Los Angeles – The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA) Group posted on Feb. 18 v0.91 of the AACS specifications and made an interim licensing agreement available for production of HD DVD and Blu-Ray Disc products.
Although the specifications have not been finalized, the interim licensing agreement will enable HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc adopters to implement AACS authorization keys in hardware.
The AACS enables digital rights management of high-definition content that will be stored on next generation optical discs. Failure to finalize specs for the system in part resulted in two HD DVD launch delays last year.
“The AACS specification accelerates the ability of consumers to enjoy exciting, new, flexible entertainment experiences and storage options, while continuing to provide the traditional, straightforward playback mode, for the next generation of prerecorded and recordable optical media such as Blu-Ray and HD DVD,” the AACS LA Group said in a statement announcing the move. “Additionally, AACS is designed to create unprecedented flexibility, portability and security for entertainment content to be enjoyed on networked home, portable PC or CE devices.”
AACS LA Group founders include IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic (Matsushita Electric), Sony, Toshiba, Disney, and Warner Bros.
The interim licensing plan came two days before Toshiba kicked off a 40-city pre-launch promotional tour for its HD DVD players.
Toshiba said that it plans to market two HD DVD players next month in the U.S.
The adoption of the AACS was required to launch players using HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc drives. Both formats use AACS as the main copy protection system.
The AACS LA said the final license agreement is expected to be announced in the coming months.
“In the meantime, companies in the consumer electronics, IT and entertainment industries are now able to develop devices and solutions based on the published specs and compliance rules,” the Group said in a statement.