One of the biggest arguments against digital rights
management (DRM) is that it restricts users from doing what they wish with the
media for which they’ve paid. For owners of high-definition movie players, such
restrictions may soon be a little lighter.
The Advanced Access Content System Licensing
Administration (AACS LA) says that it is now working to provide “managed
copy” features on the media that uses its protection technology. HD DVD had
plans to implement managed copy as part of its specification – a main reason
why Microsoft and Intel stood behind the format – but Blu-ray Disc had thus far
ignored the concept.
The final version of AACS will supposedly introduce methods
for users to legally copy their high definition media. For example, a user may
wish to copy a movie from his PC HD DVD drive onto his network for play on his
PVR – and with managed copy, he may now do that without breaking copyright.
“The final version will include things like managed copy – which
will address the main thing that hackers claim they're interested in,” said Michael
Ayers, spokesperson for the AACS LA, to HDTVUK.
Currently, those who wish to do more with their HD content
other than just play it straight off the disc must resort to using hacker-discovered
processing keys or similar software,
which are used to completely defeat the AACS protection.
Although the AACS LA’s plans to introduce a little freedom
to HD media by giving users a legal way to copy their movies, the
technicalities surrounding just how to accomplish that are still unclear.
“The structure of managed copy, how it's technically going
to work, what will the rules and conditions for the offer of a managed copy be —
part of it is just understanding the rights in offering a managed copy, the
rights a content owner may or may not have,” explains Ayers. “Potentially, you
could have a situation where somebody has the right to distribute on disc, but
nothing else; or, the distribution rights are limited to a specific region or
Movie studios may elect to adjust its pricing on titles with
managed copy. It would be an undesirable situation if movies with managed copy
carried a premium over those without such rights – but the AACS is looking in
the other direction, hoping that managed copy features will increase sales and acceptance
of high-definition optical media.
“Studios will have to take that into account when they
select pricing,” Ayers said to IDG.
“We are optimistic that the studios will see this as a benefit that will drive
For current owners of high-definition movies and players,
the change to managed copy will not be transparent. An upgrade to new AACS
version 0.93 software will likely be required, either through an Internet
connection or other means.
quote: However, success using that method is much much harder to come by.
quote: the labels take a lot of risks by putting in money for production, distribution, promotion and related activities.
quote: Very well said. I agree that the prices have got to come down to increase sales and reduce piracy. The same goes for music.
quote: The majority of pirates don't sell the stuff they copy. People just copy it and others download it. At least in the US. Only in Asia is pirated media really sold like you're talking about.
quote: For example, a user may wish to copy a movie from his PC HD DVD drive onto his network for play on his PVR – and with managed copy, he may now do that without breaking copyright.