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Copy protection will become a nightmare for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players owners


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Andrew_K

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Posted March 09 2005 - 06:59 AM

Copy protection will become a nightmare for owners of many Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players and most likely will kill these formats.

Contrary to the universal Content Scrambling System (CSS) for DVDs, the new encryption schemes Advanced Access Control System (AACS) for HD-DVD and BD-CPS for Blu-Ray use tree of keys, each leaf corresponds to the key of a given device (brand and model). By denying a drive to find its key in the tree, Blu-ray and HD-DVD can easily revoke a single given device. If for instance a given player is cracked and its keys are published, the licensing authority will send new keys and navigation information to disc manufacturers. As a result, all discs pressed after the player has been cracked will refuse to play on this specific drive, but will play perfectly on all other (including older) devices.

This will become a nightmare for users, when keys for their specific players are cracked and suspended and IMHO will kill both formats quickly.



More:

Copy protection

The Content Scrambling System or CSS is still being used even today as a protection for the majority of DVD movie content. However, this protection scheme has been defeated and the descrambling code is readily available on the Internet. To protect high definition contents from unauthorised duplication, HD-DVD chose the successor of CSS called AACS (Advanced Access Control System), while Blu-ray invented a proprietary algorithm called BD-CPS (although Blu-ray might decide in the end to use AACS too). Quite interestingly, both technologies are very similar, proprietary ciphers and algorithms from CSS have been abandoned for state-of-the-art key exchange, symmetric/asymmetric encryption and hashing algorithms (AES, T-DES, …).

Device keys and media keys are still there, with a major change, in the first steps of content decryption, a player has to find its specific key in a big ternary tree of keys, where each leaf corresponds to the key of a given device (brand and model). By denying a drive to find its key in the tree, Blu-ray and HD-DVD can easily revoke a single given device. If for instance a given player is cracked and its keys are published, the licensing authority will send new keys and navigation information to disc manufacturers. As a result, all discs pressed after the player has been cracked will refuse to play on this specific drive, but will play perfectly on all other (including older) devices.

This blacklisting of a single player model is quite powerful and can slow down mass piracy, but on the other hand it can also have some significant drawbacks for legitimate consumers. For instance, you could one day suddenly be unable to watch new movies on your player because it has been revoked after someone has successfully compromised this model. Practical use (as well as explanations to future customers) of this new revocation system will be very interesting to watch.

Finally, to prevent 1:1 copies of ROM discs, both formats add special information at physical level (called “Volume identifier” for HD-DVD and “ROM mark” for Blu-ray), which for all practical purposes, will be extremely difficult to duplicate at this time.

whole article:
http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/186


#2 of 17 OFFLINE   GarySchrock

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Posted March 09 2005 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
As a result, all discs pressed after the player has been cracked will refuse to play on this specific drive, but will play perfectly on all other (including older) devices.

You know, i could see how the studios would love to have protection like that, but I'm sorry, I just don't see manufacturers being willing to do it. The support cost they'd have to endure when suddenly movies wouldn't work on their players would be a nightmare, to say nothing of the bad press.

There is no way a manufacturer is going to risk the investment in producing a player that could be blacklisted the day after it's released (which would needless to say, kill sales of that model).

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Rob Gardiner

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Posted March 09 2005 - 07:40 AM

Calling encryption "copy protection" is simply a lie.

Encryption doesn't prevent copying, it prevents playback.

Bootleggers in China don't decrypt a disc before copying it; their copies are encrypted just like the originals are.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted March 09 2005 - 09:31 AM

I cannot see this happening either. It would be much worse than what was laid out, because there are only a few REAL DVD drive manufacturers. The rest have the same insides as them, but just another outside cover.

Not that I want to go into this (Posted Image), but if you could hack a chip in a certain model then I think you'd be able to find the same chip in other brands using the same hardware inside.

This "tree" would only have a few main branches, and they'd be cut off completely!

Glenn

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted March 09 2005 - 08:00 PM

I invite everyone to join me as I spend a moment in silence in memory of HD DVD and Blu-ray, two promising formats whose future was so abruptly and needlessly halted, bringing much sorrow to those looking forward to watching them grow and mature. Everyone who has gathered here today certainly wanted to see these two young formats flourish and succeed, and it can be difficult for us to understand such sudden change and absurdity that has now touched our lives.

