A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Microsoft DRM flaw halts Sky by Broadband 

Sky's movie download service has been withdrawn until a patch is released for a hack that bypasses the Microsoft DRM system that is used to protect downloaded movies.

Sky by Broadband uses a commercial p2p distribution system called Kontiki that is not that disimilar to BitTorrent and DRM is used to prevent downloaded movie files being viewed on PCs other than the one that is permissioned to download the file in the first place.
I have Sky By Broadband, I got an email a few days ago from them talking about the service pull. The funny thing is that the service is still using bandwidth. Essentially, they don't mind people watching curling and other non big time sport and news elements with it.
If you're interested in movie downloads then Mark Cuban over at www.blogmaverick.com has always got some interesting points of view.

He basically says that the whole thing's a no go because people don't have the broadband capacity. Compare downloading one movie overnight to getting three DVDs in the post and there's no contest.

That's without mentioning HDTV.

Tom Shelley
Sky reckon a 90 minute movie should take three hours to download. They are planning to roll out the facility to "order" a download so that it will be just like a DVD in the post but without the need to return the DVD or be limited to three of them.
I've used it more for some of the sport clips, and they come down in less than 30 minutes for around 10 to 20 minutes footage. I have an 8Mb connection but rather stupidly the wireless lan that connects the PVR computer plugged into the TV only runs at 802.11g. Which means I basically go back down to a Mb. I've been thinking about completely rearranging my living room to get the bandwidth up. But that's a bit too far to go for the lady of the house who is uninterested in internet enabled TV, even though she was laughing quite loudly at the Ricky Gervais Microsoft training video embedded in IE on AV2 last week.
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