Digital Copying

There are two types of digital copy. The first is a copy already made in advance and included on the disc. The second is created dynamically from the DVD content itself. In both scenarios the publisher decides which content, formats, digital rights management (DRM) systems and technical parameters are used for the digital copy file. Digital copy solutions based on existing files are less flexible than dynamic transcoding solutions.

Digital copy files based on existing files include only one audio track and no subtitles, although the DVD itself may have multiple audio tracks and multiple subtitles. Also, the quality is limited by the bitrate used to encode the file which is typically relatively low and not adjusted to the device to be transferred to.

Digital copy files based on transcoding solutions can use the correct audio track and subtitle based on the user’s location or choice and individually create the digital copy based on the target device properties (video and audio bitrate, display resolution, aspect ratio) of the target device.

Most often, digital copy solutions offer Windows Media or Apple iTunes files with their respective DRM services, Windows Media DRM and FairPlay. Newer solutions also provide support for Sony PlayStation Portable and phones using 3GP video files and Open Mobile Alliance DRM. It is important to note that some publishers, Warner Brothers to name one, limit their digital copies to Microsoft operating systems and devices. Apple computers and devices are not supported by their digital solution.

To limit the number of free digital copies, the disc typically comes with a single-use code to authenticate a computer over the internet. Alternatively, content owners can offer the digital copy feature as a paid service. Often the authentication code has an expiration date rendering the copy invalid if unused before this time, making the whole feature useless