...even more industry news - Copy Protection

Jsnkc wrote on 7/16/2004, 8:31 AM
Japan, US Firms Team Up to Make Next-Gen DVDs Harder to Copy

Eight major consumer electronics, information technology and film companies from Japan and the United States have agreed to develop a standard copy protection technology for next-generation DVDs that will be tougher to circumvent.

The eight firms are Toshiba Corp, Sony Corp, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, Microsoft Corp, IBM Corp, Intel Corp, Walt Disney Co and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. They plan to start licensing the technology this year.

The technique will feature an encryption using a 128-bit key. More than three times longer than the encryption key used in current DVD copy protection technology, the new method is touted as virtually impossible for lone bootleggers to crack because it would take a personal computer 10,000 times 1 trillion years to decipher it.

The HD DVD format pushed by Toshiba and NEC Corp as well as the Blu-ray Disc format promoted by Sony and Matsushita are currently vying to become the next-generation DVD standard. Despite their differences, both parties have agreed to support the new copy protection technology.

Illegal copying of DVD software is a major problem for film and electrical machinery companies. One estimate even suggests that around 30% of the DVD software currently on the market consists of illegal copies.

Portions of the specifications for the current DVD format will have to be modified to accommodate the new copy protection technology.

From NEAsia Online


Jackie_Chan_Fan wrote on 7/16/2004, 8:35 AM
hehe... they keep trying.

Such a waste of money.
Spot|DSE wrote on 7/16/2004, 9:23 AM
You're right. It's such a waste to try to protect what is yours. earned from hard labor and creative intelligence. Let's all remove the locks on our doors, quit removing the keys from our cars when we go to the mall or grocery shopping. Let's remove our firewalls, quit carrying mace, stun guns, knives, and having police to protect us. It's all a waste. (tongue out of cheek now)
Hardware encryption, particularly when combined with individidual serial disc access, is effectively impossible to break because it's a constantly moving target. Each disc has its own serial number/access lock, with a challenge/response code. Coupled with a hardware decryptor in the hardware player, it's pretty solid. So far, experiements with this concept and pdf delivery for ebooks has not been broken in 3 years of trying, and that's without the hardware component.
I'd never go so far as to say it won't be broken, but it's going to be a MAJOR deterrent. With entertainment being the US's #1 export, this is a huge necessity because of the billions of $$ stolen each year by pirates in the US and abroad.
On another topic that's related:
RCA announced yesterday that they'll NOT be installing Clearplay decoding devices in their DVD players, causing ClearPlay to suffer a major blow. Exciting news for Hollywood, because it bolsters their efforts to keep people or businesses from altering the movie from the intended display, script, and information. The Director's Guild of America has so far prevailed in all suits regarding the editing of their films.
ClearPlay has a technology that seeks out specific scenes in movies, words such as curse words, nudity, etc, and removes it from the movie in real time, so that it bleeps out cursewords, skips or blurs nude scenes, etc. This would allow children to view movies like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Titanic" without seeing nudity or hearing curse words.
wcoxe1 wrote on 7/16/2004, 9:24 AM
Another announcement was that there WOULD be limited copying allowed. Interesting duality.
Hannibal_ wrote on 7/16/2004, 9:57 AM
I suppose this technology will be out of reach for small time production.
patreb wrote on 7/16/2004, 10:05 AM
"Let's all remove the locks on our doors, quit removing the keys from our cars when we go to the mall or grocery shopping. Let's remove our firewalls, quit carrying mace, stun guns, knives, and having police to protect us."

Aren't we a bit paranoid?
TheHappyFriar wrote on 7/16/2004, 10:17 AM
I don't lock my door & my car is only locked. Why? Because i feel safe where I live (i know almost everyone around me and when you lin in the middle of nowhere... :)

However, companies (and people) have a right to protect what's theirs.

Here's a question. Obiviously, these "next gen" DVD's will be used for computer applications (somewhere down the road... programs on DVD isn't even main stream yet). Part of what you're allowed to do with computer media (and music) is make "backup" copies. Will they still allow this (ie allow you to make a copy but can't make copeies of the copy?)
Spot|DSE wrote on 7/16/2004, 11:32 AM
I'll qualify my earlier comment by saying that where I live, my home is almost never locked, my vehicles almost always have the keys in them, and my barn and other outbuildings are not even lockable. Our offices are always locked at night for insurance purposes, but beyond that, I don't worry. But when I go to NYC, I keep my foot on the inside of my backpack's shoulder strap even when I set it down for a moment. If you don't know the area that you (or your media) is going, you have to be concerned it will be stolen or damaged. If you know your market/area, then you don't worry. I used to be stupid enough to not worry about my backpack in big cities. Until it was stolen from right next to me in San Francisco.
People steal when they can. That's a fact of life. If you don't see it, then you live with rose-colored glasses. People steal. I don't think everyone is dishonest, but I think when presented with easy opportunity, a vast number of people will take it.

