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Legal copying of HD-DVDs on the way?

As it currently stands, copying your HD-DVDs to make backups is a grey legal area. It's legal for you to make the backup, but the HD-DVD disc you're copying is encrypted as a 'security' measure and, thanks to the DMCA it's illegal for you to unencrypt it in anything but an "approved device" and -- surprise of surprises -- no "approved devices" have the ability to write out that backup copy.

That could change. According to Macworld the content companies may be ready to bend just a little, adding a "managed copy" provision to the licensing of AACS -- the HD DVD content protection system -- which would allow for homemade copies, albeit at a higher cost.

"The idea is that the content companies could charge a premium according to how many copies are allowed, Ayers said. It remains a possibility that consumers, if given the chance to make three copies of "Spider-man 2" could give those copies to their neighbors, which technically would qualify as low-volume piracy."

Given the fragility of DRM in general, and growing consumer awareness and dissatisfaction with the limits DRM attempts to impose, this move could be seen in one of two ways. Either the content producers are starting to realize that home consumers are not the source of piracy problems, and probably shouldn't be alienated given that they are the source of revenue driving the industry -- or -- This is simply a stop-gap measure being implemented by an industry who sees the walls are crumbling, but is powerless to truly understand why. Our cynicism tends to push us towards the latter answer but, maybe that's just our skeptical nature?

Tags: dmca, dvd copying, DvdCopying, HD DVD, HdDvd, news