Newfangled DVD Copy Protection Apparently Cracked; Now The Real Fun Starts
from the pointless dept
Next-gen DVD players are already something of a joke. Despite their ability to play HD content, industry infighting over two competing standards has stymied their introduction, and their high prices don’t help, either. But HD isn’t the only new feature these players enable — they’ve got a fantastic new DRM scheme, called AACS, too. But, just like pretty much every other DRM scheme out there, rumors say it’s already been cracked. It’s inevitable, really, and illustrates just what an exercise in futility implementing DRM is: it certainly doesn’t stop piracy, as the content available on file-sharing networks indicates, and it simply raises costs and prevents honest consumers from using content they’ve legitimately purchased in the ways which they’d like. In any case, if AACS really has been cracked, it will be interesting to see the industry response. AACS is supposed to be able to adapt and be changed as time goes on. For instance, keys on playback devices can apparently be revoked and updated in order to allow the DRM to be updated and keep pace with cracks and hacks. However, simply not updating a player may not shield a user from updated DRM, since the copy-protection on discs will change, too — and if a player hasn’t been updated, it won’t play the new media. Surely the movie industry feels great about this, and thinks it’s really got one over on crackers and pirates. Here’s the thing, though: whatever changes they make, the DRM will just get cracked again. And changing around the DRM and requiring updates and breaking functionality isn’t going to hurt those people — it’s just going to frustrate honest consumers who won’t understand why their expensive DVD player won’t play movies any more.