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RFID To Track Play of DVDs And CDs?

kdawson posted more than 8 years ago | from the long-arm-of-DRM dept.

237

jayp00001 writes, "A Taiwan-based maker of DVDs and CDs for major studios is about to begin putting RFID chips in disks. The eventual aim is for DVD and CD players equipped with an RFID reader to prevent copied or out-of-region disks from being played."

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Yawn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16128937)

Cat got your tongue? (something important seems to be missing from your comment ... like the body or the subject!)

OMG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16128938)

First post. this article 404'd for a while too. i creid.

Are they trying to encourage piracy (5, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128939)

Because when it starts getting that hard to be honest..
I buy loads of CDs from other countries, mainly US & Japan and if this will stop me being able to play them then sorry guys, I'm going to start to explore other avenues..

Re:Are they trying to encourage piracy (5, Funny)

NinjaFarmer (833539) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129011)

My next house will have a faraday cage.

Re:Are they trying to encourage piracy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129062)

That'll be important to protect you from the prying eyes of the media conglomerates as they STAND IN YOUR FRONT YARD TO READ THE TAG THAT CAN'T BROADCAST ALL THAT FAR. Because it's not like you could look out your window to see anybody close enough to snoop an RFID tag in your living room.

Give me a break. You yahoos sit here day after day praising places like PirateBay which encourage companies to take these kind of measures and then you whine when they do it. When will you just admit that all you folks want is something for nothing because you can get it?

Maybe do yourself a favor and encourage your fellow slashdotters to stop enabling these people by defending and participating in thievery. If you don't like the business practice, don't patronize the business. It's really a very simple economic principle. If the majority disagrees with you, then they don't mind this "intrusive" new "feature" and you're SOL because that's dollar voting at work. If they don't know, educate them.

But, no, Slashdot uses its position and its user base to encourage and excuse piracy instead, ensuring that this type of behavior will continue in an arms race between greedy businesses and common theives into the forseeable future.

Yay for common sense. I'd order a truckload and have it delivered, but I doubt anyone on this site would be willing to sign for it.

Re:Are they trying to encourage piracy (1)

NinjaFarmer (833539) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129173)

Hi Mr. High and Mighty Coward.

I don't believe I have ever commented about the glories of piracy on the high seas, but I don't really like the idea of them ninjaing information from my house without my permission or knowledge. What's next past a few DVD players with RFID tags? Are they going to put some serious funding into TEMPEST research? I'm confident the US government as it is will just smile and nod when every DVD/CD on the shelves is broadcasting information from every CD/DVD player or computer that plays them. Then all they have to do is drive some vans down the street and mail you subpeonas later. After that its TEMPEST trojans in your email from who knows where (and the only people who can operate TEMPEST are big corporations or governments) it will go from there.

Faraday cages are not extremely expensive, and they are future proof for the TFHs.

Re:Are they trying to encourage piracy (4, Insightful)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129096)

More to the point, how is embedding an RFID chip in the disc going to prevent people playing region-encoded discs outside of their regions?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't region-encoded discs already... well... region-encoded?

Either people buy legit US/Japanese/whatever players (which you can't guard against with RFID chips), or they get their existing player chipped to bypass the whole region-protection mechanism - is there any reason to think this isn't going to work with the new RFID players, too?

Of course, if the DVD players refuse to play unRFIDed discs then they'll be a bit useless for all the existing DVDs out there (nothing like breaking backwards-compatability to hurt a new product). If the RFIDed DVDs have some kind of (data) flag on the disc to turn RFID-checking it on it's liable to be trivial to reverse-engineer or omit the flag when copying the disc, too.

Even if it does somehow "eliminate optical disc piracy in the entertainment and IT sectors", does anyone else think it's wonderful how they've finally managed to do it just about the time that broadband and bittorrent have made "optical disc" piracy obsolete, even in the mainstream?

Re:Are they trying to encourage piracy (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129288)

I'd also imagine you could kill the RFID chip on the DVD although I'm not up to speed enough on the tech to know how. I'd guess either a large magnetic field or a high power radio signal or something should knock it out - maybe without damaging the DVD. There must be some way to kill the thing.

The right to steal? (-1, Flamebait)

sean@thingsihate.org (121677) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129114)

Their making undesirable changes to the product is reason enough for you to steal it, as though you were entitled to it?

Re:The right to steal? (4, Insightful)

temcat (873475) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129254)

Yes - by your new definition of the word "stealing", which now includes playing out-of-region disks.

