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!

Macrovision Releases DVD Copy Protection

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the killing-celluloid-sharing dept.

Movies 686

msblack writes "The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the good folks at Macrovision have unveiled a new system that will thwart 97% of existing DVD copying software while maintaining compatibility with existing DVD players. Macrovision claims that DVD copying results in $1 billion loss for studios out of $27.5 billion in sales. With piracy resulting in only 4% loss, why are the studios making such a big deal? The article also reports (mistakenly) that the market is pressing 100s of billions of DVD annually. Who's buying all those DVDs?" I'm skeptical of their claims, since historically Macrovision's anti-copying measures have been little more than easily circumvented snake oil, but maybe this time they've got their plan down.

cancel ×

686 comments

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

Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678662)

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the good folks at Macrovision have unveiled a new system that will thwart 97% of existing DVD copying software while maintaining compatibility with existing DVD players.

Suuurrre.. Then come the artifacts, the quirky behavior, then you have to shell for a new DVD player to get it all sorted out, suddenly your old DVDs are now flaky so you have to keep 2 DVD players... Sigh. If only there were a way to copy them all to one format so you wouldn't have these problems...

Macrovision claims that DVD copying results in $1 billion loss for studios out of $27.5 billion in sales. With piracy resulting in only 4% loss, why are the studios making such a big deal?

Obviously not posted by a business owner of any sort. 4% loss may sound paltry, but if you choose to look at that 4% as being taken out of your net profit it'll look considerable larger, i.e. 4% out of $27B - expenses, assume a profit margin of 50%, and it's 8% Would you be happy buying a 12-pack at the corner store, but having to sacrifice one can/bottle to some guy at the exit door for no apparent reason?

The article also reports (mistakenly) that the market is pressing 100s of billions of DVD annually. Who's buying all those DVDs?"

Maybe they accidently included the AOL CDs.

I'm skeptical of their claims, since historically Macrovision's anti-copying measures have been little more than easily circumvented snake oil, but maybe this time they've got their plan down.

Hey, it's a consumer driven economy, gotta come up with some new angle that everyone's going to give you 4% of for no apparent reason...

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (4, Insightful)

crayz (1056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678776)

Obviously not posted by a business owner of any sort. 4% loss may sound paltry, but if you choose to look at that 4% as being taken out of your net profit it'll look considerable larger, i.e. 4% out of $27B

Right. Because when someone buys a DVD, it's 100% profit for industry. There's absolutely no production or shipping costs on the part of the producer, because DVDs and their packages grow on magic trees in candyland, and are delivered to Best Buy by the volunteer video fairy

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678848)

Right. Because when someone buys a DVD, it's 100% profit for industry. There's absolutely no production or shipping costs on the part of the producer, because DVDs and their packages grow on magic trees in candyland, and are delivered to Best Buy by the volunteer video fairy

I worked in the logistics industry several years ago and it really got me thinking about the costs of packaging and distribution. Granted, per 1,000 of DVD's it probably wasn't much, but when you broke them out 5 to this store, 5 to that, etc. you had to pay the hands that did the work. Packaging, too as you allude, isn't free, though it's probably less than 50 cents per DVD.

The producer needs to make a profit, the distributor needs to make a profit and the store needs to make a profit. All that considered, I'm moderately impressed that I can pick up some movies on DVD for $10. Which is a bit less than a matinee ticket, bucket of popcorn and a medium Cherry Coke.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (5, Interesting)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678785)

Here's an intersting question. So piracy costs a bit less than 4% of annual income each year. What kind of royalties do you have to pay for a CSS license? And how much will Macrovision charge for licensing? Is the total more than 4% of sales (and thats assuming that the 1 billion in lost sales is legit, which is questionable).

An amusing aside is the Google ads at the bottom of that article.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (2, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678876)

What kind of royalties do you have to pay for a CSS license? And how much will Macrovision charge for licensing?

That's actually part of your expenses. I don't want to get into accounting here, but producing anything has fixed and variable costs which go into the expense columns, profit is what's left of gross after subtracting expenses. That's why that 4% should be magnified.

