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Macrovision Introduces RipGuard™ DVD Rip

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18 Feb 2005 2:10 AM
Macrovision Introduces RipGuard™ DVD Rip Control at the British Video Association’s I.P. Seminar

LONDON November 11, 2004-Macrovision, the world’s leading supplier of content protection and digital rights management (“DRM”) technologies, today announced to the British Video Association (BVA)’s IP seminar the availability of its new RipGuard™ DVD Rip Control solution designed to combat video piracy. RipGuard prevents personal computers using ‘ripper software’ to illegally duplicate protected DVDs.

Martin Brooker, Director of Sales for Macrovision EMEA, will present an overview of RipGuard, a digital anti-ripping technology that complements Macrovision’s existing Analogue (video) Copy Protection system (ACP).

Macrovision’s ACP system has been applied to over 8.1 billion DVDs & VHS units. The technology is used to prevent copying the video output from either DVD players or VCRs to DVD recorders, hard drive recorders and compliant home media center PCs. It is the only analogue protection technology that is globally implemented in over 440 million consumer electronics and PC/DVD devices, and requires manufacturer certification for effectiveness and playability with Macrovision’s compliance lab.

However, hackers are tenacious, and by combining illicit hardware and software, they can crack the DVD format’s CSS encryption and make unauthorised digital copies that can be burned to a DVD recordable disc or uploaded to a file sharing network. Unauthorised DVD ripping leads directly to exponential distribution and downloading on the P2P networks and a substantial revenue loss for the video industry.

Macrovision addresses this growing threat by delivering effective solutions that massively decrease supply of unauthorised files (DVD ripping and burning) by utilising two physical DVD media-based technologies (ACP copy protection and RipGuard rip control).

Plugging the Digital Hole

The “digital hole” is the result of DVD ripping, the process of breaking the CSS encryption found on DVDs and placing these unprotected files onto a PC hard drive. From there, unprotected “perfect” copies can be burned, or the files can be shared with millions over the P2P networks. DeCSS rippers are easy to find online or in retail software stores – and most of these online rippers are free.

Extensive tests showed that RipGuard affects the success of the most commonly-used ripping software products in the market. It has been effective in either completely obstructing the software or slowing it down to the point of futility. RipGuard applies a Unique Digital Framework for each title to ensure that this effectiveness lasts over time. Once RipGuard becomes widely available in commercial titles, Macrovision will persistently monitor the ripping software market to ensure that RipGuard continues to be effective even as new techniques are introduced to circumvent the anti-ripping methodology.

Creating the perfect DVD Rip Control solution is a formidable task. It has to have universal playability on every DVD player and PC in the market. It must remain effective in the face of evolving ripper technology. It needs to fit seamlessly into DVD authoring and replication workflow. And, it needs to provide complete content protection and integrate with solutions that block the remaining “analogue” and “P2P network” holes. RipGuard meets these stringent requirements.

About Macrovision

Macrovision develops and markets digital product value management solutions for content publishers, software publishers, and enterprise IT departments. Macrovision’s content protection technologies are embedded in over 8.9 billion DVD, VHS, and CD units representing over $130 billion of protected entertainment content. In addition, over 300 million DVD devices and 140 million digital set-top boxes contain Macrovision’s technology. Our software solutions are deployed on more than 500 million desktops worldwide, and over $70 billion of software has been FLEXenabled™. Macrovision has its corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, California, key development labs and sales/service centers in Schaumburg, Illinois and the United Kingdom, and other international offices in Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul. More information about Macrovision can be found at www.macrovision.com.

# # #

© 2004 Macrovision Corporation. Macrovision and RipGuard are registered trademarks or trademarks of Macrovision Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

This press release may contain “forward-looking” statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. A number of factors could cause Macrovision’s actual results to differ from anticipated results expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such factors are addressed in Macrovision’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (available at www.sec.gov). Macrovision assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

For more information, contact:

Simon Byron, PR for Macrovision Europe
Barrington harvey
+44 (0)7801 932746
Simon Mehlman
Macrovision Europe
+44 (0)7812 146 530

AfterDawn Addict

18 Feb 2005 2:15 AM
New copy-proof DVDs on the way?
By John Borland CNET News.com February 14, 2005, 9:00 PM PT

Macrovision is expected to release a new DVD copy-protection technology Tuesday in hopes of substantially broadening its role in Hollywood's antipiracy effort.

The content-protection company is pointing to the failure of the copy-proofing on today's DVDs, which was broken in 1999. Courts have ordered that DVD-copying tools be taken off the market, but variations of the software remain widely available online.

Macrovision executives said that even if it's not perfect, the new RipGuard DVD technology can prevent much of the copying done with such tools and can help bolster studios' DVD sales.

"Encryption standards either work or they don't," said Adam Gervin, Macrovision's senior director of marketing, "Now the cat's out of the bag. (DVD sales) are going to be one of the main sources of revenue for Hollywood for a long time, so why leave billions of dollars on the table when you can do something about it?"

The company could be hard pressed to break into the DVD protection market, which has historically been managed by companies or industry groups closely associated with the Hollywood studios themselves. However, studios have been deeply concerned by the failure of today's DVD copy protection and may be willing to experiment with an alternative if it proves practical.

The original DVD copy-protection tool--called Content Scramble System--was developed by a technology coalition that included studio representatives. The tool is licensed by a group with close ties to Hollywood.

A new coalition, which includes Warner Bros., Walt Disney, IBM, Sony, Microsoft and Intel, is working on another content-protection technology for next-generation DVDs. That technology called the Advanced Access Content System, which is not designed for today's DVDs, is being designed to let movies be moved around a home though a digital network.

The group has said little about its progress since announcing the project last year, but companies involved have said they expect to have it ready in time for the first expected release of high-definition video on DVD late in 2005.

Meanwhile, Macrovision is promoting its alternative. The company, which has worked with the studios in the past, was responsible for the technique that makes it difficult to copy movies from one VCR to another, and it has updated that technique to help prevent people from making copies of movies using the analog plugs on DVD players.

The company is using a new version of that analog guard to create copy protection for video-on-demand services. That new guard will be included in TiVo devices and other set-top boxes beginning later this year.

Macrovision's new product takes a different approach to antipiracy than it has taken for analog or audio CDs. Gervin said Macrovision engineers have spent several years looking at how various DVD-copying software packages work and have devised ways to tweak the encoding of a DVD to block most of them.

That means the audio and video content itself requires no new hardware and isn't scrambled anew, as is the case with most rights-management techniques. Someone using one of the ripping tools on a protected DVD might simply find their software crashing, or be presented with error messages instead of a copy.

Macrovision's analog copy-protection business means that it receives pre-market versions of most major DVD players in order to test for compatibility, and it has been performing RipGuard DVD tests on these machines for months. As a result, the company says it is confident that discs encoded with its new product will be playable on all major DVD player brands and PC drives.

Gervin said that the technique would block most rippers, but not all, and could be easily updated for future discs as underground programmers find ways to work around RipGuard.

If adopted, the technology could be a welcome financial shot in the arm for Macrovision. The company has seen its revenue from DVD copy protection fall over recent quarters and has increasingly been looking to other businesses to make up for the shortfall.

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