Blu-ray Anti-Piracy Tech Stops Discs and Promotes Purchases

An anti-piracy system present in all official Blu-ray players since 2012 has received a fresh update that detects pirated video and suggests options for users to invest in legal content instead.

The Cinavia anti-piracy system operates via a special type of watermarking that stays resident in a recording despite re-recording, transcoding, compression, or other type of transfer. This means that camcordings of Cinavia-protected first-run movies and unauthorized copies of Blu-ray or DVDs can be detected by Blu-ray players.

The system, a mandatory feature of all Blu-ray players since 2012, has just received a software addition known as Cinavia 3. It operates in a similar fashion to standard Cinavia when it comes to detecting pirate content but also has a trick up its sleeve.

While previously unauthorized content would be simply blocked by a Blu-ray player, with Cinavia 3 viewers are also informed on-screen where they can buy a legitimate copy of the content, whether that be through iTunes or some other digital retailer.

According to a Variety report, it will be the manufacturers of playback devices who get to choose where users are directed to after illicit content is detected – Apple would direct users to iTunes while companies like Samsung might choose Amazon, for example, each taking a cut of sales as they do so.

“The common misconception is you are either a pirate or you’re not,” said Joe Winograd, executive VP and chief technology officer of Cinavia creator, Verance.

“In reality, there are many layers of gray. Research indicates over a third of people watching pirated films are not hardcore techies but responsible, high-performing individuals who believe it is socially acceptable to search for a ‘free’ movie on a search engine.”

Verance hope that when offered a convenient opportunity to obtain quality content at a fair price, former pirates will consider going straight. Let’s see if that’s what they are actually offered when the system goes live.

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