Court Ruling Could Crimp Security Features In Next-Gen DVDs

A judge has ruled that Kaleidescape Incorporated did not breech its contract with the DVD Copy Control Association over its use of the consortium's Content Scramble System and due to poor wording in the documents a key portion of the CSS spec was not part of the license. As a result, new managed copy features for current and next-generation DVDs, already a year overdue, may be delayed even further. The rollout of final security specs for high definition DVDs include a new capability for letting consumers make copies of movies on a controlled basis. Discussions for adding similar features to existing DVDs may also get shoved to the back burner.

The final spec for the Advanced Access Content System is due out for final member review in 60 days and expected to appear in products before the end of the year, a schedule that could slip with the Kaleidescape ruling. "There will absolutely be increased scrutiny of the AACS documents after this court decision, but I really hope and trust that doesn't delay our release," said Michael Ayers, who manages the group that licenses AACS. Unlike the DVD CCA, the AACS group will provide tests and test centers for licensees to test their HD media systems. However, they will be limited in scope and will not be available until sometime after the final AACS spec is released. "There are several elements of compliance. The tests look at a basic part of compliance, but they are not a guarantee of compliance," said Ayers.

News source: InformationWeek

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What if they developed a format by asking the hardware companies what they wanted to make, and the customers what they'd prefer to buy, and didn't involve Hollywood at all?

I don't think anyone but Hollywood wants the DRM. It makes the players more complex to make and more expensive. It probably represents a barrier to entry for some manufacturers who they may not want to licence the DRM to, or who cannot afford licencing or certification. It provides an anti-feature for customers.

I say to the hardware companies: Build such drives. Sell them cheaply. Put them everywhere-- with USB and eSATA as the replacement for external DVD burners. As an 'Entire season on one disc'" DVD-recorder set top box. As portable recorders you could hook to DV cameras as the video version of those mini portable photo printers. As the latest "hyper mega audio CD with sound you can almost tell is better".

Don't target the videophile today. Hit the markets-- like PC storage-- where Blu-ray and HD-DVD have failed. And use that as leverage for developing an installed base. Then in three years, when Blu-ray and HD-DVD are still throwing rocks and sticks at each other, go to Hollywood and explain how easy it will be to convert three million PCs and other devices with "50Gb indigo-laser storage platter-happy-thingie" drives into customers... except that the drives can't do DRM :wink: