It took over three years, but mandatory Managed Copy
is set to become a reality next year as each studio is required to sign the recently finalized AACS license
by December 4th 2009, and any studio that signs early receives up to a 25 percent discount on licensing fees. What isn't mandatory, though, is hardware support, and although the current generation of players definitely won't work, most expect the majority of new BD devices to. The cost (you didn't think it'd be free, did you?) and the number of copies is up to the studio, but at least one copy will be allowed. That copy can be made via a menu on the disc and can take the form of another Blu-ray Disc or a DRM-laced Microsoft file. Up until now, Apple hasn't joined the party so no joy for iPod users -- although this could still happen. Either way, a connection to either the AACS' or studio's authorization server will be required to make it work. As cool as this all sounds, we're still skeptical; and although we'll be the first to try it, somehow we don't think it'll live up to our expectations.