Amongst protestations from environmental groups, the Walt Disney Co is testing out new rental disks which become unreadable after 48 hours.
The trial is this week in Austin, Texas; Peoria/Bloomington, Illinois; Charleston, South Carolina; and Kansas City, Missouri.
Intended for convenience stores rather than Blockbuster, the “EZ-D” discs are intended as impulse purchases. Developed by Flexplay Technologies Inc, the discs start off red, but turn black as they are oxidized. The system doesn’t make DVDs any more secure against piracy, as they can still be copied in the first 48 hours.
To appease environmentalists, such as the Alliance for Safe Alternatives, concerned at the needless landfill this will create, Disney are offering a recycling programme – and as an incentive, customers will get a new disk for every six used ones they return.