Just for Fun - Unique DVD

I want to know this just for fun - I am curious if making a “unique” DVD is possible. Suppose DVD contains material that is playable on a standard set-top box DVD player.

Ok, now say someone rips my DVD content onto another DVD. Someone sends me the ripped DVD, then tells me “this is the original DVD you made”. If I analyze it I can say, almost for sure (I mean, unless they used a $100,000 dvd mastering and printing press to make the dvd, and maybe even then they can’t replicate the DVD exactly even if they’re really careful) that “nope, this is a copy, not the original DVD.”

Ideas on how to do this?

Ways I can think of (in combination)

  1. Each DVD contains differences in actual contents/ material, such as DVD menu background, even the actual content, etc. Some variations in the content may be obvious and some may be subtle

  2. Each DVD contains unique graphics that are laser embedded onto the DVD, possibly containing subtle patterns (Lightscribe or LabelFlash - I think I like the latter better because can be put on bottom too of unused data as well as the top)

  3. The serial numbers and other numbers that physically appear on the DVD are taken note of, and also exactly where they are on the DVD and how they appear (i.e. photographs of finished DVD, including #2)

Additional ideas and questions (not 100% sure about these two below)

  1. Taking note of the full Media Identification Code displayed from program like DvdInfoPro (is it actually unique for every DVD ever made? I think it is, because I checked it and there was actually a variation in 3 of the bytes of the MID when I checked 2 DVD’s I burned that were even from the exact same spindle set I bought, MID was slightly different for those two DVD’s! -is that correct that full MID code is unique for every DVD made from the moment they were pressed in factory (even blank ones)? If yes, then great! Is it easy to create another DVD with the exact same full Media Identification Code as original DVD without access to a special printing press? If answer is “no”, then sweet!)

  2. Creating a few but very particular physical “scratches” on the DVD after it has been finalized (maybe some of them even subtly appear physically on the DVD) that will result in certain artifacts appearing/sounding at places in the actual DVD when it is played e.g. from 00:01:30 to 00:01:34 there is a “scratch” on DVD that makes some particular visual artifacts appear. Ideally it would be very hard (probably impossible) to get the exact same glitches ever again if someone were to copy DVD and try to make the similar “scratches” (and copying files from DVD using burning software shouldn’t work and shouldn’t create the same glitch pattern). Also ideally the scratches are very minimally or not affected by normal wear and tear, such that the video signal glitch stays pretty much the same. Not sure how to do this. A low level software that controls the burning laser manually, and subtly applies a certain amount of “marring” to a specific sector of my choice on a finished DVD? Only issue I can think of even if this were possible, is that an analog hole reproduction could probably reproduce it, but maybe a difference could still be detected in the DVD somehow (i.e. perhaps a low level software reading the relevant sectors would not return exact same bytecode as would on the originally marred sector)

  3. Crazy idea -> Say I use labelflash DiskT@2 for the bottom of DVD. If I take a low level dvd reading software and start reading the entire “invalid data” part (where the DiskT@2 graphic visually appears on the bottom of the DVD) and take note of it, if an attempt was made to copy it onto another DVD, would the bytecodes returned by this be radically different, particularly in the case of an attempt to reproduce the t@2’ed image from the original dvd, on a new DVD?

Any other ideas?

  1. Possible but time consuming.

  2. Also possible, and more feasible if you can program your Lightscribe or Labelflash to make a small number on the edge, or even within the picture you burn onto the disc.

  3. The numbers are not unique. It is possible to get a whole batch (thousands) of the dvds with the same configuration.

  4. MID codes are not unique to each individual disc either. In fact, they are used to identify a specific [B]type[/B] of dvd so that the drives can apply the correct strategy for burning. Finding different MID codes in one spindle is unusual but not unheard of.

  5. Scratches that are unique to each disc would be time consuming and destructive to playback. Discs can also be resurfaced to remove such scratches, so that someone could claim they had to do this in order to play the dvd originally.

  6. Don’t know the answer to this. But I suspect your readings will be inconsistent even for one test disc.

Now that I think more about that first option, if the only distinguishing thing about the disc is something in the content, you won’t be able to tell a copy from the real disc (assuming both are burned, and the original was not pressed). Copies are exact clones when there is no encryption to be removed.

Individual watermarks, or special items placed in each and every disc will tell you who has distributed this disc to others if you are trying to track down who is sharing the material. This is how the movie studios track down copies of their films made from screeners. Screeners are movies given out to the Oscar voters, and before watermarking was started, were a giant thorn in the side of the media companies.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2664303]1. Possible but time consuming.

  1. Also possible, and more feasible if you can program your Lightscribe or Labelflash to make a small number on the edge, or even within the picture you burn onto the disc.


