Oh Look: Hollywood Doesn't Need To Break Your TV To Release PPV Movies Early

from the who-would-have-thunk-it? dept

For a while now, the MPAA and the major movie studios have been asking the FCC for permission to break your TV and DVR by enabling "selectable output control," which would block the recording of certain movies. The MPAA's claim for why they needed this is to add another "window" for releasing movies as video on demand prior to them being released on DVD. But that makes no sense. As we pointed out, when they first made this claim, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from releasing these movies earlier for VOD. There's nothing to stop them from doing so -- and it's not like SOC would actually block the movies from being online. Every movie ends up online around the same time (usually before) it gets into the theaters, so these movies would all be available for file sharing prior to the VOD release anyway. The MPAA keeps saying that it simply can't release the movies earlier without this form of DRM, but it appears that the studios own actions prove that we were right, and the MPAA was lying. Public Knowledge is pointing out that Warner Bros. has released two recent movies for VOD prior to DVD, even as the MPAA is still insisting that it's simply impossible. Oops.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Oh No!

    Big surprise!!

    No, wait... the other thing: Completely expected.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Well, somebody's gonna lose their job over at Warner Bros.

     

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  3.  
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    John (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:43am

    Will the FCC Care

    MPAA will still claim it's impossible, even in the face of this evidence, and somehow I think the FCC will still find that SOC DRM is needed "to protect the jobs of thousands of people"

     

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  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    I haven't ranted in a while...

    I can remember, in my younger days, going to school and listening to authority figures speak and getting so enraged at their nonsense and the presumption of my gullability that I'd call the on it. Then I'd get long-winded diatribes extolling the virtues of my elders and how I should show respect to authority figures when they are speaking.

    And now that I'm older, I find that adult life just isn't that different. I don't expect all people to be all honest all the time....but hey, how about not just taking a ginormous steaming dump on my shoes? Examples abound...

    1. MPAA says they can't release movies VOD prior to DVD release because of piracy. Turns out pirated copies appear BEFORE DVDs and then, just to put another corn in that shit they took on my shoes, Warner Bros. does what they say they couldn't do. Awesome.

    2. Bush tells me there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Every other country save Britain tells him he's nuts. We go in...no WMDs. Bush says he was wrong, but that it doesn't matter....[FACEPALM!]. Well, yeah it fucking does matter asshole, because all the other bullshit reasons to invade those fuckers existed for the past thirty years or so. You know, back when we were dealing arms to them to fight the Iranians, who have to have been laughing their collective shrouded asses off at us.

    3. Ah, don't worry! We've got hope and change. Wait, what? No change? What about hope then? Mr. Obama you said you'd make government transparent. Oh? Not so much? Well surely you'll repeal that idiotic head in the sand "Don't ask, don't tell" law, like you promised. Oh? Not going to do that either...got it. Well, hey, at least I can rest my hat on the fact that you didn't allow any lobbyists...into...your....DAMMIT! Son of a bitch, can I at least get a Cuban cigar you presidential fuck!!??

    Lesson: don't listen to authority...ever, because they suck at life.

     

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  5.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    That's funny

    I just got a Tweet today from Adam Savage pointing me to this website about disabling the outputs. It even has a form letter one can adjust to their liking and send to the FCC.

    On a somewhat unrelated note; When is the new Star Trek movie coming out on Blu-Ray? The window between pulling it from the theater and putting it out to buy is so large I've lost track.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    This.

     

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  7.  
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    TheStupidOne, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re: That's funny

    The 17th ... I have it on order from Amazon but it has been a long time since there was any hype over it so I can understand both not knowing when it is coming out, and not caring anymore.

    I wasn't able to get to the theater while it was there, but if the blu-ray had been for sale they would have gotten my money much earlier.

    I also got that tweet and did send a letter in, but I didn't use any of their text.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    A Mile of Bad Road, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Dark Helmet @4: Way to bring up a pointless anti-Obama whine. That'll certainly make people love you.

     

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  9.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    "Dark Helmet @4: Way to bring up a pointless anti-Obama whine. That'll certainly make people love you."

    Citizen, Dark Helmet whines about everybody, in case you haven't noticed. The point was rage at authority mouthpieces that say one thing and do another.

    You'll notice I mentioned another prez in there too...

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: I haven't ranted in a while...

    "And now that I'm older..."

    Yeah? How old are you? Like 17 now?

    "Son of a bitch, can I at least get a Cuban cigar you presidential fuck."

    No, but you can go to the Olympics in Vancouver and get them.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Dark Helmet does not whine...he raporizes.....ROFL

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    If you do not like the idea of what studios would like to implement, why not simply avoid the use of VOD? Go see a movie in a theater and enjoy the social experience, wait till the DVD comes out, wait till is appears on HBO, or wait until in is shown on a network broadcase.

    This seeming preoccupation with "I WANT IT NOW!" does appear to be a bit silly.

     

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  13.  
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    zaven (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:24am

    In the movie studios' defense. Those movies suck and no one would download them anyways.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous1, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:25am

    @AC: haven't ranted in a while...
    Yeah? How old are you? Like 17 now?


    Funny guy. Funny. Age=intelligence now? NO. Let's try again, age contradicts true statements now? NO.

    In short, silence please.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    Oh, yes, just avoid an entire great way to watch movies at home because the industry "WANTS TO NOW" squeeze even more pennies out of their dying market.

     

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  16.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    "Funny guy. Funny. Age=intelligence now?"

    Plus he's off by something close to a decade. Eh, I probably shouldn't have strayed that far from the topic anyway.

    This no coffee thing is killing me...

     

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  17.  
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    Stuart, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    Oh Noos. I think your Obama Love is showing. Post you referred too bitched about many things.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re:

    Okay. You win. I'll wait for you to share positions on Wes Anderson or Michel Gondry movies, Sushi, Natural Medicine or Film Festivals before I make any other brash assumptions.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    "Oh Noos. I think your Obama Love is showing."

    So is 80% of the country's. What's your point?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    And if people want something you should never give it to them. Ever. I sell food and while I could make a quick buck I in the here and now, I prefer to hold onto it for months, sometimes years and my customers love me for it.

    Sure, I'm the only person who sells food for hundreds of miles but I mean, a business is a business.

    My rules. Rotten food is better than no food at all.

     

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  21.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Here you go:

    1. Wes Anderson movies: artistic but painful to watch (Royal Tannenbaums made me feel bad throughout the entire movie, even the funny parts)

    2. Michael Gondry movies: I've actually seen more of his commercials than his movies. Be Kind Rewind had to be the only Jack Black movie I've seen that was truly, truly awful...

    3. Sushi: Are you kidding me? It's AWESOME. The best part of the sushi experience, especially if you live in a metropolitan area with a great deal of ethnic diversity, is tasting all of the authentic variances. Dragon rolls are by far my favorite.

    4. Natural Medicine: Also known as naturopathy, is simply too large a step in the right direction from pharmacological medicine. Allowing the body to do it's job, good. Pumping it full of sugar pills that often have the kind of side effects that make me shit my pants when I read about them. Refusing surgery because it isn't natural? Just plain stupid...

    5. Film Festivals: Never been to one, but after reading about some of Kevin Smith's escapades in the book I won right here on TechDirt, I'm looking into attending one of these days.

    I'll await your results output with a quiverng parineum....

     

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  22.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    "So is 80% of the country's. What's your point?"

    I don't particularly hate Obama any more than our other recent presidents, but I see you haven't seen the polls recently...

     

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  23.  
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    wnyght (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    And here i was quite certain DH didn't care whether people gave a rats ass about him or not.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous1, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    And here i was quite certain DH didn't care whether people gave a rats ass about him or not.


    @wnyght: I didn't think so either, and still don't.
    I just think he likes to correctly put his accusers in their place..

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    RD, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Shill Reeducation Program

    "If you do not like the idea of what studios would like to implement, why not simply avoid the use of VOD? Go see a movie in a theater and enjoy the social experience, wait till the DVD comes out, wait till is appears on HBO, or wait until in is shown on a network broadcase.

    This seeming preoccupation with "I WANT IT NOW!" does appear to be a bit silly."

    You are obviously not a business person selling a product to consumers. Lets do a quick outline that might help illuminate the point:

    - You can offer any product to the consumer you want
    - The consumer can purchase your product if they want
    - You can make (most) any rules you want regarding the sale of your product to consumers (that arent against consumer laws that is)
    - Consumer can ignore your product if you make it too difficult/onerous/unfair/expensive to obtain it

    See, its not about entitlement (tho there is a HUGE problem with that in the world today) its about when you have a product for sale, you have to offer what the consumer WANTS, or the consumer will a) do without or b) get it somewhere else. Just because you CAN do something (release windows, DRM, suing downloaders) doesnt mean its makes GOOD BUSINESS to do so.

    It is vitally important to understand this difference. If you dont give people a GOOD REASON TO BUY, they wont. Period. Ignore what the consumer demands at your peril, and die accordingly.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    Actually, you may recall, one of his earlier outbursts about his parents getting together, then divorcing and getting together again may have indicated a sort of child services issue and warranted further investigation.

    It's good that he's of age.

     

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

  27.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re:

    "@wnyght: I didn't think so either, and still don't.
    I just think he likes to correctly put his accusers in their place.."

    It's actually much more simple than that: I enjoy talking.

    And the folks here, even the ones that disagree with me and/or poke fun (particularly when they're funny) both educate and entertain me.

    Hopefully somewhere in all my crap I do the same for somebody else occassionally.

    Enough of the love fest, and enough of the me...I've derailed this thread far to much already...

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: I haven't ranted in a while...

    yes because so many 17 year olds reference space balls with their name and avatar. Also his writing style clearly reads like a 17 year old. Excellent deduction skills fellow AC way to raise the bar.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    you forgot your /sarcasm tag

     

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  30.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Re: I haven't ranted in a while...

    Lesson: don't listen to authority...ever, because they suck at life.
    That'll be $199 for the use of my soapbox.

    And I know it's mine, because I disabled the SOC, painted works created by someone else, and it's pink.

    Send payment, via money order, to...

    I did chuckle. The "rest my hat" line did it.

     

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

  31.  
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    Verve (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Dark Helmet: 2 AnonyCoward: 0

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    me, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    but you had no objection when he was talking about Bush though.

     

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

  33.  
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    DocMenach (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Shill Reeducation Program

    Are the movie studios actually in the business of selling movies? I thought they were, but with statements like:
    "If you do not like the idea of what studios would like to implement, why not simply avoid the use of VOD? Go see a movie in a theater and enjoy the social experience, wait till the DVD comes out, wait till is appears on HBO, or wait until in is shown on a network broadcast."

    It would appear as if they are not really interested in selling movies. Lets go through those statements one by one:

    1) Avoid the use of VOD.
    What? Are you serious? Here you have an excellent, low cost distribution method and you are telling people to avoid it? I thought businesses were usually pretty happy when something comes along that reduces their distribution costs.

    2) Go see a movie in the theater and enjoy the social experience.
    Have you been to the theater lately? I can have a much more enjoyable social experience at home with some friends (the movie isn't even necessary).

    3) Wait till it comes out on DVD, HBO, or network TV.
    Hollywood spends a lot of money advertising (approximately 1/3-1/2 of the budget for any movie is advertising). Most of this money is spent building hype prior to it's release in theaters. It is often successful in getting people interested in the film, but many people who become interested in the film either don't want to or can't see it in the theaters. By the time it is available on DVD, HBO or Network TV, interest in it has completely worn off. So people who would have happily paid to purchase a DVD or pay for a download when it was first released are no longer interested in doing so by the time it is finally available. That seems like quite a waste of advertising dollars.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    It's their business model, let them run it.

    If you don't like it, start your own movie company, and release you own movies.

    Have fun.

     

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


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