DRM Fiasco Ruins James Cameron’s Avatar 3D Preview

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Avatar, the long-awaited science fiction epic from James Cameron will launch this week, but already some lucky individuals have seen the movie. The same cannot be said of attendees at a 3D preview showing in Germany yesterday though. The movie's DRM 'protection' system failed and the video could not be decoded.

‘Avatar’ from Titanic director James Cameron is certainly the most anticipated film of the year.

Set on a moon under siege by humans determined to exploit its resources, this science fiction epic has been in the planning for many years and was even delayed as Cameron waited until the technology became available to realize his dream.

When the movie goes on full release this week the wait will finally be over, but some lucky individuals have already been enjoying advance previews. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of some who hoped to witness the 3D version of the movie in Germany yesterday, as instead of technology enabling a jaw-dropping extra-dimensional experience, it brought the whole thing to a standstill.

According to a report, 3D digital versions of the movie were delivered to certain cinemas but a problem with their encryption meant that they could not be watched at all the theaters.

The complex DRM system, which involves several certificates and server-delivered time-sensitive keys for hard drives and projectors, failed in a way consistent with the movie’s epic status. Unfortunately, after working for several hours cinema workers failed to decrypt 150 gigabytes of data, which resulted in at least one location reverting back to the 2D version.

DRM strikes again, this time in 3D.

“We regret the failures and the associated discomfort, but we are confident that we will be able to play the premiere both in 2D and in 3D,” Oliver Fock, general manager of CineStar group said in a comment to the fiasco. And indeed, according to the latest reports the problems have been fixed just in time for the public premiere.


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