IBM hopes to slip commercials onto your DVDs. Big Blue has asked the US Patent Office for the exclusive rights to a "system and method of providing advertisements during DVD playback."
If this thing ever shows up in your DVD player, your discs won't be ad-free - unless you shell out some cash for some sort of digital certificate.
"Whenever a DVD is to be played, a certificate is consulted to determine whether the content of the DVD should be played with or without commercial interruptions," the patent reads. "If the certificates provide for commercial interruptions, then commercials can be obtained from an online service that renders commercials on demand, or from the DVD itself."
And, yes, those commercials would be littered throughout the DVD - television-style.
Big Blue argues that DVDs "may be a great source of advertising revenues that are not being tapped" and that "revenues from DVD advertising may contribute to the reduction in cost of the DVDs". Presumably, an ad-laden DVD would cost less than the discs of today.
Considering that DVR-wielding consumers have already revolted against television ads, we can't see the public embracing this DVD bastardizing technology. But we wouldn't be surprised if IBM and big-name movie studios tried to force it down your throat.
Of course, the whole notion might be completely irrelevant. Even without ads in place, the future of the DVD isn't exactly bright. ®