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Blu-Ray to Include New Copy Protection 536

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the just-what-we-needed dept.
Lord Haha writes "In an announcement (warning: links to a PDF) last night, the Blu-ray Disc Association, led by Sony, representing one of two competing high-definition DVD formats (the other being HD-DVD, led by Toshiba), stated it will simultaneously embrace digital watermarking, programmable cryptography, and a self-destruct code for Blu-ray disc players. Will this be the continuation of the trend into more and more restrictive DRM? Or something that will fade away like Betamax Tapes? Two articles on the topic can be found at Tom's Hardware and PC World."
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Blu-Ray to Include New Copy Protection

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  • Scary. very scary. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by robyannetta (820243) * on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:09PM (#13289211) Homepage
    Quoth the article at Tom's Hardware, The third part of the announcement that is perhaps most surprising, is Blu-ray's adoption of a third DRM technique ... what it calls "BD+," described as "a Blu-ray Disc specific programmable renewability enhancement that gives content providers an additional means to respond to organized attacks on the security system by allowing dynamic updates of compromised code."

    I take this to say "We concede all control over this device to the **AA."

    Am I the only one that finds this disturbing? Isn't this a violation of fair use? Will the public buy a player with BD+ in it?

    • by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:13PM (#13289261) Homepage
      That isn't disturbing at all, this is:

      This controversial technology would require that disc players maintain permanent connections to content providers via the Internet, making it possible for discs that fail a security check to trigger a notification process, enabling the provider to send the player a sort of "self-destruct code." This code would come in the form of a flash ROM "update" that would actually render the player useless, perhaps unless and until it is taken to a repair shop for reprogramming.

      That's stepping a little too far over the bounds of protecting *your* content. If you destroy *my* hardware you have invaded my private space which is unacceptable.
      • by thesnarky1 (846799)
        Looked at from the other perspective... you have to be online to watch a DVD?!
        • by BlogPope (886961)
          Looked at from the other perspective... you have to be online to watch a DVD?!

          Yeah, I see this as a deal breaker feature. Only houses with broadband access can watch the new format? And of that subset, only those willing to let "Big Brother" (I hate using that phrase, but what else is there?) know what you're watching and when? Risking that their player may be deactivated because of some computer glitch?

          The only chance they would have is to prevent any competing format from showing up, and I have to ima

      • by jdunlevy (187745)
        Sounds like just the sort of "feature" that could keep consumers from embracing the format...
      • by mcg1969 (237263) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:28PM (#13289412)
        This controversial technology would require that disc players maintain permanent connections to content providers via the Internet,

        This would be distrurbing if it were correct. Over at the AVS Forum [avsforum.com] we have been discussing these formats for some time, and representatives of BOTH sides have specifically stated that no internet connection will ever be needed on a standalone player to play a disc.

        There have been a number of questions about the viability of BD+ raised, but the notion that standalone players will require Internet connections has been beaten down so many times it's just not funny anymore.

        Now having said that, apparently PC-based players will require periodic key renewal. But even these won't require permanent Internet connections. And this is true for BOTH HD formats, because it is part of the AACS standard.
      • I remember this... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Danse (1026) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:31PM (#13289432)

        Reminds me of the old Divx players that they tried to foist on us several years back, when DVD players were just starting to become popular. They had to be connected to a phone jack so they could phone home and let their masters know what you were up to. Ok, they didn't self-destruct, but the potential was there. I was elated to see that crappy technology flop. I remember a Circuit City sales guy trying to sell me one. He failed miserably when trying to explain how it was better for me to have discs that would expire and a player that would inform on me.

      • who on planet earth would buy this?
        I cant even imagine better picture quality than current DVD. why exactly would I want this new format?
        Im pissed as it is about the unskippable shit in DVDs, if this new format does away with that, great. otherwise, I dont really see the point.
        There comes a level of quality where my human-basic eyeballs dont regsiter anything better.
        • If you don't think you can get any better than DVD quality you probably can't on your current set. That's why you'll be needing a new Sony HDTV so you can see all the benefits that Blue ray brings, and to really appreciate the difference you'll need it to be at least 52".

