Macrovision, a leading provider of Digital Rights Management and Anti-Piracy technology for the film industry, announced today they had entered agreements to acquire the Blu Ray Disc Plus (BD+) security protocol along with related staffers from Cryptography Research Inc. for $45m. The purchase of this somewhat esoteric technology isn’t likely to get much attention outside the cryptographic industry but it’s notable if for no other reason than reports that BD+ was just recently hacked/cracked.
BD+ is a Blu Ray exclusive security protocol that’s been billed as an added security feature for the Blu Ray platform. Based on the idea of self-protecting content, the standard uses components on both disc and player to continually monitor and protect against piracy and unauthorized duplication.
Some have even emphasized BD+ as a selling point that differentiates Blu Ray above and beyond rival HD DVD. Since June, BD+ has been adopted by more than 20 companies. The first discs using the technology hit the market in October.
The trouble with BD+ is, it may already be broken. Less than two weeks ago, Slysoft, a software company that makes DVD Backup and copy software claimed to have incorporated BD+ support into the newest version of their AnyDVD application. If that’s proven true, the claim would undermine any advantage BD+ brings to Blu Ray. It could also cast a shadow over this acquisition.
Speaking of the deal, Macrovision’s CEO Fred Amaroso said “not only is BD+ critical for content security, but it also supports value added features …. Such as unlocking bonus content.”
BD+ does have the potential to be upgraded and advanced; still, it’s hard to accept the characterization of something as critical for security if the enemy at the gate has already crafted their own key.
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