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Comments

danb

I would *love* for the MPAA to disable a complete line of compromised players. That may wake up the world to just how ridiculous all this heavy-handed DRM really is.

WeaselBuddha

Not sure what Sony is thinking here, they are producing a next generation player, and standard that is:

1. More expensive, both software & player
2. Late to the market
3. More expensive to produce software for
4. And now, has draconian DRM and region locks

And both standards, HD and Blu-ray are not breakthrough high demand gadgets, what is the killer app here? Why would either of these be compelling buys for christmas'06? Why do they think this will work?

Subscription VOD with fiber to the home is a killer app., even more so if Bud Cort gets his way and the release cycle is dramatically reduced from the earliest date of plus three months.

Someone is going to wake-up and smell the money....looks to me that a Verizon ( fiber ), Tivo ( set-top box ) and Netflix ( content ) partnership would really benefit both them and of course us, but I suspect I'm just being Theodoric of York.

Hunter McDaniel

All this stuff just makes it clear than when you "buy" a high-definition DVD your ownership rights are pretty limited.

Which is why I will only RENT such discs.

corey3rd

what confuses me is that if I somehow get the technology for a Blu-Ray burner, even my HD-home videos won't be able to play on my Blu-Ray unit?

There's that point in reading about these idiots coming up with their security system that you want to send hired goons over to show them how stupid they are. What's the point of copyprotection on DVDs anyway? The pirates can easily overcome the blocks. Macrovision hasn't put China out of the bootleg business. The best way to combat piracy is simple - charge a reasonable price and put them out in a timely fashion.

BenJeremy

:::sigh::: all of these DRM measures are really only targeted at "casual" copiers... when the real enemy of movie companies are the HK & Russian pirates, the big boys who make millions selling bootlegs.

Casual copiers, even "collectors" for that matter, might account for a slight decrease in "actual" sales - but like software pirates, in most cases, the casual copier (and in PARTICULAR the collector) can't afford to buy all the movies/music/software they copy. While a collector, for example, may have $100k worth of bootleg stuff, it hardly means he could afford to buy all of that.

The smart thing to do would be to kick the DRM numbnuts to the curb, and either 1) kickback the savings to the customers, who might be inclined to buy more at a cheaper price OR 2) keep the money they would have spent on all of these useless efforts as extra profit.

Sadly, execs can't think in truly strategic terms. Mainly, they lack an understanding of the tactical situation, the motivations and real impact of the casual copiers. Because they do not understand the simple logic of it all, they only see missed $$$$ and act accordingly. In the end, their strategic moves, based on false assumptions and bad logic, only alienate their consumers even more.

WeaselBuddha


The big issue for collectors, is not bootlegs, but the region lock. Many of my current discs are outside region 1 either for availability or convenience reasons. I buy where the best content is available, with a more onereous region DRM scheme we'll all lose.

progrocktv

They want to do that, fine.

I won't be upgrading to HD, PERIOD!
They shut off the SD signal and stop releasing DVD's in SD, fine I'll find other means to get my television or I'll even stop watching TV all together and they'll loose a customer!

I may be loosing TV but I won't have a studio holding MY DVD plater for ransom.

They can go to hell!

Jon Levant

The sense of entitlement runs high around here.

WeaselBuddha

Sure are right about that, though the word entitlement goes a bit far.

I think the proper attitude is one of disdain, and disappointment. You are right, Sony and Tosh. can drag the horse to water, but can't make us drink.

DRM is controversial to say the least, now to read that it is possible to have a player detect bad software and shutdown permanently, is quit offensive.

What does it mean to own software, or own hardware?

I can't create a backup copy to insure that when I loan it out I get the content back? That if bad hardware eats my disc I don't have to buy another? I have to worry that I will lose my player if I buy seemingly legit software from ebay?

This is greed run amok, just as the rootkit fiasco was. Technology has never solved the ownership issue, and treating your customers as children is going to be a PR headache for these folks.

