Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

RFID Tags for Digital Rights Management

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the gone-tracking dept.

Privacy 277

mathemaniac writes "RFID Journal is running a story about a group of researchers at UCLA working on a new RFID application that would provide consumers a means of watching DVDs of movies as soon as they hit the theaters. It could also be used to address one of Hollywood's biggest concerns: piracy of digital content. The group is researching a method of using RFID as a tool for digital rights management (DRM), wherein technologies are employed to protect media files from unauthorized use."

cancel ×

277 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Exclusive: Who Is 'PJ' Pamela Jones of Groklaw.Net (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538923)

Exclusive: Who Is 'PJ' Pamela Jones of Groklaw.Net?

Pamela Is A 61-Year-Old Jehovah's Witness Who Lives In A Shabby Genteel Garden Apartment In Hartsdale, New York

By: Maureen O'Gara
May 7, 2005 09:15 PM

A few weeks ago I went looking for the elusive harridan who supposedly writes the Groklaw blog about the SCO v IBM suit.

The now-famous opinion-shaping open source leader Pamela Jones, aka "PJ," doesn't give conventional face-to-face interviews. Never has, near as anyone knows. All communication is virtual. Only one person in the world has ever claimed to have met her - in the pressroom at LinuxWorld in Boston complete with a Pamela Jones badge - and described her as a fortyish reddish-blonde who giggled a lot.

[Photo: May 7, 2005 12:37 PM - 304 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale, New York. The last known address of Pamela Jones, as the superintendent of the building calls it, Ms. Pam Jones.]

Oh yeah? Wonder what cold crème she uses.

Pamela Jones is a 61-year-old Jehovah's Witness who lives in a shabby genteel garden apartment in desperate need of an interior decorator on a heavily trafficked commercial road at 304 North Central Avenue in Hartsdale, New York. Hartsdale is in Westchester and Westchester is IBM territory.

See, even though Groklaw treats cell phones like they were Kleenex and changes its unpublished numbers regularly, one number it left with a journalist led to this flat and - wouldn't you know it but - some calls from there had been placed to the courts in Utah and to the Canopy Group so obviously this just isn't any Pamela Jones.

Pamela has lived in apartment 1A for 10 years at least, according to the super, who says he's watched people move in, have children, and the children marry and move away.

Now, this isn't your usual anonymous New York apartment. It's practically a self-contained village where the super goes for the old ladies' groceries when there's snow on the ground and people know each other's business.

[Photo: May 7, 2005 12:41 PM - 304 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale, New York. The last known address of Pamela Jones.]

But the super didn't know much about Pamela except that she had a computer, worked at home (maybe sometimes) for a lawyer, was "paranoid" - his word - and "sensitive to smells."

He remembered how he was cleaning paintbrushes one day and she came running down the stairs screaming "Fire."

She was also missing and had been for weeks.

Nobody there knew where she was.

She had up and disappeared one day, and the super was worried about her. He said her son had dropped by and he didn't know where she was, and that some strange man that "nobody knew," as the super described him, had tried to get into her apartment while she was gone - the Medeco lock she had had installed on her door - something nobody else in the complex seemed to feel a need for - was more expensive than the door. But, as it happened, the super said, she had just sent in her rent in an envelope postmarked Connecticut.

Like an episode out of "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego," the trail led to 10 Bittersweet Trail in Norwalk, Connecticut, 24 miles away. Sure enough, parked in the driveway was Pamela's car, just as the super had described it, a dark gray '90s Japanese number with a bunch of Jehovah Witness pamphlets tossed on the backseat.

The woman at the house, Barbara Jones Sharnik, told a disjointed story. She didn't know Pamela, Pamela hated her, Pamela wasn't there, Pamela left her car there because it got bumped, Pamela left her car there because she left town, and so on.

Afterwards Barbara called the cops, and then the cops called the number we left with her and the cops said that she was Pamela's mother and that Pamela was on the run and had shacked up with her mother because she had gotten "threatening mail" weeks before and that she had just gotten spooked again because "people were getting hurt around [my] stories" and had lighted out for Canada.

[Photo: May 7, 2005 2:24 PM - 10 Bittersweet Trail in Norwalk, Connecticut. Mom's house, where PJ's car was last seen on this driveway.]

Odd, the subject of my stories - or any stories - never came up during our brief interview. I was just looking for Pamela.

That left Pamela's son, Nicolas Richards, who, as it happens, had been in the software business in Manhattan until - why, my goodness - things seem to have come a cropper right around the time Groklaw came into existence.

Nick and his ma were apparently involved together in Medabiliti Inc, an ISV, because one Pamela Jones with a Westchester phone number (914 761-7423) and a Medabiliti e-mail (pjones@medabiliti.com) was down as the director of public affairs on a Medabiliti press release dated April 14, 2003.

Nick, as it happens, has written under his own byline on a Groklaw sister site, GrokDoc, giving advice on technical writing. Nick and his wife Andrea live in fancier digs than his ma on East 76th Street off First Avenue, a neighborhood where apartments go for a couple of million bucks.

Now, according to one of Pamela's neighbors and fellow Jehovah's Witness, being a Jehovah's Witness is pretty much a full-time job in and of itself. Witnesses also don't usually get involved in worldly affairs.

So, is this story-spooked 61-year-old Jehovah's Witness with religious tracts in her backseat also the 90-hour-a-week writer of the voluminous PJ diatribes or is she a victim of identity theft?

TO BE CONTINUED...

Pr0n example (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538926)

I'm surprised that movie industry is not following up how pr0n industry can be so successful and profitable.

Being sophisticated and innovative in member management is one thing, but more importantly is the undeniable fact that pr0n industry actually produces something that viewers want to watch, maybe that is why people are paying to watch it. Pr0n is probably one of the most pirated product known to mankind, yet it's still a feasible business living through printed to digital materials.

There's a story about movie slump [usatoday.com] , the article mentioned that the industry needs something that can get people excited about going to the movies.

Pr0n example-Drug Dealers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538987)

" I'm surprised that movie industry is not following up how pr0n industry can be so successful and profitable."

It's called "The Drug Dealer" model. And as much as humanity is lead by it's gonads. It works beautifully.

Pr0n==cheap (5, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539001)

While I don't disagree with you in principle--I think that companies like Pixar, for instance, demonstrate that making good movies is not "hit and miss"--I think you're missing one of porn's biggest advantages over other movies.

Porn is cheap.

