Hackers break HD-DVD copy protection

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Hackers break HD-DVD copy protection

Pirated movies beginning to appear on P2P networks.

HDTV Blogger has posted what it claims to be screen captures of at least seven HD-DVD titles available on BitTorrent servers. 

The first screenshot appeared on 12 January showing a BitTorrent tracker displaying download information for a 19.6GB copy of sci-fi movie Serenity.

Since then, six other screenshots have been posted on the site showing listings for Batman Begins, The Chronicles of Riddick, Pitch Black, The Mummy, Superman Returns and Miami Vice.

BitTorrent is an open source peer-to-peer file sharing system that allows users to share large files by transferring them in small pieces to and from multiple machines.

In late December, a hacker using the alias 'Muslix64' released a back-up utility that bypassed the HD-DVD copy protection system. The utility required the HD-DVD disc's 'title key' code to function, however.

On 13 January (listed forum time), users of DVD back-up site Doom9.org's forums found a method of decoding the title keys. Within 24 hours over 50 title keys were available on the site. 

Toshiba first began shipping HD-DVD players in April 2006. The format is in a heated competition with Sony's Blu-ray format for the title of successor to the current DVD video format. 
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