How The Entertainment Industry Plans To Kill DVDs

from the focus,-people,-focus dept

The entertainment industry really has a knack for focusing in on the wrong thing at the wrong time. We’ve already discussed how delivering content on plastic discs is increasingly not going to make sense, and rather than work on making it more appealing, the industry seems to be getting into (yet another) standards battle over what type of annoying copy protection to include on next generation DVDs. Yes, that’s right. They’re battling over how to make these increasingly obsolete discs even less valuable. There is no consumer benefit at all — and when those discs now have to compete with other ways of delivering content, that’s going to make it an increasingly difficult sell. The entertainment industry is so obsessed with this false belief that all content needs copy protection that they’ve forgotten that their customers aren’t all criminals and that giving them a product they want, rather than one that restricts them unnecessarily, is probably a good idea.


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Comments on “How The Entertainment Industry Plans To Kill DVDs”

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47 Comments
Steven says:

discs not so obsolete to business

the assumption which guides this entry, that DVDs (and discs in general) are obsolete is enchanting from a technological standpoint, but currently just not true. while there are surely more advanced technologies which could reduce the waste and unneccessary commodification caused by selling media on discs, from a business perspecitve discs are alive and kicking.

DVD sales currently represent one of the largest chunks of revenue from motion pictures, often surpassing theatre grosses. you may not like them, but they sell big and are major revenue movers in the entertainment industry.

I, for one says:

Re: discs not so obsolete to business

The DVD format being obsolete wasn’t central to the article at all, it was merely a side snipe. Your comment rings true, hence the fact that that they are not obsolete but rather a central pillar of the industry revenue stream makes crippling them even *more* suicidally stupid, does it not?

I get the feeling the industry leaders are a bit like these 419 scam victims. They’ve been sold a lemon (in the guise of copy protection) by cowboy wannabe computer scientists and pseudo programmers who are laughing all the way to the bank every time they get Sony or Warner to buy the latest straw man system that will be hacked down within a week.

Rather than turn about 180 and admit defeat these guys would rather see their entire industry flushed down the pan and save face than admit they’ve been had.

Nobody will ever develp a copy protection system that works. It is just not possible, axiomatically.

Stating the obvious says:

Re: discs not so obsolete to business

The only reason DVD sales are so high is because they are the only option out there (now that video is dead).

If the distributor sold downloads of the movies (with appropriate price reductions) I’m willing to bet they’d steal a significant chunk of that market.

The OP is right. I don’t want any more boxes and bits of plastic cluttering up my house.

I want to browse a list of movies on my computer, pick whatever I’d like to see and either stream it or download it. I’m not bothered which option they’d like to go for as I generally watch a movie once.

PopeRatzo says:

Instead of hoping for folks in the entertainment/industrial complex to read articles like these, maybe we should just tell them ourselves.

Or, vote with our pocketbooks, like I do. I will not spend one cent on anything that comes from the entertainment/industrial complex as long as they treat their customers like the enemy. If I can buy music from the artist directlly, I do. As for movies, I’ll watch them at friends’ houses or borrow their copies of DVDs. Last time I checked, that was still legal, no?

I would be happy to see the entire industry collapse and be rebuilt.

luis rays says:

Re: Re:

YES!!!! I agree very much so, the business’ are being kind of ridiculous with all of the copyright “protections”. From what I understand inviting friends over to see a movie w/out charging them for some copyright is illegal. Once again I agree, the entire industry needs to be completely rebuilt, not fixed.

Josh Tomaino (profile) says:

3 weeks?

I give it 3 days, depending how fast people want to get their hands on the copy protected dvd’s.

I download music (not really! just in case any RIAA fanatics are reading), but I’ve never thought of downloading DVD’s (unless it’s porn! I mean… not really! just in case my wife is reading..) and I pretty much come to the conclusion that the legal consumers will continue to purchase their dvds at their local retail store, and limit their use to the family dvd player- Considering most consumers wouldn’t deal with playing a dvd on a small pc monitor.

Unlike music, which can be played over limitless mediums, dvd players are pretty well limited to dvd support game consoles, dvd players, or the pc- where the copy protection will come into play.

Don’t get me wrong, I think copy protection in general is just a headache, I just don’t have as much against the MPAA as the RIAA.

Simon says:

Fools

I have on my to-do list the task of ripping one of my daughters much watched Disney DVD’s to DVD-R. The legitimate version is so encumbered with promotional trailers and legal warnings that it takes an age to actually get to the movie we actually paid for. One it’s ripped to MPEG-4, it’ll simply be a case of inserting the disc and selecting the file.
Sadly, it would have been much easier to simply download the movie in the first place. Yet another example of the entertainment industry devaluing their own products.

Rancho Media says:

Re: Fools

I agree completely. I buy DVDs. They are affordable ($20 or less) and I can afford to pay. I don’t need higher resolution, so I’m not real interested in the new HD DVD showdown.