I'm not attempting to justify their numbers (which could have just been pulled out of their a55 like the RIAA often does) just to shed light on the figures.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678786)

... and I'm sure that the 4% number is reliable. I mean, it's not like a company that makes a Leak-Patching-Putty has any incentive to overinflate the horrible dangers incurred by leaks. :)

Seriously, though, the concept that if 4% of all movies are being copied across the internet that this is replacing an equivalent amount of DVD sales is ridiculous. They try to make these sort of claims with music. The reality is that the majority (not all, but most) of people pirating movies and music are penniless high school/college students and the like, who - if they couldn't download that latest Eminem album or copy of The Lord of the Rings from the net - wouldn't be headed out to the store to buy it any time soon.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (2, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678787)

Would you be happy buying a 12-pack at the corner store, but having to sacrifice one can/bottle to some guy at the exit door for no apparent reason?

that's a bit of a faulty analogy, given that the movie industry isn't actually losing any DVDs that they pressed, just theoretical sales. As always, these figures assume that someone would in fact purchase a DVD if they weren't able to get it for free. Which makes no sense. I don't copy DVDs, but I don't really buy them either. I rent them, which costs the movie industry money in lost sales, as well, according to that sort of logic. Which, of course, isn't true, because if I couldn't rent the movie, I probably just wouldn't watch it.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (5, Funny)

Lanoitarus (732808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678845)

Maybe they accidently included the AOL CDs. Huge business opportunity for macrovision there.... the AOL cd copying business is probably singlehandedly responsible for AOL's continuing downfall.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (1)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678853)

TFA:
And for Macrovision and other anti-piracy companies, the potential market is huge. With hundreds of billions of DVDs pressed every year, even a small licensing fee from the major studios would generate a significant boost to the company, which reported $128 million in sales last year.
Hmm, a generous earth population of 7 billion: Figure 150,000 American's economically able to buy a dvd (own a dvd player), as well as the right age range (13+). Maybe multiply that number by 20 to get the total world population that is the target audience of the MPAA: We are at 3 million buyers. Each buyer buys 5 DVDs a year: 15 million.
Maybe they accidently included the AOL CDs.
Now, AOL sends out cds to each eligible buyer twice yearly for 10 years: add 3mil*2*10, 75 mil. Hardly hundreds of billions.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678953)

You seriously think that only 150,000 households in the US have a DVD player?

Seriously?

hahaha

I'd guess that 25 million plus households have one in the US. Probably more like 50 million.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678884)

Sigh. If only there were a way to copy them all to one format so you wouldn't have these problems...

It's called a television capture card. As long as you have a good enough computer, you can copy anything at DVD quality (assuming the source is DVD quality). Unless, of course, Macroblindness decides to start using Total Attenuation Video Encoding. Of course, TAVE would have a positive effect on any Pauly Shore movie :-p

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (5, Interesting)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678939)

bviously not posted by a business owner of any sort. 4% loss may sound paltry, but if you choose to look at that 4% as being taken out of your net profit it'll look considerable larger, i.e. 4% out of $27B - expenses, assume a profit margin of 50%, and it's 8% Would you be happy buying a 12-pack at the corner store, but having to sacrifice one can/bottle to some guy at the exit door for no apparent reason?
  • While I agree from a business owner's standpoint, going with a solution like Macrovision is an absurd way to "fix" the problem. The pirates who are reallly costing the studios money will find a way around this in no time flat and continue to produce and sell illegal copies. In the meantime, the studios will be paying Macrovision a fee to use their new copy protection stuff on every disk.
  • Basically you'll now leave the corner store with one bottle missing from your 12 pack and 10% of the beer gone from the other 11 to cover the costs of the Macrovision stuff.

Re:Lies, Damn Lies and Macrovision (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678966)

speaking of AOL cds, are they just getting a bit tongue in cheek now. The other day, there was a huge BARRELL filled with them outside my local B&Q (hardware store for the non-ukers). Needless to say, the number never goes down and people chuck just-obtained reciepts in it. wooohoo.

Keep your hands off my purchased media! (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678672)

It would be a lot more humorous if they put "Nothing for you to see here, please move along" when you tried to rip it...

On to the serious stuff:

"If it takes a long time and the frustration level gets too high, you're not going to prevent 100% of it, but you can stop the casual user," Kaye said. "Why not try?"

The "casual user" doesn't give a shit. They rent their mainstream crap movies on DVDs at the local monopolistic rental store and they bring it back three days late. They aren't ripping movies to share, save, etc.

The technique confounds ripping programs without damaging computers, preventing the discs from playing or reducing picture quality, he said.

