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Author Topic: Who will supply digital content?
Gary Davidson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 101
From: Santa Monica, CA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 12-27-2005 10:07 AM      Profile for Gary Davidson   Email Gary Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With NCM and Technicolor in a foot race to install d-cinema everywhere, it seems to me that there’s gonna be a “content gap” for a period of time while studios (hopefully) begin full-scale digital distribution of their product. Does anyone else foresee this train wreck coming?

Gary

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Richard Fowler
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001


 - posted 12-27-2005 03:28 PM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No....with the great increase of features going the D.I. Digital Internegative route to generate prints with that data available to produce digital masters + short clearance windows from cinemas to other media + Technicolor / Thompson one of the world's largest digital content distributors....no major problems, outside of a few hiccups. [Wink]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10701
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-27-2005 11:34 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's a lot of pie in the sky talk about fitting satellite dishes to the rooftops of movie theaters and beaming video streams to D-Cinema servers in that fashion.

If that method is used, does anyone care to make any wagers on how short an amount of time it will take for mass-scale piracy operations to hack the signal and dub the content bit for bit?

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 12-28-2005 06:26 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Less than an hour

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3184
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-28-2005 12:12 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm guessing that if that happens, the films will be encrypted one time, with one encryption key. That one encrypted copy of the movie will be sent to everyone, and the key to unlock it will be encrypted with the projectors' keys. (For all I know, that may be the way it's done now.) I'm basing my assumption on the movies themselves probably being anywhere from 50 to 150 GB each, so encrypting that amount of data 1000 times and keeping track of it all would just be ridiculous. Not to mention broadcasting it all over a satelite would be practically impossible since you know they're going to want to broadcast it no sooner than about six hours before show time.

To compromise that setup, one would need to 1) steal a particular projector's key (which could easily be discarded and recreated if it's ever discovered to be stolen), 2) intercept a particular film's encrypted key file for that projector, 3) obtain the encrypted data which was broadcast from the satelite (and the transmission itself will also likely be encrypted to a different key each time, so you will need access to that), and 4) be able to play back the data somehow and record it in a standard format.

All of those things are doable, but if all of the keys change on a regular basis, it will be difficult to keep up with them unless you're on the inside. Of course, we all know that the pirated material comes from inside Hollywood now via screener DVDs and such. So the short answer to your question is - it won't be easy for the average Joe Hacker, but it won't take long for existing pirates to adapt to the new model either. Not that they will need to. I'm sure screener DVDs will still be in use.

For what it's worth, that's my guess.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 12-28-2005 05:39 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark,

There are several techniques that can be applied to make it much harder. For instance, they can make it so it is *almost* as if each movie is encrypted with a per-projector key.

A method to do this is to encrypt the movie once with a single key (A), and then encrypt that key (A) using a per-projector (Bnnn). Let's say that the per-projector key (Bnnn) is stored in tamper-proof hardware inside the digital projector. The movie and keylist get delivered to the projector (via satelite or whatever), the projector decrypts the key list with Bnnn and then now it has A, but A is inside the projector where you can't get at it. It then decrypts the movie with A and displays it (probably on an encrypted digital link from the decryptor box to the actual projector hardware).

Also, I don't think that encrypting a 150GB movie (isn't that a small estimate? but whatever) 1000 times would be difficult to *track*. I think the only real reason to avoid is is that sat. uplink time is expensive and they want to be able to broadcast the same datastream to all theatres, rather than an individual data stream per-theatre.

There are more complex methods available, too.

--jhawk

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Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 981
From: Frisco, TX. (North of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-28-2005 08:20 PM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it would take a bunch of CPU time to decrypt a software file. The encryption method I believe is AES which uses from 128 to 256 bits for the key. Also, each channel of audio, in addition to the video channel are independently encrytped. So, even if they discover one key, they still have the others to figure out.

Also, the key is generated on the serial number of the hardware used to decrypt the content. So, I can't take my key and content file to a similar and expect it to play.

Also, the content is encrypted from the decoding hardware to the projector head.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3184
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-28-2005 09:27 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: John Hawkinson
For instance, they can make it so it is *almost* as if each movie is encrypted with a per-projector key.

