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Audio Watermarks Could Pinpoint Film Pirates By Seat 336

Posted by timothy
from the also-look-for-the-glowing-red-lights dept.
Slatterz points out a brief mention at PC Authority of a story at Torrent freak about using watermarking embedded in movies' soundtracks to reveal the exact location of camera-wielding bootleggers in a theater; the inventors (here's an abstract of their paper) claim it's accurate to within 44 centimeters.
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Audio Watermarks Could Pinpoint Film Pirates By Seat

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  • Oh Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by parasonic (699907) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:31PM (#27107099)
    And once it's publicized, is it really all that hard to throw a couple of wireless microphones out there under others' seats to "mix things up?" It would work if no one knew about it, but once it's out...

    Pretty much a moot idea.
    • Re:Oh Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:37PM (#27107169)

      And is the MPAA going to start requiring theaters to record exactly where each of its customers are sitting at each screening of every movie that might be pirated?

      • Even if they did they so what? They will still not know in which cinema or exactly when the film was recorded. I fail to see how knowing where the pirate sat will help. In fact if they look at the distortion of the image they can presumably already figure out the angle.
        • by spazdor (902907) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:59PM (#27107359)

          They will still not know in which cinema or exactly when the film was recorded.

          They will if the watermarking equipment creates a unique signature with each playback.

          • by Firehed (942385) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @06:42PM (#27108189) Homepage

            They've been doing that for quite a while, actually. Ever seen a bunch of red dots flash onscreen for a frame a couple times during a movie? (if not, you will now - sorry) Those are to determine what theatre a leaked cam copy came from.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by beckerist (985855)
              I appreciate the apology. I read about it a year or two ago and now I HATE going to the theaters. Those red dots are really distracting, and take away from the movie experience. Granted, they are only a small flash every few minutes, but it's enough to just BUG me!
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Joce640k (829181)

                Guess what? Now they're going to distort the audio as well...!

                • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 08, 2009 @12:52AM (#27110239)

                  Which is ironic, since it's still useless because it provides the info well after the fact. What good does knowing where the bootlegger sat if you find the video online or at a flea-market a week later? The person isn't going to sit in the same seat every time. If they're really worried, just get the movie theater ushers to check the seats in the middle. (Which should be obvious.) Anyhow, in-theater bootlegs are considered bit ghetto-ish nowadays since much better can be had as a direct conversion from leaked or recently released digital media. (And those are likely to be from friends/family of the actual people that do movie reviews, or those folks doing janitorial or mailroom work at press-related offices. What, you think those press-release DVDs actually get destroyed?) Nobody really wants the in-theater copy with the commentary and noise of the people around the bootlegger or see someone in front getting up for popcorn. Such recordings are only for people desperate for a quick movie fix or for those without access (direct or indirectly via friends) to a good internet connection.

            • by hack slash (1064002) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @07:37PM (#27108603)
              [red dots]...which are probably very easily removable with a good video editing package.

              Now which theater did that camcorder copy come from?
              • by droopycom (470921) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @01:11AM (#27110291)

                Thats just the first step.

                Visible video watermark is easily removable *if* you take the time to do it. I didnt noticed "red dots" yet, so I'm assuming its fairly unobtrusive and one would need to watch the whole movie a couple of time very carefully to make sure you removed all the watermarks.

                They are betting it will discourage enough people, or that somebody will be sloppy and get caught and made a good example of...

                The next step for the pirates would be to have an automated process to detect and remove the marks.

                Then the studios would try to produce more subtle marks, that are more difficult to detect and remove, and you would get into an race between the pirates and the studios...

                But keep in mind that, assuming the studios can indeed come up with always better technologies, it will be much more risky for the pirates to know they are safe.

                On the copy protection/DRM side, its always easy and safe for the hackers: They know when they succeeded. Where the studio never know where the next exploitable flaws in their system is going to be.

                Now for watermark: the pirates will probably never really know if they succeeded in removing the watermarks because the studio will keep the technology and the detectors secrets until they have to publish them for court cases.

