mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Saturday, 24 January 2004

Rebates and Privacy

Last weekend, I bought a Pioneer DVR-A06U DVD/CD Writer from Fry’s, for about $120, after a $30 manufacturer’s rebate.

This weekend, I started filling out the rebate paperwork. All of the standard stuff is there; UPC (original, not copy), receipt (copy, not original), name, address, e-mail, etc.

However, there’s one that I haven’t encountered before; they require a serial number, and stress the importance of getting it right;

The correct serial number is required to be eligible for rebate… Fraudulent submission could result in federal prosecution under mail fraud statutes…

Am I paranoid, or is it possible that the DVD-R writes serial numbers into the discs it burns, and someone (Pioneer, their jaunty partners at the RIAA and MPAA, or someone else) wants this information to allow them to correlate discs and people?

I honestly don’t plan to use it to burn illegal movies, etc; I plan to burn DVDs of my two-year-old to send to a highly distributed family. The potential uses still make me pause, however.

Anybody know the DVD and CD standards suites (and these products in particular) well enough to comment? I have to mail it by Feb 29.