HD DVD - Digital Rights Management

Digital Rights Management

If a publisher wishes to restrict use of its HD DVD content, it may use the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) although this is not required for normal disc playback. AACS is a standard for content distribution and digital rights management. It is developed by AACS Licensing Administrator, LLC (AACS LA), a consortium that includes Disney, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Warner Bros., IBM, Toshiba and Sony. One of the advantages over CSS, the content restriction system for DVDs, is that AACS allows content providers to revoke an individual player device if its cryptographic keys have been compromised (meaning that it will not be able to decrypt subsequently released content). There is no Region Coding in the existing HD DVD specification, which means that titles from any country can be played in players in any other country.

Since appearing in devices in 2006, several successful attacks have been made on the format. The first known attack relied on the trusted client problem. In addition, decryption keys have been extracted from a weakly protected player (WinDVD). Notably, a Processing Key was found that could be used to decrypt all HD content that had been released at the time. The processing key was widely published on the Internet after it was found and the AACS LA sent multiple DMCA takedown notices in the aim of censoring it. This caused trouble on some sites that rely on user-submitted content, like Digg and Wikipedia, when administrators tried to remove any mentions of the key.

For more details on this topic, see AACS encryption key controversy.

AACS has also been circumvented by SlySoft with their program AnyDVD HD, which allows users to watch HD DVD movies on non-HDCP-compliant PC hardware. Slysoft has stated that AnyDVD HD uses several different mechanisms to disable the encryption, and is not dependent on the use of a single compromised encryption key. Other AACS circumvention programs have become available, like DVDFab HD Decrypter.

Read more about this topic:  HD DVD

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