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CSS cleared for use in legal DVD copying

For the first time, commercial vendors and individual consumers will be able to legally create CSS copy-protected DVDs for playback on existing DVD players.

The Board of Directors of the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA) gave final approval last week for the "CSS Managed Recording" technology, which was also approved by the DVD Forum last year.

With this new application of the Content Scramble System (CSS), the copy protection used on most commercially produced DVDs, vendors could, for example, create protected DVDs in custom runs at new on-demand factories or on store-based kiosks.

Individual consumers will also be able to legally record a variety of content at home, including select movies, as offered by the content owners. In addition, consumers could obtain historical or special content that is now unavailable on DVD because existing demand does not economically allow the mass reproduction today?s market requires.

The technology will allow consumers to create a DVD of a film they have bought from an online service, which is then playable in any standard DVD player. However, the actual hardware and discs required to create these DVDs are proprietary.

The process requires the use of special blank DVD discs with CSS encryption. The copies will be compatible with DVD players in homes and businesses today.

"This important change is in direct response to industry and consumer demand for new legal alternatives for the creation and digital distribution of secure DVD content," said Chris Cookson, Chairman of the DVD CCA Board. "Now that the process needed to enable this exciting capability is complete, we anticipate that new products and services will quickly appear in the marketplace."

The DVD Copy Control Association is a not-for-profit corporation with responsibility for licensing CSS to manufacturers of DVD hardware, discs and related products. Licensees include the owners and manufacturers of the content of DVD discs; creators of encryption engines, hardware and software decrypters; and manufacturers of DVD Players and DVD-ROM drives. DVD CCA is overseen by a twelve-member board of directors drawn from the three industries whose products use CSS: consumer electronics, information technology/computer and motion picture/content provider.

The Content Scramble System is the protection system that has enabled the content owners to provide consumers access to high quality DVD movies, television programs and other entertainment for home viewing on their video systems and computers. CSS is made available to allow product manufacturers to offer exciting products for consumers to use to enjoy entertainment on DVD while also protecting the content from unauthorized duplication, protecting from infringement the intellectual property contributed by the many writers, directors, actors and producers who create such works.

Story filed 23.11.07

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