Burn, DVD Forum approved encryption standard, burn!

Rafat "paidContent" Ali notes a move by a boring old standards body that might have big implications for the adoption of movie download services.

A major hurdle in the legitimate download-to-burn services taking off has been removed: At its Nov. 29 meeting, the DVD Forum gave formal approval to a new type of recordable disc that will accept movies encrypted with CSS, the same copy-protection system used on retail discs, for playback on set-top DVD players, reports Video Business.

This could eventually mean that movies downloaded from the iTunes Store, Movielink, and others become much more useful. Generally speaking, you can only play the movies you download from these services on the computer you downloaded them to. Even when you can burn a copy onto a recordable DVD, that DVD isn't playable on the DVD player hooked up to your TV.

I say "could eventually mean," because, of course, the media companies selling their movies through these services might not be so interested in permitting their customers the right to burn regular DVDs. I would expect them to ask for restrictions on the number of times a downloaded movie can be burned at the very least (the same way that you can only burn an audio CD from an iTunes playlist a handful of times, although that can be circumvented by modifying the playlist).

The funny thing is that would never have been a problem had the studios and consumer electronics manufacturers behind the DVD standard not designed CSS from the start specifically to not work with recordable discs. The goal, of course, was to combat piracy. Instead, this design flaw has resulted in a situation where legitimate movie download services are less useful to paying customers than are the free sources trading in unlicensed content.


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