                Obviously, it remains to be seen if any video/audio watermark system is robust enough to survive the basic trans-coding algorithm that are usually applied by the pirates, and also if they are robust enough to be admissible in courts.

                But then again, if you knew that your dvds or camcorded movies were watermarked with information that could eventually be linked to you, would you take the effort and risk to share it on bittorrent ? If you were in it for the money, I'm sure you will take some risks, but if you were doing it just for the heck of it ?

                I think thats what the studio are thinking: "If they think we have the technology to track them, or if its just good enough that we can catch just one of them and make an example of it, that will be a string deterrent..."

                But all in all I would not be too worried...

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by RobertM1968 (951074)

                  Thats just the first step.

                  The easiest step to combat current day technology for in seat recording is a bank of IR emitters aimed at the audience area.

                  Do you realize how cheap - and easy - it is to blind most CCD cameras? A decent sized bank would make it look like the cameras were pointing at the sun.

                  With stadium seating, this is very easy to accomplish even with the placement of the movie screen (ie: so the emitters are not in front of or blocking the view of the screen).

                  The most people would then get (recorded onto a cam) is a

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by tgrigsby (164308)

                So I wonder when the studios will start CGI'ing objects into the movie to identify it? A vase on a table in the background, a reflection in the store window, the face on a sign, the color of a dog's collar, etc. If there were a number of these, they could use them like bits to identify a location. You'd need more than one copy of the movie to remove any of them, and if enough of them were the same in the two copies, you'd miss some of those, allowing the MPAA to at least narrow down the origin.

                Not only w

        • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:05PM (#27107419) Homepage Journal
          All the cameras and watermarks in the universe will not catch a man with a hidden videocamera paying cash to see movies at large theaters in large cities.

          The whole "taping-in-the-theater" thing is sooooo 1999. Now we have good samaritans who are willing to leak the movie beforehand and save us the trouble of a trip!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by 0xygen (595606)

          Maybe it is not aimed at cinemagoers, more projectionists?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MacWiz (665750)

        Even if they could get every patrons' ID for accurate seating charts of every showing of every film across the country (idea-stopping problem one), I would still be more than a little skeptical of such "evidence" were I on a jury.

    • What proportion of pirated movies are from in-theater cameras? I suspect it's minuscule, even if it seems to get a lot of attention. The video and audio quality must be way below DVDrip level, using any kind of equipment that can be "sneaked" into a theater.
      • by maeka (518272) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:01PM (#27107377) Journal

        What proportion of pirated movies are from in-theater cameras?

        Well, outside of Oscar season the percentage of early-run pirated movies which are from in-theater cameras approaches 100%.
        CAM shots (normally hand-held camera and the camera's microphone (which is what this procedure would target)) are often first, and I have seen plenty of bootleg DVDs which are this.
        TeleSyncs often (but not always) come second. (Sometimes they hit the scene first.) They are normally tripod-mounted cameras and patch-in for the audio (hard of hearing feed, or direct feed if in the projection booth.) These would also qualify as in-theater cameras, though this technology presumably would not affect them, as the time-delay measurement-from-known-speaker-positions-technique would not apply.
        Again, I have seen plenty of bootleg DVDs which are from this source.

        It is true that DVD rips are the gold standard of "pirated" movies, but it is quite common for those to be the third or fourth release (after TeleCines or R5s or Screeners sometimes.)

        I guess my point is that in-theater-camera releases may not be the most popular on bittorrent sites, but they are very prevalent, in my experience, on the streets of Pacific nations.

      • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:04PM (#27107403)

        I have copies of Bolt and Quantum of Solace. Neither are out on DVD yet. Yes, I admit that they are pirated copies acquired through less than noble means. I had no intention of ever seeing either movie, and frankly, the rating on Bolt is a pretty big fuckup.

        Neither are cam copies - they are rips of the copies sent by the studio to the Oscars for consideration. (QoS has the subtitle "For your consideration"; Bolt has "property of Disney - do not copy".)

        I'm not sure why the studios are ripping their own movies and putting them in... places, but they sure aren't cam copies.

