Sony DRM Making DVDs Not Work In Many DVD Players?

from the lessons-not-learned dept

Over the weekend, Slashdot pointed to various reports suggesting that the new DRM used on certain Sony DVDs means those DVDs no longer play on certain DVD players. If true (and there appears to be many people who have experienced the problem) it would suggest that Sony still hasn't quite figured out from previous experience that DRM is a huge market killer for them. It is taking away value from their products while doing absolutely nothing to add value to their product. This should be obvious to just about anyone -- but it appears that it still hasn't permeated the brains of entertainment industry execs. It would be nice if a Sony exec (from any branch of the company) could explain how DRM benefits customers, rather than pisses them off. Update: It appears that Sony has now said it's fixing the problem with the DRM it's using.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Bobshaker, Apr 16th, 2007 @ 10:57pm

    Seriously, what is wrong with sony and all the execs of the entertainment industry? Doesn't MBAs from Wharton or Kellogg say that your smart and 'know' business? Apparently not.

     

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  2.  
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    zcat, Apr 16th, 2007 @ 11:06pm

    the funny part..

    Big Champagne said a long time ago that basically ALL content shows up on p2p networks about three minutes after it goes on sale. There was no measurable difference between freely copyable content, and content that is only available in copy-protected formats. Copy protection doesn't stop piracy, it doesn't even slow piracy down by any measurable amount. Not even by a few more minutes!!

     

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  3.  
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    Able-X, Apr 16th, 2007 @ 11:16pm

    don't know about sony...

    but New Line did something to my Lost In Space DVD that makes it so it won't play in either my Toshiba or my Samsung DVD Player, and I can't rip it to copy it to try playing that way. I've now owned the movie for 6 months and STILL never watched the darn thing.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 16th, 2007 @ 11:25pm

    Death to DRM!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2007 @ 11:30pm

    Re: don't know about sony...

    Able-X, try slysoft. I use it to watch DVDs from different regions, should also read through jusy about any DRM.

     

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  6.  
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    carter haruka, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:23am

    Sony Cripples dvd with drm

    i got a spiderman 3 promo disk a few weeks ago and no matter what i did i just could not get the damned thing to play in my ps2

     

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  7.  
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    Nick, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:45am

    It would be very interesting to hear if other can confirm Carter H's experience - if Sony are making DVD's that won't play ion their most populat hardware of their own manufacture, that's a new level of incompetence even for them...

     

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  8.  
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    claire rand, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 2:19am

    if it doesn't work take the flipping thing back, and make a fuss when the shop is busy about defective goods. if that fails go to trading standards (uk) 'defective goods' not working as advertised, the fact its a result of some thing done deliberatly...

    done this once or twice with audio cds that don't like newer players, tro try and stop computers playing them i suppose.

    ps2 is the worst for not playing dvds.. the solution? stick em in the laptop and rip em so i can watch the things.

    now if a cd lacks the 'compact disc digital audio' logo i don't buy, ditto anything that looks like it will cause trouble, avoid and find it elsewhere.

    at some point thios rubbish will go away, give it a few more years, maybe when bluray & hd-dvd are cracked completly and players are availible for next tonothing that play the cracked discs they will give up. not holding y breath

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 2:39am

    UK version ok?

    Uk version of Casino Royal doens't seem to have any DRM on it. Well, looking at the DVD using windows doesn't turn up any strange autoplays or .exe files

     

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  10.  
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    zcat, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 2:45am

    UK version OK?

    "looking at the DVD using windows doesn't turn up any strange autoplays or .exe files"

    ..which may be because the rootkit has already installed itself :-)

     

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  11.  
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    Nick, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 3:05am

    Re: UK version ok?

    Apparently its done with deliberate bad sectors, so that may not be definitive... This is by all accounts a rather dumb DRM mechansim, and does not incvolve software infections?

     

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  12.  
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    Vincent Clement (profile), Apr 17th, 2007 @ 4:10am

    Re: Re: UK version ok?

    I've encountered a few DVDs that refused to play or pause/skip in 5 different DVD players (two standalone, a PS2, and internal DVD reader and an external DVD writer). Fortunately, I have the right software and was able to rip a copy (sans FBI warning, copyright warning and all previews). Exactly why should customers hand money over to these companies for defective products?

     

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  13.  
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    Adam, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 4:23am

    Just stop buying DVDs. Period. It's a waste of money. A.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Bum, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 4:40am

    Sony Who

    Haven't bought a sony product in eight years.

     

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  15.  
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    Wolfger, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Best salesman, ever

    Whoever sold the idea of copy protection to corporate America was the best salesman, ever. Particularly for non-interactive media. If I can see a movie, I can copy it. If I can hear a song, I can copy it. There is no way to prevent the copying of these things without also preventing their intended use.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:13am

    Sold out all of our Sony products and replaced them with other product. Haven't sold or bought Sony for 7 years.

    SONY is a four letter word.

     

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  17.  
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    Overcast, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:28am

    The tougher DRM gets for LEGITIMATE customers, the more apt those legit customers are to start looking on the web.

    You know what I'd would do, if I bought a DVD that wouldn't play on my DVD player? Well - since I bought the movie... I'd go find it on Torret DL the damn thing and burn it to a DVD. Toss the original on the shelf and watch the movie.

    Now... on the next purchase, I might start to wonder if it's really worth buying it.

    Sony's trying to sell products that are broken~~
    To Customers that are paying CASH
    The ripped movie's already on the web, I'm sure.

    So who are they hurting?

    The customer who pays - just like with their audio CD's installing rootkits.

    It took me 2 hours of company time to clean that up off a user's PC. Our business thanks Sony for the time they have waisted. Had the user just been playing MP3's and not a purchased CD, that would have never happened.

    No wonder people just want to download crap, for years and years they have gouged us on price, now they are twisting the knife because they are losing grip.

     

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  18.  
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    Danny, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:31am

    It's not that they don't care about the customer...it's a business necessity. If they just stopped worrying about piracy due to the amounts of people who can bitch and complain about it constantly, or the amounts of people who can crack them or whatever, then that would mean in some way or another that they wouldn't care if you ripped or pirated the product. This is a no no...They have to to this bullshit because of the high amount of piracy that is around already. If they did nothing, then in hindsight, they would seem as a company who did nothing to "try" and save their assets. So in a sense, all those who bitch and complain about them are doing so for reasons that hold no weight...these are just the repercussions...

     

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  19.  
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    Former Sony Fanboy, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:31am

    I was a Fanboy, I admit. Loved my PS1, bought a PS2, and was working in a Video game store when the PS2s started getting disc read errors. After talking to many Sony reps over the phone to help customers, my image of Sony was tainted because they claimed there was nothing wrong with the PS2s. Bullshit. We would replace 10-12 PS2's a week in that store. My Sony Viao laptop stopped working on my twice, and still was randomly crashing. Overheat issues - the next model they built had extra vents in the bottom and sides. But my POS Viao, they wouldn't do anything about...Dell batteries made by Sony that could explode, PS3 dissapoints, and my copy of Stranger than Fiction that wont work in my Dell computer, Xbox 360, or my Samsung DVD player.

    It's been 5 years (other than the media - Movie Music etc.) I have given up on Sony...now I'm done with Movies...what a complete waste of money all the way around. How this friggin company is still afloat is beyond me. Lets all hope that Blu-Ray finishes them off

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Sick Of Sony (profile), Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:33am

    Sony DRM

    Boycott everything from Sony. Don't but their TVs, cameras, CDs, DVDs, mp3 players, computers or games consoles. You will be safer and you will help Sony to reach their self-engineered demise.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Professor, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:33am

    Re:

    Doesn't MBAs from Wharton or Kellogg say that your smart and 'know' business?

