Movie Studios Try Charging Users For Diminished Fair Use

from the try-again dept

In the UK, Universal Pictures is rolling out a program that for £19.99 allows a consumer to buy a DVD and two digital files of it, one for both the PC and a mobile device. It's a rough attempt at giving users some flexibility as to how they watch their media, without actually letting them control it. The studio claims the move is meant to broaden their market, though the digital files can't be played on either the iPod Video or the Sony PSP (not to mention any Apple or Linux PCs), two of the most popular handheld devices. Far from liberating users, the offer gets them to pay extra for diminished version of fair use. One positive way to look at the deal is that they're selling the digital download, but offering a DVD as a permanent backup. Given the high price of movies, this may hold some appeal to people, who want the reassurance that they'll have it (especially after they buy a new computer). Universal claims that the offer will "completely revolutionize" watching movies; they might be surprised to find out that people are already copying and sharing them with much more flexibility and function than what they offer.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Justin, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 2:46pm

    Leaving out the PSP and the iPod was a fatal error on this move.

    It could have succeeded if they had included those formats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Compzen, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 3:09pm

    Sure, I'll let you put a leash around my neck. Then stake it to the ground. Oh, yeah... and I'll pay you to do it to me. (said with sarcastic tones)

    Does the movie industry really think people will allow this? I am all for paying a fair price for a DVD, but I WILL use it for my own viewing any way I see fit. I for one am NOT a submissive slave, nor will I allow myself to be sheared down to the skin. Next they'll want to track how many times we view a movie and charge us for every one! (Probably with an RFID chip!)

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    Most people don't have the knowledge, principles, or stamina to stand up to this sort of thing.

    "*Sigh*, fine, if this is the only way I can get American Pie 4 1/2"

    Unfortunatley, the majoriy rules, and I honestly think that the majority doesn't know or care, and they won't until it's too late.

     

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  4.  
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    ziscwg, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    RFID can't do that...............................Yet....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Sudo Nim, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 3:59pm

    My god,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Sudo Nim, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 4:01pm

    My god!

    Do they really want to try something this stupid? It's not like they don't have plenty of suggestions that would work to save the company. Yet they still want to suck as much money from us and give us as little as possible in return!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    BB, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 4:07pm

    Re: effective use of sarcasm

    please refrain from informing us your statement is sarcastic, it's cheesy and it defeats the purpose. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Ron, Mar 23rd, 2006 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: effective use of sarcasm

    please use proper English if correcting others...it's cheesier and it defeats your criticisms!

    also sarcasm is humor and other appreciate humor!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    thecaptain, Mar 24th, 2006 @ 6:41am

    Re: My god!

    Do they really want to try something this stupid? It's not like they don't have plenty of suggestions that would work to save the company. Yet they still want to suck as much money from us and give us as little as possible in return!

    Actually, while they do want to suck as much money, this won't be the way they do it.

    They are fully aware that this won't work...that's why the plan is so stupid...its stupid on purpose so that it won't work...which gives them a big target to point at and say "see? we CAN'T make money on the internet!"
    and allow them to legislate fair use to oblivion and get even more money in the long run with tighter DRM control over distribution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    X-Advertiser, Mar 24th, 2006 @ 6:48am

    What about the French?

    Hmm, wouldn't this fall under that new law the French just passed? Doesn't that consist to limiting to proprietary hardware?

    Hmmm.... A possible backfire in the works?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Keith, Mar 25th, 2006 @ 12:32pm

    Universal Studios "gets it" in the UK

    The major complaint here is that the DRM on the digital media wont work on iPods and Sony PSPs, and as a result will fail.

    While iPods may be a huge existing market, it is a closed system. You have to go through Apple to distribute your content through it. The complaint seems to be that the media has DRM, and also is not iPod compatible. But isn't iPod content DRM'd as well?

    Certainly getting the files without DRM would be preferable. You'd then be able to play the content on almost any digital media device you can find assuming the format (WMV, MPEG, AVI, etc...), but if you've got DRM'd video content... I'd much rather have it play on a variety of devices rather than just those devices from a single vendor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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