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Self-Destructing DVD's Coming Soon

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the watch-in-fast-forward dept.

Data Storage 798

BrianH writes "Looks like a close cousin of everybody's favorite self-destructing video format is making a comeback. Four years after Circuit City and its Hollywood backers pulled the plug on the self-expiring DVD concept, FlexPlay Technologies has introduced the EZ-D...a 48-hour self-expiring DVD disk. The difference? This time around you don't need a special player, and "time extensions" are no longer an option. It looks like Buena Vista has already signed on to the format, so Disney, Mirimax, and all of their other companies should be using this soon. As if that wasn't bad enough, it looks like this works for music and software disks too!" Here's an older story on these technologies.

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Hey Michael... (-1, Offtopic)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977878)

I have a story I want to share with you. It's a story of hope and the American dream.

Amway began in 1959 with two young entrepreneurs in the United States -- Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel. Their concept for an innovative business opportunity, centered around person-to-person marketing, established itself as a leader among one of today's fastest-growing industries.

Today, more than 3 million independent business owners distribute Amway products in more than 80 countries and territories. Amway generates US$5 billion (FY1999) in sales at estimated retail through this global product distribution network.

Amway has changed my life. As a good corporate citizen, Amway is the success story America needs to model other enterprises on. Because I wrote Atlas Shrugged two years after Amway was founded and before it could become the noble human endeavor it is today, I could not at the time devote three chapters to telling you about the Amway phenomenon and how it can help you.

Anyone who tells you that corporations do not embody true libertarianism just hasn't experienced the Amway success story first hand. Sign up today; it'll change your life.

Mission Impossible (4, Funny)

krisp (59093) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977881)

Also great for those messages that just need to self destruct. Kind of reminds me of Inspector Gadget. I'll get you next time gadget! NEXT TIME!

Re:Mission Impossible (5, Funny)

rtscts (156396) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977920)

Go Go Gadget DVD ripper..

Re:Mission Impossible (3, Insightful)

Carnivorous Carrot (571280) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977973)

Exactly! Now those who would rip the DVDs will just have to do it very quickly.

Meanwhile the rest of us will have a problem paying $15 for a movie we can get a "2 day pass" on.


1. Rippers not foiled
2. Home buyers irritated they pay good money and don't "get" the movie.

Sounds like a piss poor excursion for the record industry.

Ways to crack it (5, Funny)

swtaarrs (640506) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977889)

I'm assuming the disc reacts with gasses in the air, so all you have to do to get unlimited viewing time is keep the dvd in a vacuum, nothing major.

Re:Ways to crack it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977916)

Yeah, only problem is...We can't survive in a vacuum =P Also I don't know if they make DVD players that play DVDs in a vacuum..?

air bubbles? (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977956)

If they but a few bubbles between the label and the disc itself, the thing would destruct in a vacuum.

Maybe an unreactive gas rather than a vacuum? Wouldn't that be easier?

Re:Ways to crack it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977987)

. . . you can also, for fun, walk around the video store with a pin.

Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.

No more movies.

Mwa ha ha ha.

Re:Ways to crack it (5, Insightful)

narfbot (515956) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978007)

What happens under different atmospheric or weather conditions? Will it, in some places, never work when opened, or in another, they will never destruct? Are you sure it's caused by reacting gasses or some maybe some kind of timer?

Re:Ways to crack it (0)

Imperator (17614) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978012)

I'm assuming the disc reacts with gasses in the air, so all you have to do to get unlimited viewing time is keep the dvd in a vacuum, nothing major.
Nope, nothing major at all. Let me just seal off my living room and start the pumps. I hope my suit doesn't leak this time.

Re:Ways to crack it (5, Informative)

polymath69 (94161) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978017)

I'm assuming the disc reacts with gasses in the air, so all you have to do to get unlimited viewing time is keep the dvd in a vacuum, nothing major.

The story [yahoo.com] I saw this morning seemed to imply that there were two color changes involved. One, when you removed it from the envelope, to make it readable, and another 48 hours later making it unreadable again. (On rereading it, they may have meant "undecypherable to the laser" where they wrote "impenetrable to the laser"; you know how those non-techies are with language: so there may be only one color change.)

