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MIT Technology Review

The High Def Jam

So much for a high def Napster. In a preemptive display of teamwork, Disney, IBM, Intel, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and AOL Time Warner revealed yesterday that they will be working together to develop the Advanced Access Content System: a copy-protection…

So much for a high def Napster. In a preemptive display of teamwork, Disney, IBM, Intel, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and AOL Time Warner revealed yesterday that they will be working together to develop the Advanced Access Content System: a copy-protection solution for high-definition video. The AACS will control how consumers might swap high def video between a network of home electronics such as TVs, PCs, and PDAs.

Copy-protecting digital video is a contentious work-in-progress. Starting next July, the FCC will institute the so-called “broadcast flag” mandate, which will severely curb the ways in which consumers can record and transfer digital broadcasts. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is waging an anti-flag campaign. The EFF’s “Digital Television Liberation Front” urges consumers to build their own personal video recording systems before the Feds crash the party.