          Thanks for your money, have a nice day.
      • by iminplaya (723125)
        This controversial technology would require that disc players maintain permanent connections to content providers via the Internet...

        At our expense...of course. This will do wonders for those on dial up. In addition to being made as dumb as TV, the internet will become the world's biggest dongle, which will be required to operate any electronic device. It will become our new electronic tracking collar, like they use for those under house arrest. If you like premade entertainment, you'd better stock up now a
      • by TheSpoom (715771) *
        But remember, you're not buying the hardware, you're buying a license to use the hardware...

        Not true now, but I bet that's how they'll get around it though... Software-like EULAs on hardware. Scary thought, isn't it?
      • by bizitch (546406)
        Can you imagine the scene at the Best Buy where your average techo-noobie is talking to some pimply faced nerd trying to sell them this player?

        Pimpleface: Yeah this is a really cool player - check out the resolution on this TV

        Noobie: Great I'll take one

        PF: Just one thing sir, you need a home LAN connection to the internet to make this thing work

        Noob: a home LAN? What's a LAN

        PF: Our associates over at Geeksquad can help you set one up - for a fee of course ...

        Noob: Wha?!? Huh?!?!

        *no sale*

        And besides how eas
    • No such thing (Score:3, Informative)

      by volpe (58112)
      There's no such thing as a "violation of fair use". "Fair Use" isn't a right guaranteed to you. It's a principle that exonerates you, under specific circumstances, from what would otherwise be a violation of someone else's copyright.
      • Re:No such thing (Score:3, Informative)

        by interiot (50685)
        Perhaps 17 USC 107 [findlaw.com] has something to say about that?
        the fair use of a copyrighted work, including [blah blah blah] is not an infringement of copyright.
        No, it's not in the Bill of Rights. Yes, it's an actual law that says you never infringed in the first place. No, it's not a get-out-of-jail-free card that you can use once you show up in court.
    • by pete6677 (681676)
      Will the public buy a player with BD+ in it?

      Yes, as long as it's cheap.
    • the public will do whatever the tv and media tell them to do.

      they've been buying DRM (and otherwise) crippled devices for years. they totally screwed over the DAT standard because of blocking EVEN LEGITIMATE copying.

      **ck off and die you sons of bit**es! we're sick and tired of being bent over, now it's your turn.

      boston strangler indeed.
    • Am I the only one that finds this disturbing?

      No

      Isn't this a violation of fair use?

      Well there's no law that says they have to make it possible that you actually exercise your rights.

      Will the public buy a player with BD+ in it?

      Makes no difference. An article I've read about BD+ (on the Register iirc) said it's just some "features" of the drm mechanism, that Blu-ray and HD-DVD have in common, rebranded to dazzle the **AA execs. So, whoever wins we get screwed. Any similarities to US presidential electi

    • Blu-ray appears to have developed its own approach--in some cases, proprietary--to each of these three technologies

      Time and time again we've seen these "proprietary" techniques developed, and invariably, propriertary means it has a questionable design, buggy implementation, and inadequate testing. So invariably some clever hacker will figure out how to circumvent it and make it all a moot point.

      Aside from that, fine, if they want to rig up my PS3 to blow up when I put in a bad disc, go right ahead. I just
    • Am I the only one that finds this disturbing? Isn't this a violation of fair use? Will the public buy a player with BD+ in it?

      It appears that Fair Use is becoming a thing of the past. As to the public, the only thing I have faith in is the fact that once the book is finally closed on such archaic notions, they'll all wake up and go "Hey, who f*cked us over?"

    • by Mr Smidge (668120)
      .. respond to organized attacks on the security system by allowing dynamic updates of compromised code

      This just sounds like they'd include patches for the firmware of compromised players on Blu-Ray discs themselves. Fair enough for them to do that, I suppose. You find out that the FooCorp BD1000 has a bug that disables DRM if you draw a smiley face on it with a black marker, so the next few Blu-Ray discs contain automatically-applied patches to that player's firmware.

