By Joe Levi | February 15, 2011 2:57 PM
In the United States, we live under a somewhat draconian law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This law essentially makes it a crime to not only copy an encrypted work, it’s also illegal to attempt to break the encryption. That didn’t stop the pirates, nor some people like you and I who felt that we should be able to duplicate our purchases for various reasons. These reasons included, but weren’t limited to:
– an archival copy: storing the original and watching the copy until it breaks or gets lost
– a time or location shifted copy: watching a movie in a different location than where you physically have the disc
– format shifting: being able to watch a movie on another device, perhaps one without an optical drive
To combat these “unlicensed” uses eventually the movie industry started to provide a “Digital Copy” that you could watch on, say, your phone. Unfortunately, this copy doesn’t work on every device, negating its usefulness.
What devices weren’t compatible? Amongst others, you guessed it: Androids. Luckily for us, that’s about to change. Unstoppable will be the first movie to include a Digital Copy that’s compatible with Android-powered devices.
It’s not going to be as easy as dragging-and-dropping the movie onto your sdcard. First, you’ll need Android 1.6 or higher with the Pocket BLU app installed. Then you’ll need to put the disc on your Wi-Fi connected Blu-ray player and follow the Digital Copy instructions to transfer the movie to your Android. It seems like a hassle to me.
Luckily, years after it was put in place, the Librarian of Congress added an exception to the DMCA that allows making a copy of encrypted media for personal, non-commercial use. In other words, you can now take those discs that you have, convert them into a format playable on your Android (even Xvid with the right player), and watch all the movies in your collection on your phone — no special “Android-compatible Digital Copy” needed.