HD-DVD unlocked

Earlier, it was possible to work around the AACS copy protection scheme in use for HD-DVD and Blueray on a disc-to-disc basis.

Now it’s possible to work around it for every disk.

So once more we are in the situation where the illegal media pirate is getting a superior user experience than the legal user: The “pirate” can download the movie to watch on-demand. He can store it on any storage medium he pleases (like home servers, NASes or optical discs). He can reformat the content to another format a particular output medium requires (like an iPod) without having to buy another copy. And finally, he is capable to watch the stolen media on whatever platform he chooses to watch it with.

The original media on contrast is very much limited:

The source of the content is always the disc the user bought. It’s not possible to store legally acquired HD-content on a different medium than the source disc. It’s not possible to watch it on any personal computer but the ones running operating systems from Microsoft. The disc may even force the legal user to watch advertisements or trailer in advance to the main content. There is no guarantee that a purchased disc will work with any player – despite player and disc both bearing the same compatibility label (HD-DVD or Blueray logos). It’s not possible to legally acquire the content on-demand and it’s impossible to reformat the content to different devices.

Back in the old days, the copy usually was inferior to the original.

In the digital age of DRM and user-money-milking, this has changed. Now the copy clearly provides many advantages the original currently can’t provide or the industry does not want it to provide.

I salute the incredibly smart hackers that worked around yet another “unbreakable” copy protection scheme allowing me to create my personal backup copy of any medium I buy so that I can store the content on my NAS and I have the assurance that I’m able to play it when I want and where I want.

I assure you: My happyness is not based on the fact that I can now downloaded pirated movies over bittorrent. It’s based on the fact that I can store legally purchased HD content on the harddrive of my home server and watch it on-demand without having to switch media.

Piracy, for me, is a pure usability problem.