The studios aren’t going to give up without a fight. AACS (Advanced Access Contend System), used on both HD DVD and BD, has been repeatedly cracked in recent months. Blu-ray also has BD+ and ROM Mark protection, but the studios keep looking for more ways to protect their content.
Now audio watermarking technology from Verance Corp. is available for studios to use in conjunction with AACS. Audio watermarking embeds an inaudible signal in the sountrack which the player can then check. If the stream is missing or incorrect, the player would refuse to play the content. This addition to AACS was approved back in 2006, but it is just being made available now. Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, and Microsoft have signed up to use it.
This doesn’t really do anything to prevent DRM cracks and copies of discs, as a copy of a disc would also include a perfect copy of the embedded audio signal. This technology is really aimed at bootleg releases produced by unauthorized copies of theatrical prints – high level, organized piracy. Such bootlegs are often made from camcorder recordings of theatrical performances, but they can also be made from authorized film to video transfers at the high end.
Picked up from Blu-ray.com.