Blu-ray adds more content protection

Written by Tim Smalley

June 22, 2007 // 1:51 p.m.

Tags: #aacs #bd #bluray #blu-ray #content #cracked #dvd #fox #hackers #hd #mgm #plus #protection #studios

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.

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