AACS Is Like Every Other DRM: All It Does Is Annoy Customers

from the they'll-never-learn dept

The cornerstone of the AACS copy-protection technology used on next-generation DVDs is the ability to revoke keys on playback devices. This means that when AACS keys get cracked (as happened months ago), DVD makers start pressing discs with a new key -- and discs with that key not only won't work in playback devices until they're updated to recognize it, it renders those device unable to play back any Blu-ray or HD DVD discs at all. Sure, the system "works", but at the expense of potentially pissing off customers who have legitimately bought their DVDs. For the movie industry, though, that's a price they've long been willing to pay; the AACS scheme just further illustrates that DRM doesn't stop piracy, all it does is frustrate users.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo, Jul 9th, 2007 @ 10:09pm

    Lawsuit waiting to happen

    When the first machines go belly up with the AAS shutting down the unit the lawyers will line up.

     

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  2.  
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    Count Porkula, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 12:56am

    Umm...is this news???

    We've all heard these comments countless times before. By complaining on the internet and blaming the RIAA and MPAA, consumers are playing directly into the their hands. Stop blaming these trade groups and blame the music/movie studios such as Sony DIRECTLY. They're the ones who fund the RIAA/MPAA and in fact one of the reasons these groups were set up was to absorb blame so that the individual businesses don't have to. Place the blame where it belongs and speak with your wallet - don't buy ANY media from these companies as long as they keep putting out such inferior products. Rather than complaining on the web to others who already share your sentiment, explain this situation to your family, co-workers and friends so they follow suit.

     

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  3.  
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    Paul, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 1:37am

    NOT for me

    Yet another reason NOT to buy any of these devices/disks.

    It sounds to me as if the techies/executives have lost the plot They have got carried away with the technology and forgotten about the users.

    Blu-ray or HD DVD - I will sit and wait a year or so, along with a LOT of others. This mess is not worth wasting good money on.

     

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  4.  
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    Monarch, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 4:35am

    Sony

    I for one will not buy a Blu Ray DVD player, unless regular DVD is gone the way of the buggy whip and Blu Ray wins the war. I will not buy an HD-DVD player unless Blu Ray goes the way of the Beta Max player.

     

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  5.  
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    Wolfger, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 4:46am

    Voting with my wallet

    I will not buy HD-DVD or Blu-Ray until this nonsense stops.

    Pirates are cracking these keys as fast as they are issued, so it looks like the owners of these devices will be faced with near-constant "upgrades" just to be able to play new discs. Sounds like a system that *encourages* piracy to me...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 5:26am

    I'm gonna just stick with good ol' DVD. No need to go out and rebuy my whole damn collection of movies just to get a hi-def picture, I don't care how much better it looks.

     

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  7.  
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    Nasty Old Geezer, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 5:50am

    Sony burn in hell

    I do not forsee that I will EVER buy an HD DVD lpayer of any sort -- of course, the arms race between the *AA and member companies and the pirates will lead to a hack on the players them selves.

    Who cares about the key, if you player will show the movie regardless. It is only a mtter of time.

    I don't support criminals, whether they are pirating copyrighted material or running major corporations.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 5:57am

    Most Interesting

    The most interesting part of this story is

    "SlySoft, based in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, says its software is perfectly legal. "In Antigua we don't have any copyright act like your DMCA," says Tom Xiang, a SlySoft spokesman, referring to the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans DVD copying."

    Antigua is the country that has won a WTO judgement against the US for their cross-border gambling laws. A judgement the US is ignoring. It would be interesting to see what happens if the US goes to the WTO to complain about Slysoft like the did with allofmp3, I also wonder if thats even an option given they are ignoring a WTO ruling in favor of Antigua alread. http://www.antiguawto.com/

     

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  9.  
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    Just Me, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    Huh?

    So let me see if I have this right...in an effort to stop piracy they are coming out with technologies to intentionally STOP me from being able to watch legit movies?

    Hmmm...pay for a movie and risk that it might disable my player...or download a movie and watch it risk free..

    ...tough decision!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 6:14am

    I agree I will not buy one of these products until a standard is won. I remember when first gen DVD players were upward $600 and some wouldn't even play store bought discs. But now you can by dvd players that play everything even data / divx / xvid movies for $50 or less. My point being once this war is settled and more companies make the product it becomes more stable and cheaper then I may purchase one. I also would like to note has anyone noticed you see more commercials for released on dvd and blu-ray not so much for hd-dvd anymore. I'm starting to think that unfortunately blu-ray is winning out.

