Japanese DVD manufacturers were forced to postpone the launch of long-awaited new audio equipment after a European hacker broke open the copyright protection of DVDs and raised new piracy fears. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co postponed the launch of DVD audio/video players by about six months to next May or June, while Victor Co of Japan plans to withhold the release of its new equipment for an unspecified period. Pioneer Corp is also considering postponing the release of new equipment scheduled to debut for later this month.
A Matsushita spokesman said the setback emerged after a Norwegian hacker posted instructions on a Web site last month detailing how to override the copy-protection function installed in software for connecting computers with DVD-ROM drives.
Although one may wonder why set top players should be affected by the crack of the encryption code a few weeks ago, it seems obvious that in the background, hardware manufacturers and DVD technology owners are currently busy, working out new encryption and protection technologies for the format that could render these crack utilities useless.
The only thing that srikes one weird in this scenario is that Pioneer is continuing to push for its original release date for a set top DVD recorder, which could potentially bring DVD recording capabilities in every living room, With DVD’s protection cracked, this could start a wildfire-like spread of pirated content.