HD DVD DRM cracker interviewed

There is a fascinating interview with muslix64 today on the Slyck.com site.

muslix64 is the guy who cracked HD DVD DRM when he released the open source application BackupHDDDVD just before Christmas. HD DVD is one of a pair of new formats of High Definition DVDs (the other format is called Blu-ray).

muslix64’s application will allow people to bypass the DRM on DVDs and access the HD DVD’s movie content directly.

As the proud possessor of several DVDs which were bought in the US and won’t play on my DVD player in Ireland because of the regionalisation built into DVDs, I’m delighted this has happened.

The sooner the movie studios realise that all the money they are pouring into DRM is wasted because 1) they are annoying their customers and 2) people will find a way around it anyway, the better.

As muslix64 said:

The reaction time of the community will be way faster than the reaction time of the industry.

9 thoughts on “HD DVD DRM cracker interviewed”

  1. If you disapprove of the terms/conditions attached to a product or service, then surely the appropriate (and, conveniently, legal) response is to boycott it, and not seek to illegaly circumvent the terms and/or conditions.

  2. Steven, the DVDs I am referring to here are either presents or a couple I bought from a US website. The US website is not returning emails to support and don’t list a number.

    Having said that, if Gandhi had agreed with your principle, India would still be under British rule.

    I don’t necessarily agree that all laws have to be adhered to. There are many laws on the Irish statute books which are obviously ridiculous.

    For instance it is illegal to copy your music from your (legally bought) CDs onto your mp3 player.

    If my wife ever died, Irish laws on marriage prevent me from marrying her sisters/nieces, etc.

  3. Fantastic, you’ve just killed a lot of the motion picture production business and nearly all international cinema chains.

    The two main reasons for region protection are..

    1: Films are routinely financed by selling the international distribution rights to different parties in order to offset the risk of expensive failures and drive down costs. So let’s say that Fox produce a movie but want to offset some of the development cost and some of the risk if it tanks, they could offer Paramount the international distribution rights for an upfront payment while the movie is in production. Paramount then gets to distribute and recognize the revenue from sales in the international markets they’ve agreed to purchase. Remove the region protection and that goes out the window as the moment it comes out on region free DVD in the US, Paramount start losing revenue from the folks buying online from Amazon.com

    Now you know why Apple don’t offer us movies from the iTunes Music Store. Outside of the US the rights can be held by numerous different parties and you’d have to negotiated on a per movie basis depending on the deal structure.

    2: Movies in international markets can play in cinemas long after they’ve been released on DVD in the US. Also, the lead time between the US DVD release and the close out of the US cinema release has gone from months to weeks. If the discs were region free anyone could order the latest summer blockbuster in HD, and watch it at home numerous times before it shows up in October/November in international cinemas.

    I don’t like Region protection but I can understand it. Hence the reason I have multi region players at home.

  4. The reference to Gandhi is, I think, misleading: there can surely be no comparison between the struggle for civil rights in colonial India and the “privilege” of being able to watch Weekend at Bernie’s II (or whatever it is) on DVD.

  5. It’s like Mark stated, buy a region free DVD player, this alone creates the conditions that removal of ‘regions’ from DVD’s would produce. Besides, almost all current players can be modified to region free with the proper codes available on the internet. The ‘region’ process is only a law in the U.S. and is only really a profit engine for the studios.

  6. Mark and Steven,

    Some would say that DVD regioning, or in fact, regioning in any consumer product be it DVD’s or games is contrary to principles of free-trade. That, (quote) “region coding is detrimental to consumer welfare as it severely limits consumer choice and, in some cases, access to competitively priced goods”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_lockout
    http://www.itnews.com.au/News/NewsStory.aspx?story=20369
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/PlayStation-ruling-a-victory-lawyers/2005/10/06/1128562928349.html
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MULR/2006/22.html

    I personally think the large multinationals implementing the region coding (and so furiously seeking to protect them) are rich enough. Consumers rights should also be protected. This is too often forgotten these days.

  7. What consumer rights? That’s soft headed. You have no innate rights to view my movie! The only right you have is the one I sell you and it is MY right to determine when and where and by whom my film is viewed.

    This debate is utterly bereft of any real principles. You are all merely discussing various forms of theft… from me.

  8. I refuse to rent music. If I buy a CD I darn well better be able to place it on anything I want to. I only buy singles online anymore and if I want the whole CD I’ll buy it from the store/artist. The thing about buying a whole album online is unless they offer a lossless download you are not buying CD quality but having to pay near CD prices. I also certainly won’t be paying more than once for different formats.

  9. Movies in international markets can play in cinemas long after they’ve been released on DVD in the US. Also, the lead time between the US DVD release and the close out of the US cinema release has gone from months to weeks. If the discs were region free anyone could order the latest summer blockbuster in HD, and watch it at home numerous times before it shows up in October/November in international cinemas.

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