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Why can’t I play Ultra HD Blu-ray movies on my new Intel CPU platform? (cyberlink.com)
618 points by freemint 10 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 406 comments

MakeMKV (US$60 for Windows, Mac, or Linux) can rip UHD Blu-Ray discs with the appropriate drive, removing the encryption in the process:


Some drives need to have their firmware flashed in order to enable ripping of UHD discs:


I'm not affiliated with the product other than having used it to rip my entire disc library. It can also rip DVDs and regular blu-rays.

Once ripped, they can be played back with VLC, mpv, or derivatives. (On Macs, IINA is very good.)

> Some drives need to have their firmware flashed in order to enable ripping of UHD discs

I love their summary of what the patched firmware does:

'A LibreDrive is a mode of operation of an optical disc drive (DVD, Blu-ray or UHD) when the data on the disc are accessed directly, without any restrictions or transformations enforced by drive firmware. A LibreDrive would never refuse to read the data from the disc or declare itself “revoked”.

(...) Change the optical drive embedded software in a way that the drive becomes a “primitive” device - one that just positions a laser, reads and decodes the data. Make a drive free from “policing” functionality, a drive that just passes all data from the disc to the user.'

- from What is LibreDrive? at https://forum.makemkv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=18856

How easy would it be to use libredrive, dd and ffmpeg to rip?

Probably pretty hard. It's not a transparent patch to the drive's normal read routines but a parallel low-level API. Then they wrap that in their own high-level userspace API libdriveio (which you'd have to patch dd to use).

And once you've pried the data out of the drive's hands you still have to decrypt it.

https://forum.makemkv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&p=96988 https://forum.makemkv.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=24312

Very easy but my understanding is you’d end up with an unplayable disc still because you need to perform decryption to get a file ffmpeg can play. That said makemkv does work on ISOs of discs made with a libredrive

I believe any DVD drive made in recent years won't support it. Some drives had bugs in their old firmware so that the drives can be used with makemkv, but it doesn't mean it is usual. They can fix the bugs. They can stop making problematic hardware. Even if you can find such a hardware, it might be more expensive than your CPU. Normally people won't invest much on it.

And, like what SGX is providing, if the film industry really want to stop pirating, they can. Then makemkv will be a history.

> if the film industry really want to stop pirating, they can.

I doubt that, if for nothing else the Analog Hole[0]. At some point in the chain, the video data has to be turned into usable information for a display panel and speakers.

They keep adding steps to the chain, moving the final step closer and closer to the end, but it is still possible to bypass. In the ultimate case, you could probe the display board directly and convert the raw panel voltages, but in practice there are many earlier opportunities.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_hole

This probably counts as "circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a copyrighted work" under the DMCA and is thus illegal.

There are plenty of use cases qualifying for an exception. The list is getting longer with every ruling, here's a link to the whole unwieldy mess: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-23311.pdf... (§ 201.40)

tl;dr: literally the first exception allows circumvention of DVD and Blu-ray encryption for various fair use purposes.

Morally and ethically there's no issue though, and the risk of prosecution seems incredibly low if you're just ripping your own discs for private use, so I don't think this really matters.

Trafficking in circumvention devices is a crime, regardless of what you intend to do with them.

In many countries around the globe this is absolutely not a crime, copying content that you own is perfectly legal and not even a grey area.

True in many parts of the world. U.S. copyright law makes no exception for copying content you own, though I do agree it may be hard for media companies to prosecute so you'll probably get away with it. The Betamax Supreme Court case was won -- 5-4 -- because the court found a single, very narrow, noninfringing use for a VCR: recording a television program that will air only once and never again after that single airing, and you cannot be around to view said television program at its scheduled time, and you intend to destroy the recording after viewing it once. The ruling does NOT cover recording off the TV willy-nilly, or copying things you own; there is a dicta in Justice Blackmun's dissent stating these things to be explicitly illegal.

But I'm not talking about doing the copying itself. I'm talking about circumventing DRM which is a separate offense from copyright infringement. That is illegal in the USA, with certain specific, narrow exceptions, whether you use such circumvention to infringe copyright or not. Trafficking in circumvention devices, including publishing or downloading firmware that disables access protection measures, is illegal full stop.

(Remember DeCSS? Yeah, hosting that is still a federal crime, irrespective of what you or your audience intends to do with it. The irony is, that means the Feds have every right to take Eric S. Raymond's guns away and bar him from owning a gun for life: http://www.catb.org/esr/netfreedom/)

I'm not sure that the modded firmware even includes the actual low-level read routines. Isn't the whole thing split up to load them into the drive's RAM after every power cycle? If that's the case then the modded firmware alone is arguably not a circumvention device, and neither is the drive once it's powered down. :P

LibreDrive disables the "policing", i.e., the software that makes the drive refuse to read due to a wrong region code, revoked key, etc. This counts as an "effective technological measure" separate from any decryption, etc. the drive performs and LibreDrive is thus likely a circumvention device under the DMCA. Publishing it would therefore be a felony, punishable by up to five years in federal prison, in addition to civil penalties.

Agreed but LibreDrive is the system as a whole (before decryption, sure). I was curious about the persistent component of that system, the modded firmware.

I understand, and I assume you're probably right. What I'm saying is that it's ok to commit this crime. You're not harming anyone, and in the particular scenario we're talking about, there's no chance that you'll face any consequences.

It is a grey area. Right to repair has had success without legislation for abandonware. The rights of the copyright holder generally don't actually extend to blocking your access.

Now whether "latest Intel chips don't support playback" is sufficient to fall under this flag is obviously a complex topic but I think it is certainly not cut and dry.

> The rights of the copyright holder generally don't actually extend to blocking your access.

The issue here is that the DMCA makes bypassing copy protection illegal regardless of whether or not the actual use of the media infringes on copyright, and exceptions are only added every 3 years[1] and are generally very specific in scope.

From my understanding it's less of a gray area and more of a dithered black and white area that can look gray from afar.

[1]: https://www.copyright.gov/1201/

some things are worth it.

Agreed. If you want to (physically) own a movie or TV show, use MakeMKV, or just torrent/IRC/usenet it. It really seems the rights owners want you to go that route.