Just as I recommend not subscribing to Netflix if you feel you are being throttled, I recommend against buying hardware that other people have a claim against.

As to the lifetime of the SD-DVD and players, I think we are a long way off from its' death nell. But if you are concerned, take a look at buying either a Denon or Yahama upconverting amp, or go to EBay and buy a Faroudja. The Faroudja will make your DVD's look better they any nextgen player will, even with native HD software.

corey3rd

The sense of entitlement runs high around here
________________________

I'm entitled to buy something that isn't going to become a cop in my living room. I just want to watch a damn movie without having the folks at Sony knowing what's going into my player.

BenJeremy

DRM is controversial to say the least, now to read that it is possible to have a player detect bad software and shutdown permanently, is quit offensive.

What does it mean to own software, or own hardware?
--------------------------

Oh, it's FAR WORSE than that... what it says is that if some hacker USES THE SAME MODEL PLAYER AS YOU, YOUR PLAYER WILL GET DISABLED.

That's right! If some hacker compromises the BD's AACS encryption keys using, say, a PS3 - Sony will send a code to all machines that call in over the internet and disable their ability to play HD content. ALL OF THEM. From that point onward, all BD movies would be mastered without the compromised key - meaning any compromised model players NOT hooked up to the net would still play older BDs, but not newer ones at HD.

I understand the logic - but it's bad logic. It's trying to stuff Pandora back into the box, but punishing large numbers of their legitimate customers to do so.

So it has nothing to do with copies or software - it has to do with the possibility that some Swede, Russian or Chinese hacker manages to create a DeCSS-type application based on a key somehow extracted from the same model player as you might have.

For a little history, DeCSS was created when the author weaseled out the key from a PC DVD Player program. To combat this, AACS has implemented the draconian HDCP spec (ICT) to try and keep the encryption entirely up the digital playback chain. Sony went further by specifying the "self destructing player" crap in their SDCP spec (specific to BluRay) that suppliments the HDCP.

Sadly, the bootleggers, who are the real enemy of movie companies, probably already have the HDCP chain compromised at the display end - so for them, digital perfect copies will be a no brainer. Only the consumer gets screwed.


...and yes, I believe we are ENTITLED to working players, regardless of what Sven, Igor, or Wang-Lu is doing on the other side of the planet. Their criminal activity shouldn't cause MY player, which has never even TOUCHED a pirate disc, to suddenly stop working as advertised. Capiche?

Super-Bat-Man

companies are allowed to do what they want with their product. as long as they tell us up front that our players may be shut down then they can do it. some people are going nuts here. make your own player. their making this new (useless)technology, and sharing it with us, and you guys can't stop complaining.

if you buy a gun and go on a killing spree, you have your gun taken away, if you drive drunk in some states they take your car and suspend your license, if you have kids and abuse them they get taken away.

ANYWAYS, it's not like hd-dvd and blu-ray are going to succeed anyway.

BenJeremy

if you buy a gun and go on a killing spree, you have your gun taken away, if you drive drunk in some states they take your car and suspend your license, if you have kids and abuse them they get taken away.
-----------------------------

Super-Bat-Man, you still don't get it?

The more proper analogy is that somebody ELSE uses a butcher knife to kill somebody, so they confiscate ALL of our kitchen knives. Somebody drives drunk in Germany, and nobody in the WORLD is allowed to drive that model car again, EVER.

The problem here is that it isn't announced to the world when you buy a BluRay player that somebody else's activity may cause YOUR EXPENSIVE BD PLAYER to stop functioning as advertised - on purpose. Most consumers will never know, until it is too late, that this is the case, and as they "agreed" to all the fine print upon purchasing the equipment (DRM legislation is an extension of that fine print, as well), there is no legal recourse for customers, either.

People need to be informed of what can really happen.

Usman

Your statement is incorrect. Every single player will have its own unique key, not every model. That means that if you manage to extract the key from your player and publicize it on the web, only that unique machine may be prevented from playing movies in the future.

