Blu-ray Managed Copy Discussed

Brent Evans —  June 23, 2009

Blu-ray LogoYou may have heard recently that Blu-ray has plans to get managed copy – the ability to make a copy of your Blu-ray Disc within limits as defined by the studios.  That’s a great step in the right direction, but there are many negatives to the way it will be implemented. Ben Drawbaugh at EngadgetHD has the scoop on how it will work and the possible uses for this type of functionality.

We’ll get out the bad things we know about this first:

The Bad:

  • Will require new hardware – yes all that money you dropped on those shiny new Blu-ray players won’t get you managed copy ever.
  • Not free.  It will have some cost as defined by the studio.  Not a surprise, but still, do we really want to pay for the same movie over and over and over???
  • Apple hasn’t joined the group of studios for the finalized AACS license so it’s unlikely we’ll see support for putting that copy of Blu-ray onto your Mac or iPhone.
  • You’ll need an internet connection to copy the disk so it can check with the DRM server.
  • There’s already an excellent (if not a bit of a stretch of the rules) way to do this with AnyDVD HD.

The Good:

  • They are at least trying to answer the need for more portability of the media albeit in the typical imperfect way.
  • According to EngadgetHD’s interview with the chair of the AACS business group, managed copy was designed with the “movie jukebox” use concept in mind.  So the use in a HTPC-type scenario just might work.
  • The concept is a good one.  One that has a lot of potential and at least acknowledges the studios know (or are starting to understand) how its customers want to use their purchased media.
  • Apple could still get on board by the time managed copy goes live in 2010.

If you’re at all interested in Blu-ray, be sure and read the article on EngadgetHD – it’s a good one.

Check out more of Brent’s reflections on tech, gadgets, software and media at Geek Tonic.

5 responses to Blu-ray Managed Copy Discussed

  1. The irony is that HD DVD had this planned too and was going to use Vista as the jukebox. Guess that didn’t work out so well. And wonder if this is too niche and potentially too confusing for the vast majority of consumers. I can’t recall the last time I even bought any sort of video disc – it’s all been Netflix or streaming/downloaded video.

  2. Blu-ray is painfully behind the curve. The overlords of the standard are slow to release consumer-friendly features since they’re mainly focused on restriction piracy. A valid concern, but not to the detriment of consumer options, particularly when digital distribution is becoming a reality, even for HD.

  3. What about the Playstation 3? Will it do managed copies with a Firmware update or will it need a new hardware revision of the PS3 to support it?

  4. This could be interesting if the cost is nominal. Of course, since this is up to the studios look for the cost to be something crazy like $20 per copy.

  5. I don’t know about this.

    Personally, I have ONE BluRay player I paid $250 for, and we really don’t use it that much, since most of the movies we rent now come over the internet (Amazon VOD on Tivo, or Apple TV rentals mostly). I certainly won’t be buying another one any time soon.

    Media companies need to understand that we are watching them. When they sue Jammie Thomas for millions, we notice. When they push for draconian copyright legislation we notice. And if they think that makes us more likely to support their efforts and be nice law abiding citizens, they’ve got to be freaking kidding.

    I will not be investing in hard media like again. I certainly bought my share of DVDs at one time, but those days are gone. And most of those DVDs never got watched more than once.

    I already have the ability to do all the things managed copy is going to let me do, I just have to do them illegally, with my own freaking content. They’ve already trained me in how it was important to learn how to do that, keep the software current to break the latest schemes etc. Just to watch those Seinfeld episodes on DVDs I BOUGHT on my freaking iPod.

    I highly doubt most people will give this more than a passing glance.

    The only obvious time when I’d use this would be a DVD rental that I wasn’t going to get around to before I return it. Yes I’d pay another $2-$4 to have access to the movie in the future, if the process is simple and compatible with one of my existing devices (Apple TV, Tivo). If they charge too much, or the software is crap, or the process is too slow, or I lose access to the cover art or the extras, if the movie expires in 24 hours or 30 days, or ANYTHING ELSE that isn’t true when I rip the movie to my hard disk myself today, then forget it.