Sony added the 20th Century Fox motion picture studio to its roster of supporters last week after the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) agreed to add watermarking technology to its spec.
The BDA said it plans to fight piracy by embedding an identification mark on movies, music and video games that can only be read by equipment that carry its technology.
In addition to the security measures that HD-DVD and Blu-ray are devising as they compete for support in Hollywood, both are promising increased storage capacity and resolution superior enough to get the most out of high-definition television sets.
The Blu-ray technology would prevent unauthorized users from mass-producing discs on stolen disc-making equipment by requiring authorization codes. Blu-ray-coded discs will also contain a feature that would not play on machines that have been tampered with.
Skeptics have little faith that any security measure can protect digital content. The electronics companies that make disc players and the studios that provide content may end up having to make versions for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats, which could cost billions. That’s why many in Hollywood are hoping for a resolution.