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First Pirate Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Appears for Download

It doesn't matter how strong the protection is on content, eventually it will be cracked. That was the case with DVD, Blu-ray, and in the ongoing battle with digitally-distributed content such as games. And now it looks as though the technology protecting Ultra HD Blu-ray discs may have also fallen to the crackers.

Yesterday, the first ever Ultra HD Blu-ray movie appeared for download on the private torrent tracker UltraHDclub. The movie in question is The Smurfs 2, and due to the 4K resolution results in a 53GB file size.

The sharing of this UHD content is significant because in order to copy The Smurfs 2, the AACS 2.0 on-disc protection must have been cracked. AACS stands for Advanced Access Content System and has been in use since 2006. It relies on cryptography and encryption to restrict access to the digital media it is protecting. The content is decrypted when viewed, but only if the disc and player are both verified as legal by the system. That's the theory, anyway.

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The original AACS was soon cracked thanks to decryption keys extracted from software players. However, AACS 2.0 was thought to be unbreakable, according to TorrentFreak. This pirate release suggests otherwise, and although the UHD content has been verified, it still remains unclear if AACS 2.0 was cracked. The evidence suggests it must have been, but nobody is able to officially verify this as fact just yet.

UHD discs are available in three sizes: 50GB, 66GB, and 100GB. The Smurfs 2 is 105 minutes long and the download size is 53GB, suggesting the 66GB discs will be the norm for UHD Blu-ray distribution and file sizes will remain close to 60GB. If AACS 2.0 really is cracked, then we're likely to see a flood of UHD movie torrents appearing and they'll all be huge downloads.

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