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Macrovision Buys Encryption that May Have Already Been Broken

BD+ soldMacrovision, 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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Macrovision Official Press Release
Macrovision Acquires All Media Guide

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