I read this article on Business Week that really slammed Sony's Blu Ray for its over-reaching DRM.
Kind of interesting especially when taken in context with our earlier debate about ps3 and xbox360...
From : http://businessweek.com/technology/c...h-tech+tv+2006
BORDER PATROL. But all software-based copy-protection schemes can be broken. The only way a DRM can really work is to control all of the hardware the video data flow through, including the monitor. The problem is that at some point an unencrypted video signal is sent to a display device. It can be split off before it gets there or videotaped once it's on the screen.
The AACS (Advanced Access Content System) standard supported by both the Sony and Microsoft camps addresses this problem. The standard calls for scaling down HD content to a low resolution if the player isn't hooked up to an HDCP-compliant connection. HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a DRM system invented by Intel (INTC) that attempts to control video and audio as it flows out of a player and onto a display. In other words, if the player is connected to a monitor without the right cables, the quality of the image will be deliberately degraded.
Blu-ray, however, goes beyond the AACS, incorporating two other protection mechanisms: The ROM Mark is a cryptographic element overlaid on a "legitimate" disk. If the player doesn't detect the mark, then it won't play the disc. This will supposedly deal with video-camera-in-the-theatre copies.
STRANGLEHOLD ON CONTENT. Even more extreme is a scheme called BD+ that deals with the problem of what to do when someone cracks the encryption scheme. The players can automatically download new crypto if the old one is broken. But there's an ominous feature buried in this so-called protection mechanism: If a particular brand of player is cryptographically "compromised," the studio can remotely disable all of the affected players. In other words, if some hacker halfway across the globe cracks Sony's software, Sony can shut down my DVD player across the Net.
The Blu-ray's DRM scheme is simply anti-consumer. The standard reflects what the studios really want, which is no copying of their material at all, for any reason. They're clearly willing to take active and unpleasant measures to enforce this. Last year's Sony/BMG rootkit fiasco comes to mind (see BW Online, 11/29/05, "Sony BMG's Costly Silence"). The possibility that they would disable thousands of DVD players, not because they're hacked but just because they might be vulnerable, would have been unthinkable a few years ago; it's clearly an option today.