June 9th, 2006, 09:01 PM
DRM on DVD's
So I have a client that wants DRM on a DVD for a promo disc of a documentary... I have a small budget and I've never dabbled in DRM (with DVD's at least)
Google seems to be flooded with Anti-DRM garbage and no real DRM solutions... something open source and simple is enough, I'm not looking for "Maximum Security" unless it can be achieved.
Any suggestions? Client wants to send DVD's out for viewing and have them returned uncopied.
June 9th, 2006, 09:03 PM
I dont know if this is a solution that is viable for you or not but, correct me if im wrong... they can now make "time release" dvd's basically you have to watch it in a certain amount of time then it "self destructs" so to speak and is unable to be copied.... anyway just a thought.
June 9th, 2006, 10:02 PM
First of all: Wrong forum, Mod move please?
I'm wondering if some kind of streaming solution instead of DVD's would be better. Considering that the audience is small, bandwidth won't be that big of a deal.
June 10th, 2006, 12:14 AM
I was always led to believe that if you could play it you could record it (if you really wanted to), hence the amount of pirating that goes on?
June 10th, 2006, 07:32 AM
Right, I wouldn't trust DRM on a large scale for a popular project, simply because of that fact. This will be small scale and somewhat quiet. If a DVD gets pirated, it will be fairly simple to track down the incident... I'm looking for DRM that would prevent and enable an audit trail of sorts, like a watermark or simple copy-protection.
We're not dealing with the elite, it will be private audiences. I have to admit though, this if more for my own curiosity than it is for a real purpose...
June 10th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Sorry for being obtuse, thick and whatever, but can I try to clear up your requirements in my own mind.
I think that we both agree that all current DRM systems can be circumvented by those with the right hardware/software, skills, and motivation?
That leaves us with a number of options:
1. A "copyright notice" that will pop-up a warning message when someone tries to copy it using conventional software. It won't prevent them, but they will have been warned .
2. Simple file copy protection that will stop the DVD from being copied to a HDD or another DVD. This can be easily circumvented, but do do so would be an undeniably deliberate act of piracy
No "I didn't see that" or "I just clicked OK" excuses here
3. Watermarking. This works in two ways:
[i] The watermark is surreptitiously copied, thus demonstrating that it is your intellectual property.
[ii] There is a unique serial number that identifies the original material.
The first one works for mass/public distributions as the DVD has a fancy back to it with holograms or whatever. So, when the authorities find media without the fancy artwork, but with the watermark, they prosecute the pirate.
The second one might suit your requirement for a small/private distribution. It would be possible to log the unique identifier to a particular recipient, so you would know whose copy had been pirated.
With commercial stuff this generally only gives you production information and country of sale of the original. That will give the authorities clues as to whether they are dealing with smugglers or counterfeiters. The unique serial number might be used to protect customers who have made a legal copy, if they can produce the original that they bought, and the numbers match.
4. Commercial DRM packages. I haven't really looked at these recently, but they are expensive and can be circumvented anyway. Quality and compatibility can be an issue, not to mention security.
5. Compression ratios & codecs. I have never tried personally, but there is a way to make the media you ship expand into more than standard capacity if copied. This forces the person to span 2 disks which is a pain. I understand that quality can be an issue, depending on what the material happens to be.
I haven't looked into this in detail for a couple of years, so let me know your thoughts and I will check what I have (on another box I am afraid ) and get myself back up to speed.
June 10th, 2006, 05:24 PM
Can't you just burn the DVD with CSS enabled? Yes it has already been cracked, but that is what DRM is available to DVD's.
June 11th, 2006, 09:27 PM
As far as I can remember, CSS isn't something avaliable to the common man. Only big media companies are actually able to make use of it, as it is not an area that is writeable with standard DVD-R discs... DRM is pointless if only those with money can use it...even the lay-man can produce content, and DRM should be used to protect his interests, not just those of huge corportations as it stands right now...
Soda_Popinsky - Does it have to be playable on a DVD player? Can you put it on a DVD, but require a Windows PC to display the documentary?
You may be able to use Windows Media Encoder to produce an encrypted / protected *.WMV file, and you can find license providers for that online fairly easily (Microsoft provides lists of license providers) and that will let you rights-manage your content pretty easily. Then a key is distributed online to allow the person to view the content, and after a certain date the keys would expire and you could no longer distribute them online and the files would effectively be worthless...seeing as the encryption within these files hasn't been cracked since the updates a year or so ago (and if it has, nobody has heard of it so it is unlikely anyone watching this documentary could do it).
As crazy as it may sound, Microsoft pretty much has the best solution for what you can actually do in your position... BTW, do note that there are fees associated with having a license provider manage your keys/assets...it isn't free unless you can find out more about it than I can...
June 11th, 2006, 10:05 PM
Tim_axe: Sounds like a good approach... I wonder if I can manage/distribute the license myself.. then I can look for a spike in license requests which would indicate piracy.
June 12th, 2006, 01:23 AM
Tim- You can't enable CSS on most home dvd burners. However, if this is a promotional thing I was assuming that these DVD's may be produced at a duplication facility.
If that is the case ulead dvd will scramble content using CSS if you output the image to DLT tape. You then give the DLT tape to the duplication facility. Professional duplication shops should have the capability to encrypt dvd's.