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DVD crack won't delay DVD Audio rollout after all

Pioneer to launch DVD Audio player anyway

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Japanese consumer electronics giant Pioneer has reversed its decision to delay the launch of DVD Audio hardware and will launch its upcoming player later this year as originally planned. The decision to delay its DVD Audio roll-out, pushing the launch back from December 1999 to April 2000, was made after a band of Norwegian coders cracked the encryption system (Content Scrambling System) on DVD Video and released a utility called DeCSS to copy files from a DVD onto a hard disk. DVD Audio uses an CSS-derived copy protection system called CSS2, developed by 4C Entity (4CE), a company sponsored by IBM, Intel, Matsushita (which owns Pioneer, along with JVC) and Toshiba. 4CE is working on a new version of CSS2 that's more secure than the original and should provide the level of security that arguably should have been implemented on DVD in the first place. The new version should be released in six months' time. Pioneer has now decided not to wait, according to EE Times, and will ship its player without DVD Audio copy protection but with sufficient security for DVD Video playback which the machine also supports. The reason? The simple fact it, Pioneer reckons there won't be any DVD Audio titles available until the new version of CSS2 ships, so it will push the player as a video machine upgradeable to a DVD Audio player. The company is considering releasing its own copy protection-free DVD Audio disks in the meantime. ® Related Story Film biz delivers legal threat to DeCSS-linking Web sites

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