AfterDawn: Tech news

Consumers say self-destructing DVDs a bad idea

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 17 Jun 2003 15:07 User comments (19)

According to a survey released by 321 Studios, the maker of the DVDXCopy and XPRESS backup tools, found that most of the consumers hate the idea of self-destructing DVDs that Disney is planning to start selling in the U.S.
Disney's plan is to replace a middleman in the DVD renting business (==Blockbuster) by offering an option where user simply gets the DVD from any store for same price as Blockbuster charges for two-day rental, but don't have to return the disc ever since it becomes unusable after two days. However, according to the study 76 percent of respondents stated that they would not be interested in "renting" a self-destructing DVD.

Most of the people who took the survey, were also extremely worried about the environmental damage such idea would cause.

More information: 321 Studios' press release

Previous Next  

19 user comments

118.6.2003 4:31

Trust the boys at 3-2-1 to get controversial and take on the big boys ;-) Seriously though, I am concerned about the environment, I recycle and take care about my mode of transport. Anyone who considers the possibility of a user too lazy to go back to the store recycling needs his own brain recycled. This is the society we live in today, one of throw away products, which leave our grandchildren living around landfill sites of unbiodegradable crud. The manaufacturers should pay for the clean up is they get away with it. I have always said the person who invents biodegradable cigarette filters will become richer than Bill Gates ;-) Paul.

I'm back...
...can't you smell the fear?

218.6.2003 4:46

I used to be a big fan of Disney. Not just their artistic creations, but also of their business model. Over the years there have been things they've done which have made me start to question whether I still endorse them wholeheartedly. This one takes the cake, and is probably the turning point in my support of Disney. Making something which is only good for 2 days and then thrown away is just irresponsible. Shame on them. - Bob

318.6.2003 9:46

I also think that disney is being very irrisponsible esspecially being that the there movies are aimed mostly for younger children, I mean the amount of pakaging(plastic dvd cover,Paper cover) that will be wasted will be huge not to metion the actual dvd's.Disney should set a better example.

You're youthfull curiosity has served you well my friend, for which you will be rewarded.

418.6.2003 12:56

This sounds alot like what Circuit City tried to do with the original DivX. That was a major flop. The major difference is that DivX needed a special player. I really don't see this catching on.

518.6.2003 13:06

Forgetting the Environmental aspect of it, the self-destructing DVD is actually some-what of a remarkable invention. Designing a DVD to become unusable within a short periond of time is a clever strategy for a DVD Renting facility. However, going back to the environmental problems it faces us with, i believe that those renting the DVD's should inclose a pre-paid postage label for sending the product back. This way it can be re-cycled and re-used. Therefore, i see no problem with the proposed strategy from Disney and look upon it as another ingenious idea from a corporation that has thought of so many! Chris

618.6.2003 13:08

Good idea

You're youthfull curiosity has served you well my friend, for which you will be rewarded.

718.6.2003 13:33

(1) Are they recycle-able? (2) Will people bother to send them back? Need to offer some type of insentive. Pay $5, and get $2 or $3 refund when you send it back. How do you manage the refund though? Sending checks would probably, at least partially, defeat the environmental advantage of recycling the discs. And still, how many people would bother to return it? - Bob

818.6.2003 16:23

I tend to disagree. Firstly, most plastic products can be recyled. Secondly, the need be no insentive. Why does there have to be an insentive to return a disc even if it comes with a postage paid envelope. Collect them up and then send them all off when you whenever you go to the post office. Go to I buy my ink from them at less than half the price. They give you enevelopes to freepost the cartridges back to them. Whats the insentive for me to do that? Apart from helping the environment, it helps keep the costs down on my next purchase, making printing more economical for me! Again, well done, an inventive and intuitive idea from the Disney. The problem is, its just misunderstood at the minute!! Chris

918.6.2003 16:28

Im trying to find a website that i read an article on. The gist of it was that a DVD dye was being created that would llow the user to read it only once. Some sort of heat-sensitive solution that deisolved under the lasers heat. Interesting. Ill try find it and post it

