The Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD are new data carriers for high-resolution motion pictures. For fear of piracy, Hollywood had the developers install a cornucopia of copy prevention mechanisms on them. For instance, the film data on the disks are protected by means of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS). Digital output only reaches the monitor via connections encrypted by means of High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). This copy protection chain is designed to ensure that no unencrypted data can be grabbed.
But this security chain has a giant hole. Computer magazine c’t has discovered that the first software players running on Windows XP allow screenshots of the movies to be created in full resolution. To do so, you only need to press the Print key on your keyboard while the movie is running. Such a screenshot function could then be automated to produce copies of HD movies both from Blu-ray Discs and from HD DVDs picture by picture. As c’t calculated, the performance of current PC systems is sufficient for a clean recording using this procedure. Once a pirate has all of the individual pictures, they can be put together to create a complete movie and mixed with the audio track that is grabbed separately.
As usual: if you can see it, you can copy it.
The MPAA has started legal proceedings against keyboard manufacturers for their “Deliberate and malicious attempt to circumvent our government guaranteed profits.” In response to legal pressure from the MPAA, keyboard manufacturers have begun slowly removing keys, starting with the shift, function and printscreen buttons, and slowly makng thr wy t th vwls.
Microsoft has won a judgment against three individuals behind a company which unlawfully sold genuine and counterfeit Microsoft software and certificates.
The three were found to be selling counterfeit software and of selling ‘loose’ certificates of authenticity – i.e. certificates not attached to computers – in breach of the licence terms of the software.
The story is about somebody who did indeed break copyright laws, but this reasoning by the judge is interesting:
The defence argued that if a large organisation, such as a bank, bought a large number of computers and never used the bundled Microsoft software and sold on the licences, that a company such as Digital could sell those licences, for which Microsoft had already been paid.
The judge rejected the argument. “The fallacy in the argument is that if the bank does not accept the EULA [licence] terms [by operating the software and agreeing the terms], it receives no licence. Thus it can confer no licence for the use of any Microsoft software by passing on the COA (certificate of authenticity), nor can the COA be evidence of, or itself confer, such a licence. Thus, provided that the licensing system is enforceable in law, the circumstances exemplified cannot give rise to a legitimate trade in COAs.”
(emphasis mine). If the silly certificate isn’t evidence of a license, then what is? The purchase receipt? Possession of the original authentic media? The front page of the manual? The click-through license? And how do you prove your license to the BSA if they drop by? It looks like the only way to be safe with a Microsoft license (or any other propriety software vendor) is not using any of their software.
It wasn’t rain. It certainly wasn’t snow.
So what was it last Friday that turned the radar in the La Crosse area into a sea of white?
It turns out that it was a gigantic hatch of mayflies.
The bugs were so thick that they showed up as a rainstorm of mayflies on National Weather Service radar.
For about 1 1/2 hours starting at 9 p.m., the insects drifted north, with the radar showing them blanketing areas along the Mississippi River.
“They were dive-bombing in the root beer floats,” said Gary Rudy, owner of Rudy’s Drive-In, whose family has been slinging burgers and soft drinks since 1966.
“It hasn’t been that bad in a long time.”
At Riverfest, the city’s summer festival, the mayflies were buzzing revelers, and folks were scraping the insects off the bottoms of their shoes.
Nintendo of America sent President Bush an early baby boomer gift pack today. The bag of presidential goodies includes a DS Lite and a copy of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day.
For Cheney’s next birthday they can send him a vintage copy of Duck Hunt.
What began as an investigation into the alleged CIA abduction of a radical Muslim cleric has mushroomed into a wider probe of possibly illegal domestic espionage by Italian intelligence agents compiling dossiers on judges, journalists and prosecutors.
Investigators on Thursday were raiding the files of one intelligence agency, while journalists figured in the growing scandal as both the purported spies and the purported spied upon.
Prosecutors who on Wednesday arrested two senior Italian intelligence officials in connection with the CIA case also plan to interrogate six other officers from the same agency, known as Sismi, sources familiar with the widening probe said Thursday. The arrests marked the first official acknowledgment of Italian involvement in the 2003 abduction of the cleric, who was transported to Egypt where he has said he was tortured.
Developments in that case sent shock waves through Italy’s political establishment. But it now appears activities by the intelligence agency, or a unit within it, went further into murky and possibly illegal territory.
Prosecutors suspect Sismi agents were carrying out surveillance on journalists, magistrates and businesspeople and collecting the data in a massive, secret archive at a government building in Rome, the sources said.