Posts tagged "format shifting"
Sat 10 October 2015
Let's tangent for a moment and talk about DVDs. The DVD standard was designed for the low-powered embedded hardware of the late 1990s. The copy protection is primitive, and the DVD format is public knowledge by now, making it easy to backup or format shift your DVD collection as is your God-given first sale right (unless you live in the US or anywhere that just signed a trade agreement).
For reasons of Christ Knows Why, some publishers (ignorant of how top-down video piracy generally works) think that the best way to prevent this is by using third-party copy protection schemes. This so-called protection is of the "no True Scotsman" variety; it adds a lot of intentional errors to the DVD that would make most software players (and the authors of the spec) rightfully vomit. But that's ok! Because the discs are designed for a True Hardware DVD Player, one that is infinitely more robust than your PC-based counterparts and will soar over the corrupted blocks like a majestic eagle.
Just to repeat this again, these publishers sell a product with severe mastering defects on purpose and just hope the error correction is really good and you don't notice.
This article will walk you through the five categories of dirty tricks used to limit fair use. Normally you only have to worry about a couple of these; but I had the misfortune to buy a DVD (Chris Morris' excellent Brass Eye) which had ALL DAMN 5. And for the first time, none of the DVD playback software I tried would play the episodes when selected on the menu.