Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Warner Bros. Accused of Pirating Anti-Pirating Tech

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the just-trying-it-out dept.

Piracy 228

psycho12345 writes "German firm Medien Patent Verwaltung claims that in 2003, it revealed a new kind of anti-piracy technology to Warner Bros. that marks films with specific codes so pirated copies can be traced back to their theaters of origin. But like a great, hilariously ironic DRM Ouroborus, the company claims that Warner began using the system throughout Europe in 2004 but hasn't actually paid a dime for it."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Do as I say--- (5, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360292)

not as I do.

Re:Do as I say--- (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360354)

not as I do.

Indeed. Like most other entities that try to force everyone else to "play by their rules" or "see things their way", their own rules don't apply to them. This is just like that gaming company that was using someone else's DRM-crack in their own game. I call shenanigans!

Re:Do as I say--- (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360974)

Like Sony "stealing" GPL code for it's XCP music CD rootkit malware. These lying theives are all alike, it seems.

Re:Do as I say--- (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361134)

Well that's how feudalism works - one set of laws for the serfs and another set for the masters. We need to go back to the ideals of the revolution, where everyone was treated equally under the law. WB should be fined several million dollars.

Re:Do as I say--- (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361376)

We need to go back to the ideals of the revolution, where everyone was treated equally under the law. WB's executives should be tarred and feathered.

Fixed that for you :)

Re:Do as I say--- (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361428)

Well that's how feudalism works - one set of laws for the serfs and another set for the masters. We need to go back to the ideals of the revolution, where everyone was treated equally under the law. WB should be fined several million dollars.

Close, but not quite. Warner Brothers should be abolished because no abstract entity should have the rights and privileges of being a human being if it cannot also be punished in the same way (including imprisonment and death).

Re:Do as I say--- (2, Interesting)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361508)

Like all the movie companies being based in Hollywood ... so they were far enough away from the holders of all the movie technology so thy could make movies without paying them ....

Re:Do as I say--- (2, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360746)

Is it really that or is it that copyright as implemented today makes chain of ownership difficult to track and manage and faithful compliance with license terms almost hopeless within most organizations?

Ok so Joe in assestmanagement wants to purchase OMG DRM Poines Manager 7 USA eddition; he wants to use it to seriales all ponies for distribution in the US. Legal looks over the license and approves the purchase, after asking Bob about his plans for the application. 5 years later Bob has left the company. Ted has been asked to serialize all ponies, not just those sold in the USA. He knows they have always use the copy of OMG DRM Poines Manager 7 for serializing ponies and it works well. Do you think he goes back and reads the license terms? I doubt it; so without doing anything malicous they are not as an organization noncompliant.

Keeping track of all these issues in most larger organizations would be multiple full time jobs and there is simply no room for it in smaller orgs at all. The whole system in economic terms is unjustified; nobody would by this stuff if compliance management was taken into TCO calculations more often; but its usually not.

Re:Do as I say--- (4, Insightful)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360976)

That's all well and good, except no where in TFA does it state they were using it anywhere before they learned of it in 2003*.

To correct your analogy, it'd be like Ted looking at OMG DRM Pawnies Organizer X from this other company, thinking "hey, this is pretty good", and then using it without licensing it.

*Actually, TFA doesn't say much of anything. Medien Patent Verwaltung filed suit against WB, but they listed one of WB's patents as the infringing patent, and now they will be refiling with the proper patent listed. So we don't really know at this time if they really are infringing on a patent of Medien Patent Verwaltung's.

Not fair (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361340)

Warner Brothers and other studios paid good money for those Congressmen, it's hardly fair that they should turn around and make laws that could be used *against* the studios. I may be old, but I remember a time when Congress used to respect its bribes.

Re:Do as I say--- (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361558)

It's well-documented behaviour. People generally expect others to think and act as they do. If you are a sociopath then you expect that people will try to abuse of any freedom that you give them, because you would do the same. You therefore implement draconian DRM because it prevents people from doing things that you would do in the same circumstances. It is not surprising to find these people acting as they expect others to act.

Re:Do as I say--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361632)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Ouroborus (5, Funny)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360294)

Re:Ouroborus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360722)

Poor snake. Probably died. (Regurgitating sucks when you're a snake.) Oh well, Darwin at work I suppose.

Re:Ouroborus (1)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360876)

One can hope, since the picture was taken indoors and not in its terrarium that someone set it up and that it got help in time.

Re:Ouroborus (2, Funny)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360894)

Poor snake. Probably died. (Regurgitating sucks when you're a snake.) Oh well, Darwin at work I suppose.

