One key to rule them all

Using only a retail copy of the King Kong HD-DVD and an XBox-360 DVD drive, a hacker reverse-engineered the copy-protection for both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs. They did it not by cracking the code but by simply tracking data as it moved between the disc and system memory.

UPDATE: There’s a lengthy essay and rumination on DRM issues at Kaedrin weblog, which I recommend in particular to interested readers arriving via Meta Filter.

5 thoughts on “One key to rule them all”

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about DRM and IP lately too… The primary issue with DRM is that it is a fundamentally flawed concept. It’s impossible to secure a piece of media that is meant for widespread consumption by a large audience using a diverse set of hardware. It doesn’t even make sense. The whole purpose of this media is for people to watch it, how are you going to restrict that without restricting all the hardware that could ever possibly touch it? As it is now, the only way to perfectly secure the system is to make the media unplayable (i.e. the only perfectly secure system is a perfectly useless one).

  2. Agreed, the concept of DRM is indeed flawed because it assume that the consumer is a criminal. But in fact, the consumer is the content creator’s best friend; just “look at what people can do”: despite the DRM obstacles. There’s just genius out there, and letting people take your content and mix with it is far better viral PR than any marketing campaign hatched on Madison Ave. It’s the same thing “I was saying earlier”: – just imagine the explosion of creativity were these strictures to be even marginally looser.

    Incidentally I find Steve Jobs’ “recent embrace of the Cause”: unconvincing. I appreciate his publicizing the issue, but DVD Jon’s “response to Jobs”: was worth reading too.

  3. I should also note that part of the reason for “Galactica’s success”: – which isn’t measured solely through ratings – is because of a (marginally) more enlightened approach to DRM. Recall that the first episode of Galactica in season 1 was made available for free on scifi’s website.

    I’d be willing to pay 50cents on demand for 15min of video. That may seem astonishingly low to the media companies, but if they made that available, they’d reap immense benefits. It would be a whole new world.

  4. I love it when someone claims people like DRM. What a load of crap. What person would want to consciously make it more annoying to watch/listen to their media?

    The concept of copyright needs to be rethought for the digital age. Stuff like “They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard” shouldn’t exist in such a limbo (is it legal?). That copyright can be extended almost indefinitely is pretty lame, especially not that digital media makes it so easy to remix and extend existing content…

    Incidentally, I’ve written a rather large post on the subject of IP, DRM, and DMCA at my blog, if you’re interested.
    /blatant self promotion

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