updated 02:00 pm EDT, Thu March 20, 2008
BD+ protection cracked
The latest effort at blocking unofficial copying of Blu-ray movies has been undone, the developers of a cracking utility claim. AnyDVD 188.8.131.52 adds the ability to bypass BD+ encoding, used on a number of discs to prevent either direct copying, or ripping to a hard drive. This change is said to particularly affect releases from 20th Century Fox, who have led the adoption of BD+, while other companies continue with variants of AACS. AnyDVD is now also better compatible with regular DVDs using Arccos protection.
The movie industry has tried unsuccessfully for years to limit disc copying; after early failures with DVD, both Blu-ray and HD DVD were designed to be impenetrable. HD DVD was exposed within months of its launch however, and Blu-ray followed shortly thereafter, forcing companies to devise new DRM techniques. The unlocking of BD+ may be considered a serious setback to industry moguls, who argue that piracy causes considerable harm to profits.