Asian pirates are producing counterfeit copies of copyrighted Blu-ray Disc videos. A recent raid on counterfeiters in southern China has prompted the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to warn consumers about counterfeit movies.
Pirates are using software to create imitation Blu-ray disks with a format called AVCHD, which allows both high-definition and standard-definition recording. The format is used in tapeless camcorders that record onto DVD and Blu-ray disks. For high definition, all major variations are supported, including 720p, 1080i and 1080p.
Victims may not be able to tell the difference between real Blu-ray disks and the counterfeit versions.
A Growing Problem
The Blu-ray Disc Association added several layers of protection to disks, but some hackers claim to have cracked the codes. Last year, an employee at Slysoft Software said he had cracked BD+ and posted this message: "Note to Twentieth Century Fox: as you can see, BD+ didn't offer you any advanced security, it just annoyed some of your customers with older players."
The association's Advanced Access Content System (AACS) helps control the use of digital media and is more advanced than the encryption for standard DVDs. Blu-ray disks also use BD-ROM mark and BD+ layers of protection. The ROM mark embeds a unique mark and undetectable identifier and can only be copied with equipment licensed to BD-ROM manufacturers.
In 2007 alone, the MPAA assisted authorities in the Asia-Pacific region in investigating more than 36,000 cases of piracy. It also helped in 13,000 raids resulting in the seizure of more than 31 million illegal optical disks, 40 factory optical-disk production lines, and nearly 7,000 disk burners, according to the MPAA. Around the world, the MPAA seized 118 million illegal optical disks.
The MPAA estimates that member companies, including Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and Warner Brothers, lose about $1.2 billion each year in potential revenue from the Asia-Pacific region alone and $6.1 billion globally.
Groups such as the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy are helping combat piracy both domestically and on a global level. The coalition, which represents more than 400 businesses and groups, has campaigned for the federal government to do more to protect the intellectual property of U.S.-based businesses and is working with the MPAA.
More than $225 billion is lost to counterfeiting and piracy each year, according to the coalition. The group testified before Congress in December and said its efforts would reduce the loss to between $18 billion and $37 billion.
6 months ago