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Tuesday, June 07, 2005
DVD Decrypter Forced to Cease


UK programmer of the famous DVD Decrypter software was forced to quit development of his software package, after heavy pressure from an unnamed source.

The developer has posted a resignation letter on the CD Freaks website saying that he has received a letter from a company (unnamed), which has forced him to stop the development, support and online distribution of the DVD Decrytpter software. In addition, the developer should hand over his popular website www.dvddecrypter.com - currently offline - to the "company".

"Ok so it has taken a while (almost 2 years), but eventually 'a certain company' has decided they don't like what I'm doing (circumventing their protection) and have come at me like a pack of wolves," the developer said. "I've no choice but to cease everything to do with DVD Decrypter. I realise this is going to be one of those 'that sucks -- fight them!' kinda things, but at the end of the day, it's my life and I'm not about to throw it all away (before it has even really started) attempting to fight a battle I can't possibly win."

The developer continued to say: "If 321 Studios can't do it with millions, what chance do I have with 50?", referring to the US company that in February 2004 was forced to stop producing its DVD copying products when a US judge ruled them illegal under US law.

"So anyway, from this point forward, I'm no longer permitted to provide any sort of assistance with anything that helps people infringe the rights of a 'certain company'," said the UK developer.

According to rumours circulating in various forums online, the 'company' that legally pursued the DVD Decrypter project is either Macrovision or Sony.

Macrovision has actively chased various developers in the past for breaking its copy protection schemes, with the latest example being the Norwegian developer Jon Lech Johansen. Macrovision had charged Johansen with copyright violations after he created the DeCSS de-scrambling program.

Similarly, Sony's ARccOS protection for DVDs was claimed to be bypasseed by DVD Decrypter in its latest versions, giving Sony a good reason to react.

Currenly there are many other development groups worldwide, claiming to "defeat" the various copy protection schemes. AnyDVD software by Slysoft is a good example, developed in Antigua. Another popular DVD decypter is DVD43 which works as a background process in Windows XP. However, the the author of this software is based in China.

DVD Decrypter was based in the UK, where it seems that it could have been breaking the law. The developer's liability would be under the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003, which was implemented in the European Copyright Directive.

The near future is expected to be very interesting, as technologies like Advanced Access Content System (AACS) will give HD-DVD or Blu-ray users the ability to store a copy of a movie on their PC, for personal use. As we have seen in the past, software development groups are expected to seek new ways of overcoming the various protection schemes.


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