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Tech Industry

Trying to protect copyrights on DVD

Macrovision and Digimarc will combine software products to provide a package of copyright protection for digital materials.

    Macrovision and Digimarc will combine software products to provide a copyright protection package for digital materials.

    One of several categories of intellectual property increasingly subject to copyright infringement, digital materials such as movies and interactive entertainment are increasingly subject to bootlegging because of emerging high-capacity storage technologies like digital versatile discs (DVDs). In response, both market-driven and governmental solutions are coming to the fore.

    Macrovision and Digimarc plan to license copyright technology to rights holders while also working with electronics and computer manufacturers. Their software package relies on digital watermarks, stamps hidden between pixels so as to remain all but invisibile in finished products. The watermarks provide copyright information and in tandem with play control technology, enable or block playback, viewing, or copying onto another digital recording device.

    Macrovision has developed widely used play control technology, while Digimarc has patented watermarking technology. According to Digimarc, the watermarks can withstand being transformed from digital to analog format and back, or from one digital format to another.

    No industry standard for a recordable digital format has yet emerged.

    Pricing information was not available. Macrovision and Digimarc said in a prepared statement that the software package was created in response to a call for proposals from the Copy Protection Technical Working Group.