DRM technologies are often criticized for being too restrictive upon user's fair use right to move content across devices. And while movie studios are not even close to dropping DRM altogether, a step towards less restrictive DRM could be achieved thanks to an agreement currently in its final stages that would allow consumers to make several legal copies of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies they've purchased.
The licensing agreement is under negotiation between the AACS Licensing Adminstrator, which Ayers represents, and companies using AACS technology, including film makers. AACS LA members include Sony Corp., IBM Corp., The Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and Microsoft Corp.
AACS LA is pushing the studios to support managed copy and offer consumers the option of making at least one copy, Ayers said.
The concept called "Managed Copy", would allow content providers to charge a premium according to how many copies are allowed. For instance, a user might have the option of making one backup copy suitable for mobile usage and another one for their home media server, while being charged a nominal fee for each copy. Although there is obviously the chance for Managed Copy to be abused, AACS LA believes that movie studios will see higher sales with this option.