Would it damage the drive if a computer DVD player tried to play the disc and was constantly hitting the false errors it was creating? If it isn't going to disable the players how will it stop the rippers? So what, it takes real-time to rip the DVD? Oh no!

Consumer advocates said Hollywood had the right to put out unrippable discs. But such a move would ignore public demand for the ability to back up DVDs and take their movie collections on the road.

Public demand? Public RIGHTS. We have the right to make backups of our owned discs and put them into a format that is portable. The media continues to fall for the tricks being implemented by the MPAA's PR machine. I suggest that they refrain from spreading the misinformation created by the corporations PR machine as it does nothing but continue to erode the freedoms we are entitled to.

If they decide that we should not be able to make a backup of our media that is an identical copy then I should be reimbursed when the disc is no longer usable. Even if that means 25+ years from now. Don't like that and don't think it's realistic? Tough, it is realistic because I can ensure that right now by making backups.

Discs that do not allow me to fast forward through FBI warnings, commercials, etc, get ripped and burned in a format that is immediately watchable from the time I stick it in the player. I don't care about animated menus, extras, features, commentary, bonus scenes. I want the movie to play w/o interruption the second I close that tray. If I paid for something I don't see what I shouldn't be able to do with it as I wish as long as it stays in my possession.

If Macrovision and the MPAA want to end piracy they best do it in a way that doesn't affect my personal freedoms when I purchase a piece of media.

Re:Keep your hands off my purchased media! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678747)

We have the right to make backups of our owned discs and put them into a format that is portable.

No, not really. Not in the U.S. at least. The whole Betamax thing applies to analog formats, not digital, and the concept of "fair-use" isn't a right, but an exception to a section of copyright code.

Re:Keep your hands off my purchased media! (4, Funny)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678879)

You can sleep a little easier knowing that before they even manufacture the first disc with their anti-whatever scheme, a non-descript guy with glasses in his mom's basement somewhere will have crafted a patch that fully ignores it.

What I like about this: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678917)

It absolutely does nothing to stop the piracy in Asia. Since they're made when the DVD presses are "closed" for the evening in China.

So let's see, they get to piss off only the people who pay for their products (people downloading torrents and burning dvds or rigging DIY DVD jukeboxes won't even notice).

It's hard to imagine them coming up with a more ill concieved plan which didn't involve ill tempered sea bass.

I'm already seeing fewer movies because of those fucking dots. I think the real question is, "Are they trying to get me to watch more on-demand cable, or play more video games?"

Re:Keep your hands off my purchased media! (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678941)

The only way they could make it require real-time to "rip" the media (and this wouldn't work either) would be to make it somehow unplayable except through a closed hardware device. In other words, they'd have to reencrypt the data. A computer player would then be some sort of dongle, or perhaps you could get it on a chip. Either way it wouldn't go over well. However, if they did that, you wouldn't be ripping it, just capturing it. It would be a digital copy, but it would be post-artifacting, and reencoding it would reartifact it and reduce the image quality even as compared to transcoding to a lower bitrate will normally.

The moral of the story is that there is no way they can make a protection scheme that will work without disabling software players, so this is just a waste of time and money. The industry is probably buying into it so that they can look like they're doing something.

It's like the theory of evolution... (5, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678674)

will thwart 97% of existing DVD copying software

So the 3% that survive will propogate the rest of the Internet. Or more likely the 3% that survive will propogate it's technology to the 97% of those that didn't. It's like antibiotics and resistant bacteria, the game continues. Until you find something that's 100% bulletbroof (MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!) it's hopeless Motion Picture industry....

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (2, Insightful)

slot32 (815657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678709)

Dispite this guy sounding like a nutter, I'm inclined to agree with him...

They'll never stop piracy... It's been here since copyright...

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678716)

are there even 100 different dvd copying softwares?

the technique is just as most shit from macrovision: shit.

maybe it's just an autorun on the dvd.

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678773)

The concept of statistics is flawed. I don't know how they rounded it to 97%. I don't think there is 100 DVD copying software out there. I don't think they tested all 100% either way.

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (3, Interesting)

ASkGNet (695262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678790)

It sounds like they deliberately introduce read errors in the DVD. The player compensates for it, because the rate at which it reads the DVD is relatively slow, but if you try to read the DVD in a normal drive, you will have it struggling to correct the read errors.

