Judge Says No Antitrust Violation In Hollywood Killing RealDVD

from the it's-just-a-mad-power-grab-by-paranoid-delusionals dept

In the ongoing saga of Hollywood's bizarre and self-defeating attack on RealNetworks for its RealDVD offering, a judge has dismissed Real's countersuit claiming antitrust violations by the Hollywood studios in effectively creating a cartel that controls the encryption on DVDs and refusing to license it to Real for the purpose of its DVD backup solution. The court basically said that there is no harm to Real caused by any actions of the Hollywood studios, because the real "harm" is in the fact that it created an infringing product in RealDVD.

This reasoning isn't surprising given the earlier rulings in this case, but is no less ridiculous when looked at in context (and with any bit of common sense). Remember, the product in question does not allow for anyone to make a bunch of copies and pass them along. It allows you to make a single backup copy for personal use -- a use that has been found to be perfectly fair use for software and music. It makes little sense that the law did not intend for movies to be backed up in this manner as well. The only reason this is stopped is because of the bogus DRM that the studios put on DVDs, known as CSS. This has been widely broken and does absolutely nothing whatsoever to stop copying of DVDs. The only thing that CSS serves to do these days is act as a tool for the Hollywood studios to team up to prevent products like RealDVD, because they can use the DMCA's anti-circumvention rule to claim that products like that circumvent the broken DRM they use. And, even if it's for a legal backup that can't be copied again (i.e., like RealDVD, it puts new DRM on top of it), suddenly it's "infringing" thanks to the DRM. In other words, the only purpose CSS serves is for the Hollywood studios to have full veto control over any software product that wants to be marketed legitimately, rather than underground. Under almost any definition of antitrust, it's difficult to see why this is not an antitrust violation. It's the major companies in a market, putting in place a tool whose sole purpose is to block others from offering up products.

Of course, the whole lawsuit and this whole charade is incredibly self-defeating for the studios anyway. Because now, instead of having a product on the market that limits what kind of copies people can make, instead, people who want to back up their DVDs simply get one of the long list of underground products out there that will let you rip your DVDs with no limitations whatsoever. It's simply stunning that the studios think it makes sense to drive users to such a solution. The only possible way it makes sense is if you put on your "studio thinking cap" and realize that the studios, in their infinite wisdom, think that they can ship these special -- much more expensive -- dual layered DVDs that have a DRM'd-up digital copy included. But, again, this should raise an antitrust flag, in that the studios are killing off the RealDVD product to try to protect their own sales of these DVDs with the silly Digital Copy technology. But, instead, many users are simply using the underground technology that doesn't cost them anything and gives them much more value.


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  1.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 5:57am

    even if it's for a legal backup that can't be copied again (i.e., like RealDVD, it puts new DRM on top of it), suddenly it's "infringing" thanks to the DRM.

    Mike, you don't think for a second that the RealDVD DRM would be easily enough undone, perhaps by RealRealDVD or similar?

    DRM is a meanginless concept if they methods and software is made available to anyone and everyone. Real's attempt to get a license for DVD DRM would in turn imply that anyone wanting to get a license to underdo Real's DRM could do so. That would just be creating a simple (and apparently legal) way to make as many copies of a product as you like.

    Anti-trust would only apply if Real was stopped from using it's own DRM to circulate DVDs, which is not the case. There is no basis for assuming that a DRM should be exposed and the methods to disable it given away to anyone.

    many users are simply using the underground technology that doesn't cost them anything and gives them much more value

    Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy? How many of them do you think are creating huge backup libraries of all of their content?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Re:

    Thank you for explaining why Hollywood is stupid, as the original DRM doesn't work either.

     

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    zaven (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    Re:

    "Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy? How many of them do you think are creating huge backup libraries of all of their content?"

    Well, I'm one user that does this. I backup all my movies for the sole purpose of protecting my investment.

     

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  4.  
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    Killer_Tofu, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    Re: The-Anti-Mike

    DRM is meaningless period. As was stated, and has been many times, there is no DRM that has not been broken.
    On top of that, the idea that you can stop any of us from doing something we want with something we purchased just makes you an asshole. We bought it, and it is ours. We will do with it what we please.
    If we want to stream it from a computer to the TV, we will. And only those who I and others like me have not informed of the better methods to do this will give you a dime extra to do something they should be able to in the first place.

    Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy?
    As I said, there are lots of good reasons to do so that the stupid companies who publish the DVDs seem to think we should pay extra for. They are just greedy assholes trying to limit what we have a right to do. We already paid, they need to back off after that.

    How many of them do you think are creating huge backup libraries of all of their content?
    There is a lot more to it than just making a backup copy. Streaming, porting to another device, etc. This is why DRM is Dumb Restricted Media. Anything I ever get will be freed. Set our culture free.

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    Amazing!! Igtor, I see you've begun spouting semi-rational thoughts again. Are you feeling ok?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    @The Anti-Mike,

    "DRM is a meanginless concept if they methods and software is made available to anyone and everyone."

    Indeed it is. But the algorithms necessary to implement a CSS-decoder are so widely spread that any programmer that wants to implement it can do so (the source code to deCSS would be sufficient). Stopping Real from selling a backup-solution won't make a difference one way or the other.

    "Real's attempt to get a license for DVD DRM would in turn imply that anyone wanting to get a license to underdo Real's DRM could do so."

    Not necessarily. CSS is a must-have for encrypted-playback, whether for a stand-alone player or DVD-playback on a computer. Therefore, some way of getting a license need to exist.

    From what I can gather, RealDVD copies are meant to be played from the harddrive using Real's software. Therefore, there's no real need for Real to offer up their DRM for licensing. Of course, someone could crack it anyway but that's hardly going to make more unauthorized movies being shared since there's no shortage of those in the first place.

    "Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy?"

    Anyone who has ever had a bought DVD being so scratched that it's unplayable would likely want to prevent that from happening again. Especially if you have kids.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    "That would just be creating a simple (and apparently legal) way to make as many copies of a product as you like."

    Like you already can here

    http://www.slysoft.com/en/

    thanks to the WTO ruling against the US companies in Antigua can get away with anything they want....


    (apparently Hollywood uses these products itself when it finds that it has accidentally "locked itself out of it's own house").

    "Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy? How many of them do you think are creating huge backup libraries of all of their content?"

    If you want to take a DVD for the kids to watch in the back of the car there is a high probability that it gets trashed if left around - so a backup is handy precaution.

     

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    jeadly (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    DMCA and DRM law leads me to imagine a word where mattress companies actually passed [paid for] a federal statute that prohibits even the primary consumer from removing tags from their products. Then they plaster uncomfortable tags all over one side so their customers can't flip the mattress over without removing the otherwise innocuous addition that they didn't want on their purchase to begin with.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    DRM is a meanginless concept if they methods and software is made available to anyone and everyone.

    and it will be ineffective if the methods and software is NOT made available to anyone and everyone.

    Ever heard of Kerchoff's principle?

    The difficulty for DRM is that it attempts to solve a problem that cryptographers KNOW to be insoluble and only fools will persevere with.

    Your sentence was fine if you stopped at word #5.

     

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    Simon, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy?

    My kids DVD and BluRays get ripped to a NAS server and the discs returned to their cases and safely stored on the shelf. Any one of the seven devices connected to my network can access them in seconds. I don't bother backing up the data NAS because if a hard-drive dies, I can simply re-rip the movies. This is a inherent feature of digital files, and attempting to artificially restrict this is ridiculous.

     

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    Another AC, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    Re:

    To dispute the usefulness of backing up (Expensive) media that is easily scratched or broken basicaly negates anything useful that you may have said otherwise in the post.

    If they want to charge 20-30 bucks for this stuff they should allow it to be backed up. This is the SOLE reason that I rent instead of buy. If the kids really like a movie they can just re-add it to their Netflix queue.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Re:

    I think you are chasing a little jackalope called "100% perfect compliance". You will never actually catch him, but some people talk about him in mythical terms.

    But the algorithms necessary to implement a CSS-decoder are so widely spread that any programmer that wants to implement it can do so (the source code to deCSS would be sufficient). Stopping Real from selling a backup-solution won't make a difference one way or the other.

