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May turns out to be a disastrous month for AACS: first AnyDVD HD
manages to decrypt the first discs using new keys before the discs
are even officially released, and now the
new processing key has been found - actually it was discovered
only a day after the official release date of the first discs using
the new keys.
0.0.9 fixes even more issues and hopefully will pave the way
for some exiting new features.
8.2.1 fixes the broken trace mode in v8.2.
This has to sting: Finland, along with every other EU member state
had to implement the Euro DMCA when the entertainment industry managed
to trick our elected representatives into signing off a law that
drastically shifts the balance in copyright law towards the content
owners. However, what is an effective copy protection mechanism
as defined in the DMCA? The Finnish government thinks CSS is included
and sued the people operating a site that contained information
on how to back up your own DVDs despite CSS - and lost in the first
instance. The court rules that CSS
cannot be considered an effective access control mechanism and
providing tools and information on how to bypass is, is therefore
not prohibited by the Euro DMCA.
0.82 can select non hidden button/BOV by default, tries to open
the BUP file if the IFO file cannot be found, tries to load the
backup menubuttons.but file if it exists, resets file permissions
when writing to a write protected file fails, has buttons for to
select the previous/next cell in the cell selector and fixes a few
is a program to help you visualize how the subset
difference technique used in AACS works. It helps you understand
how the AACS revocation mechanism works.
0.0.8 fixes two major bugs that could cause content corruption.
HD decrypter 220.127.116.11 beta support more ProtectDVD titles and
contains an improved protection removal engine.
First it was HD DVD with problem titles like Planet Earth and Children
of Men, now Blu-ray standalone owners are in for a firmware upgrade
- the two Pirates of the Caribbean titles just released this week
use of more BD-J than most standalone players can chew.
The EU snooping directive is seen as a welcome
source of information to go after P2P users by the copyright cartels
1.35b defaults to stereo output, has a new tab with all SPDIF
options, supports themes and fixes a few bugs.
After the massive losses of its game division, lacking sale number
of their flagship console, Sony is now facing even more problems
that directly track back to Blu-ray: they've been sued
for violating a patent on certain materials contained in Blu-ray
discs. Given that the patent was granted over a year ago, I
have to ask: why not file before the format hit the marketplace?
You may have read the buzz somewhere already: Managed Copy. Mandatory
on HD DVD, optional on Blu-ray, and it remains a mystery and even
a year after HD DVD has launched, there's no way to make a managed
copy. Now the AACS LA claims they're about to close the deal and
finalize the specs. I believe it when I see it, and apparently I'm
not alone in that boat. Digital audio recorders do have something
like managed copy - called SCMS - that is built into every consumer
electronic recorder and prevents you from making copies from a copy,
but you don't have to ask anybody permission or even pay extra to
make a copy, and the clearinghouse idea eerily reminds me of DIVX.
After lawmakers started getting involved, the RIAA front SoundExchange
has started to rethink the royalties hike for online radios - at
least for smaller ones. However, the proposal
still leaves to be desired so the online radio industry is still
hoping that their allies on Capitol Hill come through.
0.95 supports MP4, OGM and MKV files, allows you to edit script
and batch files before encoding and comes with up-to-date versions
of MediaInfo and BatchMux.
1.0.0 Alpha 5 can save BMPs and create AVS templates and it
fixes a bunch of bugs.
The massive increase in royalties for online broadcasters were
only the first step in the RIAA's campaign to squeeze out more money
from radio stations: now they've set
their sights on traditional radio stations and want to get rid of
the royalty exemption (so far radio stations don't have to pay
record labels anything to play music - they only pay composers and
publishers). If consumers are less enthusiastic to foot the S-class,
somebody else has to step up, right?
And along the lines of that, the industry has found a proponent
for the mother of all copyright duration extensions: The NY Times
ran an opinion piece last weekend which asks for perpetual copyright
protection. But all the points raised have summarily been smashed
to pieces on multiple
occasions. Perhaps we ought to give up on the term intellectual
property (mostly industry used anyway) and find something that better
befits the reason copyright law was enacted - to encourage the creation
of new works (and not a perpetual revenue stream!).
