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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » System to prevent camcorder piracy in digital projection

   
Author Topic: System to prevent camcorder piracy in digital projection
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-29-2002 08:43 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A US company has developed a prototype system, described here, to prevent people from recording a digitally projected picture using a camcorder.

This story is a couple of weeks old, but I only came across a link to it via one which appeared today about CD piracy. Sooner or later the CCDs and auto-exposure software in camcorders will become clever enough to defeat this system, I would have thought.


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Pat Moore
Master Film Handler

Posts: 363

Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 10-29-2002 10:57 AM      Profile for Pat Moore   Email Pat Moore   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Security has always been a hot topic for Digital Cinema, of course, since that supposedly one of the great pluses. SMPTE's DC28 Technology Committee on Digital Cinema has an entire group working on security issues that include prevention as well as watermarking technologies.

Pat

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 10-29-2002 11:18 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kodak is an active participant on the SMPTE Digital Cinema DC28 working groups, and has some excellent technology:
here Kodak Digital Cinema
here Kodak Compression Technology
here Kodak Extended Range Imaging
here Kodak Invisible Watermarking
here Invisible Watermarking for Digital Cinema

------------------
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: +1 585 477 5325 Cell: +1 585 781 4036 Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: john.pytlak@kodak.com
Web site: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1561
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 10-30-2002 12:32 AM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am sure this is going to sound very stupid but here goes...

Couldnt they just put a shutter between the lamphouse and DLP? If we as humans cannot detect the 48 times a second that the light goes out with film why would we be able to with DLP? (Im sure there is a very good answer) I only worked with a DLP once so I dont really know it all that well.

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 10-30-2002 12:41 AM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Adding a shutter would decrease the amount of light that reaches the screen and we would end up with RDLP (Really Dim Lifeless Pixels).

Plus, digital video cameras are now capable of 24 frame recording. IIRC there are also some with variable framerates. So a shutter wouldn't prevent it. Just like it doesn't prevent it now (on film). Some pretty good looking recordings are possible, usually with a bad onscreen presentation.

Which leads to me believing that piracy happens the most in theatres that just don't care. If ushers can find people with cell phones, laser pens, etc. what makes it so hard to spot a camera?


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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 10-30-2002 07:27 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A friend bought a high end digital camcorder a while back. We set it up on a tripod at the back of the auditorium, set for the correct shutter speed and frame format and got a picture that was quite acceptable even on his 8 ft projection video screen. The set up took all of 2 minutes. Decent sound may be a little harder.

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Ray Derrick
Master Film Handler

Posts: 310
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 10-30-2002 07:39 AM      Profile for Ray Derrick   Email Ray Derrick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most modern cinemas have a hearing impaired sound system, so getting good quality sound should be a piece of cake (if you are one of those low scum of the underworld who find delight in stealing other people's hard work). If I thought of this in a just a few moments, it wouldn't take long for the crims to figure it out. I suggest we look more closely at the operation of hearing impaired systems.

------------------
Ray Derrick
President/Chief Engineer
Panalogic Corporation Sydney, Australia
Phone: 61 (0)2 9894 6655 Fax: 61 (0)2 9894 6935


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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 10-30-2002 02:19 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
AFAIK most hearing impared systems are mono... at least they won't be able to have 'PRO LOGIC' sound on their bootleg.

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Ray Derrick
Master Film Handler

Posts: 310
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 10-30-2002 07:49 PM      Profile for Ray Derrick   Email Ray Derrick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
True

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-30-2002 11:54 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Judging by the few dupes I've seen like this, quality is hardly an issue. Bad video? Bad sound? Doesn't matter. The pirates just think it's cool just to have something before it comes out or when it's popular in the theaters. Being unwatchable is only a minor inconvenience

There are a lot of screener dubs made from tapes that the studios stupidly send out to reviewers, critics, etc. These are at least Blockbuster VHS quality. In my personal opinion, it is rather moronic of studios to send out tapes like that.


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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 10-31-2002 12:32 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But they use super advanced anti-piracy technology on the VHS tapes... a magnet beside the rewind spool. If only I had a screw-driver to remove the magnet to keep it from blanking the tape after the first time I watch it.


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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-31-2002 03:41 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And whatever you do, don't pirate it the first time the tape is viewed. That would be too hard.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17662
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-31-2002 03:54 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Back in the late 80's they had VHS cassettes that could be "dialed up" to only play back a certain number of times. I have a few of these sitting around and keep meaning to crack one open to see how it works, but the idea never flew anyway. I know these used security screws that could not be removed without a special tool (or a flat head precision screwdriver which apparently no one would ever try). Anyway, worst cast senario just bust the cassette open and load it into a new VHS shell. Big deal. The guys who come up with this stuff must think that pirates are really stupid. It's a good thing that most of us are honest enough no to do or allow bootlegging.

BTW, there are plenty of ways a pure SR signal could be routed out of a processor for the original 2 channel mix to be preserved. It also wouldn't be hard to set the EQs flat and use a small mixer on the LCR outputs either to get a reasonably decent mix. Heck the old "Sound-A-Round" systems actually had post preamp/post NR RCA line level outputs!!! Anyway, sound would be far easier than getting a good picture, unless the bootlegger has one of those new 24P cameras. With those out, that's about it.

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