Otherwise if you just want to watch a movie and don't care that it might not be available at a later time, use a streaming service, it's by far the most convenient.

> If you want to (physically) own a movie or TV show

I find this phrasing quite fascinating. What does it even mean to "own" a movie? If you torrent or rip it, you now simply possess a copy and with the ability to watch it without any artificial restrictions, but I'd hardly say that you "own" it at that point.

I find it so depressing that our legal system does not even have the concept of an individual having access to a movie such that they can play it for themselves conveniently without restrictions. Even when you physically own a DVD there is no "sanctioned" way to watch it without being forced to watch the commercials and legal disclaimers at the beginning.

Which reminds me of the irony always repeated in these threads, that the folks who rip or torrent the film never see these legal disclaimers and only the folks who obey all the "rules" and don't need to see the disclaimer are constantly exposed to it.

Why can't we have nice things? This world is so distopian.

> Why can't we have nice things? This world is so distopian.

Bonus: As technologists and developers, we are actively creating this dystopia! I'm sure a non-zero portion of HN's audience is hard at work implementing DRM, locking users out of products they own, and coming up with new roadblocks for users. Perhaps someone reading this very comment implemented this exact Blu-Ray DRM in a devices's firmware. To the rest of us, it's dystopia, but to that person, it's just another JIRA ticket Boss says they need to implement, so they do.

Blame the evil managers all you want, but you, dear reader, are the one writing the code and hitting Commit.

While I acknowledge the irony you are pointing out, even that is a feature of the world we live in, where humans are unable to coordinate. Eliminating DRM is just one of the many wonders we could accomplish if we could "simply" coordinate the efforts of all software engineers on the planet.

Because if you don't implement DRM, then you simply raise the marginal price that it costs a company to do so, and you make another engineer – who is willing to implement it – marginally richer, thus indirectly rewarding behavior you despised in the first place!

The only ways to eliminate things like DRM are to either globally coordinate all software engineers' efforts (probably impossible), or somehow... socially change the incentives such that DRM is a net-loss for content producers? Also seems probably impossible.

I realized the futility of taking an ethical stand in software, early in my career. I was a junior developer, and my next project was to write code to cheat a benchmark. I managed to work up the courage to tell my boss I had a problem with doing that, and he said "Hey, fine, no problem. We treat our developers well here" and was totally cool about it. I got another ticket to work on instead. Bill, two cubicles down, was happy to go and write the benchmark-cheating code.

I still refuse projects and jobs I consider unethical, but realize it's pissing in the wind until there is some larger coordinated framework (like a Hippocratic Oath for developers).

By far the easiest way to change incentives is with legislation and a 'right to access'. Of course easiest != easy.

Honestly, putting aside the philosophical debate, I own something I have access to without limitation and without the ability of a third party to take it away from me. I own a book I can read whenever, wherever and however I want. I don't own a book I have to give back to the library. I own blu rays I ripped in a similar way.

Yes you own the blu ray, but you don't actually own _the movie_. Despite owning the disc, your legal rights to how you can view the content on it are quite specific, and I believe that circumventing the DRM on it is illegal. So the fact that you have physical ownership of the disk is almost tangential to the discussion.

And of course there's always the whole, "Well actually the government has the final say in everything so does it count that you 'own' something if the government can simply take it away from you." but that's a whole other can of worms!

What more can I do if I own _the movie_ that I am not able to do after ripping the blu ray?

DRM is as anti-consumer as Apple and Tesla's policy saying the owner of a product can't repair their own product. Having physical ownership and removing drm is the only meaningful way to take ownership of a movie that doesn't rely on the good grace of an outside party. The US has laws against unrightful search and seizure and due process. The government can't "simply" take things away from me, at least in the US. True digital ownership of media requires the ability to playback things without relying on a third party. That's only possible having a dedrmed rip/reencoded copy. In practical terms, my legal rights on how I can view content is tangential to owning media, what matters is my actual ability to view it.

> The government can't "simply" take things away from me, at least in the US.

Yeah, maybe calling it "simple" was a mistake, but here I'm thinking about exactly such things as search & seizure and eminent domain where you can be legally deposessed of literally anything that you "own".

There is such a concept, rights owners just choose not to offer that option, which they're not obliged to.

This works for them as most people do not how the technical know-how to break through the DRM and most people are therefore discouraged by it.

You're correct in this subtle distinction, but I still mourn the fact that – for all intents and purposes – we live in a world that looks nearly the same as the one where the concept literally does not exist.


Although what is the alternative in a world where producing digital copies is a matter of pressing a button?

The whole idea of IP is to protect content creators. Those content creators sell their IP to large corporates to maximise their earning potential. Corporates subsequently take steps to protect those rights. Taking the ability to take those steps away from corporates by extension means taking those rights away from content creators. Is that what you're advocating for?

I don't actually know if my desired end-state is practical or even possible, but I can at least describe what it looks like:

* I pay $10-25 for a movie

* I can then personally view that movie with myself and my family on the display I want (the last hotel I stayed at didn't have a HDCP compatible TV so I couldn't display my purchased film on the TV)

* I am not forced to watch advertisements or piracy warnings before the film

* I can put the film on other devices I own to watch via more convenient methods (my phone, tablet, home theater setup)

Are those requirements fundamental to having a legal system that protects the rights of copyright owners? Honestly I don't think they are! Because the DRM schemes that enable the above situation clearly aren't stopping pirates in the first place. But who knows, maybe there's an alternate universe where content creators allow all the above bullet points and – as a consequence – very few entities invest in creating art! In the end if I had to choose between that universe and the one we have today, I'd still take the one we have today where art is legally well protected enough that we have a plethora of it.

The obvious solution to creating digital scarcity is putting the ownership into an NFT. That way you can still “own” a copy of a movie exactly in the same way DVDs used to be owned. NFTs aren’t ready for that yet, but one day when there is a centralized platform that becomes the YouTube of NFTs then it may be large enough. None of this will happen without regulation in the space though because right now owning an NFT is no different than say having the movie on Comcast’s website, but being unable to play it from any other application. When regulations making NFTs standard across multimedia occur then there will be true use of NFTs, meaning the websites just become the DVD player, and once you own an NFT of a movie you can play it on any website you link your wallet to so it knows you own that specific NFT. I’d guess that’s at least 20 years away though.

