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CNET News.com: Hacked video technology provides look at MP3-like films

Mar 28, 2000, 16:16 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

"A new video technology is floating through the computer underground that holds the promise of doing for movies what MP3 has done for digital music."

"Dubbed "DivX"--no relation to the defunct digital video disk (DVD) player--the technology allows video to be highly compressed while retaining a high-quality picture. Feature-length Hollywood movies could be downloaded in just a few hours with a broadband connection and stored on a single CD."

"That could be bad news for the film industry, which has so far avoided widespread Internet piracy primarily because movie files are too large to be traded conveniently online. Although DivX won't tear down those barriers completely, it shows that technology advances could bring Hollywood much sooner than it had hoped into the heated battles over digital distribution that are wracking the music industry."

"The files found online are often copied from DVDs using another controversial technology, which allows DVDs to be played on computers using the open-source Linux operating system. The film industry has filed several suits seeking to block distribution of the program, known as DeCSS, alleging it illegally circumvents anti-copying features in DVDs aimed at preventing movie piracy."

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