HP to develop pirate-fighting digital projector

Hewlett-Packard is developing a projection technology designed to foil camcorder-outfitted pirates in movie theaters, CNET News reported.

An HP spokesman confirmed that the company was working on a research project fitting that description, but declined to provide any further details.

If adopted, the company’s technology could help prevent the piracy of movies with handheld camcorders, a technique that typically yields low-quality results but nevertheless has bedeviled the movie industry. A federal law enacted this spring makes it a crime to videotape movies without permission of the copyright owner.

Another company, called Cinea, won a $2 million National Science Foundation grant in 2002 for a similar idea, CNET reported. That company used slight modifications in the “timing and modulation of the light used to display the image” in order to distort any videotaped version of the film, the company’s grant proposal said.

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