Industry Insiders Q&A MASTER THREAD [separate thread for Xbox/Add On & PS3] - Page 43 - AVS Forum
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post #1261 of 4841 Old 01-19-2007, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd2012 View Post

"Blessed" you say? An interesting statement on a forum where the dreaded combo is something scorned by HD DVD owners.

As noted, it is not appropriate to use this thread to make arguments like this, especially when your point is totally unrelated to the topic at hand. I will respond once but appreciate follow ups elsewhere.

From DVD Forum point of view, they created something wonderful. An ability to make new discs, which play in older players. This is rarely a reality when such drastic changes in formats come yet we have it with HD DVD. This is so desirable that BD also attempted to make them but ultimately failed, because the DVD layer below reduces the tolerances too much for BD layers above. So if this was such a bad idea, you also need to take it up with folks who created your favorite format .

Now, the angst among some people is real wrt to combo disc. But that is triggered by the extra cost, not because there is something wrong with the spec. I am confident, 100% sure as a matter of fact, that if studios substituded combo discs for their SD DVDs from here on, and priced them the same, everyone here would be in love with them. Think about it: $16 HD DVD discs that also play in your standard DVD player. What could be more perfect than that?

Since DVD Forum does not set pricing, you can not blame them for creating a standard which allowed studios to charge a premium for it.

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post #1262 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post


Now, the angst among some people is real wrt to combo disc. But that is triggered by the extra cost, not because there is something wrong with the spec. I am confident, 100% sure as a matter of fact, that if studios substituded combo discs for their SD DVDs from here on, and priced them the same, everyone here would be in love with them.

Think about it: $16 HD DVD discs that also play in your standard DVD player. What could be more perfect than that?

Since DVD Forum does not set pricing, you can not blame them for creating a standard which allowed studios to charge a premium for it.

$16 combo disks? I'll take $19.99 even at this point.

Isn't the problem though that there is no deep pocketed supporter with enough vested interest to subsidize Twin/Combo disks the way Sony does for BD50? Why should Hollywood studios do it when they don't have to?

Where would BD50 be and how much would they cost consumers w/o the help of Sony?

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post #1263 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 12:20 AM
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Does DVD Forum consider the combos a commercial success or a failure, though? Or is it too early to tell?

Speaking only for myself, I avoid these things like the plague, despite a couple titles I want. The only one I have is Miami Vice and that was a gift.

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post #1264 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

If you're downloading videos from the marketplace, they're encoded with WMA or WMA Pro.


If you select DTS out for HD DVD, you'll get DTS out for any HD DVD disc.

I've got 1080p movie trailers for the HD-DVD's downloaded as I recall from MS own website which I play back on burned DVDR thru the 360. They sound really good.

These volume levels are louder and often the lows seem better than some hd-dvds of the same movie! A good example is to play the .wmv 1080p Miami Vice trailer and then the hd-dvd at the same volume level.

I'm curious why the volume levels are so different on hd-dvd and bd? (I'm basing this again on PS3 and 360 playback). This doesn't apply to all hd-dvd's by any means and in general I'm pretty happy with the 360 audio (PQ is no issue at all) and I crank up the DB's as needed but as an owner of a PS3 and a 360 it's just interesting that volumes should be mixed so differently.

Is this just the personal taste of individuals that do the encoding or is there some standards that are being followed wrt to volumes on hd-dvd movies? As I said even on the 360 video volumes from all other sources seems naturally louder. I understand that loud is quality but simple fact is perception is taken as reality all too often...

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post #1265 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 01:08 AM
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Yesterday, the first Blu-ray disks were successfully ripped to a PC for Internet re-distribution. Previously, the disk contents had been copied, but were not playable -- now the contents are decrypted and playable. The individual responsible (muslix64) has indicated that a "BackupBluray" utility will soon be made available.

What steps are studios and their partners taking to salvage AACS?