Aye, fuckin' right it died - regurgitating is supposed to blow!

Re:Ouroborus (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361132)

Peta called. They want their peace of mind back.

Re:Ouroborus (1)

Krahar (1655029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361282)

It does look a bit like a plastic snake.

They are all pirates (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360300)

They are all pirates. Evolutionis abount copying and improving. It is wrong to try to stop evolution.

Novel? (3, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360306)

I'm not sure this is anything new. Map makers include fake streets. I believe a similar technique - making seemingly identical but subtly different documents - has been used in counter-spying to find the source of leaks.

Re:Novel? (2, Interesting)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360344)

I'm somewhat surprised this is allowed. Making a mistake is one thing, but purposely falsifying information that someone is paying you for (perhaps even specifically for the accuracy!) is another.

Is this one of those things that is actually allowed by law or just unenforceable because they can claim it was a mistake?

Re:Novel? (4, Informative)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360896)

I'm somewhat surprised this is allowed. Making a mistake is one thing, but purposely falsifying information that someone is paying you for (perhaps even specifically for the accuracy!) is another.

Is this one of those things that is actually allowed by law or just unenforceable because they can claim it was a mistake?

I assume you're referring to the maps thing...

This is generally done with street maps, where the information should be pretty much identical from one manufacturer to the next. If you can steal your competition's map, you save yourself all the time and effort of actually going out and looking up all the information. And everyone is going to show the same streets in the same places, so how do you prove that they stole your map data?

The answer is that you put in some crappy little 1-block dead-end streets here and there.

Nobody lives on those streets, because they don't exist, so you don't have to worry about incorrect address information showing up. You don't have to worry about giving people bad directions because they're dead-end streets, so nobody will route down them. Nobody is going to be hurt by these little streets in any way.

But if you suspect that your competition stole some map information from you, you just check to see if there's a Fake Street in Chicago. If the street is there, in the same place as on your maps, you know they stole the map data from you.

Re:Novel? (4, Insightful)

benjymous (69893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361100)

You don't have to worry about giving people bad directions because they're dead-end streets, so nobody will route down them. Nobody is going to be hurt by these little streets in any way.

"Take the third left"?

Is that including the road on the left that's on the map, but doesn't exist in reality.

Re:Novel? (3, Insightful)

JonJ (907502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361192)

How would your GPS suggest that when the street does not exist and is a dead end? You wouldn't try to find the street, it does not exist, and the GPS would never route you through a dead end.

Re:Novel? (0, Redundant)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361334)

I think you misunderstand. I believe GP means you've just turned onto a street. The GPS map lists 3 lefts ahead of you, the second of which is fake, but it does not know it. It wants you to take the third left from it's perspective, but from yours it would only be the second.

Alternatively, GP never said it was a GPS giving the directions.

Re:Novel? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361448)

My GPS uses distance, not the number of left or right turns possible.

Re:Novel? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361368)

What if I'm giving directions to my friend. I look at the map and count the number of streets. I then say, go down past 3 streets and take a left. Only in real life street number 2 doesn't' exist so he goes further down the road then he should have.

Re:Novel? (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361606)

Many companies (naming no names) produce such truly appalling maps that it would be hard to tell the difference between deliberate mistakes and genuine ones.

IME, the only parts of the world where this is not a huge problem are where there already exists a very good mapping agency that licenses data to other companies (such as the Ordnance Survey in the UK).

Re:Novel? (2, Interesting)

jeyk (570728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361446)

Some devices call out instructions like "take the third left" when there are several intersections close together, so that "in 200 meters turn left" would be ambiguous. Come to think about it, on my way home from work there is such a place where my GPS tells me to "take the third left" although there are no other intersections. They simply labeled two garages as roads. I always thought of this as a simple error in the map data, but now...

Re:Novel? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361398)

Couldn't you just take the maps of two or more competitors, and diff them together? Are there actually not enough map providers for most areas to make that impractical?

Re:Novel? (1)

jeyk (570728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361500)

I would imagine there is enough margin of error in vector data for two maps of the same area to look very different to all but the most sophisticated diffing algorithms.

Re:Novel? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360346)

I'm assuming that the particular math used to encode the fingerprint in such a way that it doesn't die a horrible death the second it hits a lossy codec(which is pretty much assured before it hits the intertubes) or somebody get ahold of two distinct leaks and diffs them is probably substantially more novel than the basic idea of "add artificial differences to discover leaks".