Torrenting a reencode seems reasonable but for some releases I liked buying the blu ray because my internet speed isn't great.

I use put.io. It's a web service which downloads, seeds and stores your torrents. It also converts, streams, finds subtitles for movies and similar stuff. Also allows for you to download the file if you want.

Moreover, it can follow RSS feeds for automated downloads, and has plethora of other features.

[0]: https://put.io

Not very wise to export your (assumed) copyright-infringing activity over to a third party that has complete records of who you are. Folks have been sued for less.

They're an old company (probably more than a decade old), and I'm using them since they started. I didn't download much and honestly used them for distribution .ISO files 99% of the time.

However, they're still operating, they only know my e-mail, nothing else, and they honor DMCA take down notices.

Oh, and the company is local to me.

how do you pay them?

They use an external card processor which stores your details. They only store my card details there. No address, no name, nothing.

They don't access to your card details. Just an API integration, that's all.

If a company takes legal action against you or other users, they will subpoena the card processor, too; the fact that the first company doesn't hold your personal details is irrelevant.

Except, realistically, nobody actually gets sued for torrenting.

Plenty of individuals have had significant penalty for torrenting, including settlements [1] (search for singapore), and being blocked from accessing the internet [2]. The RIAA also sued a large number of individuals in the US [3]. And that's apart from the large number of companies that have been sued for supporting torrents.

So, yes, people easily could be sued for torrenting and plenty of people have suffered significant penalty.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_with_BitTorrent

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-39961502

[3] https://www.eff.org/wp/riaa-v-people-five-years-later

Yeah, a decade+ ago back when MAFIAA was still experimenting with those tactics.

FWIW almost all the people listed on your wiki page were tracker operators, but I am aware that there have been a few exceptions.

No, there age big exceptions. In Germany there are law firms with hundreds of employees doing nothing else all day.

Those German law firms are not interested in services like put.io

Only takes a few to make an example.

> I liked buying the blu ray because my internet speed isn't great

This is mostly an issue when streaming, which I prefer not to do for that reason. When I've had slow connections, torrenting a movie has generally been fine as I just let it run overnight.

This is how I first ended up with an inexpensive disk shelf on 6.5Mbps ADSL.

Similar constraints, different solutions.

They don't want you to own anything. The industry has collectively decided we should move to an "AAS" model for everything and everyone is just playing the long game now. I hate it...

streaming services build a profile of me based on what I watch and share with with other companies. No thanks

> and share with with other companies

Is there any evidence to suggest that the likes of Netflix and Disney+ are doing this?

I would check their privacy policies if this is allowed, regardless if it is happening.

Of course, if the privacy policies do not include a data sharing provision, then evidence of the sharing would be interesting.

Even if they aren't doing it today, if the policy allows it you can guarantee they're at minimum collecting the data. Perhaps for "improved suggestions" now, but could just as easily be sold to a third party later should the financial incentives be high enough.

Honestly if it’s like the viewing data I saw when I worked in cable, your watching habits are not remotely unique and you can be more effectively targeted using the data pulled from a credit check.

Viewing data is largely used in aggregate to make decisions about content. They’ll collect demographic data because it’s useful to know, but by and large it’s all used in aggregate or as cohorts because there really aren’t enough permutations. On a streaming service like Netflix or Disney there just isn’t enough content for people to look all that different at an individual level.

“User X watched Y minutes of movie Z at time W at location V using device T”

You might not care about Z, but the rest of those variables could be sensitive.

What drive is recommended? I have considered acquiring some UHD movies on physical media and would want to rip them for backup.


... or go to the cinema

> go to the cinema

- to watch things I don't wanna watch,

- while being gouged for double the BR-retail price PER person PLUS overpriced amenities,

- with no option for original audio but only trash-tier dubs (in Germany you'd have to go to one the bigger cities like Berlin for the option)

- while sitting together in a hot and stuffy room with a bunch of other (noisy) people

- not to mention the time investment of going to the city, standing in line for tickets, waiting for the movie to start and going back home, not even being able to have a beer unless you can/want to take the bus (slightly more money if it's even still running at that time) or a taxi home (considerably more money).

In all this makes it:

- ~5-15€ per BR, rip it to external drive, watch what I want when I want anywhere in my local network with Jellyfin or on that connected computer with mpv in full quality, with any of the available audio tracks (though usually original audio), in multiple different playback speeds with no extra time and/or money investment


- 15-20€ per cinema ticket, for any of the small collection of German dubbed they have at what times they decide to show them, ~30-45 minutes of going to the cinema (plus costs thereof), ~20 minutes wait till the ads stop and the movie starts, "enjoy" the full length of poorly dubbed movie in an uncomfortable environment, ~30-45 minutes of going back home (plus costs thereof).

So WHY would I EVER choose to go to the cinema?

Sounds awful! In our city movies are $5/person on Tuesdays (any movie, including brand new releases) and is only a few minutes drive. So just wanted to say this is not the same everywhere :)

Personally I find the quality of the cinema projectors to be lacking, but I still enjoy going.

I'm pretty sure the last time I went to a cinema was ~2013 and I haven't looked back since the experience is just all around awful and expensive to add insult to injury.

Yeah not trying to convince you to go, because I go pretty rarely myself. I will say they have recliner chairs here with lots of spacing between chairs (and we are a smaller city, so we are the last to get things), pre-assigned seating, food & beer/wine/etc. It's really a decent experience, like I said the only thing I find lacking is the actual picture quality itself now that I have a 4k TV at home.

in germany some cinemas have a cheap day for 10€/person, but for 5€ you only might get a drink. german cinemas are expensive.

I presume you're in Germany? Where do they make you pay 15-20€ per ticket? I just bought a cinema ticket today. The sticker price was 10€, and I got it for 6.60€ with a loyalty card (Cineplex High Five, completely tracking-free since I bought it with cash).

