Sony DRM Making DVDs Not Work In Many DVD Players?

from the lessons-not-learned dept

Over the weekend, Slashdot pointed to various reports suggesting that the new DRM used on certain Sony DVDs means those DVDs no longer play on certain DVD players. If true (and there appears to be many people who have experienced the problem) it would suggest that Sony still hasn’t quite figured out from previous experience that DRM is a huge market killer for them. It is taking away value from their products while doing absolutely nothing to add value to their product. This should be obvious to just about anyone — but it appears that it still hasn’t permeated the brains of entertainment industry execs. It would be nice if a Sony exec (from any branch of the company) could explain how DRM benefits customers, rather than pisses them off. Update: It appears that Sony has now said it’s fixing the problem with the DRM it’s using.

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Comments on “Sony DRM Making DVDs Not Work In Many DVD Players?”

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zcat says:

the funny part..

Big Champagne said a long time ago that basically ALL content shows up on p2p networks about three minutes after it goes on sale. There was no measurable difference between freely copyable content, and content that is only available in copy-protected formats. Copy protection doesn’t stop piracy, it doesn’t even slow piracy down by any measurable amount. Not even by a few more minutes!!

claire rand (user link) says:

if it doesn’t work take the flipping thing back, and make a fuss when the shop is busy about defective goods. if that fails go to trading standards (uk) ‘defective goods’ not working as advertised, the fact its a result of some thing done deliberatly…

done this once or twice with audio cds that don’t like newer players, tro try and stop computers playing them i suppose.

ps2 is the worst for not playing dvds.. the solution? stick em in the laptop and rip em so i can watch the things.

now if a cd lacks the ‘compact disc digital audio’ logo i don’t buy, ditto anything that looks like it will cause trouble, avoid and find it elsewhere.

at some point thios rubbish will go away, give it a few more years, maybe when bluray & hd-dvd are cracked completly and players are availible for next tonothing that play the cracked discs they will give up. not holding y breath

Vincent Clement (profile) says:

Re: Re: UK version ok?

I’ve encountered a few DVDs that refused to play or pause/skip in 5 different DVD players (two standalone, a PS2, and internal DVD reader and an external DVD writer). Fortunately, I have the right software and was able to rip a copy (sans FBI warning, copyright warning and all previews). Exactly why should customers hand money over to these companies for defective products?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Best salesman, ever

Particularly for non-interactive media. If I can see a movie, I can copy it. If I can hear a song, I can copy it. There is no way to prevent the copying of these things without also preventing their intended use.

Hell the way people are posting here they have to copy it then listen/watch it. Funny that people have to buy media, copy it, and then watch it.

And about that whole “intended use” thing. Sony’s solution about that seems to be to redfine “intended use”.

Overcast says:

The tougher DRM gets for LEGITIMATE customers, the more apt those legit customers are to start looking on the web.

You know what I’d would do, if I bought a DVD that wouldn’t play on my DVD player? Well – since I bought the movie… I’d go find it on Torret DL the damn thing and burn it to a DVD. Toss the original on the shelf and watch the movie.

Now… on the next purchase, I might start to wonder if it’s really worth buying it.

Sony’s trying to sell products that are broken~~
To Customers that are paying CASH
The ripped movie’s already on the web, I’m sure.

So who are they hurting?

The customer who pays – just like with their audio CD’s installing rootkits.

It took me 2 hours of company time to clean that up off a user’s PC. Our business thanks Sony for the time they have waisted. Had the user just been playing MP3’s and not a purchased CD, that would have never happened.

No wonder people just want to download crap, for years and years they have gouged us on price, now they are twisting the knife because they are losing grip.