Edit: Removed link to the thread on the doom9.org as it included a downloadable BD content sample from Lord of War in MPEG-2 .ts format.
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post #1266 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 02:53 AM
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Will BD+ be able to protect future discs from muslix64's soon to come BackupBluray utility?
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post #1267 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Yesterday, the first Blu-ray disks were successfully ripped to a PC for Internet re-distribution. Previously, the disk contents had been copied, but were not playable -- now the contents are decrypted and playable. The individual responsible (muslix64) has indicated that a "BackupBluray" utility will soon be made available.

What steps are studios and their partners taking to salvage AACS?

Edit: Removed link to the thread on the doom9.org as it included a downloadable BD content sample from Lord of War in MPEG-2 .ts format.

There's nothing really wrong with AACS. When I talk to my crypto expert at work, he likes to use the analogy of a padlock on a house. AACS represents a gigantic, extremely difficult to pick padlock. But AACS has to run on some hardware platform, the "house". Unfortunately, PC's (at least PC's running an unsecure OS like Windows XP) are a house with grass walls. It's incredibly easy to just go around the padlock and walk through the grass walls.

Stand-alone players offer a house with much harder walls. The most advanced SoC's will offer encrypted SDRAM, secure boot and other security features. Just the mere fact that these SoC's are using a not so popular CPU like MIPS or ARM and running a real-time kernel like VxWorks, makes them much more difficult for a hacker to even get started on.

So IMHO, the question is, will AACS play hardball and say "AACS is not authorized to run on grass houses". That is, they revoke PowerDVD's keys and refuse to issue new keys to them or keys to any other company with a product intended to run on a nonsecure PC OS.

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post #1268 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

I think all the studios have received comments asking that their labeling be standardized. I say this because SPE was also approached on this.

Yes, the 12 month window is mandated, not a studio by studio decision.

Great info! Never heard that before. Are there any documents from the BDA available for the public that define these guidelines?
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post #1269 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 04:24 AM
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Very true, but there are a lot of generation 1 and 2 standalone players out there that can probably also be hacked to retrieve keys from memory.

I don't think AACS will revoke those devices and leave very angry early adopters behind.

I know insiders don't want to comment on this, but if they can share some personal thoughts on the matter. Now that both platforms are affected, hopefully we will hear some honest discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post

There's nothing really wrong with AACS. When I talk to my crypto expert at work, he likes to use the analogy of a padlock on a house. AACS represents a gigantic, extremely difficult to pick padlock. But AACS has to run on some hardware platform, the "house". Unfortunately, PC's (at least PC's running an unsecure OS like Windows XP) are a house with grass walls. It's incredibly easy to just go around the padlock and walk through the grass walls.

Stand-alone players offer a house with much harder walls. The most advanced SoC's will offer encrypted SDRAM, secure boot and other security features. Just the mere fact that these SoC's are using a not so popular CPU like MIPS or ARM and running a real-time kernel like VxWorks, makes them much more difficult for a hacker to even get started on.

So IMHO, the question is, will AACS play hardball and say "AACS is not authorized to run on grass houses". That is, they revoke PowerDVD's keys and refuse to issue new keys to them or keys to any other company with a product intended to run on a nonsecure PC OS.

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post #1270 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by slocko View Post

Very true, but there are a lot of generation 1 and 2 standalone players out there that can probably also be hacked to retrieve keys from memory.

I don't think AACS will revoke those devices and leave very angry early adopters behind.

I know insiders don't want to comment on this, but if they can share some personal thoughts on the matter. Now that both platforms are affected, hopefully we will hear some honest discussion.

Isn't the issue the software player's vulnerabilty?

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to revoke a software player and require a software patch for newer disc playback than a hardware player?

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post #1271 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 05:09 AM
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The glass house analogy is somewhat appropriate. But the real problem is that it is not protecting against burglars but instead trying for a design where the resident of the glass house actually is allowed a key but is not allowed to make a key copy. This is somewhat harder.

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post #1272 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slocko View Post

I know insiders don't want to comment on this, but if they can share some personal thoughts on the matter. Now that both platforms are affected, hopefully we will hear some honest discussion.