Mind you, this was almost 10 years ago but I could swear it was something like 16 or 17€ per ticket. I just looked it up though and apparently it's 7-8€/adult now depending on the day. I can order practically any movie DVD/BR I want from reBuy or momox via Amazon including shipping for less than just the ticket price, not to mention time investment etc.

To get tinnitus?

The last time we tried (again), the sound was overdriven (again) to the point we had all go to the toilet and muffle our ears with toilet paper.

Except for small, independent cinemas it has been the same crappy experience for me: expensive, bad sound quality

As someone who suffers from sensitivity to sound, I always carry around foam plugs. I need them for about every second cinema visit.

To rewatch Lord of the Rings? I think not.

The age of cinema is over. The time of the torrents has come.

Torrents have one crucial disadvantage: they require you to make the content publicly available in the process, which is illegal in many countries. It is much better to download it, which is not illegal in most jurisdictions, with one notable exception of proprietary software.

The alternative is servers that get hammered during downloads, as opposed to swarms where the download health improves when more people use it.

The current ecosystem dealt with the problem of hammering by using various filehosters and most of them are DMCA-compliant. But the window between the release and the file being DMCAed is large enough for this business to thrive. This whole system works by providing value to 3 key parties:

* filehosters - they get money from subscribers (some offer a free crippled options just to frustrate users into buying the subscription) * uploaders - they got money from filehosters * downloaders - they got the content they need

There are private trackers.

What's a private tracker?

The better trackers are invite only. If you are found to be selling invites your entire invite tree will be banned. You have to be recruited or personally know a member to get in.

Take for example PTP. It is one of the best movie trackers. It recently exceeded 250,000 unique titles available in many different formats. Netflix in contrast only has 15,000 unique titles and their library is shrinking not growing.

E.g. iptorrents.com. You pay for access (or have to be invited) to a catalog of torrents that are not publicly-available. You must disable the DHT and peer discovery features of your bittorrent client so that the file content is only seeded back to other members

Not true; you can disable uploading in various torrent clients.

So, how does it work now? Last time I checked this was called "leeching" and fought against. Also, if everyone is doing that, it makes the whole protocol meaningless.

I mean, when its an option (being in a big city means this actually is a thing quite often) its kinda cool. Especially if its a good cinema. Bloody expensive though and not the kind of thing you can do on a lazy Sunday afternoon cause you're bored.

You live in the US ? So sorry for you guys :/ I live in France and go to the cinema pretty often. I have an unlimited card (yes, a real unlimited, sometimes i can watch 5 movies in one day) and it's only 20€/month

They're referring to watching Lord of The Rings in cinemas, since it's over 20 years old. Though if you have weekly LOTR showings in cinemas I'd strongly consider moving to France ;p

We also have unlimited cards here, they're tied to each movie chain. So if you have the AMC unlimited thing it only works at AMC owned theaters etc. It's a great deal. I canceled mine in early 2020 for obvious reasons though.

I go to the cinema on a lazy Sunday afternoon, possibly that makes an oddity; whatever, horses for courses I guess ...

For the first time in about 10 years, I recently found myself with some physical DVDs I wanted to format-shift (show the kids some old movies on an iPad).

It was surprisingly hard to do the homework on the "best" way to do this on a Mac -- I ended up using MakeMKV to rip + Handbrake to encode, but it was hard to find a robust recent technical discussion of what the pros do.

At one point in this process I was looking at the Internet Archive's copy of http://thelittleappfactory.com/ripit/ which has just quietly disappeared from the Web? It was a bizarre experience.

For what it's worth, MakeMKV+Handbrake is still the best way to do it.

I'll second the recommendation for MakeMKV.

No annoying upsells, no subscriptions and you can use the officially provided beta key (valid until the end of a month, a new key gets released every month) to check it out.

This is also the *secure* way to continue playing Ultra HD Blu-ray movies - run away from anyone's advice when they include the phrase "don't update Windows" (paraphrased). Haven't we learned to patch our system yet?

Anyone reading this, I'd recommend the Pioneer Drive if you can swing it. It does not support UHD decryption (yet) but the reliability is so much better than the LG drives and the other drives (which I think are just rebadged LG). I got a LG drive manufactured in June 2021 and by September it was dead. Got a second drive from a different vendor (mfg July 2021) and it also started to falter. (returned it while I still could). There are tons of complaints on the makemkv forums but it is still a popular drive for the price(if you wanna risk it).

My flashed LG drive, the slim laptop case size one, had been working fine for me. I sometimes don't feel like streaming or want storage space temporarily and playback using VLC. Mine is an older manufacturing date though.

Agreed. I also got the Laptop drive and the Laptop one works better than the desktop ones and supports 4K UHD, however it is slow and the Pioneer is even more reliable (again does not support 4K yet)

This is illegal in the US, which means it's rad as hell.

It is not necessarily illegal in the USA. It's not necessarily legal either. Pasted from Wikipedia:

U.S. copyright law (Title 17 of the United States Code) generally says that making a copy of an original work, if conducted without the consent of the copyright owner, is infringement. The law makes no explicit grant or denial of a right to make a "personal use" copy of another's copyrighted content on one's own digital media and devices. For example, space shifting, by making a copy of a personally owned audio CD for transfer to an MP3 player for that person's personal use, is not explicitly allowed or forbidden.

Existing copyright statutes may apply to specific acts of personal copying, as determined in cases in the civil or criminal court systems, building up a body of case law. Consumer copyright infringement cases in this area, to date, have only focused on issues related to consumer rights and the applicability of the law to the sharing of ripped files, not to the act of ripping, per se.

Isn't the act of bypassing DRM itself some violation of DMCA and related laws (however unlikely any enforcement may be) ? Which is also why you can't play commercial DVDs and blu-rays out of the box on Fedora because they won't ship any code that can circumvent DRM.

Yes. Section 1201 says “No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.”

The reason you can’t find a commercial vendor that will directly ship something to bypass the DRM is because it also says “No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title”

This is also why for a while the t-shirts with the dvd decss key were popular among nerds, because they are illegal.

Bypassing the DRM is acceptable for certain use cases, with DVD's it's OK for using clips as a critic or adding additional accessibility features. So something like makemkv is legal while in practice almost every user is breaking the law.

