by Carlo Longino

Hollywood's DRM Obsession Continues To Hold It Back

from the or-how-to-hamper-your-business dept

In the fallout from the news that Warner Bros. plans to use BitTorrent to distribute movies, many people have noticed the shortcomings of the service that Mike pointed out, such as the fact that downloaded films can only be viewed on computers, and are (again) noting that the entertainment industries are taking a completely reactive strategy to digital technology. Their actions are predicated more on stopping the loss of sales from physical formats, than realizing they can actually grow their overall businesses by embracing technology, offering new services and innovating their business models. The BitTorrent plan might be a furtive first step down this path, but that idea is belied by the restrictions on the downloaded content. Tim Lee points to a post by our good friend Patrick Ross, where he says he won't use the new service because, like previous movie download offerings, the restrictions make it rather pointess. Ross rightly says that he should be able to move the content onto the device of his choice, like with music. Lee's response is also on the money: that the ease with which people can do this with music is because the CD predates DRM, and that had the music industry been able to control the licensing of necessary DRM technology -- like the movie industry has -- the rate of innovation would have slowed and the market would still be waiting on products that support new business models, like MP3 players. This is what's going on with movies, where, as Lee again says, Hollywood's stranglehold and obsession with stopping piracy at the expense of usability has prevented the advent of any decent (or successful) movie download services. Clearly Ross understands how using copy protection and DRM makes content less valuable, which is a little surprising coming from somebody who calls himself "a believer in DRM". He's also supported the idea that consumers can "vote with their wallets" when it comes to DRM -- just as he himself has done, meaning Warner Bros.' heavy restrictions have cost it a customer. This illustrates the folly of current entertainment thinking, and the industry's reliance on DRM: it would rather assuage its paranoia about potential losses to piracy, than deliver useful products that will grow its business.

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  • identicon
    Starky, 9 May 2006 @ 3:35pm

    I have a program to convert DVD's to Video iPod format, and recently noticed that they won't convert. Because of this, I had to resort to downloading the movies that I already paid for expecting to be able to convert them and use them how I want! Now I really have no reason to buy the DVD's anymore, since I can't use them how I want, and downloading is a better alternitive now.
    This is irony, my friends: In their attempts to stop downloads and increase DVD sales, they're doing the oppisite; Increasing downloads and decreasing DVD sales

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2006 @ 4:10pm

    agree with starky.. if they wont allow us to buy the movie and use it any way we want (which i would prefer to do, its less time consuming).. ill just rent and rip it.. then i can do whatever i want with it. The industry must have geniuses working for them

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nobody, 9 May 2006 @ 4:17pm

    I know it's illegal, but you can copy your DVDs to your computer using this program called DVD Decrypter. It removes any DRM and makes an iso file. Then you can try converting the iso to an iPod-friendly format.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2006 @ 4:18pm

    i doubt anything will change for a while.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    markbnj, 9 May 2006 @ 6:11pm

    MORE DRM, lawsuits, etc

    Check out link above. Groups are suing sony over denied royalties.

    ALSO be aware that there are currently 2 bills in congress attempting to amend/change the already PRO-industry
    dmca copyright act;;

    1) new laws:

    2) new RIAA/FCC board member:

    and 3: make sure to write to your congresspeople about this

    AND also write to them that you are upset that the President of the (once) united states is TAKING away the POWERS of the CONGRESS as stated in the CONSTITUTION...


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DRM blows, 9 May 2006 @ 7:13pm

      Re: MORE DRM, lawsuits, etc

      You know, I read some of your blog, and if you could separate the political angle from the digital freedom issues, I could side with you.

      Not to start an argument, but plenty of people on both sides of the fence hate DRM, and plenty of people on both sides are trying to expand it as well. Why fragment the pro-digital-freedom team with party affiliation crap?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stupidass News and Videos, 25 Oct 2006 @ 1:44pm

    H-Wood is really stupid. They need to market their videos without DRM. Fans first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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