Secure DVD Players for BAFTA Judges

The British Academy of Film and Television will be supplying judges with secure DVD players from Cinea for this year’s award season. The move is intended to answer studio’s concerns that “screener disks” sent to judges for consideration sometimes end up being pirated and ending up on the internet. Cinea’s secure players have already been used for the Oscar awards, following the MPAA’s campaign to halt the distribution of screener disks.

The specially encrypted disks will only play in Cinea’s S-VIEW sv300 DVD players, though the players themselves can play ordinary DVDs too. Disks are sent to the authorised viewer and are initialised and marked with the player identity when inserted into the sv300. By initialising the disks in this way, studios will know which player the disk came from if it ever goes astray.

“We are very pleased to be working with Cinea to give our members the opportunity to receive secure screeners. The British Academy takes the threat of piracy very seriously, and we welcome any solution that can reduce the risk of unauthorized copying.” said David Parfitt, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee.

Variety is reporting that it will cost studios US$25,000 (€20,650) per film, plus a license fee to Cinea, to secure the screener disks with the S-VIEW system. Cinea will pay for the players and encoding themselves, and is in discussion with studios for further uses of the S-VIEW technology to secure the post-production process for film makers. It can be used for the secure distribution of dailies and other works in progress, ensuring that digital copies don’t end up being leaked onto the internet. Something that was almost impossible with 35 or 70mm film.

Each sv300 player is individually addressable, allowing distributors to decide exactly who views their content, from large groups of thousands to a single individual.



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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?