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IVS Forums->General: General Home Theater Discussion Page: 1  Previous   Next
Computer hackers poke another hole in HD DVD's armor (Locked)
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Battling Butler
the painted veil
Registered: January 11, 2005
Posts: 880
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http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/01/17/business/dvd.php

Computer hackers poke another hole in HD DVD's armor
By Brad Stone - Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"The 2005 science fiction film "Serenity" portrayed a ragtag crew of space pirates fighting to unravel the mysteries of their galaxy."

"Reality may have mimicked fiction last weekend as a loosely knit coalition of hackers around the world defeated the antipiracy software protecting several high-resolution movies in the HD DVD format. They then began distributing copies of films — starting with "Serenity" by Universal Pictures — using BitTorrent, a popular file-sharing tool."

"The move could send the technology companies behind the new wave of advanced DVDs scrambling back to the drawing board to improve their copy protection, and prompt Hollywood studios to rethink their alliances in the war between the HD DVD and Blu- ray formats."

"The HD DVD standard is backed by Toshiba, Microsoft and Intel and uses copy protection technology known as the Advanced Access Content System. The rival Blu-ray format, supported by Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, uses the same system but adds a level of software that acts as a backup when the first level is compromised, so it is considered to be slightly more secure."

"A spokeswoman for Universal, the only film studio to back the HD DVD format exclusively, said that no executives were available to discuss the HD DVD issue."

"The new intrusions came less than a month after a programmer calling himself Muslix64 announced in a Web forum that he had unraveled at least part of the HD DVD protection system. Muslix64 released free software that allowed users to insert HD DVDs into their computers and make copies of those films without the original encryption. However, to make it work, users still needed a special title key, a specific piece of encryption code generated by the AACS software, for each movie they were trying to copy."

"Muslix did not provide any title keys — in a sense challenging others to finish his work. On Saturday, the response came in the form of dozens of keys for movies like "King Kong," "Mission Impossible: 3" and "Superman Returns," posted on Web forums like those at Doom9.net. At least two Web sites were created to provide lists of the keys."

"Security experts said that the hackers appeared to have discovered the secret keys on their own computers — stashed there by WinDVD, a commercial program for playing DVDs."

"Michael Ayers, a lawyer for Toshiba who is also chairman of the business group of the trade organization that administers AACS, acknowledged that the intrusion was serious, but said that he viewed it as an attack on DVD-playing software and not on the overall HD DVD protection system."

"It's like somebody picked the lock on an individual house, but he has not discovered the secrets to lock- making at the master padlock company," Ayers said.

"He added that AACS was explicitly designed so that compromised players and programs like WinDVD could be disabled remotely by revoking their licenses. He said that the AACS group might take that approach after an investigation."

"Bill Rosenblatt, president of the consulting firm GiantSteps, which specializes in content protection issues, said the intrusion was less of a crisis than the 1999 defeat of the encryption that protects standard DVDs, which allowed movie files to be freely copied and shared online."

"It's a pretty nice victory for hackers, but this newer scheme was designed to fail more gracefully and not be as brittle as the DVD scheme," Rosenblatt said.

"However, some security experts said the intrusions were more serious. Bruce Schneier, the chief technology officer of the security company BT Counterpane, said it was unclear what effect revoking licenses would have. If new discs of the movies are updated with new title codes, the old discs in stores will still be vulnerable."

"Schneier said the new DVDs would inevitably be vulnerable to hacking. "Data is inherently copyable, just as water is inherently wet," he said.
davidperez
Registered: October 1, 2004
Posts: 200
Posted:
Interesting article, I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. You have to figure, the programs that are written into these HD dvds to protect them are written by other "humans" not robots or computers, so sooner or later one of those humans talks or even sells their information to a company that wants to write a program to remove the decryption and then it just snowballs from there. I stand on the fence on these issues, I realize its "illegal" but it should also be illegal to sell something for $29.00 that costs maybe $5.00 overseas to make. Make it more cost effective and maybe people wouldnt have any need for these encryption removing programs. Just my opinion...
8ballMax
Haircut my a#$
Registered: July 23, 2001
Posts: 1,396
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Quoting davidperez:
Quote:
I realize its "illegal" but it should also be illegal to sell something for $29.00 that costs maybe $5.00 overseas to make. Make it more cost effective and maybe people wouldnt have any need for these encryption removing programs. Just my opinion...


How in the world do you expect all those involved in the production of a film to get paid by selling a DVD or HD-DVD for $5.00? Riddle me that Batman .
davidperez
Registered: October 1, 2004
Posts: 200
Posted:
Well my little boy wonder  , I said it costs about $5.00 to make, not that they should sell them for that cost. I think the regular price of DVD's (Around $17.00) is fine. I know those actors need to make $20 million per movie so they can afford to adopt all the kids from third world countries. (Oh, no you didnt David, now your in for it).
JP_S
I did knock
Registered: March 10, 2003
Posts: 917
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And movies earn a lot of the money at the box office, if not more than what it cost to make the movie.

So the biggest costs have already been covered.
JP
MarkEJHarrison
Out of ideas
Registered: December 20, 2001
Posts: 2,506
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I hate myself for saying this, but they should charge the price puts most dollars in their pockets.  They're a business and have an obligation to their shareholders to do their best to make them money.  I wish all DVDs were $2, but that's not a wise business decision.

If I had a product for sale, I'll price it to maximize profits.  Not to stay poor.
"the main database is protected by many fanatics who argue minutia over the rules hour after hour, day after day, year after year" - Cliff
pacaway
Registered: October 5, 2002
Posts: 511
Posted:
Quoting MarkEJHarrison:
Quote:
I hate myself for saying this, but they should charge the price puts most dollars in their pockets.  They're a business and have an obligation to their shareholders to do their best to make them money.  I wish all DVDs were $2, but that's not a wise business decision.

If I had a product for sale, I'll price it to maximize profits.  Not to stay poor.


I remember when DVDs first came out.  I couldn't believe you could own movies in their original format, so well preserved for about $20...
Funny how you get used to it after awhile. 
Remember, it can cost almost as much to just go see it at the theater, by the time you've been lured into eating snacks, etc.
I can buy 2 current title DVDs for what it costs to take my family to see 1 movie.

I can't complain about the price.  If they were overpriced, I would hope I wouldn't have spent as much money as I have.

.
in canada, no one can hear you scream
Rifter
Freedom is not free!
Registered: January 27, 2002
Posts: 3,169
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The issue is curbing piracy, which costs all of us money, not that of breaking the anti-copy code.

It should NOT be illegal for anyone to make copies of a DVD, tape, CD, whatever, for their own use.  When I take CDs in the car on a trip, I take copies and not the originals.  The real ones are home in their case all nice and safe.  I would do the same for DVDs if it weren't cost prohibitive and so time consuming.

Part of the reason things cost what they do in the electronics biz - stuff like game software, DVDs, media, etc. - is piracy.  So what do the producers do?  They raise the price to buy it to compensate.  The pirates can then sell their bootleg stuff for even more money, which forces the commercial price up again.

Make it legal to make copies for your own use - easily - and keep the price down and the pirates can't make a profit.  No more piracy.  Then make the law such that if someone does get caught pirating stuff, they go away for a long time.

The bleeding hearts who oppose prison time will keep it from happening though. 
John

"Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice!"  Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964.

My Blog: Mad Gorilla's Jungle
snarbo
Registered: November 19, 2005
Posts: 389
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By the same token John, if the retail price was lower then the pirates would have to lower their own price, thus making it un-profitable for them to produce a pirated copy.

ie. if a pirated versions was say $5, and at the moment the legit DVD was $20 you could reason the pirate version was cost effective.
But if the pirated version was $5, and the legit version was only $8 reason dictates that the cost effective version is the legit. so therefore destroying the pirates by making pirating un-profitable in the first place. It is only down to greed by the legit company's involved that keeps the price high.

High street prices speak for themselves, you yourself have that instead of buying the DVD when they first come out (full price) you wait a couple of months until the price drops (halved or less), which I admit I do now that way I can get two or more DVD's from my wish list for the same price as a brand new release.

Steve
Rifter
Freedom is not free!
Registered: January 27, 2002
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Quoting snarbo:
Quote:
By the same token John, if the retail price was lower then the pirates would have to lower their own price, thus making it un-profitable for them to produce a pirated copy.

ie. if a pirated versions was say $5, and at the moment the legit DVD was $20 you could reason the pirate version was cost effective.
But if the pirated version was $5, and the legit version was only $8 reason dictates that the cost effective version is the legit. so therefore destroying the pirates by making pirating un-profitable in the first place. It is only down to greed by the legit company's involved that keeps the price high.

High street prices speak for themselves, you yourself have that instead of buying the DVD when they first come out (full price) you wait a couple of months until the price drops (halved or less), which I admit I do now that way I can get two or more DVD's from my wish list for the same price as a brand new release.

