Thursday, February 03, 2005

Into the Analog Hole

A German company, Software Animation Design (S.A.D.), has brought a DVD copy program on the market under the name VideoJack. The name indicates the vulnerability in the copy protection scheme of some DRMs : the analog hole. While digital copying may be prohibited, both legally and by code, with a computer, tuner card and the VideoJack software the digital signals can be converted to analogue signals and burned on a CD or DVD. The VideoJack software does this in an AVI format, offers a time-shifting mode and claims this practice is totally legal since the copy protection clause "allows the analogue copying of copy protected DVDs".

In the U.S. the analogue hole was one of the points of critique on the broadcast flag scheme, which sees to protect digital over the air television with a copy protection technology. The subsequent distribution of converted analogue digital television signals would still be possible. This was one of the reasons for the Federal Communications Commission, under pressure of the content industry, to push for a quick adaptation of the broadcast flag. That is, before the "video jacks" of unprotected devices would transform the analogue hole in a black hole, sucking the content on to the internet.
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S.A.D. site (German)
Thru Urheberrecht.org (German)
LegalCopy, other analogue copying software (German)

This is a cross-posting with the INDICARE Blog

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