The DVD Is Dying. Hollywood's Plan? Do Nothing And Cede Ground To File Sharing

from the there's-no-business-like-no-business dept

David Pogue, NY Times columnist and known copyright infringer, has a new post up over at the Scientific American discussing piracy; more specifically, Hollywood's insistence on driving people to piracy with its lack of digital offerings and a distribution system that depends heavily on artificial limitations.

The first issue plaguing Hollywood's thinking? The DVD is dead and no one in control has realized it. The future lies in streaming movies, not plastic discs. It took the recording industry several years to realize the fact that its customers were not nearly as attached to its physical products as it was. Add to that the fact that many people prize convenience over ownership and it's clear that trying to steer people toward purchasing all of their entertainment isn't the way to go.
Netflix's CEO says, “We expect DVD subscribers to decline steadily every quarter, forever.” The latest laptops don't even come with DVD slots. So where are film enthusiasts suppose to rent their flicks? Online, of course.

Streaming movies offers instant gratification: no waiting, no driving—plus great portability: you can watch on gadgets too small for a DVD drive, like phones, tablets and superthin laptops.
The demand is already there and, as the technology catches up, it will only increase. You can take your music anywhere but most DVDs are still relegated to DVD players. Yes, there are workarounds, but when consumers are looking for the least amount of friction, streaming a movie easily trumps burning off a copy or ripping it to the hard drive. If they can't get the films they want in the format they want, they'll either skip it entirely, find a "competing" provider or look for something else readily available through streaming services.

Streaming services or online rentals, if implemented correctly, would give the motion picture industry some steady, if not increasing income well into the future. But it's completely disinterested in implementing these services in a realistic fashion, instead choosing to double-up on artificial scarcity.
For all of the apparent convenience of renting a movie via the Web, there are a surprising number of drawbacks. For example, when you rent the digital version, you often have only 24 hours to finish watching it, which makes no sense. Do these companies really expect us to rent the same movie again tomorrow night if we can't finish it tonight? In the DVD days, a Blockbuster rental was three days. Why should online rentals be any different?
Yeah. Exactly. Why? Why 24 hours? Netflix, your main competition in this arena, will let you keep the DVD(s) all the way up until they actually shut down the DVD service, only this time for real. As for their streaming "rentals?" Whatever's available stays available for repeated viewings all the way up until it's yanked from the lineup, usually by one of you (points accusingly at the Motion Picture Industry).

Speaking of holes in the lineup, when are you (again with the pointing) going to stop doing this sort of thing?
[P]erhaps most important, there's the availability problem. New movies aren't available online until months after they are finished in the theaters, thanks to the “windowing” system—a long-established obligation that makes each movie available, say, first to hotels, then to pay-per-view systems, then to HBO and, only after that, to you for online rental.

Worse, some movies never become available. Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, A Beautiful Mind, Bridget Jones's Diary, Saving Private Ryan, Meet the Fockers, and so on, are not available to rent from the major online distributors.
How's that "plan" working out for you, Hollywood? Keeping those pirates at bay with your sometime/later/still later/possibly never windowing? To be honest, I don't think you really care. Once all the distribution lines have been wrung dry of any cash, it's time to retire back to the boardroom and blame filesharing for any numbers that seem slightly weak. Blame them if you must, but who's screwing who at this point?
Of the 10 most pirated movies of 2011, guess how many of them are available to rent online, as I write this in midsummer 2012? Zero. That's right: Hollywood is actually encouraging the very practice they claim to be fighting (with new laws, for example).
Look, I don't want to tell you how to do your jobs, but sweet something of somewhere, someone needs to be offering a little guidance. You don't offer rentals of movies people actually want. You do offer rentals of movies that everyone's sick of after their multiple appearances in various windows. Other movies you just flat out don't offer at all. And yet, it's piracy that's keeping you from "breaking even." I would assume someone has put a bit a thought into this self-inflicted predicament. Pogue finds something akin to an explanation browsing around Disney's website:
“Unfortunately, it is not possible to release or have all our titles in the market at once.” Oh, okay. So they're not available because they're not available.
"Not possible" being PR code for "not until we're absolutely forced to, but we will fight this every step of the way." But why all the fighting? It didn't work for the recording industry. It won't work for the movie industry. The television industry seems to have weathered the disruption slightly better, but still expends a lot of effort locking up currently running shows and shutting down live streams that would actually GAIN them additional viewers to sell to advertisers.

Pogue has appended a list entitled "5 Ways Hollywood Can Stop Digging Its Own Grave" to his post and they're all common sense (at least to the "layperson"). The largest Hollywood-wielded shovel should have disappeared long ago: the release window. Related: "When it's buyable, it should be rentable."

This is the way things work these days and it's not just something that went into effect over the last 72 hours. If pirates have your stuff several months before you're planning on releasing it to paying customers, how many paying customers do you expect to have left once you deign them worthy of throwing money at your product?

Final word from Pogue:
Listen up, Hollywood: Nobody ever went out of business offering a good product for sale at a reasonable price with an eye toward pleasing the customer. You should try it some time.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 5:31am

    Another thing I see in the future: Techdirt will still be posting these types of articles. If (and it's a big one) Hollywood should start putting newer releases online at a reasonable price, I'm sad to say I'll long be worm food before I see it with my own two eyes.

    But thankfully, I can rely on the fact TD will be posting why the next generation is still fighting for the option as piracy sites are taken down by their governments.

    Did you notice the plural?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 6:42am

    In before "But that's letting the pirates win!"

    (Also, we won a decade ago.)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      Don't forget the new crop of cronies who do nothing but troll, hoping to derail things and calling Mike et al names.

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.

      We're at the "fight you" part and have been there for a bit now. I wonder if they know what comes next?

       

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        DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        I think we're somewhere between the "fight you" and the "laugh at you" part.

        Look at it from Hollywood's point of view of the pirates:

        First they fight you
        Then they laugh at you
        Then they ignore you
        Then you lose

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:10am

    "Listen up, Hollywood: Nobody ever went out of business offering a good product for sale at a reasonable price with an eye toward pleasing the customer. You should try it some time."

    Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay, especially when the 5% who would pay just download it anyway and don't bother.

    Sorry, but they aren't offering any alternatives that make the money that DVDs make.

     

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      BeaverJuicer, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      But if no one is buying DVD's, how much money are they really making?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:23am

      Re:

      Ok, so, in a nutshell:

      People aren't buying DVDs anymore
      Reaction: Don't change anything because clearly anything but the Status Quo will fail.

      Thanks for demonstrating the Holywood modus operandi. You can meet us over here in the future once you are done being dragged her by reality.

       

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      mdk, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:29am

      Re:

      This shows such a lack of economic comprehension, while at the same time showing exactly why someone else is eating Hollywood's lunch...

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      "Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay, especially when the 5% who would pay just download it anyway and don't bother."

      I don't understand who you think you're hurting here. If you think the laughable 95% rate is true (hint: it's not), then by not providing other ways to get your content, what do you think you're doing? The "95%" are able to pirate all they want, the "5%" are going to buy no matter what you do.

      So instead of trying to change your business model to encourage the "95%" to purchase instead, you point at the 1% (note: no quotes) who are going to pirate no matter what you do, and say they represent anyone, so we're gonna sit here in a corner with our arms crossed, and hope everyone feels bad enough for us to do what we want? That's your business model now?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:31am

        Re: Re:

        er, "say they represent everyone"

         

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re:

        "So instead of trying to change your business model to encourage the "95%" to purchase"

        You don't get it - they won't purchase.

        You only have to read the rantings of people like PaulT here to get the drift. They say "I would buy it but it's not available in my market". But really, what he is saying is that "I would buy it, but it's not available in my market on the day it's released in theaters in another country, and not at a price I want to pay, like $1 or so".

        Then, by your logic, the movie companies change their entire way of working and toss away 90% of the their income to satisfy PaulT... what would he say?

        "I would buy it but it's not available on download with a super lossless video version with subtitles in Ukranian".

        Basically, a pirate is a pirate. Some of them try to justify their acts, but it comes to the same thing. They don't change, even when you make them happy.

        The only way to get money out of Paul? I suspect that setting up a fake file locker site like Megaupload and charging him a "membership fee" might be the only way to do it. He would be convinced he was sticking it to the man.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you have a poor grasp of how business works.

          You have to give people what they want. If you refuse, then you will, quite obviously, fail at your business. Business 101.

          Piracy is just a side-effect of costumers not being served right. If you serve them right, they will come back for more.

          Insisting on staying the course while blaming outside factors is unproductive and will quickly kill off whatever customer base you might have.

          Many businesses have already figured this out and have adjusted accordingly, with great success (see: Valve).

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/114391-Valves-Gabe-Newell-Says-Piracy-Is-a-Service-Problem

            "We think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem," he said. "If a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable."

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "You have to give people what they want. If you refuse, then you will, quite obviously, fail at your business. Business 101"

            You, quite obviously, never heard of AT&T or Verizon.

             

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          RD, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But really, what he is saying is that "I would buy it, but it's not available in my market on the day it's released in theaters in another country, and not at a price I want to pay, like $1 or so".

          $1 times 100 million worldwide sales would still be $100 million more than Big Media had before. Multiply times many many movies per year, and your lame attempt at taking a jab at your hated "pirates" (who are actually, in the end, consumers, every single one of them) falls apart.

           

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          techflaws (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But really, what he is saying is that "I would buy it, but it's not available in my market on the day it's released in theaters in another country, and not at a price I want to pay, like $1 or so".

          So, to make your point you're totally pulling something out of you behind that PaulT (who speaks for everyone, no?) never said nor meant? Yeah, that's convincing.

           

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          Ninja (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Basically, a pirate is a pirate. Some of them try to justify their acts, but it comes to the same thing. They don't change, even when you make them happy.


          I am a pirate. And I buy stuff. I know, I know it's very disturbing for your little petty head but try to cope with the pressure and see the light beyond your dark cave. Pirates are also buyers!

           

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          Anon, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The key here is that a more successful business model would be based on selling the highest quantity of all products total the highest price/purchase ratio. If you can sell 10 downloadable widgets at $10 each, 9 at $11, 8 at $12, and so on, if you are making great profits at $10, that's probably where you need to stay. It's not just about file sharing, it's about people not even consuming those products, period, or just using the ones that do offer reasonably priced/multiple avenues of delivery. Noone is saying cater to the extreme person who will never be happy.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What we have here is,... failure to communicate, and that's the way he likes it.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      Ah yes. I knew that was going to happen. One figure in one article will now be wielded by those trolling as pure fact from now on.

      "Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay, especially when the 5% who would pay just download it anyway and don't bother."

      You have no proof to support that 95% of people never pay, nor do you have proof that the 5% who do pay would just download it anyway.

      I mean, what you're doing with such stupid moves (as waiting years or never to release something) is basically trading today's physical dollars for tomorrow's possible pennies. And then bitching when come tomorrow people say, "Oh no, I'm good. You said I should just wait til you were ready to offer me your product, so I decided to use those pennies to get some bubble gum instead and enter a bubble gum bubble blowing contest with my friends. Thus providing for myself my own form of entertainment, which was quite fun actually."

      That's exactly what happens. People are forced to wait and so they turn to alternative forms of entertainment, which you have to compete with, and then you get upset that they aren't throwing their money at your when you decide to let them or that your revenues are floundering. Nope, can't be your own fault or more competition from other legitimate industries, has to be piracy. [shakes head in amusement]

      "Sorry, but they aren't offering any alternatives that make the money that DVDs make."

      Actually, they are. Digital downloads with extras. To that effect, I'll gladly pay for and have done so on numerous occasions for digital bundles of music albums that include extras mailed to me (ranging from t-shirts to posters to lighters, as random as that is, to shot glasses to key chains, to combinations of all that and then some). Yet, I won't bother to get the same album in CD format. Why is that? Because I want my music digitally and if you throw a few extras in then I've got even more reason to buy. Don't sell me any of it? Meh, you're loss. Not mine. I'll do without and give my money to someone else who is willing to offer me something I want.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:45am

        Re: Re:

        I should add, physical album prices are still relatively high. Averaging between $15-20. Yet, digital album prices are at tops around the $10 mark. For digital bundles (like the ones I mentioned above) prices vary, but the average I've paid seems to be between $20-30. And the higher end of the spectrum (depending on what's included) tops out at around $50 (but there are higher bundles that include literally everything but the kitchen sink).

        I'll gladly NOT give you $20 for just a cd.

        Make it digital (must be DRM free and I get to choose the format I receive it in, up to and including FLAC) and throw in a t-shirt and poster and I'll gladly part with $25 or even $30. If I know that money is going directly to the band I'll even put in more money (if allowable).

        Alkaline Trio is one band I know offers such bundles whenever they're new albums is being released and I've been buying them since they started doing so. (Helps that I'm a huge fan of the band. I even buy tickets to concerts I can't attend just to support the band. As long as the tickets are for "local" shows, as in within 4 hours drive, just in case I somehow can make it to the show.)

         

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        Sand_Storm, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Loss of interest

        Entertainment is a luxury item. Exorbitantly costly of both money and time. The studios have turned me off TV -- I haven't watched a program in years unless it is available through Netflix. And Netflix is getting boring with a gross excess of slasher and car chase movies. Have already dropped from 4 at a time to 3, and will go to 2 shortly.

        With the wretched fare that is being produced today, mostly remakes that only improve the eyecandy, there is little reason to watch much of anything. And I don't want to own a DVD of a movie because I never watch one more than once.

        The movie industry needs to make a better product, and make it more easily available, or it will go the way of the buggywhip industry.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:36pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't want any extras. They are so lame.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      Breaking News: Businesses can easily go broke!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:42am

      Re:

      See, that's your problem. You assume everyone's a pirate. Even the ones who legitimately purchase content have to be constantly scolded.

      It might surprise you, but if people find that a provided service is bad enough they'll eventually find alternatives.

       

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      Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      Troll/idiot I cannot decide.

      Where did you pull that 95% stat from? You must work for the MPAA or RIAA, they are good at pulling stats from their arse too.

       

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        DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:58am

        Re: Re:

        > Troll/idiot I cannot decide.

        The fundamental error is in the assumption that a decision is necessary. The two are not mutually exclusive, meaning both can be true. In fact, the first being true implies that the second is automatically true.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re:

        "Where did you pull that 95% stat from? You must work for the MPAA or RIAA, they are good at pulling stats from their arse too."

        Creative industries, see?

         

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      The eejit (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      Congratulations! You just used imaginary numbers provided by Ubisoft.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:21am

      Re:

      "Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay..."

      Citation, please?

       

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      > Sorry, but they aren't offering any
      > alternatives that make the money that DVDs make.


      Sorry, but the automobiles aren't offering any
      alternatives that make the money that buggy whips make.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        Huh? you must be talking about really expensive whips...full of bugs or not.

         

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No.

          Automobiles don't provide an alternative way to sell an accessory that is needed for every automobile, and probably doesn't last for the entire life of the automobile.

           

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      Mr. Applegate, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:35am

      Re: You have to be kidding

      "Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay, especially when the 5% who would pay just download it anyway and don't bother.

      Sorry, but they aren't offering any alternatives that make the money that DVDs make."


      Look, a DVD has mastering, manufacturing, packaging, warehouse, delivery, inventory, and other costs. A DVD is good for MANY YEARS and may be resold (with no profit to the movie industry) many times, given away ...

      Providing a digital copy has none of those costs or baggage. I can't take a digital stream of the movie and give it to my neighbor, friend or even view it again next year, unless I pay for it again.

      So a $15 DVD might be viewed for 10 years by hundreds of people, all for $15.

      If I could rent a movie (known good quality) for $0.25, I wouldn't think twice about it and neither would the other 100 people (No need to pirate), hey look now the Movie Industry made $25 on a digital copy where they were probably formerly making less then $5.00 out of the $15 they were charging. It's called a 'micro payment'. The problem is the Movie Industry (and the Music Industry for that matter) are far too short sited to see that.

      I refuse to pay $3 to rent a movie (for 24 hours) I can go watch at a theater for $4, or buy a DVD for $2 at a thrift shop.

      Both the Movie and Music Industries choose to cry because things aren't the way they were, regardless of the fact that it actually makes it better for them.