Additionally they're not going to disable your box over the Internet, new discs manufacturerd after the release of that key will include it in their revocation list. You'll simply be unable to play discs manufactured a few months after you release your key to the world.

BenJeremy

Your statement is incorrect. Every single player will have its own unique key, not every model. That means that if you manage to extract the key from your player and publicize it on the web, only that unique machine may be prevented from playing movies in the future.
--------------------------------
CSS had keys for groups of models (perhaps by manufacturer). Using a much larger number of keys would be rather extensive, don't you think? Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't understand how discs could be mastered with MILLIONS of encryptions of the disc's security key. If anything, this gives hackers an easy method of brute forcing the security key, and in turn, unlocking ALL of the encryption keys used.

I really don't see each player would having a unique key. Seems a bit impractical to me.

Usman

Slashdot has covered this issue many times, and individual keys are the cornerstone of the new scheme. But I might be wrong. HDCP, which has already been deployed, uses unique keys for every device:
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1005

Jon Levant

The 'every machine will be disabled over the internet' is really just a rallying cry for the freeloaders. It is a preposterous claim parroted gleefuly. Most of them lack the knowledge to know one way or the other whether it's true. The truth is more nuanced, but the critical point is that they wish to appear:

a) On the side of consumer 'rights'.
b) Technically savvy.
c) Distinct from the everyday 'slaves of mega-corps'.

It's a pathetic display of geekdom gone wrong. Most of them merely need more time on the planet. The world will side with those that put forth the effort to create content, not those that wish to apropriate it cheaply for their own edification.

BenJeremy

Slashdot has covered this issue many times, and individual keys are the cornerstone of the new scheme. But I might be wrong. HDCP, which has already been deployed, uses unique keys for every device:
http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1005
-------------------------------

OK, I see that, but the article doesn't imply that each PART will have a unique set of keys, only that each "device" - you can take that to mean a lot of things, I would assume "device" refers to an entire model, not every manufactured unit of a model.

Even more telling, is that the article describes the inherent weakness of HDCP - if you can compromise a model's keys, under the "every unit has a unique key" assumption, it means I only need to repeat the extraction of keys (now that I've figured out how to do it for the model) on 40 more units and Viola! the entire HDCP encryption comes tumbling down.

It would be far more secure, from a systematic standpoint, for all units of a model to have the same keys - that would require 40 DIFFERENT device models to be comrpomised, a much more difficult task.

corey3rd

I don't like this whole process. I've already gone through six DVD players in the last seven years. I wish they'd spend a little more time on quaility control rather than their crypto-crud. Why can't I get a DVD player that lasts as long as my Foreman grill?

They expect me to jump through all these hoops, yet they refuse to make a player that can last two years without some sort of screw up that makes it cheaper for me to toss the unit into the trash than get it fixed.

I've already been told that the first wave of HD players are worthless and will probably be in the dumpster within a year. I can't wait to hear about all the glitches in the Blu-Rays. And what happens if that encryptor goes nuts and refuses to play any of my discs because of a bogus bug? I'm stuck with a piece of junk that can't even hold up my sofa properly.

Usman

BenJeremy - you're correct that using the same key across a model line makes it more difficult to extract a complete key (that's pretty good, I hadn't thought of that). But assuming that the key is EVENTUALLY compromised (and they are assuming it will be, why else come up with revocation lists?) revoking an entire model line and potentially affecting tens of thousands of customers would be a PR disaster, blackening the entire brand. People would just stop buying Sony or Samsung or whatever. Doesn't it make more sense to generate a unique key for every unit? Maybe it increases manufacturing time but it's worth the additional costs, IMHO.

NetflixShill

"The world will side with those that put forth the effort to create content, not those that wish to apropriate it cheaply for their own edification."

The world is made up of mostly people, not soul-less corporations. PEOPLE will not side with draconian DRM, region codes, and other inane systems of control. You and Usman seem to have sold your soul to the corporations. Have fun being their brain-dead parrots.