That said, maybe you could extend the life somewhat by keeping the disk in the freezer between plays. But you know people will just copy 'em to the hard drive instead of bothering.

Re:Ways to crack it (4, Interesting)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978028)

If the mechanism of self destruction is a chemical reaction between an added layer of dye(or whatever) and the Oxygen in the atmosphere (almost definitely how it works), then that means there will very likely be a stong unavoidable lifetime dependence on heat. DVD PLAYERS ARE HOT! And some more so than others....that =class action lawsuit from people who happen to have a brand of DVD player that runs particularly hot and whose "EZ-D's"(puke) are viewable for a much shorter time than the average.

You'll just have to..... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977890)

.......copy it as soon as you get it :-)

So what? (5, Insightful)

DarkHand (608301) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977891)

Is this really a problem for people who have access to DeCSS and a DVD burner?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977936)

actually, you don't need to decrypt anything to make a bit-by-bit copy. Kind of silly, if you think about it.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977967)

actually, you don't need to decrypt anything to make a bit-by-bit copy. Kind of silly, if you think about it.

Remember though that DVDs require two decryption keys to work: one of which is stored in the player, and the other in a special area on the DVD. Blank DVDs have this key area zeroed out and can't record data on them, so unless you have a DVD press in your basement you can't make a true bit-for-bit copy which includes this vital key area. This is why decryption tools like DeCSS are necessary if you wish to copy CSS encoded DVDs on your computer.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978043)

also commercial dvds are typically double layer and use more than 4.7 gigs of storage. Downsampling of the video bit rate or removal of special features is usually needed.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

AEton (654737) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977975)

Is this really a problem for people who have access to DeCSS and a DVD burner?

I wouldn't say "problem"--I'd say "boon". Suppose your '48-hour DVD' is flawed and only lasts 46. Are you going to:
a) send it back with a friendly request for your remaining two hours, or
b) cheerfully use your backup copy?
And on the somewhat-more-illegal side, there's a definite advantage to a product you can 'rent' and never be expected to return--it's half as much hassle since you only have to go to the store once. (Unless you have to go back to return the discs, which might, according to the article, be reusable--but maybe that won't happen in the US, since America is so used to disposable appliances.) Good job preventing piracy, guys!

would it suck? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977893)

To forget it "expires" and put it in late and be in the middle of watching your movie and it just die? Would that happen? I would be kinda pissed, but I guess if you buy it knowing you have 48 hours, who would you complain to?

Re:would it suck? (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977948)

It won't expire until you open the sealed packaging. So just don't open the thing until you're ready to watch it. You don't have 48 hours from when you buy it -- you have 48 hours from when you break the packaging open. If you RTFA, you'll see that the concept works b/c the chemical coating begins to degrade once oxygen hits it.

I wonder what the packaging will look like? It should be absolutely minimal to keep costs down. If costs is as cheap or cheaper than rentals and/or PPV, this should work well.

Re:would it suck? (1)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977950)

The idea is you keep it sealed until you want to watch it.. It probably reacts with air.

MS? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977894)

Is there any way we can blame this all on Microsoft?

So now I don't have to return discs to Blockbuster (2, Insightful)

Marimus (5470) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977895)


I hate the whole thing where you have to return rentals, now mabey those lazy folk like me will be able to rent, happy in the knowledge that we're helping create usefull landfill :)

Re:So now I don't have to return discs to Blockbus (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977924)

That is why they invented GreenCine or it's lame cousin NetFlix. :)

Good thing I rip my rentals. I won't have to worry about them expiring. Will this make rentals cheaper? Oh well, the hdd space costs more than the rental anyway. :)

Re:So now I don't have to return discs to Blockbus (1)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977928)

Try Netflix. You can watch and return movies at your leisure, and they have a much, much better selection of movies than Blockbuster.

Re:So now I don't have to return discs to Blockbus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977992)


Not if want to be guaranteed to get exactly the movies you want, when you want them.