You need CGI? No. You need expensive sets? No again. It costs very little to make, especially if you find attractive actors and actresses who just want to turn a quick buck to pay for their college textbooks or a new car or something. When you spend a hundred million making a movie, it takes a lot of ticket sales to make that up. When you spend ten thousand bucks, suddenly you only have to sell DVDs to half the frat boys in Wyoming before you break even.

However, I do think porn can teach the movie industry a valuable lesson regarding how much actors make compared to everyone else on the set. If Hollywood would stop using celebrity actors and actresses to sell movies, instead relying on scripts and directors and the like, I think they would save a lot of money. Imagine if you didn't have to reserve half your budget for one single person's involvement...

Re:Pr0n==cheap (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539082)

Using unknown actors is hit and miss...

Take the Star Wars series for example.

In the original series, some unknowns became big names, while some other main character actors didn't do much else.

I'm curious to see who, among the previously unknown actors in Episodes 1-2-3 are going to go back to obscurity relatively quick...

Re:Pr0n==cheap (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539195)

This is very true. I never understood why, rationally speaking, should a movie star (or a pop singer, a soccer player etc) get such ridiculous money. Is it how much their contribution to society really worth? I very much doubt it.

Re:Pr0n==cheap (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539221)

I'm not sure about the country you live in but in most of the world the amount of money someone gets paid isn't a measure of the worth of their contribution to society, and nor is it meant to be.

Re:Pr0n==cheap (2, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539293)

Same reason you get fined $1000 for littering on the highway. It's not that your litter costs $1000 to clean up (more like $0.10), it's that you have to pay for the 10,000 other people who littered and didn't get caught.

With actors, sure, if you hit it big you make lots of money. But for every Brad Pitt there are 10,000 Nic Wegener [imdb.com] 's. It's not really fair, but for now it's the best we've got. At least we've got the freedom to choose whether to hack code for a decent living or to risk it all trying to be the next Will Smith.

Re:Pr0n==cheap (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539383)

Simple. Because someone is willing to pay them that much. Welcome to the world of economics.

Re:Pr0n==cheap (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539245)

I can't believe I'm saying this, but sometimes rich people get poorer.

MJ is reportedly spending $30 million per year more than he earns. I probably wouldn't earn $30 million in my whole life, yet someone is capable of spending that much more than he earns.

Similarly, the movie industry is digging its own grave by creating larger and larger expenses which it has to find more and more money to pay for.

Re:Pr0n==cheap (4, Insightful)

brogdon (65526) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539347)

"You need CGI? No. You need expensive sets? No again."

People used to be able to say this type of thing about good movies. Maybe the reason the studios are so worried about losses due to piracy is that it might cause them to have to worry about silly things like artistry and solid writing. :)

Re:Pr0n==cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539363)

the directors are jsut as bad as any actor though

Re:Pr0n example (4, Funny)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539008)

I'm surprised that movie industry is not following up how pr0n industry can be so successful and profitable.

The pr0n industry is successful because guys like tits.

Re:Pr0n example (3, Insightful)

Chris Kamel (813292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539025)

pr0n is probably still profitable because of the ridiculous profit margins involved.

You could pay $20 for a pr0n DVD whose production cost something in the order of thousands of dollars.

Compare that to a multi-million dollar budget needed for a top (non-pr0n) movie and you've got a pretty different deal there.

Re:Pr0n example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539035)

I'm surprised that movie industry is not following up how pr0n industry can be so successful and profitable.

You mean like reducing actors' pay to $500 and filming the movies at the director's house in a single day? Look at the budget for major motion pictures and then look at the budget for a porn movie, then compare the final selling price for each and the ways they are distributed. Is it clearer now why making skin flicks can be so profitable?

Re:Pr0n example (2, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539071)

You mean like reducing actors' pay to $500 and filming the movies at the director's house in a single day?

Actually we have real studios with lots of neat props and sometimes they take 2 or 3 days :)

Re:Pr0n example (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539247)

You mean like reducing actors' pay to $500 and filming the movies at the director's house in a single day?

Surely there's a happy medium. Armagedden cost $140 million to make. Pi cost $68,000. Sure, Armageddon grossed 62 times as much, but it cost 2000 times as much to make.

With digital photography, the costs to make a movie are going down dramatically. The top actors might not be willing to take a pay cut, but there are plenty of excellent actors that would work for less than $10 million.

Re:Pr0n example (3, Insightful)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539042)

Why should I go to a movie theator if it's just a giant screen TV set? I'll wait for it to hit HBO or rent the DVD and get the same experience with my 10 foot screen and PowerPoint projector. I remember when movies were a lush fusion of colors on the screen and not a bunch of pixels you can count by the foot. That's really what's behind the movie slump. The TV set really did kill off the theator chain.

Re:Pr0n example (2, Interesting)

SYFer (617415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539066)

This is an excellent point, actually. There is much to learn from the porn industry and its amazing resilience. Hollywood has long played the game of deciding what people want to watch (and sometimes they do get it right) and then carefully policing people's access to it.

In my mind this is analogous to the old "security through obfuscation" argument in that when you try to defy the inevitable and control the situation through brute force of regulation and procedure, you you actually lose control--you literally challenge people to defy you. Look at the old Incompatible Time Sharing System and the brilliant way that the authors eliminated some hackers' desire to crash the system by essentially adding a "crash system now" command. Take away the artificial supports and content stands completely on its own merits. Porn is out there with everything going against it but, since the producers are so adept at delivering what people want, they can still make it work. George Lucas got on the program because he realized that if you truly deliver the goods, people will reward you and the desire to rip you off is lessened.

Re:Pr0n example (3, Insightful)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539078)

I'm surprised that movie industry is not following up how pr0n industry can be so successful and profitable.

The porn industry is a completey different beast. It is profitable because they don't pay their actors millions of dollars for each film, especially when they make a dozen "films" a week. They don't pay millions to the producer. They don't pay tens of thousands for a script, and don't worry if they use the same script over and over again. They don't pay millions on advertising blitzes before the release. They don't pay millions to build sets, but reuse sets over and over and over and over again.

The only reason the porn industry is "profitable" is because they don't have anything like the budget requirements for a large box office movie. Porn manages to survive rampant copying only because it's so cheap to produce, the only need a few thousand people to buy the product to make it profitable.

Because the difference in the number of movies made, the budgets for each movie, and the number of copies that need to be viewed/sold to make a profit, there's no way the film industry can model itself after the porn industry.