No big deal, you just read raw data, ignoring read errors, and deal with it later.

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (1)

Sebastian Jansson (823395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678798)

For the 3% figure to be accurate there only have to be around 30 dvd-copying softwares, do your math... :P

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (3, Insightful)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678762)

That's what I was thinking to. The 97% number is interesting and is the type of number that would only impress those who are impressed by meaningless statistics. There are so many bugfilled and worthless DVD copying packages out there, killing 97% of them menas nothing. The 3% is most likely the few that are actually worth using.

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (5, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678926)

"killing 97% of them menas nothing. The 3% is most likely the few that are actually worth using."

Actually it means quite a bit. The buggy stuff will go away and we'll be left with good functional software. They just made the QA process better :-)
-nB

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678775)

So the 3% that survive will propogate the rest of the Internet. Or more likely the 3% that survive will propogate it's technology to the 97% of those that didn't. It's like antibiotics and resistant bacteria, the game continues.

Interesting analogy. You could also argue that less than 3% of the people on the internet are spammers, but we do tend to notice them, don't we?

3 people our of 100 ripping discs is probably more than adequate to distribute a large number, depending upon how they're set up. Some guy in Chicago, several months back, was basically running a factory in his house. Of course, he's an exceptional case, but he makes up for some volume, displacing those who do very little.

Probably they're largest concern is the professionals who rip and burn and sell at flea markets, etc.

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678883)

I wish that was their only concern, because I'd be 100% behind that. I have no tolerance for true pirates, who sell their copies for profit. But the history of the *AA has been to prosecute casual "pirates", that is file-swappers making no profit.

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (4, Insightful)

Grym (725290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678817)

Which brings us back to the real question:

How much has (will?) this "copy-protection" mechanism cost to design and implement?

If they're so strapped for cash, why even bother if it only works for 97%? As the OP stated, that 3% will just become the preferred method. This all just seems like a bunch of sound, fury, and wasted money, signifying nothing.

-Grym

Re:It's like the theory of evolution... (1)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678882)

From TFA: Ads by Google DVD Duplication Same Day Turnaround. Low Prices. No Setup Fees. ScreamDVD.com DVD Copy Software - 2005 Copy any DVD even copyrighted DVD movies. Side by side comparisions. Best-DVD-Burning-Software-Reviews DVD Copy Tools Copy CSS DVD movies to DVD+R(W) 14-Day free trial - $99.95 www.DVD-Copy.us DVD 'X' Copy Platinum Guaranteed Activation Order Now Free Shipping $98.76 www.copydvd.com Free Software Downloads Unlimited Free Downloads of Top Software Programs Full Versions www.freesoftwareoutlet.com a d v e r t i s e m e n t

What about my backup copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678675)

Whatever happened to being able to legally own your own backup? hm.

Obligatory (-1, overrated) (2, Insightful)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678680)

historically Macrovision's anti-copying measures have been little more than easily circumvented snake oil
Shift key, black magic marker, daemon tools, anyone?

Locks are for honest people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678728)

The bad guys have always been able to get by locks. It's easily circumvented protection but we all have locks on our houses and cars.

Macrovision's protection on VHS tapes makes it difficult to casually copy a movie. If you want to get around it you can. Same thing with DVDs.

Re:Obligatory (-1, overrated) (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678929)

I'm sure this will be broken in a matter of weeks. But hey, at least they are doing thier part by jumping on the current DMA bandwagon and getting into the media a bit. :)

More returns/refunds? (5, Interesting)

yetdog (760930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678681)

With each more-complex layer of anti-copy protection, doesn't that make the discs less forgiving of scratches and smudges, given that the player has to use all this overhead to compensate for the enhanced security?

Re:More returns/refunds? (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678960)

Also, according to the article on the BBC [bbc.co.uk] :

Macrovision says its new RipGuard technology will thwart most, but not all, of the current DVD ripping (copying) programs used to pirate DVDs.

(this is in contrast to the 'maintaining compatibility with existing DVD players' comment in the article linked to by Slashdot).

First sharpies, now what? (3, Funny)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678683)

Because of the DMCA, sharpies were banned with that CD copy protection circomvention. I wonder what 50c piece of office equipment will defeat this one and end up banned?

Re:First sharpies, now what? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678719)

I wonder what 50c piece of office equipment will defeat this one and end up banned?

Office equipment doesn't defeat copy protection. People defeat copy protection.

