Blu-Ray's Managed Copy Appears To Be Another Hollywood Disaster In The Making
from the could-it-get-any-more-ridiuclous? dept
One of the major reasons why Blu-ray is still struggling to catch on (despite winning the long drawn out victory over competing format HD-DVD) is that you’re extremely limited in what you can do with Blu-ray content. In an era when people are used to being able to move content and time- and place-shift it at will, Blu-ray is quite limiting. This has become a growing concern to those in Hollywood who thought Blu-ray was going to be its savior. Unfortunately, the response is being equally bungled by Hollywood. The key concept is the idea of “managed copies,” which (in theory) will let users make limited DRM’d copies for time- and place-shifting.
Of course, that assumes that the offering actually works. And right now it’s nearly impossible to tell. Jerry Leichter alerts us to a story of one small studio that’s trying to implement “managed copy” offerings and is finding it to be nearly impossible. The instructions on how to do it are not at all clear, and the studio is not getting much in the way of help from those behind the standard. Furthermore, there’s simply no way to test to see if they’re doing it right, since there’s no equipment that can handle managed copies yet. And this is from a studio, Scenic Labs, that believes DRM is pointless and “piracy is going to happen.” So why is it even bothering? It basically has no choice. If you’re creating commercial Blu-ray discs, this is the only option you get: it must include this poorly documented DRM if you want to offer a copyable version.
Of course, there is one alternative. As the head of the studio notes, if they screwed up the process, they have no interest in remastering the discs, so they’ll just ask buyers to send a cameraphone photo of the purchased DVD, and they’ll send them a digital file over the internet.