> The DVD video/audio standard is in some ways really horrible.
> The recording industry has put in all kinds of copy-protection/
> encryption/crippling stuff, including locks based on geographic
> region, of all the asinine things!
There's a real (and maybe even good) reason for this.
American audiences may be willing to pay $19.95 for a DVD movie, but a
similar purchaser in, say, India, may not be able to afford anything
close to this amount. Hollywood would like to price their product in
third world markets to maximize their total take, and the resultant
price may be way low by American or Western European standards. Given
the relative incomes, the optimum price varies widely from country to
If American DVD players could read Chinese disks, there's an obvious
arbitrage market of buying up Chinese disks and shipping them to the US.
The per-country encryption scheme at least puts a spoke in this wheel by
severely restricting the *legal* ways you can arbitrage this difference
There's always piracy - you only need to buy one American disk, ship it
to Taiwan, read the raw bits, and stamp out thousands of pirated copies,
but I guess the theory is that at least you've limited the *legal* ways
you can "rob Hollywood of their profits".
Quote:> It would be great if there were a DVD-Video -> mpeg2 and
> DVD-audio -> WAV conversion utility, so that those of us who
> object to having our technology crippled by these people could
> store our video and audio in an "unfettered" digital format.
No one's stopping you from doing that today, you know.. I believe it's
possible to not encrypt a movie if you wish and still play it in
conventional DVD players - in fact, while the encryption standard was
being developed, sample disks were being created unencrypted. You might
want to do this if you're creating, say, an informational movie for
Anyway, the only difference between "Chinese" encryption and "American"
encryption is the key. The algorithm is the same - you either use it or
you don't. If you do use it, you get a country-specific public key from
the DVD consortium.
And yeah, there's the even simpler way of just creating a filesystem
with a single MPEG file, and just mounting the filesystem and using
mpegplay to play it. You won't be able to plop it into a DVD player, but
you can always play it back on a PC. The encryption in DVD movies is
simply a layer on top of (or actually, intertwined with) conventional
MPEG-2 and Dolby AC-3.
Shankar Unni Powertel Global, Inc.