Hollywood tunes into anti-piracy audio signals

by admin November 2, 2005 at 12:41 pm

HD DVDs with movie-stamped watermarks

Pirate DVDs made by copying movies in cinemas could become a thing of the past in the HD era, if technology presented to the DVD Forum proves successful.

The system requires film distributors to embed an inaudible watermark in film soundtracks. HD DVD players will contain a sensor that listens out for the watermark in the soundtracks of any disc being played.

Since official HD DVDs will not contain the watermark, its presence on the disc reveals the disc to be a pirate copy.

Playback will then be aborted, and the buyer’s name and address beamed to the nearest law enforcement agency. Just joking.

The watermark comprises digital data encoded in subtle shifts in the audio waveform that makes up the soundtrack, New Scientist reports this week. Human ears can’t detect the fluctuations.

Full article: The Register