A technology that allows films to be downloaded and burned to blank DVDs using the same content-protection system as commercial discs received official approval on Thursday.
CSS Managed Recording was approved at a meeting of the DVD Forum in Tokyo, according to a source close to the forum.
The technology will require discs that are slightly different from the conventional DVD-Rs found in shops today. The burned discs will be compatible with the vast majority of consumer DVD players, according to the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), which proposed the technology. The DVD CCA is responsible for licensing the CSS (Content Scrambling System) copy-protection system used on most commercial DVDs.
Despite Thursday's approval, services that allow consumers to legally download and burn movies in their own homes are unlikely to appear quickly. The DVD CCA said it will be initially restricted to professional uses. These might include kiosks in retail stores where consumers can purchase and burn discs in a controlled environment.
Such a system might offer commercial movies but could just as easily offer content that is unavailable on DVD today because the market for it is too small. With custom burning it could be profitable to offer such content.
If such professional applications are successful then further services that allow consumers to download and burn in their home "are likely to follow," the DVD CCA said.
The DVD Forum could not be reached for comment.