Is macrovision "suddenly" undefeatable?!?

To start with, someone may want to sticky this so it doesn’t get lost.

Why do I say that? Because what I am typing here is going to start biting lots of people soon.

I’ve been backing up my dvd’s for a couple of years, specifically my kid’s dvds because children don’t know how much money they cost. At any rate, I recently purchased Batman Animated Season 3 on dvd and when I attempted to back up the dvd’s I noticed something very odd.

DVDShrink, DVD-Decrypter, and SmartRipper all would consistently “extract” the movies to my hard drive, but when I attempted to burn or play the .IFO’s or .VOB’s, I would see a pop-up window telling me the media was Macrovision protected and that I did not have the media rights installed on my computer to watch the movie. When I clicked OK, the movie would play, but you could not make out anything on the screen.

I was like, WTF?!

So, I started searching the internet and at first I thought I had found my first dvd’s with the supposedly “new” Macrovision protection Ripguard. As I started investigating further, I could not find anyone reporting the same issue as mine. I did see all the hype about the “Hitch” movie, but it did not sound like the same problem I was seeing.

Then, I thought about re-ripping one of my existing DVD copies. I own Batman Animated Season 1 and Batman Animated Season 2 and had successfully made backup copies for my kids to watch. So I pulled out Season 2 and ripped one of the dvd’s again. Amazingly, when I went to play the dvd, I got the Macrovision pop-up again. This told me one very important thing, somewhere between May 2005 and July 2005, I picked up a “Windows Important Update” that circumvented the DVD ripping programs from removing Macrovision.

[b]The programs all report they are doing their job and removing the Macrovision, but in reality the Macrovision is transferred straight-across.[/b]

So, I reinstalled WinBlows XP, installed SP2, turned off ALL windows update capability (Windows really hates that too!) and viola!

I can play all of the movies that Windows previously reported as being Macrovision protected.

I am beginning to believe that Macrovision “Ripguard” is a myth and, in-concert with Microshaft, the movie industry is trying to pull the wool over our eyes and stop people from legitimately making LEGAL backups of movies they own.

Please spread the word about this. This is pure crap on the part of the already overbloated movie executives who cry wolf that they are losing money. If they are losing so much money then why aren’t more of them homeless?

Anyway, I’m not trying to start further discussion on the effect of piracy, I am just trying to protect what I have legitimately paid for.

I don’t doubt what you say is true, but I am surprised that to this point nobody else has reported this problem. You say a fresh XP install with SP2 was done without updates and that solved your problem.

I have XP with SP2 with all critical updates except Messenger, I don’t use it. and I’ve not experienced what you have. I don’t have automatic updates running, I want to control what goes on my machine and not let Microsoft decide it for me.

I did a little search, the only update I could find between May and July 2005 was that was in anyway related to burning was KB831240. This is not a critical update and I don’t have it installed. I wouldn’t think this is the source because it applies to Highmat CD’s, but videos are mentioned. That’s all I could find for the dates mentioned.

Maybe somebody has a better idea?

Update for Windows XP HighMAT Support in CD Writing Wizard (KB831240)
Date last published: 5/15/2004
Download size: 1.8 MB
This extension allows you to create HighMAT CDs of your digital photos, music, and videos optimized for viewing on consumer electronic devices and player software. HighMAT CD Writing offers easier navigation and preserves important information about your music, photos, and videos like song name, artist name, album name, and genre. After you install this item, you may need to restart your computer.


I have kinda the same problem that WhoCares? have. Well, its not the dvd problem for ripping but my wav files so i think that WhoCares? could be right but at the same time, i am not sure if it is all a protection on my wav files. Plese let me know if this is all microsoft and the movie industry pulling one on us.

This is very unlikely, as Macrovision is very straightforward about what they do. As well, they would not keep their customers for very long if they were charging them for a myth.

Not all of their customers back up there dvds :iagree: . By doing this they can kill a bunch of other newbies on backing up dvd :sad: .

I think I need a bit more evidence. There are LOTS of possible theories to explain what happened to you, but, I see nothing concrete in the evidence you posted. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that I’ve not seen this problem myself and I have all the latest updates to XP. I suggest reapplying all the windows updates and see if this problem reappears. (Besides, from a security standpoint you’re insane not to anyway…sorry, I work for a company that does a lot in the security market. :)) Anyway, the sky isn’t falling and we all need to keep perspective here. It’s something to look into to find out what’s going on, but, until I see widespread reports and solid evidence of this problem I’m not going to worry just yet. :slight_smile:

P.S. Do you by chance have an nVidia graphics card?

A refference to a post here at cdfreaks on MacroVision’s RipGuard

MacroVision’s RipGuard can it stop the rips?
Posted by Dan Bell on 15 February 2005 - 17:03 - Source: BBC

drpino used our news submit to tell us "I wonder how quickly this protection scheme will be foiled by the likes of AnyDVD, etc. They mention updating the scheme if it"s bypassed but they don"t mention how long they are willing to do that ring-around-the-rosy dance with the public where there will be, without a doubt, coders / crackers / hackers working endlessly and forever on methods of getting around ANY copy protection schemes the content industry decides to employ. power to the people! "

The pirated DVD market is enormous because current copy protection was hacked more than five years ago. Macrovision says its new RipGuard technology will thwart most, but not all, of the current DVD ripping (copying) programs used to pirate DVDs. “RipGuard is designed to… reduce DVD ripping and the resulting supply of illegal peer to peer,” said the firm.

Macrovision said the new technology will work in “nearly all” current DVD players when applied to the discs, but it did not specify how many machines could have a problem with RipGuard.The new technology will be welcomed by Hollywood film studios which are increasingly relying on revenue from DVD sales.

