So what is the AACS you ask? Well that of course is the Advanced Access Content System.
And yes, you do need to be a AACS licensed content provider in order to produce a commercial Blu-ray. And no it isn’t free. If you don’t want to pay the one-time fee of three thousand dollars in advance, they do offer a second option of $500/year. These costs are in addition to the per disc charge that is accessed for each copy produced. On the bright side they have made the process very quick and simple (as long as you don’t feel the need to study the 158 page contract in detail).
We received the magical email today, “…AACS Administration has received Tempest Technologies, LLC’s AACS Content Provider Agreement and payment of the relevant administrative fees, thank you. Please send (2) original sets of the signature pages to our office at the address below.” The copies have been signed and mailed so I guess we have the green light to move forward!
If you plan to produce your own Blu-ray disc and want to learn more about the AACS Licensing Administrator and the companies that founded it (IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Brothers) check out their website at http://www.aacsla.com.