A method to do this is to encrypt the movie once with a single key (A), and then encrypt that key (A) using a per-projector (Bnnn). Let's say that the per-projector key (Bnnn) is stored in tamper-proof hardware inside the digital projector. The movie and keylist get delivered to the projector (via satelite or whatever), the projector decrypts the key list with Bnnn and then now it has A, but A is inside the projector where you can't get at it. It then decrypts the movie with A and displays it (probably on an encrypted digital link from the decryptor box to the actual projector hardware).

quote: Mark J. Marshall
I'm guessing that if that happens, the films will be encrypted one time, with one encryption key. That one encrypted copy of the movie will be sent to everyone, and the key to unlock it will be encrypted with the projectors' keys.
Didn't we just say the same thing? I think we're on the same page on that.

quote: John Hawkinson
(isn't that a small estimate? but whatever)
Possibly. I was going by someone on here who said that the 3D Chicken Little movie was about 80+ GB, which was an hour and a half long x2 eyes. My point about keeping track of (which I should have said "storing") 1000 copies of 150 GB of data was - why do that? It's ridiculous, and unnecessary. Encrypt the movie once, then focus on getting the keys encrypted and distributed.

I agree that once it's inside the projector, it could be next to impossible to get it out. The question presented was how long before the satelite signal is hacked.

Paul, What you're describing is exactly the way the system John and I are talking about would work, so maybe they're doing that already. If they're actually going through the trouble of encrypting the movie separately for each projector, I'd be surprised. That's way unnecessary overkill.

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 12-28-2005 09:37 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe we're agreeing -- I parsed your post differently, sorry.

In any case, I don't think its a foregone conclusion that a would-be pirate would be able to decrypt the sat. transmission ever. Yes, tamperproof hardware is hard to get right, but it certainly exists.

--jhawk

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Mark Hajducki
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 500
From: Edinburgh, UK
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 12-29-2005 07:21 AM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark J. Marshall
Not to mention broadcasting it all over a satelite would be practically impossible since you know they're going to want to broadcast it no sooner than about six hours before show time.
Provided the encription is good why would they not send the files out by satelite a few days in advance, but keep only send out the encription codes (which would be much smaller than the main data files) a few hours before performance. This would allow them to give some venues the ability to show advance shows if required.

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David Buckley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 522
From: Oxford, N. Canterbury, New Zealand
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted 12-29-2005 12:24 PM      Profile for David Buckley   Author's Homepage   Email David Buckley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Encryption for movies is interesting; the "strength" of a particular cipher used is generally measured by how much effort using available computing power it takes to crack, and as long as the number is improbable with technology available within the time when the data must be secured, then its usually considered "strong enough".

It's possible, however, that some group of nutters may harness millions of PCs in an attempt to force a "brute force" attack, in a manner never previously attempted, and they may actually suceed.

The ultimate solution, of course, is one time pads, send out a CD to each recipient which is the unravel key for the encrypted movie sent by satellite. As there is no cipher alogrithm, theres nothing to crack: you either have the decoder ring, or you dont. Then as pointed out previously use double encryption for individual playback system control. You've still got distribution hassles, but a CD key is a logistically smaller problem than a full movie.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3184
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 12-30-2005 10:01 AM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think encryption in general is really interesting, but it's tough to get your arms around some of the concepts. Most of the people who are really good with encryption are people who only work with encryption and nothing else. I had to learn PGP at my real job, and it took about two months to fully digest all of the intricacies and key relationships and all of that. The most interesting part was learning how to split a powerful key into multiple pieces so no one person could use it. What the program presents to the user and what is actually happening are two very different things, and I found that pretty cool.

But anyway back to the topic...

quote: Mark Hajducki
why would they not send the files out by satelite a few days in advance
Because they're paranoid, and it will probably take them a while to trust the encryption. They may never fully trust it.

quote: David Buckley
some group of nutters may harness millions of PCs in an attempt to force a "brute force" attack, in a manner never previously attempted, and they may actually suceed.
But unless they actually break the algorythm itself, or compromise an important key along the way, they'll have to start over each time and by the time they succeed, the movie will be out on DVD anyway.

quote: David Buckley
The ultimate solution, of course, is one time pads, send out a CD to each recipient which is the unravel key for the encrypted movie sent by satellite.
One time pads are the only true "unbreakable" encryption algorythm because as you said, there is no algorythm, and there's nothing to break. But I think trusting that the CDs won't get copied at the theater and broadcast all over the Internet isn't a good idea. One time pads are only really reliable if you're dealing with very small groups of participants.

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