One Chip to track them down

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 16, 2006
Updated • May 13, 2013

What is wrong with those movie and music companies? Why the heck are they increasing the pressure on people who are actually buying their overpriced items instead of those who copy them in large scale? Their newest invention is apparently an embedded radio transmitter chip that can be remotely tracked so that they can follow the way DVDs, Blu-Rays and music CDs take from factory to consumer.

Players would then be able to check the RFID chip on the disc and refuse playback if a criteria was not met, meaning if it has been copied or someone wants to playback the DVD in the wrong region. Will this help in the fight against piracy? Not likely, is it? The range of the RFID chip makes it impossible to track the DVD down unless your tracking device is close. (it is short range communication).

The only thing that could be working is that new players receive data from the chip and refuse to play if the data is not correct. So, this story could be a test to see how consumers would react to such chips.

What the industry is doing is to tighten the grip on people that it needs the most: the people who actually buy DVDs, Blu-Ray and music CDs. Every new restriction tightens the grip a little bit more resulting in the loss of customers while having virtually no impact on people who do not buy but copy.

When will they understand that they can't win this game unless they start thinking about what the consumers want.

Update: It seems that this idea never got beyond the "idea-phase", and while it is probably still locked away in a drawer of sorts, it is unlikely that we are going to see this implemented anytime soon. This is however not keeping the music and movie industry from being very inventive when it comes to increasing their revenue models. In many European countries for instance, a fee goes directly into the pockets of rights-holder organizations when blank CDs or storage devices are purchased.


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  1. thunder7 said on September 18, 2006 at 8:15 pm

    It is just funny to me. The RIAA wonders gee I wonder why we are not selling as many CD’s as we use too “Duh!.”

    Just because of things like this, and Sony ‘Rootkits.’

    When will they learn?.

    If we as a buying consumer stop buying then it is they (RIAA) that will lose and the company that create this crap.

    I was talking about this with some friends, they said “Oh one more thing to be hacked.” Which is true they make a protective device someone hacks it.

    I know this I do a lot of backups and if I can not buy CD’s or DVD’s to backup my data how exactly am I suppose to keep it!.???

  2. vance said on September 16, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    hmmm.. so does this mean an end for blank dvd and cd makers? I’m just wondering… cause most likely all people back their files up and use most of this back up so that they can preserve their originals being that it is expensive??

  3. Quasimodo said on September 16, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    rephrase : “care to know” :)

  4. Martin said on September 16, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    well they have to know what the customer wants before they can care about it, don’t you think ;)

  5. Quasimodo said on September 16, 2006 at 11:27 am

    Shouldn’t it read ?
    ” … unless they start caring about what the consumers want.”

  6. Tobey said on September 16, 2006 at 9:52 am

    Exactly. The last sentence is what this game is all about…

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