And speaking of encouragement, the same reasoning was used to create
patent law - which has also been perverted to competition prevention
people getting into patent litigation because it offers a better
payday than to innovate.
1.6.18 is better at handling AVI files written in capture more
or the sector alignment option and no longer crashes when selecting
Cancel after removing certain filters from the filter chain.
0.0.7 fixes a few bugs.
Last but not least, IEEE Spectrum has a portrait
of the founder of the P2P network Limewire - currently under
attack by the RIAA.
0.626 contains a completed TrueHD parser.
is a tool to convert E-AC3 and TrueHD audio tracks to AC3 or FLAC.
0.0.6 contains preliminary support for adding subtitles and
fixes a few bugs.
This one might be interesting for owners of the new nVidia middle
class GFX cards: PowerDVD 7.3 build 2911 supports hardware acceleration
on the Geforce 8500 and 8600 series. You can download either the
patch for an existing installation or a full
version (you still need a valid serial of course)
What is an active party of the anime community - fansubbing - can
get you in really hot waters in Poland: Apparently they have a law
that prohibits unauthorized translations and now a bunch of people
have been arrested by posting Polish subtitles for movies for which
no subtitles are currently available.
Better warn your elected representatives about the latest MPAA/RIAA
lobby group - the Copyright
Alliance. Their goals, why, rewrite copyright law to rid it
of any consumer friendly provision of course (do we even have to
ask?). It's a good thing I already had lunch as otherwise I'd risk
choking on BS like 'enrich our culture through incentives to create
and disseminate new and innovative creative works'. That is what
copyright law was originally about - it wasn't about a license to
print money by selling us one copy for the living room, one for
the bedroom, one for the children's room, one for the iPod, and
another one for each CD/DVD our children scratch beyond recognition.
is a new tool that allows you to edit various elements of Blu-ray
After MySpace and YouTube, social networking site Imeem is the
next target in the RIAA's crosshairs: Warner has just filed suit
against them for copyright infringement.
If you're studying at Stanford and are using P2P tools, better
don't let anyone catch you: the university will cut off your
Interent access if they receive a complaint by the industry and
you'll have to shell out a reconnection fee ranging from $100 for
the first offense up to $1000 for the third offense (or rather..
complaint.. anybody with a reasonable technical background can easily
discard the RIAA's way of collecting "evidence").
2.9 now shows an estimated size for AVI output, properly displays
the first and second pass settings for DivX and XviD output, enforces
the selection of a compatible codec when multipass encoding has
been activated and it uses the latest Microsoft codecs which should
improve VC-1 / WMA performance at low bitrates.
HD 18.104.22.168 beta can handle the first HD titles to use the new
AACS keys issued on April 23rd. So round two goes to the paying
customer as well :)
And let's stick to HD for a minute: To ensure that HD DVD players
still retail significantly cheaper than their Blu-ray counterparts,
is offering a $100 instant rebate for the HD-A2 player for one
month - bringing the list price down to $299. In the last week of
the rebate period, the rebate will also apply to any Toshiba HD
model - and you can combine this with the already existing promotion
to get 5 free titles. Seeing that Panasonic also offers free title
for their cheapest Blu-ray player yet, I can't help but think Toshiba
is beginning to step up on PR. By the way, the HD-A2 can already
be had for as little as $277.88 at Amazon - so a $199 pricetag for
the upcoming Chinese HD DVD players suddenly looks rather realistic.
While we're talking Amazon, their upcoming online music store will
be MP3 only and DRM free. Amazon's still unnamed store will carry
songs from thousands of record labels - the only question remaining
is whether that number includes any other major than EMI.
Disney is taking the lead in TV streaming again: starting in July,
they'll beta test 720p
streaming from their website. Now they'll only need to offer
up the streaming to non US residents...