Thank you very much for your replies Kerry! I guess that if both #1 and #2 are done for each DVD, and noted of, the only way to achieve exact copy is to have the particular DVD, so only a current owner of a particular DVD variant can try it because the content and the label would be different. For such owner, #1 would be a cinch to do though. As for #2, how hard would it be for someone who has a DVD variant to replicate exactly that LabelFlash onto another LabelFlash DVD (without having the original image of course, just having the actual DVD)? I would think very hard but not sure it couldn’t be pulled off relatively easily in some way I am not aware of so wanted some other ways than just #1 and #2.

Thanks again for reply, any other ideas also appreciated.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2664307]assuming both are burned, and the [B]original was not pressed[/B][/QUOTE]

Hmm, is there a way to buy blank DVD’s with unique graphic, and even maybe a unique, encrypted key per DVD that are pre pressed by a facility in a way that would be almost impossible to replicate exactly? If so would be interested in a link with the details of the service, price, etc.

Or if content has to be pressed too, perhaps the service allow me to also upload the content to be pressed as well? Preferably allow me to upload different image, have different totally unique encrypted key, and also slight varied content per DVD to be pressed? And also if I got hold of DVD again would there be an easy way I can check for encrypted key? Would definitely consider such a service if exists.

I don’t know of any blank dvds with keys.

It is possible to have a small run of dvds made for you by companies that will press the dvds, rather than burn them. Some will even add CSS protection.

CSS protection was cracked years ago, and is not an effective barrier to copying, but home users cannot duplicate it.

And a pressed dvd will never be mistaken for a burned one, so, for your purposes, having pressed discs made may be a simple solution. A quick Google search brings up this site: http://www.newcyberian.com/dvd-replication.html
You can order as few as 300 copies from them.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2664314]And a pressed dvd will never be mistaken for a burned one, so, for your purposes, having pressed discs made may be a simple solution.[/QUOTE]

Thanks very much! yes it does not matter for the protection to be cracked, and I guess even if all 300 dvd are exactly the same, it would still be ok, the most important is that if the [B]dvd cannot be duplicated exactly[/B] and there is a way to tell original from say a burned one, that would be the exact protection I want.

Is it important the the CSS protection be there for dvd not to be duplicated exactly?

So say I order them, with CSS “protection”. Say someone has one of the dvd’s, and decides they want to make exact duplicate of it, the image in front of it, the content, whatever encryption is on it, the content, etc. Would they be able to give a pressing company the DVD (maybe the same company, maybe another one), and say they want a 100% exact copy of it? If no, then I actually might consider this! Thanks very much! Also is there a way I would be able to check myself if a particular DVD is the one I pressed (i.e. some software that reads the css protection data on it?)

Breaking CSS encryption is trivial. You can do it with tools from 2004, like DVDShrink or DVDDecrypter. So adding it to the dvd will only stop the most inexperienced users.

The main difference is using pressed discs vs burned ones. That is something that can’t be hidden.

If someone wants to go to the trouble of copying your dvd, then ordering exact copies made by a firm that can press them, I don’t see a way of stopping that. Whoever is copying the dvd can provide the exact data, and the cover art to this firm. A pressing firm might not take the original pressed disc as input unless the person can show they have legal rights to the material.

You might want to post a copyright notice stating your name or company in the start of the dvd and in the trailer. You can also include a copyright tag on your cover art. This probably won’t stop anything, but including them shows that you have legal rights to the dvd, and that would help in any court case that might arise.

I see, thank you very much!

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2664319]If someone wants to go to the trouble of copying your dvd, then ordering exact copies made by a firm that can press them, I don’t see a way of stopping that[/QUOTE]

Ah I should clarify that I am not looking for how to prevent piracy, nothing like that. Doesn’t matter at all if content is copied. Just that dvd itself can be detected whether it is original or not

I mean can someone provide the original disc to a pressing factory, and say make them the [B]exact same disk[/B] (including the 100% exact image thats on the face of the disk, and the actual key to be duplicated too, so that both disks are 1:1 exact) and there would be no way to tell whatsoever whether or not particular clone disk may very well be the original disk? You mentioned that CSS was cracked but not duplicatable - thats perfect, if the cloned DVD is not exact clone, then perfect - content doesn’t matter just exactness of the dvd like it has an unrepeatable signature or something like that (i.e. visually on the DVD label, combined with variation within the DVD content, uncopyable encryption key etc.). I mean the preferable thing is that once the DVD is made, not even [U]I myself[/U] (even using the same pressing company) can ever make that exact same DVD with that particular signature ever again. Like a DVD “DNA” or something like that per DVD.

Say I have dvd pressed with content on it, then say I’m presented with 3 disks 1) one of my original pressed dvd, 2) a burned copy, 3) a cloned copy that was based on the original DVD being given to same or another pressing facility. Would I be able to use software to determine which one of those were my original? Or could pressing facility really do make an 100% exact pressed copy even if the original was pressed with encrypted key on it?