I don't think that's how the law works. There's a fair use exemption for using copyrighted material, however you're still not allowed to bypass DRM to get at the data.

You are, the DMCA tasked the Library of Congress with approving exceptions to the anti-circumvention provision. Here's the list of when it's acceptable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_A...

Looks like ripping movies was just made legal:

> The 2021 exemptions, issued in October 2021, are for:[15]

> Motion pictures (including television shows and videos), as defined in 17 U.S.C. 101, where circumvention is undertaken solely in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment, for supervised educational purposes, to accommodate for accessibility for disabled students in educational institutions, for preservation of the motion picture by a library, archive, or museum, or for research purposes at educational institutions;

No, a version of that exemption was first added in 2010. Each exemption has to be readded every new listing.

And that exemption only adds cases in which stripping DRM from a DVD becomes legal. It's still generally illegal, and most people using makemkv are likely using it illegally.

> however you're still not allowed to bypass DRM to get at the data.

I'm not sure this has ever been tested in court, though. And even the DMCA itself does provide for a rather clunky system of "exemptions" to the no-circumvention provision.

Can anyone cite law and/or caselaw on that?

They're wrong, the relevant part of the DMCA is http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap12.html#1201 and the most recent list of exemptions is https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-23311.pdf


That's my take for the UK. This is not legal advice. It seems the tech is fine as circumvention for accessibility is allowed (eg under three Marrakesh Treaty); most users probably aren't doing it for accessibility.

Everything that is not explicitly forbidden is allowed, right? At worst some of it is murky waters.

Copyright kinda flips this around by saying that copying is (with some exceptions) the exclusive right of the rightsholder. I don't see how this is murky.

The "exceptions" part is pretty significant there. Copying that you do for your own personal use (e.g. format shifting) is especially likely to fall under the "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" provisions of copyright law. This was the basis of the Sony vs. Betamax case, which involved home videotaping for format shifting purposes.

But to copy one must circumvent DRM, itself an illegal act (in the US).

Everything not forbidden is mandatory

Who cares. If it's your stuff, do whatever you want with it.

MakeMKV even has an integration with VLC that lets you just play Blu-ray discs without ripping them first. I don't know if that works for the UHD ones.

It works well but the more annoying issue is that UHD has hdr built in and tone mapping is still very much under development. It looks fine but, for example, can't use Dolby Vision directly. To get a complete experience, you need to rip first.

dang now that's a selling point!

That looks very much like an old DVD ripper (even the site) that was a joy to use. I don't remember the name, but if MakeMKV is as good as that, it'll be great.

Heh, I used dvdextract on Linux or something like that with mencoder.

AnyDVD & CloneDVD?

No, although those were good too. I think it may have been called DVD decrypt?

EDIT: DVD Decrypter! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_Decrypter

I used DVD Shrink!

Man, everything back then looked so fast, light, and consistent...

Nowadays, it would be a 100MB Electron application that needs 300MB ram and an 4 core cpu to display a single window. Progress!

One of the reasons I love using Bvckup for my backups. It has this same style of interface.

The video equivalent of exact audio copy?

Basically, though EAC had a harder job because AFAIK reading audio CDs isn't as exact as reading from a filesystem, so it had to do a ton of tricks to get accurate reads.

The stupid thing is that this might be illegal in some jurisdictions. With any DRM scheme you'll end up having to break the law at some point in time to consume the content you legally purchased.

Isn’t there a DMCA exemption for instances where you need to break DRM for compatibility with your hardware?

This is what I thought as well. But looking at the latest ruling by the Copyright Office, I don't see one. Maybe I'm missing it?


What happens if you rip out side the USA and bring those rips to the USA. Did you circumvent under DMCA?

No, because the prohibition is on acquisition of the software. Though if you brought the software to do so with you you'd be in breach.

But it's worth noting that virtually every country in the world has a prohibition on acquiring software to bypass DRM. In the UK for example it's a criminal offense with potential jail time attached to import it (i.e. download it from a foreign server) or sell it.

Could you cite that law please? I don't doubt it, UK copyright law in my personal opinion is overly beholden to USA (eg entertaining extradition for hosting links which are allegedly to material acquired through infringement).

Format shifting à la iTunes CD rips is tortuous in the UK, AFAICS, making iTunes unlawful as it's produced in order to enable infringing behaviour.

Section 296ZB of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) as modified by the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations (2003).

iTunes isn't unlawful in the UK, as there's no prohibition on making software to format shift. It's just using it to format shift that's unlawful. But software to bypass technical protection measures is prohibited, and similar laws exist in almost all countries because having them is a requirement for WTO membership.

ThePirateBay is free and easier.

Considering the size of bluray rips, let alone UHD ones, TPB downloads are usually a significant step down in terms of quality vs directly ripping a disk.

With modern codecs you're unlikely to notice much difference between a 20GB download and a rip you did yourself.

The words of somebody that's never witnessed the quality of a UHD disc :)

Ignorance is bliss, and I prefer bliss ;)

This is legitimately the stance I take on audio quality, video quality above 1080p (although I do notice the difference in bitrate between streams), cars, video games, and a lot of other things.

I've been spoiling myself and forced Netflix to 1080p (due to Linux, by default it won't go over 720) and I'm starting to slowly agree higher bitrates do look nicer.

It's just that I come from VCD rips and still think that anything better than DVD is fantasticly detailed. Just never had the urge to let myself get used to better, but I'm starting to with 1080p.

It's wild to me that in 2022 people still aren't used to consuming HD media.

I watch things for the story, not the pixels :)

Those pixels add up to a beautiful experience, particularly if you're watching something like Too Old to Die Young.

I think you need enough pixels to convey the story / vision of the artist. More is better but there are diminishing returns above 1080p and most of us just don't care lol

720p does in fact count as HD. Either that or you don't remember SD content. :)

Sell it to me! Seriously, I'd love to hear how much better the quality could be. I miss 35 mm and spot (and hear) digital artifacts often and it drives me crazy.

Get a blu ray (not even UHD) of Matrix (the 1999 one, there were never any sequels) and compare the lobby explosion scene with any torrent or stream.

