LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - This disc will self-destruct in 48
That is the warning The Walt Disney Co. will issue this
August when it begins to "rent" DVDs that after two days
become unplayable and do not have to be returned.
Disney home video unit Buena Vista Home Entertainment will
launch a pilot movie "rental" program in August that uses the
self-destruction technology, the company said on Friday.
The discs stop working when a process similar to rusting
makes them unreadable. The discs start off red, but when they
are taken out of the package, exposure to oxygen turns the
coating black and makes it impenetrable by a DVD laser.
Buena Vista hopes the technology will let it crack a wider
rental market, since it can sell the DVDs in stores or almost
anywhere without setting up a system to get the discs back.
The discs work perfectly for the two-day viewing window, said
Flexplay Technologies, Inc., the private company which
developed the technology using material from General Electric
The technology cannot be hacked by programmers who would want
to view the disc longer because the mechanism which closes
the viewing window is chemical and has nothing to do with
However, the disc can be copied within 48 hours, since it
works like any other DVD during that window.
Buena Vista did not disclose pricing plans but said the
discs, dubbed EZ-D, would be available in August in select
markets with recent releases including "The Recruit," "The
Hot Chick," and "Signs."
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