Biometrics hits the movie production business

I was intrigued to get a press release over the weekend from Validian, a Canadian company that has developed a biometric-based employee control system for the movie and media production industry.

The system, known as Biometric Media Seal (BMS), is claimed to be unique in the marketplace and was developed to prevent the theft, hacking and piracy of digital media, at all stages in its production.

Bruce Benn, the firm's president, says that piracy of feature films can often be traced back to non-secure production and post-production processes.

He's right too - I popped around to a pal's house at the weekend who's on the Be Internet service, which rockets along at an amazing 24 Mbps, and he says that high quality DVDs of films like Blood Mountain and The Last King of Scotland are now available on BitTorrent.

The DVD images, which take just a few hours to download on his Internet connection, are quite clearly review copies, or copies ripped from the production houses.

BMS is designed to stop all of this skullduggery. It not only fingerprints each member of staff involved in the production process, but includes an audit process in each copy of the movie or movie segment at each stage in the production process.

So basically, if a member of staff rips off the film and uploads it to t'Internet, s/he will be traceable.

Or so Validian claims...