AACS for independent producers

This article addresses the AACS process and fees for new Blu-ray Disc™ authors. No aspect of Blu-ray Disc™ production has caused more confusion and consternation than the mandatory AACS requirement. This article was assembled from real-world replication experience and several conversations with AACS LA and replication companies.

Final AACS Licensing Agreements include Fee Reductions, Managed Copy and Analog “Sunset” provision

The Final AACS Licensing agreements were finalized on June 5, 2009. Since launching the Blu-ray Disc™ format in 2006, companies had been operating under an interim AACS licensing agreement. The final agreements contain some significant price reductions, particularly for low-volume (under 2,000) replication runs.

Summary of Fee Reductions:

Fee CategoryWas:Is:Description
AACS Content Provider License$3,000 one-time$500/yearNew annual fee option
AACS Title Key Certificate$1,300$500$800 savings per master
AACS per-disc Royalty$0.04/disc$0.04/discNo change

What do these fee reductions mean in real terms? They have the most impact on publishers who are making their first Blu-ray Disc™, as well as anyone who is dealing in low-volume replication runs.

Example : A first-time publisher is replicating 1,000 copies of a Blu-ray Disc™. Under the temporary agreements, the publisher was required to pay $3,000 (one-time fee) prior to replication and then $1,300 in Title Key certificate fees plus $40 ($.04/disc AACS royalty). That was $4.34/disc on top of the actual replication costs. Under the final licensing agreements, the publisher pays $500 up front (keep in mind that this is an annual fee) plus $540 in Title Key Certs and royalties – this amounts to $1.04/disc. Replication costs can now be found at about $2.25/disc.

Managed Copy

Managed Copy is optional for all Blu-ray™ projects being replicated.

For more information, please contact DoStudio Support or reference the DSA user manual.

Enterprise Blu-ray Disc™ Authoring


Blu-print™ software is the optimal solution for Blu-ray Disc™ authoring, designed for high-volume production. Create titles in BDMV-compliant HDMV movie mode or BD-J mode.

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Do Studio

DoStudio products empower you to create high-quality, replication ready Blu-ray Disc™ titles with interactive pop-up menus, complex interactivity, and dual 1080p 3D streams.

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Choose from our encoder packages to bring high-quality Blu-ray Disc™ compliant encoding to your studio. Sony offers encoders for MPEG-2, H.264/AVC HD, and MVC 2D and 3D.

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