  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:33PM (#27107117)

    For this to be useful, the theatre would have to identify who's in which seat, which means
    a. showing ID when you buy tickets (and retaining the seating data for weeks or months)
    b. assigned seating.

    It's almost as if they don't want people to go to the movie theatre any more.

    • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:19PM (#27107525)

      I went to New Zealand last year and went to a movie in Christchurch. It was a pretty odd experience. It had assigned seating.

      I ignored it since there were only like 4 other people in the theater but the seats were awesome. Think lazyboy. And the aisles were large enough for someone to walk past you with out moving, or them even needing to turn sideways. I would say there were less than 200 seats in the theater. And it was a medium sized theater. Oh yeah and the ticket price was ~$7 US and the food was normally priced.

      I don't know if that's indicative of your average NZ theater, but it does live up to the "assigned seating" requirement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Slisochies (1183131)

        The assigned seats are generally only for when the theater is full, and you can make a claim for your assigned seats.

        Otherwise nobody sticks to the plan.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Nick Ives (317)

        Most (but not all) cinemas here in the UK give you a seat number with your ticket. It's not enforced in any real sense, even when the theatre is packed people are cool about you taking "their" seat if you're just trying to sit closer to friends and they can still fit together with their crew.

        Of course this idea is pointless because most people pay for the cinema in cash.

    • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:24PM (#27107565)
      The theaters aren't the ones pushing it, the studios are. Right now the theaters hand all their revenue from movie ticket sales to the studios. They scrape by on food and drink sales. Since the studios are getting all the ticket money without actually owning or running any of the theaters, it creates a situation which can come up with bizarre ideas like this which have no regard for the practicalities of actually running a theater.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mpe (36238)
        Since the studios are getting all the ticket money without actually owning or running any of the theaters, it creates a situation which can come up with bizarre ideas like this which have no regard for the practicalities of actually running a theater.

        Or that when designing the accoustics of such a room you want to ensure that a person's seat position affects their "audio experience" as little as possible.
      • by Raenex (947668)

        Right now the theaters hand all their revenue from movie ticket sales to the studios.

        I've heard only about half of ticket sales goes to the studio.

        • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @07:16PM (#27108459)

          It's actually a sliding scale. The first 2-4 weeks a film is out the studios will keep upwards of 70% of all ticket sales. In the case of a hotly-anticipated film such as a new Batman or Bond, the percentage will go even higher to 80% or above. Each week that a film plays the scale will adjust slightly in favor of the theatres until it's almost an equitable split, but since most movies make almost all their money within the first month they're out that really doesn't benefit first-run theatres much. What it really *does* benefit are the bargain theatres that show whatever came out 6-8 weeks ago. The studios look at them as a marginal market, so they actually do pretty well compared to the big multiplexes. In the case of my local $2.50 cinema, the popcorn's fresh, the movies are just as good as they were a month ago, and teenagers on their *#&$ing cellphones get kicked out. The only thing I'm missing is 64-channel Dobly Digital, which I'll give up any day just to sit in a theatre full of people who are there to watch a movie and not sit and IM all night.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Technician (215283)

            It's actually a sliding scale. The first 2-4 weeks a film is out the studios will keep upwards of 70% of all ticket sales. In the case of a hotly-anticipated film such as a new Batman or Bond, the percentage will go even higher to 80% or above.

            What country does this? When I worked in a theater, we had to bid on films. The bid was a combination of percent of ticket sales (often over 100% for smaller houses) and the number of seats. This is why multiplexes get first run and single screen and twin cinemas g

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:47PM (#27107731) Homepage Journal

      No, they would rather just get the federal government to tax us all and send the $ direct to the MPAA.

      Then sue anyone that is dumb enough to go see a movie.

    • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @06:40PM (#27108167)
      Ahhh, at last a market for my seat cushion based DNA sampler! And my colleagues all said it was just a pain in the ass... Who's laughing now?

      Note: Management is not responsible for infections due to dirty or re-used sampler needles.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tehrasha (624164)
      I think the aggrigated data would be interesting to look at. Especially when it will likely include data like

      'Location: Inside projection booth, attached to sound system.'