Danny says:

It’s not that they don’t care about the customer…it’s a business necessity. If they just stopped worrying about piracy due to the amounts of people who can bitch and complain about it constantly, or the amounts of people who can crack them or whatever, then that would mean in some way or another that they wouldn’t care if you ripped or pirated the product. This is a no no…They have to to this bullshit because of the high amount of piracy that is around already. If they did nothing, then in hindsight, they would seem as a company who did nothing to “try” and save their assets. So in a sense, all those who bitch and complain about them are doing so for reasons that hold no weight…these are just the repercussions…

Former Sony Fanboy says:

I was a Fanboy, I admit. Loved my PS1, bought a PS2, and was working in a Video game store when the PS2s started getting disc read errors. After talking to many Sony reps over the phone to help customers, my image of Sony was tainted because they claimed there was nothing wrong with the PS2s. Bullshit. We would replace 10-12 PS2’s a week in that store. My Sony Viao laptop stopped working on my twice, and still was randomly crashing. Overheat issues – the next model they built had extra vents in the bottom and sides. But my POS Viao, they wouldn’t do anything about…Dell batteries made by Sony that could explode, PS3 dissapoints, and my copy of Stranger than Fiction that wont work in my Dell computer, Xbox 360, or my Samsung DVD player.

It’s been 5 years (other than the media – Movie Music etc.) I have given up on Sony…now I’m done with Movies…what a complete waste of money all the way around. How this friggin company is still afloat is beyond me. Lets all hope that Blu-Ray finishes them off

Anonymous Coward says:

How to Copy on Windows PCs...

I had a copy of Casino Royale I wanted to back up, and it was impossible to back it up with the standard tools.

Basically, here’s the recipe:

* Download the latest copy of RPC1 firmware from for your drive if you’re not utterly paranoid about your warranty and want a faster rip with region locking disabled on your drive
* One copy of DVD Decrypter, v3.5.4.0, installed; then
* One copy of DVD Shrink, v3.2.0.15, installed; then
* One copy of RipIt4Me, v1.7.1.0, installed

(for all the above programs, you may have to search on Google for their locations)


* Run RipIt4Me
* Configure RipIt4Me to find both DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink in your local install directories
* Click on “1-Click Mode”
* Select whether you want whole DVD, Movie + title, Movie only, etc.
* Leave all other settings alone and click “Next >>”
* Wait for the dialog to get to DVD Shrink to come up, then use DVD Shrink as usual

Now you can copy all of this DRM-laden crap. Be warned – these DRM-laden POSes take a lot longer than standard DVDs.

Gamer says:

What we tend to forget is that we are only buying the right to use a product, not buying the product itself. Microsoft figured this out along time ago, and quite frankly I’m surprised that it’s taken Sony so long to figure this out, Even Game companies have figured it out, mostly. Offering free upgrades, demos, and even no unwanted software protection, allowing for mods, hacks, and fine tuning. now if only certain other companies and industries would figure this out. But then again, there would be less for techdirt to operate on.

Wyndle says:

And that's why...

Well, if these disks don’t work, I guess they are secure. Hmmm, I guess they accomplished something.

Just a few posts up are explicit instructions on how to rip DVDs with the newest DRM, so the ONLY people suffering are the paying customers.

But if we’re buying the right to use something, doesn’t that mean we should be able to actually use it?

Yes, you should be able to use it. When the DVD standards were released all DVDs were meant to be playable under those standards. These are the types of situations that class action lawsuits are meant for. In this case, the class would be anyone who bought a DVD under good faith that it would work with any DVD playing device without extra input or cost.

Sony is only slipping the noose tight before the chair is kicked out from under them, and I can’t wait for the ripple effect to cause a paradigm shift in the entertainment industry.

Vincent Clement says:

Copy Protection is Stupid.

Exactly what does copy protection do for Sony or any media company? It seems to only frustrate the legitimate paying customer. Hackers laugh at copy protection. Exactly how does copy protection add value to the end customer? Oh, wait, it doesn’t.

With the right software I can rip just about any DVD out there. I have backed up every one of my kids DVDs and no longer worry about the original DVD becoming an expensive coaster or the movie skipping/pausing. I exclude the previews and the wonderful Interpol/FBI and copyright warnings (that’s an excellent way to treat the paying customer) – the movie starts up right away.

