Would You Buy A DVD Of A Show You Recorded?

from the depends-on-how-it's-sold dept

One of the fears that the entertainment industry always has is that if people can record/copy content, they’ll never buy it. However, plenty of evidence suggests this isn’t necessarily true. Plenty of people download music before buying the same CD. Now, a new report finds that a third of people surveyed claim that they’d be interested in buying DVDs of videos they had already recorded on their DVRs. This really isn’t that surprising, but the industry is blowing it. By simply assuming this isn’t the case and by automatically treating everyone as criminals, people are discovering that the “purchased” content comes with way too many restrictions. DVDs that come with cool and interesting extra content, along with informative/entertaining packaging is completely worthwhile — if only the industry would learn to play up these differentiating factors instead of making us all feel like we’re expected to do something wrong with the content we’ve bought or recorded.

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Comments on “Would You Buy A DVD Of A Show You Recorded?”

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Graham says:

Burn before you buy

One of my biggest problems when it comes to music and dvds is that you rarely try before you buy. You hear a good song on the radio go buy the cd and find that the rest of the cd is crap. same with a DVD. My general practise is to download before I buy. Most of my downloads are replicated by a genuine copy of the cd or DVD. This is what most people I know do.

Come on Music industry. Stop freaking out. We are still buying your stuff.

Mousky (user link) says:

Re: Burn before you buy

“Come on Music industry. Stop freaking out. We are still buying your stuff.”

2004 was the best year in five for the global music industry. The fact of the matter is, that despite piracy and illegal downloading, the music industry continues to make money. The problem is that the RIAA believes that it is entitled to a higher rate of return.

Vlad says:

Re: Re: Burn before you buy

There are a number of reasons that the music industry is losing sales.

1. The last 10 years sales has been over-inflated owing to people replacing their music collection on CD. This has stopped now and the result is a downturn in sales.
2. It’s been the trend lately for the industry to promote “sure-thing” artists at the expense of lesser known ones, limiting the variety of new music promoted. The result is an overall fall-off in sales as the target markets become more and more focused.
3. While all you guys seem to buy stuff you’ve already downloaded / copied – the majority dont… I know I never have! And according to the atricle referred to, nearly 70% don’t. It is eating into the sales.

They need to move to a business model where music is distributed for free and seek alternate means of gaining revenue from publishing artists. Because if they dont (and they wont), a counter-industry of free to share music distributers will arrive and take over. Maybe I should set up the first…

lar3ry says:

Re: Re: Re: Burn before you buy

3. While all you guys seem to buy stuff you’ve already downloaded
/ copied – the majority dont… I know I never have! And according
to the atricle referred to, nearly 70% don’t. It is eating into the

You’re playing directly to the RIAA’s arguments showing
arbitrary cause and effect. The problem is, how about those people
that downloaded a song, played it, and then erased it immediately
because it was garbage? If “buy after trying” is to work, then there
has to be the option to “not buy” as well. The RIAA’s arguments about
people NOT buying after downloading is disingenuous to say the

Even the RIAA’s biggest asset–radio–is contributing to the
problem. When was the last time you heard the title and/or artist of
a song you’ve never heard before on the radio? Hardly ever! Disc
jockeys, even if they do announce, aren’t allowed to pre-announce
(“after these commercials, we’ll have Madonna singing ‘Sweet Baby
James!'”), and they play five or six songs in a row, and MAYBE will
attribute them fifteen minutes later. And now, the radio super-networks
are going to DJ-less format (have you had the experience of radio
station “Frank?”).

When you download a song, however, the file usually has the
information you’re looking for… artist and title usually in the
file name, and hopefully ID3 tags that show albumn and track number.

Radio is “free” (well, you pay for the receiver), and it’s not
illegal to listen. The
Internet is just as free (you pay your ISP), but downloading is
said to be immoral, according to the RIAA. The difference is that
music downloaded isn’t ephemeral, and is digital quality. This scares
the hell out of the RIAA and ASCAP, which want a cut of every tangible
copy out there. This will never happen–didn’t happen back when
people were recording analog off the radio with a cassette, and won’t
happen now.

Despite all the RIAA’s claims about fairness, there is a simple
truth. The RIAA wants your money, and as much of it as they can get
their grubby hands on. They do NOT care about paying
royalties… how many artists have seen ANY of the money that the
RIAA has extorted from their customers in settlements? The answer:
Zero. But to hear the RIAA’s position, all this downloading is
HURTING artists. Why don’t they spare some of them their
pain and pay them, then? Because they don’t want to!

