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Camcorder Jamming Devices Announced

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the jerry-won't-be-happy dept.

News 583

Adam Carrington writes "I'm definitely not behind things like DRM, but Virginia-based Cinea has an idea that I do support... jamming camcorders in movie theaters. CNET has some interesting details on how they plan on going about it. They even throw an unrelated jab at Microsoft." This might be the technology that drives the stake in analog projection.

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fp (-1, Flamebait)

nigord (573821) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432439)

But haw am I going to get LOTR 3????

Re:fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432465)

If you look really hard, you might find it here [hick.org] .

IT's getting dicey here now (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432440)

Another one this morning. Who is going to kill the byotch already!

snipers (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432443)

they should jam Virginia based snipers, too.

What about lasers blinding cameras? (0)

qurob (543434) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432452)


Slashdot Article [slashdot.org]

Re:What about lasers blinding cameras? (4, Interesting)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432471)

And how would you use these without also blinding your audience?

Re:What about lasers blinding cameras? (2, Funny)

docbrown42 (535974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432494)

Simple. Have a theater employee sit in a booth above the screen, facing the audience. When the lights go out, he puts on night-scope googles and uses a laser pointer to blind any camera he finds.

Re:What about lasers blinding cameras? (5, Insightful)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432566)

Yeah a laser pointer should do it as shown in this article [naimark.net] .

But with any scheme that attempts to use light, you have to consider the safety of the audience topmost, including audience members that may suffer from photosensitive epilepsy [epilepsy.org.uk] .

Great for Kazaa!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432453)

Ending this form of piracy will result in the Hong Kong pirates coming up with better ways to steal movies. Hopefully the next time I download a movie off Kazaa it will be better quality than the last one I downloaded which was made from a camcorder. While I could wait for the DVD rip I prefer watching recent movies without paying

Re:Great for Kazaa!! (0)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432466)

Ending this form of piracy will result in the Hong Kong pirates coming up with better ways to steal movies

So, why exactly aren't they using the 'better ways' already?

Tor

Re:Great for Kazaa!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432481)

Because a camcorder in a theater is cheaper and easier to do. They're westernized capitalists; they don't care about quality.

Re:Great for Kazaa!! (4, Insightful)

dildatron (611498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432496)

Because neccesity is the mother of invention.

Re:Great for Kazaa!! (1)

S.Lemmon (147743) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432594)

Yes because we all know how much movie pirates care about quality! They aren't likely to put any more effort into it then they have to, and camcorders are easy, if crappy, way to rip a movie. If forced to do something more elaborate, it might actually be better quality too!

Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432455)

Cinea are the ones who brought us DIVX (the circuit city DVD thing, not the codec with the winking smiley).

They are E-V-I-L

Re:Don't forget... (5, Insightful)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432491)

Not evil. Misguided. Remember that you should never attribute to malice what is perfectly explainable by stupidity.

Re:Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432605)

"Evil is aggressive ignorance"

Most evil people have no idea they are evil. They think they are doing good.

Justice, At Last (5, Insightful)

ksw2 (520093) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432456)

..because we all know how those high-quality camcorder-bootlegs are robbing millions from the movie producers.

Re:Justice, At Last (5, Informative)

dildatron (611498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432479)

I know. Everybody and their dog has broadband and is downloading gigs and gigs of movies off IRC servs with DCC!

Hesus, most people don't even know what IRC is! Is there anywhere else to go for movies?

Re:Justice, At Last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432531)

> Hesus, most people don't even know what IRC is! Is there anywhere else to go for movies?

It's called USENET.

Or Kazaa.

Or Morpheus.

Hell, even Hotline still has stuff.

Re:Justice, At Last (2)

Huge Pi Removal (188591) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432593)

Hesus, most people don't even know what IRC is! Is there anywhere else to go for movies?


Hotline (if you can stand the fools), Carracho (if you've got a Mac), Kazaa(et al) if you've got a PC, ummm, Cinemas (if you've got the cash). Guess that's about it :)

Oh, give it a rest. (3, Insightful)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432633)

It's illegal. This company figured a way to stop it.