Whether it is, or ought to be, patentable is not something I can really comment on; but I would strongly suspect that the actual method being employed is considerably different than historical examples in the same broad conceptual vein.

Re:Novel? (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360916)

I'm assuming that the particular math used to encode the fingerprint in such a way that it doesn't die a horrible death the second it hits a lossy codec

There are already some papers like this one [ijcas.org] that aim to create robust fingerprints that can survive various filtering techniques.

Re:Novel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360934)

I wouldn't assume this without testing the conclusion, personally. If any print at all remains after compression, it can likely be predicted for all popular codecs in use (covering 99% of content). If the tool is sufficiently advanced, fingerprints won't even need to be made for varying quality levels ahead of time, but can be algorithmically generated on the fly.

Re:Novel? Not aimed at filesharing (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361174)

TFP (The Fine Patent) doesn't address the effects of passing their coding through a lossy codec (or any codec for that matter). It appears to be a fairly simplistic way of marking prints with unique identifiers. No mention is made of file sharing as something they're trying to address.

Re:Novel? (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360382)

I believe a similar technique - making seemingly identical but subtly different documents - has been used in counter-spying to find the source of leaks.

Serial numbers are printed on currency & bonds, and appear on labels on most types of consumer electronics, automobiles, etc. This is the same basic concept. Uniquely identifying something isn't new or nefarious. I'm pretty sure all color printers 'hide' something in each print, and I wouldn't be surprised if digital cameras did too.

Re:Novel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360578)

Digital cameras store the camera's make, model and serial number (together with a truckload of additional information, date, time, GPS coords., ) in the exif tags embedded in each photo they make.

Re:Novel? (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361348)

But exif data is easily editable. It would be more troubling if the camera stored the info steganographicly within the image itself.

Re:Novel? (4, Informative)

Cee (22717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360598)

I'm pretty sure all color printers 'hide' something in each print, and I wouldn't be surprised if digital cameras did too.

Yes, they do [eff.org] (well, actually just laser color printers).

Re:Novel? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360784)

Actually, the small defects (artifacts) of every inkjet printer can easily screw you.

Also, the microscopic aligment of pins of a dot matrix printer can easily be used to uniquely identify your device.

Fingerprints of typewriters have been used forever.

Re:Novel? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360826)

Serial numbers are printed on currency & bonds, and appear on labels on most types of consumer electronics, automobiles, etc.

Nothing at all to do with what I was talking about.

Was "subtly different" too subtle for you?

Re:Novel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361018)

US currency serial numbers "IC 92407442B" & "IC 9240744CB" have a subtle difference. The unique info encoded by the anti-piracy technology in this article functions just like serial numbers. On currency they are visible, in the video's they aren't. On your "maps" the differences are visible. His post seems to bridge the gap between your post and the article.

Stop whining that someone added something to the conversation that wasn't exactly what you posted. If he had simply confirmed your thought he'd be marked as "redundant". His reference to printers and cameras was certainly more analogous to this article than your "maps". Maybe you should use one to find a clue.

Re:Novel? (3, Informative)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360946)

Camera's do indeed, the exif data for one - which by default contains the camera's serial number. Some add other formats of metadata as well. Generally this is not particularly nefarious in intent - the reason for exif data is to allow photographers to recheck what settings they had used for a photo at a later date, and allow the picture to be identifiable to the photographer for credit/copyright purposes.
But it can be dangerous - political activist taking picture of police beating subject for example, may well not be aware that his camera's serial code (and depending setup - his name and contact details ) are embedded in the picture. Even just the serial code can be enough to trace you - if you paid with a credit card - it's all on record somewhere who owns the phone that took the picture.

For this reason there exists software (shipped for example with paranoid linux) that can strip exif data, either entirely or selectively for dangerous fields automatically. Or you can just do it on specific points using exiftool or one of the many gui's that interact with it.
But suffice to say - if you don't KNOW that they do it, you won't know to strip out the information and the same information that is an incredibly useful photographers tool in one setting can be a very dangerous privacy or even safety risk in another.

Re:Novel? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361350)

Uniquely identifying something isn't new or nefarious.

But having my own devices, that I own since I paid for them, actively work against me IS nefarious.

Re:Novel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361580)

But having my own devices, that I own since I paid for them, actively work against me IS nefarious.

Only if you're making copies of things you shouldn't be copying. Or if you are a photo journalist who took pictures of things they shouldn't. Or if you happen to live in a country where they will try to trace your pictures back to you. Or, or, or ...