Mind, it's not worth it for most movies. However, those flames are a good example of why bandwidth can matter.

But even a 20GB file? Streams are much more compressed, but I found files >20GB or so to be pretty much the same quality.

Which doesn't really matter though, you can also find 40GB files of most movies, they should (if encoded well) definitely match the quality.

It varies quite a bit, I see a lot of banding in various scenes on my TV with 20GB WEB-DLs compared to an actual 4K BR rip.

In most cases that is to be expected because WEB-DLs tend to be poorly encoded. You should be looking for a remux.

High quality torrents exist? I could download this right now: BD66 / m2ts / Blu-ray / 2160p / Scene / Dolby Atmos / Dolby Vision / HDR10. It's a 64GB file.

Yep, just search for "FraMeSToR" releases.

Yeah, at that point you're basically just downloading a bluray rip.

I bought a copy of planet earth / blue planet II to test out my new fancy oled this year. It's a damned near religious experience watching those series in 4k.

Blu-ray 1080p movies tend to be around 35-45GB per title. 4k movies tend to be around 70-100GB per title.

The disc capacity contributes a lot to disc authors tweaking codec settings to value quality above file size. Visible artifacts are fairly rare even on complex scenes. You could practically believe you're watching a lossless source.

i don't use TPB, so I don't know if they are there as well, but elsewhere on torrents you can find both full blu-ray disc copies and "remuxes", which are just directly ripped from blu-ray to mkv without any loss of audio/video quality.

You can download UHD disks if you want. I only have a 7 year old 1080p projector @ 100", so for me a 10 - 20 GB rip is fine.

I also only have a 1080p projector, no TV... 2 GB rips (not 20 GB) at 1080p are totally fine (and way, way, way better than any streaming service).

Even on a good 4K TV, 2GB rips (and definitely the 4-6GB rips you can often also find) are really quite adequate for a lot of movies if it's a modern codec and the rip has been done well. Some movies are a bit more challenging than others, of course.

Not really. Even though you can get excellent quality h.265 encodes, it seems the MP3 generation's hearing is so impaired that compressing the hell out of audio and losing tons of audio quality is too common.

What's the point of a beautiful 2500 kbps h.265 video if they're going to kill the audio quality by squashing it to 128 kbps?

I do appreciate that Dolby digital 5.1 has become more common as a standard release and don't require a remux download.

I bought a flashable drive specifically for this reason. I both love having physical releases and the convenience of a Plex server when I just want to throw something on.

As an alternative, AnyDVD HD can trasparently strip the encryption off a Blu-Ray disc. I haven't tried it with any Ultra HD discs but it works extremely well for traditional Blu-Ray.

Why bother? I did the whole shebang, bought a reader, a new processor, a compatible OLED tv and everything, I could only read a UHD bluray at 30fps if I used the integrated intel card, so had to do crazy config changes to boot correctly without my nvidia, with no HDR and that worked only with an expensive PowerDVD software.

So I gave up, googled rarbg and can get the same stuff in perfect quality in a few minutes. UHD killed legal "dvds" for me, it's so stupid.

*clap* thanks for the pointer on IINA. I'm a long-time user of MPV (that's prob what I'll stick with on Windows…) it's good to have all these super useful interface improvements~

I have used this software and it is great. You don't really have to register for the software you can find the "beta/trial" key on their forum and keep on reinstalling and reusing makemkv.

> For users who use an older compatible platform and want to keep the Ultra HD Blu-ray playback compatibility on the PC and with PowerDVD, we suggest you continue using the 7th - 10th generation Core i series of Intel CPUs and motherboards that support the Intel SGX feature. You should also consider not updating the OS (e.g., upgrading to Windows 11) and related Intel drivers to the latest versions in order to keep the Intel SGX feature from being removed from your PC. You should also ensure your platform meets all the other playback requirements of Ultra HD Blu-ray as the playback solution: https://www.cyberlink.com/support/faq-content.do?id=19144

Wow, the official solution is to use old hardware and software. I'm sure that's a great idea :)

Sarcasm aside, I wonder when corporations will realize that until they offer proper easy and affordable solutions, people have little incentives to actually jump through the official loops and simply not pirate content. I hope to see this realization sometime in my life, but maybe I'm too optimistic.

Well, Gabe Newell at least already realized it:

"We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable."

Exactly; Steam is so successful because they make it easier and quicker to buy games than it is to pirate them, and reward you with features for doing so (achievements, playtime on your profile, screenshot storage). Also, piracy of games specifically is less appealing when you might just download a free crypto miner or custom RAT on the side (remote administration tool).

Indeed. It's a great service even though it suffers from the same problems as everything based on licensing. People who don't like it must not remember the days where you had to download and apply 5 incremental patches to video games before you could play online. I would buy games on Steam just to get the library management and automatic updates.

The truth is most copyright holders offer absolute garbage service to consumers and the only reason they're still in the market is it's illegal to compete with them.

Streaming services, especially in Europe, have already shown this.

First there was Netflix, and everything was on Netflix. Then a few publishers decided they didn't want to share their pie with Netflix, so they started their own streaming service and pulled their content from Netflix.

Next, you have multiple streaming services and surely, piracy goes up and the pirate just throws the pie out the window. Nobody wins.

The most insane strategy (which got everyone I know pirating content) is:

1. Create incredibly addictive tv shows

2. Release episodes once a week, with a huge cliffhanger

3. Release in Europe/UK one week behind the US

A growth hacker couldn't create a better incentive for piracy if they tried. Anyone know why this is a thing?

You know, I've heard Gabe's comment several times and part of my earlier comment was based off it. But I actually disagree with the > not a pricing problem part. Probably because I come from a third world country (India), I am extremely sensitive to avoidable costs. If you can get something for free, you can be sure that the average Indian is going to spend effort for it, me included. (This makes more sense in context to how weak the rupee is which can likely be extended to other 3rd world countries but that's another topic.)

For example - I have never purchased a music subscription even though I spend a much larger amount on food/rent and could comfortably afford one. Why? Because YouTube is free.

As long as people reward these ridiculous solutions by paying for them, the corporations will continue deploying them.

