The BD+ Technologies, LLC is now issuing specifications for use by movie studios to begin using the BD Plus (BD+) content protection system. Essentially, BD+ is now ready for studio use on new releases. BD+ is a very fluid content protection system which allows many levels of protection from piracy, ensuring that studio content isn't copied for financial gain.
Most will note that Fox/MGM has been silent for the past few months while waiting for this technology to mature, so we should be seeing an announcement from them shortly in regards to new releases. Other studios, including those who currently don't support Blu-ray, have shown some interest as well, though it is unknown if any other studio besides Fox will make use of this technology at this time.
BD+ is the ugly side of Blu.
it's purpose it to have an absolute almost "Orwellian" control over our use of the stuff.
I don't like it much, especially the "we-can-remotely-disable-your-machine-so-it's-good-to-trash" thing.
Well for now, it's good that blu wins the format war, cause it's the best of both, but beyond that ...
I hear you on the Orwellian comment but I doubt those features even get used in Draconian fashion. If they were to disable players there would be consumer revolt. Not a good plan for a format trying to win over the public. The capability is there to cut down on piracy and my guess is it will be used only in clear-cut, extreme situations.
Every protection is stupid and it will be overrun or cracked in few months...maybe years...but it will happen. They said that BD and HD DVD couldn't be coyped and now the net is full of them. Commercial software for ripping is sold and I am glad for that because I don't have HDCP graphic card and I wouldn't be able to watch any BD on my HTPC without one of that applications. And the format war? Only the format that would be copyable will win. Breakout of DVD came after it had been cracked. Thousand, millions of people have DVD player at home just because they can burn movies from their friends... And the money thing? The corporations are getting money from DVD licences, from sold player, blank dics...so the funds get to them just from another source. I don't believe that BD+ will last long, but if it does...it means the end of Blu-ray. People will invest in hardware but they will never buy dozens of original discs. And rentals? Yes, people will rent movies if they can make a copy at home. If this won't be possible...a lot less people will get BD titles at rental service. People copied VHS, they copy DVD and they will copy BD/HD DVD. Just get used to it, Sony, and stop inveting stupid protections , that will just piss of paying costumers like me. I bought 10 BD, but I wouldn't do that if I couldn't play them...so without AnyDVD HD Sony wouldn't get money from me...
I just think it's too bad that so much energy is spent on trying to thwart a small number of people. Although the movie industry likes to throw around numbers of how much money they 'lose' every year to pirates, I think it's fairly obvious that those numbers are:
a) a wild guess
b) don't take into account that the people who buy/steal pirated movies at a low/no price might not buy at a high price at all
c) probably most of the problem is over seas in Asia/less developed areas with loose/non-existent copy right laws
I was in the home theater industry all through college and my clients all had a ton of dvds and very few knew which end of the remote to point where and wouldn't have a clue how to copy anything. They were definitely the 'average' consumer. Aside from college kids that have no money and try to get everything, including media, for free, I wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority (90%+) of adults would still buy their movies even if there was no copy protection. I do. And everybody knows that there are legitimate reasons to copy media. Why laws exist that criminalize even legitimate copying shows that the industry begins with an adversarial attitude to the very people that pay their checks. Talk about biting the hand that feeds...
Seriously, is there any better way to store your dvds than on a hard drive media center of some kind? Pack all the dvd cases in a box; keep them nice and scratch-free; and rapidly select from a dynamic video juke box of all your movies. Why the media industry fights against this is beyond me. It wouldn't surprise me if all of the top execs in the relevant companies have media centers in their own homes. Rather than waste time/energy/money on such things as BD+, they'd be serving themselves better by contributing to the effort of digital convergence. It's going to happen anyway, whether they get on board or not. The funny thing is that it only takes one or two people to undo what entire legions of programmers and execs are trying to keep from happening.
One idea which would be in keeping with both copy right protection and digital freedom for the end-user would be the use of personal codes and non-physical media delivery. Using some form of biometrics/barcodes/personal information or whatever, a sufficiently long number could be generated which would be keyed to the specific copy of the media you bought via download from the studio. In other words, that copy would be specific to you and identifiable as such. You could transfer this copy to any device you want. You would input your number, or duplicate the steps it took to create it if it's too long to use conveniently, on each hardware device you want to place the media, which would then unlock the media for play. This would allow the end-user to have a music cd's worth of music on their laptop, their i-pod, and their media center. They could put all of their media on all of their devices simultaneously. You could further make this more secure by making the hardware react similar to region codes for dvd drives, but with the personal number instead. In other words, each hardware device would only accept one bio/barcode/number thingy at a time and would only be changeable a few times. This way, I could put my media on my devices, but my family could watch/listen while I'm at work. You wouldn't have to enter the code to use the device, just to set it up. And by allowing a set number of changes, I could still sell my hardware when I want to upgrade to something newer. Oh, and yes, I realize that if I download a personalized copy of a movie from a studio/publisher that any illegal copies of it floating around could be traced to me. That seems like a fair trade if I can otherwise use that media how I wish. And since I'm not a criminal, I'd like to know if someone stole my personal copy and would help to see them punished, just as if they broke into my house and stole my dvds.
So even if my idea isn't possible now or ever, the point is that work could be done by the powers that be to allow users to use what they've bought in the way they want to use it since that's what's going to happen anyway.