Now that you mention it, it could be bad.

Re:Novel? (1)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360882)

More appropriate, it's common for studios to give each actor/crew member on a set screenplays with subtle changes in the text, typos, even unique kerning to find and punish whoever leaked the script to the wild. The more fan potential, the stricter the controls.

It's all a case of the priviliged mentality: they only see themselves as the aggrieved, and are blind to those they run roughshod over.

Re:Novel? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361176)

Map makers include fake streets.

I live on Fake Street, you insensitive clod!

I Hope they sue (3, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360374)

Really, I hope this turns into one of those messy public court snafu's that really grab public attention and cause a real raucus.

This can only benefit from all the publicity it can generate.

Re:I Hope they sue (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360416)

Really, I hope this turns into one of those messy public court snafu's that really grab public attention and cause a real raucus.

This can only benefit from all the publicity it can generate.

If it goes to court WB will probably have to open up their claims & records on piracy, counterfeiting, etc to examination and scrutiny. This could be a valuable crack in their "pandora's box" of exaggerated statistics.

Re:I Hope they sue (1)

noname101 (1481803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360710)

I doubt it. The company that is using this tech is going to want to sell it to WB in the future. I think this is just going to go down as an accounting error, settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Re:I Hope they sue (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361654)

If it goes to court WB will probably have to open up their claims & records on piracy, counterfeiting, etc to examination and scrutiny. This could be a valuable crack in their "pandora's box" of exaggerated statistics.

Purely out of curiosity, does anyone know of a single instance in any Western country of a major record or film company taking a member of the general public to court, the defendant putting forward a robust defence and the issue left to the court to resolve rather than either the defendant or the plaintiff eventually folding?

Re:I Hope they sue (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360470)

Why? They stole some DRM technology. As far as I know, they didn't do it because the company which sells the technology has region restrictions on where the technology can be used, or because they were just trying to get something they already paid for to work, or because they were using the technology for a purpose to which the copyrights paying-for-the-technology is meant to protect do not apply, or even because they feel that the company which sells the technology has an archaic business model which it is not the duty of governments to inappropriately extend the lifespan of, stifling innovation.

This was either blatant theft or an accounting error. That the thing being stolen or misfiled had the word "DRM" in its description is pretty much unrelated.

Re:I Hope they sue (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361336)

I agree, but the popcorn eating non-geek who does not understand these finer nuances will for once have the piracy battle shoved into his face and this time it will not be WB that will be setting the terms for how piracy is being portrayed.

Re:I Hope they sue (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361452)

This was either blatant theft or an accounting error. That the thing being stolen or misfiled had the word "DRM" in its description is pretty much unrelated.

You are forgetting the other option, WB may honestly believe that the patent in question is invalid/unenforcable. Watermarking digital files has been around a long time, and as others have pointed out watermarking and other marking of physical goods has been going on for centuries. WB might be able to make the claim that this is obvious and therefore not patentable. Will be interesting to watch this unfold.

Re:I Hope they sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361486)

I hope they sue them for all the movies in the "Disney Vault"!

Seems a little sketchy (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360392)

That the company couldn't get the patent information right in its lawsuit or press release

Re:Seems a little sketchy (1)

Archrage (1438387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360448)

I would love it if that happened, but unfortunately I don't honestly see it happening that way. What I predict will happen is that Warner Bros will end up just paying the money or stopping using the new tech, and the whole thing will get swept under the rug except for people like us who are generally rallying against them anyway. I see it happening this way because of the fact that you rarely if ever see the -AA mafia in the news in anything expect a reasonably positive light. If the public did find out about this though in a major way, it may help to loosen peoples negative opinions about pirates that have been spoon feed to them. So as I originally said, i would love to see that happen, but unfortunately I kinda doubt it will.

Patents? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360396)

What exactly are they 'pirating'? I see no mention that they are using any copyrighted material without permission. All I see is that they are supposedly using PATENTED technology (software). In Europe. Isn't the slashdot rallying cry 'you can't patent software in Europe and anywhere that lets you patent software is retarded'? So what is the story?

Re:Patents? (3, Informative)

coofercat (719737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360640)

TFA isn't overly precise about what's going on. However, they do say that Warner is being sued for using their software without paying for it (ie. 'stealing' someone's 'IP', not giving back to the creators etc - basically the same stuff that the music industry says about file sharers). This looks the same as someone making a copy of Windows and using it without paying MS (or whatever).

