow's digital home, and the upcoming high-definition formats," said Steve Weinstein, executive vice president and general manager of Macrovision's Entertainment Technologies Group.

    Macrovision said RipGuard was designed to plug the "digital hole" that was created by so-called DeCSS ripper software.


    Full article:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4266977.stm
     
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    All I'm gonna say is that any titles that use this had better stay in print FOREVER!
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'm not running Linux, but wasn't the DeCSS used so those users could watch DVD's on their systems? If nothing else has come out, they won't be making any friends.

    I am curious too if they mentioned the fact that it might degrade viewing even more? I've heard that with Macrovision "disabled", that DVD's show a better picture.

    Maybe I should be glad that I'm getting old and my eyesight is degrading as well! [​IMG]

    Glenn
     
  5. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Oh, it may be a bugaboo for awhile but some stalwart geek will crack it as with practically every other "protection" device.....DVD-A not withstanding.
     
  6. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Yep, my 1996 Mitsubishi darkens and bends the top of the picture when Muckrovision is on, that's why my main player is a Pioneer LD combo player that has it disabled. Haven't made a single tape off of it.
     
  7. Ben_@

    Ben_@ Stunt Coordinator

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    Perhaps even more ominous... from the article:



    It could be used to keep track of what we watch, not just if its a legit copy. With the increased network capabilities, it could crash your region free player, or refuse to play on a DVD player that does not encorporate Macrovision technology. Not that it will, but it could.

    I know that copy protection is an issue (and it helps to make sure legitimate, quality material is released), but in the end these measures will not stop the kind of copyright violation, piracy and theft that the DVD companies should really be worried about. At some point (and i know its a very cynical point) I figure if companies are so afraid that people will steal their material, then why release it at all? The increasing cost of encryption may make small releases not worth while.
     
  8. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I recall this announcement from when it was new a few weeks ago. The last line of that BBC article is actually the most important part of the concept: "Macrovision has said that Rip Guard can be updated if hackers find a way around the new anti-copying measures."

    Essentially Macrovision is promising to the studios that as the ripping programs are updated, Macrovision will in turn update the RipGuard software so the next new releases will have a slightly tweaked version of it, tweaked enough to again cause difficulties. Macrovision will watch as the ripper technology is improved, each week or each day, and respond in kind.

    So basically every new release will be protected for a few days when the DVD first arrives on rental store shelves. Then after a few days they won't be protected anymore (when the updated rippers are out on the web), but the next batch of new releases will be protected for a few days. And repeat.

    It's a good idea. I've heard that people who copy movies - not anyone I know personally, mind you - generally like to rent new releases because DVDs tend to get scuffed up so quickly in rental stores. Now they won't be able to rent new releases. Those people will be forced to rent releases that are several days old, maybe even a week old, covered in scratches and fingerprints. Facing that horror, some may well decide it is easier to spend $20 than risk renting a beat up DVD that turns out to have a skip on it.

    And perhaps, perhaps some people who write the rippers will give up because it may become too much of a bore to have to update their software so often.

    Now the big problem with the whole concept is that all the copy schemes that Macrovision or anyone else is coming up with for the current DVD format are basically just ways to see how far off from specs they can take the DVD structure before the DVD becomes utterly unplayable.

    This concept - if not the actual product in the article - has already been tested in several current releases (Resident Evil 2, The Forgotten, and some others whose titles I don't recall), and it has taken upwards of a day or two for the rippers to be updated to work around the incorrect DVD structures. Even legitimate companies have had to issue fixes for their DVD related software because of the problems caused by this "screwing around with the DVD file structure."

    What I am implying is that for Macrovision's plan to really work, they have got to do more than monitor the various ripper software's updates. They have to somehow stop the ripper softwares from being updated. If they don't, they're only buying a few days of safety for new releases.

    I have to wonder if it would make more sense just to drop the price of a DVD by a dollar, rather than pay a dollar to Macrovision for this temporary window of protection.

    BluRay or HD-DVD, with its superior copy protection, should be here soon enough, ending the era of copying DVDs, and also ending Macrovision as a company since it won't be needed anymore.
     
  9. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Read as: "please God, let Macrovision stay in business even after BluRay takes over and we're not needed anymore, please!"

    They needn't worry. I'm sure someone like Microsoft will buy Macrovision out before Macrovision's share price goes down the toilet, just to ensure they have all their patents covered.
     