      I don't think it'll work, I don't thin
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)
      Isn't this a violation of fair use?

      More like getting rid of first sale doctrine. This is saying you don't own your player or your media, you're licensing it, except without the concomitant reduction in price.

      With such a communication channel, they could also still-birth the used HD-DVD/Blu-Ray market and control who is allowed to offer rental services. Individual disks could be married to individual players, divorceable only by paying an additional fee (bulk discounts for Blockbuster, NetFlix locked out,
    • After the bit about taking every thing we own "...I don't care, I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me..." It's not just a mater of Them taking away all our rights with media, a lot of it is that the general public has given up on entertaining themselves. It's time to look for alternative forms of entertainment. If we became a culture of book readers, that watched backyard scifi we downloaded off the Internet for a fee and learned to play our own musicale instruments then the big corporations could
  • by aaronsb (138360) <aaronsbNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:10PM (#13289217)
    This disc (and player) will self destruct in 5 seconds.
  • I don't think so.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:10PM (#13289220) Homepage

    The life of hardware manufacturer is tough. You need enough DRM to convince copyright owners to develop/author for your platform yet it's DRM needs to be flawed enough so Joe Six-pack can easily circumvent it.

    The former insures there's enough content on your platform to make it an enticing to a consumer. The latter makes your platform doubly as enticing because your customers don't have to spend an insane amount of money getting a large body of content for your platform; they'll just copy it.

    The problem is that Sony just can't make the DRM flawed enough to capture public interest because their media division just wont stand for it. So once again, someone else will come along and give the public what they want: media that's easily copied.

    Is there precident for this? Absolutely, Why did the Sony Playstation crush the N64? Because you can copy easily for the Playstation. Copying a cartridge is just too much hastle to be worth it. Even better it was trivial to chip a playstation so you could get loads of games for the price of a few CDs.

    Rather than learning this lesson they ignored it. Before the IPod, Sony products were the market leaders in portable music. Sony could have got an Ipod like device to market first but the Sony record label were scared so it never happened: Apple did it instead. Far from being a match made in heaven, the symbiosis of Sony media and Sony technology is becoming increasingly schizophrenic and it is punishing them right where it hurts any company: their bottom line.

    Simon.

    • by Catamaran (106796) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:14PM (#13289276)
      I agree completely. We already know that the copy protection won't be much of an obstacle to determined pirates. Unfortunately, it will lead to consumer electronics products that are a) more expensive and b) less user friendly, with the result that consumers will stay away in droves.

      It is sad to see a company like Sony Electronics hobble itself in this manner just to please Sony Studios.

      All-in-all, it seems that Mike Fidler (recently Sony exec in charge of Blu-Ray, now CEO of digeo) chose a very opportune moment to abandon ship.

      • I don't feel bad that Sony's plan involves hobbling themseleves. I loathe Sony simply because they've been pimping copy protection / DRM since forever.

        I also don't plan to buy one. There's just so little that they're releasing on disc that I want to watch that it really doesn't make sense. (I rarely use my DVD player now.) Anyway I figure that someone will crack the protection sooner rather than later, and anything people really want to watch will hit the torrents soon enough.

        What I do predict is th

    • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:18PM (#13289311) Journal
      Why did the Sony Playstation crush the N64? Because you can copy easily for the Playstation. Copying a cartridge is just too much hastle to be worth it. Even better it was trivial to chip a playstation so you could get loads of games for the price of a few CDs.

      What percent of Playstation owners do you think had mod chips? I can't imagine it's significantly greater than zero.

      • I agree completly. I don't get the origional poster's logic at all. The PS crushed the N64 because it had great games, TONS of marketing muscle (thanks to Sony), and it was cheaper to develop/produce for (CDs vs carts). I don't think it had ANYTHING to do with piracy (at least in the US, maybe overseas).
      • It was incredibly popular in Europe to buy a PS already chipped for a few (insert local currency here) more.