The death of disk based distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129359)

Well I smell the slow, painfull death of disk based distribution coming sooner than expected. RFID will not save the industry, it will siply cost everyone involved billions of dollars. In the end, once consumers realize that they can no longer access their music or movie because the rfid tag is dead, they will abandon ship and start downloading. It may be legal services, it may be illegal means, but either way they will stop buying disks.

The Pope was right! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129367)

Hmmm, the Pope quotes one of his middle-ages predecessors while trying to make the point that violence is incompatible with the nature of God, so Muslims respond by shooting a nun volunteering at a hospital in Somalia and setting shit on fire. Is anyone still surprised? Someone farts in the same room as the Koran and Muslims go ape shit. Is anyone else getting tired of the manufactured outrage at the slightest perceived offense? The Pope tries to start an honest dialogue by stating that violence is irrational, and the people he's trying to dialogue with respond with their usual barbarism and ignorance. Anyone still think the West can resolve our differences with the Middle East through rational dialogue? If we can't even speak openly and honestly to each other without Muslims thowing a temper tantrum like the fucking spoiled rotten children of the world that they are, then what hope is there for rational conversation between the two cultures? Why should non-Muslims be forced to walk on egg shells and show all deference to Muslims when they consistently harass and persecute non-Muslims living among them? Fuck that bullshit! Is it really possible to reason with people who still think that chopping off a woman's clitoris is an appropriate way to keep her from cheating on her husband? Is it really possible to reason with people who murder homosexuals and who expel rape victims from their communities? I think not. Seriously, Muslims have about 300 more years of growth ahead of them before they're ready to participate in the affairs of the rest of the world.

hmm.... (5, Interesting)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128940)

and everyone pays for a more expensive RFID-capable CD/DVD player because...?

Re:hmm.... (1)

DeeVeeAnt (1002953) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128994)

This is why they will run it as a loss leader. Ooh look it costs 5p less than a normal player. Guaranteed to sell like hot cakes.

Re:hmm.... (2, Interesting)

Potor (658520) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128995)

because i imagine that one day older technology will be outlawed by act of congress, like analogue television

Re:hmm.... (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129171)

analog TV is not being outlawed by congress. you are free to have one and watch whatever you want on it. Over the air broadcasters are just not going to be allowed to send analog signals over the same public airwaves as they have been.

Re:hmm.... (0, Redundant)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129264)

So what the fuck are you supposed to watch on it, then?

You're letting them hair-split their way around common sense. You're part of the problem.

Re:hmm.... (3, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129001)

...because by the time your current player finally dies, that's all that's available?

This idea is a complete non-starter in any case - are they really saying that I won't be able to burn my crappy home movies of my daughter to DVD to post to my parents?

Re:hmm.... (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129208)

i worry about this too, as i too have a daughter and have crappy home movies which i plan to burn to dvd to send to her grandparents.

Probably wont be an issue though because the dvd wont actually get there as it will have been intercepted by the police who will raid my house at 4am and arrest me for distributing kiddie porn.

Re:hmm.... (3, Insightful)

gutnor (872759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129212)

It is unlikely that's all that will be available.

There are always at least one brand that will sell a player without rfid like what happen with dezoned dvd player. In the beginning it was difficult to find one, after a while some brand started to sell some and not it is not even possible to find a player that check zone encoding on dvd.

Off course the movie studio could use the RFID to store something mandatory to read the DVD. But that would mean making DVD incompatible with the huge park of player already existing. There is no way they will try that at the same time than they try to introduce the next generation of players ( they want people to replace their DVD player by a next generation one, not buy another dvd player )

The only way this technology would be usefull is if you make a law that outlaw DVD player with the RFID reader, but xxAA have more juicy target for their "buy you own politician puppet" budget.

Re:hmm.... (2, Funny)

Sagachi (986501) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129118)

and everyone pays for a more expensive RFID-capable CD/DVD player because...?
...because it's better! It's part of the upcoming technology revolution - Betamax, Laserdiscs, and DAT are about to reach critical mass!

Re:hmm.... (1)

andcal (196136) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129250)



and everyone pays for a more expensive RFID-capable CD/DVD player because...?


Maybe for the same reason everyone eventually bought a VCR with Automatic Gain Control (ensuring that scrambled television channels would be useless without the cable company's box). It became illegal to buy one without it.

What a bargain (3, Informative)

LividBlivet (898817) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128944)

Costs more, does less.

Re:What a bargain (5, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129128)

Costs more, does less.

Sony ... is that you?

Seriously, I've always told my friends to steer away from name-brand dvd players for exactly that reason. My supposedly crappy Apex is region-free out of the box, plays everything I can throw at it, and "just works". Other brands that my friends and relatives bought AFTER I WARNED THEM NOT TO just don't.

