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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray players' started by ireland, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

    Nov 28, 2002
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    Blu-ray to let studios decide on managed copying by the disc
    Posted by Seán Byrne on 01 November 2005 - 01:01 - Source: TG Daily

    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.

    Fort Collins (CO) - The XML-based interactive functionality provision currently supported by HD DVD next-generation optical discs, will be an integral part of Windows Vista whether or not iHD-supportive optical discs come to market, an official of Hewlett-Packard told TG Daily. As a result, computer manufacturers will already be paying royalties on iHD, driving down their costs for adopting HD DVD over Blu-ray, the competing optical disc format that instead supports BD-J, an incompatible, Java-based alternative.

    (further down the article)

    Along with HP's general manager for personal storage, Maureen Weber, Peterson is saying that, for the good of the computer manufacturing industry, the Blu-ray Disc Association - of which HP is a founding member - should change its stance on iHD as well as mandatory managed copy, the guaranteed provision for users to make personal copies of licensed and legally-obtained content. Other Blu-ray members, including 20th Century-Fox and, as of last week, Warner Bros., are on record as opposing such guarantees in Blu-ray's AACS Internet-based copy protection system, saying studios should have the right to use tools that enable them to select not only which discs can be copied, but whose BD players can be used to copy them.

    The full, rather lengthy article can be read here.

    If Blu-ray leaves it up to the studios to decide if consumers can make any form of copy, they may be taking a big chance here, as HD DVD will likely make its mandated managed copy feature one of its strong selling points. By overriding AACS’s current support for managed copying, this likely indicates why Blu-ray boasts about its superior copy-protection technology, since they are essentially giving as much control to the studios as possible, including the updating of the player’s firmware.

    From what I see, if the studios are given control over the firmware for PC Blu-ray drives, this will likely mean the end of customised firmware, such as adding the ability to burn discs at higher speeds, offer better media support, etc., like what can be done with DVD writers. Chances are that any tampering with a Blu-ray drive’s firmware will result in it being disabled due to "unauthorised tampering".

    Feel free to discuss about Blu-ray and HD DVD on our Satellite, HD-TV, Blu-ray and HD-DVD Forum.

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