      • by Ramze (640788) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @09:49PM (#13291149)
        You are kidding, right? Here in South Carolina, nearly everyone I know that got a PS2 had it modded by "a friend who knows a guy" -- That's everyone from college students in dorms to guys living in trailors making minimum wage, but love their games and can't afford to buy 'em all. Most people I know bought the PS2 not only for the games but also as a cheap DVD player, then got it modded for free games they'd download from newsgroups or bittorrent.
    • Is there precident for this? Absolutely, Why did the Sony Playstation crush the N64? Because you can copy easily for the Playstation. Copying a cartridge is just too much hastle to be worth it. Even better it was trivial to chip a playstation so you could get loads of games for the price of a few CDs.

      Then the Dreamcast should have beaten the shit out of the PS2 because it didn't even require a mod ship to play copied games.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      sorry but I call BS.

      if what you say was true then Sony pictures would refuse to release anything on DVD because it's too insecure and they would lose money drastically and all that other FUD and lies they trot out to distract you from seeing their gigantic pile of money that is growing out of control.

      BluRay has no chance, just like how UMD has zero chance outside of the PSP and sony's SACD is a major failure (oh and that Minidisc thingy of theirs)

      The format that is embraced by the China Manufacturers for t
    • Why did the Sony Playstation crush the N64? Because you can copy easily for the Playstation.

      No. There were many reasons the PS1 did better than N64. Easily pirated media was probably #45,333 on the list of reasons.

      It is quite self centric to think that your reason for a decision was everyone else's reason.

      My friend has a unmodded Xbox (gasp). Reason for buying an Xbox? Halo.

    • Why did the Sony Playstation crush the N64? Because you can copy easily for the Playstation. Copying a cartridge is just too much hastle to be worth it.

      I agree with your post except for this point. The PSX beat the N64 long before copying PSX discs became popular/easy.

      The GBA and NDS have flash carts and cart copiers, but when you compare them to the entire GBA/NDS market, hardly anyone owns them. The PS2 and XBox both have ways you can illegally copy games, but it's the same story for them.

      Sure, l
  • by wirehead_rick (308391) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:13PM (#13289255)
    High definition is not good enough increment in technological value to supplant present day DVD's with a crippled DRM technology.

    HD-DVD will be stillborn.

    People will take convenience and the facade of ownership over crippled technology any day. Just look at divx (not the Mpeg 4 technology - the rediculous pay for play disks that were stillborn).

  • by YankeeInExile (577704) * on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:13PM (#13289258) Homepage Journal

    The thing that always frosts me, is whenever The Industry talks about piracy they always bandy about numbers like (from TFA), three billion dollars per year in lost revenue. I would really love to see their methodology.

    It seems to me that, people who are going to pirate content, probably come in three basic groups

    1. Hoarders: These are the guys (gals?) who just want to fill up disc space with media they never look at, just to be able to brag on Slashdot about their gigs and gigs of DVD rips. They would never purchase the media, as that defeats their Virtual Dick Length.
    2. Povs: Want the content, but cannot afford to pay retail. They go to the flea market and get the 3-dollar knockoffs. These people probably have some budget for media, but choose to get more bang for their buck by pirating.
    3. Lookie loos:Not really interested in the content, but if it's very cheap (or free), they will take a look. They probably spend a lot of money on media, and usually want the real deal for the packaging and extras.

    Has anyone ever done a study on what percentage of users of pirated content, would have purchased that content, had it not been available outside the legitimate distribution channels?

    Has that study been done, and The Industry discovered that it is such a tiny fraction as to make no difference?

    Of course, I can see how large-scale commercial piracy really does hurt the distribution system. If a retailer buys three dozen copies of a title for sale as the genuine article, and those three dozen copies SELL as the genuine article at retail price, but were knocked off by a Chinese plant, then that represents a true loss of revenue. What percentage of the discs sold world-wide (I know this is a serious problem in Europe and the Orient) as legitimate are really pirated?

    • Has anyone ever done a study on what percentage of users of pirated content, would have purchased that content, had it not been available outside the legitimate distribution channels?

      Let's see... the xxAA? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, right.
      EFF? They *should*, but don't know if they have the budget.

