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Crypto snafu grounds 3D Avatar screenings in Germany

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Several 3D screenings of Avatar were called off in Germany earlier this week following a DRM-related mix-up.

Copies of the new SF blockbuster from James Cameron are digitally sealed so that one key per copy of the film, per film projector, and for each movie server in a cinema is needed. The key supplier, Deluxe, reportedly failed to supply a sufficient number of valid keys.

The snag would have been avoided if the multiplexes had resisted the temptation to show the blockbuster across multiple screens, thereby squeezing out alternative choices.

Multiplexes in the Cinestar chain in Eisenhuettenstadt, Mainz, Garbsen and the Potsdamer Platzer in Berlin were among those affected.

Would-be filmgoers were offered a chance to either get a refund or watch the blockbuster in regular old 2D, without the funny glasses and bleached-out colours, instead.

Heise has more on the story (in German) here. An Englsh-language translation, via Google, can be found here. ®

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