Microsoft has unveiled a new copy protection software which aims to make media files un-usable after a set period of time. The software will allow files to be transferred to new portable devices that also support the new protection measure.
Dubbed "Janus", the new Digital Rights Management (DRM) software aims to allow the rental of digital files by giving them an expiration date. Disney, responsible for the EZ-D "self destructing" DVDs, are said to be interested in using the new DRM software.
More information here
Even though this scheme seems to be aimed at the rental market (just like EZ-Ds), I've always had the suspicion that what the industry really want is for all digital files to be subscription based (subscription => constant source of income). I wish they'd just concentrate on finding a good way to sell movies (in digital format) online, without all the fuss over subscription, DRM and all that. If the movie is cheap enough (whether it's available online, or in stores), people will automatically turn away from pirating them. Downloading pirated movies can be frustrating, time consuming (especially if you were unfortunate enough to download a fake) and often has inferior quality. And most people that resort to pirated versions probably weren't going to buy it in the first place (not that interested in the movie, or driven away by the high price). It's pretty easy to see the best selling DVDs are usually the ones on sale.
And its interesting Disney have stated interest in the new DRM measure. EZ-D and Janus should keep the environmentalists and consumer rights activists busy for quite a while...