The day the RIAA cares about anything other than forcing people and
suing them and extorting them is the day that they stop with the
legalized slavery contracts and pay more than a couple of pennies in royalties for
every overpriced $15 CD they sell.

mitch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Burn before you buy

This is all just self justification for being crooks and liking it, cause its fun and its free! Well, this will all play out and in the end at one extreme all access to free music and film will end (except from rogue sites in foreign countries) and many will be fined and or go to prison. My sympathy goes to the artist every time, even it you may think they are rich and don’t need to get paid. Grow up. Pay the piper and shut up.

Kat says:

Try before you buy

I don’t buy nearly as many CD’s as I used to, when it was still okay to download them. I like to know exactly what I’m buying before I spend my hard earned money on something. I used to download a few songs from a cd that I thought I might be interested in, just to see if I thought it was worth buying the rest of the cd. And if it met my approval, I’d go spend my money… on probably more than one CD at a time. If it didn’t meet my approval, I’d just end up deleting the songs I had downloaded because I didn’t like them anyway… In my opinion, ‘no harm, no foul’.

As it is now, I buy one or two CD’s every… 6 months maybe, when I just happen to be in the area of an electronics store or a book store like Borders, where they let you preview the CD’s before you buy them. … A far cry from the 15-20 that I used to buy every 2 weeks or so after I got my pay check, when we were still allowed to download. I used to go to the store just to buy CD’s because I KNEW I wanted them. … Now I’m not going to make the effort, unless I’m already in the area.

Apparently the entertainment industry doesn’t realise that they are hurting themselves by turning their audience into criminals. We download… we like… we buy… it’s as simple as that.

So, to answer the question, Yes, If I copied/downloaded movies or other similar content I would still, in fact be very likely to go spend my money on the actual product being sold by the entertainment industry.

Galley (user link) says:

Added value content

I recorded TNT’s excellent “Into The West” mini-series earlier this year, not deciding if I was gonna get the DVDs or not. I did end up buying for several reasons, I got a great deal on it, it came in an excellent book-like package, and it has some very nice special features. As long as Hollywood continues to give us what we want, we will continue to buy.

Allen Wood says:

I buy burned movies

I think copying a movie from a friend is like going over to his house and watching it. Most movies that I have seen from a friend I have bought and several movies that I have borrowed I have bought. The industry doesn’t realize that this is a good and free advertising process. A lot of people don’t know if they want to spend the money on a movie or not but after they see it they might go out and get it. If a person waits till it comes out on TV to finally watch it then the industry has missed another customer.

lar3ry says:

One major exception + Where RIAA goes wrong

I would think that the “burn and then buy” idea would have a major exception: Porn.

One of the nice things about the internet is the pseudo-anonymity. That video you downloaded (whether from an internet site or from a P2P file sharing app) doesn’t carry the same stigma that going into a store and having little Buffy Sue at the check-out shaking her head at your little obsession does. Interestingly, I see very few porn producers up in arms about illegal burning, and I have heard that a lot of these operations are doing rather good business, whether or not their customers are burning their purchases to DVD or whatever.

Aside from that, I find that despite all of Hollywood’s crying over piracy, they have figured out the right move. They put all the extras that you get included with a DVD (interviews, commentary, alternate scenes and outtakes, etc.) and put a reasonable price for the entire package that makes purchasing movies a good idea.

Unfortunately, the RIAA still hasn’t figured out that people are willing to pay for things if there is a compelling reason to do so. It doesn’t take a rocket science to realize that people would purchase a CD if it has things I can’t otherwise get in a simple-to-use package. After all, it only takes a minute or so to download a song (no big deal). It takes about a half hour to download every song from a CD (a bit more work), so what’s to compel somebody to purchase a CD? There’s the cover artwork, liner notes (not seen much any more… why not?) and, perhaps, let’s say a music video or two and maybe eve versions of the song in AAC so I can easily transfer them to my iPod. If that package has a reasonable price (say, $9.99), then it would be something that’s worth purchasing. I’d gladly spend ten bucks to purchase a CD if I know it has what I want on it.

Instead, the RIAA has decided to spend their money paying lawyers to extort money ($ettlement$) from their customers rather than figuring out how to get their customers to WANT to purchase their product. They only have themselves to blame that people now consider them greedy and stupid twits.

In the age of the Internet and TiVo, it’s interesting to see that DVD sales remain strong and CD sales have slumped a bit. Both the MPAA and RIAA sell “software,” but the one that has provided the incentive to purchase is doing well.

malhombre says:

Re: One major exception + Where RIAA goes wrong

…so what’s to compel somebody to purchase a CD? There’s the cover artwork, liner notes (not seen much any more… why not?) and, perhaps, let’s say a music video or two and maybe eve versions of the song in AAC…

Yeah, very important point. To me, it is the “value added” aspect that should drive sales of music and video product. For those of us who grew up in the vinyl era, we knew our delicate media would not live forever (pops and scratches and clicks were inevitable), but we got sometimes terrific, relatively large artwork, often times a good read in the liner notes, and even posters and/or stickers and such. So, for your $9 to $15 bucks, you felt like you got a pretty good deal (and that is 1960’s and 70’s dollars).

Now, you get tiny abreviated inserts, jewel cases that crack apart in six months use (I have cardboard LP covers from 30 to 40 years ago that are holding up well), and no chance of some of the cool little “prize” extras (remember the stuff Pink Floyd used to throw in? How about the water color trick on Led Zepp’s “In Through The Out Door”, six different versions even)

Too bad the music/video content isn’t like open source, with the option of purchasing something like what box sets give you: interesting factoid reading, posters, stickers, artwork, photos, etc.-BUT at a reasonable price, not 40 or 50 bucks!
That would lead me right back into the outlets and make me feel good about spending my money with them.

Phluphphie says:

Re: One major exception + Where RIAA goes wrong

“going into a store and having little Buffy Sue at the check-out shaking her head at your little obsession” …

Actually, my experience has been that the chix at said stores are usually pretty uber cool, and usually talk with you and make recommendations.

But then I shop more for “gear” than “movies,” so YMMV.


Ben McNelly (user link) says:

will I buy???

Oh yes, most definantly… I mean video tales alot of storage space, and who has the time and money to archive all those videos to DVD?? But seriously, I like to have a nice collection but I am very selective.
Its the same thing with renting at the video store. I prety much never but a movie before renting it. Now my girlfriend, she will be standing in line at wallmart and see a chick flick hanging there, and know she’s going to like it, so she buys it. Me on the otherhand, while I will suffer through a chick flick and other atrocities, I am not going to spend 15-20 or more bucks on a movie that could turn out a dud. I dont believe hype, and I have high standards ( so obviously not buying alot of newer movies 😉 ) So yes, If I could download it and watch it, If I liked it I would buy it. I think thats the music and movie industries are afraid of… We will buy what we LIKE not what they HYPE.

Mitch McGuire (profile) says:

Buy a DVD of one already recorded?

I think the point of the industry take on this problem is the act of illegally swiping someone’s creative produce without paying for it. The fact that some of them may later want to buy the DVD is interesting, but begs the question, does that make it alright to record and steal this product? If a bank robber later opens a checking account at the branch he held up last month make his crime disapear? If you write a fantastic computer program you spent a year or two to create and much of your money, only to have it stolen from you, would that be ok if the crook pays for your next one?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Buy a DVD of one already recorded?

So I guess that means I fit into that category of criminals because I went over to my buddy’s house yesterday and watched his recently purchased DVD. I didn’t pay a thing and I enjoyed the artistic creation of someone’s work.

I didn’t like the movie so I will not be purchasing it myself. Someone throw me in jail or sue me for thousands.

The point people like you and the MPAA overlook is that I am not a customer. I am a potential customer. Until you can somehow convince me that the entertainment I will receive is worth the 20 dollars I must spend, I won’t buy shit. How do you expect me to know whether or not something is worth buying? If you can solve that problem for me, then I won’t be solving it myself by downloading or watching my friends’ movies first.


I’m not a typical american who drops hundreds of hard earned dollars on BS useless products and entertainment. I actually research and spend my money wisely.

This website puts things into perspective when it comes to how stupid the laws can be in regards to copyright and legality. Why spend 20 bucks on a movie when you can simply “sell” and “buy” your physical DVD for $1 ?

It’s perfectly legal to resell your purchased goods to whomever you’d like. What are you gonna do now MPAA? http://www.peerflix.com –> 100% legal

jerry lambert (profile) says:

Re: Buy a DVD of one already recorded?

“I think the point of the industry take on this problem is the act of illegally swiping someone’s creative produce without paying for it.” By Mitch McGuire

So the supreme court was wrong in Sony V. Universal? People have been archiving their shows for 20 years, Legally.

When put into that perspective, all of your analogies are garbage. You sound like old-bald-head in charge of the MPAA. (Dan Glickman)

So the MPAA introduces the broadcast flag, with which YOU *mpaa stooge* can control the recordings that consumers make.

I wouldn’t be suprised if some ‘broadcast flag’ recordings expire on the date that the dvd is released, FORCING you to buy the DVD.

My response to the MPAA and their ‘DVD’ scenario is this. I WILL record everything I can in HD (using non-broadcast flag equipment). I will BURN them to Non-DRM’ed formats. (minus the commercials of course).

I WILL NOT buy any more seasons of my favorite shows on DVD until the MPAA stops this broadcast flag nonsense (In essence turning all of your viewers into criminals.)

If, by some streak of providence, the MPAA sees the light and stops trying to lock down everything (I mean region codes, and all the restrictions they are trying to put on HD-DVD) I might start buying TV shows on DVD. Not until.

The MPAA gets the broadcast flag through congress? I have two non-broadcast flag compliant HD recorders. When those break, I will watch what I recorded until I get bored. When I get bored, I will read a book.

CBS – you want to pull all your HD programming? Go ahead, I have enough of your HD programming archived to last me until I get a good supply of books built up.

Mitch McGuire (profile) says:

Re: Re: Buy a DVD of one already recorded?

Well, you certainly state your aggressiveness clearly and you do sound a bit like a bank robber. Let us get one thing straight…I am not bald! (whew, that felt good.) And I am not from the MPAA, but I am an actor and writer and union activist. I am not thinking of the MPAA or any of those guys, but who do you think we get paid from when we do a film or TV show or make a record? The producing company. If you are ripping off those companies by copying everthing for free, we do not get paid, nor do any of the other creatives, so stop pretending that you are innocent children getting back at the large conglomerates. They have many streams of income besides this….we do not. If we’re lucky we sometimes get residual payments based on sales. We count on these modest checks to keep us alive and professional. I don’t know what you all do for a living, (do tell) but I’ll bet you like to be paid for your work, when you work. So stop excusing your habitual bad behavior like you are some entitled geek who always has gotten things free and now must…must…must continue or what? You might have to pay .99 cents? Or a DVD for $15 bucks. Come on, try a little morality for size. You might like it.

Kat says:

Re: Buy a DVD of one already recorded?

I don’t think downloading music or movies is stealing them, if you’re using them for your own personal home use. If you want to compare it to stealing a computer program… what about all the programs that you can download for free, as long as you use them for personal interests, that don’t involve selling the program to others or something of that nature? … I think as long as you aren’t copying the music or movies to sell them to someone else.. then all is fair. … I think it would be the same as taking an audio tape sticking it into a radio, and hitting the record button whenever one of your favorite songs comes on the radio… or taking a VHS tape and sticking it in a vcr to record a movie… What’s the difference if you take it from the Television or the radio, to watch or listen to later for your own personal use… or download it from the internet for your own personal use… if you are still likely to go buy it anyway?

And.. how can it be considered stealing… if you purchase the same exact thing that you copied anyway? … That would be like saying you stole the music you put on your ipod, or copied to your computer, after you bought the cd.

When it comes to the point of a bank robber opening a checking account with stolen money.. it can’t even be compared… because they aren’t giving anything back to the bank to repay what they’ve taken. They are giving the money back to the bank to hold for them… … where as… if you copy movies or music then you turn around and buy the CD/DVD anyway… you are in effect paying for what you have already seen or listend to.

Steve says:


I buy a lot of shows that were on TV on DVD. I know the article mentioned stuff that you recorded with a PVR, but I haven’t had one until recently.
For me, there’s still a couple of reasons to buy the shows on DVD:
For one, is when its broadcast on television, the quality isn’t going to be nearly as nice as a DVD’s is.
Another thing is that unless you’re watching a new series weekly, reruns are shown in random chronological order most of the time. If you get the DVD you can watch the shows in the correct airing order, which in some series fills a lot of wholes into character development. Plus, reruns won’t show ALL the shows, so if you get it on DVD you’re going to see some that maybe you never caught the rerun.

G-Man says:

uh, Duh.