Re:Pr0n example (2, Informative)

SYFer (617415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539158)

Well then maybe they've evolved a model that is not sustainable given the realities of the world. Perhaps they need to deflate the budgets a bit and focus on making good content. I remember watching them film "The Hulk" in my neighborhood and, as someone who exists on the low-budget fringes of the film world, I was astonished at some of the insane largesse. For the scenes on Telegraph Hill where the military stormed the poor Hulkster, they actually placed additional potted plants up on the Vallejo street steps (at no doubt great expense), but I could never even spot them in the final product. And, IIRC, the movie got a lukewarm response. They had a bunch of extras up on my roof as soldiers and I never saw them either. Those extras worked all day walking up and down the hill for each take. Insane. I'm not saying all films need to be low-budget guerilla crap, but Hollywood has gone so far over the line that they've built an unrealistic machine that simply can't be sustained.

Re:Pr0n example (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539163)

Because the difference in the number of movies made, the budgets for each movie, and the number of copies that need to be viewed/sold to make a profit, there's no way the film industry can model itself after the porn industry.

Sure they could. They could make more movies, have smaller budgets, and release on cheap media like DVD.

Netflix has 3 million subscribers. HBO has 30 million. People are willing to pay for movies, just not the $10 or whatever theatres are charging these days (I wouldn't know, I have Netflix).

Re:Pr0n example (2, Insightful)

dickrichardv8 (711495) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539354)

I am not convinced that the bugets for films are based on how efficent they want to be. The accounting can be skewed for different reasons. An actors contract based on profit can make profits undesirable as can the good ole' IRS. Make sure the extra's wardrobe includes a fur coat the same size as your wife's size and make the coat an expense and not a wardrobe department investment. Order real pizzas for props at snack time etc. Other businesses don't do that do they? The local Self Help business in my town is non profit but the president's salary (founder also) is a little too nice.

Re:Pr0n example (2, Interesting)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539296)

Because the difference in the number of movies made, the budgets for each movie, and the number of copies that need to be viewed/sold to make a profit, there's no way the film industry can model itself after the porn industry.

Of course they could. Is Ron Jeremy doing Heather Hunter really any different from Bill Bob Thorton slamming Halle Berry? Only if you note the fact that you don't see the goods with the latter unless you freeze frame the latter's performance in Monsters' Ball.

All we need it higher quality porn or lower quality mainstream. They don't have to have gynecological closeups. I'm sure about as much as Playboy shows after midnight of Kirsten Dunst would satisfy us. I'll forgo high end SFX if I get to see Lucy Liu spread-eagle in the buff on the hood of a Trans Am with her fellow Charlie's Angels stars.

Re:Pr0n example (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539107)

73% gave up on 1st day in iCLOD city. Can you survive there?


Most likely they figured out it is really not a nice game. Tried it, could not figure out what to do, dumped it.

I would not be boasting about 73% not liking your game, but that is just me...

The truth about dropping theater sales... (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539322)

...the article mentioned that the industry needs something that can get people excited about going to the movies.

The Movie Industry says that due to lukewarm sales at the box office, ticket prices have to go up. Some say the turn out is low because it's more convenient to watch movies at home. I say this is BULLSHIT.

People do not go to the theaters anymore because it's not worth $10 a crack to see a movie on a screen that is not much larger than a big screen TV. Why spend $30 to $50 for a family to go out and watch a movie on a crappy screen? There is no reason.

Make screens as large as they used to be, and cap theater prices at $8. They will fill seats even for second run pictures.

The theater industry insults it's customers with a shitty product and than wonders why sales numbers are going down?

Who the hell in their right mind REALLY wants to watch a pirated film on a TV, for Christ's sake? NO ONE!

21st century product in 20th century market (5, Insightful)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539387)

All this DRM technology will fail its intended purpose because the MPAA companies are trying to protect a 20th century marketplace that is fading ever more each day.

20th century film marketing was based on the pay-per-view model where a central facility (the movie theater) charged each person a fixed fee (the box office admission) for each showing of the film. It didn't matter which film was showing; customers paid the same entry fee. Unpopular product would not collect as many fees as a more-popular title.

In this model there is no price flexibility for the consumer. It's strictly take-it-or-leave-it. This model works when there is a limited number of viewing openings available (the seats in the theater) and limited product (one print of the film per theater and only a dozen copies of the film in the metro area).

This model fails when there is nearly unlimited product (all film titles from the past 50 years) on DVD or unlimited view openings. What happens in this type of market is that the consumers get to bid on what they will pay and the terms that they will pay for the product. The new technology has changed the marketplace by removing most of the previous restrictions. The new technology is not going away.

DRM is an attempt to force the previous market conditions onto the new business environment. The MPAA companies (the film studios) want to have the highly profitable previous marketplace conditions with the greatly expanded marketplace made available by DVD. Beaucoup bucks if you can make it happen.

But it won't work. What will happen if the MPAA companies actually get DRM to work is that the market for film product will shrink to a small percentage of what it is today.

Successfully integrating DRM into film industry product is not going to bring back the old way of presenting film entertainment product. It's just going to drive the current film consuming public into some other form of entertainment.

One of the reasons that parents are encouraged to read fairy tales to their children is that it is an effective way to get the collective wisdom of the ages passed on to the adults of the modern age who are too vain to listen to good advice coming from any other source. The fairy tale that the MPAA should pay attention to the story of the goose that laid golden eggs. This goose would lay one egg a day of pure gold. The villagers got greedy and decided to kill the goose, cut it open and get all the golden eggs that must be inside. This they did. And they found no gold inside. And they never got any more golden eggs.

Like the villagers, the film studios don't understand the new film market. Adding DRM to the product that is providing their golder eggs will be like killing the goose.

I want to buy another player... why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538927)

I don't see what's in this for the consumer. More DRM, less fair use? Great, sign me up.

Re:I want to buy another player... why? (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539020)

It's DivX [wikipedia.org] all over again!

Re:I want to buy another player... why? (1)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539090)

It's DivX all over again!

DIVX =/= DivX
You're artile went throught the trouble of making the distinction.
DivX = video codec
DIVX = psudo-rental video disk

Re:I want to buy another player... why? (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539204)

Yeah, but that's a bit of a retcon. If you follow the links, you'll notice that the disk format is referred to as DIVX, Divx and various other spellings. The original name of the codec was 'DivX ;-)', as a pun on the defunct disk format.

RFID is evil. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538936)

DRM is evil.
Movie companies are evil.
It seems UCLA is evil, too.

