Blu-ray to allow legal copying

June 15, 2009 | 13:43

Tags: #backup #drm #fair-use #managed-copy

Companies: #aacs-licensing-authority #blu-ray

Blu-ray could be set to get a legitimate copy feature as soon as 2010, according to the head of the AACS Licensing Authority.

As reported over on Electronista, the high-definition optical disc format is set for a new revision some time in the first quarter of 2010 which will bring Managed Copy to the specification.

Managed Copy will be part of “almost all” Blu-ray releases by the middle of next year, and will allow a single full-resolution copy of the film to be made. Once copied, the film will be writeable to Blu-ray discs – should you be able to afford a writer – or DVDs, and will even include a DRM-equipped Windows Media Video export option.

Sadly, Apple won't be joining the fun: despite having been invited by the AACS Licensing Authority, the company has not provided support for Managed Copy in any of its own proprietary formats – which means no support for the feature on the iPod or Apple TV platforms. With WMV support, this could be the boost that video-based Zune devices have been waiting for.

The move comes as the industry comes under fire for increasingly draconian DRM restrictions, and may go some way to appease those who want the right to create a backup copy before their kids destroy the high-priced originals. Whether the function will be flexible – and easy – enough to sway people away from the less legitimate options out there remains to be seen.

Does the ability to make a limited number of locked-down copies render the argument against DRM moot, or should the Authority be looking to drop the concept altogether? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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