Hackers have defeated the core means for protecting the medium seen by Hollywood as a major new source of revenue as growth of traditional DVDs has slowed.
An underground programmer this month released code on the Internet that would free some high-definition DVD movies from their digital handcuffs if a consumer also had a software key for that particular video.
On Thursday, backers of the anti-piracy technology confirmed that those keys were being posted on the Internet. Late in the day, keys for 35 titles, including “King Kong” and “World Trade Center,” were available.
“Such unauthorized disclosures indicate an attack on one or more” of the high-end video players that use the anti-piracy technology known as AACS, for Advanced Access Content System, according to the website of the consortium of home-electronics, technology and entertainment companies backing the encryption system.
[…] An executive at one of the member companies involved in the decision-making said the group might deactivate the model of player used in the hacking.
Although such a move would make life difficult for consumers and manufacturers, most studios have “grave concern that content is being unencrypted,” said the executive, who asked that his name not be used because the group had not reached a decision on what action to take.