Steve



But I thought that's what I just said?  The producers have to have the courage to drop their prices and absorb the losses in the short term to accomplish the desired goal.  So far I've seen little indication of their willingness to do that.  In fact, what I see is that they don't care what it costs US as long as they get their money.

And yes, I wait to buy at a lower price whenever I can because I don't have money to throw around like some people here do.  The difference is that I only buy from legitimate dealers, so my money is still going to the correct people, just less of it as much as I can get away with.
John

"Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice!"  Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964.

My Blog: Mad Gorilla's Jungle
Lithurge
Registered: January 2, 2002
Posts: 4,125
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Quoting JP_S:
Quote:
And movies earn a lot of the money at the box office, if not more than what it cost to make the movie.

So the biggest costs have already been covered.


Not in every case, some movies make the money back on the DVD sale and not on the cinema take. Not to mention the direct to dvd titles...

But it's quite often just a matter of patience, if I really want a title then I'll pay the premium and buy it on release (shopping around for the best price). In most cases I just wait for the price to drop.
Nick

Not to understand a man's purpose, does not make him confused.
antolod
Saggin in the 60's
Registered: December 2, 2003
Posts: 498
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The "correct" price for a DVD is a difficult thing to ascertain. As Mark said, the studio is in business to make money.

Many movies do not make any money in theaters and only become profitable through DVD sales. Check out this page and look at the Biggest Money Losers near the bottom of the page. There are also movies that lose money even after being on the DVD market. For example I bought Stealth (#2 on the list) for $19.99. Best Buy.com probably made around 5 or 6 bucks, and production and distribution probably takes a couple more, so assuming Sony made $11 on it they have to sell a little over 9 million copies  just to recoup the nearly 100 million lost at the box office. So the price paid for every DVD you buy is not just for the movie on the disc, but is also making up for losses accrued by the studio in its less than profitable films.

Would I like to see cheaper DVD prices? Heck yeah. That's why I watch for DDD 2for1 sale and other bargains. 

A little more on-topic, the studios want copy protection because PERFECT copies can be made whether from the original or from a 10th generation copy, since the computer only has to get the 1s and 0s in the correct order.  Back in the old days, a tape to tape copy was only as good as the equipment and a copy was rarely as good as the original.

As technologies change, the studios will have to change with it. Lowering the price consumers pay will help to reduce the piracy market, but some people will still prefer the $2 pirated version to the $3 legit one.  Remember DIVX (not the codec). The theory was people would want to buy a movie on the cheap, take it home and watch it a couple of time in the first few days, then shelve it. If they ever wanted to watch it again it cost more. Well that didn't work, but the pay-per-view scheme of things will come back, in what form I don't know. That will be a driving force behind streaming video once the internet speeds and "techno-sense" of the people reach a certain level.
lmoelleb
Can I go home now?
Registered: October 19, 2000
Posts: 1,026
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Disaster - with a broken DRM, how are they going to force us to buy the movie over and over again? Their income will plumet when you can now buy the HD-DVD and then make a DVD copy for your kids to watch in their room. And if there is a breakthough in storage so we no longer need that stupid plastic disc, we can just copy them to our storage, instead of actually buying a new copy of the same movie. What has the world come to when an honest company can't force people to buy the same product over and over again?

Yes, piracy is bad, and it should be punished severely.... Just as selling a media with DRM should be criminal and land you streight in jail.
/Lars

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 Last edited: by lmoelleb
falcon2099
DVD Junkie
Registered: December 4, 2002
Posts: 374
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Quoting CliffL:
Quote:
Remember, it can cost almost as much to just go see it at the theater, by the time you've been lured into eating snacks, etc.
I can buy 2 current title DVDs for what it costs to take my family to see 1 movie.

I can't complain about the price.  If they were overpriced, I would hope I wouldn't have spent as much money as I have.

.


I agree, and not even to an IMAX or Colloseum or Palladeum theatre (around here it's about $12/seat the last time I went)  So for my family of 4 we're at almost $50 + concessions.  If we go to the little theatre around the corner that gets releases about 2-3 weeks after the main theatres, it's only $6/seat (my 3yr old daughter is free till she's 4).  So that's only $18 +  concessions.  Either way it's still cheaper to wait and buy the DVD and a couple of bags of popcorn and view it at home.

note: the pause button is useful with a 3 year old (potty breaks, you know...)
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