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.

Filed Under: blu-ray, drm, dvds, managed copy, movies


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  1. identicon
    RD, 14 Dec 2009 @ 6:53pm

    Holy cow batman!

    Wow! The spread of pure BULLSHINE in this post is amazing! I never knew it was possible to be so wrong about so many things that are simple to verify:

    "Now a blu-ray at around 25-50GB is less than 1/20th of a typical HDD and comparable to a $30 flash drive."

    Please, pray tell, where can you buy a 50gb flash drive? and where can you get that for the $30? You cant even get a 32gb drive for anywhere near that yet.

    "Mike, I find it interesting that you hit this story, and not the other story about how Hollywood is now including flippable or second copies of bluray movies on DVD in the same case"

    Haha good one! No, you see, that ended the micro SECOND the competing format (HDDVD) was no longer a competitor. Sure, SOME people might offer this here and there, but it is NOT widespread or even a selling point of BluRay, AT ALL.

    "I have DVDs that I have had for 13 years now. But my PCs typically only last 3-5 years. After that, say goodbye to your "managed copy".

    While I appreciate the sentiment in helping the argument against these DRM encrusted copies, DVD's have, in fact, only been around 12 years (1997 barely, there were only about 25 movies that came out at launch for the remainder of the that year) and burnable DVD's a bit less than that (unless you were RICH as hell back in 1998 and had 5 figures to buy a burner and north of $20 per disc)

    Its all well and good to get frothy at the prospect of these ridiculous DRM limited media, but wild exaggerations arent going to win people over. Might want to pull it back just a bit. Thanks.

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