Slightly confusingly, there's mention of patent infringement. This suggests that Warner went along to Medien and saw what they were up to. They then left, and made the exact same thing themselves and started using that. If this is what's actually happening, then it's a straight patent lawsuit, with Medien looking for license fees for Warner to use their ideas.

It may not be a software patent per-se - it is possible to patent some software in (at least some parts of) Europe - generally, it has to be something embedded - an "enabler" of a bigger invention, if you like. (You can't patent Windows in Europe, but you might be able to patent an intelligent flow valve with embedded PIC, for example).

Re:Patents? (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361426)

No, TFA isn't overly precise, but it's also not that confusing. It is worth noting that they never once use the word "software". The entire article is about WB using MPV's "technology", and the linked Hollywood Reporter article discusses the whole thing as a lawsuit over an "antipiracy technology patent".

Also, if you read the complaint [blogs.com] , it seems that the patent doesn't cover the software, it covers the actual watermark that is created on the film. The "invention" exists outside of any software, as it "is automatically transferred to any copy made from the marked print (regardless what media are used, e.g. camcorder tape, DVD or internet file)".

I haven't read the actual patent, and IANAPL, but it sounds like this might, maybe, be a legitimate patentable invention. Obviously the patent office thinks so, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. :P

Re:Patents? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360718)

Read on Slashdot like a week ago a court decision in Germany that opened the flood gates to software patents in Europe, so Europe's about to be retarded, too, if that's the case. However, you're forgetting the other Slashdot rallying cries of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", "all's fair in software and war," and "HA-HA".

Re:Patents? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360748)

"Whoever loses, we win" would be the ideal, but I doubt that WB's defense will in any way involve an argument against software patents.

Re:Patents? (2, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360854)

Isn't the slashdot rallying cry 'you can't patent software in Europe and anywhere that lets you patent software is retarded'? So what is the story?

It can now be completed by "because it leads to surreal situation like Warner Bros being sued millions for an imaginary crime against an imaginary property that is supposed to stop people committing an imaginary crime against other imaginary properties."

Re:Patents? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360994)

What exactly are they 'pirating'? I see no mention that they are using any copyrighted material without permission. All I see is that they are supposedly using PATENTED technology (software). In Europe.

Well, since they aren't on a boat, using threats of violence to get goods and hostages from other boats, they aren't pirating anything.

But the Warner would call what Warner did "piracy" if someone else did i to them, and this thread is about calling them out on their hypocrisy, so we're using their vocabulary.

Re:Patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361338)

Hey, if big media says pirating == stealing, then why not start the meme that using patented technology == piracy?

Re:Patents? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361372)

I don't think anyone is making an argument about copyright in general, just at the hypocritical nature of the recording industry. They whine about people stealing their products, but don't have a problem stealing someone else's product (assuming the allegations are true). The reason this is on Slashdot is that many readers here feel the recording industry is full of shit, is led by shitheads, and we could give a shit whether their business model dies.

Not piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360434)

From the sounds of it this isn't copyright abuse at all. The German company has a patent on some DRM technology in Europe. I suspect they didn't file the patent with the US patent office so Warner Bros. did the only thing a rational corporation would do and develop their own DRM using the technology on the cheap. Although I would like to see Warner Bros. get ruined for other things they have done. I kinda have to side with them because of my extreme dislike of software patents and the sensationalism the article is trying to work with.

Only one thing to do (3, Funny)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360446)

Development of a anti-pirating, anti-pirating technology, so the watcher's can watch the watcher's.

Re:Only one thing to do (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361206)

Development of a anti-pirating, anti-pirating technology, so the watcher's can watch the watcher's.

So, who watches the Coast Guard?

According to recent reports (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361360)

It appears the answer is British Petroleum

Re:Only one thing to do (3, Funny)

Akardam (186995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361224)

And what precisely of the watcher's is the watcher's can going to watch?

I'm so confused...

Re:Only one thing to do (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361280)

It's not an ouroborus! It's big brothers all the way down!

NO NO NO That's all wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360486)

You can't say the Pope stole religion, or God copied DNA, or Gates and Allen stole a BASIC interpretor, or Torvalds copied Minix and said it was his own. You can't. So stop. Stop it right now!

Re:NO NO NO That's all wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360576)

take ur meds d00d

The emerging market for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360494)

anti-anti-piracy-piracy solutions.

There was an old woman who swallowed a fly...

Re:The emerging market for... (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360924)

"...I don't know why she swallowed the fly. Perhaps she'll die."

Wait, are you suggesting that the anti-piracy industry is going to eat a horse and blow up?!