I see two types of people burning and copying content (movies and music): Those who like to collect large quantities of content, and those who try out content. The MPAA and RIAA shouldn’t care about “collectors” because they would never spend the money to buy content. The should concern themselves with the true fans who try content and who want_ to purchase value added products. I bought the U2 collection on iTunes, which included the lastest album, then went out and bought the collector’s edition CD for $35. I had the music already, but wanted the extra stuff.
Yes, I will by DVDs of stuff I’ve recorded. I read liner notes and all the extra crap.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

My wife has been compulsively videotaping tv shows for years, particularly anything in the Star Trek franchise. However, when the various Trek DVD sets arrived on the shelves, she bought these and threw out her tapes. She’s gone on to buy countless other series, including “Babylon 5,” “Firefly,” “Freaks and Geeks,” etc.

Packaging really does count for something, I suspect.

Jay Knight (user link) says:

Already bought?

The problem I have with this is the very first sentence. If you recorded the content from cable/satellite/whatever, you’ve already paid for it, the way I see it. You’ve already “bought” that version of the content. Of course that is often lower quality and more advertising than a dvd bought in a store… But it’s “yours” in the same way.

Kroke says:

Re: Already bought?

The thing is, how about all the huge cardboard boxes of cassette tapes and yes, I am even guilty of having 10-20 8 tracks from back in the day that I’ve long since thrown away.

I have re-downloaded a lot of the stuff I bought when I was a teen that I cannot find anywhere on CD anymore. Even if I could, I’ve already paid for them some 20 years ago.

How about that? Am I really ‘pirating’?

crystalattice (user link) says:

I consider everything shareware

I used to literally waste money on cassette tapes. I’d buy a tape because there was a song or two that I liked and expected the rest of the album to be good. No such luck. I stopped doing that years ago; now if I can’t “test drive” an album I won’t even attempt to buy it.

Same thing with movies. I use Netflix as a preview system. There’s so many movies I’ve heard great things about but after renting them, there’s no way I’d buy them.

For that matter, why can’t you rent CD’s? Obviously the movie rental industry isn’t hurting, and neither is the MPAA. Heck, movie companies usually make more money from the DVD than from the actual theater movie.

William C Bonner (profile) says:

Several things to point out.

With modern P2P networks, it’s possible to download higher quality video than is on current DVDs. Since the P2P are often sharing things that were recorded from HDTV, which is higher quality than current DVDs store, even with transcoding to a higher compression rate, the downloading video can be a better quality.
Video and Music have different levels of repeatability. By that, I mean that If I buy music, I’m likely to listen to it over and over, while watching a video is significantly less repeated.
I think that’s the entire economics behind video rental stores. I’m more likely to want to rent a video than to buy it. The main reason I want to buy a video is so that I don’t have to worry about the video going out of stock or becoming exorbitantly expensive sometime in the future on the occasional time I want to watch it. If I know that for some nominal charge, I’ll be able to rent a particular video at any time in the future, I?m much less likely to buy videos.
I have several hundred DVDs that I have to store and decide if I want to watch. I have realized that with a small few exceptions, those DVDs just take up shelf space and gather dust. I only pull them down when I want to force them on friends. ?what, you?ve not seen xyz? You must see xyz!?
Music, on the other hand, I listen to constantly from when I get up in the morning, to when I go to bed in the evening. I have a couple of 400 disk cd players that are configured to fade back and forth, and just play CDs continuously. I also have all of the contents of those CDs converted to MP3 so I can load them on my iPod for when I?m traveling, or going to the gym. I also copy those CDs to put in the CD changer in my car. Radio is the free introduction of new music into my car, but I rarely listen to radio at home. I buy new CDs when I hear songs on the radio, but also on friends? recommendations.
I wouldn?t have a DVD Playing constantly in the background, because video requires more attention than music.
I try to buy the items that I?m going to repeatedly use. I try to rent the items that I?m going to only watch once. I support the artists getting money appropriately, if a friend has a CD I want to hear, I may borrow it to find out if I?ll like it, but I?ll return it and if I want to listen to it repeatedly I?ll buy it. If a friend has a video that I want to watch, I?ll borrow it, and then return it.
I don?t believe that these patterns are significantly out of the ordinary. I don?t like being treated as a criminal.
If internet to the home had the ability to stream a dvd or higher quality video to me on demand, with a high quality title browsing system, I?d be more likely to rent videos that way than go to the store. The problem is that both the RIAA and the MPAA are trying to believe that it?s 1978 and home recording doesn?t exist. They are dragging their feet instead of embracing the new technology and figuring out ways of leveraging it. The genie is out of the bottle, and no cork can put it back.

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