     

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  11.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jul 10th, 2007 @ 6:18am

    The Popular News Media

    Much of the media, such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and even a computer magazine (PC Magazine) have only reported (regurgitated press releases) from the perspective of the MPPA and the RIAA. See this absurd article by CNET claiming that DRM technologies are necessary to protect "ink". Consequently, most people don't realize that they are being screwed because they are not being informed. The fact that the Wall Street Journal has an article disclosing that consumers are getting screwed is a major accomplishment in itself.

    I hope that reporters will wean themselves of regurgitating biased press releases and become more involved (actually doing research) at disclosing how the consumer is getting screwed. Once the general public has a greater understanding of what is happening and adjusts their purchasing habits, we can hope that these unworkable protection schemes disappear.

     

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  12.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jul 10th, 2007 @ 7:53am

    DVD Menus

    ..and under risk of stating the obvious: am I the only one who already hates the experience of existing DVDs?

    I never bought DVD movies until I had kids (I was a legal renter). Now I have a couple dozen disks. Except I am constantly delayed by the setup process each time I try to play one for my kids.

    When I insert a disk, I would love it if within 10 seconds, the movie I paid $20 to buy showed up on the screen. Instead, I am faced with FBI warnings, other 'anti-piracy' messages, and then an endless slew of advertising for other movies or toys. Hey Hollywood: I paid $20 for this disk!! It's mine. Where is my payment from Hollywood for placing the advertising on MY disk? I say the studios are "stealing" my disk for their purposes.

    If they put their ads, messages, and trailers as a viewer's option in the menu, or at the end of the movie, then OK. But the fact that it is inserted by default prior to the movie is invasive. When a disk is inserted and play pressed, the movie should begin immediately. That's the implied contract when one purchases a movie on a disk.

    The galling thing is that the "menu" button doesn't work during much of this preamble, nothing can stop the FBI warning, and navigation is different for many disks. I just want the freakin' movie that I paid for! And if I stop the disk so we can have dinner, often I need to sit through the FBI warning again when we resume. Now, I admit, I'm not great at navigating these DVDs, but it seems there is a deliberate effort to trick my kids into seeing the schlock they put in the preamble.

    I feel like I'm a good customer, and I got screwed. The DVD box didn't say anything like "You must endure 10 minutes of crap before the movie starts, every time." So I feel like it was a snake oil sales ploy.

    I have yet to ever download a pirated movie off the Internet, but I've installed a PC next to my home entertainment center, and I'm thinking of giving it a try. If I can get Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with none of the warnings or drivel, I could actually play a movie for my kids instead of playing ads. Of course, I would start with movies that I have already bought rights to view...

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    I love HD and movies but, like most posters here, will hold off on purchasing an HD disk player. Unfortunately, I think most consumers are not that familiar with the technology (i.e. keys, encryption, cracking). For them, it is not that diferent than standard DVD players that can play HD disks. I'm even surprised how so many people do not know that any standard DVD can now be copied for a few cents (the cost of the disk).

     

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  14.  
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    Overcast, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 9:00am

    Screw that - once I buy it - it's mine.

    I understand restrictions on being able to re-sell copies of the media, that's fair enough. But if I can't make copies of the stuff I buy, when the technology exists to do so - why should I buy it?

    I'm not into this 'licensing' BS. If you want to SELL a product, then do so. I'm not going to go put down money to 'license' a DVD or CD. If that's the case, I'll just keep paying my cable bill - no sense in bothering otherwise.

    I'm sure firmware updates will come out to 'correct' this - but I'm not going to bother.

    The POINT of Movies and Music is to relax and be entertained. I'm not going to 'work' to figure out what I can and cannot do. I'll simply find something else to do, like go to the park or something.

    The very last thing I want to deal with is working with tech support to figure out why their device won't let me watch movies when I've done nothing wrong - you know it will happen and it's a good way to screw up the few off-days I have.

    The more I get away from the tube and find other stuff to do, the more I find I want to be away from it.

     

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  15.  
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    Jon, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 9:03am

    Re: DVD Menus

    If I was in your shoes, I'd probably copy the DVD to a DVD-R using a program that can remove the crap from the DVD. Of course, that's more hassle than you should have to go through, but it'll be quicker than torrenting a movie.