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Threni (635302)

      > For this to be useful, the theatre would have to identify who's in which seat, which means
      > a. showing ID when you buy tickets (and retaining the seating data for weeks or months)
      > b. assigned seating.

      Also, which showing. That seat will be sat in for several showings per day for several weeks. Also, people (in the UK) don't always sit in their assigned seat if there are a lot of empty seats, which has been the case for every movie I've ever seen. How are they doing to prove you were in that se

  • so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:33PM (#27107121) Journal

    If you don't know who sat in which seat on what showing on what date, knowing which seat a video was shot from isn't going to help you.

    • Re:so what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dbcad7 (771464) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:53PM (#27107303)

      There's another variable as well.. what theater.. of which there is no standard design.

      And even if they somehow manage to determine who was sitting in that seat, in that theater, at that time, on that date.. Id imagine any lawyer worth a damn would get someone off by forcing a plaintiff to prove things like that the projector was calibrated, and the method used for calibrating.

      • Re:so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vectronic (1221470) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:44PM (#27107713)

        And some more variables:

        Audio quality of the recording device (low, mono, parity, etc)
        Audio alignment, what happens of you offset the audio track post-recording even by 20ms, that could be like 10 seats away, you'd have to haul in like a 10x10 grid of people, analyze all their potential "devices", try and get 100 warrants for something so trivial.

        Seems like a more accurate way would be to implant an assortment of detectors in each seat, scouting for magnetic interference or something, and even that would cause havoc in accuracy and false positives.

        To me this stinks of pointless scare tactics which will only thwart off idiots. Option B: strip search everyone who enters, only consequence: 95% of people stop seeing movies in theaters, and just wait for someone to rip the DVD.

    • Re:so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dissy (172727) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:07PM (#27107447)

      If you don't know who sat in which seat on what showing on what date, knowing which seat a video was shot from isn't going to help you.

      And you have just pointed out step 2 in their plan to ruin the movie theater experience, or stop piracy, whichever comes first.

      Don't be shocked once metal detectors, checking in your cell phone at the lobby to get back after the movie, and numbered on ticket seating.

      Of course, when nearly anyone wants to put up with that crap, the loss in sales to their annoying practices will be blamed on even more piracy.

      Good riddance to them

      • by maxume (22995)

        Theater owners don't have any particular reason to care all that about piracy. They won't install metal detectors or ask you to check your phone.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Da Cheez (1069822)

        And you have just pointed out step 2 in their plan to ruin the movie theater experience, or stop piracy, whichever comes first.

        Don't be shocked once metal detectors, checking in your cell phone at the lobby to get back after the movie, and numbered on ticket seating.

        Of course, when nearly anyone wants to put up with that crap, the loss in sales to their annoying practices will be blamed on even more piracy.

        Good riddance to them

        Doing that sort of thing would just make people who don't ordinarily pirate movies anyway just stop coming to the theatre and start pirating just to avoid all that stuff.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by LoadWB (592248)

          Seconded. I started downloading movies so I did not have to listen to Manny talk about why downloading movies is bad. Aside from that, I am not thrilled at all to pay $9.25 to watch 10 minutes of commercials.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smallfries (601545)

        Numbered seating isn't all that bad. I've been to cinemas where they do, and where they don't. Cinemas without preassigned seating never get completely full, because people don't like to choose a seat next to a strange when another seat is available. So you end up with "holes" of 1-2 seats between each group that are hard to fill. With assigned seating it is usual (for a popular film) for every seat to go.

        I'm used to cinemas without assigned seating, but on the few times that I've been to cinemas that assig

  • why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kylemonger (686302) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:34PM (#27107131)
    I've always wondered why the movie studios care about catching these people. These bootlegs are the worst quality you can find and anyone who would knowingly buy them would never be a customer anyway.
  • This bodes well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bandman (86149) <bandman@@@gmail...com> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:35PM (#27107139) Homepage

    Am I going to get treated like I do by the airlines every time I want to watch a movie?

    In order for this to track us at all, we'd need an ID to buy a ticket, need to show ID to get into the theater, have assigned seats, and they would have to change the audio slightly on every showing.

