A spokesman for the Blu-Ray Disc Association stated this week that the organization does not seek to bar adult studios from the Blu-Ray format.
"There is not a prohibition against adult content," BDA vice-chairman Marty Gordon told Gizmodo.com. "The BDA is an open organization that welcomes the participation of all companies interested in using and supporting the format, including those that represent the full spectrum of genres in the content industry."
Gordon's remarks follow in the wake of last week's Adult Entertainment Expo, where Digital Playground owner Joone stated that Blu-Ray replicators have been refusing to handle X-rated content. Digital Playground had initially embraced the Sony-backed Blu-Ray last year, but at AEE, Joone announced that the replication issue had forced his company to switch its allegiance to HD-DVD.
Joone told website Heise.de that replicators had "unanimously declared that Sony had threatened to withdraw their Blu-Ray licenses should they stoop to making HD copies of pornographic films". Sony's current policy dictates that facilities handling Disney content for Blu-Ray are prohibited from producing adult material.
In the early days of home video, adult manufacturers' decision to support VHS video played a key role in that technology's victory over Betamax. Many attendees at the expo speculated that Blu-Ray's failure to cooperate with the porn industry would prove to be the deciding factor in the so-called format war with HD-DVD.
On March 28, Vivid Entertainment will release Paul Thomas' highly-anticipated Debbie Does Dallas...Again in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD editions, becoming the first adult studio to offer a title in both formats.
Like Joone, Hirsch confirmed that his company has encountered resistance from Sony in bring porn to Blu-Ray.
"Sony is not giving any assistance in the authoring or replication of adult content on Blu-ray," Hirsch told DailyTech.com. "Sony is somehow trying to keep away such material from the format, which I think is a mistake. [...] Part of the problem [with Blu-ray] is that it's a new format. There are very few replicators right now."
Industry sources agreed that it is too early to predict a definitive outcome in the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD war. "Steven Hirsch has stated before that he wants the public to make the call as to which [format] is the one they want," said Vivid's national sales manager Howard Levine. "As a manufacturer, we're not going to jump on one or the other side of the fence."