Studios Set Up DVD Download-and-Burn Plans To Fail

from the missing-the-point dept

Earlier this week, Movielink, the movie-download site that’s owned by a number of movie studios, said it had licensed technology to allow users to burn downloaded movies to DVDs, but couldn’t yet offer the service as it still needed to license some encryption software as well as get approval from the studios that their movies could be used for the service. Much to Movielink’s chagrin, its major rival, CinemaNow, says it will start letting customers burn some movies to DVD, with the studios’ blessing. It’s slightly odd that the studios would let CinemaNow introduce the functionality before a site in which they have a financial stake, but they apparently feel somewhat comfortable with the technology the site’s been using to let users burn porn DVDs for several months. Of course, there’s a catch — only about 100 movies are initially available to be burned, none of them new releases. According to BusinessWeek, the studios want to see if the movies “end up littering the nation’s piracy sites” — which, as usual, is completely pointless, since the movies will have long been available on pirate sites. It almost sounds like they’re setting the system up to fail, perhaps to protect physical DVD retailers, or to once again put forth the nonsensical “you can’t compete with free” argument. Perhaps in one sense they’re right: you can’t compete with free if you don’t offer consumers anything worthwhile.

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Comments on “Studios Set Up DVD Download-and-Burn Plans To Fail”

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Sexton Lovecraft (user link) says:

Crooked features.

Why download and burn with DRM cripples when you can just join the long tail and burn on demand?

Seems to be selling quite well, cult status in parts of London:

The old style regional licensing fees (= megabucks) is being challenged in this time of the latest iteration of Chomksy’s global village.

Lord Sparhawk (user link) says:

DVD Burn or get burned

I recently downloaded and burned the CinemaNow Dvd sampler that they offered for free. Burned nicely, and plays just fine. My complaint, however, is that what if it doesn’t burn just fine? The quality isn’t as good as a retail DVD, and looks absolutely horrid on my HDTV (Regular DVD’s look ok, but just barely.) So, as long as they are charging $8 or $9 for a movie that’s not at a higher bitrate and won’t let me burn an additional back up DVD, I’ll just go to Wal*Mart and spend the $5.50 and buy two. 😛

SeaCaptain says:


I still agree with the movie companies… you can’t compete with free… all the people who are pirating movies aren’t doing so because the movie industry doesn’t “offer consumers anything worthwhile”. They’re doing so because it’s free. This site seems to think that Holywood can magically start making quality movies all the time when the fact of the matter is that they’ve produced the same filth ALWAYS and occasionally come out with something worthwhile. It just what they do. If there’s a band in which 99% of its songs that it puts out are crap and 1% is good, can you expect them to suddenly start making albums that are 100% top notch quality? No. It just can’t happen. And as a pirate of the digital sea myself when I find a movie I actually enjoy, Fear and Loathing and countless animes, I buy it, but I don’t (and rightly so) expect holywood to start making quality movies (which is the ONLY thing they can do to improve sales… innovations of distribution techniques will NOT work because people who don’t pirate movies now are the only ones who will go for such a thing [the porn industries success is an entirely different subject altogether]).

Pariah says:

You certainly can compete with “free” when FREE=relatively crappy quality like wht you find on P2P.

All one has to do is look at the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry to see people making lots of money competeing with “free”.

Quality files, served on a fat pipe, burnible to media and most importantly, priced fairly…That would sell and sell well.

The content cartels are just incredibly stupid and short sighted.

Arr teh booty says:

and Pariah needs to take note of some of the awesome HDTV-res TV episode torrents.

Why pay for tiny video files that has DRM that beats you to death when you can get top-notch quality for free?

The best way to compete would be a reasonable profit margin (cheap files) and combine a sort of holy trinity of distribution: excellent upload speed.. used with paying customer-only bittorrent swarms.. to sell the highest-res files, HD quality or better only or whatever the best format for that movie is available in. I’d pay for that.

Arr teh booty says:

Oh! And I almost forgot: I wouldn’t install a darn thing from these companies! What do they think I am, stupid?! Have I learned nothing from corporate rootkits?

Forget it. Whatever scheme they have needs to be compatible with commonly available third party trusted software. Let me burn my own goods with my own programs, please. And yes, I know that might require yet another program like VSO’s ConvertXtoDVD, but thats cool with me. No rootkits or other spyware for me.

Lacking anything like that I think they can fully expect piracy to continue amongst the technically literate.

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