So, you can't download the latest Lord Of the Rings DiVX? Cry me a river.

- A.P.

Jamming camcorders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432461)

Any pirated content from a camcorder picture from a movie theatre is going to be really bad. Nobody much is going to watch it, and if they do , they're probably enough of a fan to go see the movie when it is on at the theatres where they live anyway.

Bravo. Telesyncs blow. (5, Funny)

Faggot (614416) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432462)

This will deal a well-deserved shot to the disgusting practice called "telesync". Let us pray that from hereon in, all our pirated movies will be DVD rips.

Telesyncs are *SO* 1985.

Different Jammer Needed..... (5, Funny)

echucker (570962) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432472)

... one that turns off the timestamp and REC on the LCD. They always get in the way! ;-)

Frees bandwidth... (5, Funny)

orionpi (318587) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432474)

Just think of how much bandwidth will be saved by people not bootleging StarWarez Episode III, at least not till the screeners come out.

Re:Frees bandwidth... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432538)

I thought a screener was a movie recorded with a camcorder in the theater??

jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones! (5, Insightful)

mysticbob (21980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432480)

camcorders to rip off content, ok, nice, who cares.

but to jam mobile fones, that would be a good thing,
and actually increase the value of the experience
for consumers, not just for the movie houses.

for that matter, how about jamming screaming babies,
and that person in front of me with the big head,
and the person behind me who keeps kicking my seat.

rant off.

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (0)

werty (245510) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432526)

Why not just stick a turnip in each ear?

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (2)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432528)

While jamming the screaming babies, etc. may be a bit difficult, I don't see why phone-jamming should be too much of a problem.

We already know that tunnels cause dead areas in cell networks. All we have to do is create this artificially in the theatre. Is it possible to create an electromagnetic jamming field that would surround a single theatre in a multiplex? That way if you absolutely must use a cell phone, you can go out into the hall or the lobby to make your call.

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (2, Insightful)

suicidal (111181) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432622)

I would venture to guess that the liability factor would be too great when someone's pacemaker stopped as they passed through the field. Or whatever artificial medical device, etc....

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432536)

or that matter, how about jamming screaming babies

You're kidding - people bring babies into the cinema where you are?

I'd have 'em thrown out as quickly as possible. And I have an eight-month old daughter...

Cheers,
Ian

Unfortunately (3, Interesting)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432546)

Jamming cell phones in a theater/restaurant/library/etc is illegal. Violates FCC regulations.

Re:Unfortunately (2)

aridhol (112307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432570)

Blah. With all the laws that the entertainment industry is trying to push through, you'd think they'd be able to propose this one that would be beneficial to the consumers as well as themselves?

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432601)

"Jamming" (as in broadcasting jamming signals) may be illegal, but preventing the radio signal from reaching/getting out from the phone is not.

I know of several theaters (not movie, but real theaters) and at least one restaurant in this area where the building is shielded and your phone won't work while inside. This is perfectly legal. I wish movie theaters would do the same.

Re:Unfortunately (2)

gclef (96311) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432624)

Jamming cell phones in a theater/restaurant/library/etc is illegal. Violates FCC regulations.

You know, I wonder about that....what if the theater just puts a good Farraday cage around the actual screening area? That's not actively jamming, but it does interfere with the signal that the cell phones get. Would that be illegal? I'd hope not (it's just a feature of the building, not an active attempt to jam the phones), but then, I don't know, which is why I'm asking....

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Hooptie (10094) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432638)

Jamming them may be illegal, but is designing your restaurant or movie theatre like a giant Faraday cage illegal? That would not be jamming the phone per se it would be blocking the RF signal from reaching the phone.

Hooptie

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432561)

I'd prefer a place where I can watch a movie without getting radiation poisoning / cancer / illnesses / (insert condition here).

I have an idea, lets jam so much radiation around us that we all become sterile. That'd be great!

