Pioneer has released details of a world first with its re-writeable CD and DVD drive for the PC.
The unit has been designed especially for digital video editing and archiving.
Although no price has yet been announced, the latest gadget from the US manufacturer, able to record DVDs at twice the usual speed, is to be shipped to the OEMs in early 2001.
With traditional forms of copying, mainly analogue tapes, costing the film industry $2.5bn annually, this figure looks set to grow when broadband becomes common place in the home. This could be accelerated by new DivX technology, a powerful software compression program based around Microsoft's MPEG4 program.
Film executives believe it will open the floodgates for black market film piracy, as individuals with a fast connection to the internet could download any movie in as little as two hours, then burn it onto DVD.
A Napster-style site for movies becomes a strong possibility, as the same principle of swapping compressed files could be open to anyone.