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First HD-DVD film appears on BitTorrent

Serenity broken

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A high-definition format movie has made its way onto BitTorrent. A pirated copy of the hit science fiction movie Serenity has been ripped from a HD DVD disc and made available to users of the popular P2P file sharing protocol.

The availability of the movie, which weighs in at a chunky 19.6GB and comes as a .EVO file compressed using the MPEG-4 VC-1, follows news a month ago that hackers had succeeded in defeating the AACS copy-protection technology used in HD DVD format discs. A Java-based software package called BackupHDDVD, developed by a programmer known only as Muslix64, is designed to allow users to backup next generation discs.

To decrypt DVD source material would require obtaining a disc's disc's volume or title key separately, a non-trivial task not performed by BackupHDDVD itself. Hackers may have obtained the key separately before using BackupHDDVD, Ars Technica speculates.

But as the exact mechanism used to rip the HD-DVD remains unclear, content producers publishing to the next-generation format have inherited a serious problem that the rest of the movie and music industries have struggled to deal with for years. ®

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