As Amir explained here that Microsoft discouraged the development of consumer-oriented playback software running on XP for security reasons, why wasn't this feature banned from the very beginning?

If XP doesn't provide the required security groundwork, why not simply restrict any kind of BD/HD-DVD playback on secure OSes (Vista, Mac OS X...) through due certification, embed some code that disallows playback on uncertified devices, and above all threaten lawsuits with extreme prejudice to any software house in the world that would try to develop any kind of playback software running on Win XP?
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post #1273 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 06:26 AM
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In this case the path of least resitance was the software player, but i have no doubts that while it will be harder, it will not be impossible to apply the same principles of the exploit to retrieve keys from a standalone player from one of the early or even current gen players.

Currently there is no reason to do that because it's easy enough with the software players. If they shut down the software players under XP, the efforts will simply move on these early gen players. The way has been shown.

To get things back on track, what effect does the online rental market have on this format war? In my view, I think it is prolonging it because people do not have to invest in a particular format. It's one thing to buy a player and simply rent and if your format loses, you just have an obsolete player to go along with your other obsoleted junk.

It's another to buy a player and then invest a lot of money on the media. That would make one think very carefully which format to back. I was too young to understand the last format war; did they even have movie rentals back then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosty View Post

Isn't the issue the software player's vulnerabilty?

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to revoke a software player and require a software patch for newer disc playback than a hardware player?


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post #1274 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 06:48 AM
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paidgeek,

When can we expect full Java/Interactive titles to appear?
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post #1275 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by deebeenine View Post

Great info! Never heard that before. Are there any documents from the BDA available for the public that define these guidelines?

I don't think this information has been made generally available.

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post #1276 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD_sanchez View Post

paidgeek,

When can we expect full Java/Interactive titles to appear?

There are already some full Java titles from Fox, Lion's Gate and soon Disney. SPE is holding back right now until we are satisfied our designs/implementations will work well.

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post #1277 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

There are already some full Java titles from Fox, Lion's Gate and soon Disney. SPE is holding back right now until we are satisfied our designs/implementations will work well.

I know you can only speak for Sony, but is this why Warner is holding back certain titles to they can implement IME? Does BD-J support IME properly, unlike The Descent which has the movie encoded twice!
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post #1278 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azumi View Post

As Amir explained here that Microsoft discouraged the development of consumer-oriented playback software running on XP for security reasons, why wasn't this feature banned from the very beginning?

If XP doesn't provide the required security groundwork, why not simply restrict any kind of BD/HD-DVD playback on secure OSes (Vista, Mac OS X...) through due certification, embed some code that disallows playback on uncertified devices, and above all threaten lawsuits with extreme prejudice to any software house in the world that would try to develop any kind of playback software running on Win XP?

An OS should not be banned because you can create secure implementations on it by using hardware. Think about the extreme case: a complete HD DVD player in hardware (in your graphics card). The PC then simply acts as the UI and controller but everything else happens in that hardware. Dumping the PC memory and such would yield you nothing useful.

It appears of course that the above method was not used but it could, and it can. It won't be easy or cheap to do it this way but it is a possibility.

So instead of dictating what people can use as component technology, AACS mandates how well its secrets need to be safeguarded. This is the same practice used in other copy protection standards. Alas, it is a bit of an honor system and clearly, it can have issues when someone doesn't follow the rules. But we have countermeasures and over time, deploying them makes these implementations more secure.

Of course, an implementer may just move on to Vista or some other OS with more security means to save themselves R&D dollars but ultimately, that is their choice.

The other thing to note that AACS could easily be accused of bias if it were to blacklist certain operating systems. AACS does not have the means to analyze an OS properly and rule on its effectiveness. And even if it did, such judgments can be quite subjective. All of this means that one could by mistake allow or disallow an OS to be used, causing grief and potential liability later.