1018.6.2003 23:21

I think you guys are missing the point a little bit. The likelihood of someone too lazy to return a DVD to blockbuster, having enough get up and go to return it to the manufacturer is slim. Also, the technology presupposes some kind of criminal (at least improper) intent from the users of the DVDs. It is being seen as a way to cut out the rental companies altoghether, so the responsibility for collecting these DVDs will fall entirely on the shoulders of the manufacturers. The rubbish will be tons every single day. Do you use glass bottles? Do you recycle? (I do, but I am the only person in my entire street who does). Lets face it, this is a bare faced attempt at profiteeting and cutting out rental companies. Small rental companies (some of which specialise in non-mainstream and foreign video) will die, leaving a wasteland of hollywood films and little else. Resist these attempts, I urge you all. Paul.

I'm back...
...can't you smell the fear?

1119.6.2003 4:59

Paul, very strong opinion, by any chance do you own a DVD rental company? ;-) I understand the point you are making, look at it another way. By cutting out the middleman (the DVD Rental Stores), we would be able to obtain a better price for the rental of our movie. I do not believe that Disney are proposing that we, the consumer, are intent on being deceitful in the use of these DVD's. However, if you supplied a regular DVD to the consumer at rental price and told them they don't have to return it, who would buy DVD Movies for the full price? You also say that small rental companies will be hit hard and inevnitably go out of business. This is the other side of the coin. Disney, and any other corporation that adopts this technology, may decide to go allow rental companies to continue to rent their new destructable DVD's for them. You also said that people would not make the effort to return the DVD's. If you rent a DVD today, you have to return it. If you rent by mail, you return it by mail. I am lucky as there is a post box right outside my house, but i generaly feel people would collect a few DVD's they rent and then send them back to the rental store. Also, we use natural gas, piped into our home. We have a seperate bin for recycling paper, one for recycling aliminium and one for recycling glass bottles. Now if thats not environmentally friendly........ By the way, im still looking for my bloody dog, anyone seen it? Chris

1219.6.2003 5:09

If anybody thinks that this will make cheaper DVDs than we currently get, then they are so naive it does not bear thinking about. Bear in mind we could have material cheaply through the internet if the companies were interested in uploading music, games (and even movies) to users and there would bo no environmental impact (Except a little electricity!) I don't own a video store, but I recognise that some provide access to less mainstream material, although that material alone is not going to keep them in business, it is important to keep that side of the industry going, not just faceless corporate hollywood. I also have crates for paper, glass and metal, but your dad's Jaguar is the gas guzzling environmental disaster I worry about ;-)

I'm back...
...can't you smell the fear?

1319.6.2003 5:27

damn stupid idea IMHO! trust disney to come up with this, they half pay their workers, their working conditions are terrible etc etc..

1419.6.2003 5:27

Hey I cant wait till the release them think of it Disney's name right next to those indestructable pampers sitting in the land fill for the next 200 years . boy wont themedia have a feild day with that and disney's stock will fall ... also I have heard that a clear lacqure finish will make them last for ever... but keeping to the subject once avalible Disney should go with a collect 10 and send them back and get a free coupon for your next dvd, something like "when it turns black ,send it back" campain

1519.6.2003 5:46

Reminds me of a poem in Saba (a small Dutch island in the Caribbean, with only a few inhabitants [all related it appears!] and questionable toilet technology) If it's yellow, let it mellow, If it's brown, flush it down. Paul.

I'm back...
...can't you smell the fear?

1619.6.2003 5:51

You go to Xtra Vision or blockbuster you pay 3 to 3.50 a movie. Hows that cheap? I agree that they should offer insentives or produce fines for movies not returned within a month or something, even though they are not watchable. Nice idea mystic

1719.6.2003 5:52

the idea is stupid, like imagine you put it in your dvd player and 1 bit of it has already started to self-destruct? lol

1819.6.2003 6:22

hmm....i wonder if it could damage lasers on the DVD players. Theres a thought...

1920.6.2003 8:43

Ah they should scrap the idea because they are going to spend so much on it and get nothing out of it!

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive