My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: 3-D anti- piracy to thwart Digital Music and Video Piracy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3-D anti- piracy to thwart Digital Music and Video Piracy

Technology seems to be finally catching up with the people who profit from copying the creative work of others, specifically speaking to Digital and Audio Piracy. In Jamaica, the article, “BE WARNED! If you buy a pirated DVD, CD you can be arrested”, published Wednesday, August 26, 2009 by KARYL WALKER, Crime/Court co-ordinator, The Jamaica Observer which tackles the issue resonates very strongly with me, as Digital Music and Video Piracy has possible links to Narcotics Trafficking in Jamaica.

As we in Jamaica already have stringent fines under the Property Rights Act which can be enforced against persons who copy or purchase Copyright material knowingly as well as for breaches of the Copyright Act.

I have long advocated the use of an IT based anti-piracy Technology solution combined with more strongly enforced legislation as once a new IT based anti-piracy Technology is combined with a much stricter vigilance of purchase of Copyright material under the purview of the Property Rights Act .

IT based strategies against unauthorized copying of Copyright material, be it Audio or Video under the purview of the Copyright Act, should work to not only deter would be pirates, but make the copying and distribution of Copyright Digital Music and Video impossible, if not very difficult.

I once also suggested online that DRM (Digital Right Management) software on computers would have worked, but apparently after the many problems with rootkits installed in computers that in some cases deleted legitimately downloaded files and made CD-RW/DVD-RW players and software unable to work, Apple Inc removed DRM from their music downloads and urged everyone in a letter to the industry to do the same.

EMI agreed, Microsoft followed suit on their Zune player music distribution platform as stated in the article “Microsoft will sell DRM-free Songs”, published Fri Apr 6, 2007 4:00 PM ET by Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service, PC World.

Everyone forgot about pursuing IT based anti-piracy solutions to deal with piracy, instead focusing on models that would allow record producers to continue making money from the diminishing Digital Music and Video by creating a following for a particular music player and distribution platform.

I have already suggested an idea involving the distribution of music on a single Telecoms Provider Network that is currently unpopular with the John Public via specifically tailored Music and Video Download Plans that allow for Digital Music and Video downloading from a website set up specifically to distribute music and Video only to registered users.

Essentially the same thing as Microsoft Zune and Apple’s IPod iTunes platforms as per my blog article entitled “Daguerre: A Permanent solution to Digital Music and Video Piracy in Jamaica”.

This is great for downloaded Digital Music and Video but still does not solve the problem for Digital Video viewed on DVD and Blu-Ray players (yes, HD lost!), which are still being heavily pirated and downloaded, evident to anyone walking through May Pen, Clarendon in the late afternoon.

But as usual, it seems that the consumers love for a particular type of movie may have given inspiration to this latest anti-piracy attempt, which I predict will thwart the DVD and Blu-Ray pirates: 3-D.

Director James Cameron blockbuster Avatar (2009), a 3-D flick that currently holds the record as earning the most at the box office, surpassing his previous Oscar film Titanic (1997) for which he won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars.

He captured hearts at the Oscars after being nominated for nine (9) Oscars against his ex-wife director Katherine Bigelow’s film, Hurt Locker (2008), only to lose out to her as she ended up winning Best Picture and Best Director Oscars.

But while the razzmatazz of the red carpet and the surprise of the Oscars had Yahoo! OMG people scoping out the list of the who’s who and who they wore to the Oscars, (Miley Cyrus and Steve Jobs at the Oscars! OMG!!) a bit of a buzz was created by a movie that Johnny Depp of recent Iron Man (2008) fame starred in, which of course was Alice in Wonderland (2010).

It shares kinship and honorable mention to Avatar (2009) as not only has it surpassed that previous 3-D film’s (yes it is a 3-D flick!) opening weekend box-office record with a total of US$116.3 million as stated in the article “'Alice' opens with US$116.3 million, a 3-D record”,  published  March 7, 2010, By JAKE COYLE AP Entertainment Writer, Associated Press, ABC News despite the negative critic reviews (there’s no business like show business!).

But it also demonstrates a trend that seems to be slowly catching on since 2008: 3-D films are here to stay.

In the United States of America and Canada alone, four thousand (4000) movie theatres were fitted with 3-D capability and that number seems to be set to rise, enveloping the audience in a viewing experience that can only be enjoyed at the theatre, once the movie is a good one with a good storyline and adept usage of the 3-D to tell a story as opposed to dazzling the audience with this rare and pricey special effect.

Which would explain the Oscar nod and the record breaking earnings to a movie that is both CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) as well as 3-D, a compliment extended to both Avatar (2009) and Alice in Wonderland (2010) higher ticket prices not withstanding.

And that is where the obvious connection should be made in your mind: people will pay to see 3-D movies and uniquely, you have to wear special glasses to get the full viewing pleasure.

Samsung and Panasonic, Japanese electronics giants who are totally unrelated to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, may be able to bring the 3-D experience into your home, following their revelation that not only have they developed 3-D Flat Screen Television sets, but they are to debut them this week as stated by the article “Samsung, Panasonic start selling 3-D TV's this week”, published Tue March 9 2010, 11:04 am ET, By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo! News, AP.

They must have been seeing the trend for 3-D viewing growing in their home country Japan, especially with the phenomenal successes of Avatar (2009) and previous films of its ilk from 2008 up until now. It seems that they have decided to invest in the Technology, and by thus doing so may have created a means by which DVD’s and Blu-Ray‘s can be protected from would be pirates.

This is because these 3-D movies can only be viewed using special glasses, making it pointless to copy and distribute, as the viewing experience will be blurry and painful on the eyes, not to mention a splitting headache with all those out-of-place colors onscreen.

But even if persons who illegally copied these 3-D rendered DVD and Blu-Ray Discs and got a set of those glasses in use circa 1950’s until now, they would be unable to view the feature length film content, as the 3-D Technology used in the Television sets requires special glasses to be purchased specific to the Television sets to be worn that are specific to each type of movie.

Possibly having to be programmed to recognize legitimate codes transmitted by the Television set that must match with those in the glasses, enabling viewing, somewhat reminiscent of the movie Mission: Impossible (1996) in which the character Ethan Hawke, played by Tom Cruise, put on a pair of glasses which had a mini camera built.

This is the same idea, except that instead of a camera, it has a transmitter to communicate to the Television set, which would explains the articles reference to the batteries in the glasses needing to be recharged frequently for them to work.

In other words, if they do not have these special glasses, they will be unable to watch the 3-D content and it will appear very blurry without them, making it pointless to copy these DVD or Blu-Rays.

Sony also has plans to roll out their 3-D Television sets in June 2010AD and broadcaster ESPN plan to broadcast some of it FIFA World Cup 2010 in 3-D on a new channel specifically for 3-D content, set to debut in June. Possibly Telecom Provider Digicel’s rollout of DigiTV will include the sale of these special Television sets as a means of protecting their broadcasted content.

With Apple planning to debut their Wi-Fi flavored Apple iPad in the USA on April 3rd 2010 as webcast on “The Apple Byte”, webcast Friday March 5th 2010, presented by Brian Tong, CNET News and confirmed by Daniel Ionescu in the article “Apple Rolls out TV Ad for iPad”, published Monday March 8th 2010, by Daniel Ionescu, PC World, Yahoo! News,. Tablets in general will give Broadcasting a major boost.

The impending launch of Digicel’s WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) slated to launch at the end of the second quarter of 2010 as stated in the article “Digicel to offer mini Laptops with 4G service next year”, published Friday September 4, 2009, The Jamaica Gleaner.

ZTE Corp of China as their build out partner of their new WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network as stated in the article “Digicel signs ZTE as 4G Mobile WiMaX internet partner”, published Sunday, September 27, 2009, The Jamaica Observer hangs in the air as per my blog article entitled “Digicel and WiMaX - Great Expectations Part 1”.

Telecom Provider Digicel also plans a foray into broadcasting in the form of DigiTV in Jamaica, already successfully launched in Vanatu, Tonga and other Polynesian islands also possibly to be launched a little before the launch of their WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network.

Possibly at the start of Rising Stars, as strongly hinted in the article “DigiTV launch in 2009 - Mobile Provider branches into TV, published Friday November 14th 2009 by Ross Sheil, The Jamaica Observer.

Telecom Provider LIME is launching a competitor to DigiTV, namely LIME TV, with exclusive all-island Wireless Subscriber Television license to rebroadcast Direct TV, the summer is looking to be very hot this year.

Even lawsuits are on the rise, with Apple now going actively after HTC of Taiwan as it relates to patent infringements with regards to its Apple iPhone as stated in the article “I Apple launching a patent war?”, published March 4, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Marguerite Reardon,  CNET News - Signal Strength.

Meanwhile, locally here in Jamaica, Telecom Provider CLARO is suing Telecom Provider Digicel with regards to already filed legal proceedings against Telecom Provider Digicel and a complaint to the FTC (Fair Trading Commission), alleging that the cross-Network calling rate contract into with Telecom Provider Digicel

Albeit legally binding, in light of the Privy Council ruling is now null and void, and can be claimed also to be an example of anti-competitive action on the part of Telecom Provider Digicel as my blog article entitled “CLARO vs Digicel - Cross-Network Flat Rate Calling and MNP Cometh”.

Mix in a little 3-D Television sets and Television sets offering VOIP (Voice over IP) service courtesy of Skype as stated in the article “Skype on TV: Will the videophone finally be reality?”, published March 2, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Erica Ogg CNET News - Circuit Breaker and you can start pulling up the lounge chairs, as obviously summer has a whole new view – and it is in 3-D!

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