Now Blu-ray's DRM Gets Cracked, Too

from the futility dept

Right before the New Year, a hacker reported that he'd cracked the DRM used on HD DVD, illustrating the futility of devoting resources to develop copy-protection schemes. Now, the same hacker says he's cracked the DRM on Blu-ray discs using the same method. As with the HD DVD discs, there's supposed to be a dynamic element to the Blu-ray DRM that allows for decryption keys to be updated to react to cracks, and it also uses Self-Protecting Digital Content technology, which can effectively render "bad" playback devices useless as well as change playback methods if one's found to be weak or flawed. That sounds awfully complex and expensive to develop and implement, with the payback of doing little more than causing compatibility problems for legitimate customers. All this will do is create a cat-and-mouse game between hackers and the companies supporting the DRM for content owners, and our money's on the hackers in the long run. This is yet another example of how content companies are misallocating their resources: instead of spending time and effort working on new business models and forgetting about pointless, useless, DRM, they'd rather continue to spend money pursuing ways to frustrate their customers and maintain a business model that's ill-suited for the modern market.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Compwiz, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 5:27pm

    yes i know that was dumb

    DRM SUCKS

     

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  2.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 5:28pm

    Futility

    We are fast approaching the knee of the super-exponential curve of Kurtzweils convergence hypothesis. Within two decades we will have sugar-cubed size devices that can store every movie ever made. I believe this is a concept that is so beyond the minds of most technologists in its implications that they deal with it like global warming, or the physical magnitudes of space - a little piece of their brain shuts down and goes into denial. It's such a transition that it amounts to a paradigm shift. Although it will be hard to say when "before" and "after" actually happen, "after" will be a completely different place with regard to everything we discuss here about control and access.

    If I were the chief strategic technology Tsar of MegaMedia conglomorates I would throw in the towel right now on trying to protect digital rights and copy protection on tangible content media. I would shift every resource away from dealing with the physical technology of transcoding and put all my money onto stream protection vis preventing anything from being able to actually store "protected" data, a la broadcast flag.

    As lost causes go, that would be the only sensible strategy. But for mathematical reasons (which I wont bother to share here) that is also doomed. At most it could buy another 5-10 years operation for a protectionist model.

    Right now we already have people working overtime to plug the gaps in an effectively obsolete technology, who's utility will be to protect effectively obsolete content. It's not just misguided, it's suicidal. Just you watch what happens to Microsoft in the next 18 months, trust me, "the longest suicide not in history" is an understatement. DRM will always be known as the three letters that brought down the giant, it will mean what Watergate meant to Nixon, what Poll Tax meant to the Tory party and what Russia meant to Napolean.

     

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  3.  
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    Buzz, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 5:46pm

    Interesting

    I want to meet these DRM implementers. Do they truly believe that their brains are so superior to the rest of the world's to the point where they can create a protection that no one will ever overcome? Odds are that today's hackers are probably far more sophisticated than these DRM folks will ever be. Like Carlo said, the DRM components do nothing more than generate "compatibility problems for legitimate customers".

     

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  4.  
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    smokebreak, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 5:48pm

    Kudos :)

    Not sure about your sugarcube theory, but the point is valid. That was probably the best intepretation of the DRM war I have ever read. Im serious, with all the hackers out there breaking protections, The industry has NO chance at all. I respect your ideas on the subject, and belive that the industry could use them as a foundation for innovating new technology, not stifling current tech.

     

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  5.  
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    Anthony, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 5:51pm

    DRM

    Dimwits, retards, morons!!! well that is what the recording industry thinks of us. we are all a bunch of crooks. DRM is dead only because it makes no sence. TV is starting to figure it out that is why they are finally offereing some of their best shows on the internet now. NBC learned the hard way with you tube and SNL. They tried to get the stuff pulled for SNL off youtube and they finally realized people started to watch the show again. Then they opened it up started showing hte programs freely.

    DRM only keeps the neophites from copying. if you have a determined person whose intent on illegally copying things... they will.

    DRM is the industries way of thinking they have control over things they truely have not even had a glimmer of hope of keeping up with.

    when they figure out drm just costs them more money than they save maybe they will put the money into quality content which will always sell better than bad.

     

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  6.  
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    @Buzz, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 5:52pm

    A Theroy

    DRM Pervayors must be French and/or German.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 6:07pm

    Hey misanthropic humanist....All you did was talk circles about a bunch of theoretical and unprovable hooplah. Next time...try making a point.

