Skip to comments.Teen cleared in landmark DVD case - Norwegian not guilty of DVD piracy charges
Posted on 01/07/2003 11:57:54 AM PST by weegeeEdited on 04/29/2004 2:01:53 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
OSLO, Norway -- A Norwegian teenager has been cleared of DVD piracy charges in a landmark trial brought by major Hollywood studios.
The Oslo court said Jon Johansen, known in Norway as "DVD Jon," had not broken the law when he helped unlock a code and distribute a computer program enabling DVD films to be copied.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Actually the data on DVD's is encrypted. The private keys needed to decrypt the data themselves were supplied to DVD manufacturers and DVD software developers. These keys were supposed to themselves be encrypted. However, DVD software developer neglected to encrypt the private keys, and that is how the kid got ahold of them.
Actually, there is Macrovision (which interferes with analog attempts at copying). Apex (and other manufacturers) are capable of disabling the Macrovision pulse signal. This is helpful for those who do not wish to copy a DVD but do need to line it into a VCR to watch it on their television set (either due to lack of sufficient input ports or the need to line in the picture through a co-ax cable).
Laserdisc had no copy protection of any type. The audio was digital but the picture was analog (meaning that the content cannot be "ripped").
DVDs are currently limited in their storage capacity. If the program could be off loaded to a harddrive in the DVD player, multi-level and multi-disc recordings could play through seemlessly. Won't ever be permitted though as the industry is too fearful of home piracy. Alternate branching in playback could be faster too (give the viewer the option to watch the movie's theatrical cut, director's cut, workprint cut, or extended cut).
Some planned DVD recorders don't even record to disc, just a temporary drive internal in the box.
I've heard that some digital video receivers put a block signal in the pay-per-view broadcasts that jam the video signal on recordings, even VCRs. The program looks fine when the original broadcast is watched but noticable every few minutes on playback.
Big Media does not like the concept of fair use/home taping (Hollywood didn't even like the Supreme Court decision in favor of Sony Betamax).
I've got a DVD writer in my PC, and initial attempts at burning a copy of DVD's don't work. The playback bad quality is not just noticable, it's extremely unwatchable. Using a patch cable from an external DVD player is better, but the playback suffers loss of color information and some audio sync. I've got a relative that downloads movies from the internet, but the quality was so bad I wouldn't bother watching them.
The truth is, human nature being what it is, some people do try to rip off copies so you can't really blame the industry for trying to block duplication and stop piracy. However, the industry has it's hypocrites. They go to all this trouble to block DVD copies, then provide the movies on cable TV or commercial TV where anyone can record it. Anyone can patch a cable from the cable box to a TV recorder board in a PC and write the content to a DVD recorder. Another method is a darkened room with a digital movie camera on a tripod in front of a large-screen TV with the audio separately patched. They can never block it all.
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