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Macrovision Launches RipGuard DVD

Santa Clara, Calif. – Macrovision, a developer of video encryption systems, is promoting to Hollywood Studios a new system it calls RipGuard DVD, which is designed to disrupt the process of illegally copying protected DVD movies using diverse DeCSS-enabled DVD copying software programs.

In addition, Macrovision said the RipGuard DVD software was cleared for seamless playback on legitimate home theater components by the home theater quality assurance organization THX.

According to a statement announcing the system, “RipGuard DVD plugs the digital hole created by PC-based DeCSS ripper software, which allows millions of average consumers to make unauthorized perfect digital copies of copyrighted DVDs in mere minutes.”

Such programs make it possible to dupe rented DVD movies and to share DVD movies on peer-to-peer networks.

Macrovision calls RipGuard DVD a “unilateral content protection system” that is applied to DVD discs and requires no additional software or hardware to be incorporated into PCs, DVD players or DVD recorders.

Macrovision already license’s a DVD copy protection system for signals emitted through analog outputs, called Analog Copy Protection.

Macrovision said RipGuard DVD interferes with the copying process of CSS-protected DVDs. Typically, this can cause a PC running DeCSS software to crash or post a variety of error messages.

“Ultimately, we see RipGuard DVD and the ACP framework evolving beyond anti-piracy, and towards enablement of legitimate on-line transactions, interoperability in tomorrow’s digital home, and the upcoming high definition formats,” said Steve Weinstein, Macrovision Entertainment Technology Group executive VP, in a prepared statement.

Macrovision said it has extensively tested the RipGuard DVD software with existing DVD to ensure seamless playback of DVDs on “nearly all manufacturers’ DVD players, drives and recorders prior to market release.”

RipGuard DVD is available today in select replication facilities, with general availability anticipated in the second quarter of 2005.