[OPE-L] New Enclosures: The Unlendable DVD

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun May 22 2005 - 12:20:05 EDT

Joseph Smith, the moderator, of Globolist found this article on a new
technology devoted to changing property ise rights.  The subject line
for this post is the one that Joe gave  it.

In solidarity, Jerry


Give Your DVD Player the Finger
By Katie Dean
02:00 AM May. 19, 2005 PT

Researchers in Los Angeles are developing a new form of piracy
protection for DVDs that could make common practices like loaning a  movie
to a friend impossible.

University of California at Los Angeles engineering professor Rajit  Gadh
is leading research to turn radio frequency identification, or  RFID, tags
into an extremely restrictive form of digital rights
management to protect DVD movies.

RFID tags have been called "wireless bar codes" -- though they hold  more
data -- and are commonly used for things like ID badges or
keeping track of inventory in a retail store or hospital.
Here's how the system might work:

At the store, someone buying a new DVD would have to provide a
password or some kind of biometric data, like a fingerprint or iris
scan, which would be added to the DVD's RFID tag.

Then, when the DVD was popped into a specially equipped DVD player,  the
viewer would be required to re-enter his or her password or
fingerprint. The system would require consumers to buy new DVD
players with RFID readers.

Gadh said his research group is trying to address the problem of
piracy for the movie industry.
Gadh said he could not reveal specifically how the system would work,  as
it is still in the research stage. A prototype will be available  by
the end of the summer, he said, and at that point, it will be shopped
around to movie studios and technology companies.
Most DVDs are already encrypted with an anti-copying mechanism called
Content-Scrambling System. The encryption has been broken, however,  and
programs to descramble DVDs can be found all over the internet.

DVDs are also "region coded" so that discs sold in the United States,
for instance, cannot be played in the United Kingdom. The region
coding gives the movie studios control over where and when films are
released on DVD.

Ed Felten, a computer science professor at Princeton University,
called the proposal the "limit of restrictiveness."

"I think people would find it creepy to give their fingerprint every
time they wanted to play a DVD," Felten said. "It's hard to think  that
would be acceptable to customers."

Story location:
< http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,67556,00.html >

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