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Thursday, April 19, 2007
Sony Replaces ARccOS-Protected DVDs

Sony DADC says that it will replace copy-protected DVDs that are incompatible with a small number of DVD players, caused by Sony's ARccOS copy protection on the discs.

According to Sony, 20 DVD titles are affected including Open Season, Casino Royal, Stranger Than Fiction, Rocky Balboa, and The Holiday.

The Sony DVD disc incompatibility problem is caused by Sony's use of the ARccOS copy protection system. Sony says the copy protection technology was used on a small number of DVDs that passed initial compatibility tests with DVD players. Sony estimates as many as 25 million DVDs have the incompatible version of the ARccOS copy protection technology on them.

ARccOS is actually a Digital Rights management (DRM) technology used on Sony's DVDs. The protection has been widely discussed in various online forums in the past due to its sophisticated function to introduce errors to certain sectors of the DVD, making the ripping process complicated. Most DVD players are capable of skipping these intentionaly introduced errors and read the DVD discs, but the latest update to the copy protection scheme caused some DVDs to be incompatible.

According to reports, the problematic DVD titles caused title screen to freeze, when the DVD loaded. After about 60 seconds the player turned itself off.

"Sony DADC has offered its customers ARccOS copy protection for more than two years. In order to protect content, ARccOS is frequently updated. Recently, an update that was installed on approximately 20 titles was found to cause an incompatibility issue with a very small number of DVD players. Since then, the ARccOS system has once again been updated, and there are no longer any playability problems," reads Sony's official statement.

Sony says it has received complaints on less than 1000th of one percent of the affected discs shipped over the past few months--just a couple hundred complaints.

The vendor didn't supply a list of affected DVD players or say how many DVD players are impacted.

Consumers who have purchased one of the 20 faulty Sony DVD movie titles can call Sony Pictures Home Entertainment at 1-800-860-2878 and request a replacement DVD. Sony says it has corrected the problem with ARccOS copy protection.

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