Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) "is developing the Advanced Access Content System, a specification for managing content stored on the next generation of prerecorded and recorded optical media for consumer use with PCs and CE devices. Advanced Access Content System will complement new innovations in the next-generation of optical discs, and enable consumers to enjoy next-generation content, including high-definition content."

The DVD War Against Consumers "But all software-based copy-protection schemes can be broken. The only way a DRM can really work is to control all of the hardware the video data flow through, including the monitor. The problem is that at some point an unencrypted video signal is sent to a display device. It can be split off before it gets there or videotaped once it's on the screen.

The AACS standard supported by both the Sony and Microsoft camps addresses this problem. The standard calls for scaling down HD content to a low resolution if the player isn't hooked up to an HDCP-compliant connection. HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a DRM system invented by Intel (INTC) that attempts to control video and audio as it flows out of a player and onto a display. In other words, if the player is connected to a monitor without the right cables, the quality of the image will be deliberately degraded.

Blu-ray, however, goes beyond the AACS, incorporating two other protection mechanisms: The ROM Mark is a cryptographic element overlaid on a "legitimate" disk. If the player doesn't detect the mark, then it won't play the disc. This will supposedly deal with video-camera-in-the-theatre copies."