    Degrees only prove that you can study, take and pass tests. Learning how to operate a business takes street savvy, not a wallfull of degrees.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:43am

    Re: don't know about sony...

    I'm inclined to believe that making "Lost in Space" so difficult for you to view is a safety mechanism built into the DVD to prevent the harm you'll do to yourself from killing your brain cells and lowering your IQ by a factor of 2.

     

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  23.  
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    Able-X, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:50am

    RE: don't know about sony...

    I lol'd :P

     

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  24.  
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    James, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:51am

    In other news...

    ...why are ppl still buying ANY media from Sony?? Haven't they figured out Sony doesn't give a rats ass about them OR the hard-earned $$ they are spending.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:58am

    Key revocation anyone? Maybe there are certain players that don't work, and that it's not a problem with the DVDs themselves.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 7:38am

    How to Copy on Windows PCs...

    I had a copy of Casino Royale I wanted to back up, and it was impossible to back it up with the standard tools.

    Basically, here's the recipe:

    * TURN OFF AUTORUN ON YOUR DVD DRIVE!
    * Download the latest copy of RPC1 firmware from rpc1.org for your drive if you're not utterly paranoid about your warranty and want a faster rip with region locking disabled on your drive
    * One copy of DVD Decrypter, v3.5.4.0, installed; then
    * One copy of DVD Shrink, v3.2.0.15, installed; then
    * One copy of RipIt4Me, v1.7.1.0, installed

    (for all the above programs, you may have to search on Google for their locations)

    then...

    * Run RipIt4Me
    * Configure RipIt4Me to find both DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink in your local install directories
    * Click on "1-Click Mode"
    * Select whether you want whole DVD, Movie + title, Movie only, etc.
    * Leave all other settings alone and click "Next >>"
    * Wait for the dialog to get to DVD Shrink to come up, then use DVD Shrink as usual

    Now you can copy all of this DRM-laden crap. Be warned - these DRM-laden POSes take a lot longer than standard DVDs.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Gamer, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    What we tend to forget is that we are only buying the right to use a product, not buying the product itself. Microsoft figured this out along time ago, and quite frankly I'm surprised that it's taken Sony so long to figure this out, Even Game companies have figured it out, mostly. Offering free upgrades, demos, and even no unwanted software protection, allowing for mods, hacks, and fine tuning. now if only certain other companies and industries would figure this out. But then again, there would be less for techdirt to operate on.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 9:18am

    Well, if these disks don't work, I guess they are secure. Hmmm, I guess they accomplished something.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    But if we're buying the right to use something, doesn't that mean we should be able to actually use it?

    If I'm buying the right to watch a DVD, then I should be able to watch it.

     

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  30.  
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    R.Wilson, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 12:42pm

    Sony & DRM

    Well, I used to be an avid SONY purchaser-- but since I had a run-in with one of their CD's copy-crap (the infamous root-kit) I have boycotted all things SONY and have moved on. "Maybe that is what everyone should do"

    Wake-up SONY and embrace the 21st century before you disappear like the dinosaur!

     

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  31.  
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    Wyndle, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    And that's why...

    Well, if these disks don't work, I guess they are secure. Hmmm, I guess they accomplished something.

    Just a few posts up are explicit instructions on how to rip DVDs with the newest DRM, so the ONLY people suffering are the paying customers.

    But if we're buying the right to use something, doesn't that mean we should be able to actually use it?

    Yes, you should be able to use it. When the DVD standards were released all DVDs were meant to be playable under those standards. These are the types of situations that class action lawsuits are meant for. In this case, the class would be anyone who bought a DVD under good faith that it would work with any DVD playing device without extra input or cost.

    Sony is only slipping the noose tight before the chair is kicked out from under them, and I can't wait for the ripple effect to cause a paradigm shift in the entertainment industry.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Copy Protection is Stupid.

