BluScenes Ships First Blu-rays with Managed Copy
Users can copy aquarium, fireplace and space scenes directly to a hard drive. Currently no Blu-ray players support AACS managed copy spec.
December 08, 2009 by Julie Jacobson

Good news, fish fans. BluScenes has released three Blu-ray discs with managed copy, so you can play Coral Reef Aquarium directly from a hard drive. Now, if only there were Blu-ray players to support the new format.

Earlier this year, the Advanced Access Content System License Authority (AACS-LA) published the long-awaited specification for limited managed copies. Studios will be required to offer the feature, but they can charge for the privilege.

BluScenes from Scenic Labs, LLC, claims to be the first label to ship Blu-ray discs with managed copy for scenery-loving TV fans. In addition to Aquarium, consumers can enjoy The Classic Fireplace and Journey Through Space for about $15 each.

Each disc is labeled as supporting managed copy in accordance with the AACS specification.

Managed Copy Coming in 2010?
Managed copy originally was set to go “live” (whatever that means) on December 4, 2009 but that date was moved to March 31, 2010. There are no compatible players for copying the discs, however, and no mandates for manufacturers to build them.

BluScenes discs feature a simple user license that “marks a first in the video industry,” the company claims. Each disc includes a free public display (non-broadcast) license on a one-screen-per-disc basis, which means that doctors’ offices, spas, restaurants and other public places can display the discs without incurring additional royalty fees.

Scenic Labs says it won’t charge for managed copying, but company founder Jason Rosenfeld says it is possible that AACS or its agents will charge a transaction fee to utilize the managed copy feature.

“We don’t know how managed copy will ultimately be priced, or if there will be transaction fees, but it will be revenue-neutral from our perspective,” Rosenfeld says. “We do not aim to place undue restrictions on how paying customers can use our content.”

With the date pushed back for managed copy, Scenic Labs worries that the spec could change.

The delay “does not impact our customers because there are currently no Blu-ray players that support the feature,” says Rosenfeld. “We just wanted to be ready when they do. In fact, we had to take a leap of faith that when managed copy players are finally released, the final published spec will not have changed.”

Meanwhile, the fate of managed copies for regular DVDs is in limbo, with Kaleidescape and Real Networks (RealDVD) fighting the studios in court. (see “Latest on the Legal Front”).

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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