Disney to rent DVDs that self-destruct chemically after two days

“‘This disc will self-destruct in 48 hours.’ That is the warning Walt Disney will issue this August when it begins to ‘rent’ DVDs that are set to become unplayable after two days and that therefore do not have to be returned. Disney home video unit Buena Vista Home Entertainment will launch a pilot movie ‘rental’ program in August that uses self-destruction technology, the company said Friday,” Reuters reports.

“The discs stop working when a process similar to rusting makes them unreadable. The discs start off red, but when they are taken out of the package, exposure to oxygen eventually turns the coating black and makes it impenetrable by a DVD laser,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.


  1. This sounds idiotic at first (remember Circuit City’s DivX?). But if they package the product in a simple airtight shrinkwrap or clear plastic package with a cardboard backing for the graphics, and offer a way to recyle them, AND offer them for the same price as rentals, this MIGHT work. The article says the discs are not hackable, but what if the user sprayed the surface with a clear coating immediately after opening – might this circumvent the aging process?

  2. It might be OK if they could make it totally biodegradable but, otherwise, I hope this experiment fails. We really need more trash. Then again, they could go into a special section of the landfill alolng with AOL disks.

  3. <p>The article says the discs are not hackable, but what if the user sprayed the surface with a clear coating immediately after opening – might this circumvent the aging process?</p>

    <p>If you take precautions, make sure it’s a (mostly) dust-free environment and whatever you use is not gass -permiable (use something like Krylon), then give it a try.</p>

  4. Disney has always played games with their movies. They hold back the release of classic for a decade then release them for a limited time only. Its no surprise they are the first to try something like this.

    How many kids are gonna freak when the disk stops working and the store has run out. How many parents are gonna decide that Disney degradable DVDs are just not worth the anguish.

  5. I wonder if Walt Disney would do this in current times? In the end, it’s just a grab for more money, say what you want about this convenience crap, it’s all about $$$.

  6. So how does this add up in terms of waste products? We’re going to see tons of unrecyclable man-made discs that end up in landfills? Great idea.

  7. What about late mail? Is it only decomposing when in air?
    Might it harm a machine if it is sitting in the CD bay?
    This might actually be good for mail distribution, as printing the CD is less cost than shipping the CD back. However, they will have to make it pretty cheap to work–and perhaps even give it away at first to create some demand.

  8. ha ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> (you could say.. that was a crapy movie, but what a candy.. yammmm)

  9. They should make the discs like those biodegradable packing peanuts. You know once your done watching it, you eat it like a rice cake.


    I think I peed myself.

  10. More for the landfills … where is Ralph Nader when you need him? “Dumb idea of the year” candidacy. Another good reason for me to continue my boycott of Disney. This will only be popular with skeet shooting clubs.

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