10 Aug 2005 @ 10:00 AM 

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disks will have DRM that is compatible. Isn’t that nice? Not that any DRM system has ever worked, but it’s great that they can find ways to funnel money into worthless technology that has the only end result the inconveniencing of their own customers. One piece of this technology, ROM Mark, is meant to stop the big pirates in Asia. Want to bet it won’t work?

The other piece is called BD+ and is geared to hindering attempts to crack the encryption technology shielding the content. Essentially, it allows the BDA to update the encryption scheme should the current technique be cracked. If a coder comes up with the Blu-ray equivalent of DeCSS, the BDA simply updates the format’s crypto engine on all future releases, limiting the volume of content that can be nabbed. Does that mean that the existing players will cease to work with newer movies? Hey, great way to punk your customers. Alternately, the system could force all DVD players to have an internet connection in order to have “updates” forced on them at the whim of the manufacturer or the MPAA. Um, yeah, good idea. How many people are ready to hook their television set to the internet?

Explain how it’s possible to protect things my eyes can see and my ears can hear from being copied in some way. Sure, you may be able to slow the adoption of technology that makes perfect copies. You won’t stop it. More importantly, the MP3 revolution has taught us one thing – people don’t care about perfect copies, just decent ones. Nobody can say an MP3 encoded at 160 kbps sounds just as good as the CD, but it’s good enough. Nobody can say that an XVID-encoded 1 gig video rip of a DVD looks as good as the original DVD, but it’s good enough.

So, why bother with DRM that won’t stop the big pirates in China, won’t stop people from making “good enough” copies at all, and just annoys the hell out of people who aren’t geeky enough to read the internet instructions on how to make those “good enough” copies? It’s an amazing waste of money, when the movie industry claims it’s low on cash. Ignore their record-setting box office numbers – if the MPAA says they’re hurting, those crocodile tears must be dealt with.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Aug 2005 @ 01:32 PM

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