AfterDawn: Glossary

Macrovision


Macrovision is American company that develops various copy-protection schemes for audio and video purposes.

The company is best known for their copy-protection mechanism for VHS tapes bundled with virtually every sold pre-recorded VHS tape in the world. Also, every DVD player sold in the U.S. has Macrovision copy-protection mechanism built-in which prevents DVDs to be recorded to VHS cassettes without hacking either the DVD player or the VCR.

More recently it has ventured into DVD protection and Blu-ray protection schemes.

Ripguard


RipGuard is a copy protection mechanism developed by Macrovision. Since Content Scrambling System (CSS) on retail DVDs is so easy to circumvent using free widespread software, several methods to discourage making proper copies of DVD-Video content have been devised and put out on the market.

RipGuard's sole reason for existence is to disrupt software made for DVD ripping purposes. When RipGuard was first announced by Macrovision, the company tried to market it using a claim that it could defeat 97% of all DVD ripping software available. At the same time, Macrovision was also using its legal arm to target ripping software that could easily circumvent its technologies.

As an example, Macrovision went after the author of the popular DVD Decrypter utility and subsequently acquired the rights to the software. The company then sent warning letters to sites hosting the DVD Decrypter tool demanding it be removed while threatening further legal action if it remained on offer.

Despite Macrovision's claims about RipGuard, and any efforts to stomp out ripping utilities online, RipGuard can reportedly be beaten easily using either commercial software like Slysoft's AnyDVD, or freeware like DVDFab Decrypter. RipGuard is also controversial in that there are confirmed cases of its inclusion on DVD media resulting in content playback problems.

BD+


BD+ is the name given to an experimental Digital Rights Management (DRM) mechanism that will be included on BD-ROM discs. The Blu-ray Disc Association was forced into providing this extra layer of protection following pressure from Fox. The HD DVD group did not agree to provide Fox with such a DRM over AACS. The fears about BD+ surround the possibility of studios like Fox theoretically being given the power to restrict Mandatory Managed Copy (a system that allows users to make digital copies of movies and send them around a home network).

BD+ allows for dynamic encryption schemes, meaning that if the protection were to be cracked, manufacturers could simply change the encryption scheme on new discs, so on single crack could not open up all BD-ROM discs. This is, of course a major advantage over the Content Scrambling System (CSS) protection used on DVD discs which was cracked years ago. All old and new DVDs containing CSS can be ripped from the disc to a HDD, or software is available to simply remove CSS on-the-fly.

In November, BD+ was sold to Macrovision.

Related News:


Study shows a third of US and UK residents copying DVDs (9 July 2008)- According to a new study funded by Macrovision a third of all US and UK residents have copied at least one DVD in the last 6 months. In the UK the number is around 32%, compared to around 36% in the US.

New AnyDVD HD release from SlySoft targets BD+ (19 March 2008)- Now with the release of v6.4.0.0, a SlySoft press release declares that BD+ is not going to stop it, or consumers, from copying their own discs.

Macrovision acquires BD+ (11/19/2007)- Cryptography Research, Inc. agrees in principle to sell the BD+ copy protection to Macrovision for $45 million USD in cash and stock.

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