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post #1279 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paidgeek View Post

There are already some full Java titles from Fox, Lion's Gate and soon Disney. SPE is holding back right now until we are satisfied our designs/implementations will work well.

Those titles do not use the type of interactivity used in HD DVD, namely proper Picture in Picture. Without that hardware in BD players, you are going to continue to have trouble reaching parity with HD DVD. And reason some titles take longer to arrive on BD from HD DVD (to answer the question just posed to you).

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post #1280 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbarry View Post

The glass house analogy is somewhat appropriate. But the real problem is that it is not protecting against burglars but instead trying for a design where the resident of the glass house actually is allowed a key but is not allowed to make a key copy. This is somewhat harder.

- Tom

Well, we are trying to do that with managed copy. But if you recall, there was a camp that was dead set against a year and half ago . Hopefully, they see the merits of providing such features to allow consumers to legitimately create copies of their discs. Not letting them to that, not only annoys customers, but gives hackers a perfect excuse to try to "liberate" these formats.

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post #1281 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

This is so desirable that BD also attempted to make them but ultimately failed, because the DVD layer below reduces the tolerances too much for BD layers above. So if this was such a bad idea, you also need to take it up with folks who created your favorite format .

Did they fail, or did they just stop testing once they realized consumers did not want them?

I don't think its just about the money. There was/is plenty of angst for flippers on DVD, so this really isn't a new issue. I will ask my question again: Do you know of any HD DVD studio who will put their film on both formats to test out how the combo is accepted by the public?
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post #1282 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlsim View Post

$16 combo disks? I'll take $19.99 even at this point.

Isn't the problem though that there is no deep pocketed supporter with enough vested interest to subsidize Twin/Combo disks the way Sony does for BD50? Why should Hollywood studios do it when they don't have to?

Where would BD50 be and how much would they cost consumers w/o the help of Sony?

On that note, are there any discussions to where DVD Forum would subsidize the cost of HD-DVD so that they could, in effect, drop cost of combo discs to $19.99 while still allowing the studios to make the same $$?

I guess my point is, if there is so much complaining that Sony is subsidizing the costs of the media, why doesn't HD-DVD play the same game?
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post #1283 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

Will BD+ be able to protect future discs from muslix64's soon to come BackupBluray utility?

Nope. BD+ will do little. And if anything, could make things worse. If someone hacks BD+, they can steal the bits without even hacking AACS! That is because the two systems are cascaded. AACS decrypts its bits and then hands the data to BD+. So if you hack BD+, you are done and do not need to go after AACS. And with AACS not broken in this scenario, none of its countermeasures could be put to use.

To use Ron's analogy, BD+ does indeed put a second door in front of your house, but forces you to put a large window in the back for light. Break that window and you can walk right in, without bothering with the two front doors. This is why people talk about BD+ closing one door, but opening many windows.

For their sake, I hope BDA really, really thinks through all of this before deploying BD+. Lack of understanding of security measures in software systems may have gotten us here. There is a big difference between theory and practice. Let's hope folks don't continue blindly down certain path, with new data in front of them. But if they do, let's say that they have been put on public notice .

In reality, I suspect BDA security experts do know that BD+ provides no additional security. Rather, it is a DRM engine to implement other features such as region coding with more robustness against attack than simpler means. For that, it is fine, assuming consumers put up with the variability of the BD DRM system over time, implementing new features they did not bargain for when they invested in the format (and heaven forbid, if HD DVD goes away, and there won't be a competing system without those measure, to keep folks from becoming too aggressive).

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post #1284 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Well, we are trying to do that with managed copy. But if you recall, there was a camp that was dead set against a year and half ago . Hopefully, they see the merits of providing such features to allow consumers to legitimately create copies of their discs. Not letting them to that, not only annoys customers, but gives hackers a perfect excuse to try to "liberate" these formats.

What do you mean, a year and a half ago?. Is that what the smiley was for?

I know you can't talk much about AACS proceedings but I thought there was still an entrenched cadre in that group fully opposed to managed copy. And some totally opposed to any PC playback who are going around grumbling "I told you so" recently.

