Blu-Ray To Allow Users To Make 'Copies' -- With Lots Of Strings Attached

from the asterisk dept

"Beginning next year, studios and other content holders will be required to give consumers the ability to make one copy of any Blu-ray Disc they buy," says the article (via Engadget). Sounds great -- movie studios and others finally realizing that people should be able to freely back up DVDs they legitimately purchase. The devil, of course, is in the details. While discs will have to support this "managed copy" feature, it will require new hardware, and there's no mandate that DVD player manufacturers include support for it at all. The copy, as you'd expect, is all DRM'ed up, and in order to make the copy, the Blu-ray player will have to connect to an "authorization server". This is the sort of model that's caused lots of problems in the past, when companies decide to pull the plug on the servers, rendering the feature useless. But the biggest potential problem with the feature is that movie studios and others will be free to charge whatever they wish for it. That means this really isn't a backup or a copy at all, it's simply the distribution means for the latest incarnation of the entertainment industry's favorite business model: getting people to pay for the same content over and over. That's why the studios want to block things like Real DVD -- not because they'll increase piracy, but because they cut off the only business model the studios can see for digital content.

Filed Under: blu-ray, copies, drm, dvds


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  1. identicon
    Bettawrekonize, 15 Jun 2009 @ 6:00pm

    Re:

    "Without a real viable business model (and no, miniputt and t-shirts are NOT an option here), the content producers will quite simply leave the business."

    Please provide evidence that this will eliminate all content producers. And, "oh, there is one content producer that's not making it" doesn't cut it. Even before file sharing many content producers still didn't make it. Some musicians are big one day and their music gets old the next. People get tired of them. This has been happening long before music sharing. Peoples tastes change. What you need to prove is not anecdotal nonsense that one artist is having a hard time (for one thing that could be due to a number of factors; the economy, people are getting tired of his music, this happens without file sharing programs. One person is a big hit one day and forgotten the next only to be replaced by someone else. For another, who's to say that one artist represents the entire industry? Even if one artist does suffer as a result of file sharing that's not to say there aren't other artists replacing him).

    Now I am not here advocating downloading songs illegally. What I am saying is that artists should have the freedom to give their work away for free if they choose to (without having some unnecessary third party profit from it). They should have the freedom to allow others to copy it all they want if the artists choose to (again, without having some unnecessary third party profit from it). They should have the freedom to have their work played on radio (both broadcast and online) and television stations without these third parties being paid royalties if that's what the artist wants. They should have the right to have some restaurant play their music without paying for any license or without paying some third party royalties if that's what the artist wants. If the artist does want to charge for his music he absolutely has that right. If he wants to prevent his work from being played on radio (online and broadcast) and television stations or to prevent them from being played in restaurants without someone paying him royalties, then I'm fine with that. If he wants to hire a collection agency to go after pirates of his music, I'm even cool with that too. I have no problems with that. My point is if he doesn't want all that, if he doesn't want some unnecessary third party to profit from his work, he should have that option. That's ALL I'm saying.

    Perhaps he wants to work a deal with a restaurant where the restaurant pays him for a license to play his music without involving some unnecessary collection agency (of course he would have to pay the normal taxes on his profits, just like anyone else who buys anything). Maybe he's not happy if someone pirates his music but he wants to handle it himself, he doesn't want some collection agency to handle it. He wants to independently sue or hire his own lawyers. Or, if he wants to delegate the work to a collection agency, that's fine too. But what we don't need is for these collection agencies to lobby congress to pass laws to extort money away from artists against their will.

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