Re:The emerging market for... (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361066)

Perhaps she'll die?

Obviously not working, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360498)

I wouldn't pay a dime for it also.

Media Sentry Field Day (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360636)

Dear Warner Brothers Your computer was scanned to contain illegal copyrighted material. Please pay an immediate fine of 2,000,000$ or legal action to the fullest extent of the law shall be engaged against you.

New word (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360670)

I propose introducing the word "Iracy" into the English language to describe this sort of situation.

And before anyone says anything... (4, Funny)

JayJay.br (206867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360674)

YES, this IS ironic. Look it up.

Re:And before anyone says anything... (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361008)

Mod parent up - it's so rare to see somebody who actually KNOWS that around here.

Re:And before anyone says anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361060)

Interesting. I thought it was just stupidity. Who'd a thought....

Oh wait, http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/news/2004/01/62102 [wired.com] , yes. It is ironic.

Re:And before anyone says anything... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361436)

Irony or hypocricy?

Old documents used minor diffs (1)

TomTraynor (82129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360684)

I remember reading years ago that governments and business would create versions of a document for distribution that had minor differences. It would make it easier to identify the source of the document when there was a leak. In my less than humble opinion they re purposed that idea to do the same thing electronically.

1. Wouldn't it have been easier to mark up a random frame somewhere in the movie with information about the distribution point and then track it that way?

2. Minor edits on the credits would also have been an option. It would take more time and effort, but, it would be part of the movie and no one would know the difference.

Re:Old documents used minor diffs (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361092)

This technology is a more advanced version of that. See other posters for links, but I've seen some where the watermark is present on all frames and undetectable by the human eye. That will prevent pirates from cutting the "marked" frames and eliminating the watermark.

Old anti-piracy message on DVDs (5, Funny)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360764)

(Cue loud music, set chapter to be un-skippable)

Hey, WB:

You wouldn't snatch a purse.

You wouldn't steal a car.

So don't don't illedally download ... er, steal others intellectual property.

Re:Old anti-piracy message on DVDs (4, Funny)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360802)

You wouldn't steal a handbag
You wouldn't steal a car
You wouldn't steal a baby
You wouldn't steal a policeman, and then steal his helmet
You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet, and then send it to the policeman's grieving widow
And then steal it again!

Re:Old anti-piracy message on DVDs (1)

jellyfrog (1645619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361234)

Is that a challenge?

Re:Old anti-piracy message on DVDs (5, Informative)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361586)

I hope we all get the reference, but just in case...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg [youtube.com]

Translation (5, Interesting)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360810)

"Medien Patent Verwaltung" translates to the English "Media Patent Administration". They don't even concatenate it to one word, as one would expect from normal German grammar - looks like it came straight out of translate.google.com.

Now I wonder what the German word for "patent troll" would be.... Hmmm, the German wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] has various translations, I like "Patentparasit" best.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361204)

According the commercial register, they seem to be exactly that. Purpose:" Administrating patents, especially in the field of media".

By the way, it is NOT a german company, but a swiss company, registeren in the town of Brunnen, CH.

From TFA: (1, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360920)

"Medien Patent Verwaltung originally claimed that Warner was infringing on patent 7,187,633, called "Motion Picture and Anti-Piracy Coding," but as The Hollywood Reporter discovered, the patent going by that particular name actually bears a different number and is held by none other than Warner Bros. MPV's attorney in New York acknowledged the error and said that the suit will be refiled with the proper information."

Is this funny that MPV's attorney mixed up patent name, or pathetic that MVP's attorney can't keep the patent name straight?

Or both?

If it were me, I would have a backup lawyer. Just in case. Not an auspicious start.

Per-incident Harm at $1M each? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32360942)

Per-incident Harm at $1M each?

I bet they used it billions of times since 2004.

"Nothing to see here... (1)

Rallias Ubernerd (1760460) | more than 4 years ago | (#32360960)

Move along... **** why did we have to do this?"

Watermarking!=Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361148)

Watermarking should've never been patented! It is a very broad and well known technique!

Re:Watermarking!=Piracy (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32361220)

This is novel in a way that the watermark is not spatial but temporal - it only minimally affects the surface of the image, but instead as the image changes over time, the watermark does too, containing much more information than the few points it presents per frame, and being much less obtrusive. Rather original and novel approach.

Re:Watermarking!=Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32361598)

This is not novel. It is simply applying a technique across a data stream that happens to be viewed a frame at a time. This would be no different than adding an extra space or two per page to encode information in a document.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?