Any way to do this other than pay for bulk pressing? Especially since I would prefer every DVD to have own “signature” (visually on dvd label and also variation in data itself) and I don’t think service will actually individually do DVD. Again I appreciate your replies and thank you again.

I believe the CSS “protection” is not copied by most of the so-called hacks. They copy everything else, ignoring the CSS codes.

This means the copies are not identical to the original. The video is, the audio is, but I believe there are tools that can detect “Yes CSS is there/No it’s not” and thus distinquish between Master and Copy.

I wonder if there is a Burning Date-Time Stamp embedded on a DVD-R copy?

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2664333]distinguish between Master and Copy[/QUOTE]

Christine thanks for your reply! Exactly, am looking for a way to distinguish between master and copy - specifically DVD itself - regardless about piracy (not worried about DVD content spread on networks, or content itself of original DVD copying onto another blank DVD). Even if the copy is pressed, is still a copy - just want to know if a way for me to detect “this is the copy” and “this is the original I pressed.” (no matter how the copy is made). It doesn’t have to be detectable by ordinary observer - just by me. (actually, that is ideal - ordinary observer actually should have no idea how to check for it, or that there is anything to check for. Even if find out how to check it, they should never be able to duplicate it on other new DVD).

So clearly if it was pressed, as you say, it cannot be ever burned in a way that would match original (probably it won’t even look like it was pressed, first off - and that visual part being exact still counts - as long as the dvd can be distinguished somehow using multiple ways that are hard to replicate exactly in conjunction, thats what im trying to find out) - so it would be detected easily by me if original pressed copy is burned exactly with conventional burn hardware and crappy inkjet labels.

Question is - it can only be detected by YesCSS or NoCSS you say? No specific on the actual CSS code? Now say someone were to go to the trouble of trying to actually press a copy exactly like original, graphics and all, then send it to me and claim it is the original pressed. Would I be able to determine that it is a copy, or I could not tell because they could’ve put any random CSS protection there? Or to really nullify the possibility - even put the exact css code of the original so there’s no difference whatsoever? Would there be a way that with Original DVD that they could replicate exactly even the appearance of the engraved label on the master and have it done exactly the same on a copy?

wii discs may be close to a scenario i might be looking for (but for dvd’s not wii discs). The wii hardware was cracked and now you can even patch the wii using software I heard. However I also heard that the wii discs themselves can never ever be replicable in a way that can be recognized as exact match (by an unmodded wii). In other words the unmodded wii can actually read the encryption keys on wii disc, but not even hackers with special equipment can, they had to only attack the wii itself and exploit that, to this day no wii disc can actually be copied 100% exact to match the original wii disc (even if considering just the data exactly, not necessarily how it looks). Now that’s exactly what I’m looking for, something like that, but for dvd’s. Not concerned at all about piracy. Just about unique dvd disk - if this can be done, would be interested to know how (wish I can do it per dvd disk each having different image and different data, but if only option is bulk order of css protected dvd, as long as it really is an unduplicatable dvd just like a wii disc is not duplicatable, would be great)

Usually protections are exploited because of “trusted client problem”. The client has to know how to decrypt the material (or no material is played)- and that in itself has to be protected, and can only go so far before it is exploited with hardware attacks. Suppose I want to get a scenario like the wii disc - i dont care that its piratable, or exploitable, or even copyable to new DVD - but for it to be uncopiable in exact form, such that the original DVD can never be copied again in 100% exact form and i could check for it. don’t want to protect anything from “piracy” - in other words I want nothing be “decrypted” at all by any dvd players (preferably, nobody knows there is any secret code on the DVD at all for that matter aside from me) - but just want to be able to identify original DVD later myself if I want to, with hardware or software or algorithm that does not need to be shared with anyone and that only I know. This can be including exact appearance of DVD label, some specific stamp or encryption key or whatever embedded in DVD, etc. in which all elements cannot be copied all in conjunction to a new DVD, and to check for it is only possible under specific input (like shining a blacklight in a dark room to see some specks in specific order, the like) Surely it is possible? Just not quite sure how…

Actually I think I found some ways to do it, thanks everyone for all your help! (of course new ideas [U]always[/U] welcome) :bigsmile:

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2664333]I believe the CSS “protection” is not copied by most of the so-called hacks. They copy everything else, ignoring the CSS codes.

This means the copies are not identical to the original. The video is, the audio is, but I believe there are tools that can detect “Yes CSS is there/No it’s not” and thus distinquish between Master and Copy.

I wonder if there is a Burning Date-Time Stamp embedded on a DVD-R copy?[/QUOTE]

It’s possible to copy a disc with the CSS information intact using a specially modified drive that allows you to read the normally unreadable lead in area.

This is how pirates duplicated discs before DeCSS algorithm was published online.