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Movies Media Encryption Security

BD+ Resealed Once Again 460

IamTheRealMike writes "It's been a few months since we last checked in on how the Blu-Ray group was doing in their fight against piracy. In December 2008, a new generation of BD+ programs had stopped both SlySoft AnyDVD HD and the open source effort at Doom9. At the start of January, SlySoft released an update that could handle the new BD+ programs, meaning that Blu-Ray discs could not be decrypted for a period of time about the same length as SlySoft's worst case scenario. The BD+ retaliation was swift, but largely ineffective, consisting of a unique program for every Blu-Ray master. Users had to upload log files to SlySoft for every new movie/region. They would then support that unique variant in their next update, usually released a few days later. Despite that, the open source effort never did manage to progress beyond the Winter 2008 programs and is currently stalled completely; SlySoft is the only group remaining. This situation remained for several months, but starting around the same time as Paramount joined Fox in licensing BD+, a new set of programs came out which have once again made Blu-Ray discs unrippable. There are currently 19 movies that cannot be decrypted. It appears neither side is able to decisively gain the upper hand, but one thing seems clear — only full-time, for-profit professionals are able to consistently beat BD+."
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BD+ Resealed Once Again

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  • For now (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lockblade ( 1367083 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @09:35AM (#28541435)

    but one thing seems clear â" only full-time, for-profit professionals are able to consistently beat BD+.

    At the moment.

    I highly doubt that there's not a backdoor key in the encryption, no matter how much they try to block people from copying/backing up/ripping. Mainly because if someone buys a $300 player that can't play any current movies and has no internet connection, a law suit is just around the corner.

  • Blu-ray? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Fnord666 ( 889225 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @09:43AM (#28541533) Journal
    Is blu-ray still around? I thought it had gone the way that all the proprietary Sony formats had gone before. That is, it had faded into obscurity from disinterest. Let me know when players are less than $100 and discs are under $15. Meanwhile I will continue to use my HD-DVD player, which was purchased for $50 and for which I bought season one of Heroes yesterday for $9.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:05AM (#28541767)
    Sadly, if you want HD content (and not that overcompressed downloaded crap), blu-ray is the only choice now. It's a shame too. I have an HD-DVD player which loads discs and performs MUCH faster than any blu-ray player I've ever had. And the HD-DVD format had a lot cheaper prices for discs, more lax region coding, didn't make unskippable opening trailers a seeming prerequsite for the format (seriously, every single blu-ray I buy seems to have these annoying things), and was generally WAY more consumer friendly. Blu-ray seems more geared to the studios; their trailers, their encryption, etc.; than to the person actually BUYING the disc. It's like the studios invented blu-ray just to piss people off and turn them off to the whole idea of a HD video format.
  • Re:Dear Sony (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ( 1563557 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:06AM (#28541777)

    All I know is, the first time I pop a blu-ray disc into my $300 player and it refuses to play because of one of your new little one-upmanship encryption schemes, I'm going to be plenty pissed.

    Amen brother. I recently bought a $1200 HP Pavillion with blu-ray player and gf9600, 4gb ram yadda yadda. What interested me the most was 500gb HDD, blu-ray player, and hdmi out...

    I was pissed off the very first time I played a blu-ray. You see, HDCP shut me down before I even got to the blu-ray menu. I am still very pissed off because nowhere on the box, or in the press kit; was a notification saying that although this computer has a blu-ray player AND HDMI out, that you will not be able to play a single blu-ray disc through that port. The best I get is upscaled DVDs, which I'm not surprised they haven't put BD+ on dvd's now to prevent me from doing even this.

    I tried to purchase AnyDVD-HD but my Visa is declined for "109 Euros too high, authorization declined" which my bank has no idea what that means. I refuse to buy a PS3 for many reasons and I refuse to pay out another $200+ for a standalone player. I feel a bit duped by the movie studios into buying a blu-ray player that is only good on the small 17" screen built into my laptop, which does not handle 1080p :(

  • give it some time... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rob13572468 ( 788682 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:06AM (#28541783)
    The arms race with BD+ mirrors exactly what happened with sattv hacking 10 years ago. The encryption starts out simple and uses a minimal implementation of the BD spec. Once that is compromised the ip holders inevitably move to the more complex implementation of the spec. Currently this involves uploading a code package with each new release that performs the decryption, blacklist checking, and ultimately a system integrity check (the latter makes sure that BD+ API has not been patched to allow unconditional decryption which is the method slysoft uses). With every release, the IP holder looks at how the system has been hacked and writes a specific code package to detect those changes. The end result of this game is that the system will become totally compromised as hackers will simply rebuild the entire BD+ VM and API in emulation and allow for patching outside of the VM implementation (e.g. the system will respond as a valid unhacked system to any checks via VM code packages but will still perform unconditional decryption) Once that happens its over for BD+ as the only possible countermeasure is to attack flaws in the emulator implementation and those are easily fixed. Give it a year or so...
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:11AM (#28541831) Journal

    It's like the studios invented blu-ray just to piss people off and turn them off to the whole idea of a HD video format.