Get ready for the Intellectual
Property Protection Act of 2007. While the Bush administration
is pushing the bill, looking through the provisions contained therein
make it unmistakably clear who is really behind it: First of all
we get a new crime: attempting to infringe copyright - it'll get
you just as much prison time as actually committing the infringement.
Then we have wiretaps for investigations into people who are attempting
to infringe copyright, increased penalties for DMCA violations,
penalties for intended copyright crimes and last but not least the
Department of Homeland Security giving the RIAA a heads-up when
somebody tries to import CDs containing unauthorized recordings
of live musical performances.
Panasonic beats Sony to the punch with a $599 Blu-ray standalone
player - the DMP-BD10A
is now available.
While iTunes is making Disney a good buck, Forrester predicts that
part of iTunes has no long term future.
In yet another DMCA takedown saga, Universal
Music has been caught trying to squash content with yet another
fraudulent invocation of a DMCA takedown notice.
When the band itself
considers the pricing of their album so high that it encourages
piracy, you have to wonder whether it's really "all about
HD Decrypter 22.214.171.124 supports new varieties of ProtectDVD and
ARccOS, contains updated language files and fixes a few bugs.
ExtremeTech has the first
review of LG's upcoming dual format HD drive for PCs - the GGW-H10N.
DGMPGDec 1.4.9 final has been released. It adds an AviSynth template
to generate audio delay and of course contains all the changes from
previous betas and release candidates.
0.94 comes with the latest versions of ImgBurn, Mediainfo, Aften,
Muxman, HC and SubtitleCreator, allows you to select a maximum bitrate,
has audio normalization options, is available for 64bit operating
systems and the whole package has been trimmed down.
It didn't take long: both Engadet
Digital Bits have received statements from Universal indicating
that there'll be no Blu-ray titles.
And while we're at it - Disney appears to have been close to going
format neutral in the past but due to current disc sales numbers
(fueled mostly by the PS3), HD
DVD no longer seems an option. I wonder how a big HD DVD hardware
deal (like the one WalMart was considering) would influence this
It's amazing what kind of twisted logic the copyright industry
is coming up - knowing very well that DRM only has one goal: create
a perpetual revenue stream by selling the same people the same thing
over and over again by stripping away the possibility to turn legitimately
purchased content into another format that would play on another
player - here's their latest PR move to fool the consumer: rename
DRM to DCE: Digital Consumer Enablement. Of course, big business
fails to make a case for the "enablement" portion that
would actually make sense to the consumer. You don't need DRM for
download to burn or VOD - they work perfectly fine without and traditional
pre DMCA copyright as well as contract law affords protection against
those that violate the terms of such services.
And while we're on the subject, here's one even better: Two companies
- Media Rights Technologies and BlueBeat - have sent cease and desist
letters to Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Real for not using MRT/BlueBeat's
DRM. The "logic" behind the C&D: failure to use an
available DRM solution violates the DMCA. Now here's a case for
mandatory drug testing before such letters even be sent out.
And here's one for our German readers: the IFPI and Udo Jürgens
are trying to pressure German chancellor Angela Merkel into further
limiting the rights to make private copies (recall that the Euro
DMCA basically killed the private copy already.. but why not stab
it in the back while it's already down?) and to extent copyright
from 50 to 95 years (recall that economic arguments actually favor
a reduction of the protection period). On top of that they want
ISPs to cut
off your Internet access if you upload something that violates
copyright law (I'm sure the cutoff would be before a court actually
finds you guilty).
And last but not least, adding to the long number of independent
(RIAA sponsored studies curiously always find the opposite) studies
that confirm that P2P filesharing has little direct effect on sales
of music. The study entitled "Share,
Steal or Buy? A Social Cognitive Perspective of Music Downloading"
focuses mostly on the psychology of file sharing.
In the latest attempt to get legislation to outlaw recording a
film in movie theaters, Warner Brothers has canceled
all promotional screenings of their movies in Canada. According
to Warner, 70% of all camcorded movie releases were taped in Canada.
Dare I ask how a shitty CAM release would really be considered an
equivalent to watching the movie on the big screen (or even from
a DVD at home) by anyone?
