Friday, April 18, 2003
Hollywood's latest attempt to foil piracy.
Cinea LLC, which created an encryption system for DVDs, and Sarnoff, a technology research firm, are developing a system to modulate the light cast on a movie screen to create a flicker or other patterns that would be picked up by recording devices, making the resulting images unwatchable. The disruptive flickers would be unseen by the human eye in the movie theater.
The "forensic watermark'' system is designed to be used with digital projectors, which show movies stored on computer discs rather than traditional 35-millimeter film. Only a small number of theaters have digital projectors, although it is expected that most theaters will go digital by the end of the decade.
By that time, of course, the pirates will have moved on beyond using camcorders. The article notes that pirates these days often bribe someone in the projection room to let them set up a tripod for their camcorder in there; what'll happen is that when most theatres go digital, the pirates will bribe someone in the projection room to hook up a DVD recorder to the projector to dub a copy while the film is running...