Regarding the copying, there has been an agreement reached that will allow a single generation copy of media to be made. Beyond that, it won't open on anything. I feel that's fair, allowing people to make a copy of software, a movie, or a music CD, so that they have an archive copy. Why would you need more than one copy?
And no, you won't be able to copy the copy. At least not according to the agreement and spec that everyone recently signed off on.
dvdude wrote on 7/16/2004, 11:47 AM
>"Why would you need more than one copy?"

I take copies of my CD's to play in the car, If one gets ruined, I want to take another copy of the original to replace it.

My son scratches up CD ROMs (though he's getting much better at taking care of his stuff as time goes on) so I take a working copy and keep the original in a safe place.

I'm sure there are other circumstances where multiple copies would be considered fair practice.
Jsnkc wrote on 7/16/2004, 12:15 PM
>"Why would you need more than one copy?"

I agree with that, all the CD's I buy I never even play they just sit in a Rack. I always make copies for my car and another copy to have at work for a lot of the CD's I buy.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 7/16/2004, 4:41 PM
I want to do that with games but those darn encryption things won't let me. I've lost a couple (good) games because my son has "misplaced" the disk under a throwrug while I was at work and I didn't find it until 2 months later. :'(
farss wrote on 7/16/2004, 4:42 PM
Copy protection will never work, period!
In my teenage years (30 years ago) we circumvented it in the simplet way possible. Microphone in front of speaker to 1/4 tape.
The technology has improved, now we don't have to scream at Mum not to bang the pots in the kitchen while we pirate music. But the pricipal remians the same and I just cannot believe these guys don't get it. If it can be played so it's viewable / listenable then it can be copied.
You'd think a 35mm print of a movie would be pretty hard to pirate, right? Wrong, most of the DivX stuff on the web is either airgap recordings and the rest would seem not to be DVD rips, it's come straight from Hollywoods own telecine transfers.
So they make it impossible to copy the DVD, so all those who want a backup copy discover how easy it is to download one, totally counterproductive.
Much the same goes for the security of our goods, we turn our houses in fortresses, our cars are harder to steal. Except now they don't steal our cars when we're not in them do they. Now they don't come while we're out, we get robbed while we're at home at gunpoint.
And who is ultimately benfiting from this state of affairs, not us as a society, just the 'locksmiths'.
Sr_C wrote on 7/16/2004, 5:55 PM

I've never really understood why people feel entiled to "back-up" copies. I mean, I understand the reasons why they are wanted, but I don't get the entitlement mentality. If they let you make one copy, then that is being generous. After all, If I go buy a printer at the computer store, can I demand they give me 2, just in case I spill my pop on the main one? When you buy a DVD, you are buying that DVD, you are not buying the movie, you are buying that DVD which has the movie on it. If you break the DVD, then go buy another, just like you would if you break your keyboard or mouse or coffee pot or TV or shoes or cordless drill etc..etc..etc...

When you buy a book, do you photo copy each page and bind them up, just in case you drop the original in a mudpuddle?
Chienworks wrote on 7/16/2004, 6:14 PM
I think the difference is that with media it's much easier to inadvertantly ruin the contents past usability with relatively minor damage. I can bang my printer around a lot, spill water on it and dry it out, generally abuse the heck out of it, and with a little bit of repair it's ready to go again. These are also types of damage that are easy to avoid in most situations. However, with a CD/DVD or a floppy it's quite easy to do a little damage without even realizing it that makes the whole thing unusable. One bad bit on a software disc can make the entire thing worthless. CDs scratch or chip easily even with concientious handling. Floppies can inadvertantly slip under the monitor where they sit too close to the power supply without being noticed for a week and get partially erased, with no visible damage.

