SlySoft Takes AnyDVD HD Retail

Last week, news began circulating (and the AACS confirmed) that a process key had been discovered, potentially breaking the AACS content protection scheme used in existing HD DVD and Blu-ray movie titles wide open. This week, Antigua’s SlySoft aims to capitalized on the market to “back up” HD DVD titles with its new AnyDVD HD software, enabling even non-technical computer users to strip AACS protection from movies, and even remove unwanted content like advertisements, trailers, and warnings.

“Officially, the film industry and the AACS consortium is, of course, not very happy about this development,” SlySoft said in a release. “However, behind closed doors, they are likely pleased to have learned from past experiences with the CD and DVD that the users are now finally able to make unlimited use of this new medium HD DVD, i.e to enjoy his ‘fair-use rights.’ It is expected that a real ‘boom’ will occur with HD-DVDs.”

We imagine lawyers are breaking out the dynamite right now.

Of couse, AnyDVD HD includes a ripper program to enable users to make copies of their HD DVD titles, and ripped movies can be played back with Cyberlink‘s PowerDVD Ultra application—although it should be noted Cyberlink has no connection to SlySoft. SlySoft’s AnyDVD and AnyDVD HD enables users to view movies over digital display connections without requiring an HDCP-capable graphics card and display; users can also select language and subtitle tracks without going through a disc’s configuration menu, remove parental restrictions and region codes, remove or skip over studio logos and warning messages, and (for the more technically-inclined) remaster discs using XML scripts.

SlySoft says the method AnyDVD HD uses to bypass AACS copy protection does not use the process key publicized last week, but they are not providing further details of their methodology. Some enthusiasts are claiming that SlySoft is using the host certificate from Cyberlink’s PowerDVD application, which, if true, might constitute an infringement of Cyberlink’s intellectual property. Blu-ray fans, never fear: SlySoft also says a beta version of AnyDVD supporting Blu-ray titles is due soon,” said Tom Xiang, SlySoft’s Marketing Director. “Blu-Ray employs the same AACS process as HD-DVD. An implementation was really just a matter of form. A beta version is planned for availability this quarter.”

SlySoft is offering AnyDVD HD for download for $79; the original version of AnyDVD remains available for $49.


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