    The vast majority of consumers are not experienced computer programmers capable of handling higher level languages. For the small percentage that can write it for themselves, well, more power to them. The point of DRM (or the lock on your door or the alarm on your car) isn't to 100% stop all illegal activity, but rather to stop the less determined from doing what they want.

    The logic offered here is similar to saying that we should leave our cars unlocked with the keys in the ignition, because some people can steal a car without them - so why bother locking the car? I can make it pretty easily so that 99% of all people won't even consider stealing my car. In DRM terms, that would be beyond the perfect score.

    There is no way, no ability to stop very clever end users from finding and circumventing DRM at this point. Nobody is suggesting it is the perfect solution. But for most of the people, most of the time, it does what it is intended to do, protect the content creators rights while allowing the general public to enjoy the product.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    Infringing = competing.
    Nice.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    The vast majority of consumers are not experienced computer programmers capable of handling higher level languages. For the small percentage that can write it for themselves, well, more power to them. The point of DRM (or the lock on your door or the alarm on your car) isn't to 100% stop all illegal activity, but rather to stop the less determined from doing what they want.


    You've missed the point. It doesn't matter that the majority of people aren't software developers, it matters that developers already have the methods available to them to produce software that allows their users or customers to rip the DVD's regardless, which already widely exists and is widely used.


    The logic offered here is similar to saying that we should leave our cars unlocked with the keys in the ignition, because some people can steal a car without them - so why bother locking the car? I can make it pretty easily so that 99% of all people won't even consider stealing my car. In DRM terms, that would be beyond the perfect score.

    Only if it's already widely known precisely how to break the lock in an easy and uniform way with very easy tools that allow for that, and only if the morality of stealing a car is the same as backing up a DVD to your PC for convenience and "just in case" scenarios.

    There is no way, no ability to stop very clever end users from finding and circumventing DRM at this point. Nobody is suggesting it is the perfect solution. But for most of the people, most of the time, it does what it is intended to do, protect the content creators rights while allowing the general public to enjoy the product.

    Thankfully most users are clever, and regularly use software that circumvents the DVD DRM whether they realise it's supposed to be illegal or not. They do this precisely because DRM stops them from enjoying the product the way they want, whilst content producers feel secure in their non-working protection scheme.

     

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    Avatar28 (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:54am

    Re: Mattress Tags

    @ jeadly:
    First, what you are talking about hasn't the SLIGHTEST bit to do with DRM or the DMCA. Second, have you actually read the tags in question? They actually say "Not to be removed EXCEPT BY CONSUMER" (emphasis mine). The law isn't going to prevent you from taking the tag off a mattress you bought (it's not as if the mattress police are going to come banging on your door demanding to inspect your mattresses anyways). That comes down I bought it, I can do what I want with it.

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    All of the ones with young children who like watching DVDs and half a brain, for starters.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fecked up the formatting. Is there any chance for an edit comment feature?

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re:

    "The vast majority of consumers are not experienced computer programmers capable of handling higher level languages. For the small percentage that can write it for themselves, well, more power to them. The point of DRM (or the lock on your door or the alarm on your car) isn't to 100% stop all illegal activity"
    Nope - but anyone who has the technical competence to buy a track from iTunes can get AnyDVD+CloneDVD from Slysoft - its just a couple of clicks away.

    www.slysoft.com

    "stop the less determined from doing what they want."
    Otherwise described as "to keep honest people honest" which is just about the most insulting/patronising thing I have ever heard.

     

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  19.  
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    Avatar28 (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    DVDs are already dual-layer

    Mike, just want to point out an error in your article. You wrote "the studios, in their infinite wisdom, think that they can ship these special -- much more expensive -- dual layered DVDs that have a DRM'd-up digital copy included."

    DVDs have used dual-layer since the beginning. Most movies use both layers of the disc anyways. The digital copies are always on a second (or third) DVD included in the package. The DVD standard isn't really designed to allow mixed modes on a single disc. Second, the movies with digital copies included are not really any more expensive than their counterparts that don't include one. I haven't seen any movies that offer a stand-alone and one with a digital copy that are otherwise identical (I have seen a few deluxe editions that include the copy, but you're really paying extra for the deluxe edition there, not the digital copy) so it's hard to make an exact comparison. However, if you compare the price of recent release movies that include a digital copy against other recent releases that don't offer the option, they are basically the same.

    As a side note, the DVD standard offers several ways a DVD can be physically mastered.
    Single Side, Single layer - 4.7 GB
    Single Side, Double layer - 8.5 GB
    Double Side, Single layer - 9.4 GB
    Double Side, Double layer - 17 GB

    I suppose that a studio COULD use a double side, double layer disc to include the digital copy on the flip side of the movie, but I believe those discs are pretty expensive to make. Cheaper to just include a second disc in the package.

     

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  20.  
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    Steven (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re:

    Having DRM is like selling somebody a car and not giving them the key to the gas cap.

     

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  21.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    Re: DVDs are already dual-layer

    "Cheaper to just include a second disc in the package."

    Actually cheaper not to bother with DRM and just let the customer copy the original....

     

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  22.  
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    jeadly (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Mattress Tags

    Yeah, I know that's what they DO say. I was postulating what the situation would be like if there was a DMCA for mattress tags. Imagine how ridiculous it would be if Congress passed a law forbidding their removal; even if it was a simple and straightforward process that didn't harm the industry or consumer and would otherwise be a consumer right protected by law.

    Silly to say the least.

     

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  23.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: DVDs are already dual-layer

    That isn't supported by the evidence at hand.

    The extra disk is cheap, certainly not a bottom line breaker. Do you not think that the public considers getting two (or something three!) copies of a movie as a better deal?

    Most of the DRM detractors complain about not being able to play on more than one device or not being able to have a backup. This sort of thing addresses both issues, yet the whining goes on. Perhaps you would like the actors to make a personal appearance with each copy? Maybe they can play mini-putt with you.

     

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    Shawn, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    "Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy? How many of them do you think are creating huge backup libraries of all of their content?"

    I do this. Partly because I'm lazy. Why look through piles(pick your method of physical organization) of DVD to find what your looking for, when you can scroll through alpha/genre lists????

    Secondly because I WILL NOT PAY FOR THE SAME THING AGAIN! Ever see the warranty or gotcha's on disk replacement?
    I shred it/ rip it/ store it/ stream it. All it costs is my time and storage.

    If the studios did produce a product that did this I would still do it my way. I'm sure a lot of other households would eat it up if they made it easy & foolproof. I doubt that would be the case. Assuming from Hollywood's past, they would add "features" that would prohibit long term storage.
    My two cents.

     

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  25.  
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    Vincent Clement, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re:

    How many of them do you think are creating huge backup libraries of all of their content?

    Lots.

    Every time I buy a DVD I rip a copy to my hard drive and burn a copy without the extra stuff (including the FBI and Interpol warnings) and put the original away for safe keeping. That way I don't care if my kids get their fingerprints all over the DVD.

    Plenty of people have media centres and choose to copy their movies onto a hard drive for easy access.

    Plenty of people have problems playing their legally-purchased DVDs on legally-purchased equipment. So they rip and burn a copy without all the copy-protection and DRM so that they can watch their legally-purchased DVD on anything.

     

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  26.  
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    cc, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: DVDs are already dual-layer

    Why limit the number of copies I can make of MY media for MY personal use in the first place? Can you not see why a lot of people are annoyed by that? We're not talking about copying movies and putting them on the internet or burning copies and giving them to your neighbours.

    Also, if you give people a second DVD, they'll just give it away and *think* it's legal. That's a worse solution that just letting those who know how do what they like!

    Finally, the sarcasm is not appreciated by anyone, you tosser. If you don't like others being sarcastic against you, you should learn not to troll.

     

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    Modplan (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Why?

    The extra disk is cheap, certainly not a bottom line breaker. Do you not think that the public considers getting two (or something three!) copies of a movie as a better deal?


    Why would they when they already have the capability to produce copies easily at no extra cost and without scratching?

    There's no better deal when you already have what they're giving you, but now apparently it's "approved".

    The disc just adds extra expense, when they could decrease their cost by removing the DRM and the fees associated with licensing it and developing it into the hardware of DVD players.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 9:23am

    I don't see why anti-trust would ever apply to IP companies. I mean, all IP is effectively a government-granted monopoly on something. It would be inconsistent for the government to outlaw anti-competitive behavior in a market where it outlawed competition in the first place. If anti-trust law should kick in, in this case, it should kick in any time copyright is enforced...

