The developer of MakeMKV has accused Redfox from stealing so-called “hashed keys” that can be used to rip Ultra HD (UHD) Blu-ray movies. His accusation raised eyebrows amongst users on several forums. We asked Redfox to respond to the accusation, which they did.
“AnyDVD has no keys of their own — they just steal hashed keys and import into their database,” the developer of MakeMKV writes on his forum. He made the statement after a user mentions he was able to rip the UHD movie “InterStellar” with AnyDVD, a movie that according to the user wasn’t yet supported by MakeMKV.
Later in the thread, the MakeMKV developer openly questions that AnyDVD is able to rip UHD movies that his software is unable to. He writes about that, “if Anydvd was able to open your disc, then MakeMKV certainly could. Probably some bad setup with hashed keys location or read error.”
Everything started when AACS 2.0 Volume Keys were leaked on the internet, they were publicly posted on a forum about video conversion. Together with a so-called UHD ‘friendly’ Blu-ray drive, a non-revoked AACS 1.0 certificate, and supported software, the keys could be used to rip UHD movies from which the key was leaked. This was possible thanks to a loophole in the AACS 2.0 copy protection. Quickly after the keys were leaked, MakeMKV announced it was able to use the keys, followed by AnyDVD. Later, also DVDFab announced support for the leaked keys.
All those applications were able to read a specially prepared file that contained the keys and because the keys were publicly available, they all supported ripping the same movies.
Later MakeMKV announced “hashed keys”, a new format to retrieve and store keys that no longer relied on the publicly available keys. The hashed keys method allows retrieval of AACS 2.0 keys from all (currently known) UHD Blu-ray movies. In the days after the announcement, the MakeMKV developer worked hard to support more movies. Users submitted dumps to him, from which the MakeMKV developer somehow extracted AACS 2.0 keys.
Thanks to the users submitting the dumps and the MakeMKV developer extracting those keys, it’s now possible to rip hundreds of UHD Blu-ray movies. All without paying, because MakeMKV can currently be used without paying €50/$50 for a license (while in beta). MakeMKV works on Windows, MacOS and Linux, making UHD BD ripping available to nearly everyone.
Besides MakeMKV, also Redfox, the developers of AnyDVD, continued to work on UHD BD ripping. On the 1st of February this year, they announced a beta version of AnyDVD that reportedly could rip all possible UHD Blu-ray movies. Redfox stated their method would use their Online Protection Database (OPD). This database is also used for other disc formats that can be copied by the software.
It’s the keys in the OPD that are questioned by the MakeMKV developer. According to him, the keys in the Redfox database are sourced from him.
We’ve asked Redfox to respond to the statements of the MakeMKV developer.
“We’re taking keys from all possible sources, as is he [the MakeMKV developer]. Calling it stealing is a bit of a stretch, after all he’s publishing his keys openly in a file neatly packed for download, so sure, we include his keys, too,” according to a Redfox spokesman.
He went on to write, “we don’t quite get why so much fuss is being made about this. Our job is to acquire keys, so that’s what we do, as is he. Anyway — we’re still working on the final solution, that will work with all discs without intervention.”
Besides AnyDVD, DVDFab and MakeMKV, there’s also DeUHD to rip Ultra HD Blu-ray movies. This software, developed by Russia based Arusoft, never used the leaked keys and the company appears to have its own method of retrieving new keys. Their method is still unknown.