No Copy Protection On New Matrix DVD

from the mixed-messages dept

The movie industry seems to be sending mixed messages lately. Last week, all the fuss was about how they wouldn’t even send out DVD screeners to voters for the Academy Awards, because they were afraid that the voters would quickly upload the movies to the internet. Yet, this week, the big story is that new DVDs are being released without any copy protection at all. Last year, we wrote about how Warner Brothers was releasing some copies of the Harry Potter DVD without any copy protection as an experiment. At the time, I suggested we’d never hear how well this “experiment” worked – but it appears we now have our answer. According to the LA Times, the DVD for The Matrix Reloaded won’t have copy protection either (free registration required). When the Harry Potter experiment happened, Macrovision, the makers of the DVD copy protection technology Warner Brothers normally uses, was furious. They apparently changed their license to say that if you used their copy protection on some DVDs, you had to use it on all. It looks like Warner has responded by not using it at all. Someone in the article suggests that this is just a way to squeeze a little extra margin ($0.05 per disc) out of something that’s guaranteed to be a top seller. However, it does say something interesting about how the movie industry views copying of their DVDs. For all the hype and worried rants from Jack Valenti, when it comes to saving $0.05 per DVD, they’re willing to ditch the copy protection.

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Comments on “No Copy Protection On New Matrix DVD”

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dorpus says:

Squeezing the Rabble Anyway

Perhaps the movie industry, in cahoots with electronics makers, figures that the current generation of DVD’s with red lasers will soon be replaced by:

1. TV’s with photographic resolution
2. blue-laser optical discs that can store the photographic-resolution images

When such technologies arrive, people will rush to throw away their embarassing low-resolution movies. Thus, no point in squeezing consumers who are already suffering from the VHS vs. DVD dilemma. Let the rabble think that DVD’s are the new standard, so they eagerly buy them up, then make them empty their wallets again on newer machines. Meanwhile, the movie industry can play the Robin Hood act by not imposing copy protection, and techies will worship their “conscience”.

wayne (last name omitted for protection. (user link) says:

Re: Re: Other movies not copy protected

I have a suggestion, i have found that older magnavox and fisher vcr’s will record the colorstripe, but when you play the movie on another vcr like sony the copy is clear and can be copied again to another tape to the vcr that did the original recording so copy at sp, then whatever speed after that.. the magnavox or phillips magnavox have to have all 3 speeds to work, the 2 speed models have copy protection agc circuitry.

wayne (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Other movies not copy protected

i need to word my last rephrain. i have found that older magnavox, philips magnavox and fisher vcr’s will record the agc without any distortion, but will have the colorstripe effect. however when you play the tape on another machine, the color stripe dissapears and is perfectly fine. then i would suggest using that tape in another machine and make copies on the machine that did the original recording. i reccommend the master tape be in sp. the vcr’s have to have the lp recording speed to record the dvd without flashing, if it has only sp and slp speeds, it will only work as a monitor and once the record button is engaged the agc circuit pops on. I hope this will clear up the first response.

LittleW0lf says:

Why Steal?

What self respecting hacker would steal Matrix Reloaded anyway? It is such a good movie that I, and just about every other hacker I know, stood in line at Circuit City with our $14.95 in hand to pick it up the first day it was on the shelves. (Not that I steal movies anyway, I’d much rather buy the good ones and not waste my time with the not so good ones, since time is better spent coding.)

That would be roughly equivilent to stealing an Open Source software product such as Linux…only stupid idiots and megolithic, has-been, dinosaur-like companies (such as The Canopy Group/SCO) would be interested in doing that. And neither are the company I’d like to keep.

Michael Chaney (user link) says:

"copy control" is dead, anyway

First, a clarification. What they call “copy control” is actually “content encryption”. The encryption does nothing, nor can it, do deter copying.

The problem is that millions of DVD’s and players have been sold, people aren’t going to go for a new format for a long time, and the encryption that DVD’s use has been broken. In other words, it’s useless.

So we have an industry that bought and paid for the DMCA as a legal means to shore up their weak technical defenses of their content. But the law is mostly too slow to catch people copying movies.

I don’t blame these companies for releasing unencrypted versions. If someone wants to decrypt the DVD’s, it’s easy. There’s little use in trying to stop them. And if they’re saving a nickel on each DVD that they sell, it’s worth it.


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