Hooray! Blu-ray BD+ hacked!

The good folks at SlySoft announced last week that they'd broken the BD+ copy protection scheme:With today's release of version 6.4.

The good folks at SlySoft announced last week that they'd broken the BD+ copy protection scheme:

With today's release of version 6.4.0.0 of AnyDVD HD it is now also possible to make backup security copies of Blu-ray discs protected with BD+.

Cool.

Is unbreakable consumer copy protection possible? It sure doesn't look like it. After all, consumers have access to:

  1. The protected data
  2. The device that can read the protected data
  3. The unprotected data - via HDMI

Serious data protection schemes seek to keep at least 1 and preferably 2 of these out of the hands of possible code breakers. German codes during WWII relied on a machine to encode and decode the data. It wasn't until the British got their hands on one of them - thanks to the Polish underground - that they were able to start unraveling the codes.

Deliver all 3 and it is hard to see how a workable, mass-production system can possibly avoid penetration. But as long as Hollywood wants to control access, inventors will come forward claiming they've "solved" the problem.

The Storage Bits take Strong copy protection will never stop determined criminals from large-scale counterfeiting. What it does do is discourage people who buy legitimate disks from using the content the way they want - whether watching it on their iPhone or ripping it to a flash drive to take on a trip.

Those of us with young children know how tough they can be on digital media - so it sure is nice to give the kid a backup copy rather than the original. All these cases fall under the doctrine of "fair use" - a doctrine Hollywood has sought to eliminate.

Onerous copy protection hurts Hollywood more than it helps, because it makes other, unprotected, digital media products more attractive: easier to watch; easier to share; and easier to create new content with. The democratization of digital media raises the bar for Hollywood productions.

Which benefits all of us who enjoy being entertained or enlightened. SlySoft's product will make Blu-ray more attractive for consumers, not less. Ultimately, that is a good thing for Hollywood too.

Comments welcome, of course.

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