However, I find solace in the fact that the two glorious formats themselves were inherently innocent; rather, it was Hollywood's senseless hatred of the average consumer that led to the unfortunate and untimely demise of the two formats. I find myself thinking that it was simply not their time yet, and I ask everyone to pray for better implementations in the future that should be created out of true love for High Definition and the genuine will to share this good fortune, spreading joy among fellow film enthusiasts.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Michael Qualen

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Posted March 09 2005 - 11:46 PM

This is just insane. I understand Hollywood´s fear of piracy, and I would agree that they loose money, but no way near the amount they say themselves. What I really really really really dont get, is that Hollywood seems devoid of ANYONE capable of just ONE SINGLE LOGIC thought. I understand that they want to prevent piracy, and they should. But wake up and smell the coffee...I would bet that ANY antipiracy protection they can make will sooner or later be cracked...and coming out and saying stuff like "This cannot be cracked" will just speed up the process. I will state that im NOT for piracy in ANY form, but if they decide to go through with this, they are just bound to dig their own graves. Do they think at all ? Imagine you just bought your very first high priced BR/HD-DVD player lets say a few months after they were avaliable...you get home...plug it in and get ready to watch your brand new Star Wars HD (Yeah right...)...You put it in and....NOTHING...! What are they gonna say ? "Sorry buddy...some one cracked the code...and now you have to get another player...thanks for your business and thanks for playing "I wonder if this model is blacklisted" !!

I imagine that early adopters of the new format will be freaks like us...But I bet good money that Hollywood plans to get this out in the same numbers as DVD eventually...and who´s gonna save the unfortuneatly clerk in the store from the angry mob of hundreds and hundreds of JSP´s trying to get their money back for their newly "defective" player ?

Its like Hollywood lives in its own bubble...just live in the real world where codes WILL be cracked...Just accept it...its almost as certain as death.

Again...I must stress that I dont support piracy in any form...I have close to 800 DVD´s, but there are just some people who will never ever pay for movies...Just let them go Hollywood...please...Don´t let the REAL consumer pay for "loss" of money you wont make in the first place...please!

Another thing that bothers me...I hear so much about focus groups in the US...Almost no product hit the market without the consumer is asked about it...Isn´t it time for Hollywood to invite a few nerds to the discussion tables ?

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted March 10 2005 - 01:28 AM

[standard disclaimer]I am not in favor of piracy.[/standard disclaimer]

I have to smirk every time I hear the RIAA or MPAA or other industry group quoting numbers saying they've lost $XXX million in sales this year due to piracy. That logic presupposes that every song or movie pirated is directly taking away a sale of that same work.

We know that just isn't true. People who fill up their hard drive with pirated songs would not have gone out and legitimately bought them all. People who download movies or buy cheap pirated DVDs of them in bulk would not have bought legitimate copies of them all. Yet that's how the industries assign dollar figures to their "losses." This is not to say there isn't some loss, but I'd bet it is a small percentage overall, and I wonder if it's really worth all the money and effort they put into trying to stop it.

So now these paranoid entities invest in ever more complex schemes to fight piracy. Schemes that hamper the ability of law-abiding consumers to legitimately use the products they purchase. I probably won't be able to view the new HD media on my HD monitor, because it only has component inputs, not HDCP-compliant HDMI or DVI. I've bought over 600 DVDs and would quickly start buying the HD media too, but Hollywood thinks it's in their best interests overall to make this much more difficult for me to do. Maybe they're right, but I have to wonder.

I think that they would make out better in the end if they stopped worrying so much about content protection and focused instead on providing low-priced high-quality media worldwide. That would reduce the appeal of piracy.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted March 10 2005 - 03:06 AM

Quote:
and focused instead on providing low-priced high-quality media worldwide.
Apparently that's what Warner Brothers is going to try in China. The article I read said the boots sell for about $1 and that Warner was going to sell discs for $2 or $3 (a little more for SEs). I guess it's pretty freaking bad over there. Posted Image I would imagine the plan would be to get things turned around and then gradually increase the prices as much as possible without bringing back the pirates.