NetflixShill

"Doesn't it make more sense to generate a unique key for every unit? Maybe it increases manufacturing time but it's worth the additional costs, IMHO."

You obviously don't know anything about how public key encryption works. The content is encrypted betweent the player and the disc, using the player's key. That has NOTHING to do with the encryption of the disc itself - which WILL eventually be cracked. What this means is that they can black-list a player if the maker refuses to honor region codes, or Macrovision, or other restrictions.

The movie isn't encrypted using every unique player's key. That would be ridiculous, and nonsensical, because you would then need all of those keys to play back the disc. If they black-listed one, it would make EVERY single disc worthless, retroactively. The player is encrypting the data through its output, it's the beginning of "Trusted Computing", as in: You Can't Trust Your Computer If It Doesn't Ttrust You?

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/can-you-trust.html

"The sense of entitlement runs high around here."

If you are talking about the sense of global corporations being entitled to our money and us being entitled to let them control all of our hardware and equipment, you are right. I think it's clear that Jon Levant and "Usman" are brainwashed slaves to the corporations.

NetflixShill

Usman:
"Every single player will have its own unique key, not every model. That means that if you manage to extract the key from your player and publicize it on the web, only that unique machine may be prevented from playing movies in the future."

Your statement makes no sense. What would be the point of black-listing a person's player if the key couldn't be used on another unit? If that were true, nobody'd be stupid enough to publish their key. They would just use it on their own to copy discs.

You've totally misunderstood the technology, and how it works. What they are gonna do is: black-list players that allow users to, say, disable region codes, or macrovision, or 1/2 resolution playback on non-HDCP equipment. I think you and Jon Levant should stop posting since you obviously don't understand ANY of the issues involved and are just apologists, slash cheer-leaders for greedy corporations.

Jon Levant

Sadly, NetflixShill, you appear to devote vast quantities of your life to consuming the product of other's labor and then spitting on those same individuals.

Pathetic.

When you put your money and time into producing a film and distributing it that people want to watch then you can make the rules. Of course then you'll have to face youths with over-heightened senses of entitlement who wish to appropriate your work for themselves and toss out disingenuous rationale for it. But then again, you'll have an intimate sense of where they are coming from.

Pathetic.

NetflixShill

"Sadly, NetflixShill, you appear to devote vast quantities of your life to consuming the product of other's labor and then spitting on those same individuals."

On what basis can you determine how much time I devote to consuming the products of other's labor? You say I'm spitting on them. They are spitting on me, with DRM and annoying forced junk that plays every time I use a DVD. That stuff is what's pathetic. And only a shill would defend such ABUSIVE, USER-HOSTILE, and IDIOTIC technologies.

"When you put your money and time into producing a film and distributing it that people want to watch then you can make the rules."

No, PEOPLE make the rules by not buying the DRM'd crap they are trying to sell. If their new BluRay and HD-DVD are massive failures, as I believe they will be, the studios will have to go back to the drawing board and put PEOPLE first. Stop treating their customers like thieves. The rules are BS, Jon. They do not supercede our legal rights, such as fair use. Screw the DMCA. Screw DRM, Treacherous Computing, and folks like you who defend the megacorps by painting everybody who opposes them as thieves.

"Of course then you'll have to face youths with over-heightened senses of entitlement who wish to appropriate your work for themselves and toss out disingenuous rationale for it."

Your whole argument is a straw man, Jon. The world doesn't conform to your black & white distortion of it. Not everybody is a pirate, who resents DRM, treacherous computing, and other restrictions. The studios provide what WE want or they will not be in business very long. Apparently, some zealots like yourself have forgotten that simple fact of WHO needs who. People survived for millions of years, without television or DVDs. I'm sure that we could get along just fine without them.

D-Cold

I love how cry babies complaining about DRMs. Well, what do you people expect, when freaking a**wipes continuously pirated their movies and upload them, on to the internet.

Wait until one of you people(piraters) run a movie or animation company, then you understand the seriousness of it all(trust me I'm beginning to understating it, well at hand).

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