If you thought the current Digital Millennium Copyright Act was bad, think again. A new bill being proposed would expand the DMCA's restrictions and give the feds more wiretapping and enforcement powers.
The draft legislation, created by the Bush administration and backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, already enjoys the support of large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America. Smith is the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees intellectual-property law.

Smith's press secretary, Terry Shawn, said Friday that the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 is expected to "be introduced in the near future."

"The bill as a whole does a lot of good things," said Keith Kupferschmid, vice president for intellectual property and enforcement at the Software and Information Industry Association in Washington, D.C. "It gives the (Justice Department) the ability to do things to combat IP crime that they now can't presently do."
It's easy to see where all the RIAA's and MPAA's money is going. It isn't cheap to buy off a congressman like Lamar, let alone an entire administration. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
BCCHardware has put together a review of Plextor's new 18x DVD±RW, the PX-760A. Here's what they had to say about the world's first 18x DVD writer:
Plextor is a leader when it comes to optical drives. They haven't always been the first to adopt new technology or produced the fastest drives, but they are committed to quality. The PX-760A is an attempt in the right direction, but I believe it falls a little short as they reached too far. 18x writing offers very little performance advantage over a good clean 16x write, and the potential for errors is greater as the spindle speed must increase. That being said, the drive burns very quickly with a very low error count at 18x when using Verbatim 16x DVD+R media. However on other media, the drive produces more PI errors that I'd like to see - even at slower speeds.
If you'd like to read more, the entire review can be found here. Add a comment
The Hardware Zone has taken a look at Lite-On's new LightScribe capable "Super AllWrite" drive, the SHM-165H6S. Here's a sample of what they had to say about it:
It performs up to the mark for most burns, though at mediocre speeds that barely raised our heartbeats. The burn quality was for the most part, pretty decent and that could be one of its strengths. While BenQ drives have been noted for their ability to 'over-speed', that is an unofficial 'feature' missing from the LITE-ON drive, which needs to be manually enabled via their bundled utility. Its main advantage probably lies in its 'jack of all trades' card of supporting all the media formats and to top it off, it has LightScribe technology. Crucially, all these features do not make it unique but just another player in a crowded market with more add-ons to offer.
We too have a review of the SHM-165H6S in the works. In the mean time, head on over to Hardware Zone and check out their review. Add a comment
Sony Japan unveiled its new mid-year PC line-up yesterday. While their Blu-ray Disc-based machines were absent from the list, the company revealed a few details about them.
The Vaio RC300-series machines will include reader/writer Blu-ray Disc drives that support single-layer 25GB discs or double-layer 50GB discs, according to information posted on the U.S. version of its Sony Style Internet shop.

They'll be high performance computers based around an Intel Pentium D dual-core processor and include RAID 0 Serial ATA hard-disk drives, DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) memory and PCI Express x16 graphics. The computers will be based on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and include Sony's Giga Pocket TV recording software, according to the site.
No word on price or availability yet. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
The MPAA has claimed another "victory" in the fight against piracy. Thanks to [H]ard|OCP, we've learned that the courts recently ordered Sunplus to comply to the security features of the CSS license.
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) today announced that its member companies have successfully resolved yet another breach of contract lawsuit involving non-compliant DVD chips that enable piracy. This is the sixth such lawsuit that has concluded with a court-ordered injunction mandating a DVD chip manufacturer to adhere to the content security features of the CSS license. With the new injunction against Sunplus Technology Co., Inc., the world's second largest DVD chip manufacturer, all of the major DVD chip manufacturers are now bound by court order to honor the CSS license. The studios now plan to focus greater attention on other products, such as DVD players, that may also violate the license and expose copyrighted material to piracy. Investigations have been underway for months, and the studios are considering appropriate enforcement action.
With HD DVD and Blu-ray on the way, the movie industry is making it clear that they do not want companies producing products that can bypass the protection schemes they've put in place. If you'd like to read more, the MPAA's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
We've learned that Samsung has a new Super-WriteMaster drive on the way. Along with 12x DVD-RAM writing speeds, the SH-S182D can write to both DVD+R and DVD-R media at 18x. At this speed, the drive is expected to take only 4 minutes and 48 seconds to burn an entire 4.7GB DVD±R disc.

