Heralding a significantdevelopment on the awards season horizon, Disney has become the first US majorto adopt Cinea's anti-piracy technology.

The studio will send out itsscreener DVDs for awards contenders Shopgirl and The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The WitchAnd The Wardrobe on discs encryptedby Cinea.

The discs can only beplayed on Cinea's S-View DVD player, which the Dolby Laboratories subsidiaryplans to send out to approximately 12,000 voting members of the Academy ofMotion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAFTA, among other awards bodies.

Cinea sent out DVD playersto voting members during the 2004-05 awards season, however the plan stalledbecause of late shipment and the studios' decision not to align themselves withthe technology and stick with their bespoke strategies.

Furthermore voting members - a predominantly ageing community of retired filmmakers and industry personnel -who did receive S-View players were reluctant about grappling with newtechnology and bringing the players with them on vacation towatch their screeners.

Cinea's encrypted discs willonly play on the S-View, which also plays regular DVDs.

"Obviously, there is nosubstitute for seeing a movie on the big screen in a theater, and we stronglyencourage everyone to experience our films in that way," Walt Disney Studioschairman Dick Cook said.

"With regard to homeviewing, we have given the matter careful consideration, and have committed tousing Cinea's encryption technology on award screeners this year.

"We welcome Disney asthe first studio to adopt our anti-piracy protection solution," DolbyLaboratories chief Bill Jasper added. "This agreement underscores Disney's long-term commitment to the protection of content and its aggressive stance to stop movie piracy."

Talks between Cinea and theother US majors are ongoing.