Hollywood To Steve Jobs: We Need Stronger DRM

from the bad-ideas dept

Rajesh writes in to point to a Business Week article about Hollywood’s fear of Apple. It’s not, apparently, because Apple has tremendous power over the recording industry thanks to their iTunes lock-in, but because they don’t like the fact that Jobs wants to make sure the DRM isn’t too cumbersome. The idea that a downloaded movie can be shared on up to three iPods apparently pisses off the studios. “His user rules just scare the heck out of us,” claims one studio exec. The article claims that the studio views sharing a purchased film in this matter is “just as bad” as someone using file sharing. While Jobs has been able to convince Disney to participate (in part due to his position on the board), the others are balking. Paramount did agree to let older movies be sold via iTunes, but nothing new or popular. The fact that it’s because they want the DRM to be even stricter suggests that they haven’t learned a thing about the trouble the internet has caused them over the last decade. Making the content controls even stricter pretty much guarantees failure of any such plan — and would only drive more people to file sharing systems where those restrictions are not in place.

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Comments on “Hollywood To Steve Jobs: We Need Stronger DRM”

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Andrew says:

Ripping DVD's

On my mac i can rip a dvd to put it on my ipod with no DRM restriction, but i would much rather be willing to buy the video already in ipod format, instead of going through that trouble. So selling DRM’ed movies is much better and more strict to me than selling the actual DVD. Handbrake is so easy to use and i have only had one dvd not work, all other attempts to make movies non-rippable doesn’t work, so why not just sell the movie with DRM restrictions, and limit it to 3 computers? The music industry already lets apple share music within 5 authorized computers, so what’s the big deal? I would use all 3 computers to enable the DRM movie because i have 3 computers that run iTunes regularly, so 3 is the perfect, magic number that Hollywood needs to realize. Maybe Steve Jobs just needs to get on Hollywood’s board to make things all good! Life would be great.

mark heninger (user link) says:

Media vs. Consumer

face it. DRM sucks. but not because it is limiting us, but because the studios want some form of protection and ability to track users. Yes, they would like to see a format such as BluRay and HDDVD take hold because it would obviate “fair use” and better “lockdown” media into a Draconian methodology.

The problem is (Listen up studios. Networks, and Labels) by looking at DRM as a means to limit media through hardware, it creates even more opportunity for backlash because the devices themselves can have their firmware updated by a BluRay/HDDVD disc (remember Sony rootkits and the permanent marker around CD) causing failure in the hardware and return of product to the stores.

The fact that every DRM…microsoft, apple, and AACS encryption and others have been cracked is a real fear…its like leaving your keys in your car but the thieves have a crowbar and can break the window. You would be upset. Yes Silicon Valley and Redmond need better protection…but there needs to be a different approach.

Everyone in the studio is trying to protect their assets and their job. That is fair and honorable. The real issue here is consumer accessibility not DRM from a “lockdown” perspective.

if we as a consumer are able to get our media for a small fee and watch it whenever, wherever, and forever if we buy it, then we use DRM to protect our rights as a consumer and provide accountability to the Content Providers and Subscriber Networks.

We need to look at DRM as a form of accountability and tracking. Not as a “lockdown” and/or “Big Brother” mentality.

Shalkar says:

My Opinion is:

Well, as far as DRM stuff is concerned, it actually encourages me to download the stuff! Not that I bother with movies as unless I’m getting a DVD copy at an extremely slow speed(due to my DSL speed connection), it’s usually such a horrible quality it’s not woth watching.

Maybe when they see how great Steve Jobs’ plan works out, they’ll say, “Okay we give in to you!”, and we can all get on with our lives being just a little better.

What the people striving for that so called “Draconian” type of control over their media, whether it be music/movies/whatever, want is that everybody buys their very own copy. Don’t bring it to your friends house, just have them buy a copy if you can’t have them come over and watch it. The thing is, nothing is 100% secure! It’s just not possible when you’re talking about something like media.

They need to make it that you can buy a DVD for like $5. At least until HD-DVD or Blu-Ray have won the war and then make sure those are only $10 per a movie. This way, people won’t care that they could waste their time downloading it for free or just buy it, they’d just buy it. Unless the movie sucks like most of the garbage they put out, because they’re more worried about how many movies they can churn out and not their actual quality. That’s another arguement though. 😛

So what I am saying is this: Get rid of DRM and the like alllllllll together! Make the media cheap, and people will buy it in masses because it is cheap! The savy consumer will most likely go with the “try before you buy” method of downloading it for free somewhere and then buying the actual movie. If they could hurry up with that Internet 2 thingy, then they could offer downloads of the movies for $7 since you’re not getting the box art, box and pamphlet stuff. So essentially everybody would most likely just download their movies. 😀

ScytheNoire (profile) says:


what the F are they smoking. i currently avoid things like legit online downloads, especially from Apple, because their DRM is too draconian. i avoid DRM content like the plague it is. they think it’s too light?? are they on crack? it’s currently too strict and way too limiting, not to mention misfunctions and breaks all the time.

