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Blu-ray Disc Association Agrees on Copy Protection System Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 August 2005
The Blu-ray Disc Association made its latest move by announcing that it has adopted a comprehensive content management system to protect against illegal copying. Piracy reportedly costs the movie industry over three billion dollars a year and the BDA claims their security standards will restrict large-scale copying while still giving users flexibility in using and managing their own legal copies. While no digital copy protection is “hacker proof” a robust platform was needed for Blu-ray in order to get Hollywood support for the format. As recently as last week Fox said they would support Blu-ray for home video releases in HDTV. This copy protection system is made up of three parts: Advanced Access Content System (AACS), BD+, and ROM Mark. AACS, also used by the rivaling HD-DVD format, enables consumers to share content throughout a home network or internet connection to manage authorized copies. Developers claim it is much more powerful than systems currently found on DVDs like CSS. An added measure, “BD+” gives content providers more ways to respond to hacks by allowing dynamic updates of compromised code once flaws are uncovered. This only affects players that have actually suffered attacks and not those that might be vulnerable but still continue to work well. Critics also suggest that with more and more components constantly connected to the Internet that “big brother is watching.” The question is – will consumers care about privacy issues when faced with the cost of owning a movie on an HDTV Blu-ray disc is less than the cost of going to the theater.

The third component is ROM Mark, a watermarking technology designed to prevent mass unauthorized copying. Only licensed BD-ROM manufacturers have access to the equipment that can make these unique ROM Marks, thus allowing authentic BD-ROM media like movies and music to be identified.


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