The WIPO - I'm looking for a catchy phrase here to point out that
they have mostly represented industry interests for at least over
a decade - is still trying to push through the broadcast treaty
in a form that only benefits the copyright industry and leaves the
rest in the dust. The
opposition to this approach is broad: it contains the computing
industry, the consumer electronic industry, library associations
and of course consumer groups, but will it be enough?
Disney has just reported
their annual numbers - they're down a little but Disney seems
quite pleased with how their online business (selling content via
iTunes) is doing - and doesn't seem to want to budge on the HD format
front: it's BD only for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, the first "more DRM is great" parties have
undoubtedly broken out by Pioneer's
putting Universal in the neutral camp in the HD format war.
Me, I'm just waiting for an official statement that is highly likely
to be a bit different - and those that fear a BD+ infested future
will be able to breath a little easier for the time being.
After HD DVD subtitles, Blu-ray is next: It is now possible to
and process Blu-ray subtitles using the latest releases of xport
and Supread. And SubtitleCreator
2.2.2 can import HD-SUP subtitles.
The latest version of TsRemux
can handle program stream to transport stream remuxing, thus enabling
you to convert VOBs and EVOs to M2TS format.
1.4.9 RC2 can demux LPCM audio for M2TS files.
Is Apple abandoning the 'one price fits all' mantra for iTunes?
Naturally, the higher priced DRM-free songs opened the door and
it seems Apple
is willing to be more flexible on pricing, but only if songs
are being sold without DRM. Now the ball is in the DRM lover's court
Will we soon see the end of second hand CD shops? I honestly have
never even contemplated buying CDs second hand (I'm way too anal
about keeping things scratch free where most people just throw around
discs until they are scratched beyond recognition), but second hand
legislation in Florida and Utah make you think: you need a permit
to buy and sell second hand CDs, need to make
a copy of a state issues photo ID of the seller and take a fingerprint,
need to keep items you bought for 30 days before reselling, and
as a seller you'd only get store credit. And all that for a piece
of plastic that didn't even cost 20 bucks to begin with? Come on..
supports DVB tuners from Tongshi and contains updated modules for
TechnoTrend and DVBWorld cards.
Muxman 0.15R fixes a few bugs.
is a transport stream remuxer that supports transport stream from
Blu-ray, Satellite and terrestrial TV broadcasts.
126.96.36.199 controls the minimum windows size, can split menus at
up to 32 split points, can split a cell in the menu domain, checks
for PTS discontinuities when extending cells, allows up to 32 split
points per cell, shows the GOP type and cell elapsed time in the
preview, disables overlay if needed in Windows Vista, and there's
a bunch of smaller changes and bugfixes. And as a sideeffect from
the lawsuits against RipIt4Me, VobBlanker now refuses to run when
AnyDVD, DVD43 or DVDRegionFree are running.
Not having learnt the lesson that once the genie is out of the
bottle, it cannot be put back in, the AACS LA is dead set to go
down the same path as the DVD CCA did once upon a time when dodsrip
and DeCSS were the tools to back up DVDs: get
more lawyers involved. How about this subject for a thesis in
business: the economics of the movie industry in absence of DRM.
After all, it's simple economics when people turn away from legitimate
purchases and get their movies elsewhere - and even some studio
execs believe there's a way to compete with free, but nobody tries
to go for it all the way.
And following the industry's long line of slapping DRM on everything
instead of selling the product for a reasonable price that discourages
piracy, the little known HD VMD format boasts
yet another system to "protect" legitimate buyers from
making backup copies.
The RIAA/MPAA friends in Congress have begun quizzing US universities
on what they do to curb piracy on college campuses - and threaten
to take action if the answers are not satisfactory (satisfactory
to the industry obviously - who cares about students anyway). Meanwhile,
at Harvard, they think that universities
should not become the RIAA's henchmen and instead defend targeted
students and ask Congress to roll back the copyright laws introduced
within the last decade that only benefit the industry.