Re:So now I don't have to return discs to Blockbus (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977929)

If you read the article (which is breif, since its really just a feature description), you'd notice that the discs are recyclable after their "self-destruct".

This means one of two things: either they're recyclable in the generic sense that most plastic trash is recyclable, or the disk itself can be re-used by the distributor.

In the latter case, it may just mean you return a big bundle of them next time you go to rent a disk.

Huh (0, Redundant)

bmorris (562872) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977900)

"As if that wasn't bad enough?" What's so bad about this? Saves me a trip back to Blockbuster and a whole mess of late fees. What's the problem?

Re:Huh (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977931)

What's the problem? Oh ... I dunno ... how about enough black DVDs in landfills to make the AOL marketing Dept look like amateurs?

- Roach

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977955)

The problem is that there will be tons of more plastic crap in the garbage dumps. The whole idea is pathetic. It's all about laziness and greed.

Wasteful (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977906)

Surely we've pumped out enough of the standard plastic DVD's to create ourselves a major polution problem, without introducing this styrofoam container style throw away idea....

That aside, since nothing stop you from ripping the movie in the mean time, it's hardly a very effective measure ^_^

It is UnAmerican to Care about the envirmonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977926)

...well at least to put the environment before profits. As for the coffee drinkers who throw away a foam cup every time, fuck them too.

Re:Wasteful (2, Funny)

joedone (673931) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977959)

What pollution problem? What they need to do is instead of just changing the DVD into something useless, they should have it create pretty pictures to hang on the wall. Then people can build DVD houses, cars, and boats...

Fuck Them (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977907)

greedy capitalist assholes.

Great, just great! (5, Interesting)

Grapes4Buddha (32825) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977908)

... and then I'm sure they'll cry victim when everybody starts copying the damn things and starts giving them all out to their friends because you can't get a permanent copy of the work.

I'll tell ya, the first thing I would do with such a thing is to back it up. Or better yet, I would just return it after it expires and tell them that it never worked right in the first place. It's not like they could prove otherwise.

Re:Great, just great! - uhh... (3, Insightful)

santakrooz (517854) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978016)

Gotta love it.

"The first thing I will do is make an illegal copy, then I will return it and ask for my money back by lying and saying that it never worked."

I'm no angel, but what ever happened to ethics? Are we now so numb to piracy that stealing and lying are considered the "first thing" one would do?

Am I the only one who thinks there is something just a little cracked in the general conscience?


Re:Great, just great! - uhh... (1)

EvilSporkMan (648878) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978032)

Ethics don't save any money/get free stuff. They're just self-imposed limitations on personal gain in order to feel like one is "a good person". To echo Mr. Johnathon Swift, no matter your ethics/breeding/birth/nobility/state-of-being-Jesu s-Christ-himself, you're still full of shit. (literally)

Re:Great, just great! (1)

fname (199759) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978029)

Yeah, that's the type of attitude that makes the music & movie industry so scared of piracy. Here they come up with a better way to "rent" videos (which is how it should be marketed), and the response is to claim a right to copy them?

That's the type of comment that that industry executives love to trot out when explaining why they shouldn't allow DVD copying software to be sold, and why the DCMA needs to be toughened.

Re:Great, just great! (1)

Pitawg (85077) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978038)

I guess if there is no original, they cannot prove you "copied" anything. Must be your original work. (Nice movie, man!)

I think it's a damn good idea (1)

Lank (19922) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977909)

DVDs without scratches and no need to return the movie... Why didn't someone think of this sooner?

Re:I think it's a damn good idea (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977941)

Right, they did. You didn't even have to read the article, just the post, to remember the old Divx;) discs that were supposed to self-destruct some how. They failed for the same reason these will: people hate the concept, since it just wastes their time. All they're going to do is just copy the disk right away. This will just make it a hassle for rental places to constantly restock their shelves.

But this is better... (1)

Nyktos (198946) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978013)

It's the same idea (AFAIK), but this doesn't require that you own some stupid player to play the things. The old Divx idea was it's own standard/format and required a Divx player. This EZ-D stuff you can play in your DVD player... big plus, I'm sold.