    Maybe I'll just stay home and download them instead...

    • by spud603 (832173) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:39PM (#27107191)

      Maybe I'll just stay home and download them instead...

      Aha! but you won't be able to download them because the scumbag who would have distributed it is locked up.
      With movie pirating completely eliminated, you'll have to go see it in the theater even if they require finger prints and a urine test.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Or just wait for it to come out on DVD, and then get a DVDRIP...
        In fact, depending where you live you might be able to download a foreign DVDRip long before it even comes on at the local cinema.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      In order for this to track us at all, we'd need an ID to buy a ticket, need to show ID to get into the theater, have assigned seats, and they would have to change the audio slightly on every showing.

      No, the theater industry will implant a life-long RFID tracking device in your neck, like in "Escape From New York." When you enter the theater, all your movements will be tracked, and you are ok.

      However, if you do not renew the lease on the implant often enough, the device will explode, blowing your head off. Just like in "Escape From New York."

      Please go out to the lobby, and buy some popcorn . . . and we mean that seriously. Thank you, enjoy the film.

      • by Bandman (86149)

        You don't, by chance, work in software licensing [blogspot.com], do you?

      • by dcollins (135727)

        No, the theater industry will implant a life-long RFID tracking device in your neck, like in "Escape From New York." When you enter the theater, all your movements will be tracked, and you are ok.

        This literally sent a shiver down my spine, because at this point I don't see any limits on our surveillance society, and this seems all-too-likely to be real some day. (Minus, perhaps, the "kill switch" for people's heads. Car analogy works differently here, though.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by westlake (615356)
      In order for this to track us at all, we'd need an ID to buy a ticket, need to show ID to get into the theater, have assigned seats, and they would have to change the audio slightly on every showing.

      This sounds pretty much like buying tickets to a live performance.

      A night out with the kids.

      Harry Potter without waiting in line.

      Reserved lounge seating at the restored Art Deco era Riviera.

      The cinema for grown-ups.

      I could live with that.

  • So, they will be assigning seats in the theater? Or are they just planning on using 'Wanted Posters' for these lawbreakers?
  • Remote microphones (Score:5, Informative)

    by 1729 (581437) <slashdot1729@NOsPam.gmail.com> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @04:37PM (#27107165)

    While this sounds cool from a technical perspective, it would be easy to circumvent by plugging a remote microphone into the camera.

    Also, wouldn't the accuracy of this depend on the theater's dimensions and acoustics as well as the layout/calibration of the speaker system?

    • Setting that up across the nation and keeping it maintained would be a nightmare.

      So many differences across the theaters, even identical ones would have to be calibrated at least every show, if not continuously during the show.

    • Also, wouldn't the accuracy of this depend on the theater's dimensions and acoustics as well as the layout/calibration of the speaker system?

      Less than you'd think, though it certainly would require some calibration (and ongoing periodic recalibration). The main problem, as everyone and their brother has noted, is that it doesn't do you any good to know where the bootlegger was sitting unless you know who was sitting where.

      It seems to me that it would be a lot more useful to simply detect the RF emissions fr

  • Hack this by changing seats a few times during the movie. Or, slip someone in the movie theater $100 so you can go up into the projector room and film it there... "Our watermarking technology has determined that the movie pirate is... the projector!"
    • by spazdor (902907)

      "Our watermarking technology has determined that the movie pirate is... the projector!"

      Correct me if I`m wrong, but in that scenario the projectionist gets fired for piracy and/or accepting bribes, and that`s exactly what`s supposed to have happened...

  • Most cinemas that I've been to lately have micro-power FM transmitters that broadcast the audio in each screening room, for the benefit of people with hearing impairment who bring their own radios and listen on headphones. If the pirates were to use audio from this FM feed, the camera could be anywhere in the room and nobody would know.

  • If Hollywood made movies that were worth stealing, more people would be 'video-ing' movies. Most -if not all- of this stupidity takes place in markets where the videos are turned into cheap, flea-market quality, DVDs that are sold in locales where copyright means that it's alright to copy someone's work. Very few of the massive, high-budget, POSes that are being churned out by Hollywood these days are 'must sees' -let alone 'must buys' or 'must torrent'.
  • 1. So do they check your ID when you buy a ticket (and don't look too young) or enter the cinema?
    2. Don't you have more than one movie theater in the US?
    3. Doesn't a movie get shown several times at each of these theaters?

    Any single one of these would completely invalidate the data. By the time the bootleg is distributed, knowing which seat the thing is filmed from doesn't sound very useful.

  • A lot of people are pointing out some of the obvious technical flaws here: microphone placement, ID/seat assignments, poor quality CAMs suck, etc. etc.

    The even more significant issue would be that such a scheme would have serious widespread implementation to be relevant. Which is never, ever going to happen. Cinema's are franchises, it's not like a software update that can be installed everywhere "instantly" fast (within a week for frequently updated systems, years for others...). This system would be diffi

    • > My next question is this: I assume that this is a real company...

      Why do you assume that?

      > ...making this "technology" that is important only for its semi-believable bluster.
      > So how do we get in on such a gravy train?

      I think that getting on somebody's gravy train is the goal of the inventors of this gadget. Getting it publicized is the first step. The thing will never be deployed, of course, but if they can make the right connections some doofus executive in the entertainment industry might buy

  • The real issue (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arikol (728226)
    The real issue (apart from the problems in actually tracking all users and treating them like criminals) is whether there might not be more constructive ways for the movie industry to spend their money?

    One brilliant idea might be to give scriptwriters the money to write better scripts that are actually worth the cost of the ticket.

    Or maybe theater owners try to IMPROVE the theater going experience. There are many things to complain about in a regular trip to the movies. Most are age old complaints lik
  • Or just where the microphone was....

  • I'm starting to think that the movie industry is actively trying to destroy the theater experience. Trailers are now around 25 minutes. Before the trailers start, there's more commercials. Ticket prices have gone up. They keep playing those stupid anti-piracy ads in the theater for a movie YOU'VE PAID TO SEE. On top of that, movies come out to DVD or Blu-Ray after 2 months of leaving the theater. With all of this going on, they then blame piracy for loss of sales and put in millions on more ads and in this

  • What's stupid... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @05:45PM (#27107723) Homepage Journal

    Well... one thing that's stupid.... is that this product focused on the sound and I'd bet you could get way more accuracy from building the technology around, well, the movie itself.

    Why do you have to go to all the trouble of a watermarked sound track when you should have the position of the seat very simply by the angle of the screen on the wall in relation to what's on the camera?

    In -fact-, you could make it really simple. Assume that your movie won't show in more than 16,000 theaters, that's what, 14 bits? So you have 14 things in the movie, in 14 scenes, that the director uses, say, pepsi as a prop rather than coke. In post production, assuming that all of these clips are in the computer, you could, for each film print, select the various combinations of each of the scenes such that each film is unique.

    Send out each film to each theater, and then bam, when it shows up in some street, you know where it came from. Then you can send out the goons, shoot the movie theater owner, hang up all the patrons in cages with vultures pecking on their organs, and then, uh, nobody would go to that movie theater again.

    Oh wait... what's REALLY stupid is that, no matter how much the movie companies can trace leaks back to a theater, there's not a damn thing they can do to that theater, lest they lose business. If you are a movie theater owner, why not let everyone bring in a camcorder... at least they all buy tickets!

  • This makes no sense. You can -already- tell where someone was sitting from the video itself. The angle of the image, the angle of the top/botton and sides of the screen, etc. They don't even need to do anything extra.

    This is either bullshit or just some cockamamie plan that would never have made it to market anyhow.

  • I hope there are less obtrusive then the watermark images shown. Between having to see those, and the volume being set to 11, I think I will start watching movies at home more.

  • by Intrinsic (74189) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @09:49PM (#27109451) Homepage

    If this isnt an example of total insanity on behalf of intellectual property interests, I don't know what is. Going this far to catch cammers? im thinking straight jackets and ambulances for all of IP business interests that have completely lost track of all reality.

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