Disney's Keychest: Is Giving Back Your Fair Use Rights With More DRM Really A Step Forward?

from the redefining-fair-use dept

A bunch of folks have sent in different stories about Disney's new "Keychest" technology offering, which would (in theory) allow users to purchase content that would be stored online, and which they could then access from any "participating service."
With Keychest, when a consumer buys a movie from a participating store, his accounts with other participating services--such as a mobile-phone provider or a video-on-demand cable service--would be updated to show the title as available for viewing. The movies wouldn't be downloaded; rather, they would reside with each particular delivery company, such as the Internet service provider, cable company or phone company.
The idea, supposedly is:
to address two of the biggest hurdles blocking widespread consumer adoption of movie downloads: the difficulty of playing a movie back on devices other than a PC or laptop, and limited storage space on those computers' hard drives.
Now, while you must admit that allowing people to access the same content after a single purchase on multiple devices is definitely a step up from the "old" way of doing things, it does kind of ignore some important points: such as the fact that, for the most part, you could already do this on your own. As we know, it's legal to rip your CD's and then store that content on an iPod or on your computer and listen to the music how you want to do so. And, even though this is perfectly legitimate fair use of content for movies as well, Hollywood has used the worst provision in the DMCA -- the anti-circumvention provision -- to block people from doing what is accepted fair use with movie and television content.

So all Keychest really seems to be doing is giving you back your fair use rights on content -- but also wrapping it in additional DRM, such that it only works on "participating services." Oh, and it could include other limitations as well:
And Keychest would allow movie studios to dictate how many devices, connected to which distribution networks, a given title can be played on.
So, kudos to Disney for recognizing that people hate having to buy the same content over and over again and hate being limited on what devices they can view content on... but, creating a new, more permissive DRM solution, just to give back some of an individual's fair use rights, isn't really a huge win.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    deadzone (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 8:01am

    Better

    But still not good enough. It's an insult to the customer in a way because they are basically telling us that fair use is okay if they get to dictate the terms completely and have all of the control over how you use the content.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 8:24am

    ...did you just say cust... cust.... CUSTOMER?? Christ man, what the hell are you thinking???!!!

    Anyway, I'd be averse to letting ANY company (such as Disney) have access and control over MY content, that I bought. Yeah, looks ok now but watch it creep and creep and creep.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 8:52am

    I'm surprised...

    ... you didn't mention the biggest drawback of all.

    What happens to your locked up content when Disney decides that Keychest is no longer a profitable venture and shuts it down?

    While I think the concept is a step in the right direction, the execution screams "EPIC FAIL".

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    The headline seems to be suggesting that this would be giving back my fair use rights, when in fact it is only giving back a tiny portion of them.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Devonavar, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Convenience and creepiness

    My guess is they'll have some limited success from consumers who don't know how to rip and don't care about copyright issues.

    Personally, the creepiest part of this is it lets Disney know exactly who is buying their physical products. The conspiracy theorist in my wonders if they will be tying physical purchases to pirated material.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: I'm surprised...

    "What happens to your locked up content when Disney decides that Keychest is no longer a profitable venture and shuts it down?"

    The same thing that happened with MSN Music ...

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    PlagueSD, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: I'm surprised...

    Didn't something like that already happen with another "service"? I can't remember specifically, but I remember a story about a DRM server closing and a lot of people were unable to listen to music they legally purchased.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 10:13am

    Re: I'm surprised...

    What happens to your locked up content when Disney decides that Keychest is no longer a profitable venture and shuts it down?

    you have to buy it again, just like yo did with the CD and the DVD. duh.

    don't tell me you "fair use pirates" want to buy something, be able to play it on anything, and have it never become obsoleted?

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Is that Mickey Mouse movie made in 1928 still under copyright?

    Or is it presently in the "Disney vault" along with Walt's head.

    People sure were ignorant back then. 1928 was a long time ago. If you told them that one day the people would travel to the moon they would have laughed in your face. Science fiction!

    It's a good thing that small piece of our cultural heritage is locked away. We shouldn't be allowed to touch it, at least, not without paying for the privelage.

    You should always pay for the things from our past. You don't expect to get to the future by stealing, now do you?

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 10:42am

    This seems like another "Play-for-sure" with a slightly more permissive DRM. Otherwise, a failure before it gets started.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Disney has done it again...

    HEY DISNEY!! With the upcoming Holloween holiday.. Are you going to THREATEN LITTLE CHILDREN with LAWSUITS AGAIN, if they wear your stupid Barney character costumes?! DRM died a long time ago. The masses don't want it. And as demand grows even more, they will always find a way around it. "Piracy is demand where there is no supply." This new idea of yours.. is a cruel joke on on the world. Piss-off Corporate disney. You are NOT the disney I grew up with. :( }:>

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Steven (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re: Re: I'm surprised...

    This is actually much worse. You never have the content so there is no hope of recovering the video. At least with other failed services there was the possibility to crack the DRM and recover your purchased media.

    Not only that, but you would have to have a consistent high speed connection in order to use your video. So much for watching on the train, or letting the kids watch that movie in the Van on the way to grandma's.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    william (profile), Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    hard drive space not enough

    Hello? Is Disney living in the 1980s where a 10mb hard drive is huge?

    Today you can get a 500GB hard drive for less than $50 and that would hold more movie than you would ever watch in a year.

    BAH!

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    cc, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Terrible terrible idea. You don't actually owe what you buy.

    While I'm sure that not too long from now there'll be a clever way to "rip" the movies from the net and stick them in an .flv file, I don't like the fact that this takes ALL the power out of the consumers' hands and gives it to the content owners.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 23rd, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    I Want To Be Good Like Citizen Kane

    And give the people their rights.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This