The members of the Blu-ray Disc Association, a consortium for development of the upcoming Blu-ray media format, have announced the medium's planned features for protection of content. This announcement is particularly relevant for Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 3 console, which will use Blu-ray discs.
The newly announced measures are intended to guard against piracy of material stored on Blu-ray discs while still leaving the format open to personal production, according to the Disc Association, which consists of a group of leading consumer electronics and PC companies, including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson.
The content management system consists of the Advanced Access Content System; the "BD+" content renewability system; and the ROM Mark, which gives each copy of a given piece of software a unique ID tag. Together, the three measures will allow users to create their own copies of software on PC and home electronics versions of the technology, while preventing mass piracy of game titles authored using the same tech.
As for data storage on this new format, single-layer version of the Blu-ray format will hold up to 25 gigabytes of data; in comparison, a single-sided, single-layer version of the DVD spec holds 4.37 GB of data. Representatives for the Blu-ray format, including leading progenitor Sony, have recently been in talks with the rival HD-DVD format's creators at Toshiba, although it appears that the formats will co-exist and battle for market share for the foreseeable future.
"Content protection is a critical issue for next-generation media distribution," IDC Associate Research Analyst Joshua Martin. "Finalizing the content protection scheme is critical for the launch of blue laser optical disc technology, and new protection schemes should allow for increased consumer flexibility while better protecting prerecorded content compared to current DVD technology."