RFID my DVD?
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  1. #1
    BS, EnCE, ACE, Cellebrite 11001001's Avatar
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    Exclamation RFID my DVD?

    from Wired News

    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.

    Though RFID tags are usually read by a wireless data reader, the proposed DVD-protection scheme would make no use of RFID's wireless capabilities.

    Rather, the researchers are interested in the ability to write data to the tags, which can't be done on a DVD once it's been burned.

    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.

    "Content owners would like to have extremely tight control on the content so they can maximize revenue," Gadh said. "Users want to move stuff around."

    Gadh said the proposed system is "absolutely" more restrictive to users than anti-copying methods already used to protect DVDs.

    "By definition this is a restrictive form (of digital rights management)," Gadh said.

    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.

    "I don't know quite what is going to work in the real world," Gadh said.

    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."

    He said it seems unlikely that people would buy new DVD players with RFID readers in order to purchase DVDs that are less functional.

    Privacy advocates have expressed concern about RFID technology because the tags can tie products to individuals, potentially without their knowledge.

    Seth Schoen, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said it's unlikely this DRM plan will be any more effective than others preceding it.

    "It only requires one person to break it," Schoen said.

    Schoen said this is the "smart cow problem": Once one of the cows opens the gate, the others will follow.




    [Telephone call]
    "Hi Spouse, where's the new Batman DVD?"

    "I didn't take it out of the bag yet."

    "OK, I'm going to watch it because you're at a conference in Alaska, and I'm here in Florida all by myself."

    "Oh, wait! You can't watch that DVD. I bought it."
    [/Telephone call]
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    I think that it is a foolish idea. Pirates will break it, and the restriction it puts on legitimate users, will actually make pirate/counterfeit versions more attractive than the real thing.

    It could actually end up being totally counterproductive?

    just a thought
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  3. #3
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    [Telephone call]
    "Hi Spouse, where's the new Batman DVD?"

    "I didn't take it out of the bag yet."

    "OK, I'm going to watch it because you're at a conference in Alaska, and I'm here in Florida all by myself."

    "Oh, wait! You can't watch that DVD. I bought it."
    [/Telephone call]
    You missed a bit.....

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  4. #4
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    ... restriction it puts on legitimate users, will actually make pirate/counterfeit versions more attractive than the real thing.
    The powers in hollywood just can't grasp that simple concept.
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  5. #5
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    I know the movie industry is stupid and this is another example of how stupid they are if you think back at one point they were talking about dvd's with an experation date built into them. so that a person could only one the movie for no more then six months.
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  6. #6
    Hoopy Frood
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    1) Wouldn't this make it impossible to sell your DVD's at a yard sale if they did something like this? Who wants something that's not really theirs?

    2) What if the person who purchased the DVD dies (or is away on a trip)? What, suddenly half of your DVDs are unwatchable?

    I agree with nihil. Something like this would make me begin to pirate DVDs, something which I do not do at the moment. The idea might look attractive (to Hollywood) on paper, but to think that it would actually be accepted by the masses (who are getting more and more interested in conveinience and ease of use, neither of which are this system) it's grossly stupid.

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  7. #7
    AO's Resident Redneck The Texan's Avatar
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    how much would it cost the industry to do this, a lot i think! so they prolly wont do it.... and it will cost alot for the public to rebuy new RFID readers so thats another reason for public outcry.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I think that xierox has made two excellent points, which have given me some more thoughts.

    1. The "yard sale" (over here we call those "car boot sales"........a car boot is an automobile trunk ) over here we also have street markets where you get stalls or booths selling CD/DVDs. This is legitimate stock and the proprietors probably have a single shop somewhere. They travel to the markets to greatly increase their customer base. The environment of a street market is not suitable for this kind of fancy biometric nonsense. Anyway, these are small traders, so who is going to pay for the kit?.........maintaining it when it goes wrong?................

    2. Death?.................so a relative dies and leaves me their collection of DVD/CDs.............maybe worth $5,000 second user......................but they are worth nothing?............now we have sales tax on second user goods, but they can't be sold (I am assuming I would sell the whole collection to a retailer, who would then collect sales tax on their resale)..........and we have capital transfer tax (inheritance tax)............but the inheritance will have no value.

    Both of those hit government revenue..............and my money would be on the government (certainly of Europe) against the RIAA and recording companies.

    So............that only leaves them the CD key?...........sure you could make that unique to the particular CD/DVD, but all you would have to do is clone the media and you clone the security alongside?

    3. It occurred to me that my wife and I buy a fair number of DVD/CDs as presents...........they would kill that trade stone dead.............no, I don't give money............that would show that I hadd the intellect, taste, discernment and decorum of an RIAA employee.

    I have a solution though..............this should be allowed............IF, and ONLY IF the recording company agrees to accept the return of such media (at their own cost) and make a full retail price refund.

    It would not take long to destroy the arrogant dinosaurs of the entertainment industry today, and the sleek new corporates that replaced them would have a much better idea of today's technology and market?

    I must go lobby my member of parliament
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  9. #9
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    I have enough trouble getting myself to actually purchase DVDs as it is... If they did this, all I can say is "Arrggghhh, Ahoy Matey!"
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  10. #10
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    No, hang on.... It's ok, I left my index finger in the Wendy's curry on the top shelf of the fridge..
    If they did this, all I can say is "Arrggghhh, Ahoy Matey!"
    Now what was that program I found on a customers PC the other day.. may come in handy....

    and didnt I hear of the Biometric readers being confused or bypassed by simple methods..

    narrow minded restrictive approach to a social problem..

    and what is wrong with me lending my dvd to a friend.. I thought the problem was me copying the dvd and giving the copies to my friends.....

    3. It occurred to me that my wife and I buy a fair number of DVD/CDs as presents...........they would kill that trade stone dead.............no, I don't give money............that would show that I hadd the intellect, taste, discernment and decorum of an RIAA employee.
    ..
    yes and most of the CD's and DVD'd I buy are gifts..
    There is one thing forgotten here.. the Retailers wont want the extra time involved in the encodding of the DVD/CD.. if it isnt a barcode read and take the cash ..they wont be interested in even an extra 10 seconds to read the finger print and wite to the dvd-RFID..
    The idea wont be killed by you or I but by the retailers.. (Hollyweed will probably expect the retailers to pay for the encoding equipment as well.. killed again)

    will have to be a bloody good hard sell to convinve retailers to spend extra time or money on these dvd/cd transactions..
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

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