NEWS: Next-Generation DVD Copying Deal Reached

The race to replace the DVD format with a newer high-capacity format has just started, but one sticking point has already been worked out that addresses backup copies and transferring content to portable devices. An industry alliance of technology and content heavyweights that includes IBM, Intel, Matsushita (parent company of Panasonic), Microsoft, Warner Brothers, and Walt Disney have reached an agreement that will let consumers legally create backup copies of next-generation video discs and also transfer the content from these discs to portable devices. The move is a big reversal from the current position taken by most content providers today. Most companies have fought vigorously to prevent customers from making digital copies of DVD videos. It's nice to see the companies finally letting us exercise our fair use rights. But don't take this agreement to mean that you'll be able to illegally share next-generation video discs online because we're pretty sure the companies will take every step they can, technologically and legally, to prevent that type of sharing

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