     

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  8.  
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    ScytheNoire, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 6:09pm

    customers are the enemy

    that's the insane part, DRM only hurts the legit consumer, not the pirates and hackers, since they find a way to remove the DRM to make the media work properly, while legit consumers are left frustrated and spiteful at a non-working product they paid for.

    the music, movie, and other industries are just too stupid to see that better content with a better distribution model is the way to go. they are fighting a battle against their own customers. they have made themselves a public enemy.

    as for Microsoft, it will be real easy for them to remove DRM restrictions from their products. if they are smart, they will end up doing that, or face the wrath of the consumer. Linux is going to keep getting better and better, and Microsoft is in real trouble once Linux gets something akin to DirectX that will allow top-end gaming on their platform. gaming is the only thing keeping Microsoft alive.

     

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  9.  
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    Anthony, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 6:26pm

    Re: customers are the enemy

    but linux is still 10 years away from being a platform that can work as a competition to microsoft. it wont' be adopted in the boardrooms and does not have an oem component. the other problem is a matter of the users. they are simply not educated in the realm of open source. while techs and hackers may love to play with it. it can be a royal pain in the butt as well. i simply can't hand a disk to a client and say sure... you will not have any problems installing this. NO chance that is going to happen for a while.

    i like open source but many times it falls short of paid developement. but many times it surpasses it. it is simply not what i would recomend mom and dad rush out and installl as they are not that simple to run and gui's are still not running out of the box on any but ubuntu. so they have quite a few years before they can be viable.

     

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  10.  
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    Erv Server, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 6:51pm

    no need to worry about DRM, get all the music you want from satellite radio

     

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  11.  
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    Blue Velvet, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 6:59pm

    Protecting Hollywood Content..........

    with DRM is the equivalent of locking up a potful of sh*t.

    Considering the level of crap coming from the brainless twits on the Left Coast, who really cares if it can't be copied? Are there still people buying this crap?

     

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  12.  
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    craig, Jan 22nd, 2007 @ 9:11pm

    A 13 year old kid can distribute hundreds of thousands of copies of a work with a couple of mouse clicks on a $250 home appliance at virtually no cost. It has been this way already for years, and there are millions of such 13 year olds.

    It has been clear to me for years now that as this will only increase - storage devices becoming smaller, cost going down, users entering the billions, the dream of an information-based economy is a house of cards.

    It sounded good to me 15 years ago. Several years ago I saw that our choice to move in that direction will eventually be our downfall.

    Our downfall if it fails, because we'll have no manufacturing base and our economy will collapse. That's the good scenario.

    Worse is if it succeeds. Because to continue to be able to charge for information when unlimited information reproduction and transmission is essentially free to billions will require extremely tight global controls on technology advances and transfer, along with global ability to detect and punish the illegal kind of mouse click if 100,000 or 15 or 1 of the world's 13 year olds clicks it.

    Intellectual Property Law as the seed of global totalitarianism. Imagine that.

     

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  13.  
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    drjones, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: customers are the enemy

    I agree with misanthropic humanist.

    Each day, the battle to "protect" content is only going to get harder for the producers, not easier. No matter what technologies they come up with, I think its been proved time and time again.

    Anthony:

    "but linux is still 10 years away from being a platform that can work as a competition to microsoft. it wont' be adopted in the boardrooms and does not have an oem component. the other problem is a matter of the users. they are simply not educated in the realm of open source. while techs and hackers may love to play with it. it can be a royal pain in the butt as well. i simply can't hand a disk to a client and say sure... you will not have any problems installing this. NO chance that is going to happen for a while."

    I would argue the Windows installation is more difficult and less friendly than a fedora install. Either way, to do it right your going to need instructions for either one.

    i like open source but many times it falls short of paid developement. but many times it surpasses it. it is simply not what i would recomend mom and dad rush out and installl as they are not that simple to run and gui's are still not running out of the box on any but ubuntu..."

    GUI's run out of the box on most linux distros.. just as long as the hardware is supported. Even if thats not the case, GUI's are usually running out of the box, just with generic drivers, with poorer performace... kinda like Windows. Its just a matter of grabbing the correct drivers for your video card from the manufacturer (both ATI and Nvidia provide them), and most Intel chips work out of the box.

     

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  14.  
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    Wizard Prang, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 6:40am

    As opposed to...

    ...the point you made, perhaps?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 9:01am

    DRM is alot like an arms race...

    It strikes me that DRM is alot like an arms race. The difference here is that once side is paying an awful lot to develop their weapons and the other is comprised entirely of volunteers. What makes it even easier for the crackers is that they have a physical copy of the opponants weapons to work with, so they do not have to "create" anything - just reverse engineer what is already there.
    DRM can not hope to win against a volunteer force with no overhead but that doesn't mean they are loosing either.
    What they effectively have is an added cost of business to prevent their "supply lines" from being rerouted. As long as the values of supplies received outweighs the added cost of DRM development, they will continue to develop new DRM.
    At present, this is a war of attrition at best and like any other war, it will not end until someone figures out a way to appease both sides.