    Exactly what does copy protection do for Sony or any media company? It seems to only frustrate the legitimate paying customer. Hackers laugh at copy protection. Exactly how does copy protection add value to the end customer? Oh, wait, it doesn't.

    With the right software I can rip just about any DVD out there. I have backed up every one of my kids DVDs and no longer worry about the original DVD becoming an expensive coaster or the movie skipping/pausing. I exclude the previews and the wonderful Interpol/FBI and copyright warnings (that's an excellent way to treat the paying customer) - the movie starts up right away.

    I then convert them via AutoGK and now have 5 or more movies on a single DVD, eliminating the need to switch DVDs in my kid's portable players and making long trips in the car a wonderful experience. However, the MPAA and the media companies would rather treat me as a criminal for making copies of the DVD I paid for. Guess I'll be making some trips to the local library.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Sony Cripples dvd with drm

    Damn a sony dvd wouldn't work on a sony product?

    And aren't the Spiderman movies done by Sony Pictures?

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Best salesman, ever


    Particularly for non-interactive media. If I can see a movie, I can copy it. If I can hear a song, I can copy it. There is no way to prevent the copying of these things without also preventing their intended use.


    Hell the way people are posting here they have to copy it then listen/watch it. Funny that people have to buy media, copy it, and then watch it.

    And about that whole "intended use" thing. Sony's solution about that seems to be to redfine "intended use".

     

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  35.  
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    Buzz, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 3:16pm

    DRM :(

    Let's imagine that a song is selling at an online store for $1. Let's also imagine that they sell two versions of that song: one with DRM and one without. Which do you think people are going to choose? It should be quite apparent that the DRM-free version is higher value. Who in their right mind would prefer freedom restrictions?

     

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  36.  
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    susanl, May 12th, 2007 @ 6:26am

    Sony DVD won't play on my DVD player

    I have gone through great pains not to support pirated movies and I have a hell of a DVD collection with over 600 titles. Now Sony is restricting my purchases by telling me I can't play their DVD's on a DVD recorder because I might pirate the bloody movies. NO! I will now go to great pain NOT TO PURCHASE SONY MOVIES! Anyone want my copy of Persuit of Happiness. I obviously won't be finding happiness with any more Sony movies. Honesty is obviously not rewarded!

     

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  37.  
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    susanl, May 12th, 2007 @ 7:48am

    Sony DVD won't play on my DVD player

    DRM only promotes pirating. The obviously honest people in this forum deserve better. DRM will, if it hasn't already, be broken. How about giving us honest people a break. Through in extra promotional goods like posters or items of set deck or copies of scripts for buying the real deal. Don't run me over because you THINK I might rip you off. Spend more time on CAM's and TELEsyncs.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 9:13pm

    DRM fix & complicated (for some)

    I may have a solution (of sorts) to some of these DRM Problems or at least what I have done to rid myself of these SONY DRM issues.

    First let me say, If you have a store bought SONY product (DVD) in this case, DO NOT, REPEAT!!! DO NOT put that DVD and allow it to play in your System (Meaning your PC). Once on your system, the DRM embedds itself.

    Here's how I get around it (Keep in mind) I know this solution may not apply to everyone partly because it involves a combination of things but it may spark some interest or another idea other then mine.

    I have a SONY PCV-RZ24G system that allows both input for S-Video and, Standard RCA jacks to be brought in from a VCR or, DVD. (I don't like "ripping software" myself so what I do is NASTY yet, clever but, LEGAL!")

    Having some "spare" Hardware like 2 VCR's, and an Extra DVD player, I put in my DVD (any) in my "stand alone" DVD player, Jack that over to my VCR (ANT-IN) of VCR#1, Take a Standard "Rabbit Ears" antenna and place that to my ANT-OUT, Using a SECOND VCR and set to "AIR" I use another Set of Rabbit Ears on VCR#2 placed in that one's "ANT-IN". I tune VCR2 to Pick up the now "broadcasting" from VCR#1 (or the DVD movie), I then place RCA Jacks from VCR #2 over to my PC and can record incoming Video as a MPEG Movie. I then Burn that MPEG to a DVD.

    Laugh if you want but, it works. The SONY DVD never hits my PC and, the Broadcasting part is just "RF" thus, no DRM

    Of course, I don't expect my idea to draw any great applause but, it does work and while it sounds complicated its really not. Your just going from the DVD to VC1 over the "air" to VCR2 then to your PC. Hey I didn't invent it, I only discovered a flaw with the DRM and took advantage of some "RF" Properties

    Mike

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    mike, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 9:39pm

    DRM fix Part2

    I forgot to mention the part about the Firewall. Everytime you put in a SONY disc/DVD or use its SW such as "Click to DVD" which came with my system, once the application is launched or, you run the DVD, it wants to send a file to SONY, I block it with my fire wall. - Just FYI
    Mike

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2007 @ 5:24am

    Slysoft's AnyDVD

    Download it. Use it.
    Love it.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    MBMahler, Mar 25th, 2008 @ 3:00am

    Sony DVD that doesn't work on my player.

    Does anyone know of an address to write or a phone # to call. I want my money back, as they won't take the DVD back, now that it's open. I've tried three, one rented, one bought and one borrowed. It's one I really want a copy of, too.
    MB

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:19pm

    My Sony bought DVD's still won't work in my PC

    When I buy DVD's I now look to see if they are Sony ones. If they are I won't buy them anymore. I have had this problem for years, many computers, different' DVD players in my computers but Sony always has an issue. Windows XP, Windows 7 .. does not matter. I can however play them on my Sony DVD player hooked to my TV. Seems Sony only likes to play well with Sony. Well this will NOT make me run out and buy Sony. Screw that. They just lose customers. We are not made of money..

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Slysoft's ANYDVD

    it is not free though..

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:25pm

    Re: Sony DVD won't play on my DVD player

    EXACTLY! I bought this DVD and can't even play it in my computer. What is up with that? Even tried it with VLC player ... says some conflict with copyright protection. What? I BOUGHT THIS DVD from the STORE wrapped!

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Copy Protection is Stupid.

    Especially when you buy it and don't plan to copy it because you already bought it ... This only makes me NOT want to ever buy another Sony DVD again and just rather burn them. AT LEAST THEY WILL WORK then..

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:32pm

    Re: And that's why...

    Yeah I wish I could return this Sony DVD I bought ... what a huge waste of money .. can't play it even though I bought it .. can't return it because I opened it to play the damn thing... because they can't prove I didn't burn a copy before returning it. How can I copy it if I can't even play it? This only tortures those who don't know how to hack and burn ... :( It ONLY punishes the HONEST people .. and makes them start to side with all those who burn. Heck even my 62 year old mother is no longer against Burning..

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:35pm

    Re:

    No .. only the Sony ones don't work in my player. Works in my Sony player but not my PC one. ALL OTHERS DO work in both. Thus the problem is NOT the player but the DVD protection (DRM).

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:36pm

    Re: In other news...

    I know longer am .. but didn't realize this last one was a Sony one. Damn it I haven't bought any of those for awhile .. I forgot to look at the back of this one.. :(

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:39pm

    Re:

    Hold no weight? I buy a NEW DVD and I want to WATCH what I PAID for and I can't. To me I think that holds weight. How can I get my money back? Oh I can't? Well I won't buy any more Sony DVD's then...

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    KT, Nov 29th, 2013 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Overcast's post

    EXACTLY!!! The whole reason so many ARE downloading. Hasn't SONY figured that out yet? Obviously what they are doing is NOT working ... but they won't look at why. it is like putting a bandaid on someone's open gashed bleeding wound that obviously needs stitches.

     

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