LOL, they have no clue (4, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538939)

They shouldn't spend more than 5$ on copy protection, as thats what it costs to rent a movie at blockbuster, and create infinate copies.

If they really cared, they could slap together an encryption technique in an hour, and have an internet delivery system so you could watch movies on your computer. It doesn't matter that the encryption system is crappy, it'd take longer to break than it would to simply pirate the movie in conventional ways. And if the crack becomes widespread, spend 1 more hour and change the system around.

So in conclusion, they could create a content delivery system and boost their revenue on movies with code from a system that could take a good programmer less than a month to develop.

Re:LOL, they have no clue (3, Insightful)

Chris Kamel (813292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539062)

slap together an encryption technique in an hour
and have it broken in half an hour, Sony developed a technique that was broken with a marker pen. And I think that took them much more than an hour to "slap together"

Re:LOL, they have no clue (1)

toad3k (882007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539350)

How much you wanna bet the system would require some proprietary software to use. When I can play that stuff with mplayer, then maybe I'll drop blockbuster.

This has some possibilities... (5, Funny)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538941)

Hopefully, they'll use 40-bit encryption and rely on a proprietary algorithm as the principal means of ...

What do you mean it's already been done [slashdot.org] ?

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

i guess that was obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538953)

well you knew it was comming

Next up traffic lights respond faster to the elite

You gotta be kidding me (5, Funny)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538962)

RFID and DRM? Are they trying to send every geek on the planet apopleptic or something?

MOD parent \/ (3, Insightful)

gerf (532474) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539003)

Why do you assume that RFID is "evil" or unwanted by geeks? I use it at work to track pallets in conveyor lines. You can't imagine how much easier it is to track pallets with parts on them rather than track parts on a rolling conveyor using prox sensors.

Now, DRM is another story. I think that you've simply seen too many RFID articles on /. that link DRM, personal product, or human tracking with RFID. Those are completely unrelated to RFID in general, and are mere uses of the tool.

Overall, I think your opinion is as blindingly focused as those of the MPAA, RIAA, and all the similar organizations that you despise.

Re:MOD parent \/ (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539074)

Depending how broadly you want to look at it, DRM would have positive uses too. Smart cards with digital e-cash? That'd require DRM, in my view. Of course, at the moment the technology just isn't there, as all current DRM schemes can be hacked given enough time and energy.

Re:MOD parent \/ (2, Interesting)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539094)

It was a joke. I fully understand that every technology has beneficial effects, including RFID. I understand that the majority of privacy issues are overstated, although things like chipped passports still worry me. I am well aware how useful RFID can be in a number of situations, such as the one you described.

I understand that DRM, while being problematic for privacy advocates and those of us who like complete control over our own computers, is, when properly applied, one plausible way of encouraging more people to acquire non-infringing copies of media. I don't like it cos I fit into both the above categories but, as long as they don't figure out how to stop me re-encoding media in a decent format, I can live with their attempts.

I'm not keen on the RIAA or MPAA cos, viewed as monolithic organisations, they're both [salon.com] bastards [arstechnica.com] . However, I understand that it's naive to label any one organisation or individual as completely good or evil - for example, a friend of mine works for Microsoft, and another is getting his education courtesy of IBM.

None of this stops me seeing the article title, having a sudden image of many millions of geeks having spontaneous heart-attacks, ruining my keyboard with the proverbial Morning Dew and deciding to share that little frisson of amusement with the rest of Slashdot, in the hope of cheering people up. My investments in the keyboard-manufacturing industry have nothing to do with it at all.

MOD grandparent /\ (1)

ArielMT (757715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539103)

RFID tags embedded in the disposable packaging and reuseable palettes I can understand. That is indeed a practical and productive use of RFID technology.

However, RFID tags embedded in the product itself is a Very Bad Idea (TM). The article discusses nothing more than combating lawlessness by punishing the law-abiding. By definition, the law-abiding are not lawless, so even if this idea catches on it's doomed to fail in its stated goal.

Re:You gotta be kidding me (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539143)

Actually, the idea is a good one.. the thing all DRM needs is "uniqueness" which is exactly what digital technology strips away. In the era of records there was a "barrier to entry" simply because equipment to make records was so expensive there was no "non-commercial" middle ground.

The idea of an RFID tag makes perfect sense. With the new and shiny DMCA, it could be illegal to produce copies of the RFID tags. You could put the key on the RFID tag and manufacture some "proprietary" format with the embedded tag... they players would be required to "read" the tag to decrypt the data.

Of course this means that PC users may not be able to use the discs... But that's another story about marketing. One of the problems with publishing technology is that they have to trade off cheap with reproduceable... They've gotta come up with "gimmicks" Nintendo GCs "backwards" drive was perfect... I'd put RFID tags in the same category.

Ultimately, they have to build a better multimedia center that allows "piping" of content between formats without actually copying it. I've wondered for years why component makers have shuned the idea of "remote PC control" versus making a PC "player". Apple's Airport Express is a great "convergence" device in this respect..allowing you to remote control your itunes list, but pipe it anywhere in your house...we need more of that! Things like USB or firewire remote control would allow really simple media setups without having to hack anything... after all, you can get a cheap DVD player for your TV for about the same as a DVD-rom drive. Why can't you "pipe" that easily to your PC... that's the question to really ask, because then formats become irrelevant.

Good point; only one problem (1)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539243)

As far as I can tell, this system is no more resistant than any other to the simple expedient of piping the dvd output to a file not the monitor/speakers.

Additionally, every extra layer of difficulty they add to the usage of DVDs just encourages more piracy. I can't play DVD x on my computer? Fine, I'll just go on the 'net, someone there will have it, and I won't even have to feel guilty.

I honestly can't see how the MPAA can continue to exist in its current form for much longer.

Re:You gotta be kidding me (2, Funny)

andy jenkins (874421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539212)

RFID and DRM?

The missing pieces for my sock drawer! I'm going to RFID my socks into pairs so I can track them, then DRM them out of compatibility with my flatmate's feet.

Sorted, now to work on biological DRM for my milk

Re:You gotta be kidding me (4, Funny)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539217)

Sounds like a schema to get rid of piracy to me:
  1. Release a DRM scheme based on RFID
  2. Announce it on /.
  3. All geeks (including those pirating movies) suffer heart attack and die
  4. Profit!

Re:You gotta be kidding me (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539358)

Toss in 'backed by Microsoft' for the /. evil trinity bonus outrage points.

