The meaning of self-destructing DVD formats


According to a Yahoo Yahoo article, self-destructing DVD's (seen first last year for review-copies of the movie Die Another Day) are finally going to make it to rentals.

But, what does it mean? More convenience? More pollution? Less freedom?

I like the concept of the new format. The disk physically becomes opaque after being exposed to air for 48-hours. It's simple, it works with existing DVD players, and as long as everybody plays the game right, it basically functions as the world's most convenient version of VHS rental. You can buy the rental and never have to return it.

This sounds great, and as long as you are willing to trust the public, it is. My fear is that we're in for another "surprise" in that the movie industry is going to roll out the format, do some surveys, explain to the government that they are "losing" money on the DVD rentals and sales because of piracy, and claim this is a perfect reason why we shouldn't be able to back up our existing DVD's (which as reported here do have a tendency to rot).

This would only be compounded by the movie industry taking the same steps to penalize buyers that they took in the past with VHS cassettes by raising the buy price above its now acceptable $20 level to the levels of new releases seen in the past ($85 in some cases). Fortunately, the rationale with those was to make them so expensive that only the rental places could afford them, which makes it a silly thing to do if they are planning on having DVD rentals be disposable, but with the movie industry's penchant for pay-per-view, almost nothing would surprise me.

Remember in the old days when big, bad IBM was taken to court over software licensing that effectively rented software to the customer? Apparently that's different..html