We've heard of some crazy audio watermark
plans in the past, designed to prevent people from making copies of Hollywood blockbusters, and despite the audio industry finally moving away from its protective restrictions, the film industry seems to just keep working on more. The latest, created by Professor Noboru Babaguchi and his colleagues at Osaka University in Japan, is a means to apply spread-spectrum audio waveforms to a film's multi-channel soundtrack, enabling pirate seekers to determine exactly (well, to within 44 centimeters) where the bootlegger was sitting when he or she committed his or her felonious deeds. Interesting, sure, but unless all theaters worldwide start assigning seats by name it's useless. Beyond that, there's nothing stopping an intrepid recorder from stashing a mic a few feet to the left or the right, thus implicating an idle popcorn-muncher. Will these flaws keep this technology from being implemented? Don't count on it.