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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:25 PM   #1
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Saving the film industry, from piracy.

As mentioned on the other 8mp display thread, I have just been struck with some revelation on a new way to combat piracy (assuming nobody else has come up with it already).

Problem with existing copyright schemes, they can still film it:

Existing copyright schemes work on the basis of encoding the stream so the information cannot be copied and used. But the problem here is once it is displayed it can then be filmed. I've realised this hopeless futile situation from near the beginning. Although they can't stop it, ti makes it difficult, restricting the amount of pirates with the equipment and skills to do it, which makes them easier to catch.


The solution, make it unfilmable:

But what about if we could restrict it further so that it could not even be filmed effectively (this applies more to video then using actual filming):

What if we adjusted the sync of frame and pixel randomly on the fly. Further more we can split a progressive frame and show a series of parts of the frame separately. Say a random sample of the frame, then another random sample of what else is left and so forth until a complete frame is formed.

Now, the human vision and mind should be able to synchronise to this, but this should stuff up the synchronisation of video cameras (as they will not be able to guess the new synchronisation to match it) also resulting in pixel tearing. This results in severely downgrading of the quality of the recording to such a degree to make it unpreferable to watch.


This will not completely stop piracy, because there are other problems. Intelligent programs to restore such an image (just make them illegal and restrict cameras to have different frame rate/25fps from film), and the really hard cases can still tap into the circuits to pull raw data. But this goes a long way to reducing the number of people that could potentially pirate. With this reduction it will be easier to narrow down on suspects. This is what copyright holders need to do, band together in an association funded to crack down on catching commercial pirates as the prime deterrent, they are too common and prosecutions to little.

Where should I submit this? Is there a reward for stuff like this? I claim what ever rights I can on it.


Thanks

Wayne Morellini.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:47 PM   #2
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You could get a patent on certain things (including things like business methods; not sure what the legal track record on business methods are). Supposedly you don't even need to have implemented what you're patenting.

Patents do cost money to file... there are strategies to defer some of the cost. Patent laws can be different in each country.

2- Potentially a better method is to digitally watermark a film.

Also, certain developing countries could use stronger IP laws and better enforcement of them. Heck, even in Canada you have stores selling pirated copies of movies and such.

3- Technologically, your idea may be very expensive to implement?? It seems like you need a projector that has a very high frame rate, and higher-than-normal light output.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:54 PM   #3
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This won't work for various reasons... one of which would be that the viewers may get headaches and might even experience seizure problems from the discontinuously random strobing.

If you really want to prevent people from pirating your work, all you have to do is never release it for public viewing. On the other hand, if you are interested in making money, you should focus your energies toward the side of the market that has money (the buyers) rather than worrying about the side that doesn't have much money (the pirates).
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:14 PM   #4
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You have two problems here:

1) Since you've publically disclosed your idea, in the US, you now have one year to file and hope no-one finds this thread or challenges you (in fact, because it's a public forum and we didn't sign confidential agreements, you may have already lost).

2) Even if you file, you'll have to disclose the specifics about your method and share with the world, (the reason for the patent process to begin with: exchange of ideas for limited exclusivity). Because you've shared, then someone not following the rules or where unforceable (i.e. china), will engineer a work around and you're hosed.

As Mr. Bonnington pointed out, your audience is the honest folks whom have little issues with spending money for their own copies. When the pirates outnumber the honest buyers then it's time to find another career.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 11:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bonnington
This won't work for various reasons... one of which would be that the viewers may get headaches and might even experience seizure problems from the discontinuously random strobing.

If you really want to prevent people from pirating your work, all you have to do is never release it for public viewing. On the other hand, if you are interested in making money, you should focus your energies toward the side of the market that has money (the buyers) rather than worrying about the side that doesn't have much money (the pirates).
I wish the recording industry could figure that concept out.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 12:40 AM   #6
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This method still doesn't stop the downloading of films already on DVD. You're talking strictly theatrical releases which do not have DVD's out yet.

There's actually already a method to scramble camcorders while in theatres. It was posted here not too long ago, if I can find the thread, I'll link it, but the industry is already trying to find ways to scramble the information it's being given while operating in a theatre.

