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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.

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Comments on “AACS Is Like Every Other DRM: All It Does Is Annoy Customers”

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Count Porkula says:

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.

Nasty Old Geezer says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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/

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Steve R. (profile) says:

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.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

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…

Jon says:

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.

Vincent Clement (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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).

Overcast says:

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.

The infamous Joe says:

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? 🙂

Dave says:

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

Darcy says:

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 ?

Dan says:

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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