Friday, September 12, 2003

Disney's idea claims to fight piracy but could ruin the rental business (and the environment, too)

CNN MONEY reports that Disney has unveiled a "limited life" DVD which will fade after 48 hours. The red DVDs turn an unreadable black 48 hours after their packages are opened -- reacting in a process similar to how Polaroid film develops.

The DVDs, which are being distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Disney's home video unit, will carry a suggested price of $6.99, but could be sold as cheap as $5.00.

The disposable DVD format -- known as EZ-D -- never need to be returned to a video rental store - which may be the harbinger of doom for chains such as Blockbuster.

Other efforts to keep customers buying dvds over and over again included the disasterous DiVX format (supported by Stephen Spielberg) which would have caused consumers to repurchase rights to watch a movie they had already bought after a certain number of screenings. That went over like a lead baloon.

And according to recent surveys, consumers aren't really interested in buying the same movie over and over again, no matter how cheap it is (on the order of 3-1).

Environmental interest groups are also up in arms, claiming that the EZ-D won't stop piracy and will just add to the landfill (anyone hear of AOL?).


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