And so far not even the most brutal totalitarian government in history has managed to ban humans.

In other news... (5, Funny)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678685)

In a just released survey, 97% percent of people who use DVD copying software have switched to software that can copy the newest Macromedia protected DVDs.

Re:In other news... (2, Informative)

omeomi (675045) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678866)

"Macromedia" != "Macrovision"

will be cracked... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678686)

Software circumventing this new copy protection will be released, when, by tomorrow by 4PM?

So I guess I'll just use the 3% of software (1)

apparently (756613) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678695)

that the system admittedly doesn't work on.
Wow, that was easy.

Macrovision have unveiled a new system that will thwart 97% of existing DVD copying software

Slight problem with this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678696)

That 3% of working software will just take 100% of the dvd copying market... evolution in action.

Now.... (2, Funny)

Valiss (463641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678700)

...where is my marker?

riiight (2, Insightful)

crayz (1056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678703)

"a new system that will thwart 97% of existing DVD copying software[as of today]"

They're admitting that people existing cracks work on the new system! How long is it going to take for that 3% to become 100%? I give it about a month from the release of the first DVD with the new system

Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678704)

Pressing the Shift key while inserting the disk in your PC does not work anymore. Now you have to use the more complex Shift + CTRL key sequence.

Movies... (4, Interesting)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678706)

Seriously... who IS buying all those DVDs? I go to the store to look at movies frequently, but more and more I'm just tempted to get stuff through NetFlix. There are very few movies that I actually want to own anymore. I just rent what I missed at the theatres.

In 10 years, it's not going to matter, as On-Demand channels will start carying every movie under the sun.

More than the theater. (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678777)

There's more money in DVD than the theater now. Well they do get rather cheap. Often they are well below the soundtrack CD.

On-Demand will be nice. Been trying it out lately (Comcast)--it's even available in widescreen and HD now.

Re:Movies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678874)

who IS buying all those DVDs?

From your post, it seems obvious that it's NetFlix.

Re:Movies... (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678887)

Obviously, NetFlix is buying all those DVDs.

won't work (2, Insightful)

oreaq (817314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678715)

Copy protection never works. It did not work in the C64 days it doesn't work now and it won't work in the future. If you can watch the movie you can copy it.

Nothing to see here.

Only 4%? (4, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678718)

With piracy resulting in only 4% loss, why are the studios making such a big deal?

Lol, go ask any retailer why they should care if their shrink is only 4%. They'll punch you in the mouth.

Way to use a horrible analogy. (3, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678818)

Lol, go ask any retailer why they should care if their shrink is only 4%. They'll punch you in the mouth

The thing is that this *isn't* shrink.

If you asked them why they should care that 4% of people won't buy something from them, what will they say?

Re:Only 4%? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678906)

Hi Retailer, do you mind if I block 4% of people coming into your store. These will be people that don't come to your store anyway because they have no money.

Fact is, piracy is creating 4% more versions of a DVD in any format than what are sold legitimately. Out of that how many people would have bought the DVD anyway? If that person downloads "OMG Movie LOL" and likes it, maybe they'll go to the cinema for "OMG Movie LOL 2!!1one" and generate revenue there. Maybe people balance their DVD/CD/cinema purchases because they only have $50 a month to spend on these, so unless they are buying pirate DVDs for little less than retail ...

Oh My God, what about the massive DVD lending market! That could be like 25% of sales lost!

Useless (1)

Space_Soldier (628825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678721)

The other 3% will be on BitTorrent, and the result of this is $0 to the alleged loss of revenue. 97% of the people who use the software blocked will use the other 3%. Also, everything that Macrovision did so far has been broken. This will just add a few cents to the DVD price.

I have some ideas... (5, Insightful)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678724)

We can encrypt the content on the DVD! (oh.. that didn't work)
We can automatically install a driver on Windows machines to make the disc un-rippable (oh.. that didn't work either!)
We can add a special time-code that prevents ripping... (Defeated by a marker!)

Seriously.. when will these guys give up? Go after the people selling the shit on the streets and leave the consumers alone..

All Bugs Fixed ... (2, Funny)

kaalamaadan (639250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678727)

This time, shift key does not bypass copy protection.

Control+Alt might work, though.

On the bright side, this might be a good challenge for Jon Lech Johansen.

Go Jon!

