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Friday, March 31, 2006
Six Months "Grace Period" for BD-ROM Content


The Blu-ray Disc License Entity, a group led by Sony, released the licensing requirements for the Content Protection Systems for the BD-ROM media, hardware and related software.

The Content Protection Systems or CPS for the Blu-Ray format includes the "Advanced Access Content System" (AACS), BD+ and BD-ROM Mark.

In general, the AACS includes the content protection requirements for managing content stored on the Blu-Ray (and HD DVD) of prerecorded and recorded optical media for consumer use with PCs and CE devices.

Blu-ray Disc differs from HD DVD disc in that it also includes BD+ and BD-ROM Mark. BD+ relates to the ability to keep content from playing on a known hacked player while the RomMark is a manufacturing mark placed on the disc to help reduce mass piracy of discs.

Today, the Blu-ray Disc License Entity announced which hardware devices and software applications related to the read-only Blu-Ray format (BD-ROM) should implement any of the AACS, BD+, BD-ROM Mark content protection elements.

Licensees of the Content Protection Obligation of FLLA for BD-ROM Version 1 technology shall implement CPS in its BD-ROM Products, in accordance with the following CPO Table and CPS license. The ?Not Required? in the CPO Table means that it is the Licensee?s choice, as to whether it will implement such CPS or not.

Licensees are allowed to manufacture any BD-ROM Component which supports multiple CPS as long as it is in compliance with the CPO Table. For example, the Licensee may manufacture the BD-ROM Component which supports both AACS and BD-ROM Mark.

Licensed Category

Implementation of :
AACS BD-ROM Mark
BD+
BD-ROM (Hybrid) Movie Media   Required Required for 25/50 G Media
Not Required
BD-ROM (Hybrid) Non-Commercial Audiovisual Media
  Required Required for 25/50 G Media
Not Applicable
BD-ROM (Hybrid)Data Media
  Not Applicable
Required for 25/50 G Media Not Applicable
BD-ROM (Hybrid) Game Media
  Not Applicable
Not Required
Not Applicable
BD-ROM Game Console
  Required Required Required
BD-ROM Movie Player
  Required Required Required
BD-ROM Test Player
  Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
BD-ROM PC Drive
if designed to actuate the function of playback of the contents encoded in accordance with AACS license
Required Required Not Applicable
if NOT designed to actuate the function of playback of the contents encoded in accordance with AACS license
Not Required Required Not Applicable
BD-ROM PC Application Software
Required Not Applicable Required
BD-ROM Component
Non-CPS Component
Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
CPS Component using AACS
Required Not Required Not Required
CPS Component using BD-ROM Mark
Not Required Required Not Required
CPS Component using BD+
Not Required Not Required Required
BD-ROM Tester
Not Required Not Required Not Applicable
BD-ROM Tools and Manufacturing Equipment
For mastering 25/50 G Media
Not Required Required Not Applicable
For authoring and other purpose than for mastering 25/50 G Media
Not Required Not Applicable Not Required
For mastering 4.7/8.5 G Media
Not Required Not Applicable Not Applicable
For authoring and other purpose than for mastering 4.7/8.5 G Media
Not Required Not Applicable Not Required


According to the Blu-ray Disc License Entity, licensees shall ensure that each BD-ROM Movie Player, BD-ROM PC Drive and BD-ROM Game Console are not allowed to playback any BD-ROM Media (excluding BD-ROM Media whose data capacity is 4.7 or 8.5 Gbytes) unless such BD-ROM Media (excluding BD-ROM Media whose data capacity is 4.7 or 8.5 Gbytes) includes BD-ROM Mark.

Notice that the BD+ feature should be implemented only in BD-ROM Game Consoles such as the upcoming Playstation 3, the BD-ROM PC Application Software and the BD-ROM Movie Players.

What is also interesting is the fact that after a six month "grace" period starting from the availability of an interim AACS license for applicable BD-ROM Products,
  1. new BD-ROM Movie Players, and
  2. a combination of new BD-ROM PC Applications Software and new BD-ROM PC Drives
will be required to reject the playback of Media that
  1. incorporates Commercial Audiovisual Content or other audio and/or video content which has been encoded in accordance with the "System Description, Blu-ray Disc Read Only Format Specifications part 3" and
  2. do not implement applicable AACS
.

What isn't clear is whether players and drives released onto the market within the 6 month grace period which will not enforce any protection checking, will continue to play new releases after the 6 motnths or whether they will have to have their firmware upgraded, which could then enforce the protection restrictions.


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