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Europe offering movies, software on self-erasing DVDs

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri April 18, 2008

Europe's erasing DVD-Ds

Four European countries are offering DVD movies on a format called DVD-D that is unique in that the content is erased 8 hours after the disposable disc makes its first rotation in a player. The format is also applied to software, with a 48-hour life span, either of which can be kept indefinitely until its first use, at which point the timer starts. Such DVD-Ds are available in Italy, France, Germany and Scandinavia at bookstores, gas stations and kiosks for about a third of the price of a traditional multi-play DVD.

After the 48 hours are up, inserting the disc into a DVD player will result in a No Disc message. Recordable DVD-D discs are also available, with a 4.5GB capacity. The blank DVD-D+R can be recorded at up to 8X speed, and can either be ordered with pre-recorded content in quantities less than 2,000, or bought as blanks. The client can then specify how long the data is to remain, having the option of one-time viewing only, or a time period of 8 hours, 48 hours or otherwise. Blank DVD-D+Rs available for purchase can be recorded with a 48-hour data life.

There is certainly potential for companies to distribute demo programs or software on DVD-D discs, provided of course the discs can be copy protected first, as it's not clear what, if anything, prevents users from copying the DVD-D's content before the data self-erases. The discs and packages are fully recyclable. [via Heise]

by MacNN Staff



  1. AndrewWickliffe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    holy crud

    DivX has returned

  1. rsande

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More info:

    From the "Technology" links on the DVD-D site:

    "The DVD-D is a standard DVD that can be used only for several hours after the card board sleeve has been opened" (Movie Technology)

    "After 48 hours or so, the DVD-D ROM becomes unplayable." (Game Technology)

    Given this wording, I wouldn't say "self-erasing", it sounds more like "self-corrupting". Self-erasing made me think that it was something that might be reusable. Also, it sounds like it starts the corruption timer from when you remove it from the packaging, not the first rotation of the disc.

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Must be some kind of time-release chemical triggered when the envelope is opened. Or the player's laser triggers it, which seems more obvious. Maybe it's a two-step process.

    Hollywood should love it, assumingit doesn't poison viewers.

  1. tonton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Of course, the first spin

    ...will be ripping the disc to your computer's hard drive. If it's playable in a commercial DVD player for 8 hours, it's rippable to a PC/Mac for 8 hours.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    environmental impact

    hard to believe the environment loving europeans will go for this...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a waste

    it has been tried and failed. And it clogs the landfills.

    Oh, and I bet the studios will demand that they get a tax on these DVDs, like they do blank ones, to cover the piracy they'll be used for....

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