If it blocks 97%, people will use the other 3% (0, Redundant)

MattW (97290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678731)

The problem here is that if their system stops 97% of ripping software, then everyone using that 97% will immediately switch to the other 3%.

1$ Billion losses? (1)

midianus (727997) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678732)

I can't understand how people count these numbers, there's people copying a DVD even if they wouldn't want the DVD in the first place, so these numbers aren't really near the truth. Actually copying can be a good thing for companies, I've bought a few dvd's just because I copied them from someone and they were so damn good so I wanted the real thing.

4% can be life or death for a business (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678733)

Most large industries are very competitive, and though a huge amount of money changes hands, the margin is usually quite small, especially at the manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution level. If a stock analyst noticed a structural 4% contraction in any company's sales, there would be a change in his/her recommendation to buy or hold that stock. 4% is big.

What are their margins, however? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678910)

It's quite a bit. What if MS lost 4% of the profit from Office? They now only make 71% of the ticket price as profit....

Before you say you have a right to a backup... (1, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678738)

You don't.

A backup is fair use, true, but we've got law saying you can't circumvent these protections to make one. Besides, if you take care of your media you don't really need them -- "backups" are traditionally heavily abused -- and DVDs are more resistant than CDs.

It'd be nice if they'd put in a low-cost replacement program for damaged DVDs, though.

Re:Before you say you have a right to a backup... (2, Informative)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678842)

Slight correction: The DMCA doesn't say you can't circumvent the protections. It just says that you can't tell anyone how you did it, or give them tools to let them do it.

Re:Before you say you have a right to a backup... (5, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678870)

It'd be nice if they'd put in a low-cost replacement program for damaged DVDs, though.

Umm, no that should be the MINIMUM they should do if we are just licensing the pleasure of watching the movie from them. Then the media it is on is inconsequential. Otherwise if we're paying for the disc, then we get to do whatever we want with it. They need to choose which method they want to offer, not just take the best of both worlds.

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678894)

Your opinion is unpopular. Please refrain from voicing it.
Thanks,
The Management

Re:Before you say you have a right to a backup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678903)

I have one dvd that worked fine for a long time and then suddenly there is a 20 minute gap in the playing, there are no visible scratches but there is a discoloration on the disk. While in theory if you take good care of your dvd it should last forever you are still prone to the occasional manufacturing defect that can cause problems over time.

Re:Before you say you have a right to a backup... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678912)

You need to reread the DMCA. Specifically, 17 U.S.C. s. 1201(c)(1). Don't be confused by Rameirdez, either.

Re:Before you say you have a right to a backup... (2, Interesting)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678955)

It'd be nice if they'd put in a low-cost replacement program for damaged DVDs, though.

Yeah, it'd be nice.

How about they make it the law that if I don't have fair use rights to make a backup, then they are obligated to provide 1 for 1 replacement of damaged media.

Oh wait, I forgot, all laws benefit the MPAA, screw the people who ACTUALLY buy their product!

Re:Before you say you have a right to a backup... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678959)

if you take care of your media you don't really need them -- "backups" are traditionally heavily abused

You obviously don't have kids. My 3 yr old knows how to turn on and off the TV, DVD and stereo all by himself. He loves to take out DVDs and slide them across the floor.

I think I should be allowed to backup my DVDs. And I have...

Nope... (1)

Aldric (642394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678740)

"I'm skeptical of their claims, since historically Macrovision's anti-copying measures have been little more than easily circumvented snake oil, but maybe this time they've got their plan down."

It's just time for them to dip into the pockets of the RIAA/MPAA again. :D

I Hate These Guys (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678746)

They make things I purchase harder to use and make life more difficult for the me the end consumer. For the people who will rip the DVD's anyways and sell their copies on the streets of every third world country it won't even be a speed bump. Another step toward our collective serfdom.

Waste of Time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678753)

If People can see it, People can copy it, End of story. They are just wasting their time.

Most people are honest. (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678761)

Most people I know and know of tend to have 100% original DVDs. One person I know was tempted by the availability of heaps of cheap discs in China, but generally people are honest.

Even people who don't have moral qualms about this tend not to run off copies for their friends for many reasons, because it's a hassle. It takes a long time when its easier to just lend a friend a disc.

The people who actually cause most harm to the industry are the ones who sell the pirated discs. This sort of technology isn't going to deter them. If it can be circumvented, they'll find out how. The costs are insignificant against profits.