    If so it worked for me! I grew up with crappy VHS tapes that lost tracking, had snow, and generally had poor picture quality. DVD is heaven to me. Why the hell would I pay $1000+ for a HD tv and $300+ for a blu ray player so I can put up with unbreakable encryption, crappy region coding, overpriced discs, unskipable ads and propaganda. For what? A bit more detail in the picture? There truly isn't another advantage to the format that even interests me. They can keep it.

  • by bhtooefr ( 649901 ) <bhtooefr@bhtooefr. o r g> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:12AM (#28541845) Homepage Journal

    If you don't mind buying your players and discs from China, there's always CBHD...

  • by scharkalvin ( 72228 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:20AM (#28541947) Homepage

    Does anybody reading this own an early BD player that no longer will work
    due to changes in BD+? Has anybody reading this had to get their BD
    player firmware updated to play existing or new discs as a result of
    changes in BD+ (firmware updates to get new features such as BD live
    don't count)? I know that the design of BD+ makes this possible, but
    has it actually happened?

  • by bhtooefr ( 649901 ) <bhtooefr@bhtooefr. o r g> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @10:23AM (#28541989) Homepage Journal

    LVDS isn't encrypted at all, and it's usually how the bare LCD panel is driven - there's usually two (or more, but usually two for logic) PCBs in an LCD display of some kind. One takes inputs (VGA, DVI, HDMI, etc., etc.,) and outputs LVDS. The other takes LVDS and controls the individual pixels.

    Not to mention, the LVDS protocols used by LCDs are simpler than TMDS, IIRC - it'd actually be easier to get the content from LVDS instead of DVI/HDMI.

    Of course, DisplayPort is pushing for an internal DisplayPort standard, which would give HDCP straight to the controller driving the pixels directly.

  • It's important to remember that a lot of people aren't yet focused on bluray.

    DVD Jon and Co. cracked CSS in 1999, long before DVD hit its stride. The reality is that CSS was vastly easier to circumvent, virtually trivial, compared to the protections on HD media. AES encryption is not something that can be broken in a few minutes by a cracking program. We're talking about a fundamentally difficult encryption method.

    The main issue here is that the content industry has built Blu-Ray distribution around devices which do not trust their owners. This is the first concrete deployment of "trusted computing" type system, and the reality is that it is working. Despite the best efforts of hackers everywhere, Blu-Ray has not been cracked and most likely never will be.

    The content industry has won this round, and will continue to win with ever more secure encryption and a legion of untrusting, internet connected players in peoples living rooms. The genie is back in the bottle. Once DVD dies, or is executed, the age of high quality movie rips will be behind us.

  • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:16AM (#28542759)
    BD+ can hash arbitrary sections of player memory. This is a key problem for anybody wanting to build an "emulation" - you have no choice but to ship a complete firmware image with your alternative implementation. At that point you're committing good old fashioned copyright violation, not a DMCA violation. No problem for the pirates, but it is a problem for the company that actually develops and maintains the solution. It's also a problem for open source distributors.
  • Re:Dear Sony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by svallarian ( 43156 ) <svallarian&hotmail,com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:19AM (#28542795)

    Funny that, I've got a new *laptop* that can't play BluRay on the --built-in-- screen. I fire the movie demo disc (from 2005) into my new acer (now running windows 7) and it says "cannot play, unauthorized screen".

  • by hobbes0327 ( 1084673 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:27AM (#28542919) Homepage
    Might not be the FiOS but the DVR. I have FiOS and rarely see any blocky artifacts, but then I started seeing frequent blocky artifacts, then video stuttering, and finally had one tuner in my DVR fail completely. Verizon replaced the DVR and no more problems.
  • by bobcat7677 ( 561727 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:31AM (#28542973) Homepage
    Agreed. There is that "certain something" missing from Blu-Ray that would make it the next big thing. I was shocked when my wife (who is not terribly tech savvy) flatly stated that there was little point in us buying a Blu-Ray player because we should wait for the "next thing after Blu-Ray". And added that "Blu-Ray feels like laser-disk". I was about to argue that there isn't anything after Blu-Ray but then quickly realized that at the time I bought my ill fated lazer disk player back in the day, DVDs were not out there yet either:) So I took it as simply one of those woman intuition things that I would be wise to heed and decided to leave the Blu-Rays on the shelf.
  • by xorsyst ( 1279232 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @12:05PM (#28543659) Journal

    I cannot believe you do not appreciate the quality difference between a DVD and a Blu-Ray. That is as bizarre to me as people, and there are many of them, that say they cannot tell the difference between a CD and a 192 kbps MP3. I think those people have hearing problems. The loss of quality is like nails on a chalkboard.

    Hell, I can't tell the difference between a CD and a 128 kbps MP3, except maybe if I really, really concentrate. I can't really notice the difference between DVD and VHS either. I guess I'm just thinking about the content, not the quality.

  • by Draek ( 916851 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @12:23PM (#28544019)

    I feel like there is a huge groupthink happening here. Do we all really dislike Blu-Ray? Is there no one else that finds the quality unbeatable and worth the price?