I do get real irritated when DVDs come loaded with previews of other DVDs (Ads) which cannot be skipped. I’m also inclined to rip the DVDs, and reauthor them (without the ads) in MPEG4. It really irritates me to pay for content, and then end up forced to watch ads. The DVD publishers are their own worst enemy. It’s now actually easier to download illegal content (ad free) then to buy legal DVDs with unavoidable advertisements.

CAPT MORGAN says:

Ahoy MATTES ITS pirater CAPT”N Morgan the world known pirate i steal from all across the seven seas and dont care those scallywags at hollywood are rich enough for me so I say whats a couple dollars to them when they buy 10000000 dollar mannsions! Igh!

Seriously though were not all criminals and there will be piracy where ever you go and no matter what you do to try and stop it. In my opnion hollywood needs to just shut up about pirates when ever i see those stupid comercials i want to do it even more becuase just before i saw that i saw a tabloid that said “Tom Cruz buys 120 million dollar mansion!”

Photon Receptor says:

Analog Capture

If the displayed signal can be captured digitally

or Analog at good quality it can just be put

out for download on a myriad of p2p networks,

and they are just becoming more intricate.

Indirect transfers like mute and encryption will

make it exceedingly hard to catch the actual

people sending the file.

As all files will be piece meal routed thru other

nodes in truly statistically random algorithm.

people using Wifi hotpsots for their downloading

will likewise be somewhat harder to catch if they

have visual security of ppl trying to triangulate them

with directional atennnas.

Friend based VPN’s like hamachi.cc will make encrypted

internets that exist within the internet that will be

private, encrypted, and can run most of the serverless

p2p apps with an added layer of anonymity.

The only thing they will be able to tell at the ISP

level is that your uploading a lot, and could call that

probable cause for investigation and then assign

tempest gear to your physical location for snooping.

The most secure uncopyable media can still be

captured even digitally as it hits the HD display

cable as a raw signal and then converted .

That will cost more than they can afford.

So it is more or less an issue of attrition.

If you can see it with your photo receptors of

cones and rods, it can be re-recorded and then

re-transmitted ad infinitium.

Ex-MislTech

Az says:

Simply;

hackers are faster than manufacturers; cracks even come out before protection occasionally. It’s a futile endeavour, it would be smarter to just figure out a new way to cut down on piracy by a new low cost / high return medium.

And most un-piratable mediums are unpopular because of that fact, nerds, geeks and tech-heads create the early market – many if not most nerds, geeks and tech-heads are driven by pirating because of little respect for copyright laws and a belief in freedom of information, and sometimes just to piss off the MPAA/RIAA. Yarrr.

Alucardryft says:

Re: DVD Article

Sony’s little tiff about copyprotection for the PS3 gaming system ahs already caused them to loose massive amounts of faithful customers. Sony last I heard is still planing on relesing a copy write protection format that locks thae game to your console ID. That right there ruins the option of game rentals and the resale of used games. I am personally a game renter. I would prefer to test the game for 5 days before I spend $50 (soon to be $60+) on a game. If they follow through with that then there only revenue is going to be on T.V. sets and computer monitors.

ctyankee says:

“Hmm…seems stories like this are also becoming less valuable. Yet another catchy headline with little fresh content inside.”

Yep. Sort of getting to be a theme song,

nah, nah, nah consumer companies don’t understand consumers

nah, nah, nah, rather than trusting their customers …

nah, nah, nah, going down a path that never has delivered value

nah, nah, nah, when will they ever learn

All true,

However, when will get off this thing and move to some fresh ideas?

People will not surf here if they don’t see value so if you want insiders you better deliver value.

Zeroth404 says:

Techdirt always says it the way it should be anyhow, I don’t know why I other posting.

“The entertainment industry is so obsessed with this false belief that all content needs copy protection that they’ve forgotten that their customers aren’t all criminals and that giving them a product they want, rather than one that restricts them unnecessarily, is probably a good idea.”

Jeff (profile) says:

Hollywood focuses on the wrong group

They spend all their time focusing on the 1% who pirate instead of the 99% who buy legitimately. Attention Hollywood: those 1% aren’t going to buy anyway. Don’t worry about them. Make it a better experience for the other 99%. Sell us downloadable movies that can be burned to DVD or played on our computers. Give us a choice. These television shows you are streaming and the shows we can buy on iTunes are useless to those of us who want to watch on our televisions rather than our computers.

compmodder says:

speaking of experience

years ago when i bought my first dvd player the main selling point was that you wouldnt have to watch any previews or rewind. now i cant even fast forward through the prievews. the force you to watch the damn things and take it. im sorry but at least back in the day my vcr had the option to skip certain crappy content if i wanted it to.