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (4, Funny)

ksw2 (520093) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432571)

Yeah, I'm sure the vibration of my phone ringing is a real nuisance to you.

Now, a screaming baby jammer, that I can agree with.

Re:jam camcorders? blargh, start with mobile fones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432630)

No, but when you answer it and start talking there is a problem.

Or even when you get up to go outside and answer it.

If you can't be without your phone then DON'T GO TO MOVIES right then.

"Morons, your train is leaving."

Re:stupid commercials (1, Offtopic)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432599)



I live in southern california and our local edwards theater shows approximately 20 mins of commercials before the movie ?!?! this pisses me off since i'm still paying $8.50 for tickets, $3.00 for a coke, and $4.50 for a box of popcorn

Cam-Jam (-1)

an Anonymous Cowboy (539199) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432484)

I'd Like to Jam a Camcorder right up CMDRTacco's ripe dootie hole. Goddamn $ony, they don't let anybody have a choice, stupid monolopy! I want a Linxus based camcorder cause I'm a fucking gay ./er who needs a life...wahhhhh. The only camcorder I care about is the one I have up your woman's/sister's/wife's dress at the mall.

Lights & Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432486)

"Any copies made from these devices will show the disruptive pattern."

And epileptics will sieze.

From the article (3, Funny)

chazzf (188092) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432489)

The movie studios have been in search of a new DVD encryption scheme since the industry standard, known as CSS, was cracked by Linux programmers in 1999.

I'm getting out of the way right now before the flames hit. Trolls and Editors first! Run for your lives!

~Chazzf

MS First (1)

ACNeal (595975) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432519)

I thought the first working prototype of DeCSS was written for windwos?

Hiding the lookup tables in PNGs and the like aside, wasn't the first viewer written for Windows?

Subliminal Messages (5, Funny)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432493)

I want to see "They Live" relreased in digital format.

No, subliminal messages don't work, but you could still print messages on the screen (invisible to the naked eye) using this system, and then only people trying to pirate the movie with a camcorder would be treated to the messages like:

OBEY

NO ALIENS LIVE AMONG US

and so on. Then, they turn themselves in when they reveal the subliminal messages to the press! Pure genius. Alternatively, you could sell sunglasses that let you read the subliminal messages (they'd have digital camcorders built in with displays on the inside of the glasses,) AND let you see that hilarry rosen is really an alien.

Re:Subliminal Messages (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432522)

Maybe a Special Edition where Roddy Piper's fight lasts 30 more minutes.

Re:Subliminal Messages (2)

Christopher Thomas (11717) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432614)

No, subliminal messages don't work, but you could still print messages on the screen (invisible to the naked eye) using this system, and then only people trying to pirate the movie with a camcorder would be treated to the messages

This would actually be pretty easy to do. Just shine a bright near-IR light onto the screen, and any camcorder without an IR filter will be washed out. Ditto with soft UV, though fluoresence will be a problem.

Aleternatively you could project with "white" light made from colours that muck with the colour balance of camera detectors. What looks white to you would look ugly on camera (or to someone with partial colour blindness, though).

Alternatively, you could sell sunglasses that let you read the subliminal messages (they'd have digital camcorders built in with displays on the inside of the glasses,) AND let you see that hilarry rosen is really an alien.

If you're using the colour-balance approach, ordinary coloured filters should let you see the patterns your fake white light is making. IR and UV are a bit harder to catch cheaply (UV could be seen cheaply by focusing an image on a slide painted with fluorescent material, but near-IR is harder).

How to get your story posted on Slashdot. (4, Funny)

alexmogil (442209) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432495)

They even throw an unrelated jab at Microsoft.

Instantly, the story was rushed to the forefront of the other waiting stories. I can see this put to use:

WarCraft IV Announced; Microsoft Sucks!

Matrix 2.0 Details; Bill Gates hit in face with pie

NPR reports bin Laden dead; New Microsoft IIS bug found

Ah, Slashdot.

A different perspective, perhaps (5, Insightful)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432497)

While I understand that the media conglomerates are opposed to people stealing their content (which costs millions of dollars to create), most people who purchase $2.99 "ShakyCam" copies of new release films off the street probably wouldn't have the money to actually *go* to the movies and spend $8.50 on a ticket, $6.50 for popcorn, and $5.00 for a soda.

This is similar to how the 12-year old kid who obtains a pirated copy of Photoshop to fool around with isn't really causing a net loss for Adobe because he wouldn't be able to shell-out the $650.00 (or whatever it is these days) for Adobe Photoshop 7.0.

Re:A different perspective, perhaps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432581)

12 year old kids fool around with Photoshop?????

Re:A different perspective, perhaps (1)

Kyundrion (615194) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432588)

This is similar to how the 12-year old kid who obtains a pirated copy of Photoshop to fool around with isn't really causing a net loss for Adobe because he wouldn't be able to shell-out the $650.00 (or whatever it is these days) for Adobe Photoshop 7.0. I agree. Software companies always complain about people who steal their software, but those people that steal it would likely never be able to buy it. My friend pirated 3d Studio Max from Kazaa, and he would NEVER have the $3000 for that. So, the company's not taking any sort of loss, right?

Re:A different perspective, perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432604)

Are you saying the people who buy the $2.99 "ShakyCam" copies aren't going to have the $2 to go rent it from Blockbuster in a few months? Or go to the second run theater where it's probably $3 to see a movie?

It's disingenuous to compare this to warezing a few thousand worth of software and attributing it to the same causes.

good ! (1, Redundant)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432498)


I made the mistake of purchasing a boot legg tape once and it was o obvious that someone sat in a theater with a camcorder. Even the sound sounded like a microphone in a card board box. To be honest I wouldn't spend mondey on developing this product because the quality of these tapes are horrific. Plus with digital video being available on the net who needs to do that anymore. I saw the chinese version (subtitled) of starwars episode one while it was still in the theaters.

bad! (5, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432609)

I made the mistake of reading your post. It was such low quality. It bad phrasing and not much point. Even the spelling was poor. With digital dictionaries available on the 'net there's no need to do that any more. I saw the English version (substandard) while it was still dynamic.

Can *real* jamming be done? (3, Insightful)

lute3 (72400) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432499)

When I read the headline, I thought there could be real jamming performed. By that, I mean totally disrupting (or close to it) the camera's ability to capture images. This method seems like it would be very useful in situations like this [cnn.com] .

Since Americans generally are apalled by the thought of voyeurs and law enforcement alike capturing images without 'proper' permission, then a weapon like this seems like it would be incredibly useful.

I wouldn't be shocked... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432500)

if it's later discovered that this screen interference can be removed by drawing a line along the bottom edge of the screen with a .39 cent magic marker.

Somehow better mousetraps just don't seem to be the answer.

But but but?! (2, Funny)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432507)

But if people can't record movies, then how am I going to download my 100 movies a day off of KaZaA???

License... (2, Funny)

dex22 (239643) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432508)

This ticket is a license to watch one movie. You may occupy one seat. Due to recent problems with piracy, this cinema has installed a DRM enforcement facility. Your memory of the film will be erased when you leave the cinema, to prevent you violating our intellectual property rights by telling people what you saw. The wearing of hats or sunglasses constitute use of a circumvention device, the penalty set forth being life imprisonment.

Enjoy your film.

If people would just SHUT UP! (2, Offtopic)

Squareball (523165) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432513)

I would go to movies if people knew how to SHUT THEIR DAMN MOUTHS! I went to see Spiderman and I had a jack-ass next to me who wanted to impress his friends that were across the theatre, by talking all through the movie... putting in his comments and thoughts. I leaned over and said "Excuse me, could you shut the hell up?" and he said "OH sorry!" and kept talking. Went to see Star Wars Episode 2... Baby started crying.. for 2 minutes until people starting shouting at the parents! Went to see Lord of the Rings. Jerk sitting next to me kept talking. On and on... EVERY movie I go to is spoiled by jack assses talking. This is why I've stopped going to the movies. It's not about price. It's not about the "evil" movie companies. It's about enjoyment. I get more enjoyment by sitting in my room and watching a grainy pirated copy of "the others"... because no one is talking and interupting my movie!

Re:If people would just SHUT UP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432616)

Would you PLEASE shut the fuck up? You want SILENCE, rent the fucking tape. And please take a bath, I can smell you through my monitor.

Re:If people would just SHUT UP! (0, Flamebait)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432634)

When my dada used to go to the local cinema it had rats that would run along the bottom of the screen. They are not called 'flea pits' for nothing.

Consider yourself lucky. As a tip though, go during a working day, they are generally less crowded.

Hacking it (2)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432514)

They claim that they're going to introduced controlled disturbances that the human eye can't see, but a digital device would, like the sync lines you see when recording a TV screen.

So wouldn't it be possible to record at double the frame rate and eliminate the bad frames? Or if it's just a preprogrammed watermarking technique, strip it out?

Re:Hacking it (5, Insightful)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432603)

Frame misalignment, their protection scheme if I understand correctly, is easily defeated. Simply adjust the "shutter" speed of the recording device to a longer duration. This will eliminate blank captures they intend to project.

I'd imagine their copy protection scheme will be *hell* on people with epilepsy. I have done work in offices that had lighting offensive to sensitive people and can just imagine what these theaters will do for an entire audience. The people investing their money in this have no idea what they are in for...

Two problems with this (2, Interesting)

Charlton Heston (588481) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432515)

One problem is that there are a lot of different CCD chips out there. Certainly there are some that have a lot of "lag" that would not be affected as much by this.

The other problem is that these artifacts could be cleaned up with digital processing. With giant hard drives and fast processors, all that is needed is an app to do it.

Revenue stream hijacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432516)

Boo hoo! So the MPAA high-rollers will have a few million less in their coffers. Is this a problem? Not at all. Poor Jack...

I think it's rather funny that people do this to begin with. I feel not one pang of guilt that the MPAA is losing money.

redundant technology? (1)

beaverfever (584714) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432517)

The company "will modify the timing and modulation of the light used to create the displayed image such that frame-based capture by recording devices is distorted," according to an abstract for the winning NIST grant application. "Any copies made from these devices will show the disruptive pattern."

Camcorder-copied movies look and sound like shit and are pretty much unwatchable anyways.

That's my opinion of them at least.

It took about... (3, Interesting)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432527)

3 days after the US release until Epsiode 1 VCDs where widespread in South East Asia. The producers must have taken the very first flight out after the first showing, and then started large-scale dupliation immediately.

Some friends of mine - Star Wars fans - were backpacking at that very time. They wanted to wait until they could see the movie in a proper theater but found this almost impossible as every other bar/ restaurant/ hotel was showing the movie...

Tor

Jamming camcorders (1)

Shadow2097 (561710) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432530)

Wouldn't it be far simpler to put a half dozen IR-emitting devices behind/around the movie screen? We all know that the IR flashes given off by simple remote control devices show up on camera, why not simply arange a highly annoying pattern with those? Its not harmful, else they wouldn't be in consumer electronics, and its got to be cheaper than the method they're talking about.

Shadow

Plugging my analog hole (3, Insightful)

brandido (612020) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432534)

I must say, it is quite amazing the lengths that Intellectual Property manufacturers will go to in ofrder to "plug the analog hole". I know that there have been stories about how movies appear on Kazaa the same day the sneak preview has been shown because somebody brought in a videa camera and filmed it, but please. These videos are of terrible quality, and only help promote interest in the movie - "Hey all you hyped up fans - look at this crappy copy you can see two days early - really whets your appetite for the real thing, doesn't it?" I am just amazed that people would go to the extent of adding significant cost and complexity in order to prevent a very small group from trading crappy copies.

And most improtantly, I am sure that there will be a hack to get around the distortion - whether it is a run-time hack that fixes it as you record (difficult) or go back with some sort of filter to post-process it (maybe easier), I am sure it will happen. But bottom line, it won't matter - the people who watch these video-taped copies aren't in it for the fidelity, they are in it for seeing it first - a little more distortion won't stop them.

No Problems! (3, Funny)

Tuckdogg (550113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432535)

Just line the outside of your camera lens with Post-It notes and you'll be fine...Wait a minute! Did I just violate the DMCA??? Please disregard the previous statement.

While they're at it... (1)

guidemaker (570195) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432537)

Can they come up with a device to stop bozos using *flash* photography in cinemas?

When Jurassic Park first opened, I went to see it at the biggest screen in London, and *every* *single* *time* a dinosaur appeared on screen, some idiot near the front took a flash picture.

I wish I could have seen his face when he discovered all his pictures were blank.

BUSH = RECESSION (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432543)



Where is the war on Recession?

For those who dont want to read the article... (0, Flamebait)

GnomeKing (564248) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432545)

its doing essentially the same as in the movie Spaceballs

An attendant is standing at the door to the cinema and will pour jam (strawberry seems to be the most effective) all over the lens

And our research method is... (1)

++good-duckspeak (584950) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432547)

From the article:

According to Cinea's grant abstract, the motion picture industry loses some $3 billion a year due to piracy, including the sale of illegal copies made using camcorders in theaters. The company predicted that its efforts could cut movie piracy by 50 percent.

That number may be high. Leaks from theaters frequently involve copies that are created in cooperation with insiders, rather than footage shot surreptitiously from the fifth row. Schumann conceded that the 50 percent number is not based on thorough market research but is simply "our own estimate."

NIST must be having a going out of bizness sale or something if this is acceptable language in a winning grant proposal.

Why embed the signal into the picture at all? (3, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432550)

I can't imagine that hiding a camcorder-stopping signal in the picture being projected from the back of the theater WOULDN'T adversely affect the quality of the picture in someway.

Camcorders are much more sensitive to infrared light than the human eye... why not just mount some infrared strobes in the front of the theater, aimed out at the audience? The people won't notice it, but the camcorders would effectively be blinded.

Re:Why embed the signal into the picture at all? (2)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432586)

That's nothing that piece of filter film placed in front of the camcorder lens wouldn't take care off. Such filters are used to keep from oversaturating regular photos in some applications and would work for this as well.

Re:Why embed the signal into the picture at all? (2)

Maran (151221) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432641)

The problem with that is that over the course of the day, with lots of hot, sweaty people, hot-dogs, dodgy air-con, etc, the cinema would become even more uninhabitable than it is now.

Maran

Macrovision? (3, Interesting)

c.derby (574103) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432553)

"The company "will modify the timing and modulation of the light used to create the displayed image such that frame-based capture by recording devices is distorted,"

This is basically how macrovision works for VCRs.

Circuit City (1, Insightful)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432556)

"The customers in the Divx days who used the system loved it"

Yeah, all five of them...

The rest of us preferred clinging to the illusion that once we buy a copy of a movie we get to do with it as we please.


However, we can thank Divx for some memorable Penny-Arcade comics ("I'm about to go from zero to drunk in twenty dollars.")

Blind with infrared light? (1)

Openadvocate (573093) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432557)

Maybe one could blind the cameras with infrared light. I know that my camcorder can see my remote control for my TV. So could you blind the cameras that way also? It's not a digital camera so I don't know how those react and I guess you could put a filter on the camera to block it out.
Well, just an idea that hit me, it's Friday and I want to go home and install FreeBSD.

All or nothing (5, Insightful)

KFury (19522) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432559)

The trouble is that, with this particular problem of movie pirating, it has to be 100% effective or it's no good.

It doesn't matter if they find ways to block 95% of camcorders from being able to read the signal, since most or all pirated copies of a given movie come from one point source, so as long as there is *any* camcorder or other solution out there, the copy will be made, and once one copy is made, that's the ballgame, since VCD-Rs and mpegs will propogate from there.

Of course, the vast majority of these copies come from Asian countries, and are often recorded in poorer neighborhoods. I'd like to see how their business plan will get this digital protection mechanism into every theater in the East, regardless of the economic level.

If they only manage to get it into 80% or even 98% of the theaters, then it doesn't do any good at all.

$3 Billion and 50% cut in piracy (5, Interesting)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432563)

According to their grant, the movie industry loses $3 billion a year to piracy and that Cinea's system will cut piracy by 50%. Considering that most piracy comes from insiders and not the theater camcorder person, how did Cinea come up with 50%? Was it through market research? Nope: It's "our own estimate." Well, that makes me feel better.

Infra red (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432568)

Don't they just need to project a lot of infra red onto the screen - we can't see it but most camcorders will. Too simple?

AJ

The real question is... (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432572)

Will these camcorder jamming devices be affordable enough to buy/rent one for my wedding?

I thought I would save my future kids the embarrassment... (look what I found in the attic, kids, it's a V-C-R. And look, old videos of my wedding!)

He got a grant for this?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432573)

Seriously, how obvious is Cinea's solution? Movie/video producers deal with scan lines from television/computer screens everyday. This project seems almost stupidly simple.

Wondeful, this means another patent/licensing issue...proprietary film stocks, camera technologies...wonderful. Just what we need.

And who knows...perhaps the new light patterns will trigger a few epileptic seizures, like that anime program from years ago...

Something tells me that they'd be saving more money if the studios simply fired their legal departments and gave up on catching "the little guy" entirely.

The ETs already had this (1, Troll)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432575)

Looks like we just found a use for the technology that alien abducties always told us about. We didn't listen and just assumed that they were nutters, now they were right the whole time.

Yeah, this guy is headed for another bankrupcy.. (5, Insightful)

k98sven (324383) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432576)

Ok.. let's see.. he want -every- cinema to install this gadget which no doubt will cost money, and might degrade the image quality..

Now why would Charlie Cinemaowner want to install this? No reason at all.
True, the studios often own the cinemas and can force him to install the gadget, but that's no guarantee that he'll actually have the thing plugged in.

Not to mention that many Asian camcorder grabs are done with the concent of the cinema owner.
(The ones where the cinema isn't fulled with
people speaking Javanese or whatever)

It's just stupid. Need I say it's not going to stop piracy,
it's just going to cost the money for the theaters.
(And that means even more expensive movie tickets!)

The government is PAYING for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432578)

This is ridiculous, they won a 2 million dollar grant to pursue this? Making me very very angry.

Sorry, Robert... (2)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432584)

"The customers... loved it... it was a great technology that didn't get great market support."

You don't get one without the other. Your new technology is interesting and may even disrupt piracy for a while. However, that period of time will be remarkably shorter than the time it takes you to develop your technology.

Instead of Jamming them... (5, Interesting)

RebelTycoon (584591) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432585)

WHY don't they look for them? Cams aren't the smallest of shapes, a little enforcement of theatre policies would go a long way.

Also, who says flickering monitors don't cause eye damage? Just because we can't easily see it doesn't mean our brain doesn't.

Stop fscking with my eyes!

Not For Long (1)

PaddyM (45763) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432590)

"There's a difference in the way a camcorder and the human eye see the world," Schumann said.

Yeah, a difference that will last forever.

The fundamental problem with encryption (3, Insightful)

The Red Rooster (613993) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432600)

There is a fundamental problem with encrypting things for mass consumption:

At some point, it has to be decrypted and viewed. As long as that happens, then there won't be any way to prevent people copying it.

Remember the /. article about ebooks being decrypted? the 'Print Scrn' button on your keyboard takes care of that...

The same thing with this. People can develop a program that eliminates the screen flicker, or turn down the gain on their camcorders or tap into the feed before the projection ocurrs or any number of things...

Another useless arms race.