Unless you can comment I suppose we can only speculate on how recent events have affected the time table for final AACS agreement. Do you feel especially candid today?

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post #1285 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd2012 View Post

Did they fail, or did they just stop testing once they realized consumers did not want them?

They gave up from technical and manufacturing point of view. There was an interview with a Sony executive saying so last fall. I can try to dig it up if you like.

Quote:


I don't think its just about the money. There was/is plenty of angst for flippers on DVD, so this really isn't a new issue.

Combo discs do not need to be flippers. Memory-tech announced last year single sided combos although that variation is three layers so one or the other format would need to give up a layer. But over time, they might be able to make the four layer version too.

Quote:


I will ask my question again: Do you know of any HD DVD studio who will put their film on both formats to test out how the combo is accepted by the public?

No because their combo discs are selling as well as non-combo. So they don't see an issue. Really, the motivation here is to make money from new formats. To the extent consumers pay, then they are happy. Why do you think Fox used such high MSRP for their BD discs, without even the combo feature?

The above is backed by consumer research that Warner did. They polled consumers and they said they would pay $5 extra if they could play their discs in regular DVD players and here we are. If that data proves wrong over time, then the premium may drop or go to zero.

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post #1286 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbarry View Post

What do you mean, a year and a half ago?. Is that what the smiley was for?

September 2005 when we announced suport for HD DVD because we were assured of managed copy in that format, while BDA was refusing to accept the same.

Quote:


I know you can't talk much about AACS proceedings but I thought there was still an entrenched cadre in that group fully opposed to managed copy.

Well, the noise was not as much inside AACS as outside.

Quote:


And some totally opposed to any PC playback who are going around grumbling "I told you so" recently.

No one in AACS took such a position.

Quote:


Unless you can comment I suppose we can only speculate on how recent events have affected the time table for final AACS agreement. Do you feel especially candid today?

- Tom

All eyes are on the breach management unfortunately so yes, finishing the agreement is delayed probably although some would argue that some of the provisions in that agreement would have been useful to have now. So maybe the work will go faster, once restarted.

Amir
Founder, Madrona Digital
"Insist on Quality Engineering"

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post #1287 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:33 AM
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Any insider input on this? Why cant bodies like the DVD Forum and BDA get sites like doom9 shutdown? They are openly discussing how to copy and distribute HD movies. I find it hard to believ they are located in a country where such practices are legal.

How does the music industry manage to track down people downloading illegal music which theoretically should be harder to track with the smaller file sizes yet people downloading 20GB files are seemingly untouchable?

Apple seems to be able to pinpoint when a user posts a theme that looks like the iPhone and get it removed, what is the obstacle stopping the movie industry stepping up their efforts against pirates?
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post #1288 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by efjay View Post

Any insider input on this? Why cant bodies like the DVD Forum and BDA get sites like doom9 shutdown? They are openly discussing how to copy and distribute HD movies. I find it hard to believ they are located in a country where such practices are legal.

...

Actually doom9 policy forbids any discussion of illegally distributing movies.

I believe discussion of copying embraces the possibility (sometimes fiction) that you own the movie and are making a backup or maybe doing it for computer interoperability problems of some sort (say HDMI).

- Tom

Why don't we power our electric cars from greener, cheaper Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors?

Tom Barry - Find my video filters at www.trbarry.com
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post #1289 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 10:30 AM
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There are already some full Java titles from Fox, Lion's Gate and soon Disney. SPE is holding back right now until we are satisfied our designs/implementations will work well.

Do these Java titles properly support resume?
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post #1290 of 4841 Old 01-20-2007, 10:39 AM
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I dunno. If I were the studios, I might want to keep doom9 alive and active so I wouldn't have to frequent obscure IRC channels and chatrooms. If you shut down doom9, the discussions will still go on, just not as much in the light.

I do not speak officially in any sense for
Intel Corp., Technology Manufacturing Group
but I do work there.
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