That's easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678772)

"Who's buying all those DVDs?"

That'll be Slashdot members' bimonthly subscription to "Hot, Young and Willing" ;)

stating the obvious (1)

God! Awful 2 (631283) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678774)

With piracy resulting in only 4% loss, why are the studios making such a big deal?

Foresight?

-a

If I mplayer can play it, I can copy it. (1)

Smiglo (764447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678781)

It won't mess players? Good!
I'll use mplayer to extract mpeg2 and ac3 stream, and then prepare copy.

it's not who's buying all those dvd's (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678807)

it's, how much is the MPAA charging back to artists for the production of those 100's of billions of dvd's

sales of 27.5 billion.. at fifty cents each, means 55 billion per year. at 10'c each, 275 billion per year..

sales = production? no... the mpaa makes money off production, the artists off sales.... screwy logic abounds!

So now what? (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678808)

The DeCSS takes 20 lines instead of what, 7?

/slaps Idiots making bad security software.


Make real, HARD code, pass the cost to the Distrubitor, and He'll try to pass it to the consumer.


So we'll have 50$ DVD's that are unbreakable. Creating an insatiable demand for 20$ Bootlegs... Wait, we didn't fix anything did we?


Eventually someone will realize the profit's in the distrobution, not the product. We will reach a point where the 4% loss makes no difference. And the content will be neither Cost prohibitive or Impossible to access.

I suspect this will work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11678811)

...as well as banning cold medicine sales will stop meth production.

4% is a lot (1)

SbooX (181758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678822)

"With piracy resulting in only 4% loss, why are the studios making such a big deal?"

In fairness to the studios, 4% is a lot. The industry average for shrink (basically theft) in retail is about 1.5%. And how many Loss Prevention detectives are employed these days?

3% is an awfully big hole (1)

violently_ill (629903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678823)

in the p2p age, 3% is a hole big enough to drive a bulldozer through.

Only 4% ? (1, Troll)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678831)

I'd like to see the submitter voluntarily take a 4% pay cut since it's not a big deal. Heck, when you start calling a billion dollars not a big deal, you must be richer than Bill Gates.

Analog Hole (5, Insightful)

MaxQuordlepleen (236397) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678836)

This is they key quote from the article, in my opinion:

"We're always interested in another tool," said one executive who asked not to be named. "But until they fix the analog hole ... it doesn't solve the problem."

For those of you who don't remember the '80s, the "Analog Hole" was all we had back then, we used audio and video cassette for backup and sharing purposes.

This battle was fought two decades ago when fair use was upheld and we all got to keep our VCRs and double-cassette decks. I contend that the concern of the *AA is not only to protect themselves from the new threat to their business model that digital media represents, but to regain ground they lost twenty years ago.

From 3% to the World (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678840)

...that will thwart 97% of existing DVD copying software

Sounds like the copying software currently langushing at only 3% market share is about to increase that share substantially.

Just remember, Macrovision is not the consumer's friend!

When will they get it? (0, Redundant)

jpetts (208163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678846)

It takes just one copy transcoded into an easily-copiable digital form, and their system breaks. And as the legal copies become more fragile and easily damage, that 97% will soon start looking for ways to get unencumbered copies...

Pandora's Box is Still Open (1)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678847)

In my opinion, all these efforts do is keep "Joe User", the average guy with a computer from copying anything because he's too lazy to find a hack.

The bottom-line is that pandora's box is open. Hardware enables us, and unless the RIAA/MPAA bans all the CD/DVD burners, hard drives, and other equipment, there will always be another workaround and some smart person will make sure itgets distributed.

I think the only way around this is for the media industry to get realistic. People only have so much time to look/listen to digital media anyway so how much of what is downloaded is actually "consumed" anyway?

Best way to circumvent (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678851)

Is with your wallet. Buy beer not dvd's

Skeptics are right, but for the wrong reasons (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678873)

I'm skeptical of their claims, since historically Macrovision's anti-copying measures have been little more than easily circumvented snake oil
Well, yeah. But you have to go out of your way to circumvent it, which is more than 99% of people know how to or care to do. It's like locking your door. I guarantee you I could get in, but it's just another slightly more complicated step I'd have to take instead of simply turning the handle and opening it.