I think the big problem is that there are so many different forms of DRM, content media/formats, and playback devices that even a fairly educated and highly technically literate user can't be sure when they buy something about exactly when or how the DRM will rear its ugly head and bite them.

Yes! A friend of mine has an HDTV that simply won't work with any newer device. When I investigated the issue, I found out it was due to HDCP! Infuriating.

Isn't this move by Intel almost a counter attack on this drm situation. Essentially bricking all drm software.

If they had wanted to show to everyone how futile the whole idea of DRM is, this would have been a great way to do it. However, I don't think Intel management is quite so self-aware.

Honestly no, the official solution is to buy a dedicated UHD Blu-ray player. I think that's what they really want.

Make general purpose computing illegal, and only pirates will have general purpose computers...

IDK about that. They were certainly upset about VCRs back in the day.

It's been covered ad nauseam at this point: content owners want to be able to dictate the who, what, when, where, and how of content consumption. They have enough money to get taken seriously, and know how to use it; ideally, consumers would push back by not watching movies, but that isn't happening. So here we are. It's disappointing.

I'll never understand the stupidity of studios/streaming platforms (DRM/Widevine). DRM only hurts legit customers, period. Any TV Show or Movie you want to watch is going to be on Torrents/Usenet within hours at most of release, their DRM has completely and utterly failed to stop piracy, instead it punishes paying users.

I still remember a good decade ago getting a DVD from Redbox and trying to watch it with some friends. Tons of unskippable ads, FBI warnings, etc. Partway through the hell of enforced watching I started a torrent, before we got to the title screen it was done and we watched the downloaded version instead.

Furthermore, look at the state of TV today with all the streaming platforms. I'm excluding "live" TV because I can't imagine why anyone would subject themselves to that cesspool. Having to jump between streaming services/UIs/UX/etc is terrible. "What platform was that show on?", "Wait, weren't we watching this on service X? That's why it lost our place in the season", "Oh, did they remove Y show?", and the list goes on.

It's incredibly sad the the best TV experience is some combo of Plex/Jellyfin+*arr-type software. Music piracy is practically non-existent in my friend groups (the same could not be said 10+ years ago), Spotify and friends did that. Not any laws, not any enforcement, not any crackdowns, etc, no a /paid/ service beat music piracy. Why? Because it was better, it was easier, and it had everything. As long as we only have a choice of disjointed services and platforms TV/Movies will never be better than piracy.

Things like Amazon Channels and Apple TV (yes the app, not the device, not the service, come on Apple...) are somewhat of a step in a better direction but Plex is still bar none. No ads, instant playback, no BS.

Sometimes it really is easier to torrent a show and know you will see it ad free and without buffering than to find it on any given streaming service and suffer the ads.

Recently I've seen even ad free, paid or unpaid, streaming options that still force ads into their shows at the beginning or the end. There is a new Nerdwallet ad that says, "Enjoy this ad free break before getting back to your show - brought to you by nerdwallet" I almost screamed at my tv when I saw that. If your name is plastered on the screen and the show/movie I'm watching is disputed to display it its an ad...

I literally took a screenshot of the top banner of Imgur the other day (I tried turning off all my blockers because it kept failing to upload images in an album, it didn't end up helping) that said "Enjoy an Ad Free Day brought to you by the Toyota Corolla Cross". Similarly I wanted to scream "That's not what that means!". Not that I'd be caught dead listening to the radio but from other's or from a long time ago I remember "enjoy this ad-free hour provided by X", if I have to hear your name then it's not ad-free.

Anti ads must be the new ads. At least its better than my TV screaming at me about competing car insurance ads for minutes at a time.

> I'm excluding "live" TV because I can't imagine why anyone would subject themselves to that cesspool.

Live sports.

Even that might not be worth it. Most major league sports in the US are subject to blackouts (which I think is utterly ridiculous when the venues were closed due to COVID: it's not like I could go see the game live if I wanted to). Worse, and insanely, the major league sports apps I've used enforce blackouts even when you're streaming over the Internet.[0] That's right: for $122 per season, you can't watch all your own baseball team's home games. I can imagine the content licensing contracts they have which prevent them from allowing it, but as an end user, I couldn't care less. The outcome is that it's a terrible deal for the people who'd otherwise be their best customers.

[0] https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/subscribe/offseason

Sports are conundrum for sure and one of the only valid reasons to watch "live tv". Personally I don't care for sports but my parents do. The landscape there is pretty terrible as well IMHO. Cable or Satellite are probably the best picture while something like YouTubeTV is probably the best experience (but damn that picture is not good, at least to me it looks blocky often and there are a ton of artifacts on the picture). Game blackouts are something that I just don't understand to this day, like I understand them but how are we still living in the dark ages (pun intended)? IPTV is another option but it's temperamental and has similar picture issues to YTTV in my experience.

TV/Movies can be solved with piracy. Sports can't be solved with money or piracy.

Cable and Satellite really don't have better picture than YouTube TV, in my unscientific yet somewhat curious opinion. I compared YouTube TV to DirecTV as well as FIOS. I felt FIOS had the best picture quality out of all the services prior to YouTube TV, but YouTube TV seemed "crisper", even for sports and other high motion content.

Interesting. I've never done a head-to-head so I'm working off memory but I just never felt like there were so many artifacts/blocking on cable/satellite but I'm far from the best person to ask. I still watch old episodes of things that never were released in HD so I'm fine with bad quality for some stuff but when I tried to watch football when I was home for the holidays I kept getting distracted by the image quality. It's more jarring to go from "clear" to "blocky" than to just stay blocky.

I have found DirecTV Stream to have the best picture. Slightly better than YouTube TV, much better than FuboTV and Fios.

I just watch the NFL, but I get the majority of games each season for free over-the-air in HD with a $20 antenna.

I'm convinced the inability to easily play Blu-Rays and similar on computers is a major contributor as to why the format hasn't had the same traction as DVDs and may have accelerated the removal of disc drives from devices. Such a self-defeating move.

And I'm convinced the hassle of Blu-Ray DRM or any kind of modern DRM is why I, and many others, still pirate movies and TV shows despite being able to afford to pay for them.

DRM and the unskippable ads that make you aware that you payed to've become a product.