Networking required (4, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538964)

At first this looks like DECSS all over again but with the key on an RFID tag. The difference is that in the UCLA proposal the player has to phone home to verify the RFID tag.

This technology could conceivably be used for good. Imagine a player with a hard disk as well as a network card. It could auto-download interviews, making-of documentaries and so on as they get released after the DVD ships.

Of course this is the end of privacy. The RFID tag has to be unique to each copy of the disk, otherwise you could copy it wholesale. When the player phones home with the RFID info, they know who bought the disk and maybe even how often it gets played. Ick.

Re:Networking required (2, Interesting)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538995)

of course it wouldn't actually work - you can't ever find out if we are talking about blockbuster or some idiot pirating a movie. and of course we could always just play the movie and save the stuff on the screen to a DVD and then copy that DVD. in short, no way in hell this is going to work.

Re:Networking required (3, Informative)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539056)

At first this looks like DECSS all over again but with the key on an RFID tag.

DeCSS could have worked years ago, when writable DVDs were expensive. But now that I can get a dual layer writable DVD for 3 or 4 bucks, it's too easy to just bit copy the whole damn thing.

RFID tags are even cheaper, more like 30 or 40 cents. The writers themselves are expensive, but if this plan actually goes into action I bet you'll see the price of RFID writers come down real quick, which, hey, at least there'll be good to come out of it.

This technology could conceivably be used for good. Imagine a player with a hard disk as well as a network card. It could auto-download interviews, making-of documentaries and so on as they get released after the DVD ships.

You don't need RFID technology to do that. And without tamper-proof hardware, which is allegedly physically impossible, you're not going to stop piracy, because it only takes one person to break into the device and reverse engineer it.

Of course this is the end of privacy. The RFID tag has to be unique to each copy of the disk, otherwise you could copy it wholesale.

I seriously doubt the RIAA is going to be able to outlaw paying for DVDs with cash.

When the player phones home with the RFID info, they know who bought the disk and maybe even how often it gets played.

I also doubt they're going to force DVD manufacturers to build players that "phone home".

Advertising to the content providers... (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538965)

The UCLA research group is developing the software and hardware components of a system
that would embed DVDs with an RFID tag and DVD players with an RFID reader so that the tagged
DVDs would play only in RFID-enabled players and only if the reader could authenticate the
DVD's tag. In order to authenticate, the player would also need to link to some type of
online network, similar to the EPCglobal Network, that would associate the DVD with a legal
sale. Through this system, the copyright owners (the film production company and any other
license-holders of the content) would have digital rights management over the work. But
viewers would not be able to play the DVDs without an RFID-enabled player because the tag
would essentially lock the disc.


I don't see anything there that allows me to exercise fair-use. I need to use some special
DVD player (the market has already proven they don't like this), I need to have an Internet
connection, and I need to buy some special DVD...

I apparently can't make a backup copy for myself, move the content to portable formats, etc.
Hey UCLA Research Team, remember this is necessary. Oh wait, you aren't being paid by the
consumers, you're being paid by the content providers...

The Motion Picture Association of America, a trade group that represents major Hollywood
studios, estimates that the U.S. motion picture industry loses more than $3 billion annually
in potential worldwide revenue due to piracy.


LOL. This is difficult to prove and we all know why. Thanks for the blantant bullshit
though.

This sounds more like advertising to the content providers than it sounds like some sort of
press release of what hey have/can do.

If you have a hammer everything is a nail (2, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539081)

The old adage is often true. In an RFID industry journal, you'd expect to see some outlanding ideas about what you could possibly do with RFID. I'm sure the industry would love to sell a RFID reader with every DVD player and an RFID with every DVD. That this is currently entirely impractical and unacceptable at present is not important

History shows us that people are subject to the tyrrany of small increments. Huge increments in cost , restrictions and rights are generally unacceptable, but people don't seem to mind small increments. Likely in 10 years time most people won't mind using an RFID DVD system so that terrorists can't watch Sleepless in Seattle (or whatever other line they spin us).

Re:Advertising to the content providers... (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539092)

I don't see anything there that allows me to exercise fair-use.

If by fair-use you mean making a perfect digital copy, well, that's the point.

Re:Advertising to the content providers... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539122)

now you no longer need to sneak a video camera into the theatre, you can do it in the privacy of your own home lol

Simpler solution: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538967)

Release the movie on a regular DVD as soon as it hits theaters. There's a guy down the street from me who is already using this business model, and it seems to work.

Make DRM open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538968)

Make it real simple cause it's always crackable, why dont the MPAA and RIAA face the reality?

Make DRM open so individuals can sell music without having to pay for a DRM scheme.

A tag in the ID3 sounds fine to me. Yes it can be hacked, but most people wont bother hacking it.

It's security by obscurity... (1)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539099)

If it was open then people would be simply able to remove it entirely from their files. The whole idea of DRM is to kee it closed so people cannot easily crack it and "improperly" use the files (like for multimedia and stuff).

Pirates won't need to use handycams anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538971)

Now they'll be able to crack the DRM DVD and release DVD quality rips of movies that are in theatres.

there's always the manual method (3, Informative)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538973)

Play the CD in a DRM player, and record from the speakers....

Re:there's always the manual method (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539157)

I'm assuming you meant "record from line-out", because recording from speakers would sound just about as good as recording underwater. With electric guitars. In a shark tank.

It is true you can take do the line out / line in trick, but you lose fidelity, even if you have an expensive fancypants analog-to-digital converter, which you onboard sound "card" certainly is not.

Once you've digitized a signal (which the studio does for you), the best way to copy is to keep it digital all the way through.

Re:there's always the manual method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539365)

but if it saves me 20 fucking dollars I dont care about that little signal quality loss. (I mean the line-out trick, the speaker trick, I cant stand that much noise quality loss.)

Just a MPAA pipe dream (5, Insightful)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538974)

"Rajit Gadh, professor in UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and director of WINMEC, says that the research going into the project is targeted at determining whether the concept is technologically feasible. `We're in the very early stages of this project--the first research stage'"

Someone care to explain to me how putting a RFID chip in a DVD could prevent a computer from reading the raw content of the disc and cracking that? I think it's been shown time and time again that DRM will be cracked, especially when the new technology can be attacked with conventional hardware.

Basically, reading the article this both seems technically impossible and a far way off.

On another note, if the MPAA really wanted the DVD to be available when the movie was in theatres, they'd just make it so now. But they're smarter than that; they know people won't pay twice for the same movie if both options are available at the same time.

