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First pirated HD DVD movie hits BitTorrent

This Article Is Sponored By You! | Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by Salman Siddiqui | Comments
I am now blogging on my self hosted blog CompuWorld and started another blog of mine the Senorita

Pirates around the world have fired another shot with the first release of the first full-resolution rip of an HD DVD movie on BitTorrent. The movie, Serenity, was made available as a .EVO file and is playable on most DVD playback software packages such as PowerDVD. The file was encoded in MPEG-4 VC-1 and the resulting file size was a hefty 19.6 GB.

This release follows the announcement, less than a month ago, that the copy protection on HD DVD had been bypassed by an anonymous programmer known only as Muslix64. The open-source program to implement this was called Backup HDDVD and was released in a manner designed to put the onus of cracking on the user, not the software. To extract an unencrypted copy of the HD DVD source material required obtaining that disc's volume or title key separately, which the software did not do. However, a key was later released on the Internet, and a method for extracting further keys is allegedly available as well.

Now that the genie is out of the lamp, so to speak, what will the reaction be from the content industry? CyberLink, the makers of PowerDVD playback software, have already stated that the title keys were not obtained through their software, although this has yet to be conclusively proven. As for the content providers themselves, they have already said that they reserve the right to invalidate known pirated keys in the future. But to be of any use, they'll first need to determine which software application is responsible for giving up the volume keys. If it is something like PowerDVD, future titles can require that the user upgrade their software in order to play discs—this can be made to happen automatically when new discs are first inserted.

Muslix64 and others involved in Backup HDDVD are deliberately not exposing the actual method by which the keys have been obtained. This is partly to protect themselves from legal repercussions, but also to ensure that whatever "hole" that is being exploited remains unpatched. In the ongoing war between the pirates and the content providers, the pirates appear to be winning, but who knows who will get caught in the crossfire?

Source: arstechnica (the full news article copied)

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