"Beginning next year, studios and other content holders will be required to give consumers the ability to make one copy of any Blu-ray Disc they buy," says the article
). Sounds great -- movie studios and others finally realizing that people should be able to freely back up DVDs they legitimately purchase. The devil, of course, is in the details. While discs will have to support this "managed copy" feature, it will require new hardware, and there's no mandate that DVD player manufacturers include support for it at all. The copy, as you'd expect, is all DRM'ed up, and in order to make the copy, the Blu-ray player will have to connect to an "authorization server". This is the sort of model that's caused lots of problems in the past, when companies decide to pull the plug
on the servers, rendering the feature useless. But the biggest potential problem with the feature is that movie studios and others will be free to charge whatever they wish for it. That means this really isn't a backup or a copy at all, it's simply the distribution means for the latest incarnation of the entertainment industry's favorite business model: getting people to pay for the same content over and over
. That's why the studios want to block things like Real DVD
-- not because they'll increase piracy, but because they cut off the only business model the studios can see for digital content.