  10. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I've noticed on the latest WB 2-disc releases (specifically, Chariots Of Fire and Malcolm X) that there is some kind of copy-protection logo now featured on the bottom of the back cover. Look for the icon of the two discs on these examples:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I wonder if this another new anti-piracy measure not publicized by studios?
     
  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Do you really believe this scenario is going to occur? There is always going to be someone who figures out how to get around the copy protection. The people who write copyguard busting software do it to show that they can't be stopped.
     
  12. Pat Frank

    Pat Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    There are only two relevent factors here:

    1) Most movie watchers don't copy movies. It's too complicated for non-computer savvy users and there are physical limitations that have nothing to do with copy protection (like having to span single-layer discs or suffer quality loss from shrinking).

    2) The movie industry is making record money, and one copied movie does NOT equate to one lost sale. So they're not losing *anything*.

    So what this is really about is beancounters making another percentage point of profit off you and me.
     
  13. James.G

    James.G Extra

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    I heartily agree. DVDs are the biggest cash cows the studios have. In order to wring a few more dollars out of it, this new copy protection scheme is likely to make our lives more difficult as evidenced by "copy-protected CDs" getting stuck in certain slot-load drives of PCs because they're not red-book compatible and are not recognized as an audio or a data CD. Sometimes the only way to get them out is to take them to a service center making them the most expensive CDs you'll ever buy. If this starts happening to DVDs and I have problems with my player, I'll likely never buy another disc from that studio again.
     
  14. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    There's no such thing as a 'copy protected' CD. Just because it looks like a CD and plays like a CD doesn't mean that it has the "CD" tag on it. When you buy what you are talking about you should know that they won't work in some machines.

    However, if DVD's are such a huge cash cow then why have any copy protection on them at all? Don't you think that copying would be MUCH worse if none were used?

    Glenn
     
  15. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    I personally like ripping DVDs but not to share or sell. I like cutting bits and pieces from movies and TV shows to make short .wmv files that I can watch on my computer without having to load any disc. For example I took all of Darth Maul's scenes from Phantom Menace and created a series of video clips that are really cool(story? what story?). In the massive Star Wars thread in the Movies forum I restored lost music to scenes in Empire Strikes Back. I also took the opening of X2, Nightcrawler's attack on the White House and made a clip of it. Recently I ripped a few clips from Benny Hill's newest boxed set. I could go on and on.

    I've got a bunch of this stuff on my HD and I love having it there so I can just click and watch any time I want. I'd hate to lose the ability to rip DVDs especially when I'm not pirating(ARGH!) copies or whatever. Strictly for my own enjoyment and since I buy the DVDs I figure I should be able to do that just like when I create my own CD compilations of music.
     
  16. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    How is this true? I know of several indivduals who used to buy DVDs. Now, they buy none. They use Netflix and burn away. Studios are missing out on these people. Sure, they may only be a very small percentage of the total "DVD Population," but it's happening and it's lost or missed money or whatever you want to call it.

    Also, I will say that most (not all) people use their DVD burners to simply burn rented DVDs so they don't have to buy them. That is the reality of DVD burners for the most part. (It kind of reminds me of radar detectors. Most people have radar detectors so they can speed, not because they want to be aware of whether the state is monitoring them.)

    I agree though that this will never be stopped. Anything in the digital realm will always be able to be cracked IMO.
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    What evidence do you have for this? I only know one person who makes copies of dvds, and that's me. And it is always as a backup, either because I've read about a disc going bad, or to give a copy to my 4 year old son without worrying that he might ruin the dvd (which might not be available to be rebuy later). I have never made a copy of a dvd that I didn't own, nor would I ever.
     
  18. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    All the DVDs my husband and I own, we make backups of simply because I absolutely abhor forced commercials, menus, FBI warnings etc. I want to live the LaserDisc days when I can just plop in a movie start watching it.

    The only times we copy rental movie are when we ended up not having time to watch it before returning it.

    Guess what? if we like the movie, we'll buy the original anyway. If we don't like it, we just stack the copy at the corner of our basement somewhere or sometimes we literally use them as coasters.
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Same here. My DVD burner is used for (1) making DVD's of home videos from our camcorders, (2) making CD music compilations from CDs I own for use in my car, and (3) backing up and archiving data and digital photos on my PC.

    There are other uses for a DVD burner other than illegally copying movies.
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Good luck getting the MPAA or any of the studios to admit that! [​IMG]
     

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