And when I go "I told you so" they go "yeah, but its a name brand and it costs more. It SHOULD work better."

People don't listen. The worst part ... when their name brand unit dies ... AND THEY DO IT AGAIN! Rrrrr! (And its not even Talk Like A Pirate Day until tomorrow)

Re:What a bargain (1)

Name Anonymous (850635) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129313)

People don't listen. The worst part ... when their name brand unit dies ... AND THEY DO IT AGAIN!

Of course if they bought a better quality name brand unit, it wouldn't die. My DVD player still works and it's one the original models (but after they dropped in price).

But I do agree, people tend to buy things for the name on it, and not necessarily what is in it. I tend to buy for both name and contents. Some brands do have better reputations than others.

For an example of buying by name, but not fully for content - Volvo makes cars that are very safe, however the last time I checked they still had lousy repair records, so what good is a safe car if you're always bringing it in for repair?

Re:What a bargain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129315)

Oh yeah, go Apex! It may smell like burning electronics when it is running but it has worked flawlessly for years no matter what cd/dvd I have tossed in it.

Re:What a bargain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129155)

Costs more, does less.

Like the good old Circuit City DIVX days, yeah!

Warning Label (4, Informative)

celardore (844933) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128946)

As long as they include a warning label on the CD case (like the 'copy protected' ones), so we can choose not to buy it that will be fine.

Re:Warning Label (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129092)

As long as they include a warning label on the CD case (like the 'copy protected' ones), so we can choose not to buy it that will be fine.
You give a little like that, you give a little more, and then you give a little more, and you're there. Think "slippery slope." If you allow any small amount nonsense, it is only time before the nonsense overwhelms you. This is a valuable life lesson that you need to learn.

If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a DVD (4, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128949)

This means a new standard, and new players all round. It's no longer a DVD, and I'm certainly not running out and buying a new player for it.

On another, rather important, note, they mention it for HD-DVD. HD-DVD doesn't even _have_ region encoding, so they can't tell me the disc is from the wrong one; that's why I want HD-DVD rather than Blu-Ray.

Re:If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a D (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16128964)

HD DVD doesn't have region encoding YET, but they're planning to add it via firmware update.

Re:If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a D (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16128987)

It will play in your DVD player. It will not play in new players with a mismatching region code. When your DVD player breaks (or when you upgrade to HD), you will buy a new player. The only way to protest is to stop buying, and that ain't gonna happen. People have money to burn and they will buy to fill the void between sleep and work with entertainment.

Re:If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a D (1)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129075)

I am not sure how many years it has been, but I have yet to replace a DVD player and my last VHS player lasted 10+ years (different stock from todays fare).
As the new disks can not be changed in such a way to break them on 'old' players there is just going to be 'legit' players and 'old' players, note: 'old' players can not be classed as non-legit.
This is all based on the fact the goverments do not do something stupid on the behalf of the movie companys.

Re:If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a D (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16128989)

HD-DVD doesn't even _have_ region encoding

Yet.

Re:If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a D (3, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129260)

On another, rather important, note, they mention it for HD-DVD. HD-DVD doesn't even _have_ region encoding, so they can't tell me the disc is from the wrong one; that's why I want HD-DVD rather than Blu-Ray.

This statement needs to be changed to say that HD-DVD doesn't have region encoding now. The fact that it is not being imposed now does not mean that it won't be imposed in the future. A web search can provide some interesting comments on this.

The thing that I find most interesting about HD-DVD is that the whole idea of PAL or NTSC discs is going away. At least so far it appears that HD-DVD's standard will be 24 fps video and it will expect the hardware (HD-DVD player and TV) to correctly display the image in whatever format is necessary.

Re:If it won't play in my DVD player, it's not a D (1)

Name Anonymous (850635) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129360)

This means a new standard, and new players all round. It's no longer a DVD, and I'm certainly not running out and buying a new player for it.

I'm not buying any new players until after the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray competition is done with. Come to think of it, I'm pretty much not buying any more movies either right now. Of course this reduces the pressure on me to upgrade to an HD TV. And at this point, I probably won't get an HD TV until after the format war is settled unless my current TV dies.

The end of those stickers? (4, Interesting)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128961)

With RFID chips embedded maybe we won't have to peel three seperate stickers off the DVD case.

That would be nice.

Re:The end of those stickers? (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129097)

Nope, they will add a fourth with the EULA for the RFID features.

Re:The end of those stickers? (1)

Lusa (153265) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129276)

With RFID chips embedded maybe we won't have to peel three seperate stickers off the DVD case.

There probably is an RFID sticker inside the case already :D Thankfully this absurd practice doesn't happen too often in the UK (sometimes we have one sticker). But I find it strange that when I mail order R1 discs (I'm in a R2 country), they come with three stickers. Exactly what is the purpose of these things?

Re:The end of those stickers? (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129298)

My guess those stickers are there for theft in the factories / distribution points / and the store.

RFID embedded in the disk would of course set off the scanners if not disabled. Since they have no intention of turning it off the store would just update their scanner to ignore that one as it passed by.

And how long (1, Insightful)

armanox (826486) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128966)

Until someone figures out how to disable the chip? Or reconfigure the dvd drives to work around them?

Re:And how long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129003)

Disable the chip hey? microwave!

Although I do remember Cds and microwaves don't mix, but you'd definitely rid yourself of the RFID.

Re:And how long (2, Funny)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129006)


Until someone figures out how to disable the chip?

Put it in the microwave. Oh wait....

This won't work for long (2, Insightful)

AI0867 (868277) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129105)

let's see, there's an RFID tag in the disk, the player won't play the disk of the RFID isn't correct, now there's a few options

-legacy disks won't play (people won't like it, but I can see it happening)
-legacy disks will play, the fact that RFID is needed sits as data on the disk

both things will be fixable with a programmable RFID chip, provided their code isn't too complicated (which it can't be, since they're delevering the encrypted content, the algorithm AND the key, just obfuscated)
you can also mod the player (I can see the US outlawing this).

things that will work only with option 2:
cracking the disk image before burning it or simply cutting the RFID chip in the player or wrapping it in tin foil.

Easy hardware fix (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16128974)

Open up DVD-drive, cut wires to RFID-reader. Now every DVD will seem like it doesn't have an RFID-track, thus will work as a "legacy disk". Next innovation, please.

Re:Easy hardware fix (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129131)

What should I cut??? The red or the green wire?

Re:Easy hardware fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129269)

The black one.

Re:Easy hardware fix (1)

Dilpo (980613) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129143)

While that would be really hilarious if it worked, I'd assume the DVD would tell the player "I'm a RFID DVD" and the player would go "But I cant read anything" and then give you a nasty error message.

Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a copy? (2, Interesting)

Secrity (742221) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128991)

If suspect that this crap won't go very far as I suspect that it won't be difficult to circumvent.

Re:Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a co (2, Insightful)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129031)

Options:-

1) Cover the disk in foil
2) snip the RFID reader in the player making it recognise legacy disk
3) destroy the RFID tag in the disk using LARGE electromagnet
4) refuse to buy one

thinking about point 3... I have used the technique before to destroy a RFID tag on thing I purchased. Aside from the problems of small popping when the foil in the tag melts, it seems to be a good way of destroying lots of tags. A strategically placed electromagnet and a sensor and you could hit every one that passed!

Re:Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a co (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129106)

How big are we talking? Commercially-available bulk eraser, or bigger?

Re:Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a co (2, Informative)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129192)

yeah, that should do it.

A place I worked at a couple years ago had problems with people "deactivating" the RFID tags on sales tags using a similar device to a bulk eraser. As long as you can induce sufficient current to destroy the aerial traces, or the silicon you are fine. I don't think it would do much for any electronics nearby though. The CD should be fine!

Re:Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a co (2, Funny)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129140)

And rip the car keys out of everyones pockets as well as fry their credit cards! GO ANARCHY! :)

Re:Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a co (2, Informative)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129246)

The RFID destroyer would be no larger than a small matchbox. There is no need for a MASSIVE (as in size) electromagnet, only a small, strong, directed em pulse.

The RFID-Zapper project uses a camera flash coil to induce enough current in the aerial to kill the silicon. I have tested something similar using a CCFL backlight inverter coil.

RFID-Zapper [events.ccc.de]

Re:Aluminum foil over the RFID detector? Burn a co (2, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129149)

And the destruction of the RFID tag is going to occur without damage to the probably even thinner layer of metal that holds the actual media content because?

RFID-R to the rescue! (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128996)

No problem, I'll just wait for a CD-R+RFID-R writer. Sure, the discs will cost $8 a piece at first, but the price will go down eventually.

And they're gonna implement it how? (1)

arun_s (877518) | more than 8 years ago | (#16128998)

From TFA:
IPICO claims that its RFID tags can be read from at least six metres away, and at a rate of thousands of tags per minute. The passive chips require no battery, as they are powered by the energy in radio waves from the RFID reader.
So they're gonna drive by each and every house in every continent with their scanners?
Or put one in every airport, every department store, every port?
And the cost for all those installations will end up in the DVD we buy. Great idea, jerks.
(Oh wait, TFA also says its the DVD players that will check the DVDs and reject it if its in the 'wrong' geographical region, but why would you need RFIDs for that? Why would a player need to scan thousands of tags per minute?)

