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AACS: Managed Copy Still in Play

28 Apr, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Managed Copy may still be a reality after all.

Michael B. Ayers, chairman of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) Business Group and manager of AACS Licensing Administrator, disputed media reports that the final specifications of the AACS content protection system would not include Managed Copy for Blu-ray Disc.

AACS is the content distribution and digital rights management standard for Blu-ray, restricting copying of next-generation optical discs, and Managed Copy would allow Blu-ray users limited abilities to back up their media to a hard drive, and use Blu-ray Disc content on portable media devices.

“AACS LA continues to work toward a set of final specs and licenses that includes Managed Copy, just as it has been since the beginning,” said Ayers, who is a senior attorney with Toshiba America Information Systems. “There are no plans to drop Managed Copy, and reports to the contrary are in error.”

Consumer Electronics Daily reported April 22 that content licensing problems were stopping AACS from including Managed Copy, which had been considered mandatory for both HD DVD and Blu-ray, in the final specifications.

Andy Parsons, SVP of product planning for the home entertainment group at Pioneer Electronics and marketing director of the Blu-ray Disc Association, said that while Managed Copy is an “understandably complex effort,” he did not believe AACS or the studios would give up on it.

Richard Bullwinkle, chief evangelist for Macrovision, said he too would be surprised if Managed Copy wasn't included in the final specifications. “We do have evidence that some companies might release products on the draft of the spec, which is interesting,” he said. “I think failure to allow for Managed Copy would be a mistake.”

The Blu-ray offering of Hitman from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment included a digital copy, and Lionsgate will include an iTunes digital copy on the May 27 Rambo Blu-ray. Several studios have included digital copies of movies on DVD releases.

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