BBC article (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678891)

There's another article about this from the BBC here [bbc.co.uk]

Do the math! (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678899)

Yes, the /. summary did mention the error the number of DVDs made, but ...
With hundreds of billions of DVDs pressed every year
vs.
out of the $27.5 billion that analyst firm Screen Digest estimated they collected from worldwide DVD sales and rentals last year.
I suspect they meant to say `hundreds of millions'. Which seems a bit low, though maybe rentals (where they get paid over and over for the same DVD) makes up the difference.

And of course, DVDs do more than hold movies, but I suspect that they're only talking about movies and TV shows and such, not computer data on DVDs.

Seems about right to me (1)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678900)

None of these numbers surprises me, and are probably accurate. I know people that are addicted to buying DVDs just to have them though they never watch them. I have a collection of about 50, but they are my all time favorites and I watch them all about once or twice a year (this is a little too obsessive the other way).

At Wallmart I recently saw DVDs on sale for $1 and $2. Granted nothing I'd like to watch, all old John Wayne movies and bad animation from the 50s, but at $1 dollar I have to admit I was almost tempted to by some very marginal crap (but restrained myself).

As for 4%, I have archived some of my movies, but it is a touchy time consuming business. For now, massive piracy is for East Asian DVD rings. BUT the MPAA is worried about trends, and home burning of DVDs won't always be above the average Joe. I only have a 1 layer DVD burner, which is what makes copying tricky, two layer burners probably would get the job done fine on the last generation of DVDs, but the blanks are over $10, so why not just get the original for $15? Of course dual layer DVD blanks will eventually be $1, and some years down the line so will Blu-Ray blanks. When you can archive 10 of your favorite DVDs to one Blu-Ray, well the industry is sweating about that.

97% must mean Windows-only (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678913)

I expect the discs will contain auto-running Windows software that'll do its best to disable DVD copiers. It won't matter that it can be trivially disabled. All that matters is that the studios will pay Macrovision to add it to the discs.

Foils 97% of copying software? (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678928)

But even if this new scheme works, won't people just switch over to the 3% that still work? It's not like you can try the "kills 99% bacteria" line on DVD copying software.

for world at large (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678930)

See, market in North america is pretty much static, markets of the world are not, what they are trying to do is to control world markets not US markets. Myopic and fucked up vision from media companies, who scared shitless of facist china who does not give damn about ripping off their worthless media by way of stamping out millions of plastic duplicates, never mind whole new cars and electronics pieces. Everyone is trying to gain up on control of far east, China, India. While siting in labs in california, offices in new york looking west pondering the future , where North american market is only small fraction of world market and world market that does not like to pay for licenced goods.

It is the war and we are witnessing the remakings of the world. They are becoming more apparent to everyday live now.

Place Your Bets (1)

Efialtis (777851) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678945)

Does anyone wanna guess when this new schema will be "cracked", when a program will be available to allow DVD copying on a PC?
Anyone???

Software giveth what hardware taketh away (1)

PowerMacDaddy (182081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678948)

'nuff said.

waste of money (0, Redundant)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678952)

Guess what, if you can view it you can copy it. It only has to happen once and the data is back in the digital domain.

Just Don't Buy Them! (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678956)

If you don't like what they're doing, don't buy them. Don't rent them. Don't even download them. If people keep stealing their crap, they're going to keep thinking that it's the stealing that's the problem, not the quality of their product.

Yeah, you're not going to be able to go see Episode III. But you can't get something for nothing; all change requires sacrifice. Has Full Metal Alchemist taught you nothing? (Equivalent exchange, for those not in the know.)

Does seem strange doesn't it? (1)

Zutfen (841314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11678957)

Again, a media industry claiming a "loss" of n-dollars.
Let's go down to Steve on location who is going to sum this up for us, Steve? "Well it seems we've come to a conclusion, Hypothetical "losses" are just stupid."
"Back to you in the studio, Chip."

So yeah, joking aside, a 4% hypothetical loss, which likely is less than a 1% loss is probably not worth investing the money to establish a new anti-pirating technology. I mean, who pirates a DVD *instead* of buying it? I would imagine most people get "early releases" pirated, then go out and buy the real thing. At least that's what a friend told me.*looks around nervously*

Now audio CDs, well they have a much higher Hypothetical Loss(tm) percentage, so I can see them justifying such an investment.

It all comes down to them just pissing away what little PR they have left, bit by bit.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>