      Who else would do it?
    • The Industry talks about piracy they always bandy about numbers like (from TFA), three billion dollars per year in lost revenue.

      The concept they seem to fail to also grasp is that perhaps most movies today lack the substance that makes a movie actually worth watching. With the eye candy and special effects, they probably think the movie will rake in kazillion buckazoids for the CG alone and plot and story be damned, but I am the only one too sophisticated for the crap that passes for movies these days?
    • by shmlco (594907) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:34PM (#13289468) Homepage
      I'm pretty sure you forgot #4 freeloaders. Or the why should I pay for it when I can get it free crowd. (Also includes the "I'm entitled to it just because..." crowd.)
      • #5 Complainers - Those who don't mind their own business and feel the need to incessantly complain about what OTHERS are doing even though it doesn't affect them one bit... also known as the "feels like a complete ass for spending $20 on a DVD only to shell out another $30 for the ultra-super-deluxe re-release a year later."
    • by elgaard (81259)
      ==
      The Industry talks about piracy they always bandy about numbers like (from TFA), three billion dollars per year in lost revenue. I would really love to see their methodology.
      ==

      They probably have a more creative definition of piracy that you and me. I.e. some of the three billion dollars is the loss of you breaking the DMCA and ripping your DVD's to the harddisk instead of buying the same movies on blueray.
  • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdotNO@SPAMuberm00.net> on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:14PM (#13289264) Homepage Journal
    Eh. First off, according to the Tom's Hardware article, these players would have to be permanently connected to the internet. Where have I heard about something like that before... Perhaps from DivX [members.shaw.ca], which required the players to be connected to a phone line to "phone home" every now and again... and I'm sure we all know how well that turned out [wired.com].

    Besides, what's to prevent a hacker from filtering out this self-destruct code from the downstream content anyway? I mean, it's not like this internet connection is protected or anything. If the content provider sends a packet to reflash the player, just don't let it get to the player. Have something in between to filter it out.

    As usual, there are a bunch of fundamental flaws in DRM that will always keep coming back no matter what the content providers try to do. I see DVD Jon cracking this in a week after it's put out on the streets.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      each blu-ray disc (for dvds) had on it's file system a space reserved for a code block to be run by a VM on the player? This code would be loaded to decrypt the content, and you'd use a digtally signed (ala xbox) and TrusedComp platform (TCPM, ala the new x86 DRM) system to choose which CD's to load code from, and limit execution of code to just those disks. They could make players that will only play 'original' media; movies from outside their studio releases could play on it, so by definition anything els
    • by cbrocious (764766) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:27PM (#13289403) Homepage
      "Besides, what's to prevent a hacker from filtering out this self-destruct code from the downstream content anyway?"

      I'd be willing to bet a month's salary that they are going to use public-key cryptography with a bigass key to protect it. RSA2048 will keep anyone from screwing with it. Hard-code the SSL public key, and the only way you're going to launch a man-in-the-middle attack against it is by rewriting the key.
    • by tgrimley (585067) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:31PM (#13289438) Homepage
      Even worse: what about when hackers can start sending these self destruct packets themselves. Imagine how pissed you'd be when someone "destroys" your dvd player!
    • Besides, what's to prevent a hacker from filtering out this self-destruct code from the downstream content anyway? I mean, it's not like this internet connection is protected or anything. If the content provider sends a packet to reflash the player, just don't let it get to the player. Have something in between to filter it out.

      Public-key encryption? Anything remotely resembling SSL? (eg. something you use in your browser every day to prevent people from modifying your bank transactions done over the w

    • The players won't have to be connected to the Internet; the self-destruct code can be delivered on discs.
      • The players won't have to be connected to the Internet; the self-destruct code can be delivered on discs.

        Actually, they will, if the AACS draft isn't changed by the time these ship.

