A group of eight companies, including Warner Bros Studios and Walt Disney, has announced plans to make available a content-management technology, called Advanced Access Content System (AACS), that would allow consumers to copy prerecorded digital content, such as videos, and share it with networked and portable devices.

The AACS technology is being developed by the AACS LA to manage content stored on future generations of prerecorded and recordable optical media, the group said in a statement. The technology will let users make authorized copies and share content, including high-definition video, with home-networked devices, including PCs, and portable devices, it said.

The first products based on AACS will be available later this year, the statement said.

The statement did not reveal details of the technology or limitations that would be placed on copied content. However, it said that the ownership rights of the content would be protected by the new technology.

The AACS technology will be made available as a licensable specification later this year, the group said, adding that it is
seeking industry feedback on the technology. Additional information on AACS will be made available on the group's Web site during the next few days, it said

In addition to Warner Bros and Walt Disney, the AACS LA also includes Sony, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Toshiba, and Matsushita Electric Industrial, the statement said.