Hollywood has been paying lip service to the idea of movie download stores for quite some time, backing sites that sell movies, but that do such a poor job of it, few people would actually choose to use them. When the stores first launched several years ago, they were slapped with plenty of unfavorable reviews saying they were charging too much for a product of inferior quality with too many restrictions. What's slightly amusing is that despite continued poor reviews, the sites and the movie industry haven't bothered to improve their services. Now, the Washington Post's tech columnist has reviewed the two major download sites, CinemaNow and MovieLink, and finds -- surprise, surprise -- that they're unattractive, because, again, they're selling a tiny selection of low-quality movies at high prices with too many playback restrictions -- pretty much the exact same thing the same writer said in a review two years ago. These are the same complaints mentioned in nearly every review of the sites over the last four years, yet the movie industry won't listen, and continues to offer new services with the same flaws. This obession with controlling how people can use content because of the flawed assumption that it stops piracy has rendered Hollywood unable to come up with compelling new products. Until its mindset changes radically, and it stops assuming its customers are criminals, its new-media ventures will remain an unsuccessful laughing stock.
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