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Sonic's Qflix licensing process demonstrated
Qflix to pave the way for movies on the cheap as well as unlimited supply for retailers

Sonic, the parent company of Roxio, today announced what it calls a licensing program designed to legally allow users to download content from online providers, burn the content onto DVDs, and watch on set-top players. The program, dubbed Qflix, provides Content Scramble System (CSS) protection for high-quality content.

The Qflix system requires support from both media manufacturers and drive manufacturers. Online digital content providers will also have to be Qflix-enabled, as will the necessary software. When a user downloads a movie for example, the movie has a CSS tag which is recognized by both the client software as well as the drive. When burned, the movie will only be able to be played back on the PC it was downloaded on as well as a standard DVD player. Users will not be able to copy the burned DVD.

The system is broken up into two forms: one for professionals called Qflix Pro, and a standard version for consumers. Right now, Sonic has a host of supporters that include both movie studios as well as hardware OEMs. Plextor, Mitsubishi and Verbatim are just some of the leading manufacturers that have voted "yes" for Qflix.

Warner Brothers studios is also commited to supporting the standard. Chris Cookson, president of Warner Bros. said "Warner Bros. is committed to giving consumers the widest range of choices to access our content in ways that recognize and protect its value."

According to Sonic's own press release:
The Qflix technology and intellectual property program empowers for the first time factory, in-store, and in-home systems for on-demand, electronic sell-through of movies and video programs that can be recorded to DVD with Content Scramble System (CSS) encryption. As the industry-approved content protection mechanism used on mass-produced discs and incorporated into all DVD players, CSS has been deemed essential by major content providers for the on-demand digital distribution of premium entertainment.
One interesting aspect of Sonic's Qflix system is support at the retail level. Sonic, in conjunction with various retailers, plans to offer DVD burning kiosks that will allow users to burn their own DVDs for a fraction of the cost of a retail packed movie. This will also allow retailers to save on actual physical stock. If a store runs out of a particular movie, users can simply burn copies from a virtual library.

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one computer?
By mm2587 on 1/5/2007 9:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
how do they limit me to one computer? I understand they use this css tag, but it seems to me that if I can play my dvd on any standard dvd player I would be able to play it on any computer without a qflix enabled dvd drive

RE: one computer?
By TomZ on 1/5/2007 9:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing the limitation is that the movie can only be burned on the machine you downloaded onto. In other words, if I purchase and download the file and then pass it to somebody else, the file will be useless.

Also, reading between the lines a bit, I get the impression that a special DVD recorder will be required to record the DVDs. Maybe a show-stopper, or at least a speed bump, if you ask me.

Anyone know if my speculations are correct or not?

RE: one computer?
By KristopherKubicki on 1/5/2007 9:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I believe you need a Qflix certified drive. It seems like the licensing is cheap (free?) and a few drive manufacturers are on board already.

RE: one computer?
By BladeVenom on 1/5/2007 5:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
It also says certified media. So you need a special drive, and special discs. I wonder how much those will cost. I'm guessing it won't be too popular.

RE: one computer?
By Dfere on 1/5/2007 12:51:11 PM , Rating: 2
This may be splitting hairs, but what if you reformat your hd/ swap parts out of the computer, upgrade to Vista etc.... you out of luck? (for the computer)

RE: one computer?
By masher2 on 1/5/2007 12:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
Just a guess, but I imagine the Qflix drive has a key encoded in it, so you're fine as long as that drive doesn't die.

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