“RipGuard works in nearly all players”, this sounds like a familiar refrain. In the name of profit, lets risk irritating our customers with yet another annoying DRM scheme. It seems this futile battle will never end, and the sad part is all the honest consumers are paying for this type technology to be added to the products that they buy. The end result being less functionality, by Macrovisions own admission. How about a scheme that works in all players before release? Or better yet, just leave out the extra cost of Macrovision and charge a bit extra for the movie to offset the claimed loss in profits. You can read the whole story at the BBC News.

Thanks also to hanns who used our news submit to tell us of this related story over at MSN!

I have a nVidia 6800GT that I just purchased last week. But, this problem first appeared while I was using my previous video card, which was an ATi 9800Xt.

I’m not screaming paranoia either, but I am glad that this “problem” went away when I reinstalled Windows. I too work in the IT industry and I am careful about which updates I apply to my boxes.

The updates I’ve performed recently were to Nero (which DVDShrink uses to burn the disks) and I also installed Dr.DivX.
However, it is highly possible that the change came from any number of newly installed programs.

Another possibility that occurs to me is that I installed about 15 different programs to watch a Matroska video someone sent to me, so it could have come from there as well.

What I find odd is that Macrovision made a HUGE press release on November 11, 2004 that RipGuard would be released sometime in 2005, but not a whole lot more has been heard about it since then.
I agree with what you are saying that Macrovision would be lying to their customers if they charged more for non-existent technology, but “something” caused the problems that were exhibited, even if it did not come from Microsoft.

The only reason I asked about nvidia is that their drivers have macrovision support built in. I would think that one of your 15 programs that you installed to play a Matroska video would be the cause. I just don’t see MS helping a competetor by embedding some weird driver into windows updates.

As for ripguard, I’ve tried to ignore it until we have a confirmed disc that uses it. So far that’s not been the case. But I HIGHLY doubt it’ll be some driver installed on your machine. Suncomm tried this and look how far it got them. No, I suspect rip guard will be an on disc protection that messes with the disc structure in order to cause ripping programs to fail and/or crash. (This is from the reports I’ve seen on it. Again, until we see one, we have no real idea)

It would be useful to troubleshoot the problem you found, though, so you can find the offending software and never EVER reinstall it again. :wink:

Macrovision’s customers are not the end user. Their customers are the manufacturers like Sony.

@ WhoCares?,

I am not knocking you choice of DVD backup software but the software programs you mentioned are getting to be rather outdated and not using the newer technology that is presently available.

Purchase have you tried the latest version of AnyDVD ( with your “Suspect” DVDs.

I have not doubt that if the current version of AnyDVD can’t handle your “Suspect” DVDs that the innovative SlySoft Technical Staff will quickly issue a update that will.

What computer software player were you using when attempted to view these “Suspect” DVDs.

I have Widows XP with all the updates, service packs, except Messenger, and have never experienced what you described in your original posting. Your posting is the first time any Forum Member to my knowledge has experienced this problem.

Best Regards,

I am with bjkg the problem is most likely the use of dead and outdated copy programs.

I am by no means an expert on the subject but as I understand it ‘Macrovision’ (Analog Protection System) for current DVDs is just a single bit ‘flag’. If the flag is set (1 or true for example) the protection system is enabled on DVD playback. DVDD, AnyDVD and other programs simply set the flag off when the option to remove APS/Macrovision is selected. Now I also recall if one does not remve APS some programs will display a similar message. I think the CloneDVD2 will do this but not sure. Will test when I get a chance.
Are you sure that somehow the option to remove MV did not get changed on DVDD? Possibly the clean reinstall set DVDD and others back to their default settings and that is why all works ok now.

Did a quick test with AnyDVD set to not remove APS and inserted and original “Spiderman” disc. (assume that is has APS). CloneDVD2 did give any warning message that staed it id not support copying of APS protected materiel. So you can use CloneDVD2 to see if your copied DVDs/files have the current version of APS (MV) enabled.

Do not allow anything to auto-update - ever!
I also do not allow any drive to autorun anything - ever!

Hey Rich86,

Forgive me :bow: but I really don’t understand y u would say this, maybe I am new to this but to my understanding auto-update is trying to secure ur computer and I don’t c anything wrong with auto-running a cd/dvd.

Yes, and it’s great for an average user. But, there can be updates that blow up your computer. Windows Service Packs are notorious for F-ing up computers.

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the copy protection that relied on Windows autorun feature. It installed a driver (or player) that made it so you could not copy the disc. Autorun on CDs is bad.

I hate waiting for the autorun to kick on. Then DVDs kick off the dvd player… I appreciate that feature for the average user, not for me.

It’s my observation that members using the latest AnyDvd and CloneDvd are having fewer problems.

“Forgive me but I really don’t understand y u would say this, maybe I am new to this but to my understanding auto-update is trying to secure ur computer and I don’t c anything wrong with auto-running a cd/dvd.”

The problem here is that when you auto-run a cd or dvd these days - you can no longer assume you’re just playing music or video. You might be installing some malicious software drivers from companies like suncomm or macrovision that they put on the cd or dvd . . . . no thanks. I want full personal control over what gets installed on my machine.

I’m in full agreement with Rich86. I give no software on my computer the ability to autorun, or make any updates on my machine. I update XP manually and read what the update does first. I never let it update but rather download it from the Windows catalog and install it when I feel it’s safe. This also saves a lot of time for fresh installs, I don’t have to go to the update site, I have all the updates stored on a separate USB drive.