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Macrovision wants DRM to stay

Written by Dave Horvath @ 18 Aug 2006 6:27 User comments (11)

Macrovision wants DRM to stay Everyone's favorite copyright enforcer Macrovision is currently in the midst of a bloodmatch with longtime sparring partner Sima Products.
In 2005, Macrovision filed a lawsuit claiming that Sima's processors made it far too easy to circumvent copy protection schemes (DRM) applied to analog video. Macrovision had pioneered this copy protection standard by inserting "noise" into blank spaces left in analog signals. This noise would then give a less than stellar copy if left alone. Since Sima's processors are known to digitize signal, the copy protection scheme was inherantly stripped away as digital signal does not need the vertical blank spacing of an analog signal.

Macrovision disputed this as circumventing their copy protection and the Court agreed, issuing an injunction against Sima which was upheld in June.

Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro said, "Consumers should be outraged by today's decision. The devices Sima Products manufactures simply allow consumers to use digital techniques to make up for viewing artifacts in analog material—some from age or distortion, and some caused as a result of the use of distortive copy protection techniques. The legislative history of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is clear that passive analog measures that distort video signals are not 'technical protection measures.'"

There is now an appeal in front of a Federal Court attempting to show that this form of copy protection does not in actuality protect consumers from making copies, only inhibits them from making a worthwhile copy. Therefore, there is no circumvention to speak of, it's merely a technological pitfall.

There is no resolution in sight for this debate, however anti-DRM groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have spoken out by saying, "If Macrovision wins, digital video innovators will be stuck carrying the albatross of Macrovision's analog noise for years to come."

ARS Technica

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11 user comments

118.8.2006 6:34

Well, almost all the copy-protection schemes have been cracked. There are a few sneaky ones still around though...

218.8.2006 7:29

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Aug 2006 @ 13:31

318.8.2006 7:39

"Checksum error", AACS, HDMI (this is more of a hardware issue though), and the new ATI graphix cards with built-in DRM to name a few. There are more, but I don't have time to name them all.

418.8.2006 11:45

well said gogog, macrovision just honestly needs to get gone. i hope their business goes under.

518.8.2006 12:37

yeah, macrovisiion is weak-sauce.

619.8.2006 0:08

Forgive me if I am wrogn but dosent DRM mean macrovistion wont be needed anymore? Besides theyve been cracked to death 0-o

719.8.2006 22:54

I believe yrs ago you had the right to make backup copies of your own meterial that you purchase. Heck even the recording of a friends meterial didn't get you into trouble unless you were on the street trying to sell the crap. Most people just enjoy copying for their own personal use. And if the companies want to make $$ they need to come up with AEM (Ads Enforcement Management) and this way at least you can copy what you will and the artists get paid. Everyone wins. I bet Blue Ray disc's will be cracked really soon and again it will be back to the drawing board. Even WMV files have been cracked.

820.8.2006 13:24

Well I have to agree macrovision protection isnt the strongest out there. And anyway software developers are always one step a head of these companies and even if their not in a few months after the new protection is out there a antidote is made.

920.8.2006 15:17

borhan9 I'd love to see a dev and publisher wake up and say fck it not do any kind of portection on a game and see it for 10 less. I wouldnt care what the game was I'd buy it just to feel the power of thier shiny brass balls 0-o

1020.8.2006 19:01

With companies like Slysoft up and running very well and on our side, copy protection will soon be a thing of the past (it almost is now anyway). I can't wait to see how long it takes SlySoft to create an AnyDVD program to get rid of the copy right on HD-DVD or Blu-ray DVDs when one of the formats wins the war. Heck, with the most recent update to AnyDVD you can now legally download full movies and then burn them to DVDs as many times as needed.

1121.8.2006 9:43

It has to really burn Macrovision to find that there is now another way to circumvent their analog protection schemes. What is crazy is that if you are designing a device to convert analog signal to digital inherently you will want the best performance possible, as little noise as possible in your conversion keeping the Signal-to-Noise ratio down. That is exactly what Sigma is doing yet some brain dead judge, possibly paid off, rules against it because it violates Macrovision's poor attempt to protect video content, what a joke. A good video stabilizer has been used for quite some time now to circumvent and provide better video content when duping VHS tapes or even Tivo recordings. The US government is suppose to be for the PEOPLE not big business but you can see that is far from true government caters to big business not the common people and in fact they tend to be extortionists themselves always looking at a way to get more taxes (money) from us and they lie about the reasons they need more yet where does the money go? They even host gambling, pull tabs, and lotto for there own selfish needs, which isn’t good for us overall. Slysoft rules...

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