For a time, it was a thought to be a myth, but then Disney came along and made it a reality. Self-destructing DVDs, or EZ-D DVDs as it's known, have been on trial in a few US states for quite a while, and now that trial will expand to Florida and another few US states.
EZ-D DVDs works by using a special chemical solution that reacts with oxygen, and will prevent the DVD from being played after a set amount of time (usually 48 hours). The disc is then becomes permanently unusable and has to be thrown away.
The biggest criticism of EZ-D DVDs is the environmental impact that throwing away thousands of discs per day may cause, and while Disney provides a recycling program, it's still potentially hundreds of thousands of plastic discs being produced and thrown away every 48 hours.
By controlling the timed usage of EZ-D DVDs, it allows studios to directly distribute these discs for rental purposes without going through a rental network. This means that supermarket, 7-Elevens and even Petrol stations will be able to become essentially points to rent DVDs. The marketing approach is much like the failed DIVX format, which failed due to protests by the (then small) DVD community. And like DIVX, there is already quite a stir amongst the now much larger DVD community regarding EZ-D DVDS (with environmentalists joining in the protest as well - at least DIVX discs could be reset to be used again).
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