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Irdeto chases studio contracts with Blu-ray BD+ security purchase

Irdeto says that it has bought the self-protecting digital content system usually referred to as DB+, and written by Cryptography Research , which it


Published: 7 July, 2011


Irdeto says that it has bought the self-protecting digital content system usually referred to as DB+, and written by Cryptography Research , which it sold in 2007 to Macrovision, a company that has since become Rovi. The idea is to merge what is a fairly revolutionary video defense system with its own ActiveCloak for Media, and pitch it at the emerging multiscreen video market.

DB+ is one of three defenses of Blu-Ray disks and relies on an exceptionally secure virtual machine which also has extensions which reach out into the surrounding environment to see if any actions which might support piracy are processing. The other two defenses are the compromised AACS (Advanced Access Content System), which it little more than an updated improvement to the original CSS (Content Scrambling System) used in DVDs and so easily beaten, and ROM mark, a serialization technology to prevent mass production.

Irdeto’s Said Rahmani Khezri, SVP of Corporate and Business Development talked to us about merging the two technologies, BD+ and ActiveCloak for Media, “When Cloakware first came out of a group we acquired in Ottawa in Canada, it had many similarities with Self Protecting Digital Content (SPDC) but it was sold as a set of licenses to compilers and algorithms and while many companies decided to use it, it wasn’t really a set of products until about a year ago. Now once again many companies are starting to work with it, even though we only really announced it as a product in February. The only companies that we can mention that are using the technology are Netflix, Sony and Adobe.” More are expected soon.

“BD+ was included by studios in their Blu-ray disks and Irdeto found itself called in to see if we could help with BD+. On its own SPDC allows for renewing security and revoking any players which are abusing it, but this was happening too often to be manageable. The studios needed one more step to make piracy that little bit more uneconomic.”

“Using Cloakware we showed how it can be done, and now we have to spend the next 9 to 12 months building that out into a set of products and a service for Hollywood studios. Initially we offered our help through Rovi but in the end it made more sense if we simply bought out the BD+ part of the business.”

Rahmani confirms that deals are already in place with a number of studios to add this technology to their Blu-ray disks once it is ready.

It’s tough to imagine just how the two products will come together, but this is all about protecting video throughout the playing eco-system, and he talks in terms of the video being mathematically obfuscated (sounds a bit like cryptographic hashing, but obviously it’s a bit more complex). It can do this anywhere there is processing power to undo it prior to its use and mathematical transforms operate right down to the point where data is about to be sent to the screen says Rahmani.

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