Japan’s in line with 9

Viewers can make limited amount of DVD copies

Viewers in Japan would be allowed to make nine DVD copies of digital broadcasts, rather than the current one, under a new proposal.

That’s the recommendation in a report the Information and Telecommunications Council plans to release at a meeting on Thursday.

If the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications accepts it, as seems likely, broadcasters and DVD hardware makers will have to change copyguard systems, while pic producers and other rights holders will have to accept wider reproduction of their properties.

Satellite and terrestrial digital broadcasts come with encoded signals that limit home DVD recordings to one copy. Since the recorded data is erased immediately after a copy is made, viewers who make mistakes in copying are not given a second chance, leading to complaints that broadcasting digitization has made it harder to record favorite shows.

With the new nine-copy limit, users will be able to correct recording errors and record the same contents on various devices, including mobile phones and portable music players. After the ninth copy, the data will disappear from the hard disk of the recorder.

The ministry had been leaning toward unlimited copies, but objections from copyright holders resulted in the nine-copy compromise. The new rule is expected to go into effect some time next year.

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