DRM FAIL: Five Broken Copy Protection Schemes

This week, we learned that the HDCP copy protection scheme is now essentially broken. HDCP’s failure is just one of many examples of copy protection technology not living up to its promises of security. Read on for five of the most glorious examples of DRM FAIL.

New Research: Macrovision Becomes Rovi

One of the fun parts about my job is I get to dust off my analyst hat now and then, and today I did that to look at one of the big news items in the world of connected consumer. Today, Macrovision – a big player in the world of interactive guides, content protection and DLNA software – relaunched as Rovi.

To mark the occasion, the company also launched a new integrated media guide called Liquid, a product that in itself encapsulates much of the journey the company itself has taken over the past two years through the acquisitions of Gemstar/TV Guide, Mediabolic and AMG.

Macrovision Becomes Rovi, Steps Into Liquid

RoviThe company formerly known as Macrovision, in an effort to rebrand itself for the mashup world of social media, over-the-top video and pay TV, relaunched today as Rovi (s ROVI). The new company, whose shares will trade under the symbol ROVI on the Nasdaq, will attempt to tie together its string of acquisitions over the past few years and refashion itself as a one-stop software shop for on-screen guides in the new world of integrated media.

Macrovision was never a household name, but that’s probably a good thing given its legacy business in that pesky realm of copy protection. The company has been the biggest player in disc copy protection for DVDs, with its legacy ACP copy protection as well as some of its more recent efforts with RipGuard.

Consumers probably recognize its on-screen guides, however. Acquired through its acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide, those on-screen grids which many of us scroll through to find and discover shows are in over 24 million homes. It also owns AMG, one of the leading providers of metadata to iTunes or others.

The New Company

But the company has seen the future, and its networked. To usher in this new age of connected media, Rovi has announced a new guide called Liquid. Targeted at makers of web-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray players, Liquid will allow companies to integrate pay-TV services through the traditional Gemstar grid guide, but includes modules for broadband video and personal content as well.

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Vid-Biz: Bid4Spots, Macrovision, Monk

Bid4Spots Getting into Local Cable TV; service will start offering weekly auctions of TV airtime; inventory will be organized by demographic to the neighborhood level. (MediaWeek)

Macrovision to Change Name to Rovi; new moniker will officially take over on July 15. (emailed release)

Monk to Live on as Web Series; the TV show will end its seven-season run this summer, but a 10-episode web series about Adrian Monk’s childhood will continue after the show’s end. (Tubefilter)

Watch Flip HD Video on Your PS3; just plug the device into the console via the built-in USB connector and watch home movies right off the camera. (last100)

More Indie Filmmakers Eyeing 3D at Cannes; opening up that third dimension can set films apart and translate into increased business. (The LA Times)

Cablevision Launching Travel Service on TV; would allow viewers to book travel through their television sets. (CNET)

Vid-Biz: MTV, Day One, 100M Views

New MTV Show Will Split Ad Revenue with Twitter and Facebook; What You’re Watching with Alexa Chung will be a joint venture between the three, incorporating social media aspects — while paying for them. (paidContent)

Jesse Alexander’s Day One Gets Picked Up; NBC to run this show about a band of post-apocalypse survivors, transmedia elements are bound to follow from the former Heroes writer. (The Global Couch)

The 100 Million Views Club; Visible Measures compiles a list of the most-watched viral vids of all time (Susan Boyle is No. 5). (Visible Measures)

Ultradome to Be a Battleground for Geeks; new web series from Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia will pit pop culture icons against each other (who would win in a fight between Gandalf and Darth Vader?). (The Hollywood Reporter)

Who Picks Up the Tab for 3D Glasses? Studios and theaters bicker over the cost of the disposable eyewear. (Variety)

Heavy Tweeting, Men’s Video Site Holds Twitter Dating Contest; Heavy.com’s “Massive Mating Game” will pit guys against each other to win a date in Las Vegas. (emailed release)

Vizio Signs Macrovision for Interactive Program Guide; deal will incorporate Macrovision’s navigation, sorting and scheduling technology into future Vizio products. (release)

Disney Releasing Two Versions of Some DVDs; movies like Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience will have all value-added material in the retail market, but will only be bare bones for rental. (Variety)

Vid-Biz: Peabody, Macrovision, Mobile Video

The Onion News Network and YouTube Win Peabodys; prestigious award granted to news satire show and video-sharing site. (The Peabody Awards)
Macrovision Shows Off Multiroom DVR; service will be part of new interactive programming guides and available in the fourth quarter. Company also unveils a Tru2way version of its Passport guide that features 16:9 screen ratio, parental controls, and a “View Deck” for easy access to popular functions. (Multichannel News)
QuickPlay to Launch PrimeTime2Go Mobile TV Service; subscription-based service will be available next month in the Blackberry App World store and will offer full-length episodes from NBC, CBS and the CW. (release) Elsewhere in the mobile TV world, FLO TV announced the expansion of its mobile TV service in 19 markets around the country and says it will reach more than 200 million consumers in 100 U.S. markets by year’s end. (release)
Heroes Creator Tim Kring to Produce Narrative for Nokia’s Ovi Store; codenamed TEVA, the project will be an immersive experience with individual and group elements for this mobile form of storytelling. (release)
YouTube Out Again in China; site is once again inaccessible after re-appearing on Monday. (The Wall Street Journal)
People Watching the BBC Online May Soon Have to Pay Up; new law could require people who watch their TV programming only through their computers to pay a license fee. (Daily Mail)
WE Network Debuts In Men We Trust; first online series for the network follows a group of thirtysomething women as they date. (TVWeek) In other web series news, MySpace Kicks Off BFF; new gameshow tests how well friends know each other. (Variety)