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Slysoft Proves BD Plus Hackable

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With the AACS repeatedly cracked, Blu-ray studios started to roll out BD+ titles. ‘Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ was the first title with BD+, and along with ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, both of which included advanced BD-J features. Both titles had numerous playback issues reported by consumers, with slow load times and stuttering on many players, but certain players outright refused to play such as the Samsung BD-P1200 and the LG dual format player. The studio, Twentieth Century Fox, blamed the hardware manufacturers and the hardware manufacturers blamed the studio. All of it is BS because, irregardless of who caused the bug, BD+ had never seen widespread public use, what occurred was inevitable.

Very shortly, much less than the prophesized 10 years, the first rumblings that BD+ had cracked started coming from Slysoft at the end of October. A week later, Slysoft announced that a Beta is available.

The forums at Slysofts website have a post that describes the software features and has some entertaining things to say to the BDA and Fox in particular:

v6.1.9.6 2007 11 07

  • New (Blu-ray): AnyDVD ripper copies BD+ titles
  • New (Blu-ray): Removed "BD+ not supported" warning, as all available BD+ titles can be copied with AnyDVD ripper, or can be watched on HTPC without HDCP using PowerDVD 3104 and AnyDVD. Reports indicate, that burned BD+ titles work on PS3 and standalone players as well.
  • Note to Twentieth Century Fox: As you can see, BD+ didn't offer you any advanced security, it just annoyed some of your customers with older players. So could you please cut this crap and start publishing your titles on HD DVD? There are thousands of people willing to give you money.
  • Note to people considering to invest in HD media: Please buy HD DVD instead of Blu-ray. HD DVD is much more consumer friendly (e.g., no region coding, AACS not mandatory). Don't give your money to people, who throw your fair-use rights out of the window.
  • New (HD DVD & Blu-ray): Support for more MKBv4 titles
  • Some minor fixes and improvements
  • Updated languages

There are reports of some operational issues with Slysoft’s beta on the forums, but the software is a beta release. It is likely they will work out the bugs before it is an official commercial release, unlike Fox’s buggy BD+ releases to the public, which of course saw no public beta.

Keep in mind that there are legitimate uses for such software, as much as content owners like MPAA would like everyone to believe otherwise.

Commonly accepted practices for such software that is non-infringing, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, based on copyright law and court case law:

Fair Use Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

An EFF FAQ

What's been recognized as fair use?

Courts have previously found that a use was fair where the use of the copyrighted work was socially beneficial. In particular, U.S. courts have recognized the following fair uses: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research and parodies.

In addition, in 1984 the Supreme Court held that time-shifting (for example, private, non-commercial home taping of television programs with a VCR to permit later viewing) is fair use. (Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984, S.C.)

Although the legal basis is not completely settled, many lawyers believe that the following (and many other uses) are also fair uses:

  • Space-shifting or format-shifting - that is, taking content you own in one format and putting it into another format, for personal, non-commercial use. For instance, "ripping" an audio CD (that is, making an MP3-format version of an audio CD that you already own) is considered fair use by many lawyers, based on the 1984 Betamax decision and the 1999 Rio MP3 player decision (RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia, 180 F. 3d 1072, 1079, 9th Circ. 1999.)
  • Making a personal back-up copy of content you own - for instance, burning a copy of an audio CD you own.

For more on Fair Use and other significant topics and rights issues for the public in the Information Age, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Both AACS and BD+ trample on fair use, private, non-profit backing up of legally purchased content or transferring legally purchased content between different mediums. The MPAA and other groups like the RIAA would like to see content repurchased again and again and again.

Your kid turns your new Blu-ray or HD-DVD movie into a Frisbee: buy it again.

Your teething 10 month old decides your CD collection is tasty: buy it again.

Your computer crashes and your hard drive, with all your legally purchased DRM laden media, becomes irrecoverable: buy it again.

The content provider gets a better deal on DRM from another vendor and now nothing you purchased will work: buy it again.

Want to hear that song you bought and downloaded last week again: buy it again.

Pay for play; this is where the content providers are headed. They would love to have consumers send them money every time they watch a movie or play a song.

What is even less savory about BD+, beyond other schemes like CSS and AACS, is what the Java based virtual machine running on a Blu-ray player can be programmed to do, even after the content after it is purchased:

More worrying than a resolution of the high-definition format wars, however, is what studios might want to do with the additional powers that BD+ provides them. The ability to run any sort of code in the name of "advanced countermeasures" also brings the power to limit content by other means: timed-release and expiring discs are just some of the possibilities. Somewhere, the ghost of the original DiVX may be laughing.

Note to all the studios: quit treating all your paying customers as potential criminals, stop wasting money on DRM and making paying customers live with the costs and inconveniences of DRM, and go after the real criminals who mass produce pirated copies of movies for profit.

DRM does not stop real pirates; it only annoys them.

Briefly.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

Audioholics posts on December 12, 2007 11:10
Not exactly convincing, since it simply appears that a third party application/player could work in tandem with a crack to release the code.
Weber posts on December 12, 2007 08:52
Macrovision acquired the BD+ technology from CRI. Macrovision denies that BD+ has been compromised. See the following for a transcript of the MVSN conference call.

go to managingrights dot com /2007/11/macrovison-says.html
mtrycrafts posts on December 10, 2007 20:24
Geno, post: 340364
This reminds me of the story of our Department of Fatherland Security erecting 12-foot fences between us & Mexico. On the other side of the fence is a building with a sign reading: “Jose's 13-Foot Ladder Rental”

Yes, but then you can concentrate your efforts around those places, not the entire border.
Gasman posts on December 10, 2007 16:35
Geno, post: 340364
This reminds me of the story of our Department of Fatherland Security erecting 12-foot fences between us & Mexico. On the other side of the fence is a building with a sign reading: “Jose's 13-Foot Ladder Rental”
And on the other side, “John's ‘One way trip’ to Red Light District”.

BTW, isn't this a old story. I am seeing like deja-vu.
Seriously, I swore, I saw the same exact story last week.
highfihoney posts on December 10, 2007 16:30
Geno, post: 340364
This reminds me of the story of our Department of Fatherland Security erecting 12-foot fences between us & Mexico. On the other side of the fence is a building with a sign reading: “Jose's 13-Foot Ladder Rental”

Funny but true.
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