Blu-ray cracking software makers are giving up

AnyDVD maker Slysoft ceases operations, while DVDFab vows not to decrypt 4K Blu-ray discs.


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

It’s been a rough week for Blu-ray cracking software makers and their users.

On Wednesday, Slysoft, makers of AnyDVD and AnyDVD HD ripping programs, replaced their entire website with a single message: “Due to recent regulatory requirements we have had to cease all activities relating to SlySoft Inc. We wish to thank our loyal customers/clients for their patronage over the years.”

Although Slysoft hasn’t given much more of an explanation, an employee in the company’s forums suggested that Slysoft CEO Giancarlo Bettini has been “under massive pressure” from copyright groups and governments for nearly a decade. MyCE also notes that the company, based in Antigua, was fined $11,000 for copyright violations in 2014. The legal precedent may have prevented Slysoft from working with service providers.

The good news for current AnyDVD owners is that the software they paid for will continue to work, at least for DVDs. Certain Blu-ray discs will work with the software as well, but results will vary for others that require access to an “Online Protection Database.” This database could theoretically get shut down at any time, preventing further ripping.

AnyDVD isn’t the only software apparently affected by a copyright crackdown. On Thursday, DVDFab makers Fengtao Software announced that it will never attempt to decrypt or circumvent AACS 2.0, a new copy protection measure that’s included in the latest 4K Blu-ray discs. Ars Technica points out that AACS 2.0 was already tricky to crack permanently, as it includes an extra protection layer whose encryption keys can be updated at any time, but DVDFab won’t even try.

Why this matters: Although users of ripping programs have long maintained that they're allowed to make a personal copy of the media they paid for, that doesn't stop the movie industry from going after purveyors of these programs. While we've seen some high-profile clashes before, makers of ripping programs have always found a way to survive. With the closure of Slysoft, and the new copy protection that DVDFab won't attempt to defeat, it seems the movie industry has won a big victory, at least for future optical media.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon