About SPDC

The white paper titled Self-Protecting Digital Content resulted from Cryptography Research’s multi-year Content Security Research Initiative to develop new approaches for combating piracy on open-format systems. Published in 2003, the paper describes how risk management techniques can be applied to control piracy in situations where perfect security is impractical. A key architectural result is to show how content can be integrated with security code, shifting control and responsibility for security from players to the content itself. Engineers at Cryptography Research developed SPDC’s concepts into technical specifications and working prototypes. The SPDC approach was validated in a 3rd party evaluation of the technology.

BD+ and Blu-ray Disc

Cryptography Research worked closely with Blu-ray Disc Association leaders Twentieth Century Fox, Sony, and Panasonic on specifications, implementation tests, and usage rules to standardize “BD+”. Our engineers assisted early player manufacturers in implementing the BD+ virtual machine and developed content code and authoring tools for integration into production workflows. The team successfully deployed BD+ on more than one hundred commercial Blu-ray titles.

Sale to Macrovision

The technology’s success necessitated a dramatically increased focus on authoring production operations. In November 2007 the SPDC business unit was acquired by Macrovision for $45 million plus warrants, allowing Cryptography Research to focus on our core research and development strengths, including semiconductor security technologies and deploying new security innovations.

Blu-Ray logo


Based on SPDC technology, BD+ was adopted in the Blu-ray Disc Format. This strategic move garnered MPAA studio support and has been credited as playing a prominent role in Blu-ray winning the format war.

Additional Information