Re:I think it's a damn good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978021)

This will just make it a hassle for rental places to constantly restock their shelves.

Why would it be any different then it is now? When I go to Blockbuster I take the case off the shelf, take it the the counter and have it checked out to my account, then return the case at a later date, where it is mixed in with all of the other returns and has to be sorted for restocking.

With this system I take a case off the shelf, and buy it. No account to worry about, and the store does not have to restock the randomly organized returns, just replace them from the sorted stock in the back room.

Re:I think it's a damn good idea (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978036)

Divx did NOT fail for this same reason. Divx failed because you needed a specific player for them and the format was confusing to customers. CircuitCity was the only major retailer of Divx as I recall. In other words, it was proprietory (SIC b/c I don't care right now).

In other news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977911)

Inspired by HP and its printer cartriges and now Flexplay, Ford has decided to make its cars cease to function after 60,000 miles or 10 years, whichever comes first. A press release says that "this will ultimately help consumers, as older cars just aren't as safe - for the driver or others on the road." When the time runs out, strong chemicals will be released to distroy most of the cars internal components. Disabling this protection will result in prosecution under the DMCA

Re:In other news... (4, Funny)

Maul (83993) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977937)

From my experiences with Fords, 60,000 miles or 10 years would be a VAST IMPROVEMENT over their current lifespan.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977974)

That may be the case with their cars, but their trucks usually last 200k+ miles.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978009)

Ford, GM and American-made cars in general are built to break down almost to the day after the warranty expires.

Re:In other news... (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977983)

And of course sadly the new cars will not cost less than the ones we presently own. This is an unavoidable fact made necessary by the massive amount of money spent in R&D to create these new, safer automobiles.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978000)

When the time runs out, strong chemicals will be released to distroy most of the cars internal components.

Man, it would suck if you just happen to be working under the hood at the time.

better this than (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977917)

newer versions of the dmca...

good for backup copy maybe? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977918)

I think this is just a bad idea to make more plastic for the landfills mostly, but maybe you could have a
cd with a backup copy of the software for short term license until you can talk to the vendor or something like that.

Maybe a database server's source or something like that encoded with a key which is registered with the
vendor or something like that.


What's so bad? (2, Interesting)

Omeganon (104525) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977919)

Besides the obvious environmental problems with creating millions of disposable DVD's (ala AOL cd's), I don't really see much bad about these. If I could buy (read rent) a DVD for $2.00 that I didn't have to bring back to a store then I'd likely do that. Or play a self-destructing game as a sample of the full game and save $48.00 if I don't like it. Looks potentially like a money saver to me.


Re:What's so bad? (1)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977932)

The website claims it's recyclable.. although it doesn't mention any specifics. How the hell do you recycle an unreadable DVD anyway?

Re:What's so bad? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978005)

Recyclable or not, the cycle itself causes allot of toxic by-product. There is the fuel burned transporting the things back to the factory, then back out to the shops, as well as the output from melting them down and remoulding them, plus the packaging to seal them up and so on..

recycling != pollution free

This goes for anything else you may recycle. So it is best to reuse, or, not use at all. Imagine if we could fuck off the RIAA and everyone could download their music, that would have a massive positive environmental impact (no discs needed at all, and there would be guarenteed backup on the servers, meaning no reason to burn a local copy to CD).

Re:What's so bad? (1)

Ximok (650049) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977979)

Landfills? Shoot, that stuff makes great wallpaper, drink coasters, and high speed projectiles. For $5 a pop, sure, I'll burn it and I'll have a much wider variety of colors on my coffee table and walls. (Sorry Honey, I know you really wanted to have the yellow flowers, but think of it this way, now we don't have to worry about the wallpaper ruining the deposit) -Ximok

Just save some h/d room (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977925)

I guess I just have to remember to copy it faster than I normally do

Slashdot Poll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977930)

Who is the gayest duo of them all?
[ ] Guy and Ralna
[ ] The Captain and Tennille
[ ] Chad and Jeremy
[ ] Ian and Sylvia
[x] Timothy and Michael

two words: video rental (1)

davebarnes (158106) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977938)

1. I can rent a DVD for $3 and watch it anytime over the next 2-5 days.

2. I can buy the DVD for $15 and watch it as many times as I want over the next few years. And, I can lend it my friends and they can watch it. And, they can lend me some of their DVDs.

3. I can pay $unknown and watch a FlexPlay DVD over the next 2 days. And then it self-destructs.

4. Therefore, $unknown must be less than $3 for me to have ANY interest in this stupid concept.

5. Only people who buy government-run lottery tickets will go for this. The scary part is that is a large percentage of the populace.

Cheaper? (1)

javelinco (652113) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977943)

Oh, you think these things are gonna be cheaper? The old format cost about $20/disk. Unless they fix the cost problem this time around, it'll die the same way... unmourned.

I late for my Nambla meeting . . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5977946)

Friday is my busy day. After I get off work as a substitute gym teacher, I have to race across town to the NAMBLA meeting. [nambla1.de] Then it's a quick pit stop at McDonald's for a bite and to check out who is having a Happy Meal in Playland.

Afterward I must zip uptown to the Apple Users' Group meeting. Finally by 11:00 pm it's time to head home with my PowerBook and scope out the K12 chat rooms. As I said, it's my busy day. If it weren't for my Apple computer, I don't know how I could do it all.

Haha, brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978011)

It's funny *and* true!

Cool idea for rentals (4, Insightful)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977949)

I like the idea for rentals, I hate having to return stuff to the video store. I have doubts whether people will actually "recycle" the used-up dvds though. Personally, I do recycle, but I wonder if other people who don't like recycling will simply toss 'em, and then we'll have a massive trash problem on our hands...

The solution is scavenger robots, that search for used-up dvds =)

"Hey give that back! I was using that as a coaster! GNggghhhh!!"

Re:Cool idea for rentals (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977984)

We already have a massive trash problem on our hands. What's new?

Why not just make edible DVD discs? Then, even if the movie sucks, at least I'd have a nice, chocolatey snack to appease my bitter rage.

Re:Cool idea for rentals (1)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978003)

What about a refundable deposit? 50 cents.. maybe a buck. That would encourage people to recycle the disks.. Rent movies as usual, and when you have a buildup of these expired disks (enough for a rental of another movie), bring them back, and let your deposit pay for another movie! Rinse, Lather, and Repeat..

Re:Cool idea for rentals (1)

DaemonGem (557674) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978035)

Possibly, but I thought rental stores made a lot of money off of late returns. Therefore, this wouldn't be nearly so financially feasible for them.

Capitalism (1, Troll)

z3r0n3 (665185) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977951)

This is capitalism at it's best: The people who make them get more and more money while those who purchase are forced to suffer. I don't like this idea at all.

Re:Capitalism (5, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977989)

Capitalism at its best means that we consumers have the ability to reject this stupid idea and cause it to fail....

Sooo (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977953)

I gets me a DVDR. Then I copies it, since it's just a standard DVD that degrades over time. Voila!

I guess this will make DVD burners illegal, since they circumvent a copy protection mechanism. But sharpie markers hasn't faced a lawsuit yet, so I think we're ok. Damn DMCA.

When will they ever learn? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977961)

I mean, they should know by now that "EZ-:D" will be the name of the new video format clogging up KaZaa in two or three years.

48 hours huh? (5, Funny)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977963)

If you can't manage to get the vobs off of there and create yourself a longer lasting copy in 48 hours you probably don't deserve anymore stolen movies IMO. At the very least you lose your honorary "Pirate" title.

Open Season (4, Insightful)

Euphonious Coward (189818) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977968)

So now they have discs that you not only can copy, but must copy before they evaporate.

Somebody tell me again how this reduces the impulse to bootleg? They might as well just sell the nicely-printed cover art, and let people get the bits from their friends, or wherever. (Maybe they can get AOL to send them out.)

What about DOA's (4, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977972)

Like any technology it will have a a certain % failure, what will the rental place do if you come back before 48 hours with a dead disk?

Re:What about DOA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978040)

I'm sure that the format would be cheap enough that it wouldn't be a problem to hand over another one. Really, it is not like you are getting anything for free because it is built to destroy itself anyway. If you come back every couple of days with the same title, I am sure that then you would draw some attention.
My question is how they plan on shipping these things. I am assuming that the discs react to the heat from the read laser, but most products that arrive to your store are sent in trailers. From what I understand, the trailers can get very hot if they are not air conditioned.

Does anyone here have any experience with the trucking industry to give any input?

Humm... (1)

zbowling (597617) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977976)

I guess I will just have to copy them faster. Ohh well... doesn't effect me. Just a waste of money for them is my opion. Havn't come acrossed one that I haven't been able to copy. You make my stuff expire that I paid for and I will make it less profitable for you in the long run evil companies. Hehehe

Expiration (4, Funny)

DASHSL0T (634167) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977980)

I know what else just expired: My willingness to plunk down my hard earned money supporting the music and movie industries.

This is great news... (2, Redundant)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977982)

For those of us with with a DVD burner and appropriate decryption software. We can buy movies for a few dollars instead of the typical $20-$30.

I don't see why this is such a bad idea (1)

Pionar (620916) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977985)

It seems to me that this would be a great idea if it's cheap enough to mass-produce them. That way, I could rent a DVD from my local video store (no, not the evil Blockbuster) and not have to worry about late fees (which us forgetful people often incur). I would recommend expanding this to video game discs.

Obviously, this would be a bad idea for purchasing DVDs.

Overall, it seems like the poster hates the idea. I think he just misunderstands the technology or he thinks that this will impede his piracy attempts. It won't hurt those, you little script kiddies with your DeCSS and such. Those of us who live the legal way will applaud this new technology.

In fact, the only thing I'm worried about is the environmental impact of all those DVDs. Then again, it doesn't seem to bother AOL all that much.

Trying to put rental places out of business? (5, Insightful)

Maul (83993) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977988)

Obviously, nobody is going to pay full price for a DVD that self destructs. This is meant as a rental replacement. However, something like this could put rental places out of business.

Why? Rental places typically buy a certian number of new copies and rent them out repeatedly, after a few rentals the disc is paid for and it is pure profit on the disc after that, especially when you factor in the real money maker, late fees. When the movie is no longer a hot rental, they'll then just sell off their excess copies as pre-owned DVDs.

With the self destructing DVD, rental places will continuously have to replace their stock. They will not be able to charge late fees, nor will they be able to sell excess copies they've already made money off of. Ultimately, the rental place will no longer even be necessary since you'll likely be able to buy the destructable disc at any retail outlet or direct from the company for $2 a pop.

Disposable/Recyclable (2, Interesting)

applef00 (574694) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977990)

I don't have nearly as much a problem with the concept of a self-expiring disc as I do with the concept of disposability. I see that they can recycle the discs, but that you (the consumer) will have to pay postage. I think that they will have a lot more success in getting people to send the discs back to them if they are willing to pick up the tab on shipping them back. They can cut costs by not manufacturing disc blanks, the environment doesn't choke, you get a warm fuzzy feeling for doing something good. Everybody wins. My other problem is that it's called "Flexplay" when it is blatantly inflexible. Talk about a misnomer.

Once is enough (1)

Hilleh (561336) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977993)

When I buy something, I like it to stay bought, thank you kindly. Being recyclable and all, I think this technology is awesome for DVD rentals.

Note: What follows is my conjecture, not something actually announced. Just so we're clear.

I'm just shuddering to think of what will happen when the "one year music licenses" start rolling out. Sure we'll rip it before the expiration date anyway, but it's the thought that the RIAA would defineitly try that and get away with it (with a vast majority of consumers too lazy/inept to make proper backups) that gives me that bad tingly feeling.

No more late fees = Bye Bye Blockbuster (1)

Ayandia (630042) | more than 10 years ago | (#5977999)

So let me understand. I pay a rental fee price for a DVD, then 2 days later the DVD stops working and I chuck it? Cool.

I'll never pay another late fee, but I'll still have to rent a movie twice sometimes because I couldn't watch it before my time was up. Still cheaper.

Didn't Blockbuster make most of their money in late fees? Hmm...sounds like technology they'll hate to see in use.

Planned obsolescence? (2, Interesting)

SixDimensionalArray (604334) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978001)

I don't know about anybody else - but the fact that this could be used to make DVDs simply "stop working" after so long seems to cry out "planned obsolescence". As an example, maybe they make a new generation of DVDs only lasts 6 months before it wears out (and don't tell us). That would generate a lot of profit if somebody's DVD stopped working and they really liked it (they'd either have to go buy it again, or get it copied). Ick. -6d

I think it's outstanding! (5, Interesting)

71thumper (107491) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978008)

It opens up lots of kiosk-style opportunities as well.

You wouldn't need a membership, leave a deposit, have a valid credit card, nothing. You could feed the kiosk cash and out comes the DVD. You take it home, watch it, then put it in for recycling.

It even works better than the Netflix-style thing, because you shouldn't have availability issues as you do know with Netflix. Instead, you can order from Netflix (or heck, from Amazon or RentAmovieTodayOrSomething.com) and it'll show up.

I'd love to be order them in batches at a time. I can easily think of 10 movies I'd like to have around the house, not worry about it, and when I travel, or am stuck home sick, they are already here and ready to watch.

And nobody cares that they are just sitting for months at my place.


I'm building a glovebox in the garage. (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978010)

So I can fill it with nitrogen, open the disk in the glovebox and spray it with clear acrylic Krylon. Problem solved, and not even a DMCA violation.

Re:I'm building a glovebox in the garage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978034)

dude. you'll ruin your dvd player if you try to stick it back in.

Backup.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978022)

What's the matter? Don't you backup the DVD's you buy?

AMC: Godzilla Alert at 4:05 AM EDT, 1:05 AM PDT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5978031)

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1966)

An astronaut goes to Planet X to fetch Rodan and Godzilla, lent to aliens supposedly in distress.

Cast: Nick Adams, Akira Takarada, Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Keiko Sawai, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Jun Tazaki, Goro Naya.
Director(s): Inoshiro Honda.
Producer(s): Tomoyuki Tanak

AMC Cable TV 4:05 AM EDT, 1:05 AM PDT

Nobody cares about polution? (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978033)

This is just a cheap excuse to avoid digital distribution. Downloading the movies would be cooler, and more enviro.

It seems the polution comments are not getting modded up. Why? How many billions of these things are going to be produced? Where does plastic come from for the most part (hint - we just had a war over this stuff)? And recycling? Just how easy is it separate the thin metal film from the plastic? Besides that, if these things are reactive to air - the article mentions that they begin to expire as soon as their opened - that would suggest some sort of strong plastic/foil packaging.

Scrap the crap - just put it up for download.

Expired brains (1)

PhlegmMaster (596165) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978039)

I wonder where the brains are that thought of this scheme. Probably expired after their 48-hour use period.

Suicidal DVD's (5, Funny)

Bonewalker (631203) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978041)

I can just hear them now, poor little DVD's...engineered to die, but screaming "I want to live!"

So, I oblige. *Inserts DVD into DVD-R*

I don't call it ripping...I call it saving lives, one movie at a time.

OK for rental companies... (1)

TheRealStyro (233246) | more than 10 years ago | (#5978045)

Should be ok for rental companies - no mussing around with returns. Rent it, watch it, dump it. Nobody'll care except for ecology nuts, and by the number of SUVs on the road nobody cares about ecology anyway.

Might be interesting if the big studios get into this, then get some big retailers into selling them, then the DVD burner market will really heat up. Those of us with burners can make some side $$$ by copying shows onto non-expirable DVD-Rs and selling them out in front of those big retailers selling the expirable DVDs.
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