Re:Just a MPAA pipe dream (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539302)

It would only work with the new "blue ray" players.. they could be made to only play RFID'd discs... after all, we've all got DVD players already so it's not an inconvenience. We have HDMI too, that will soon effect all HDTVs and could probably be used in computer monitors too. again, the combination is unique proving that at least consumer devices can't "cheat".

It's a genius idea frankly. something Unique is needed to be part of the the next spec...RFID is the simplest thing to use. mold it right into the disc and the content could be keyed to accept only those numbers of RFID tags as keys. Nobody but certified people could have the RFID discs.. That raises some anti-competitive concerns, but we'll still have DVD & CD for years to come.

I'm a big fan of fair use, but they've got to do something to "protect" their businesses. Sure, eventually you'd create copies from a "blue ray" computer drive, but normal players couldn't ever play them...reducing the rampant piracy... of course most pirated things on the net are DVIX anyway...so people aren't exactly stopped by it. But it would prevent "casual" copying... but again, not "downcopying" via PC to something standard like DVD after it was cracked.

The only benifit would be that harware makers could finally build "convergence" devices like TiVO for DVD & CD because they could guarantee the data couldn't be pulled off the device. Combine with technologies like apple's airport express you could really do some neat stuff.

I don't like the "phone home" requirements though, that could be a real turn off for most people. I suppose a device could track the keys for what it already authenticated, but that again limits the really interesting stuff like mobile and piping usage.. unless the device could "pass" it's key off to other lesser devices... or include multiple copies in alternate formats! like a CD player passing it's tag id off to an iPod... I Really don't like the idea of content providers having "rights" to the media after you recieve it.. that is a key part of why we have copyright in the first place.. because we need an "artifical" way to protect something that's not protectable. Allowing publishers to "edit" usage after the sale is just against the entire system we have in place... it's almost as bad as skipping commercials!!!

Re:Just a MPAA pipe dream (1)

mpeg4codec (581587) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539317)

From the article:
But viewers would not be able to play the DVDs without an RFID-enabled player because the tag would essentially lock the disc.

Obviously the article is not very technical, as it is geared toward a non-techincal audience. However, I would imagine the tag would contain some sort of encrypted key [that theoretically only MPAA-licenced players would be able to decrypt] that can be used to decrypt the contents of the disc. It wouldn't have to be anything too complex, maybe something like a CSS key. This is just speculation, of course.

DRM is sort of like an arms race. The hackers are trying to stay one step ahead of the *AA and the *AA is trying to stay one step ahead of the hackers. They can keep coming up with new DRM methods, and it will only be a matter of time before these are broken. Now repeat this ad infinitum.

Questions ? (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538975)

From the article: "In order to authenticate, the player would also need to link to some type of online network, similar to the EPCglobal Network, that would associate the DVD with a legal sale. Through this system, the copyright owners (the film production company and any other license-holders of the content) would have digital rights management over the work."

That doesn't sound right. The RFID is only a way of providing a unique identifier to a stamped DVD. Does it mean I have to authenticate my DVDs online to play it ?

From the article: "But viewers would not be able to play the DVDs without an RFID-enabled player because the tag would essentially lock the disc."

Now we have to buy another DVD player ??

Re:Questions ? (1)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539177)

"From the article: "In order to authenticate, the player would also need to link to some type of online network, similar to the EPCglobal Network, that would associate the DVD with a legal sale. Through this system, the copyright owners (the film production company and any other license-holders of the content) would have digital rights management over the work.""

This is very unlikey to be implemented on the current generation of Standard Definition DVDs. This is Divx version 2. The consumer gets no additional features from this lock down and thus nobody is going to buy RFID locked DVDs or players. The public already soundly rejected the Divx DVD player that required the player to authenticate the DVD via a phone line. Under this new idea, the DVD player will have to connect to the internet...like that isn't going to cause problems.

This authentication system means the studios can keep a realtime database of every movie you watch, whether purchased or rented. It also means the studios could prevent the rental of DVDs by limiting the number of machines you can authorize to play a DVD, or even limiting the number of plays.

This is DRM of the very worst kind--so bad even Joe Consumer won't fall for it.

There will always be a way to "pirate" (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538976)

If this lets you watch it outside of the theater, it is very possible to get a camcorder and record it from the screen that way. I know it's an ugly solution, but people already do it in theaters, it will be done.

So basically... (1)

BalorTFL (766196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538979)

...they want consumers to completely replace their current DVD players, and require the new ones to connect to the net when you want to watch a movie? I really don't think this is going to fly with the average Joe. They might be able to piggy-back it onto the next-gen HD/Blu-Ray discs, but for now it's just another MPAA pipe dream.

And if you're watching "Fahrenheit 911" on DVD... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12538980)

You will immediately be reported to Homeland Security and the White House.

Re:And if you're watching "Fahrenheit 911" on DVD. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539295)

No, you're reported to the looney bin... because you must have issues if you're willing to sit through a Michael Moore movie ;-)

Burn, Hollywood, Burn (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538983)

This proposal is exactly backwards. Hollywood's only advantage over the Internet in content distribution is the physical reality of premieres in theaters. Even if the movie has been leaked, lots of people want to go to the theatrical premiere.

Hollywood has relied more and more on the opening weekend, with unprecedented simultaneous premieres on many screens across the land. They could invest more glitz, making every premiere like the Golden Age fantasies, with skytracking spotlights, red carpets, celebrities and other hype that leverages their control of the unique spacetime event. They might hold advance ticket sale lotteries which draw stars to winning venues. They could cover the whole thing on TV, making 15-minute stars of attendees. And raise the ticket price, sell event merchandise. Ultimately, they'd have economics which demand seeding the "pirates" with copies linked to premiere sales.

The movie becomes the ad for the event, merchandise and access to the stars. They're already headed there; desperate DRM schemes like this one from UCLA just get in the way of a workable business model that exploits the Internet, rather than fighting their best customers and partners.

Burn, Pirate, Burn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539002)

"This proposal is exactly backwards. Hollywood's only advantage over the Internet in content distribution is the physical reality of premieres in theaters. Even if the movie has been leaked, lots of people want to go to the theatrical premiere."

No pirate has ever created what they steal. Ever!

Re:Burn, Pirate, Burn (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539045)

What are you talking about?

Hope it fails... (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 9 years ago | (#12538990)

If this ever makes it to market I hope it goes the way of the dinosaur, just like DivX (the DVD technology, not the codec).