My $0.25

Why? (3, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432606)

Are camcorders in theaters really that much of a source of pirated copies? In the music biz, the source of most pre-release copies comes from pre-release reviewer CDs OR the engineer/assistant (insider) on the project.

Besides, the people who don't care about the (piss-poor) quality of 'camcorded' movies aren't going to care about some stupid watermark floating on the screen.

Another piracy-battling idea that will be ignored (by pirates) and yet make lots of $$$ for the company that brings it to market.

It seems that piracy-battling solutions are the only thing that makes $$$ while not working. That and Congress.

Higher quality piracy, right around the corner (4, Informative)

hillct (230132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432615)

I was never vary impressed whan viewing a movie which was taped from within a theater. Neither tha audio nor video quality was even close to satisfactory.

This will force a new era in piracy. We've already seen the beginning with the availability of the second LoTR movie on the net before it hits theaters. All this means is that pirates will have to accept a small reduction in their proffit margins since they'll now have to bribe productuin and editing staff for advance copies of films, which will inevitably be of higher quality than those tapes by audience members in theaters.

I'm not entirely clear on why NIST is handing out grants oor research in this field though. Seems to me the products resulting from this research will have applications in limited areas of the security industry (in addition to the initial target of the motion picture industry) but have no larger societal benefit so they shouldn't be handing out grants in thie area.

--CTH

Why I love DRM! (Yeah, seriously...) (5, Insightful)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432618)

Gonna made CD's uncopyable, so the only way is to crack it within the code?

Result: S/W available only as compelte .iso image with crack implemented.

Going to make theater movies unrecordable?

Result: P2P shared movies are all nicely ripped screaner DVD releases.

DRM, cleaning up the warez and vids available on P2P.

The Nightmare will soon be Over (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432625)

Thank goodness this horrible problem will finally be dealt with. I'm tired of going to the movie theater and having to sit behind that guy with the little camcorder silently taping a bad copy of an equally bad movie. I always move to sit near those people who talk incessantly through the movie cause you know, that's what I pay $8.50 for. And besides, everyone knows that you wait for the DVD rips to come out on Kazaa and not to bother with the camcorder copies. Geez.

Imagine... (1)

floydigus (415917) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432631)

First blind guy to be given a new set of video camera cyborg eyes leaves hospital.

"At last! I can finally go to the movies and find out what I was missing all these years"

After half an hour of sitting in the theatre, right after the ads finish, his eyes suddenly start streaming snow to his visual cortex.

"Sweet Jesus! I'm blind again - farewell cruel world!"

*BANG*

What about artificial vision? (1)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432639)

Does this mean that Lavar Burton won't be able to see himself in the upcoming Star Trek film? What about Lee Majors? How will his bionic eye react to such anti-piracy measures? I think the pulsing light may give him a siezure. How would you like to have him sitting behind your when he goes into a fit when the show starts. His bionic leg would kick you right through the screen. You can be damn sure I won't be going to any movies until this technology is better tested.

Any photographers out there? (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 11 years ago | (#4432640)

As anyone who has introduced themselves to photography as a hobby knows, it is difficult for an amatuer to take high quality photographs.

I'm sure that with a flat subject some aspects are easier, but there's still a lot of variables that would get in the way.

Motion distortion from the camcorder's movement. Of course, you could use a tripod, but that might arouse some suspicion.

Ambient lighting from the floor guide lights, the dimmed exit / wall / ceiling lights, light entering from the doorways would all reduce the quality of possible recordings.

Audience noise will interfere with your sound recording, and I doubt anyone's going to set up 6 microphones and mix the inputs to properly capture the DOLBY sound.

In short, I doubt that any improvements in the display quality will remove these nagging recording issues, nor will technology remove them. All in all, the copy is always going to be second-rate, lower-fidelity.

Meanwhile strobing motion picture screens will probably give many audience members headaches.

Fuck you DRM Basher! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4432651)

Does every article on slashdot REALLY need to show the poster's bias against Microsoft?

really....grow up people
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