Re:And they're gonna implement it how? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129027)

Why would a player need to scan thousands of tags per minute?

How many RPMs do DVDs get in the average DVD player? How often do you think the tag is going to fly by the rfid pickup? ;)

Well, I've tried to play nice... (3, Interesting)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129034)

I've bought thousands of cds. I also have hundreds of records and various other forms of music media. And music isn't cheap! I refuse to buy into music stores such as iTunes because I feel it's ludicrous to have to pay what adds up to almost the same price as buying the physical disc to have digital copies of music files that are encoded lower than I would have encoded it myself if I had the disc. But, I swear, the second they pull a stunt like this, I'm out. See ya. I'll still buy cds from all the independant artists I love, because I'm sure they'll avoid this like the plague. But it looks like the only option will be music services such as Yahoo! Unlimited that charge me $60 a year to listen to whatever I want. Now if only I had broadband in my car, I'd be set...

Re:Well, I've tried to play nice... (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129336)

But it looks like the only option will be music services such as Yahoo! Unlimited that charge me $60 a year to listen to whatever I want. Now if only I had broadband in my car, I'd be set...

In my days, we had a FM radio in the car. And we liked it! And it used to be free!! And it played music!
Now get out of my lawn.

I don't understand (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129036)

How does RFID stop you from using out-of-region disks? Are manufacturers expected to put an RFID into each disc that the player can read to validate? What happens for recordable media? What happens if someone whips out their dremel and just disables the RFID? What happens if I lay one of more legitimate discs on top of the player when I try to play an illegal one? What about the millions of players and discs which wouldn't give a damn about playing these "protected" disks? etc.

This sounds like just another stupid application of RFID. For the all the effort involved it would be simpler to just embed a hidden track and read that.

Wrap, don't cut. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129111)

wrap the transceiver in aluminum foil (don't cut the wires 'cause then it will know it's been tampered with).

Actually, if they're smart, they will encase an RFID tag in the housing of the player aswell. That way they'll know that the transceiver is working (reads it's own RFID tag, then the disc tag)

And then add an optical marker to the disc so that the player knows this particular disc is supposed to have an RFID tag even if it can't find one.

So much wasted effort.

I wonder how long it will be before all players phone home to narc on your listening habits.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129116)

How does RFID stop you from using out-of-region disks?
And more importantly to me, why do they want to? I don't understand the point of region encoding to start with. Why does anyone care if I want to watch the French version of a movie? Is there something I'm missing about the dvd market where my ordering one online from a different country negatively affects the bottom line of the distributors/producers/whoever somehow?

Re:I don't understand (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129137)

I thought DVDs had this additional track already?
standard r/rw disks are physically incapable of recording in this location.

Re:I don't understand (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129164)

For the all the effort involved it would be simpler to just embed a hidden track and read that.

Well for starters, hidden tracks can be copied. I don't expect there to be blank writable media with the RFID included, so it will always be easy to discern a pre-recorded (ie store bought) disc versus a consumer-written disc. As far as disabling the RFID reader in the player, I'm sure that will be extremely difficult in these days of "system on a chip" - more than likely it will be embedded in the one-and-only IC in the player.

Aluminum foil over reader will nullify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129047)

DVE readers and the like will have to be able to play normal DVDs or CDs without the
chips or older ones without. Just put a little aluminum foil over the reader and
these RFIDs will not do anything. Reports on the net indicate the foil in a potato chip
bag is thick enough. Aluminum paint might do too.
    Same goes of course for DVD drives should manufacturers start fiddling with those also
(though that would be rather expensive in a device that is down to $40 or less each).

Re:Aluminum foil over reader will nullify (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129135)

That won't work. The DVD player will look at the disc information, see that it has an RFID tag, look for the tag, and then refuse to play on account of it not being there.

Long-term impact (4, Insightful)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129065)

Okay, so most people - especially the most tech-savvy - won't bother buying an RFID-equipped player at first. However, if the industry enforcers (RIAA, BPI et al) push it hard enough this could well find its way into most players without the average consumer even noticing. It's not a certainty, but a frightening possibility.

In that event, I have to ask a simple question:

Will the revenue previously lost to piracy be fed back to the consumer? Will we see cheaper CDs anywhere?

Of course not. It's basic fucking economic theory that you can charge more if you segregate a market. Piracy be damned, fair-use my arse - this is just a desperate attempt to control the market, which can only lead to higher prices for legitimate, law-abiding consumers.