     

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    tracker1 (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    I RIP DVDs for the same reason that I RIP mp3's, it's easier to access all my movies in a list on my media center, than it is to search through a book case of DVDs and insert the one I want to watch. Let alone the fact that if you have kids, they tend to leave discs laying around to get scratched up and become unusable.

    The existing DRM is broken, so stopping RealVD does what exactly?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re:

    The vast majority of consumers aren't going to buy/use RealDVD's product just to "pirate" DVDs. Again, by your own logic, there is then no problem with RealDVD, since it will stop the "majority of consumers" and since the technologically knowledgeable people will still be able to break all DRM anyway.

     

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  31.  
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    tracker1 (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re:

    "The point of DRM ... to stop the less determined from doing what they want."

    That is incredibly insightful. The problem is the market is determined by what people want, and what they want to do with their purchases. If you don't provide a solution, then others will create one.

     

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  32.  
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    Rekrul, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nope - but anyone who has the technical competence to buy a track from iTunes can get AnyDVD+CloneDVD from Slysoft - its just a couple of clicks away.

    Don't bet on it. The average user doesn't user doesn't even know what region codes are, let alone CSS, or what they'd need to bypass it.

     

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  33.  
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    Rekrul, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Not that I agree with this decision, but I can see what Hollywood is concerned about. They're not worried that people will find a way to copy the movies off the hard drive. They're worried that people will rent a ton of movies from Redbox for $1 each, or even from a video store, use RealDVD to copy them to the hard drive and then return them. Instead of buying a movie, they'll rent it once and have a permanent copy. It would also stop them from renting the same movie twice, which would reduce demand for rental copies if enough people did this.

    I'm well aware that there are a myriad of DVD ripping tools that can create an exact copy on a computer's hard drive or make a single video file out of the movie itself. However, these aren't "consumer level" level tools. Sure, they may be easy to use for someone who is competent with computers, but that leaves out about 90% of the computer owners today. Most people can't even find a file they've downloaded unless it's on the desktop. Forget about ripping a DVD to a directory on the drive, then directing the DVD player software there to play the files. Most people don't even know how to manually select the DVD drive, they just put the DVD in the drive and let Windows load the player software for them automatically. I know people who won't even install new programs themselves, they wait for an "expert" friend to do it for them because following the installer is too complicated for them.

    As for RealDVD; If I were the head of Real, once the decision was absolute and there was no legal possibility of selling it, I'd have the programmers strip out all references to Real and then "leak" it to the net as VirtualDVD or something similar.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Likely?

    I'd bet that Real was planning on charging for this program and the studios wanted a cut.

    They didn't get it, so they brought the hammer down on Real.

    It's the only thing that makes sense, since there are so many (more functional) DVD rippers out there. (Handbrake?) Why pick RealDVD, which cripples its copies and not go after all the others that don't?

     

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  35.  
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    AC, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    This is an excellent point that I think Mike makes over and over again. People are already making digital backups of their DVDs.

    The movie studios could make a fortune if they were to leverage their control over CSS into a legitimate product that people can use to backup their stuff. The fact that CSS is easy to break, and that MANY people already do it to create digital copies *should* be incentive enough to draw revenue from licensing to companies like REAL. People are already doing it; why are they so dead set against adapting?

     

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  36.  
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    :), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    The industry is forced to bother.

    Well even if they were not greedy copyright has to be asserted and so they have to have some way to say they at least are trying to stand in court.

    But really a better solution for everybody is to stop buying and financing those people, for me it already got to the point where I don't feel like buying anything from those people.

    If it doesn't have a GPL license that give me the right to copy, share or modify that for my personal use I don't get near it.

    Music is and books have lots of alternatives. Video not so much at the moment but give it time and it will happen the worst scenario for the industry is when people realize that is cheaper and convenient just to let go of old habits and change how they consume things.

    I'm not paying 30 bucks or $60 to "rent" anything from the media companies, people doing it are crazy in my opinion.

    Just the other day I download "The Wasp Woman" and I'm editing it and putting some modern special effects also I'm working on my own version of the "The Art Of War" with maps nice arrows, virtual illustrations of the battlefields and tactics depicted in the book and I'm using pandas as characters.