    I wouldn't blame you for selling the original to a used DVD store after that, too.

     

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  16.  
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    John Canada, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    DVD Menus by Derek Kerton

    Derek,

    Sounds like grounds for a Class Action Suit.

    Bill them back for the time wasted watching the "intros" to the movies YOU OWN.

     

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  17.  
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    The infamous Joe, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 11:42am

    Trademark move.

    This is what the **AA do, people: Make life harder and restrictive for the 'honest' customer while making no real progress against the 'pirate'.

    Anyone that would copy a DvD *knows* re-distributing it is illegal-- the FBI warning is equally as useless-- and the commercials in the beginning are just there to add insult to injury.. you paid $20 for something arguably worth less than $1 and now you have to sit through them trying to force more of it down your throat.

    A better question of selling a license is: If your physical copy is destroyed or damaged, can you then legally download the movie? Your license wasn't scratched by your two year old using it as a frisbee, afterall-- it stands to reason that you still have rights to one copy, right? IANAL, so what do I know? :)

     

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  18.  
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    anonymous coward, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 1:00pm

    I wonder how many people in this discussion that stated they would never buy a Blu-ray or HD DVD because of the AAC copy protection own an iPod?

     

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  19.  
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    Dave, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 2:32pm

    I think you're confusing AAC with AACS. They're two different animals.

     

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  20.  
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    Charles Griswold, Jul 10th, 2007 @ 3:24pm

    Respect for rights

    I respect the rights of the major entertainment media companies every bit as much as they respect mine. In other words, not at all. If they want to disrespect me by treating me like a criminal and violating my fair use rights, fine, but they shouldn't be surprised when I ignore their copyrights and violate their DRM.

     

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  21.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Jul 11th, 2007 @ 7:37am

    Re: DVD Menus

    You are not the only one frustrated by the FBI/anti-piracy warnings, advertising and trailers. Name me another industry that thanks you for purchasing their product by throwing up a FBI warning screen?

    There are options. There are several DVD copy programs that will make a copy of just the movie. I have made copies of all my kids DVDs with all the useless material removed. I don't have to worry about the kids wrecking the original and the movie plays right away.

     

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  22.  
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    Dave, Jul 11th, 2007 @ 4:50pm

    AACS Has disabled my pc player

    I have had a dead Hd-dvd player since I tried to play a HD-dvd last saturday, I got an error message (format not supported) and after that a known good hd-dvd title would not play either, now a third Hd-dvd from netflix will not play with the same error message, THe pc made by HP has a cyberlink Hd-dvd player software, I went to their website and downloaded their patch and firmware update, their patch made matters worse, now with their patch installed I can even play regular dvd.
    HP tech support in the form of live chat suggested that I Uninstall the Hardware drivers in the toshiba SD=H802a hd-dvd rom drive and then reinstall along with the new firmware, DID NOT HELP, MY pc player has been ZAPPED by AACS key revocation I believe,

    ANYONE had a similar experience?

    Thank you

     

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  23.  
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    Darcy, Jul 27th, 2007 @ 12:51am

    Re: AACS Has disabled my pc player

    I have the exact same problem. Hp media center 8040n using the HP HD DVD software... I watched 3 movies with no problem. the fourth woudln't load. Now the 3 movies that did work dont. I get "format not supported" everytime. Ive tried re-installing drivers and software.. any one have a fix ?

     

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  24.  
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    Dan, Oct 10th, 2007 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: AACS Has disabled my pc player

    Nope no fix as of yet and I have the exact same HP media center pc as you the m8040n.
    I've seen about 3 or 4 HD DVD's on it and it looked fantastic. Then I went to play The Host (first HD Dvd disc I bought) and I got the format not supported error.
    At first I thought it was the disc cause I've heard of freezing problems with this movie but, I have just found out about the AACS key revoking.
    This is bullshit I'm still paying my pc off and I cant watch any HD Dvd's.
    On the other hand my PS3 plays Blu-Ray fine
    They Better fix this shit soon

     

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  25.  
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    Norm, Nov 18th, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    Now I'll definitely not buy Blu-Ray

    I was not aware of this situation and the only way I could see this as legal is if I was leasing my Blu-Ray player instead of purchasing it.

    In no way does this seem moral or ethical.

     

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