Bastards.

rfid in discs (1)

Rulke (629278) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129066)

the application of this will most likely not be the one they named, i can imagine that public libraries can use this to track their stock of dvd's and cd's. RFID comes in flavours, like read-only, so rewriting the tag wouldn't be possible, burning the chips memory with an overdose of energy would kill it however.

This is really becoming silly (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129069)

We're inches away from the RIAA/MPAA declaring that all content can only be viewed or heard on a pay per view basis at any of their convenient 'media centers'. We're taking a huge leap backwards to the days when movies were shown in dirty 5 cent halls. Maybe we should invest in good digital to analog reader-writer technology and bring back 16mm home movies and reel to reel.

Not too much time... (1)

FFFFHALTFFFF (996601) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129070)

I believe people dont wanna buy a DVD RFID reader capable, but anyways. How many days to a hack or solution for this protection?

Snake Oil (1)

tezza (539307) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129073)

This really should be in the Comedy/Entertainment section.

Could mean consumer-unbreakable protection (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129077)

To the people saying that a person could just "cut the wires" to the RFID reader module inside vis drive:
Ever heard of system-on-chip?

I can tell you right now that it is extremely doable to put the necessary rfid reader circuity inside the drive controller ASIC and connect it to a simple loop antenna by a couple of pins (remember it only needs to have a range of an inch or so).

The controller chip could even scan for the correct impedance to prevent people from breaking the antenna trace, or (this is a good one) have a 'verification' RFID somewhere inside the drive case:
If the RFID reader part of the controller can't read the unique id of it's matching verification RFID (remember nowadays it's possible to have a small pseudo-PROM area of an ASIC) it won't let you use the drive..

We are seeing the end of the consumer-hackable hardware era; modern hardware can and will prevent all but the most dedicated hardware hackers with expensive logic analyzers from making unauthorized copies.

Re:Could mean consumer-unbreakable protection (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129156)

Then cut the antenna.
Its not rocket science - no antenna = no signal in or out, chip has to fall back into standard mode.
Hell, failing all that, just add a tin foil layer between the disk and the sensor.

Re:Could mean consumer-unbreakable protection (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129157)

Perhaps, but I'd imagine there will be other ways to circumvent it. Even if the DVD manufacturers do play ball, I expect there will be a software component to the system. Quite a lot of chips these days do have a substantial software component.

Re:Could mean consumer-unbreakable protection (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129181)

That's exactly what 'disposable digicam' folks thought and once the 'dedicated hardware hackers with expensive logic analyzers' told the world how to easily hack the camera I suppose they reviewed their business model.

Still... I get most of my out of region movies via bittorent anyway so I can at least get English subtitles.

Re:Could mean consumer-unbreakable protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129275)

You're assuming that every engineer at all the mayor drive manufacturers is incompetant.
I think that's extremely improbable..

The only thing they need to do to prevent analysis is not expose any debug points on the pcb, and use only BGA chips.
Have fun trying to connect a logic analyzer to that :)

With the current and probable future state of windows security (and the knuckle-headed practice of device manufacturers to put core logic into drivers) a hacker wouldn't need to go to all that trouble though...

I still think that some time in the medium-range future we will see integrated DRM-PCs that protect the entire signal path from laser pickup in the drive to lcd pixel in the display ;)

Re:Could mean consumer-unbreakable protection (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129326)

and use only BGA chips.

Is this just for tamper resistance? They're extremely fiddly to solder, but apparently it can still be done by hand.

Dear hollywood (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129093)

NOBODY WANTS REGION CODING. (except the publishers)

. The people who actally make the films really don't care. They get their royalties if the disc is bought in the US, Europe, Taiwan or anywhere else. They really just want to make a living doing what they love.

The end users hate region coding. It means they often have to wait, often end up with an inferior version, and basically reduces consumer choice while increasing their costs.

The manufacturers don't like region coding. It makes their players considerably less popular. They go to considerable lengths to find ways around the region coding requirement. Multi-region is a key selling point of a player to anyone with any interest in importing discs. They're going to do the ame thing to try to get around RFID chips. Or anything else you might like to try. And they're really not going to be happy about having to increase their costs to add an RFID reader. These companies are working on tiny margins. No matter how cheap, RFID readers will eat into this.

Dear USA and a couple of others.... (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129232)


One of the reasons given for region encoding is the different standards between regions, paticularly the PAL standard used in most of the world and the completely rubbish NTSC standard used in the US. If everything was on PAL discs you'd have loads of US consumers complaining that they don't look right on their TV sets (and in the PAL world complaining about the massive drop in quality).

