Could point-of-sale "activation" software for games and DVDs discourage theft? The Entertainment Merchants Association seems to think so, and has published a set of standards for what it calls "benefit denial technology" that would render discs inoperable until they're paid for at retail.
The effort is codenamed "Project Lazarus," and the EMA says it's assembled a consortium of retailers, home video companies and video game publishers to see how easily such "benefit denial technology" could be implemented, and to evaluate possible cost-benefit analyses.
The initiative is similar to security tags used in clothing retail that spill ink on garments if they're forcibly removed, thereby destroying the item. In such a situation, shoplifting is discouraged by implementing a solution that only the retailer can remove at the point of sale.
EMA president and CEO Bo Andersen says, "The deployment of benefit denial technology would reduce shrink in video game and DVD stocks, increase open marketing of video games, reduce packaging, decrease labor costs, improve consumer access to video games and Blu-ray discs, and make the categories more attractive for additional retail channels.
"Given the myriad of potential benefits, EMA recognized the imperative to bring together major stakeholders to provide an impetus for further development and timely deployment of effective benefit denial technologies for DVDs and video games that are useful and effective for a broad range of entertainment retailers."