back to article Storage players pitch DRM tech for downloads

Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have said they are working on yet another DRM technology for HD video, this time with the support of storage companies WD and SanDisk. The endeavour is codenamed 'Project Phenix' [sic] and if it won't do much for consumers' ability to spell, it will, the principals promised, give them "an …


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  1. King Jack

    More Bollox

    What is so special about HD content that it needs protecting? It's just a way to put a false value on something so the public buy into it. Why not protect colour or stereo sound? On that's right the boat has sailed.

  2. JDX Gold badge


    That's that out of the way.

  3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    And yet even more bollocks

    There seems to be absolutely nothing in this for the consumer, and it is just more trouble. Why don't they realise that DRM only inconveniences the paying punter, while making the pirate's experience better by comparison.

    In this particular case I wonder how one goes about backing up that ever-so-precious content to a NAS or new HDD, and how one recovers the data in the event of the HDD (and thus one presumes the encryption key) failing?

    Or is that the scam, get punters on to an HDD-based key that fails at 1-3% per annum, and the roger the unfortunate ones that have it fail in the time scale where they wanted to 'own' the media?

    And to answer the question about HD being precious - it isn't - it is just a new set of media & standards that the content industry believes it can DRM-encumber in ways that have failed for the original 'SD' of free-to-air TV and the weak CSS of DVDs.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: And yet even more bollocks

      It's the movie producers.

      "Free" movies seem to give them nightmares. They'll pull out every DRM trick in the book, including watermarking ("So we know you're the one who torrented that movie, Mr. Smith..."). Personally, I think they'd rather shut the doors than let them loose. Don't like it, well BOO HOO no more movies for you (and we'll lock up all the OLD movies, too).

  4. Jan 0 Silver badge


    From the language that gave us ameba and fetus, it might as well be Fenix.

    Hats off to J.G.Thirlwell, who could spell!

    Let's see: æ œ, will these dipthongs survive?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      'Hey Beavis he said "dip-thong", heh heh heh!'

    2. Colin Millar

      Re: Hats off to J.G.Thirlwell, who could spell!

      But hats firmly on for Jan 0


  5. K. Adams

    Didn't someone already try this...?

    Back in the day (2001), the 4C Entity consortium (an organization formed by IBM, Intel, Matsushita, and Toshiba) tried something similar.

    The public caught wind of it pretty quickly, and it went over like a lead balloon. After a very loud outcry, the T13 subcommittee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards voted against implementing the technology as part of the (then dominant) ATA interface specifications.

    One can only hope that the same thing will happen again this time...

    1. KjetilS

      Re: Didn't someone already try this...?

      But... but... but... The Mythbusters proved you *can* get a lead balloon flying :)

      I still upvoted you though

  6. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


    Media publishers usually make a point of saying that you don't "own" the material that you've paid to use; that it isn't the same thing.

    Not that I worry about that when I'm setting the video for the weather forecast...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "an easier and faster way to organise, store and move their HD digital movies and TV shows across multiple devices"

    What...Easier copying than drag/drop

    Faster copying than FTP/Samba/USB3/SATAxxx

    Easier organisation than XBMC library

    What they really mean is "way to copy files between (some supported) systems using a (proprietary) tool/technology that checks (slowly) for licence existence (and needs an internet connection) and then organises (completely messes up, a la iTunes) your media library".

    Lets face it, even iTunes is pretty rubbish at all 3, and that doesn't even have DRM to worry about.

    Remind me why we need this again...oh yeah. that s***ty DRM thing. Sorry I don't do DRM.

  8. ukaudiophile

    The public will decide it's fate

    This whole initiative is going to cost those that join up $$$$'s, and they've not asked the fundamental question, who will buy?

    The public right now seem pretty happy with 1080p MKV's of the latest movies with Dolby Digital and DTS sound, and increasingly TrueHD and DTS-MA, if the numbers of these files being downloaded is anything to go by. People are used to the freedom this gives them, so the question becomes, what does the user gain from this? Forget about selling most users on the whole 'It's licensed by the movie makers" line, most of the public don't care, they just want a high quality file that they can play on their big screen TV, Tablet and laptop, if it does that, they really don't care where it comes from.

    This is yet another standard set to die like Ultraviolet and "Triple play" sets with time limited digital editions.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: The public will decide it's fate

      As you point out, we want will play on TV, PC etc. Not something that won't let you skip the copyright notices and the advertising.

      Fail by the copyright mafiaa

  9. Mectron


    Any Company that event think of infecting their HDD with ILLEGAL DRM should be instantly shutdown and it's howner jailed for life, for crime agains freedom.

    Assignement of the day: Fine an entity more evil then the MPAA/RIAA

  10. The Equestrian


    is already taken. I know this one rose from the ashes... and he can't spell either

  11. tom dial Silver badge

    More companies to ignore whenever possible

    Apple - iStore greed, patent nastiness.

    Sony - George Hotz, !Linux on PS3 (didn't upgrade, still on mine)

    Sandisk, WD - DRM suckup.

    When I purchase equipment and entertainment media, I expect to own it.

  12. Eduard Coli

    Own this

    That is the rub, recalling that the studios (and Microsoft) said sometime ago that delivery media not withstanding, you are buying a limited use license and nothing more.

    This is a system about rights denial and if it ever gets common acceptance than I'm sure that it is designed to have that license for use amended remotely and without notice.

  13. sisk

    Death to DRM

    Here's why:

    1) New DRM scheme hits the market.

    2) Within a month or two, new DRM scheme is cracked and no longer poses a problem to copyright infringers.

    3) Paying customers continue to have headaches caused by the DRM for years. Their new videos won't play on their old devices, they risk loosing their video collection because the DRM prevents them from making easy backups, and thousands, if not milliions, will buy a new device only to get it home and find out it doesn't support the DRM in thier videos.

    4) New DRM scheme hits the market because someone finally realized that the last one they reseased was cracked years ago.

    5) Lather, rinse, repeat. Paying customers have to pay more to cover the cost of the DRM, those copying media before continue to do so with no problems, and companies waste time fighting a war they can never win.

    Conclusion: DRM is a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Death to DRM

      Hold the phone on that. Some of the newer DRM schemes don't seem to have been broken wide open yet. After all, I've yet to hear Microsoft complaining about someone breaking their Windows Media encryption, nor Apple with their FairPlay scheme (all the "crackers" I've seen depend on having legal access to the file at least once, so they don't really count as breaking the scheme). As for BluRay, BD+'s ability to keep updating means it's still an ongoing arms race.

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