The pirates offer superior product, every time.

And Blu-Ray Live which makes your player yet another surveillance tool, if it has internet access. And if it doesn't you lose some of the features of the disc advertised on the box.

Well, except for bitrate. I like my audio lossless 7.1 24/96 or better. I'm seriously thinking about a https://www.kaleidescape.com so I don't have to buy disks, but get the full bitrate.

I disagree. Streaming killed the disc. High speed internet facilitating digital downloads, alongside a desire to make laptops smaller and lighter, killed the disc drive.

I own a 3D Blu-ray player. I haven’t used it in about two years, since the nearest Redbox went away. I only used Redbox because it was cheap and more convenient than waiting for streaming releases. Now that many movies are released in theaters and on streaming at the same time, I don’t know if I’ll ever use it again.

Physical media is on the way out. Records continue to be manufactured for nostalgia (and better audio quality, for those that care), but that’s about it.

Back during the HDDVD/Bluray battle, I remember it being called the battle for the last physical medium.

In 2003 I had a 40GB hard drive and dialup. The 4GB of a DVD was nothing to sneeze at.

In 2010 I had several 1TB HDDs, fast broadband, and a 32GB USB stick. Getting a blue ray drive for my PC wasn’t worth the hassle.

They were also stupidly priced in 2010 still. The cheapest drives that could do blu-ray were still $100+ and a CD/DVD was maybe $30.

I can say that I have never bought into BluRay, I don’t own a BluRay compatible optical drive to play them, and as far as I know we do not own any BluRay discs. I have mountains of DVDs and still prefer it in terms of purchasing movies. Bandwidth and access to other forms of digital media has allowed me to skip BluRay. I understand the resolution is better but it’s not a strong selling point for me.

As a side note with the original DeCSS DVD code now considered a virus by many antivirus vendors I basically reject DRM technology everywhere I can.

I pay for Netflix, but that’s a recent thing. The kids watch YouTube. That’s it for my household. No local news, no over the air free HD TV. We cut the cord and never looked back. If its not on Netflix I guess we just wait or go to a theater (rarely) or don’t watch it.

I ripped my first DVD in college approximately two decades ago. I’m not oblivious to new technology nor am I some type of techno-Luddite; the selling points of BluRay are just weak imho.

I buy BDs so that kids can watch long form kids movies without needing to know about YouTube or Netflix or Prime (I mean they do, but they are now allowed there yet). I understand this will not last, but as far as I am concerned, longer they are away from total junk that Youtube offers, and from curated crap available via Netflix and such - the better.

If someone from netflix is reading: I would very much like to self curate (e.g. whitelist) which movies are are available when signed in via kids profile. Not blacklist, whitelist. Only show series and movies that are allowed.

We basically fill a NAS running Plex with stuff we like for the kids, YouTube-dl helps a lot with this. You can access that via a raspi or similar running a Plex client. Big fan of this approach, there’s a lot of great educational stuff on YouTube.

I wanted that very much when the kid was younger. However it took them ten years to add profiles so wouldn't hold your breath.

Yeah, Blu-Ray is pretty much PS3-PS5 and XboxOne/Series or you're old/"untechnical" enough to think that you need a standalone disc player to watch movies (but heck I've overheard grannies talk about Netflix,etc so even the old gen is starting to catch on).

That said, I'm not entirely sure that cord-cutting overall is a good thing. For my kids we've practically always had Netflix (and Youtube) and almost ignored regular channels with me consuming news mostly via online newspaper articles.

This really hit me when I separated and ended up living at my brothers for a short while a couple of years ago. Their family had a far bigger presence of news in their house due to watching linear TV news every day.

See here in Sweden we have fairly decent tax-funded public broadcast news (even if it's under attack and hated on by some parties), while much of it is fluff (and most of which I'd personally grasp with reading a couple of articles far quicker) it did strike me as something that I might leave as a dis-service to my kids in not providing an environment of learning about the outside world.

Cord cutting refers to removing the tv channel provider middleman from the equation, such as the company that owns the coaxial cable going into your home or satellite TV providers.

I do not see why the Swedish public broadcast news could not be available via a website and app, nor why the internet would not be able to offer far more access to information about the outside world than Swedish broadcast news.

Don’t feel bad, we don’t show fluff news in our house and clearly the kids are better for it since they aren’t fed a background of fear daily.

It does however take some effort to say, ‘okay let us learn about this topic now’ and then put in a documentary note and then.

I buy blue ray discs, when they're in the discount bin at the drug store. 5.99 for a movie I own and can watch when the bet is down isn't a bad deal.

Sort of. Xbox One X has Dolby Atmos/Vision but the PS5 does not. The highest quality players are still stand alone and have all the features if you are into that. But for most people you are absolutely right.


Most people don't watch TV or movies on their computers. They watch them on big-screen TVs with streaming built-in (or attached to streaming devices like Rokus, Fire Sticks, or Apple TVs) in their living rooms, or on mobile devices like tablets and phones.

My guess is that the movie industry is purposefully killing off PC viewing. Bluray players and TVs are much easier to assure content control on. I'd also guess that in general they don't care about bluray, period. They want everyone to stream, where there's no "ownership."

It's difficult to even play on your TV at times. I had rented a Blu-Ray from the library, popped it into my standalone player, connected to my TV, and recieved a message that my player wouldn't play it because it was out of date. What.

I can agree with this. I got a bluray burner and I could rarely get blurays to actually play properly or at all. Somewhere between software, licensing and drm , I now have basically a paperweight. An old ps3 does the trick though

I only buy Blu-ray that come with a digital code. I activate the code, it shows up in iTunes, and I give or throw away the Blu-ray. Although this is usually around Black Friday where you can get Blu-ray for $5-$10.

It's same reason you don't see DVD-A or SACD discs around. Who would buy such things when you need an expensive standalone player, especially in the age of streaming? They didn't learn.

Audiophiles would, and they still do, and the discs and players are still being produced.

I thought audiophiles were all buying vinyl and pretending they can “hear” the digitization of non-analog formats.

That too, but there’s an overlapping set of people that do believe that high enough sample rates do lead to a higher fidelity listening experience.

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