Forumalic Post (4, Funny)

Monkeman (827301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539007)

[obligatory "Big Brother" reference] [obligatory out of place Microsoft flame] [obligatory Soviet Russia Joke] [more 1984 references] [link to funny picture] [link to Goatse] [gung-ho "revolutionary" idea] [flaming MPAA/RIAA] [more Microsoft flaming]

Divx (1)

jimi the hippie (725322) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539012)

Didn't they try this with Divx discs?? As I remember it didn't work out so well.

RFID Disks & Players == BAD IDEA (0, Troll)

ArielMT (757715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539019)

I live an hour from anywhere, and the only DVD player I have is my PC. I got tired of Windows long ago and put Linux on it, and it plays my DVDs without problems.

Now these liberal-indoctrinated college pinheads, naturally believing piracy to be bad, but without understanding the real problem, are telling me that I'll have to buy a TV set and "RFID-enabled" DVD player just to watch a movie that I pay good money for? All in the name of stopping piracy?

Wrong answer. It is not the end that justifies the means, Hollywood and college kids. It's the means which must justify the end.

Re:RFID Disks & Players == BAD IDEA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539077)

Now these liberal-indoctrinated college pinheads [...]

Because conservative-indoctrinated college pinheads are somehow above such notions? Do you just go around slinging anti-liberal rhetoric where ever you think it might stick?

Sorry, champ. It's not sticking. Try a substance other than bullshit sometime, it might help.

Unless the industry happens to bribe-er-persuade the current House and Senate to make such DRM-enabled players mandatory, then they'll simply go about the tried and true method of appealing to one of America's holy virtues: greed.

Throw enough flashy new features in a player, and the public will run over each to get their hands on it; DRM and all.

So, um, listening to this (4, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539023)

This just sounds like DIVX with some buzzwords added.

I imagine if they try to productize this, they'll fail for the same reason DIVX failed; the technology demands far too much of and is far too restrictive on the consumer while offering no benefits to anyone except the producer.

If movie companies want DVDs available at the same time the movie comes out they can just bloody well sell them. It's amazing how much proposed technology serves no purpose except attempting to overcome corporate insecurity*.

* Corporate insecurity. "Insecurity" not as in "Inadequately guarded or protected; unsafe" but "insecurity" as in "Lacking self-confidence; plagued by anxiety".

DIVX revisited? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539032)

Not to be confused by DivX [wikipedia.org]
I'm refering to DIVX [wikipedia.org] the format sold at Circuit City and failed.

You buy a disc... DIVX, RFID enabled or otherwise, and you gotta wait for network authorization to play it. So no chance of the kids watching it on the road in your SUV, no chance of watching the flick on that flight with your laptop. I can only suspect loss resale rights assuming the RFID tag is locked into your DVD player.

DIVX at least had the added benifit that it was like a rental but no late fee. Cool in that respect but not cool you had to plop down money for a special DVD player that attached to your phone line, assuming you even had a phone line near your TV.

RFID enabled discs might carry with it the benifit of watching an early release, but I don't see that being enough to give up the rights we presently have with regular DVDs.

My DRM management solution... (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539037)

Every time I see studios or the RIAA/MPAA try to impose further restrictions on fair use I think it is about time people started standing up to protect their fair-use right by boycotting content.

I practically stopped bothering with 'entertainment' more than a decade ago and personally think worthwhile entertainment is increasingly few and far between, getting thinner each time.

Instead of trying to produce really good stuff, studios go for the quick bucks and stretch them with DRM. From my point of view, this will ultimately lead to a lose-lose situation.

What does RFID add to this? (4, Insightful)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539048)

You have an object that transmits information to the player via two methods: optical disk, and RFID. What is the point? Why not just put the data from the RFID onto the disk instead? Is it just a techinical issue that it is easer to add a unique ID to each disk by gluing on an RFID than to write it to the disk?

Meanwhile, people will get one of the new players, record the movie off the video output, redigitize and distribute. It is easer than smuggling a video camera into the theatre.

Re:What does RFID add to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539149)

Good question. When I consider all the points raised here, and your question, I can't help but think that they've lost their freakin' minds. More money, more complexity, more hassle, no apparent benefit for us, the people who ultimately pick up all their bills, but they expect we'll buy it because... because... they've lost their freakin' minds. That's all I can come up with.

DRM != Digitial Rights Management (1)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539088)

It's all marketing bullshit to make people think it's a Good Thing(tm). In fact, it's a horrible thing and should be referred to instead as Digital Restrictions Management [gnu.org] ...

Give it a week... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539101)

... and this (as with ALL other types of encryption/protection) will be broken...

I'm not sure why anyone actually bothers with this kind of thing since the only people it discourages from copying are those that don't bother anyway... the "nasty-goblins" will just get around it some way and copy to their hearts delight... I'm suprised the movie industry hasn't realised that by now... also cause most of the illegal copying goes on in foreign countries (yes I'm looking at you China, and you Russia) and then becomes grey imports this is just gonna mean that they get the hands on a good copy of the films straight away, i.e. they won't have to wait 3 months or blackmail a member of cinema staff... I suppose they have to be seen to be doing something...

Re:Give it a week... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539321)

It's going both ways. One of the reasons why pirated DVDs are so popular in China is that you can buy the movie several months before it comes out in the cinemas. The person who originally copied it damn sure wasn't in China.

Bullshit! (4, Interesting)

Loundry (4143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539110)

Gadh believes consumers would be interested in purchasing specialized early releases of DVDs, as well as the specialized DVD players needed to play them

"Specialized" DVD players that play "Specialized" disks to go along with the other 9, big, ugly boxes collecting dust on top of your TV (along with the other "normal" DVD player which plays only "normal" DVDs).

It won't work. History says so. [wikipedia.org] Gadh believes consumers will be interested in purchasing this moronic system because it's in his interest to believe it. He's paid to believe it.

And if an illegal copy is found? (1)

adamdewolf (879951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539115)

How about a write-once area on the DVD and if a bad copy is found, the DVD player writes "GAME OVER" to that portion of the disk and then it no longer plays....

hmmmm, didn't some other type of dial-up copy-protect sytem try this sorta thing?

Oh, I hope they do this! (4, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539161)

This is an absolutely absurd and annoying piece of technology. You can bet that this thing will be cracked very quickly, or tools will develop that capture the digital output stream of the DVD player. Then presto, it's in the wild, or at least copied onto another DVD without this stupid RF tag protection.

DVD Storm troopers (2, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539168)

ST (storm trooper): Halt there citizen!

