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Sony copy protection taking heat again: now DVDs won't play

Kwei's Broken CD at Reports continue to filter in about DVDs that refuse to play on standard players from Toshiba, LG, Pioneer, Sony, and others. The culprit is titles that utilize Sony's ARccOS copy protection scheme, such as Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," The Weinstein Company's "Lucky Number Slevin," and Sony's "Casino Royale," "The Holiday," and "Stranger Than Fiction." ARccOS artificially scrambles sectors on the disc in an attempt to keep users from ripping the disc to a drive. Many older (or less sophisticated) players simply skip these corrupted areas as unreadable and continue on. Computers -- and unfortunately, some newer players -- try to perform error correction on these areas and fail playback. When contacted, Sony seems to deny the problem, much like Microsoft and the 360 disc scratching, and simply passes the buck onto the player manufacturers to upgrade their firmware. Meanwhile, many users have simply downloaded programs to bypass the protection and make copies without the "defect." So, is this a rootkit-like class action lawsuit in the making? Is it just overblown hype over a few players that don't follow standards? Another example of copy protection that bites legitimate users and ignores the real problem? And do average consumers even care?

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Moff @ Apr 16th 2007 4:20PM

What is the freaking point of copy protection anyways??


The only proven way to protect your email from SPAM:

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JeffnLA @ Apr 16th 2007 4:21PM

Sony continually shows nothing but contempt for the consumer.

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adrian @ Apr 16th 2007 4:22PM

I thought I was the only one. My Casino Royale does not play in my LG player but does in my Phillips one. Also doesn't play on my laptop's DVD drive and I thought I had a bad copy but exchanged it twice. Just have to live with it until I get a BD player.

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CopyMe @ Apr 16th 2007 4:22PM

Sony has now achieved copy protection nirvana. If it don't work you can't copy it

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Zeus the God @ Apr 16th 2007 4:27PM

Goddamn, don't complain about the 360 "disc scratching" thing.

The reason that happened is because dumbasses decided to move their Xbox around while it was running a disc. In no way is that MicroSoft's fault.

This is a shame though.

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JDL @ Apr 16th 2007 4:35PM

I've been having the damn problem for some time. My HTIB LG is perfect for my little apartment. it's about 5 years old, but still rocks! the only problem is when rent DVDs that are produced by Sony. Guess what, Sony? The only way around this is to RIP it, extract your lame copy protection and burn it onto a recordable disc. Thus, your attempt at copy protection actually causes me to copy your DVDs. I don't rip other DVDs b/c i just play them and return them. But, since your DVDs won't play on my DVD player, I gotta copy them. Thanks SONY! I have stacks of copied DVDs and they are only from SONY!

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Zorque @ Apr 16th 2007 4:37PM

Is anybody else getting really sick of Sony?

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eric @ Apr 16th 2007 4:41PM

i got stranger than fiction and couldnt play it. sony sucks

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JediFonger @ Apr 16th 2007 4:41PM

pshft, this is old news. only diff. is that sony is making it standard. there have been many DVD's like Capote that are supposedly un-rippable. check this out:

problem solved. if you want to shrink to DVD5, you can either use DVDShrink again or nero recode (it's the same programmer as DVD shrink) or just buy dvdfab and do it all in one step.

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James @ Apr 16th 2007 4:42PM

Zeus: Read a few posts back. Microsoft has done their own testing and determined that on certain machines, a part was missing that caused discs to scratch with extended use, not through any fault of the user's. It is, in fact, Microsoft's fault, at least in those cases.

I, for one, would make an argument that even if a scratch was caused when the user moved the Xbox while the disc was spinning, that's *still* Microsoft's fault, at least to some extent -- why has that never happened on my PS2, or my original Xbox, or any of my 3 laptops? Certainly my laptop DVD drive is capable of everything the 360 drive can do.

"Fault tolerance" is an important aspect of any consumer good, and having a drive that needs to be shock-mounted and immersed in non-conducting oil just to make sure it doesn't twitch 1/96th of an inch to run "properly" is, in fact, a bad product. Microsoft *should* have picked up the problem in testing and either modified the drives or chosen a different supplier; failing that, they should have had a BIG BOLD WARNING LABEL warning the users not to touch the machine while a disc was in use. I have not been bitten by this yet, but in an era where they keep you from backing up content at gunpoint, I don't want to wait around quietly until it happens.

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g_stewart @ Apr 16th 2007 4:45PM

I get all my Sony movies online, They all play great!

Sony as a company rocks! They're forcing people to live in a physical media free world!

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g_stewart @ Apr 16th 2007 4:47PM

... on further thinking, Sony are single handedly solving the problem of global warming, if consumers can't play DVD's or other sony media due to the awful DRM, think of all the greenhouse gasses that'll be reduced!

Rock on Sony, saving the planet one screwed up DVD at a time!

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Ayle @ Apr 16th 2007 4:52PM

Have you actually read the news saying that Microsoft aknowledged the issue?

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Jonathan Sundy @ Apr 16th 2007 4:54PM

Trading one Sony problem for another?

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Totalfixation @ Apr 16th 2007 4:57PM

We all know this is stupid, so why do they continue? This is one reason why i don't want to support any of Sony products anymore.

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WTangoFoxtrot @ Apr 16th 2007 5:01PM

are you nuts ? all this time i thought sony was trying to force the crapy blu-ray down peoples throats i had this vision that MS was promoting a physical media free world through XBL. but now that you put it that way thank you for opening my eyes !!

//end sarcasm

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Brien Downie @ Apr 16th 2007 5:04PM

so THAT's why I had to install the latest version of AnyDVD to play it in my computer. CSS and copy-protection be damned. Let me play the dvd I rented!

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alexjlee @ Apr 16th 2007 5:16PM

i own a brand new SONY dvd player and rented one of these last week. The sony dvd's don't even play in current players! terrible.

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Penguin Warlord @ Apr 16th 2007 5:18PM

Sony has f-ed up again. I hate sony sooooo much right now. And if you wanna see whether or not the public cares go check out the Slashdot comments on this article. 600+ in less than one day.I am personally boycotting Sony and encourage as many people to join in as possible. Instead of buying a sony TV, buy a sharp, they're cheaper and much better. Instead of a Vaio computer get any other brand or build it yourself; instead of a PS3, get a Wii and a 360 or a 360 and the HD DVD drive, instead of a sony movie, download it with Bitorrent (make sure you check the back of your cases and look closely to see that Sony symbol since it has many different faces). Same thing with music. I feel bad for the artist but maybe this will encourage them to switch away from Sony.

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Trent @ Apr 16th 2007 5:21PM

Sony: Still forgetting who pays the bills in '07!


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