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Blu-ray adds more content protection

Blu-ray adds more content protection

BD+ has arrived ahead of schedule - movie studios rejoice, early adopters weep.

The Blu-ray format is about to receive another layer of content protection, called BD Plus, which is designed to work alongside current content protection methods.

The specification for BD Plus was finalised earlier this week and were actually ahead of schedule.

BD Plus works differently to previous content protection systems: instead of preventing the discs themselves from being copied, it checks the player to see if it has been hacked and then locks down the media.

Considering AACS - the common content protection measure on both Blu-ray and HD DVD - has more holes in it than a fine Swiss cheese, I'm sure the studios are quite pleased with the announcement. In fact, it could be a reason why some studios have chosen to support Blu-ray exclusively.

Some might say the fact that AACS has been compromised has had a noticeable effect on releases from Blu-ray exclusive studios like Fox and MGM, as neither has released a Blu-ray movie since April. It has also held back major releases like Star Wars, and the entire James Bond back catalogue.

Based on the fact that every movie protection standard that has ever been implemented, we wouldn't be surprised if this one eventually falls by the wayside too. It's going to be challenging on the hackers part though, as BD+ can protect each Blu-ray Disc with a title-specific key, which will make key circumvention much more difficult than it was with AACS.

There's no word on whether this new Blu-ray feature will work on early Blu-ray players at the moment, but we've been told that some players might require a firmware update. In other words, you're not going to find out until you try a BD+ protected disc in your player... Oh joy.

You can share your thoughts on BD Plus in the forums

22 Comments

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DougEdey 22nd June 2007, 14:59 Quote
But the DRM is already in affect! BluSpot as it is now known :D

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/16/blu-ray-disc-coatings-starting-to-rot/
Tim S 22nd June 2007, 14:59 Quote
Btw, I forgot to mention the BD+ site... it's a work of art.
DougEdey 22nd June 2007, 15:00 Quote
Very minimalist. Maybe it's going for the Tate Modern?
iwog 22nd June 2007, 15:05 Quote
An random commenter on the DailyTech website said:
[QUOTE=]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.[/QUOTE]

This is so true, the more a company or product touts that its safe and "hacker proof" the more effort hackers will put into breaking it. My money is on a hack of BD+ within a year of its release. That is a hack that will work with any disc of that generation before they film companies get annoyed and release a new "hacker proof" protection.
./^\.Ace./^\. 22nd June 2007, 15:30 Quote
I really dislike copy protection I say if some takes the efford to get past it then they should be left alone For the amount of space on a blue ray DVD you could put a 1,000,000,000,000 segment code on it, then no one would try and crack it :D but the big question is, is it worth the money to create better copy protection for some products :?
mmorgue 22nd June 2007, 15:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
This is so true, the more a company or product touts that its safe and "hacker proof" the more effort hackers will put into breaking it. My money is on a hack of BD+ within a year of its release. That is a hack that will work with any disc of that generation before they film companies get annoyed and release a new "hacker proof" protection.

Heheh -- supose it could be argued that the DRM companies themselves are training the hackers!

In instances like this, my ££ would always be on the hackers ;)
Tim S 22nd June 2007, 16:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
An random commenter on the DailyTech website said:


This is so true, the more a company or product touts that its safe and "hacker proof" the more effort hackers will put into breaking it. My money is on a hack of BD+ within a year of its release. That is a hack that will work with any disc of that generation before they film companies get annoyed and release a new "hacker proof" protection.
Yep, it's the same with any "industry" - people love the challenge and the tougher the better. ;)
pendragon 22nd June 2007, 16:05 Quote
I have little faith that this new DRM won't just be a pain in the but to legal owners of said discs. :(
Firehed 22nd June 2007, 16:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by news snippet
Based on the fact that every movie protection standard that has ever been implemented, we wouldn't be surprised if this one eventually falls by the wayside too.
Somebody needs a verb ;)

Anyways, I'm waiting indefinitely for legal DRM-free content. Until it happens, I'll be sticking either with theatres (rare), bit-torrent (rarer - too little worth watching a second time) or just stick with podcasts and such, which are free, devoid of DRM, and actually worth my time.
DXR_13KE 22nd June 2007, 17:00 Quote
i give it one month and it is cracked.
ElZog 22nd June 2007, 17:07 Quote
If it is looking for hacked players, surely it'll be just a case of finding ways to disguise the hacks from the disc's method, rather than needing to crack each disc's individual code.