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted March 10 2005 - 06:07 AM

The other thing I laugh about is that frequently downloaded movies are in addition to a sale. My roommate back at TX A&M, for example, saw Matrix Reloaded numerous times in theaters. When it left the theaters, he downloaded it, then bought the DVD the day it came out. Sure it's technically copyright infringement, but I don't find it morally reprehensible like true piracy. The downloaded copy was merely a holdover between theaters and the DVD, both of which he paid for in full.

I'm not in favor of piracy either, but the movie industry needs to get real. They're never going to stop piracy. It's impossible. There are dishonest people out there who will use whatever means they have available to get content without paying, and they will never pay. But despite that, DVD seems to have done alright for the movie industry. It's made massive amounts of money, often far more then the theatrical gross. Movies are being made with the DVD in mind. Yes places like China are a hotbed of piracy, but it's always been that way, and honestly I don't see that changing anytime soon. But somehow the studios survive, making more and more money each year, but they continue to give us ads of actors who are pretending to be a set designer who will be out of work if you dare to download a camcorder-recorded copy of this movie. Get over yourselves.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted March 10 2005 - 06:57 AM

I feel about copy protection the same way I do about the death penalty: If it only punishes those who are guilty, then that's fine, but if it affects even ONE innocent person, then it needs to be stopped.
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#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Andrew_K

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Posted March 10 2005 - 07:41 AM

The encryption information for each brand and model of HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player will be stored in firmware. If encryption key for specific brand and model of the player is revoked, the user needs to download a new firmware that will be compatible with new keys for a specific player in order to play new discs pressed after the cracked keys were invalidated.

For me and probably for majority of people from this forum is not a problem. I have Philips DVD player that also plays Divx/Xvid and requires frequent firmware updates, because of the constant improvements of Divx/Xvid compression algorithms, so I am pretty familiar with firmware updates.

For an average technically unskilled user the firmware update of the player could however become a tough problem, that requires a specialized paid service.

The cost of the firmware update service could at some point be higher than the cost of the player itself (you can buy now DVD players for $30, the same will be with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD).

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Andrew_K

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Posted March 10 2005 - 07:49 AM

Another problem is that media industry is mostly American while the electronics hardware industry is mostly Eastern Asia (Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea).

Because of this the interests of the media industry will be always much stronger supported than the interests of the electronics industry.

The interests of customers do not count at all, because customers have no strong lobby in Washington.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 10 2005 - 08:13 AM

This system will be quite easy to circumvent. A small group of hackers will publicly post the encryption keys for all models of players from the major manufacturers. So, every model from Sony, Toshiba, Pioneer, etc. will get blacklisted, and the next new release with these keys revoked will not play on 95% of the players in the market. What studio will have the balls to release Harry Potter 4 (or whatever) on a disc that will be unreadable by virtually all their customers?

I can see this becoming a game for PC hackers, just like the dance between computer virus creators and anti-virus companies.

Here's another reason for me to sit out this format war until all these various messes get straightened out.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Thomas Newton

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Posted March 10 2005 - 11:04 AM

Sounds like the new copy protection / DRM may not buy anything in terms of stopping commercial counterfeiters. It may be much more effective at keeping people's money safe from store cash registers.

Who would buy a player knowing that studios could selectively break the ability for their FORMATXYZ player to play new FORMATXYZ discs?

If cars worked this way, you'd hear statements like "Some dude across town was seen fleeing a bank robbery, using a Toyota, so we've decided to puncture the tires of every Toyota in town. Permanently. Hope you don't mind."

Here's a modest suggestion. Instead of adding more DRM and copy protection (while commercial counterfeiters with FORMATXYZ plants laugh all the way to the bank), how about eliminating DRM and copy protection completely?

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Terry H

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Posted March 10 2005 - 12:38 PM

Quote:
Sounds like the new copy protection / DRM may not buy anything in terms of stopping commercial counterfeiters. It may be much more effective at keeping people's money safe from store cash registers.

Posted Image
You got that right.

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Colton

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Posted March 11 2005 - 07:13 AM

How about they just lowering the cost? If discs didn't cost $40 - $60 ... maybe piracy wouldn't be so widespread?

- Colton

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Michael Qualen

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Posted March 11 2005 - 07:51 AM

Studio exec: "No no...we cant lower the price...that way we "lose" even more money..."

...meanwhile in China...Posted Image





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