After having fought pressure from Hollywood for over a decade, SlySoft threw in the towel earlier this week.
The company shut down its main website at Slysoft.com and ceased to provide new updates to its popular Blu-Ray ripping tool AnyDVD. An announcement posted in the forums suggests that the decision is part of a deal.
“We were not allowed to respond to any request nor to post any statement, but now it is official: SlySoft has been shut down after almost 13 years,” SlySoft’s Tom announced.
“I am really sorry for that, but this is final. SlySoft is gone..,” he adds
To most laypeople the news may be easily discarded as ‘just’ another company falling victim to Hollywood’s copyright enforcement. However, insiders warn that it may have a massive impact on millions of movie pirates.
For many years AnyDVD (HD) has been the go-to tool to crack Blu-Ray encryption, pretty much without competition.
In recent days TorrentFreak has spoken to several prominent release group insiders who fear that future Blu-Ray releases will take much longer to appear because their copy protection will be harder to circumvent.
“This will delay things for new releases that have updated AACS protection or completely kill AACS decryption from SlySoft,” the operator of a popular P2P group informed TF.
“Alternatives usually delay updates two to three months. If they don’t pick up the slack Hollywood have just won a huge victory, because future releases that have updated AACS protection will be delayed,” he adds.
Another insider confirms the concerns, noting that SlySoft has often gone to great lengths to ensure that new copy protections are cracked as soon as possible.
“Over the past decade SlySoft has been the main ripping tool for Scene groups, P2P groups and just about everyone,” our second source says.
While it’s currently unclear what will happen during the weeks and months to come, a feeling of uncertainty appears to dominate among many pirate movie release and distribution groups.
“The loss of SlySoft is being rapidly discussed among all movie pirate groups and there is no consensus yet for what is to come next, just concern,” our source says.
As for the future, there are a few things that may happen.
It’s possible for competitors such as DVDFab to pick up the slack and release their copy protection cracks in a timely fashion. However, the latter has already announced that it won’t break the copy protection of Ultra HD Blu-Ray discs, so there’s not much faith in this option.
It’s also possible that AnyDVD will make a comeback in some shape or form. Or perhaps defiant members of the old team will re-brand it and continue their work from another jurisdiction. Alternatively, they could continue to offer their services in the background, without a public facing website.
The third option is a more grim scenario for pirates, one in which copy protection becomes more effective, possibly delaying pirate Blu-Ray releases by weeks or months.
This is the scenario AACS and Hollywood are hoping for.