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Embedded RFID to smack-down DVD piracy

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Privacy types are just going to love this one. Major studios, including Warner, Disney and Fox, are prepping to start embedding RFID chips in every DVD produced, enabling them to track the disc from the factory to the store to your home. The chipped DVDs will then be examined by your home DVD player to make sure you're not trying to do anything fun like playing the movie in an incorrect geographical region, or running a copied disc. While they're starting out with DVD movies, it seems the proprietors of the tech are hoping to squeeze the chips into HD DVD, Blu-ray and any other medium in need of some copy protection. "This technology holds the potential to protect the intellectual property of music companies, film studios, gaming and software developers worldwide," sez Gordon Yeh, CEO of Ritek, whose U-Tech subsidiary is all prepped to start making the discs in Taiwan. Once all the manufacturing kinks are worked out, U-Tech will work with the studios for a test roll-out in Australia. Of course, to make any of this relevant, new DVD players will be required, but we're not clear if the discs will play as normal on non-RFID players. So, we're still short on deets, and there's no real word on when we can expect any of this to show up on Wal-Mart shelves, but that doesn't mean we can't start running around frantically and start decrying the end of our civilisation, for it is indeed at hand.

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