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Movie studios partner with Sandisk and Western Digital for new anti-piracy initiative

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The newly-created Secure Content Storage Association has announced "Project Phenix", a new DRM scheme that aims to make sharing HD video across devices easier while also improving anti-piracy measures.

Blu-ray movie rip
Blu-ray movie rip

Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, Sandisk, and Western Digital today unveiled a new initiative dubbed "Project Phenix", which they claim will make it easier to store and view HD video across multiple devices while also introducing new measures to help copyright holders fight piracy. The home entertainment divisions from each studio have partnered with WD and SanDisk to form a coalition known as the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA). As the name would suggest, the group aims to "create and license solutions" that will better secure high-def movies on a variety of mediums from traditional hard disks to SD cards.

Unfortunately, the announcement is sparse on details, but the basic idea is this: SCSA-enabled content would be sold digitally, bundled with physical media, and also available via retail kiosks. Once downloaded to a compatible device in the home, each video would then be available for viewing — both online and off — on "SCSA-optimized" TVs, Blu-ray players, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even game consoles. The coalition has also promised that its solutions will tie in with the industry-blessed UltraViolet cloud locker.

At this preliminary stage, it's hard to predict whether the SCSA's method will see wide adoption from other heavyweights in the industry, or how consumers will react for that matter. Are digital movies really in need of yet another DRM structure? How can a relatively fresh service like UltraViolet reach its intended ubiquity across platforms when studios continue to present new alternatives? We should know how things pan out soon enough: the Secure Content Storage Association says it will have technology available for licensing sometime this year.