        From the Tom's Hardware article:

        One part of the announcement that had been anticipated by experts was Blu-ray's embrace of Advanced Access Content System (AACS), one version of which has also been adopted by the HD DVD Forum. This controversial technology would require that disc players maintain permanent connections to content

    • Besides, what's to prevent a hacker from filtering out this self-destruct code from the downstream content anyway? I mean, it's not like this internet connection is protected or anything. If the content provider sends a packet to reflash the player, just don't let it get to the player. Have something in between to filter it out.

      Just to answer the question (not to defend the stupidity of DRM systems) they'll encrypt the entire phone-home channel. The players are not going to even spin up the discs unless

  • In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:14PM (#13289278)
    The sun rises, the tides fall and rise, and it becomes cold in winter.

    Seriously, you knew this was going to happen. The only surprising thing here is the "self-destruct code for Blu-ray disc players". And that isn't so much surprising as sad and hilarious.

    I wonder if they'll be implementing the self-destruct code in the PS3. If they do, if you thought the class action lawsuit over the DRE'ing PS2s was bad, wait until the first moment that some kind of vulnerability-- like buffer overflow in Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube-- is found in an internet-capable PS3 game. Then watch as everyone playing that game gets targeted by a little bit of wormy executable code that triggers the Blu-Ray destruction tripwire and kills the console permanently...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is a serious issue that concerns all of us and shouldn't be joked about by dilettants.

    If the HD-DVD decide to go down the same slipery road as the Blu-Ray and the content lobby I'll stick to good old inexpensive DVDs.
  • How many hours after the first commercial sale of one of these "registered" blu-ray burners will a hack be announced?

    I'm putting a dollar on the "25 hour" square
  • by Zed2K (313037) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:20PM (#13289331)
    If Blue Ray requires the device to be connected to the internet then that will spell the death of it before it even is sold anywhere. Same thing for HD-DVD. People will not want or be able to run internet connections to their tv area just to be able to play hidef dvd's. If people have to do anything more than plug it into the wall for power and plug the player into the tv and/or receiver then it won't sell.
  • 1. Create DVDs with self-destruct technology
    2. Sell DVDs to public
    3. Profit
    4. After the DVD is viewed, self-destruct
    5. Repeat steps 2 - 4 as necessary.
    • while(disc->isDestroyed)
      {
          disc = new CrippledJunk();
          theMasses->purchase(disc);
          ::Profit();
          theMasses->view(disc);
          disc->selfDestruct();
      }
  • by FrankieBoy (452356) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:22PM (#13289351)
    KIRK: Destruct sequence one. Code one, one-A.

    SPOCK: Destruct sequence number two. Code one, one-A, two-B.

    SCOTT: Destruct sequence number three. Code one-B, two-B, three.

    KIRK: Begin thirty second countdown. Code zero, zero, zero, destruct, zero.
    • *BOOM* Gee thanks Takei, now everybody knows.
    • George Takei: Let's take them out with us. Do you guys have a self destruct code? Like "Destruct Sequence one-A, two-B, three"--

      (Bender's head explodes instantly.)

      Bender: Thanks a lot, Takei! Now everybody knows!
  • HD-DVD is dead. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:22PM (#13289353) Homepage
    HD-DVD is dead. It always has been (in my estimation). There is more about this new information over at Ars Techinca [arstechnica.com].

    Having this new copy protection stuff should just seal the deal (great for studios, terrible for consumers). The fact that only one manufacturer is expected to ship a HD-DVD player this year (and for $1000) doesn't bode well. Early next year Sony will be shipping the PS3 which will not only play the blueray discs, but will also play PS1/2/3 games and DVDs. All for $500 (my guess at their "high price", but even at $700 it would be a bargain compared to $1000). There will be so many PS3 sales, it would be hard to beat that installed base even if HD-DVD was in the initial X-Box 360s (now we don't even know if that will happen).

    The war is over. The only people who don't know it are the HD-DVD group.

    • I read last week that the PS3 release may be tied to the success of lack there of the the xbox360. If the xbox360 is slow out of the gate, the article said that the PS3 may have its US debut pushed into late 2006 or even sometime in 2007.

  • TANSTAAFL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kylere (846597)
    The only way this scheme is coming into my house is if they give it to me, and I can change them for bandwidth usage.

