Single-Play DVDs? It’s a hoax
On the Internet, a hoax can spread just as fast as a genuine news story. That’s the lesson from the bogus story published in an obscure UK business magazine yesterday that claimed Microsoft is about to unleash a new single-play DVD format.
The funny part? There’s no truth to the story. None whatsoever. In fact, the original story sparked a flurry of e-mails around Microsoft as people in different groups tried to figure out where on earth this story came from. After the head-scratching stopped, a spokesmen told me, they concluded that the story was not true. “It appears to be confusing an existing feature within Windows Media DRM that allows for single-play of promotional digital material. This has been an option for content owners to use for some time for the Windows Media format – it does not apply to MPEG2 content found on DVDs.”
Downloaded content in the Windows Media format can be DRM-protected, and if the content owner wants to limit it to a specific number of plays, or to set an expiration date for the content, that’s an option, just as it is with subscription-based music services. But it’s only one of many options, and it has nothing to do with DVDs.
So, case closed. The single-play DVD format can go back to the 1990s, where it rightfully belongs.
Update: No, Virginia, there are no cheap, disposable DVDs from Microsoft in the pipeline. Get the final word from Microsoft here.
[Cross-posted at Ed Bott's Windows Expertise]