For Sale: One Crappy Movie Download Site

from the try-try-again dept

Movielink, the movie download site owned by five major Hollywood studios, has apparently been up for sale for months, and unable to close a deal with any buyers. What's amusing about the story is that the buyers recognize what's apparent to pretty much everybody except the studios: that the sites suck. The sticking point in the potential deals has been buyers' desire to remove some of the restrictions the studios put on movies, in particular the inability for consumers to burn movies to DVDs so they can watch them in their DVD players. This saga seems so typical of the entertainment industry's attitude towards digital media -- a blind insistence that it knows best and that its approach simply can't be wrong. These would-be buyers realize that it's the entertainment business that must adapt to consumers, not the other way around. Until Hollywood realizes this, it's not going to amount to anything in digital media. Incidentally, one of the interested buyers was a group of investors led by Warren Lieberfarb, the guy who convinced Hollywood to embrace the DVD -- and was later fired from Warner Brothers after a difference of opinion on the company's strategy for the future. Here's a guy that took the DVD and shaped it into a product with which consumers were pretty happy, despite massive resistance from the studios. Little wonder, then, that he could probably do the same for downloads, but the studios' obsession with control and the appearance of security won't afford him the chance.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Iamhrh, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 11:23am

    Between a rock and... another rock.

    The movie industry is a joke. It is made up entirely of clowns who think they know best, when the reality of why anybody buys their products is because we are so dependant on asking others what should entertain us.

    I hate your product, but I'm not creative enough to find another way to be entertained. Its sad, really...

    First post?

     

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    Topher3105, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 11:29am

    One guy eh

    It took one guy to get Hollywood to embrace the DVD eh? Did he invent the DVD, no. Sorry, I can't accredit him for making Hollywood adopt the DVD, considering the slow and staggered acceptance of the DVD (i.e. Fox and Disney didn't embrace it right away, only years later). While I am sure he was responsible for getting Warner Bros to adopt DVD, DVD was making its way into our homes with or without him.

    Lets put it this say, DVD's wouldn't have been invented if there wasn't going to be some expectation for pre-recorded content on them, I don't think it took one guy to envision a world where movies were distributed on DVD. Maybe some guy saw a potential to speak on behalf of the DVD format and slid in as the defacto champion of the format, but I doubt we would still be watching movies on VHS today if the DVD disk came out without this guy behind it.

    Movies were released in digital format before the DVD, on Laserdisk, on VCD and on earlier optical formats. DVD was the next logical step.

    Lets finally put it this way, why isn't this guy making Hollywood adopt one standard for high definition DVD's, we have two competing standards. Why not swoop in and be our salvation once again? Probably because the guy made too much money pretending to be the DVD hero of the past.

     

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    WarrenG, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 11:57am

    Okay, so I don't get it. So why wouldn't a site like Movielink provide a 'host application' that was responsible for downloading a movie. It would have DRM or whatever built into it that allowed the end user to burn one or two DVDs. No more than that would be allowed. The resulting movie would be encrypted with industry-standard CSS, so they would be just as protected as any DVD bought off a store shelf. By offering this, they would be in a win-win situation, where customers are happy because they can watch their DVD in any device they choose, when they choose, and the studios would be happy because their content is protected. Is there some kind of technical limitation that prevents something like this from happening, or is it just the stupidity and/or greed of the studios stopping it?

     

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    Michael Birnholz, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 12:09pm

    I would be happy to buy the site

    Do they take paypal?

     

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    JerseyRich, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 12:18pm

    I will happily PAY

    I will happily pay good money for movies that I can buy online and burn to DVD.

    I do it now for music, and I'll do it for movies.

     

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    Ronix, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 12:33pm

    I record off of Movielink.

    I have an XP media center, and I flip back between Cinemanow and Movielink(more expensive). Movielink gets the job done, and isn't the ugliest, compared to Cinemanow. I don't bother with netflix anymore (except for documentaries).

    My output when I want to keep a movie goes to an S-video DVD-recorder. Not the greatest quality, but then again, the normal joe isn't a quality purist.