Piracy will always be around and big companies are always going to complain. Fact is, it's time for the industry(ies) to figure out how to use the internet as a means to make profit. The internet can cut costs of having to produce physical copies of a movie, thus making the films cheaper to consumers.

No costs of printing, no costs of materials, etc.

Just my two cents.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 01:01 AM   #7
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I live in the land of pirating. I can tell you one thing. They can sell movies (legit, legal movies) for around 2-7 USD maybe a little higher for a deluxe edition. These are the for distribution in Thailand films You don't see so many Thais buying the pirated films...maybe US TV shows they don't get. You see the folks coming from countries that sell 20 USD DVD's buying the pirated ones...

You want to stop pirating...don't strobe video...just give folks better and more realistic purchasing options...like instead of renting everyone buys...

And they have really cut down on the in movie filmed bootlegs over here. Mostly because they don't sell. People have started getting over the I have it before it's out thing and are waiting for legit copies. Sometimes they get their hands on oscar preview disks or other pre-run bootlegs with great DVD quality...those get snatched up...but most vendors tell me they don't stock or actively try to sell the shot in movie versions of films anymore...

I don't know if that's worth anything to you. But either the current laws or whatever or just lack of general interest, people are on a decline for shot in theatre boots...and folks given the option of a lesser priced version compared to the boots are going with the legit copies (a bootleg goes for about 2 dollars US here to maybe as high as 4 if you don't know how to bargain...so it makes more sense to buy the real deal if available).

People will always try and get something for nothing...but less will be out there with a good alternative in place.

Paul
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Old October 4th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #8
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Hey Mr. Cypert, being from Thailand I confirm what you're saying. Thais generally don't buy pirated stuff unless they're unavaible or ridiculously priced (take the criterion stuff for example.) But also an intersting insight, alot of my non film friends buy copyrighted music because they have the pereception that young independent rock stars starve, but with movies, all they see is big Hollywood stars driving Ferraris. So no real sympathy for them, in their eyes atleast.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:04 AM   #9
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Technically, it really is a professional technical thread requiring registration, not so much a public forum.

Now, patenting is not such an issue, what I am talking about is where do I submit it, what pro copyright group might want it?


I think some of you miss the point. Copyright is moving in directions beyond and away from the DVD system. So, we are talking about the future here not the past. I suspect, once HD disks take off enough, DVD will be dropped as a release format.

I also agree with the sentiments on pricing, though I imagine that to the average person from Thailand, even those with personal TV+DVD, that the price quoted is a lot. To Westerners, with overly artificially inflated exchange rates, they look really cheap. The price needs to be lower.


Current new copyright regime:

To copy HD versions, is an entirely another ball game, and in the future that might be the only current available. They are setting up paths that have copyright protection from disk to display. This makes copying very difficult (until somebody figured it out, if they can anytime soon, or before they introduce a new overlapping coding scheme, continual overlapping supporting two to three schemes over 10 to 20 years, so that most of the old equipment still works on one of the schemes until it dies, is another idea of mine). The best method is then to setup a display again, and simply film it.


Display technology is well truly beyond the fresh rates and display rates required. So, consider most of this copying would be done by somebody that buys the HD version on disk and then films the screen. The cost to add a scrambling scheme like mine to every mass produced display will be low. It can be very well tuned to avoid effecting people with health problems (high enough refresh rate etc). The human vision system can notice fine timed details, but has a much broader timing then even 24p, they can be used to smooth out the effects, while remaining incompatible with camera circuitry.


I agree with he sentiments about in theaters filming, I have read reports that it is very low quality, and simply a joke. I imagine that somebody who is technical, can easily setup a quality version that is many times better. But, that can be detected. The laser pops your video camera sensor idea, is silly, and probably prone to mishap. What I advocate in this case, is a simple sensing circuit (used for bug detention and other things) that detects the EM activity of electronic equipment, precisely where, and whom. When you approach such a person with a simple handheld detector, you can locate it. If they shut it down before you get there, the in theatre sensors will detect it, and you know that you have a suspect that needs to be searched. Even a simple metal detector will find most cameras (until they are all plastic, but then batteries probably present a target for a new detector). If they throw it way, the low light in theatre camera can show you where. A miniature film camera is another thing, and is difficult to detect from distance if made right, but can still be detected.


Pirating is a big problem, in PC's pirating of software has enormous effects on sales of games and other software. On protected systems, pirating has been much less (until the protection system is cracked). The same goes for video. With no protection every man and his dog (metaphorically) can copy it. With protection the average person cannot, even with it cracked they have to rely on external equipment, or pirated copies to do something, both traceable. With this scheme and an uncracked protection system, we get down to thousands of potential suspects that could do it, which makes it easier to trace back to.


Tracing the disk and tracing the individual:

Another idea of mine, was an watermark ID number of each disk, in this you can trace where the disk traveled and got sold. You now have region, If there not dumb enough to use tractable ID, in store/local video surveillance might help, otherwise you can track through their distribution chain. If they come in out of area, you can use transport logs, transaction, mobile position and surveillance footage. There is special systems now that will identify individuals almost instantly live while filming crowds of people. You can give it a list of persons of known interest, and it should be able to quickly scan surveillance video (providing there is any and it is of good quality) for these people, and past together a case.

I have one more idea that really stuffs them, but I am not mentioning that, because I am keeping that in reserve for a project I am designing.


I am sorry if I have missed anything, I think I answered all the objections. I also apologise, in advance, for any mistakes, I wrote this quickly with only a simple spell check.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:13 AM   #10
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BTW, thanks for all your replies guys.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini
Technically, it really is a professional technical thread requiring registration, not so much a public forum.
It's very rare and valuable opportunity here to have chance proof physically something :) Look at Wayne Morellini or Frank Hool in Google. Some time ago i very desperately looked for info about camcorders minimum focusing distances. And Voila few weeks and google gave me new site about this topic. However it was my own posts here. So it may seem that dvinfo not so public. But it's pretty far from that already. Look at community members count: 22,658, at the moment. About 10% are relatively active. Even this one is huge number. Only connection is some concern to filmmaking. Thats all. If You look at piracy issues You can find POV's from corner to corner. For instance i personally feel always touched about piracy subjects because i have had serious misunderstandings with antipiracy servants about my own creation.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 04:10 AM   #12
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posting to this forum would be considered public disclosure

The fact that people have to register to post is not the point, the fact that anyone can visit and read what you have posted makes it public disclosure.

Personally I think that the whole approach to anti piracy is rather ineffective

The current schemes push the innocent, or the occasional user, and do nothing to deter the major players that are able to create copies in massive numbers.

In an earlier life we were involved in a famous networking company. Former management was obsessed with copy protection, had a key card physically installed in every server to run. We realized that what was needed was exposure and a system that allowed the casual user to use the system and the professional volume user to pay the legimitate price. So we introduced a free version of the software that supported 5 users, made the price of the software and the cost per connection realistic. Sales volumes sky rocketed.

The legitimate music download business has shown that the problem was not piracy the problem was that the buyer really only wanted a few songs from the cd, and was willing to pay a reasonable price.

The industry tried to put it all on the poor artist who was being deprived of their "revenue". Fact was most artists never saw another penny after their initial advance, and even the successfull artists rarely saw more than 50 cents per cd.

We had an opportunity to talk to Lars and Jim of Metallica about if they had it to do over again what would they do, and they agreed their whole initial take on it was incorrect, and subsequently started to support downloading at reasonable prices.

It is like a lot of the investigations of where the original source for professionally pirated movies came from and the industry had the embarassment to find that quite a bit of it came from the copies that were sent out to members of the industry itself, the so called insiders.

Sharyn
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Old October 5th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #13
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Sharyn I agree. There's a fine line to walk between viewing someone as a pirate or a client willing to find an easier means to get what he or she wants.

The shotgun approach taken by industry thus far has only hurt the bottom line. (Prosecuting Grandmothers and pre-schoolers for P2P downloads was a PR nightmare). Rather than punish abusers, they should have investigated why the abuse exists in the first place, and found a solution that would have resulted in sales and happier customers.

Frankly it's all about change and new technology. The old physical distrubution system is now dated and obsolete. The public has demonstrated that if you don't comply and provide what they need to fit their lifestyle, then they'll go elsewhere, and even be willing to steal it if given the opportunity.

That's why no-one really liked the ipods until Mr. Jobs came up with itunes and tossed that into the mix. Now everyone is getting into the game.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #14
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Funny how some people concentrate on side issues and not on the main subject.

Anybody can even read scientific/technical/industry exclusive publications too, but it is a big issue, I am yet to get an patent attorney and nail it down. I know of a site that publishes ideas to look for investor pickup, I don't know how the patent issue resolves for them. I suggest we get back to the main subject.


I agree with you guys that prices should be a lot lower. In the present regime that would be the best option, and for the user the best option in the future. The problem with peer to peer is that it was a legitimate tool, the pirating wasn't really the softwares producers responsibility, it was the industries responsibility to make effective measures to make the music protected and unplayable, to lower costs, to customise music to what users "actually" wanted. That is right, but we can't expect things to be the same in the next anti-piracy protection round. What I am talking about is to patch the loop holes in the next round, where the only cheap option will be to film it.

The problem with industry is that the amount spent on making/distributing movies/DVDs rises to suck up profit from the movies price. Pay more, and they spend more, until they have to charge more. The solution is to charge less and spend less. Unfortunately, what hope have we got of that.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #15
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1- One problem with making the screen unfilmable is that the technology has to be applied to EVERY screen.

For people who are really sensitive to flicker / if it won't work for people with epilepsy, then that would mean that not every screen would implement said technology. And someone could just film that screen.
There would also be a liability issue if the technology gives people epileptic seizures.

2- It's not a big deal if people are pirating cams... cams are low quality, and aren't a very good "product". Many people would much prefer a higher quality product, even if it costs several dollars more.

A bigger problem in my opinion is all the screener rips and other copies of that level of quality. Even worse are leaked copies, since some consumers will watch that instead of a legitimate copy. If there were no leaked copies, then hardcore fans would be ok with going to the theatre and paying for it.

This is also a big deal for the digital cinema initiative... since digital projection allows simultaneous worldwide releases. This stops illegal dubbed copies of movies from hitting other markets before the legit film prints make their way there (film prints cost a lot of money, hence studios tend to stagger releases).

3- "Where there's a will, there's a way."
This is true for most things. There are people who are going to try hard to crack whatever DRM scheme is implemented on Bluray and HD DVD. CSS for DVDs has already been cracked.

4- A potentially better approach would be to deliver more value to the consumer. Consumers won't buy a product unless there's value for them, and there's no value to them from copy protection schemes. In fact, there is negative value since it adds cost and the schemes are sometimes very annoying. DVD players as it is only have so much processing power available; their limitations means there's things like the chroma upsampling error / chroma bug.
i.e. iTunes and other downloading adds convenience
DVDs of TV series adds convenience. They also have bonus features.
DVDs have DVD extras and pretty packaging (whereas pirated copies have tacky packaging).

5- While lower prices may help lower piracy, legitimate copies will always cost more than illegal copies. Why people still buy legitimate copies is due to non-cost factors- convenience, quality, value-added features (i.e. nice packaging, DVD extras), morality, fear of prosecution, etc.
Morality may actually have little value. For those who do download, they may adjust their values to assign positive value to copying- it's ok because the large companies are too greedy, how dare they sue children for illegal downloading, etc. We change our beliefs to be in line with our actions / people don't want to look like hypocrites. So once the behaviour is there, morality may actually entrench itself and provide incentive for piracy.

5b- Well here's a crazy idea. What if one of the studios started a "leniency program", where customers could trade-in their illegal copies and get a free copy of a new DVD release. Have them sign a statement giving the movie studio their word that they believe in paying for legitimate product. By signing that statement, people may be reluctant to reverse their position and appear like a hypocrite. So it "traps" people into doing the right thing.
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