Finally, Technology for Legally Burning Copy-Protected Content

It's ironic: The copy protection created to stop the illegal copying of DVDs is the same technology that has prevented users from legally downloading paid-for content and then burning it to a DVD for playback in their living rooms. At the time the copy-protection rules were created, they had no provision for user recording of protected content to a recordable DVD, as opposed to a factory-replicated DVD-ROM.

All of that changed about a month ago. The DVD Copy Control Association passed an amendment to the Content Scramble System (CSS)--the copy protection used on commercial DVDs--specifying a standard for recording electronic downloads to recordable DVD media. The standard, dubbed Qflix, is still in its infancy, but already a movement is afoot to bring this technology to drugstores, and perhaps even to a PC desktop near you.

The P's and Q's of Qflix

How It Works

To burn your own movies at home, you'll need the right equipment: a new, Qflix-capable DVD burner and Qflix media. Four major drive manufacturers--Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions, Pioneer, Plextor, and Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology--have announced support for Qflix, as have two heavyweight media manufacturers, Ritek and Verbatim. (Dell has said, too, that it plans to offer drives with Qflix once they're available.)

Sonic provides PC software to manage Qflix content libraries. Called Roxio Venue, the software will be bundled with Qflix drives, and will also be distributed by services that use Qflix, such as the Akimbo and Movielink download services.

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