DRM doesn’t work. they need to just give up on it and adapt a new distribution model that does work. of course, i don’t think they’ll ever figure this out, the RIAA and MPAA will go out of business before they figure this out, so it seems. they are fighting a losing battle.

this really comes down to a battle against freedom. the RIAA and MPAA want to take away our freedom, and the public is fighting against it. indeed, the biggest cause of the growth of Peer-2-Peer are the RIAA and MPAA themselves. not only that, but they have been great for advertising P2P programs like Kazaa, eDonkey, BitTorrent, and The Pirate Bay. i’ve had family members, who knew nothing about P2P, ask me about it after seeing something about it because of RIAA and MPAA. they learnt about P2P from the RIAA and MPAA. idiots corporate mafia’s.

Paul says:

So here we go...no purchases for me...

I wish the studios would look at what happened to the music industry a bit closer. My personal view – I don’t use iTunes. I’d like to buy song through iTunes, but the fact I own a non-Apple MP3 player, and try to use Linux as much as possible preculde me from buying. I buy from eMusic as much as possible, but if the CD’s too expensive or too hard to get hold of, yep I’ll go to the illegal routes.

It’s the same with movies. DVD restrictions such as CSS and region coding are annoying but easily circumvented. I won’t upgrade to HD-DVD or Blu-Ray unless the copy-protection and region coding are circumvented for the same reasons – I can’t guarantee they’ll work on the equipment I choose to use, so won’t buy them.

For downloads, I’d love it if there was an site where decent quality downloads are available that would work on a Mac, Windows, Linux or any other system. I won’t buy a download if it won’t work in Linux or allow me to copy to my DVD player.

Since they don’t want that, sorry guys, you’ve lost my money. I buy at least as many DVDs through eBay (where the studios don’t get me cash) as I do new, and I buy a lot more DVDs than movies I watch at the cinema.

So, congratualtions. Even discarding downloads, you encourage me to keep buying my movies in a way that stops you getting profit. As mentioned many times, release movies in a format easily transferrable to DVD, that plays in the systems that the customer prefers to use, and you get the cash. Make it too difficult, people either don’t bother, or pirate. If your next annual results show a loss, you only have yourself to blame.

Boris Jacobsen says:


We NEED stronger DRM because all the people out there in CONSUMERVILLE are NASTY and HORRIBLE and all they want to do is rip us off and we are but poor humble billionaire studios and the SCUM out there without two cents to rub together in order to keep warm might RIP US OFF by LENDING A FRIEND their $30 DVD. So we must make sure every DVD sold can only be played on one DVD player. And we must make sure the poor remain poor. And we must insist that anyone who dared watch our films out of copyright be imprisoned and heavily fined. Because otherwise we might go bust, given that we’re losing crap loads of money because we insist on sticking to our 1980s business plan, even though the world has changed. Instead of allowing people to pay a few dollars for a download, we must make sure downloads are payable only by criminal record.

JoJo says:

Free Market

If people would stop supporting the industry then the Free Market would take over and give them a spanking. Right now we are being price gouged without a doubt and thus alternative means are coming up such as second hand music and DVDs or free downloads.

The industry needs to come to terms that these are reactions to their price gouging and control issues and consumers need to fully stop supporting them until the smoke can clear.

Chris Haines says:

No matter what your point of view, it is hard to dispute the idea that more restrictive DRM, the more likely piracy is to flourish. DRM costs money, which is passed on to consumers. The higher the consumer price, the more likely someone is to download for free.

This happened with music and the reluctance of studios to sell tracks for $1 online lead to rampant file sharing. Once they finally allowed it, online sales took off. It’s a new medium and one they don’t understand, but if they don’t embrace it, then they cannot control the outcome at all.

I’m just being a realist here, not suggesting that piracy is right. That said, I would feel more empathy towards the studios if their exectutives and actors weren’t all driving fancy European cars and living in mansions. Somehow, I really don’t have much of a problem if people take money out of their deep pockets.

al says:

I’m sorry, but the only reason they, they being the movie companies, the RIAA, Microsoft, and such companies, came up with the drm is because thier not making enough money. And its not so much that their not making enough money, its that thier not making as much as they think they could be making. You’ve got to figure that the ppl that came up with the DRM are just a bunch of businessmen that are looking at their year end figures and saying to each other “How can we make more money then last year?” So they want to make it so that every new format or medium we want to keep our movies on, we have to pay them for every copy we have. Now I’m sorry, once I’ve spent my hard earned on a copy of a movie, why should i have to pay for another copy of the same movie just so that some businessman can look at his year end report and say, “we did better this year now how can we squeeze some more money out of these suckers”
And you can’t say that they need that money to produce good movies. some of the best films are given next to no budget at all. movies are supposed to be an art form, not a money making schiem, same thing with music. they wouldn’t need as much money if they didnt have the money to throw around. and don’t get me started on Microsoft. They took a big math equation and said no one but them could use it.

Jake Speed says:

Format Change

Why do the Studios want stronger DRM? Because they make money off of format changes!

The music industry used to LIVE off of format changes. Selling the same license in different formats – LP to Tape to CD. They thought SACD was going to be the next format change and they were surprised in the consumer rejection (as SACD had DRM in that Digital Outs were forbidden) and that consumers chose to modify the format on their own – to MP3. A format the industry could not control.

The reason the music industry is “suffering” is because they actually have to create NEW content worth buying to make a profit. The old catalogs are not as valuable.

The movie industry is SCARED to DEATH of a similar scenario. They believe they can stop it with laws. However, the ability to modify format is now embedded in the consumer mindset. They need to give the customer what he wants – a single license for all formats – and create a price point to satisfy their industry and the market.

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