June 12, 2009
| by Tom LeBlanc
Consumers will soon legally have the right to make one copy of each Blu-ray disc they own. However, there won’t be Blu-ray players that allow them to do it until the first or second quarter of 2010.
The Advanced Access Content System License Authority (AACSLA) has finalized digital rights management (DRM) specifications that allow for limited “managed copies” of Blu-ray discs to be made by consumers. Studios, which will have the option to charge for the copies, will have to sign the AACS license agreement by Dec. 4, 2009.
Current Blu-ray players don’t allow copies to be made, so it will be a while before manufacturers begin to roll out players with that feature. They don’t legally have to offer that feature, but consumers will undoubtedly be clamoring for it.
The number of copies that consumers will be able to make will be determined by the studios, but they’ll be required to allow at least one. The copies can apparently be made from a menu that is right on the Blu-ray disc.
The “managed copies” that consumers make will be protected with AACS DRM or Microsoft DRM. Apple hardware isn’t covered by the agreement.
Blu-ray DRM has been a hotly debated issue, dating back to the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD showdown, which Blu-ray obviously won.