Writing Speeds:

DVD+R: 18x
DVD+RW: 8x
DVD-RW: 6x
DVD±R DL: 8x
DVD-RAM: 12x
CD-R: 48x
CD-RW: 32x

Read Speeds:

DVD-ROM: 16x
DVD±R: 12x
DVD±RW: 8x
DVD±R DL: 8x
DVD-RAM: 12x
CD-ROM: 48x
CD-R/RW: 40x

We have not heard if or when the SH-S182D will be available in the US. As we learn more, we'll let you know. In the mean time, feel free to leave your comments in our forum. Add a comment
Toshiba Japan has announced the launch of their new HD DVD equipped notebook PC, the Qosmio G30/697HS. Designed for multimedia use, the Qosmio G30/697HS ships with a 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 17-inch widescreen LCD and HD DVD-ROM drive.

Toshiba Corporation today continued its roll out of next generation HD DVD products with the announcement of the launch of the world's first notebook PC with an HD DVD-ROM drive. "Qosmio G30/697HS" will be available in the Japanese market in mid May, as the latest product in Qosmio line-up of AV notebook PC series. Along with playback of HD DVD content, the new Qosmio can read and write to current DVD and CD discs, including DVD+/-R DL (dual-layer) and DVD-RAM.*2

The groundbreaking Qosmio series has consistently redefined the capabilities and performance of AV notebook computers. "Qosmio G30/697HS" continues this tradition by being first in the world to integrate an HD DVD-ROM drive. The slim-type 12.7mm-thick drive achieves this thin form factor with an optical system requiring only a single objective lens to read HD DVD discs and to read and write to DVDs and CDs. The PC's combination of a high-performance dual-core CPU, the "Intel CoreTM Duo Processor T2500 (operating frequency 2.00GHz)," and high-performance graphics accelerator, the "NVIDIA GeForceTM Go 7600," with advanced PC software technology delivers stunning image quality in playback of HD DVD content.
No word on price yet. However, Toshiba expects to ship the Qosmio G30/697HS by the middle of May. More information can be found here. Add a comment
The results are in and our readers have chosen the BenQ DW1650/1655 as the top DVD writer for the month of March. Here are the top five drives:
  1. BenQ DW1650/1655
  2. LG GSA-4167B
  3. Plextor PX-716A
  4. BenQ DW1640
  5. NEC ND-3550A/3551A
Your favorite drive didn't make it onto the list? Then go and vote for April's top DVD writer. Add a comment
Just a reminder that CDRLabs is offering an ad-free subscription-based service. For a low monthly or yearly fee, CDRLabs.com can be viewed without any ads. This subscription service also gives members access to a special section of the forum and benefits like a larger attachment quota. The larger quota is great for all of you that like to upload writing quality scans.

As our introductory price, we will be offering the following subscription options:
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    The research group In-Stat has released their latest DVD market study. According to their findings, the DVD market will continue to grow in 2006 and that you'll be paying a premium for players based on "blue laser" technology.
    DVD player and recorder units will have a combined market of 176.6 million units sold worldwide in 2010, up from 140.8 million units in 2005, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). The forecast for 2006 predicts that Europe will be the strongest region for DVD players and recorders with a combined total of 38.4 million units sold, the high-tech market research firm says.

    "The DVD player market benefits from versatility in form factors. DVD players can be seen in portable renditions, or integrated with VCRs, or in the back panel seats of SUVs. While DVD recorders have come down in price, there is still delineation in the pricing of DVD players and DVD recorders- each represents a different value proposition," says Chris Kissel, In-Stat analyst. "The future of this market though is all about high definition DVD players based on 'blue laser' technology; however, the future may be farther off than we would like. These players will enter the market at premium prices, and as there has been no compromise between the HD-DVD camp and the companies that sponsor Blu ray technology, a format battle seems inevitable. There will be some casualties, companies and consumers alike."
    While there's a lot more to this study, I can't say that I'm surprised by any of the information in this press release. If you'd like to read more, In-Stat's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment