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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blu-ray to let studios decide on managed copying by the disc

Blu-ray to let studios decide on managed copying by the disc

"While HP is demanding iHD and Managed Copy support in Blu-ray, apparently it looks like they will not get quite what they are asking for. First, the iHD functionality currently supported by HD DVD is actually not specific to the HD DVD format, since it will be an integral part of Windows Vista, even if HD DVD decided not to use it once it hit the market. This means PC manufacturers will have to fork out on iHD royalties for every PC shipped with Windows Vista. However, as Blu-ray's Java-based alternative is specific to the Blu-ray format, this puts Blu-ray at a disadvantage here.

Just recently, Blu-ray decided to use Advanced Access Content System (AACS) Internet-based copy protection, the same strong anti-piracy technology as used by HD DVD. At first, it may appear that HP would be happy to know that the AACS system does indeed offer support for mandatory managed copying. Unfortunately, when Blu-ray took on AACS, they have also taken on BD+ and ROM Mark, both which essentially overrides AACS's managed copy capability, which in turn can render it unusable to the consumer.

The BD+ technology allows content providers to choose the disc's encryption scheme as well as the capability to remotely provide flash updates, such as to replace a known circumvented system. The ROM Mark on the other hand is a digital watermarking technology that is used to determine if a copy of the disc can be made. What makes matters worse is that some Blu-ray members including 20th Century-Fox are apposing the mandatory managed copy capability, claiming that the studios have the right to decide whether discs may be copied as well as which Blu-ray players may be used to copy them." [more]

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