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jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray vs. DVD vs. DRM

Help me out here because I'm just a wee bit confused.

First let me outline my present understanding of DRM (digital rights management) as it relates to DVDs and then as it is supposed to related to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs. After which I'll explain why I'm confusion.

On all commercial movie DVDs the data on them is encrypted to prevent copying. The data encryption scheme in use was broken not long after the first DVDs hit the shelves and people have been copying them ever since. So much for DVDs and DRM.

This is not to be the case with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs. Hollywood has worked long and hard with the hardware manufacturers to ensure that the next generation high definition players will not allow any type of illegal copying and by all reports they seem to have succeeded.

Here's where I start to get confused.

On the hardware side, meaning video, audio, computers, etc, we have the manufacturers telling us all about the wonderful world of convergence. You know that magic place where everything works together without a hitch and at the push of a single button on a single easy to use remote

But on the software side, meaning movies and music, we have ever changing and incompatible formats with nastier and more complicated DRM, including root kits and other things best to avoid.

So if it is technically legal to copy a DVD or rip that DVD onto a hard drive only if you own the original and even then you have to use software which can not be legally sold in the USA, how come all these hardware manufacturers keep advertising multimedia servers? Plus with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs the copy protection schemes will not allow any type of copying or ripping, thereby making the whole concept of a media server moot.

In other words, they want us to have hi-def, but they just don't want us to have hi-def in a handy digital form because anything digital can be easily copied and once copied, pirated. I'm not a pirate, are you?

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