If you want to get rid of region encoding we need on TV standard.

Re:Dear USA and a couple of others.... (3, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129280)

You'd still sell the different format discs, encoded for the appropriate country. Just not the region coding. I don't think it would matter though. Australia (PAL) and Mexico (NTSC) are in the same region. And Europe (PAL/SECAM) is in the same region as Japan(NTSC). There have even been a few NTSC region 2 encoded discs sold in Europe. Many people in England import US discs, and they don't complain about the drop in quality.

If they can read it... (2, Insightful)

winchester (265873) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129095)

... I can read it. If it is encrypted and my player can read it, I can still read it. No matter what they try to do, unless they can come up with some sort of scheme where the complete key management is happening over a closed network that your player is mandatorily hooked up to 24/7, there is no way that this will prevent piracy.

What they will do is make the incentive bigger for criminals to copy these disks, and they make the incentive bigger for curious people to try and hack the protection of these disks. They will also piss the general disk-buying public off by creating disks that will more often not play rather than play.

No winners here... is that my problem? Last time I have seen a Hollywood movie is so long ago I can't even remember.

Hadn't you heard? (2, Funny)

aurelian (551052) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129154)

The chip + RFID goes in your brain - you need to hold one of the MPAA's special decoders next to your head while you watch. That way they can make sure you're watching the ads as well. Better yet, the installation (which will eventually be a legal requirement) takes only a few minutes and and should cost less than a hundred bucks!

Not a bad idea... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129098)

Sure, it will eventually be gotten around, but it will probably require shady imported DVD players, a firmware update, or additional hardware for when you make the disc. Although they are a bit late. With Blu-Ray and HD-DVD already out the door, it would be _BAD_ to implement it and piss off customers who already have a device. Maybe next gen though.

what about backups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129141)

What happens when I try to legally copy my DVD (for backup purposes)?

Ever see what a couple kids can do to a DVD? They don't intentionally destroy them, but it happens. Sometimes they just "miss" the DVD player or whatever and it ends up getting scratched up. I like to back their DVDs up so I don't have to buy them replacements.

Re:what about backups? (2, Informative)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129224)

What happens when I try to legally copy my DVD (for backup purposes)?

Then you're in violation of the DMCA and may well be arrested. Have you been asleep for the last six years?

Presumably... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129174)

...in return, the audio and video industries will supply the same DVD/CD selection to all regions and at the same prices, without making the discs more expensive?

Ah, thought not.

I don't pirate music or video at the moment, but if this comes into play suddenly that avenue becomes more and more enticing. I'm sick of having DVDs only come out in the US for certain things like TV shows, or have an album or film come out abroad with better quality sound or extra features, or find that I'm paying twice the price for the same product over in the UK.

The customer is never right? (1)

ZorroXXX (610877) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129176)

What happened to the old "the customer is always right" ideal? If people around the world wants to have film/music/whatever available to buy in their country at the same time as everyone else, then it is the job of the content producers to supply that!

Start noticing how many arguments in favour of "free market" really translates into "no regulation of mighty suppliers allowing them to screw the customers". The litmus test of if something really supports free competition should be "does the customers really want this?". Region encoding fails this. DRM fails this.

Re:The customer is never right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129289)

"If people around the world wants to have film/music/whatever available to buy in their country at the same time as everyone else, then it is the job of the content producers to supply that!"

I believe the main idea behind region coding is that in order to maximize global sales of a movie, you need to drop the price for sales to third world markets so folks there can actually afford it, while maintaining a higher price in more affluent countries. But then this creates an incentive for folks in rich countries to import cheaper discs that were intended for the third world markets, and so they came up with region coding of the discs and players to force people to use only the discs intended for them.

Re:The customer is never right? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129346)

"If people around the world wants to have film/music/whatever available to buy in their country at the same time as everyone else, then it is the job of the content producers to supply that!"

Uh, no. You may see it as the right thing to do and I may see it as the right thing to do, but the owner of the material can disburse it as they wish. You as the customer, have one right, and one right only -- buy it or not.

Big Claims (1)

dthree (458263) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129190)

The manufacturer is making some big claims about this technology, for bootlegging prevention, not region-encoding. TFA states that this tech is for mass-market (stamped, not burned discs: your home videos will still be accessible) disks to prevent 3rd party mass copying and that it would "eliminate optical disc piracy in the entertainment and IT sectors." Ha! I don't know how this is possible - even if you could force the DVD player manufacturers to put this tech in all their new players, there are already millions upon millions of DVD players out in the wild.

