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Blu-ray 'Managed Copy' Arriving in 2010


Blu-ray 'Managed Copy' Arriving in 2010

I imagine a lot of you are going to be pleased to hear this: the Blu-ray Disc Association's Advanced Access Content System (AACS) Final Adopter Agreement will bring the provision of Managed Copy allowing a single copy of a Blu-ray disc, for backup purposes.

As of early 2010, "virtually all" Blu-ray discs will offer buyers the ability to make a single copy - albeit with the option for content providers to charge for the privilege. A new player is likely to be needed, as the majority on the market are not compatible and can't be made so via firmware update. Sony has previously said the PS3 can be upgraded with support.

Managed copies will be transferrable to numerous devices, including writable Blu-ray discs and DVDs, Windows Media DRM-compatible media players and memory cards. Apple players, however, will not be compatible (at least for now) with managed copies which could prove frustrating for iPod owners.

Blu-ray player manufacturers won't be required to make their players compatible with Managed Copy, but it seems likely a large number will. It's worth mentioning that discs that allow managed copies will carry serial numbers, and contact with an authorisation centre is required before a copy can be made, enabling content providers to tell when discs are being copied.



Adam Foreman

June 15, 2009, 5:14 pm

I'm unsure of the need for this, BD and HD DVD disc encryption has been broken for quite some time leaving little or no need for making legal backups. The only thing I can see people taking advantage of this servcie is people not having the equipment to burn such BD discs. With the costs dropping every month of BD burners, eventaully a BD writer will become standard equipment inside a PC making this option obsolete.


June 15, 2009, 5:35 pm

An interesting development, but I don't really see how this resolves the issue of piracy. Or, for that matter, broader access. It really only gives you a 'legal' backup to my mind.

1. AACS is blown wide open and BDlive etc is being hacked as we speak. So any content will propagate as before.

2. It will require hardware (upgrades for many at a cost) and Internet access ( as does BDlive now) to enable this 'feature'

4.Why would I want to purchase a relatively expensive BR disc to down-sample copy to DVD or other lower quality codecs? - Why not just do this from a DVD? - while the media still exists of course.

3. You will need suitable recorder and media for BR backup. - Yet more expense for most of us.

Nice try, but I cant see this having massive support. But at least the industry is moving away from trying to lock down any copying; so some progress towards a DRM free future - or is it!?


June 15, 2009, 6:45 pm


1. I'm not sure that the 'managed copies' will encrypted themselves? If they're designed to be transfered to media players etc, it'd suggest that they aren't.

2. DVD writers were very expensive to start with, but you can buy one today for less than £20. I imagine Blu-Ray writers will go the same way eventually.

3. Likewise, the cost of BD media should drop significantly.

4. I guess it would allow one to buy a film on BD, and then make ligitimate DVD copies for bedroom or kid's room use, instead of buy the same film on multiple formats? Also, kids have a habit of trashing most discs, so keeping the original in a safe place and giving them a backup copy for day to day use isn't such a bad idea!

Adam Foreman

June 15, 2009, 7:22 pm

With Software available off the shelf right now that allows the removal of encryption (AACS), BD+ copy protection and region codes from Blu-ray Discs, this so called managed copy is doomed to failure from the start. With a LG GGW-H20L Blu-Ray Disc Re-Writer only costing £140 now, this will fall dramatically in the months ahead.


June 16, 2009, 3:19 am


Yes, your points are extremely valid. However, there is an assumption that B.R. media will be the next 'global format of storage choice'. I don't know about you, but I am fed up of being corralled into using the next format of choice all the time! - Just look at music Vinyl > Compact Cassette > CD. Now common sense prevails with mp3 - tho' I'd prefer a lossless codec initially.

Personally, I am using HDD's for all my media now. Via my ( simple) network I can access anywhere at home and potentially anywhere else. And not have to buy bulky discs, burners, storage covers, shelves etc.

Way to go don't you think? Only the legitimisation of these copies is preventing this as a truly legal option. Hence my point about DRM. Will the industry now learn there are more hackers than DRM methodology creators !


June 16, 2009, 6:05 pm

Actually, I can see this being very important if it allows you to legally rip Blu-Ray discs to your hard disk in full quality. With multi-terabyte drives on the way, it could become an officially supported method of creating an HD film library on your media server. If Blu-Ray discs become significantly cheaper, this could be a viable (and even convenient) alternative to HD downloads.

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