Here's something that opponents of restrictive DRM implementations aren't going to be too happy with: ZDNet is reporting that new copy-protection software for DVD publishers from a company called ProtectDisc not only makes it difficult to rip movies that you've purchased -- no surprise there -- but actually prevents discs from playing in a Windows PC at all. So if you pop in a DVD "infected" with Protect DVD-Video, it can't be read by Windows Media Player, Media Center Edition, or any DirectShow-based software, thanks to a Universal Disc Format that tricks your machine into believing that the IFO file is zero bytes long. As you might expect, there are already workarounds out there that can bypass Protect DVD: SlySoft reportedly updated its AnyDVD software recently as a direct response to this protection racket. Still, this is a discouraging development for home theater buffs who have upgraded their setups to revolve around a hot new HTPC; remember that old standalone DVD player that you stuffed in the attic a few months ago? Well if Protect DVD and other tools like it take off, you may have to dust off that old player and return it to its rightful home in your gear rack.
[Via PVR Wire]