    If TV/Movies are that important to you, then GAFL.
  • Not buyin' it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:25PM (#13289384) Homepage Journal
    >a self-destruct code for Blu-ray disc players

    That's waaaay over the line.

    Not gonna buy it.

    You think I'd let a mistake by some techie or program destroy a few hundred bucks of my hard-earned money?

    I'm tired of people treating me like a thief, when I never pirate ANYTHING!

    I've got lots of CDs and DVDs I already bought in the 80s and 90s, and I can always just walk along the street and whistle (or daydream).
  • Follow the Porn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dhaos (697924) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:25PM (#13289390)
    All these new systems will fail for one reason: Porn.

    Porn producers are very realistic, and very saavy. Do you think people are going to buy "Buttbandits 23" if they know that every time they queue it up, some manufacturer is getting a record of it?? Even those without tinfoil hats know this is a bad idea...

    My prediction is that the pornographers will use a version of the high-def discs WITHOUT the phone-home feature, or will stick to DVDs.

    Pornography: Saving Western Civilization since 1826.
  • I'd love to see a virus that teaches the early adopters a lesson in consumer research!
  • Who is paying? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stunt_penguin (906223)
    Okay, so these companies have a right to protect content that they've spent hundreds of millions of dollars creating.

    However who is paying the price for all this hardware and copy protection. Permanent internet connections? Players that render themselves inoperable once a copyright violation has been detected? It might sound like a sweet deal to industry lawyers, but these machines and discs are going to be needlessly expensive and few people are going to buy into a technology that resembles a copyright min
  • by Cinematique (167333) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:35PM (#13289469)
    I can't think of a single media playback device that did not enjoy a healthy kick in sales simply because it allowed a buyer to make/playback copies of original media... or from hacks which allowed the machine in question to do more than originally advertised.

    Beta tapes and VHS recorders --"You mean I can go to the store, set one deck to playback on channel 3 and set the other to record channel 3, and I have a copy? Schmeet!"

    Audio cassettes -- Same deal.

    CD Burners -- Again, essentially the same deal.

    Playstations -- I can play imported games and as a side benefit, play "backup" games? Where do I get one of these mod-chips? See: CD-Burner sales.

    Dreamcast -- Homebrew games and backups? All I have to do is use a special boot-cd? I think I'll pick one up since they're so cheap. See: CD-Burner sales.

    DVD Burners -- I can backup my important data plus burn movies and games? I want one!

    XBOX -- Relatively shitty sales compared to the gold-standard Playstation2 'til the modders started to have fun with the internal hard drive. Drop some NES/SNES/Genesis emulators on there...

    Sony PSP --Aside from the weak (IMHO) "I have one before you!" factor... probably the only thing driving sales... the ability to make it do things it didn't do out-of-the-box.

    Anyone denying that the sale of almost every new format's success was riding on the possibly of pirating is damn near delusional. Maybe it isn't the deciding factor for every single person buying the widget, but it's definitely a sizable minority... if not majority.

    Frankly, this time around, we're really faced with a stalemate between Hollywood and consumers. Sure, early adopters will buy whatever hits the market... but not in droves.

    This time around, if the hardware makers don't follow the wishes of Hollywood, prices probably won't decline, volumes will remain flat, and Toshiba and Sony both will be faced with a format that's dead right out of the gates.

    However, without laying the DRM on thick, Hollywood won't play ball with the next generation of video players. Catch-22.

    It's silly not to attribute a sizable portion of the success of DVD to the cracking of CSS -- like it nor not.
  • the Blu-ray Disc Association, led by Sony
     
    A textbook perfect case of one division of a giant conglomerate looking out for another division. Does Toshiba have any fingers in the movie/music/whatever content business?
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:38PM (#13289496) Homepage Journal
    where the non-protected version will be available for 1/10th the cost, and play all the Blu-Ray DVDs you want.
  • by eyeball (17206) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:40PM (#13289504) Journal
    Good. I say we stop resisting this and let them have what they want. Let these companies create all kinds of complicated consumer-angering technology. Let people be forced into experiencing the entertainment they "buy" only how the providers want. Let the consumer be forced into restrictive pay-per-view models for movies they purchase. Make it impossible for me to let my mom borrow a DVD I "bought." Just let it all happen.

    That will give the rest of the entertainment community the chance to create smaller, niche forms of entertainment, while hollywood continues its downward spiral of making worse mass appeal crap. Same for music, TV, etc.

    • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @05:49PM (#13289580) Homepage

      It'll be worse, the retailers will get in on it. They'll be getting all sorts of returns from people who don't have an Internet connection. Parents whose player doesn't work after little Johnny unbeknownst to them tried to play a disc his friend at school gave him. People whose player got "self-destructed" because somebody at a content provider mis-keyed a serial number. And people won't be happy about having to pay restocking or repair fees when they didn't do anything to break the player. A few consumer complaints later, Blu-Ray players will be anathema to retailers who can't afford to eat the cost of all those returns.

  • Wow, phone home! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LesPaul75 (571752) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @06:01PM (#13289669) Journal
    So that's it? The best solution from team DRM is a phone-home setup? In other words, they're pretty much throwing in the towel. Phone home is obviously, obviously a non-starter. But why not state the obvious, just for laughs.
    1. Users who don't have phone lines or Internet connections? (Yes, there are lots of them.)
    2. My Internet connection is down... Well, I can't surf the web, so I think I'll pop in a DVD, instead. ERROR - UNAUTHORIZED!
    3. Invasion of privacy - Please wait while your DVD player connects to Sony Headquarters to inform them that you're watching an illegal copy of Horse Humpers Volume 7.
    4. Warning stickers? WARNING: This device will stop working if an invalid disk is loaded. Yeah, that's good for sales.
    5. Headaches for retailers (dealing with returns/repairs of "self destructed" uints).
    Not to mention that people just won't like the idea. And it's untrue to say that it won't matter, because the general public won't know the difference, because the first people who are going to buy next-generation DVD players are the tech-savvy crowd. And they won't buy this garbage. It sounds to me like the battle is over... They've showed their hand, and they've got nothing.
  • by jspectre (102549) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @06:46PM (#13290096) Journal
    great.. so take a "bad" disc into your local eletronics shop and destroy ever demo player they have.. niiiiice. way to go sony!
  • Won't work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wayne606 (211893) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @06:53PM (#13290146)
    Say there's a new player technology that has to be connected to the internet at all times, and release a bunch of movies in that format. N people will care enough about the increased resolution to buy or rent them. Say you remove the internet restriction this making it easier and safer and more anonymous. M people will then go for it. M >> N. Will the difference make up for the reduction is losses via piracy? I don't think so.

    Besides, it's inevitable that somebody will find a way to send bogus self-destruct codes to every player connected to the internet. Instant worst nightmare for Sony. Unless there's some secret back door to automatically un-destruct them... Viola, no more protection!
  • by HermanAB (661181) on Wednesday August 10, 2005 @06:54PM (#13290160)
    I have at least 6 DVD players in the house, of which 3 are actually connected to TVs, but they haven't been used in years, except to play music CDs (or load computer software). DVD players are becoming irrelivant due to PVRs, cable and satellite services. The DVD copying paranoia will just hasten its demise.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday August 11, 2005 @08:24AM (#13293515) Journal
    There's one difference (okay, two) this time around.

    The minor difference is that the public is more in tune with DRM (thanks, Apple) and is more accepting of it. Remember how pop-ups/on screen advertising killed Prodigy, but are a mainstay of AOL other online services now?

    The major difference is that, when Divx was tried, there was a competing, non-invasive DRM included on DVDs. I say non-invasive primarily because copying and swapping of content, either physical or over the internet, was not practical. This time the competing formats are both DRM-hamstrung. Both are lousy - there's no "good" version to crush them into oblivion.

    That said, HD-DVD just might win out. Given the possibility of hardware failure on BR, regardless of the software lockout on HD-DVD, the hardware failure "stick" may be the deciding factor in a typical household purchase.

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