    Not really.

    I cannot believe you do not appreciate the quality difference between a DVD and a Blu-Ray. That is as bizarre to me as people, and there are many of them, that say they cannot tell the difference between a CD and a 192 kbps MP3. I think those people have hearing problems. The loss of quality is like nails on a chalkboard.

    Yeah, except here the 'loss' of quality simply comes from having less pixels, not from compression artifacts which are what produce the "nails on a chalkboard" effect. It is simply less bothersome for most people.

    In both cases, the difference is striking and the higher quality product is significantly better. I love my Blu-Ray films and I love losslessly compressed audio (FLAC anyone?).

    And there's where we disagree. You see, DVDs look good, Blu-Rays look great, but the majority of my opinion of the end product is determined by the content itself. Transformers is shit on DVDs, shit on Blu-Ray, and shit on the cinema screen, it is *not* 'significantly better'. And Mozart's Requiem is awesome on 192k MP3s, and only marginally more awesome on lossless FLACs, the MP3s may have some compression artifacts but the *music* itself is still the same. Furthermore, all I pay for FLACs over MP3s is the fraction-of-a-dollar increase in storage space, not so with Blu-Ray.

    More importantly, is it TOO expensive?
    I answer firmly, "No. The quality justifies the price."

    And I answer firmly: FUCK YEAH! Blu-Ray players are 5x the price of a DVD player with similar features, movies are at least twice as much as regular DVDs, and all for what? higher resolution. DVDs had multiple audio tracks and user-selectable subtitles in many different languages, plus "behind the scenes" features and complementary material compared to VHS, but all Blu-Ray offers me is just same old crap in high definition. Gee, no wonder I'm in no rush to buy one of those things.

  • by Cross-Threaded ( 893172 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @12:51PM (#28544635)

    If the kids want to watch a blu-ray movie, the parents get relegated to the small screen in the kitchen...

    That sure wasn't the way things worked in my family growing up.

    We kids only got control of the main boob-tube when our parents didn't have anything they would prefer to watch.

    There was no argument allowed, and our parents certainly wouldn't go for being relegated to anything, unless they wished to be.

    Sure, we could lobby, but only until the lobbying became tiresome, or annoying.

    If we pushed the lobbying bit too hard, we would be made to sit through some (boring at the time, now, quite interesting) public broadcasting show, like Nature, and were not given the option to go watch something else on the little television.

    My late father's most frequent turn of phrase in situations like this was, "Sit down and pay attention, you might learn something!"

    A lot of truth to that.

  • by cens0r ( 655208 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @02:16PM (#28546353) Homepage

    This, on the other hand, I seriously doubt. Even if all the holographic storage doesn't pan out, something will be the next big thing. Unless 'always' is defined as 'for the next ten years or so'.

    I'm not sure why this would be though. Blu-Ray already has enough space to fit the movies in quality that is good enough. A newer media format really only would improve the amount of stuff you can hold. But the amount of stuff that makes up a movie isn't likely to increase, so why do we need more space? Sure it would be really cool to buy a holographic disc that contains all the Stanley Kubrick films (just to use an example), but the cost of that kind of collection is going to be to great (Hundreds of dollars for one disc). Unless the studios drastically reduce the prices they're willing to sell copies of video for, I think we're going to be stuck with the one movie per disc paradigm for most cases (TV series being the exception). And since Blu-Ray has more than enough space for the movie on the disc, why upgrade? Upgrading for space would only be useful for box sets and TV series. And if the upgraded media has a higher manufacturing price and/or licensing costs, you're spending the money to upgrade everything just because you want to put the whole season of a TV show on one disc.

    I think it would be at least 10 years before we can manufacture anything cheap enough, portable enough, and with high enough data transfer rates and capacity to really rival blu-ray. Some sort of solid state storage or holographic media would be the contenders. But at that point, if the people buying physical media are a small enough niche (as I expect them to be), is there really a point in trying to introduce a new physical format?

    I think the fact that retail physical music is still delivered on CD is a good justification for my argument. People are becoming much more willing to forgo physical media and only purchase downloads, but there is no drive that I've seen to replace CD's with anything. They are large enough to hold enough music in good enough quality and are cheap to produce; and the players are ubiquitous. There was a drive to replace them with DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD, but since the quality of CD is good enough (and blu-ray is more than good enough) they didn't take off. And I'd wager that as long as there are people that are willing to buy a physical copy of music, CD will be the provider of it.

    The only way I see blu-ray not being the physical format I buy for the rest of my life time is if it simply fails to become adopted wide spread enough. Then off course we'll probably be stuck with DVD.

  • by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @03:03PM (#28547215) Homepage

    So we'll do the same thing everyone does with emulators for newer gaming consoles: ship the legal emulator code and let the user torrent a pack of bios images (of course the person who posts the illegal bios images will include the emulator, too, with all the files in place and ready to go)

Lavish spending can be disastrous. Don't buy any lavishes for a while.