    Why would I rent something that doesn't give me nothing?

    No I pass that change until they start putting some liberal licenses I'm not renting(buying) anything from those people they can fight all they want and win and I still won't expend money on their stuff and that is because I'm disgusted with how they are behaving and will not take part on it or have anything to do with those people.

    Between lolcats and the industry, I take the lolcats every time.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs are already dual-layer

    Also, if you give people a second DVD, they'll just give it away and *think* it's legal. That's a worse solution that just letting those who know how do what they like!

    if they gave away a single copy, that was never again copied, it would be much less than the effects of a someone file sharing. File sharing creates an infinite number of copies, over an infinite amount of time going forward.

    It's not quite the same thing, is it?

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Why?

    The disc just adds extra expense, when they could decrease their cost by removing the DRM and the fees associated with licensing it and developing it into the hardware of DVD players.

    Risk / reward. Removing DRM risks wider piracy, reward is a few whiners made happier. It's not hard to see the right choice from where they sit.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Why?

    Facts not in evidence. DRM has done nothing to stop, or even slow, piracy. We've got a lot of bonfires going with these strawmen of your's.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    AC, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re:

    "Not that I agree with this decision, but I can see what Hollywood is concerned about. They're not worried that people will find a way to copy the movies off the hard drive. They're worried that people will rent a ton of movies from Redbox for $1 each, or even from a video store, use RealDVD to copy them to the hard drive and then return them. Instead of buying a movie, they'll rent it once and have a permanent copy. It would also stop them from renting the same movie twice, which would reduce demand for rental copies if enough people did this."

    Its call "Burn & Return" it's been around since CSS was cracked in the 90's

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Why?

    Hint: The "whiners" are customers who want to buy your product. No pirate whines about DRM that is routinely broken in a few minutes.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Why?

    Removing DRM risks wider piracy

    You, Mr. Once-it's-out-there-it's-infinite, are saying that removing DRM risks wider piracy? Once *one copy* leaks out then that's as wide as it gets. DRM *might* slow down piracy for a few days, but in this case the DRM has *already* been defeated.

    Might as well continue to lock your door after all your windows are removed.

    reward is a few whiners made happier

    As was already said, these "whiners" are the people who give them money. Removing the reasons to whine should be job one.

    It's not hard to see the right choice from where they sit.

    No, it's not. However, since they're doing the exact opposite of the right choice, it does make things confusing, now, doesn't it?.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." - Hollywood

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Gary, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    >>>>Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM on the products they buy?

    For control. I intensely dislike my time wasted with unskippable "content." Also, DVDs for little kids (like those who can't read) are authored incorrectly: These DVDs should play the damn movie when the disc is inserted into the player, not show FBI warnings and a menu they can't read.

    I don't want my kid watching advertisements for other videos unless I allow it--especially since I have DVDs for kids that advertise movies that are wholly inappropriate for them.

    It's not about "affordable" replacements--it's about control. Ripping the movie gives me the control I want. I purchased the content; I'll do with it as I wish, except engage in large-scale copyright infringement.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    But that's illegal!

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And it's illegal to download a copy of the key from the internet and use that key to open your gas cap.

    It's also illegal to rip off the gas cap. Or replace it with a functioning gas cap.

    Wow. Some laws are just dumb.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: DVDs are already dual-layer

    Why don't you ever apply the same rigid logic to your own writing?

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why?

    In TAM's world, everything is made of straw.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    like we care... The only reason it is illegal is because someone made it so without having all of the facts or common sense. Much like Prohibition in the 20s. A useless law that police were unable to enforce and rarely cared about.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    This one is stupid

    In this case, Hollywood is being really, really stupid. There are many good reasons for making a back-up copy, or a different format copy, of expensive purchased DVD video content. RealDVD is trying to offer a legitimate method for doing so that actually provides some restrictions to protect against copy abuses. By not working with Real to find a way to make this work, Hollywood is sending a message to it's customers that it doesn't really care about their needs. Even more stupid, by forcing customers to go underground for solutions to their reasonable needs, Hollywood is missing the chance to participate in and influence the solution.