ET says:

BS

[qoute]

They’re battling over how to make these increasingly obsolete discs even less valuable. There is no consumer benefit at all

[end quote]

So in other words, you feel that if a DVD cannot be copied it is worth less??? That’s a load off bullshit, and you know it. I’m sorry to offend all you copying and pirating junkies, but that statement makes as much sense as stating that anti-theft devices in retail stores are stupid and should not be implemented.

A Funny Guy / The Poison Pen says:

Re: BS

Can’t believe that you don’t want the right to backup your legally bought purchase. Of course something that cannot be duplicated is less valuable when it has a limited shelf life.

We were told that dvd’s would last forever, we have since found out this is not true. Any number of damage can happen to a dvd to make it unplayable.

jon (profile) says:

DRM is useless

As long as it can be played digitally, it can be copied digitally. With CDs, the most primitive method still works: plug up your CD player’s headphone jacks into the audio-in on your sound cart, and record the incoming audio stream.

The same also applies to video: if it can be played on the computer screen, there’s probably some software that can capture the video stream. The most primitive method is always going to be foolproof.

And someone will come up with a less primitive method, too, to actually copy the while thing as is, DVD menus as all. It’s only a matter of time.

And depending on the actual BD hardware to do the DRM is silly, too. As long as there’s a player that doesn’t including the invasive DRM crap, that’s the preferable one to buy.

The is the only thing I don’t like about Blu-Ray. I hope it isn’t an issue when people actually start buying them

Me says:

Want some cheese?

Do you want some cheese to go with all the whine??????

Good grief people… what is up with all the whining about ads and previews? I don’t see you asking the entertainment industry to not play ads and previews in the movie theatres… I don’t see you whine about all the commercials on TV while you watch your favorite shows… (generally 1 hour of TV show consists of about 25 minutes of commercials and previews).

I agree with Clueful… the ads and previews is what keeps DVD’s affordable. You want them gone? Be prepared to pay twice as much for them as what you are paying for them now.

And please, find something else to whine about… the whole discussion about the copy protections in the entertainment industry is getting old really fast…

I, for one says:

Re: Want some cheese?

“I don’t see you asking the entertainment industry to not play ads and previews in the movie theatres…”

Then open your eyes. The most prevalent complaint apart from the lack of quality is the 20min tirade of boring, patronising, insults to their intelligence and self esteem that the average person is forced to sit through when visiting a movie theatre.

“I don’t see you whine about all the commercials on TV while you watch your favorite shows.”

Again, do you even own a television or speak to ordinary people outside your door? Television advertising has reached such a nadir of taste that even the most braindead couch potatos are switching off in their millions.

“I agree with Clueful… the ads and previews is what keeps DVD’s affordable. You want them gone? ”

Exactly, you agree with an argument which has no economic basis whatsoever. I bet you love advertisements and feel enriched by the wonderful world of products out there you never even knew you needed. There is a word for this which I believe is “gullible”.

“You want them gone? Be prepared to pay twice as much for them as what you are paying for them now.”

Now you’re actually talking some sense. People pay a premium for quality. The higher the quality of the product the more they are prepared to pay. Unfortunately (see point 1) if the current industry had to survive on the merit of its products it would be dead within a week.

You’re still thinking the dog wags the tail. It’s the other way round. Low quality pap from the Hollywood saussage factory is the vehicle that keeps the advertising business alive.

“And please, find something else to whine about… the whole discussion about the copy protections in the entertainment industry is getting old really fast…”

Again you’re wrong. The debate is highly relevant, topical and imo hasn’t even begun in earnest. Your pejorative use of the term “Whine” only leads people to assume you work in advertising, and given that you have so spectacularly failed to get your argument across might I suggest another career.

Kilroy says:

Why hell would you want to Download a DVD??

Cmon, who the hell wants to wait 2-3 hours to download a DVD over the internet then watch it on a computer screen, or, worse yet, still have to burn it to a DVD so you can watch it on your TV?

Just because there are other more “advanced” ways to do something doesn’t meant that they are in any way shape or form better ways.

the_Culprit says:

Re: Why hell would you want to Download a DVD??

“Just because there are other more “advanced” ways to do something doesn’t meant that they are in any way shape or form better ways.” Quote by Kilroy on May 31st, 2006 @ 9:15am

Just because there are established ways to do something doesn’t mean that thay are in any way, shape or form better ways.

Everything I watch is displayed on my computer monitor (its not very small either). I do not have any kind of TV in my home. I receive all of my content via the interweb (usually bit-torrent). I still buy DVDs made by artists I respect. But this is usually after I have already received this same content via the internet (usually weeks in advance of release). It still baffles me that I can have “the ultimate media center experience” with out any DRM roadblocks, all while the content industry is still trying to figure out what the hell is happening. Reminds me of “Tarzan Economics.” Sometimes you have to let go of a revenue stream before you can grab onto the next one.

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