     

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  16.  
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    Einar Gudmundsson, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 10:25am

    What is teh alternative

    For all the complaints regarding DRM there is very little discuission of alternatives. I agree that DRM is annoying, but there has to be a system in place that ensures that content producers can make money. That is the only way that content will still be made. No artist can live on bread and water for too long.

     

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  17.  
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    CP, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 11:55am

    DRM? Or a bad CD?

    I bought the Imogen Heap CD to listen to in my rental car over the holidays. It played fine. When I got back to LA it wouldn't play in my car CD player and I couldn't upload it to my iMac. I was able to download the entire album from Limewire plus a lot of remixes. Then I burnt a CD for my car, which plays fine. I went to the SonyBMG site and tried to send them an email to tell them about this situation but their "contact us" link hasn't been working in days. Kinda funny, no?

     

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  18.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 12:32pm

    Re: What is teh alternative

    For all the complaints regarding DRM there is very little discuission of alternatives. I agree that DRM is annoying, but there has to be a system in place that ensures that content producers can make money. That is the only way that content will still be made. No artist can live on bread and water for too long.

    how's this for an alternative:

    let the industry go bankrupt. fire everyone and pray that they starve.

    once the money is gone, all of the money grubbing purveyors of mediocrity will move on to other industries and make room for serious artists who make stuff not because they want to, but because they HAVE to.

    in the last 30 years, the american people have gotten entertainment and investment banking ass backwards. if you want to be rich, go to business school and work on wall street.

     

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  19.  
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    gaurav, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 4:29pm

    drm and copyright protection

    we are assuming that the goal of DRM and copyright protection is to PREVENT illegal copying of documents. However, the primary purpose of these techniques is to DISSUADE ot DISCOURAGE illegal copying by putting in a watermark containing company info and a fingerprint containing the original buyer's info. If I, Mr. A, am the original buyer and copy it illegally then my fingerprint will be distributed alongwith the media file. Thus the law enforcers can crack down on the source of this illegitimate distribution

     

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  20.  
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    BrightStar, May 11th, 2007 @ 2:51am

    Lower Your Greed

    @ gaurav , u posted "... fingerprint will be distributed ... law enforcers can crack down on the source of this illegitimate distribution".

    to do that each copy of any media file needs to be sold with different fingerprint , cd/dvd pressing technology needs to be improved further and more money needed to be spent into that, not only in DRM , if fingerprint is always at same location , it will be identified and removed by cr/hackers , but if its placed in different location in each cd/dvd/media file , then piraters can starts making movies/audio files into smaller parts like each 10 minutes of vdo or each 15 seconds of ado , for example , like vdo_1of3, vdo_2of3, vdo_3of3 or ado_1of4, ado_2of4, etc , and then downloaders can simply download those 3 or 4 files , from different uploaders , and can re-join for full file , even if finger-printed parts were somehow blocked , thats how "misanthropic humanist"'s wish will be busted .

    if a tool was made and SUPPORTED by cr/hackers based on server-less P2P technology and starts to remove / modify the DRM / TC stuff from Vista or other Windows, MAC OS, and if it starts to "UPDATE" itself when its user wants it to , then those restrictions will not be that much effective .

    if there is some type of "restriction" ( that is encryption / encoding ) , it will be removed when media or other files are shared or tools/software is made available to remove those restrictions .... THATS HOW ITS ALWAYS IS . why some of us still try violently and unethically to implement these type of restrictions , is not understanding somestuff or lack of understanding , or lack of acknowledgment of power of community of WORLD .

    PRICE NEEDS TO BE LOWERED , to a point where , its better to buy than download , again i want to remind, USA is not the only country in the whole WORLD . Stop thinking and do foolish stuff based on that . Come out of your BOX . Try at least once to respect and hear what the people from outside of the BOX is saying .

    DRM / TC stuff can be even used to track, what version or copy of MS office a user have used, to write a document, or track his email, etc , if any special word or special patterns of words or sentences were used ( like criticism to some country leader ) . To me its appears as a another tool to spy-on people, and here, SPYING ON THE WHOLE WORLD , so basically it is a digital SPY . kind of like military tool as it shows the nature of military tools , which have no respect for human life, values, etc but specializes in how to kill and destroy .

    though EU did slap MS again for this type of unethical, illegal type of business products , but the main show still remains to be seen .

    ~BrightStar

     

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