     

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    Fedup, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 12:42pm

    Almost every article that is posted on this site revolves around one word.

    GREED

     

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    Gripemaster, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 1:54pm

    So what's wrong with greed

    Somebody mentioned greed in the context of this site. Well, basically it is one of the socks in the world wide washing machine along with money and sex mate. You can't escape it and it's a major player with all things in life - including the movie industry.

    My feelings are that that hollywood ISN't going to learn from its past mistakes in the near future and they will have to be taught a hard and costly lesson. It's not just that it's a good idea to allow consumers to download AND burn their movies. They're going to have to, because otherwise somebody else will, and they'll make a killing. Enter greed. Lessons will be learned - eventually.

     

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    Mr. Lucas Brice, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 3:22pm

    Hollywood

    I don't see that it matters one way or the other what vehicle people use to watch movies. I mean, do you want your dogcrap on a stick or breaded and fried? Dogcrap is dogcrap. Step away from the monitor and nobody gets hurt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2006 @ 3:24pm

    The problem is, Hollywood is also the one that, somehow, determines the laws that go with allowing such a thing to happen. You want to download a movie and burn it to a dvd? It's called bittorrent, and it's free, but it's against the law. Wanna sit back and download a movie and watch it? No, you have to pay the people in hollywood with so much money they think they know what's right and we are ingrates and charge us what they believe is fair for their lower and lower quality products. This will all end when government restrictions on the downloading of content online finally falter and can no longer operate because of developing technology, and hollywood will be forced to realize that their product is once more about actor quality and the desire to produce entertainment, not talk about politics and line their pockets with our money.

    And to the guy bashing the guy who 'brought movies to DVD' or whatever they said in the article, lighten up. All those other 'digital formats' you said? Name 10 movies that sold on those, or anyone that used them. They didn't take, and even though they exsisted, no one used them. I believe that we would have been on VHS for a lot longer than we would have liked, and DVDs might not have caught on so quickly if it wasn't for someone like him. No one used those other formats because no one pushed the moneygrubbing and technologically conservative and frightened Hollywood to adapt. Just my thoughts on that. Just because newer and better technology is available doesn't mean people use it, sadly.

     

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    yonder, Jun 2nd, 2006 @ 7:59am

    Payola

    Topher3105... what studio do you work for? Rarely do I see more hate...

     

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    PhilTR, Jun 2nd, 2006 @ 8:37am

    Crappy Content

    With the DMCA and DRM and other legislation crappy content providers know they can bend consumers over "the barrel" forcing us with litigous threats to accept their terms of use. The government bought into the idea because, down the road, it sees a secure controlable tax revenue stream. Only the consumer looses in this emerging brave new world.

    The only way a consumer can effectively fight back is to turn off their infomercial appliances (i.e., televisions and computers). If you find that you can't bare to do without these appliances, be very selective with your purchases. Don't buy any that support protecting content or prevents you from exercising complete control over its functionality. If you have to buy an appliance that supports protecting content, find a technician who can disable it for you.

    Once you loose your ability to control the functionality of your appliances people who do not have your best interests at heart can and will prey on you without your knowledge. This includes the government.

     

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    sanjay modi, Jun 4th, 2006 @ 3:47am

    i want detail of your product

    dear sir i want to get the full detail of your product so plese send me full detail of your product at my address only thanku
    sanjay modi
    1 d 57 j n v colony bikaner
    rajasthan india

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 2:37pm

    Seriously now, people

    Please TRY to get it right, PhilTR. Fer crying out loud, lose = opposite of win, loose = opposite of tight. The consumer is NOT the one who looses anything in this emerging brave new world. You're NOT going to loose the ability to control the functionality of anything. C'mon, before I loose my freekin mind...

     

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    jone, Mar 10th, 2007 @ 7:33pm

    hi

    hello

     

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    movie download, Jul 28th, 2008 @ 1:54pm

    With the DMCA and DRM and other legislation crappy content providers know they can bend consumers over "the barrel" forcing us with litigous threats to accept their terms of use. The government bought into the idea because, down the road, it sees a secure controlable tax revenue stream. Only the consumer looses in this emerging brave new world.

     

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