    I'm dead against the belief of the entitlement society that it's ok to steal content, but that's not what this issue is about. It's about fair use of content you purchased and Hollywood is making a big mistake. SOME are starting to wake up because I notice that some Blue-Ray disks include a digital copy.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re:

    @The Anti-Mike,

    "The vast majority of consumers are not experienced computer programmers capable
    of handling higher level languages. For the small percentage that can write it
    for themselves, well, more power to them."

    Of course most can't do it themselves. However, some do. And when something is
    easily done for some, such as making software that enables copying of DVDs,
    the end-result is that inevitably software will turn up that does just that.

    "The point of DRM (or the lock on your
    door or the alarm on your car) isn't to 100% stop all illegal activity, but
    rather to stop the less determined from doing what they want."

    True, but in the case of DVDs the "barrier" is so low that it is practically
    non-existant.

    You basically only need to know three things:

    1. How to use Google to find what program you need.
    2. Know how to use Nero or a equivalent program.
    3. Know how to install a program in your operating system of choice.

    Barring RealDVD only removes point 1 from the equation. And for those who can't,
    or are too afraid to try, accomplish point 2 and 3 - well, RealDVD wouldn't make
    much of a difference for those would it?

    In other words, barring RealDVD from the market is akin to spitting in a volcano
    hoping
    it will stop it from erupting.

    "But for most of the people, most of the time, it does what it is
    intended to do, protect the content creators rights while allowing the general
    public to enjoy the product."

    Does it? I'm personally more inclined to view it as:

    Copy Protection: A clever method of preventing incompetent pirates from stealing
    software (or in this case, moviees) and legitimate
    customers from using it.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 5:53pm

    Duh... Video for your iPod.

    >> "Why do you think these users feel the need to break DRM
    >> on the products they buy? How many of them do you think
    >> are creating huge backup libraries of all of their
    >> content?"

    They did it for music.

    >
    > Well, I'm one user that does this. I backup all my movies > for the sole purpose of protecting my investment.
    >

    I use my DVD rips the same way many people use CD rips. With my DVD collection I have a virtual DVD jukebox that rivals iTunes in terms of breadth and depth. It's all very nifty and convenient and makes whatever content I do remarkably more valuable.

    Plus I can move any of my content to any portable device of my choosing. This is very handy for long car trips and long airplane flights.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re:

    > I don't bother backing up the data NAS because if a
    > hard-drive dies, I can simply re-rip the movies.

    On a large scale, this would be terribly inconvenient.

    OTOH, we are rapidly approaching drive sizes where even that is feasable. Already I have an online backup for about one fourth of my collection because I took one of my drives offline. (too many relocated blocks)

    Soon, it will be mundane for a full backup of one's video collection to fit in your back pocket.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: DVDs are already dual-layer

    What addresses both issues? Another copy of the movie with an even more egregious form of DRM on it? Clearly you have no clue what you're talking about here.

    That "digital copy" is also incompatable with a wide range of devices due to that DRM. For this reason, such "copies" are pretty much useless.

    Trading cartel DRM for monopoly DRM? Talk about stupid.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > Don't bet on it. The average user doesn't user doesn't
    > even know what region codes are, let alone CSS, or what
    > they'd need to bypass it.

    Oh, I dunno... perhaps some product that says "This copies DVDs!" on it. It's not rocket science. The marketing guys make it really easy. The consumer doesn't even have to be aware that there is even any sort of anti-copying mechanism in place.

    The programmers can even gut the options of the app itself (apple style) if they think that too many options will confuse the users.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:40am

    bull again

    But for most of the people, most of the time, it does what it is intended to do, protect the content creators rights while allowing the general public to enjoy the product.

    No, it's not but rather making those people to ask someone who already downloaded an unencumbered version from the internet how to do it themselves.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re:

    Hear hear.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Too bad laws were not driven that way. They are supposed to be, but they aren't

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Its call "Burn & Return" it's been around since CSS was cracked in the 90's

    Please re-read the second paragraph of my message...

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Chris Kirk, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Mattress Tags

    I think you took jeadly a bit seriously. He was describing an 'unrealistic' situation in an effort to highlight how stupid the DVD-DRM was (quite successfully)

     

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


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