Me: AAAhhh, where did you come from?!

ST:From a land far far away and a....never mind that. Hand over that DVD.

ME: Why, what did I do, I just wanted to watch the latest flick that came out.

ST: Yes, but you forgot to register your DVD with the Empire Media.

Me: Ohhh nooooosss! So will I get fined?!

ST: No, you just die.

Me: AAhhhhhrrhrrrghhhhh nooooooooo.

Business and technology (3, Insightful)

Mother Sha Boo Boo (883424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539214)

I still think that business should adapt to technology, and not the other way around.

Every movie going to include a player & a TV? (2, Interesting)

Kerhop (652872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539231)

I recall awhile ago some radio stations were given demo CD's inside a portable CD player that was glued shut and the headphones were glued into the jack (or something like that). The fact that any device whether it be a RFID DVD player or whatever has to output to a display device of some sort. This is great if the consumer has a newer VCR or TV that's aware of the broadcast flag or whatever the latest fad is, however all it takes is one person with a first-generation VCR to record the movie and then capture into an MPEG in their computer. It's going to be a never-ending battle.

Wasn't Nintendo talking about doing this. (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539232)

IIRC, Nintendo had considered putting a very small passive RFID imbedded in the hub of their disks for the Game Cube (I'm assuming that they did not do this). It seemed at the time to be a great way to stop game priating. Granted, the simplest way to defeat would be a hardware hack to get the console to ignore the lack of RFID which would make duplicating the RFID moot. Anyone else recall this, or am I dreaming (I have taken a great deal of cold medicine today).

Completely Screwed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539237)

In 25 years, when either a large asteroid or WWIV decimates civilization, we will be back to caveman times.

You have a laptop with a manual which explains how to operate the local fusion power plant...but, you cannot authenticate with a Media Protection Regime server.

Ditto for the manual on agricultural methods, repairing that '69 Chevy, treating that bacterial infection, et cetera.

And besides that, all of society is headed towards renting everything: your home, your car, your movie collection, your books, even your underwear.

You buy Star Trek: TNG with RFID. You go to let your kids watch it in fifteen years, and guess what: Paramount decides that you thieving bastards watching those old episodes are cutting into the ratings of Star Trek: Braga Does Not Suck so they shutdown the authentication servers thus rendering your $5,000 collection of Star Trek history worthless.

Ford is really hurting in 2010, so, they stop authenticating the ignition sequence in your 2006 Ford Craptang that you have kept in spectacular shape.

Fruit-of-the-Loom wants you to buy new underwear, so, they turn off the authentication for your year old undies. Now, your washing machine will not run with these undies present.

You have been warned.

Things never do change in this area (2, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539242)

The MPAA still puts out their bogus estimation of lost monies that never would have being paid to them in a world of perfect DRM because the IP was total horsesh*t to begin with. Anyone remember the transition from cheap matinee movie houses to VCRs in the 70s to early 80s? Once, we had no choice but to listen to word of mouth of early victims or go see how bad it was ourself.

Then, cr*ppy movies got shunted to lower echelon theaters with lower ticket prices. Then to VCRs with the straight-to-video phenomenon. Given the pace of tech, the new lowest denominator should be straight-to-DiVX/MPEG2 and the industry should have already embraced it whole-heartedly. Of course, with the legendary mindset of people like Jack Valenti and his peers, it hasn't.

Instead, they're only encouraging piracy by not embracing the newer workable models, attempting to turn back the calendar to days where cr*p was forced onto us with no solution but total abstinence.

I might like to add that I've paid to see exactly three of the twenty-four movies I've seen in the last four years thanks to the movie industry's own largesse where promotional showing tickets are splurged to radio stations. Locally, my newspaper gets overflow tickets from one of several stations and so I see movies for free with the MPAA's and studios' blessings.

How is that any different in the end? Maybe releasing lower quality (camcorder screener) full length teaser copies to the net would actually drive people to the movies. In my case, they've driven me to buy DVDs. But still, they think they've lost on monies I was never going to pay them...

Who didn't see this sort of thing coming btw? Discs that have to have a sort of proximity sensor system to play because they're all invididually encrypted and the key to decrypt is on an rf chip embedded in the media? Easy to see this coming and just as easy to see mod-kits for the players hitting the net on Chinese web sites.

Interesting idea..... (1)

Hits_B (711969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539252)

Too bad the existing theaters will scream bloody murder and try to kill it off due to the potential of lost revenues. They will have to sell a shitload of popcorn and sodas to make up for that....

"Sir that is two drinks and two small popcorns. Your total is $45.50. Have a nice day"

They could stop most piracy... (3, Insightful)

raventh1 (581261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539345)

If they just stopped trying to ruin the product, and get it out faster than pirates. They control the product, they can also get it out to the market faster than pirates. I know several people who never bought Doom3 that had it preordered, but got a pirate copy because it was out first.

The best way to defeat piracy is make no need. By creating more obstacles for the consumer, they make it easier to justify piracy (because Pirate copies don't have to call home to verify authenticity.)

Instead of spending money in court they should spend it on distribution. Napster only happend because it was the fastest way to get the product. If they were to release DVD videos at the time they premier in theaters they would stop camera piracy, and the motive for most casual pirates.

all your stuff belongs to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539351)

That is the stupid idea that "intellectual" property owners seem to be saying.
It is as if their solution to protecting their backsides is to come up with more intellectual property instead of investing in ways of...oh I don't know... better marketing their wares...better quality products...adding non-piratable value to their merchendise... trusting their customers (we are still kings, right? If not, when did we become dethroned?)...

The very notion that you can purchase something and need to inform not only the merchant that you purchased it but also the manufacturer you purchased it seems great if there is warranty involved. However, when you extend that registration beyond warranty and make it registration for the sake of registration. Well, gee. Guess what? The grey and black markets will only become more resourceful and increase their sales.
What's next, are we going to have to inform Archer Daniels Midland that we are making corn bread for supper tonight? Tomorrow night, corn dogs! Oh. That's right. There'll be a chip for that. It will put it into our Permanent Records for us...er...well, for someone's eyes.

WTF? (1)

jedkiwi (825683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539389)

Ok, is it just me, or is the current state of technology just getting more and more stupid? Oh wow, a DVD has a RFID chip in it, this is really going to help DRM! Has it not occured to anyone that there will be DVD players that will play anything, just like region-free players? Or the fact that pirates, wheilding their shiny swords and wearing their funny hats will find a way around this?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>