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Sony patents anti-rental tech

Could be used in PlayStation 3, Blu-ray

By George T. Chronis -- Video Business, 11/14/2005

NOV. 10 | It recently came to light that Sony Computer Entertainment received a U.S. patent exactly one year before on a one-system-one-disc technology that renders movie or game discs useless on more than one playback unit. If implemented, the technology would prevent affected discs from being rented or resold.

There is no evidence that the technology is slated for SCE's PlayStation 3, yet the digital rights management scheme has far-reaching implications for the video rental industry.

The patent describes a process by which every media disc is shipped with a unique registration key. The first time the media disc is inserted into a player, that key is read and the disc is registered by the player, then the original key on the disc is rendered unreadable. Any attempt to play a registered disc in another player will fail.

The PS3 will be equipped with the same Blu-ray disc drive hardware Sony intends to use in its consumer Blu-ray players. If the one-system-one-disc technology is added to Blu-ray drives on the PS3, the same easily could be done with consumer Blu-ray players and computer Blu-ray disc drives.

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