In the case of the book in a mudpuddle, generally the book is still readable. Even if a few words get blotted out one can still make sense of the story. It would take a lot of damage to make it unusable. This isn't true of magnetic and optical media, hence the desire to have safe backups available.
farss wrote on 7/16/2004, 6:29 PM
Your right except for one thing,
when I buy a printer I can damn well do what I please with, it's mine. Good business was made by businesses buying Epson printers and modifying them so they'd print onto CD/DVDs.
When you buy a CD/book/DVD you do NOT own IT, you own the right to view/listen/read the content. You may NOT repurpose it in anyway. There's a little bit of having it both ways here, because actually you haven't just bought the right to read/view/listen to it, you've only got the right to do that off the copy you bought. So the concept breaks down, you can invite as many people into your house to watch/listen to it and you can loan it to as many friends as you like as well. You just cannot make money out of doing that.
That said I don't have a problem buying another copy if I damage it. I want to live in a world where artists continue to create things to take us outside of the mundane world we inhabit. I don't want to have to work 100 hours a week just to pay for the gismos so I can enjoy their work, you can bet your bottom dollar all these fancy copy protection schemes are not going to be free, somehow we'll all end up paying for it and the benefits (if any) will not flow to the content creators.
Spot|DSE wrote on 7/16/2004, 6:40 PM
you can bet your bottom dollar all these fancy copy protection schemes are not going to be free, somehow we'll all end up paying for it and the benefits (if any) will not flow to the content creators.
It's always been that way....
You can insert any concept in there you want and the result is the same.
The airline collects an additional 18.00 per air ticket for "Homeland Security" while Uncle Sam collects taxes for same. Same goes for long distance trains, buses. No one benefits from the "security" except the people that work for the government as "security agents" or administrators. We're no less vulnerable than we were 4 years ago, but it sure makes SOMEBODY feel good...So, do we give up trying because it doesn't do a damn bit of good?
Heck, I don't know...thinking about it in that particular light discourages the hell outta me. Cuz I believe in copy protection, but I sure know for certain that Homeland security ain't worth pi**
farss wrote on 7/16/2004, 10:46 PM
I think the answers obvious. What changed me in my younger years was A Clockwork Orange. We can't make bad people into good people by stopping them from doing bad things. The solutions isn't copy protection or armed guards on every street corner or in our planes.
I doubt you do believe in copy protection, what you, like every moral person believes in is not stealing from your fellow man. You don't need The Ten Commandments to work that one out, it's innate in all of us. The problem is that a whole generation no longer sees it as taking food off the artists table, they see global record companies with far too much cash as the ones their stealing from and from that mindset it isn't too hard to justify ripping them off. Now I know that record companies today are far from rolling in dough but when they call in armies of high priced silks it's hard to convince the kids otherwise.
I agree with you about all the money wasted on 'security'. No we don't give up, we try to make the world a better place so sanity prevails, hiding in our fortresses sure isn't the answer, being out there so those who might want to do us harm see we're much the same as they are is what'll makes the difference. Our 'enemies' need to demonise use to justify their actions, when they see we don't have horns their rationale collapses.
To give you an example, I have a friend who drives taxis, he refuses to drive one with a drivers shield. He says they're too dangerous. His rationale is that so long as he can maintain physical contact no one can harm him. When he's just a thing in a bubble then they can detach themselves enogh from him to no longer see him as fellow human. Despite picking up fares from places no one else will even drive into so far no one has touched him.

Caruso wrote on 7/17/2004, 2:25 AM
I suppose I’m not unlike most of you in having interest supporting and opposing most of the positions espoused on this issue. Frankly, it galls me that my license to WinXP limits its use to a single machine. I’ve faithfully (for lack of a more accurate and less flattering adjective) purchased one or more of every flavor of Windows since the first version was offered – I do own several machines, and would like to have all of them running XP pro.

Fortunately, I still have my Win2000 – it’s almost as good.

OTOH, most of us know that MS does a pretty sloppy job of tracking activation – so that if you’re patient (and not a flagrant abuser), you can, indeed activate more than one copy of the software.

As for backing-up CD’s, in my experience, I’ve yet to see one of mine become unplayable – and I take them everywhere – out on the river, in the car, on my bike, you name it. I never make back-ups – but support that capability for those who do. Most of my ripping is not that, but restoration/transfer of vinyl to CD. I wonder if the new protection scheme will allow us to transfer from one format to another. Will I have to replace my car’s CD player with a CD/DVD player in order to listen to music offered only in DVD format?

I’d be pretty darned upset if my vinyl records included a scheme to preven my copying them to CD. As I see it, present DVD copy protection schemes would allow content suppliers to line their pockets by simply orchestrating the obscalescence of the present format or the machines used for playback. Presently, I can rescue my VHS copy of Hoosiers by transferring it to DVD (ok, I know I can purchase a legit DVD copy for $12 in any local Turkey Hill, but transferring is more fun!! Actually, I know about the $12 DVD because I did purchase it – it’s no clearer than my VHS copy, and is full of artifacts!!).

Now, what shall I do when I notice the DVD player starting down that same road as the VCR? No transfer is possible. I may not have purchased the movie – but I did purchase (I think) a license to view it privately – and that license did not (I don’t think) grant the licensee automatic right of termination.

Frankly, as much as copy protection schemes annoy me, I’m more frustrated that there isn’t a reasonable (and inexpensive) way for me to protect any of my own work. I recently shot a three cam production and spent the better part of a month using Vegas to put together a beautiful 1 1/2-hour VHS version of the thing for my client to distribute. I purposely chose to distribute via VHS to minimize the quality available to anyone choosing to illegally copy my work.

Why cannot some scheme be made available to us mere mortals so that we can protect our work like the powerhouses do?

Sorry to rant – interesting thread.

farss wrote on 7/17/2004, 5:37 AM
One thing that fascinates me having a passing interest in cryptography and I'd never thought of this before I read that speech given to uStuff.
The brains espousing this scheme claim hell will freeze over before anyone cracks this new encryption scheme. Well as i understand encryption that's only true if you keep the private keys secret. But under this scheme as applies to existing CSS the private keys have to exist in every device that can play the things. Now you might think it's mighty safe seeing as how it'll be embedded in silicon.
Well I'm not so certain about that. A few decades ago when Motorola came out with the 6800 micro they discovered the Russians were making an identical processor. Seems they hadn't reverse engineered it, they'd literally pulled one apart and copied it.
The issue I also don't get is these 'uncrackable' ciphers I thought were not supposed to be exported least those we don't trust use them to send nasty messages we cannot decode.
JJKizak wrote on 7/17/2004, 6:35 AM
The word is circulating around that Microsoft is not enforcing the "one copy per machine " of XP for home use.