The DVD Forum's DVD-Audio working group has targeted January for drafting a version-1.0 standard for DVD-Audio recorders, with a final version scheduled for approval in March, forum member Pioneer said.
Word on when DVD-Audio recorders might be available was uncertain at press time, nor was it certain whether the technology would appear as a feature in DVD-Video recorders.
Although the spec hasn't been finalized, some of the recording limitations of licensed DVD-Audio recorders were approved in early 1999. That's when the Forum's Copyright Protection Technical Working Group gave its nod to a copy-protection agreement reached by the five major music companies and forum members IBM, Intel, Matsushita, and Toshiba.
That agreement, which applied to consumer electronics and PC products, outlined multiple copy-control protections, including mandatory encrypted IEEE 1394 outputs on the recorders. Encryption and watermarks are optional on prerecorded discs. The watermarks would carry copy-control instructions.
Licensed DVD-A Recorders: On future licensed DVD-Audio recorders, for example, consumers would be guaranteed the right to make only a two-channel digital copy up to DAT quality on a blank DVD-Audio disc. That would be through a DVD-Audio player's encrypted IEEE-1394 digital output.
The ability to make a same-as-source two- or multichannel copy on a blank DVD-Audio disc will be controlled by the copying instructions included in a disc's watermark.
For each music company, those instructions could differ from disc to disc and from track to track. Instructions could prohibit any same-as-source copy, limit same-as-source copies to only one, or allow unlimited same-as-source sequential copies. Serial digital copying through the recorder's 1394 input would always be disallowed — unless the content provider decides not to incorporate any copyright protection.
To enforce these rules, DVD-Audio recorders will remember how many times you've made a first-generation digital copy of a particular disc and particular tracks from that disc.