Disney’s gung-ho piracy antidote

Disney
In a intriguing (or do I mean ridiculous?) statement Disney has announced that it is teaming up with Cinea to provide a solution to the screener piracy solution. Every so often, big distributors send out free “screener” copies of movies to potential voters (for the Academy awards, BAFTAs, that sort of thing), typically on DVD. The problem is that these can easily fall into the hands of pirates who then make copies of the films. We’ve seen several crazy ideas to try and solve this problem in the past, such as DVDs that self-destruct, but the latest idea really does take things to a whole new level.
The proposal is to give out DVDs that cannot be played on regular DVD players
Hmm. But then how will anyone watch them? Simple, say Disney, along with the DVDs, we’ll hand out 12,000 of Cinea’s DVD players that can play them!

In collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Cinea has distributed the SV300 model of its S-VIEW DVD player to nearly 12,000 of the collective voting members. Recipients of the Cinea S-VIEW players simply need to install the player as part of their home entertainment system, as they would install a regular DVD player, and make a phone call or go online to register with Cinea. Cinea encrypts each disc with a code unique to each member. The Cinea
disc delivered to each member will play only on the Cinea S-VIEW DVD player registered by that member. A Cinea encrypted disc cannot be viewed on any other DVD player or computer.

Wow! Now before anyone starts thinking that it’s a massive waste of money, consider this: The 12,000 recipients of Disney’s DVD players are the people who vote on whether or not Disney’s films will win any Oscars.

I’m not that cynical though. I think it will be a waste of money, and here’s why:
* Piracy will continue regardless. There are other avenues for pirates to get copies of films.
* Every form of copy-protection to date has been broken.
* How many of the 12,000 can actually be bothered to replace their DVD player with the one Disney gives them? We’re talking for the most part about film critics and people in the industry. My guess is that either they’ve already got a top-range system, or else they don’t have time to set this up. And who can really be bothered to go online to authorise watching a film?
* The total cost of this exercise will doubtless be added to the annual estimation of profits lost to piracy. I imagine next year we’ll see yet another increase in those estimated profit losses.

I think the best thing to come out of this though, is that now the film industry has to invent an even more hilarious method to beat piracy.
Quantum encryption anyone? Or how about DVDs coded to your DNA?

Read on for the full press release…

Disney Signs Agreement With Cinea to Adopt Antipiracy Protection Solution
for Secure Awards Screeners

2005 DVD Screeners From Disney to Feature Latest Cinea Anti-Piracy Protection

BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Launching an aggressive new
effort to combat piracy, The Walt Disney Studios will utilize state-of-the-art
encryption technology from Cinea, a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, for 2005
DVD awards screeners. The agreement, which marks a major milestone in the
search for an industry-wide solution to deter movie piracy, was announced
today by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios; Jeff Miller, President,
worldwide post production and operations; and Bill Jasper, president and chief
executive officer, Dolby Laboratories.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050627/LAM109LOGO )
Piracy is one of the biggest threats to the cinema industry, resulting in
lost jobs and lost revenues. To combat piracy, Cinea developed its innovative
solution, which provides copy protection and piracy tracking for DVDs.
Cinea’s solution includes the S-VIEW(TM) DVD player and encryption technology
to safeguard content. The S-VIEW DVD player offers the highest-quality
picture and sound. It also plays standard DVDs.
In collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and
the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Cinea has distributed the
SV300 model of its S-VIEW DVD player to nearly 12,000 of the collective voting
members. Recipients of the Cinea S-VIEW players simply need to install the
player as part of their home entertainment system, as they would install a
regular DVD player, and make a phone call or go online to register with Cinea.
Cinea encrypts each disc with a code unique to each member. The Cinea
disc delivered to each member will play only on the Cinea S-VIEW DVD player
registered by that member. A Cinea encrypted disc cannot be viewed on any
other DVD player or computer.
Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, “Obviously, there is no
substitute for seeing a movie on the big screen in a theater, and we strongly
encourage everyone to experience our films in that way. With regard to home
viewing, we have given the matter careful consideration, and have committed to
using Cinea’s encryption technology on award screeners this year. This
process offers maximum protection for our films, while allowing key members of
the Academy, BAFTA, and a few other select organizations the opportunity to
view these contenders in the comfort of their own homes. Of equal importance,
it protects legitimate recipients of these screeners against interception and
theft of the DVDs. It is our hope that others will join us in this aggressive
stand against piracy, and we believe that Cinea enables an important step in
that direction.”
Miller added, “We are excited to be working with Cinea in providing the
highest available level of security and copy protection for our films.
Safeguarding our films and intellectual properties are top priorities here at
Disney, and Cinea’s secure S-VIEW player provides the best solution to address
our concerns about the theft of high-grade digital copies in advance of our
home entertainment release window. Dolby and Cinea have pioneered this
impressive technology, and we salute their commitment to quality home viewing
and security. It is vitally important that we all work together to eliminate
piracy and protect creative content. We look forward to working with Cinea on
future opportunities to incorporate playability on various devices such as
portables, computers, and so on. We are also exploring the possibility of
incorporating Cinea’s security technology into our entire post-production
process.”
“We welcome Disney as the first studio to adopt our anti-piracy protection
solution,” said Jasper. “This agreement underscores Disney’s long-term
commitment to the protection of content and its aggressive stance to stop
movie piracy. Likewise, Cinea is committed to helping the entertainment
industry by providing a solution for protecting high-value content. Our
players are designed to incorporate the ease-of-use necessary for even the
most nontechnical person. Screener recipients only need to make a quick call
and register — it’s that simple.”

Registration Is Easy
Several convenient and easy options are available to help recipients of
the Cinea S-VIEW DVD players register their machines — a necessary step
before the players can be used. Registration can be completed by calling
1-888-323-4383 (from the US) and 1-818-823-2878 (from outside the US), or by
going online to https://register.cinea.com. Cinea is also making special
in-house technicians available to those experiencing difficulty or who have
any questions about setting up their player.

Posted: October 24th, 2005
Categories: News
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