I say 'just', it will still probably take a lot of effort.
Smilodon 22nd June 2007, 17:47 Quote
I was hoping that blu-ray would win this "format war". But they just keep screwing it up.

HD DVD players can be had for 1/3 of the price for a blu-ray player aswell, so blue-ray's chance of survival seems to shrink every day.
SNIPERMikeUK 22nd June 2007, 17:48 Quote
U will only be dissapointed if u buy either of these formats now, they are in their infacy take the recent change over to java on the format and all this cracked copy control cannot be good so soon into a formats life either, spoke to a rep the other day in my local audio visual dealership and he told me people are still paying upto and over 1,000 for DVD players and not choosing the £300-1,500 odd pound BD+HD, this to me speaks volumes.

If anything u should buy a upscale player for your old DVD format. It's just like the beta max Vs. vhs wars all over again. And lets be honest the price of Blue Ray is mad for a film.

Even the idea of using the format for data consumption is stupid. Hard disks are dirty cheap now.
quack 22nd June 2007, 18:37 Quote
Hooray for more pointless DRM that does nothing but affect and place a burden on the consumer who legitimately purchases the discs and does absolutely nothing to prevent piracy or copyright infringement.
Flibblebot 22nd June 2007, 19:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNIPERMikeUK
...people are still paying upto and over 1,000 for DVD players and not choosing the £300-1,500 odd pound BD+HD, this to me speaks volumes...
I said this in another thread recently - none (AFAIK) of the high-end AV manufacturers have a player for either HD DVD or BluRay. Now, I don't know whether this is because they're waiting for high end decoders from Faroudja and the like, or whether it's because they're waiting for the dust to settle, but it's telling, nevertheless.

As for releasing a new form of protection that may require firmware updates - ARE THEY MAD? Bearing in mind that most of the players on sale are currently consumer level, I'd be surprised if even half of current owners even knew what a firmware update was or, more importantly, how to go about getting one and applying it.

Those that want to pirate the disc will find a way around the protection, sooner or later. The rest of the people, i.e. the vast majority, will be inconvenienced, and some of those people might even resort to hacking the protection to watch the movie that they paid money for.

Penalising the wrong people.
Tokukachi 22nd June 2007, 20:37 Quote
Most importantly.. is it compatible with the PS3?

If its not then Sony might as well pack up
iwog 23rd June 2007, 01:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat69
Most importantly.. is it compatible with the PS3?

If its not then Sony might as well pack up


LMAO, could just see the head lines "Sony's flagship console unable to play their own media" But honestly i doubt its really an issue do to the PS3's PC likeness. Firmware updates to the drive and codecs etc are all that would be needed and his could be rolled out in one of Sony's many firmware updates.
completemadness 23rd June 2007, 01:51 Quote
i give it 2 months, at the most
knyghtryda 23rd June 2007, 06:20 Quote
hmm... hardware players are not gonna get hacked very soon (or at all), but I give a "patched" software player maybe a month before a bypass is found. Its back to the memory scanning...
David_Fitzy 24th June 2007, 02:08 Quote
[INSERT STANDARD DRM DOESN'T WORK POST HERE]
Paradigm Shifter 24th June 2007, 14:40 Quote
It's like the DRM proponents enjoy giving the hackers a challenge they can't resist...
Spaceraver 24th June 2007, 21:33 Quote
ROFLMAO@THERIAA;MPAA This Will get cracked in a matter of months.. And they'll release the source code just like they did with DeCSS and lo and behold.. No more Content Protection. Now i'm just waiting for them to crack HDCP.. :D
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