BBC changes Digital Rights Management on HD broadcasts
Thorny issue, Digital Rights Management (DRM). In the high-definition world in which we now live, copyright owners are (not surprisingly) a little touchy on the subject of us lot making pristine copies of HD video and TV programmes.
At the recent launch of Panasonic's forthcoming Blu-ray recorders, Panasonic simply said it was up to individual broadcasters as to how they decided to tag their programmes with DRM restrictions. Or not.
Given that the new Blu-ray recorders will be on sale from June, the BBC has decided to change the DRM restrictions on its high-definition TV broadcasts.
Viewers will now be able to make one personal copy of HD content to a Blu-ray disc. So anyone who buys a Panasonic DMR-BS850 or DMR-BS750 will be able to record BBC HD programmes to the unit's hard drive and then burn a single copy to Blu-ray.
But it will not be possible to make any further copies. And nor will it be possible to rip the burnt Blu-ray copy to a PC.
Danielle Nagler, head of BBC HD, BBC Vision, explains the new system in a blog post: "It will now be possible to make a single Blu-ray copy of one of our HD programmes, although not copies of copies.
An HD connection to a protected home network will also be possible, although an HD connection to the internet or portable devices will not work," she says.
However, it may be possible to transfer HD content to portable devices in the future, provided the manufacturers support the relevant copy protection protocol.