I then convert them via AutoGK and now have 5 or more movies on a single DVD, eliminating the need to switch DVDs in my kid’s portable players and making long trips in the car a wonderful experience. However, the MPAA and the media companies would rather treat me as a criminal for making copies of the DVD I paid for. Guess I’ll be making some trips to the local library.

susanl says:

Sony DVD won't play on my DVD player

I have gone through great pains not to support pirated movies and I have a hell of a DVD collection with over 600 titles. Now Sony is restricting my purchases by telling me I can’t play their DVD’s on a DVD recorder because I might pirate the bloody movies. NO! I will now go to great pain NOT TO PURCHASE SONY MOVIES! Anyone want my copy of Persuit of Happiness. I obviously won’t be finding happiness with any more Sony movies. Honesty is obviously not rewarded!

susanl says:

Sony DVD won't play on my DVD player

DRM only promotes pirating. The obviously honest people in this forum deserve better. DRM will, if it hasn’t already, be broken. How about giving us honest people a break. Through in extra promotional goods like posters or items of set deck or copies of scripts for buying the real deal. Don’t run me over because you THINK I might rip you off. Spend more time on CAM’s and TELEsyncs.

Mike says:

DRM fix & complicated (for some)

I may have a solution (of sorts) to some of these DRM Problems or at least what I have done to rid myself of these SONY DRM issues.

First let me say, If you have a store bought SONY product (DVD) in this case, DO NOT, REPEAT!!! DO NOT put that DVD and allow it to play in your System (Meaning your PC). Once on your system, the DRM embedds itself.

Here’s how I get around it (Keep in mind) I know this solution may not apply to everyone partly because it involves a combination of things but it may spark some interest or another idea other then mine.

I have a SONY PCV-RZ24G system that allows both input for S-Video and, Standard RCA jacks to be brought in from a VCR or, DVD. (I don’t like “ripping software” myself so what I do is NASTY yet, clever but, LEGAL!”)

Having some “spare” Hardware like 2 VCR’s, and an Extra DVD player, I put in my DVD (any) in my “stand alone” DVD player, Jack that over to my VCR (ANT-IN) of VCR#1, Take a Standard “Rabbit Ears” antenna and place that to my ANT-OUT, Using a SECOND VCR and set to “AIR” I use another Set of Rabbit Ears on VCR#2 placed in that one’s “ANT-IN”. I tune VCR2 to Pick up the now “broadcasting” from VCR#1 (or the DVD movie), I then place RCA Jacks from VCR #2 over to my PC and can record incoming Video as a MPEG Movie. I then Burn that MPEG to a DVD.

Laugh if you want but, it works. The SONY DVD never hits my PC and, the Broadcasting part is just “RF” thus, no DRM

Of course, I don’t expect my idea to draw any great applause but, it does work and while it sounds complicated its really not. Your just going from the DVD to VC1 over the “air” to VCR2 then to your PC. Hey I didn’t invent it, I only discovered a flaw with the DRM and took advantage of some “RF” Properties


KT (profile) says:

My Sony bought DVD's still won't work in my PC

When I buy DVD’s I now look to see if they are Sony ones. If they are I won’t buy them anymore. I have had this problem for years, many computers, different’ DVD players in my computers but Sony always has an issue. Windows XP, Windows 7 .. does not matter. I can however play them on my Sony DVD player hooked to my TV. Seems Sony only likes to play well with Sony. Well this will NOT make me run out and buy Sony. Screw that. They just lose customers. We are not made of money..

KT (profile) says:

And that's why...

Yeah I wish I could return this Sony DVD I bought … what a huge waste of money .. can’t play it even though I bought it .. can’t return it because I opened it to play the damn thing… because they can’t prove I didn’t burn a copy before returning it. How can I copy it if I can’t even play it? This only tortures those who don’t know how to hack and burn … ๐Ÿ™ It ONLY punishes the HONEST people .. and makes them start to side with all those who burn. Heck even my 62 year old mother is no longer against Burning..

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