So, yet again, this will only tread on the fair use rights of honest people without preventing the criminals from continuing to make illegal copies.

Bonus content (2, Insightful)

Eye.Indigo (944760) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129191)

If they lock some bonus content out for players that will lack the RFID reader - they will definitely sell new players(they dont cost a lot more than a few CDs/DVDs anyways)

Huh? (2, Insightful)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129240)

Either it won't play old DVDs and home movies at all (in which case noone will buy these new drives), or it will have some extra track or encoding that indicates the presence of an rfid chip.

People figured out how to get rid of CSS, what makes the studios think that this will be any harder?

Amazing how they invest so much money in this stuff, when it's not likely to last longer than a few months.

Let's look at this 'security' (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129265)

Putting a sticker on the box 'OMG don't copy this or use it in another country': $00.00.01
Putting a small header info on the DVD that says 'this is region, like, erm, 1': $FREE?
Putting an RFID chip on the disc to do exactly the same thing: $national debt of the US - (national debt of the US - $00.15)

For everything else, you can always get vencture capitalist funding

1: take buzz word
2: take unrelated area of 'interest'
3: ??? O'RLY
4: Venture Funding (synonyms: profit, new car, new wife...)

really stupid. However you implement a feature that will tell the box you bought 'this DVD is special' someone will sell for $10 a device to make the disc box thingy think all the DVD's are special, and they will be filled with a warm fuzzy feeling.

I named my DVD player Colin after I deregioned it, on account of its unnervingly chipper mood.

Up Colin, UP!

that does it... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129272)

Well that does it. From now on I'm going to put all my new CDs and DVDs in the microwave for a few minutes first.

Purely for region locks, not copy prevention (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129278)

This is utterly fucked as a copy-prevention system for DVD, or even for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

Right now, there are millions of people in the world with their completely legit home movies on home-recorded DVD writeable discs (of assorted formats).

Right now, there are at least tens of thousands of people in the world with shop-bought HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies. There are probably hundreds of millions of people with shop-bought DVDs.

All the above people will want their discs to continue to work, even if they replace their players due to age. So these hypothetical players must have an ability to play video streams off discs without embedded chips. Which means they'll play pirate movies without chips as well.

This only has a hope in hell of working for region-locking, and there they hit one rather serious problem. ALL the hardware manufacturers know that outside the US, you'll make a lot more money selling a lot more players if you ensure that your region-locking settings are just barely secure enough to avoid the wrath of the DVD Standards Committee, but not enough to stop it being fairly open knowledge how to disable them at home. The public want region-free, and the public get region-free.

For instance, it's pretty much known that the "standard" Toshiba handset hack will work to disable the region locks on the legacy DVD portion of their upcoming HD-E1 and HD-EX1 HD-DVD players, and they aren't even in reviewers hands yet.

Please explain to me (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#16129286)

How playing "out of region" DVDs is bad?

Suppose I'm a fan of movies made in France ... but I live in Canada. Why would it be bad for me, or the producers of the media, for me to BUY a copy and have it shipped here?

What they really should call that is "out of monopololistic control zone."

Tom

How this is supposed to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129294)

If they want to allow "new DVDs" to play on old DVD players, and old DVDs on new players, they're facing problems implementing the stuff in a way that wouldn't be trivial to circumvent in a pirated disc played on consumer players. Specifically, they'd need all DVD disks to contain a data block whose contents would be signed by secret key available only to the content owner. The block would be always verified with a public key on the player and the status of RFID availability and related data from the block. (Failure to verify that disk contents are authentic would prevent playing - obviously contents and usage of this block should have been carefully designed in the original DVD standard with DRM in mind to make it actually effective.) This data would be combined with tamper-safely stored key on the hardware to encrypt a challenge sent to crypto-RFID on the disc, would be processed, challenge sent back and verified. This would be the only reasonably bulletproof method to implement this stuff in any way I can see.

I don't know about DVD standard in depth required here, but even if the data block with mentioned properties exists on all DVDs nowadays, there are problems. And I don't believe one exists. The protection method described here wouldn't provide any protection against fully software-driven decoding without *very* cumbersome safeguards on computer hardware. Of course, they want to push such hardware. Only way for these things to work properly (if DRM can work "properly" at all) is to design these things from scratch. Fortunately the content owners don't have the power to ban existing CD and DVD players or even phase those formats out of the market overnight... but if they had, they'd certainly do it.

Re:How this is supposed to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16129363)

... and of course - this doesn't prevent pirated discs that would have generated from analog (or unencrypted digital) copy of the original piece. Which makes this technology pretty trivial to circumvent with some potential loss of quality.
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