Almost a year after the raid on the Pirate Bay raid in Sweden (under
pressure from US officials who in term were pressured by the RIAA
and MPAA), the
state is dead set on pressing charges - even if they don't know
what those charges will be yet. One has to wonder whether this is
just a PR move to appease the aforementioned 4 letter organizations
as the time to press charges is running out quickly (charges have
to be filed by June 1st).
You might want to hold off a bit until the news item reappears
in my news forum - but here's the gist about DivX
6.6: it brings faster decoding, faster encoding in insane mode,
better compression in the fastest mode and it contains experimental
SSE4 optimizations for intel's upcoming CPU generation.
While HD DVD already has a hook into the PC market with the Xbox
360 add-on, the first affordable Blu-ray reader is Pioneer's BDC-2202,
a $299 model. The $100 over the HD DVD model gets you access to
tripe DRM infected Blu-ray discs and also acts as a DVD burner.
Once again, the population outside the US gets the boot from a
useful online service: while TV stations never opened up their streaming
to non US audiences, we now have online
radio stations beginning to shut out non US listeners - mainly
because of the upcoming massive hike of royalties that the RIAA
cannot wait to get their hands on. And less than two weeks before
the new loyalties were due, they've been delayed
until July 15th - just enough time to ask
your elected representatives to go for for HR-2006 - the Internet
Radio Equality Act.
HC 0.21 has SSSE3 support, contains some new functions, speeds
up encoding for the best profile and contains some bugfixes as well.
Sadly, there's still no SMP optimizations :(
Last night, the forum's all time record number of users was broken
again - and not by small margin: we went up from almost 3000 to
almost 5000 simultaneous users. Fortunately the server didn't overheat
under the intense pressure :) And we owe it all to the AACS LA:
their half month old DMCA takedown notices started gaining some
interest around the web - notably it went up on slashdot and digg.
But only the removal of all related material from digg really made
things interesting - people started complaining in numbers that
couldn't be ignored, so the links
were reinstated. And that just kept fueling things with stories
appearing on BBC,
and even CNN.
The funny thing is: discs manufactured after April 23rd can no longer
be decrypted with the processing key that was discovered back in
February - so while all current 4xx titles are affected, the bulk
of titles to come out will require keys that are yet to be found
to be decrypted.
They so barely missed the top ten of alleged "worst copyright
offenders" that the International Intellectual Property Alliance
(IIPA - anybody come up with what sinister motives those letters
really stand for?) is ganging up on the US government to include
Canada in the top ten list of copyright offenders. Those not
swayed by industry propaganda tend
to see Canada's copyright laws in a much more favorable light.
And I'm quite convinced that if the majority of voters knew the
side effects of DMCA style legislation, no such law would ever be
passed in any country not run by a dictator.
Now I'm really getting curious: After the removal of RipIt4Me and
the related forums and guides, the subsequent removal of FixVTS,
whole decryption forum has disappeared from Digital Digest.
Since there's no info available as usual, it might be prudent to
check for any ongoing litigation against the parent company of Digital
Digest in Australia.. you never know what you might find.
1.4.9 RC1 fixes a few bugs.
proposed implementation of the EU snooping directive should
make your hair stand up: we're not only talking about keeping records
on your online activity for 3 years (3 times as long as the proposed
minimum and a year beyond the maximum of the EU directive), but
also login and password information - I'm sure a lot of people would
love to get their hands on those pieces of information :) In light
of that, Le Monde is asking if
the state wants to kill the Internet.
While the RIAA and MPAA would like to see nothing more than for
Pirate Bay to be shut down, some
artists are uploading torrents to that same site.
It appears Apple has taken one step towards a DRM free iTunes:
Until this date, except for the EMI deal noone could sell music
on iTunes without DRM - now
Apple is offering this possibility to all its partners.
And in an example just what you can expect from the ongoing WIPO
negotiations on the broadcast treaty - take
a look at the restrictions imposed on the reuse of broadcasts of
the US Presidential debates.
Last month's news can be found here.