      Piracy comes with all kinds of problems, poor quality, corrupt files, possible malware..... People pirate, in large part because there is no reasonable option available, not because they are unwilling to pay (what they deem a fair price).

      People are willing to pay, just not bend over and take it up the ___.

       

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        Milton Freewater, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: You have to be kidding

        "If I could rent a movie (known good quality) for $0.25, I wouldn't think twice about it and neither would the other 100 people (No need to pirate), hey look now the Movie Industry made $25 on a digital copy where they were probably formerly making less then $5.00 out of the $15 they were charging. It's called a 'micro payment'. The problem is the Movie Industry (and the Music Industry for that matter) are far too short sited to see that."

        THIS.

         

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        Keroberos (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re: You have to be kidding

        Piracy comes with all kinds of problems, poor quality, corrupt files, possible malware.....
        Not in my experience. Poor Quality- Theater Cams, full Blu-ray isos, and everything in between. Corrupt Files- Can happen, but very rare (corrupt files tend to disappear pretty quickly). Possible Malware- Only if the video you downloaded wants a dodgy codec or media player install (but if you're gullible enough to install those, I guarantee you already have massive amounts of malware on your box anyway).

        Most pirated videos tend to provide better value than their purchased counterparts, No DRM- Play it where I want, when I want, on whatever device I want. Open Codecs- Same as above. Plus the added benefits of no unskippable ads, trailers or warnings and no retarded animated menus that are cool maybe once at most.

         

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          Mr. Applegate, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 6:33am

          Re: Re: Re: You have to be kidding

          My point is if you torrent you don't know what you are geting till you download it. It may be good, it may be bad...

          I agree the DRM needs to go away, it treats the paying customer like a thief. Which tends to drive them to torrents hat they don't have to pay for.

          If you had a choice between paying $1 and downloading a movie from a known source where the quality is known to be HD, with no DRM, or torrent a pirated copy - you would choose to torrent? I think most people would gladly pay for the known good copy. That is value over searching for a rip of unknown quality until I have wasted several hours getting the copy, only to find out that 5 of the 1000 parts were corrupt or it is a low quality rip...

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay, especially when the 5% who would pay just download it anyway and don't bother.


      95% never pay and 5% won't use streaming services.

      Basically, you have no business. You should go bankrupt and let other players take a shot.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, on second thought your business is to try to maximize profit by making the experience of the remaining 5% the worst experience available to them in the market.

        Would you ever try to start a business like that?

         

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      Milton Freewater, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:46am

      Re:

      "Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay"

      The point of this post is that many of those who "never pay" don't because it's never for sale.

      Look at how many downloads Taylor Swift just sold of her new single. Every single one of those purchasers could have ripped it off YouTube - they chose to pay for the easier option.

       

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      Keroberos (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      Sorry, but they aren't offering any alternatives that make the money that DVDs make.
      And your point is? The alternatives aren't DVDs and should not be priced as such. If people don't want DVD's you have to sell them what they do want at a price they are willing to pay (business 101). Physical media distribution is dying (In my case it's already mostly dead). If the studios can't (read: won't) go to where the market is heading then they need to die and let some other more nimble company take their place (and I guarantee someone will as long as there's any money to be made).

       

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      Jeff, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      You are trying to argue that the only side that gets to set the value of a product is the supply side. The demand wants it at a certain price. Charge too much and they won't buy. Don't blame the market for setting the bar lower than Hollywood likes as if its something the market has to rectify for Hollywood.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:25pm

      Re:

      I prefer DVDs myself, but I've stopped buying DVDs because I am not using my money to support the antics of these retrogrades.

       

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      Jake (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      "Sorry, but they aren't offering any alternatives that make the money that DVDs make."

      Sorry but this is not an argument. They have not innate right to make a certain amount of money. Consumers felt that a DVD was worth so much money and were willing to pay that much, now they want the digital product and feel that it is worth less. It is what it is, but it is not the consumers problem to deal with, it is the providers problem.

       

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      anon, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:34pm

      Re:

      The DVD and Blu Ray are old ways of distributing , just like the 8track and vinyl and tape. When something new comes along they fight it tooth and nail , just to realise that it makes them more money. DVD was a convenient way to increase money coming into the bank but now they need to embrace files, they are being dragged by the scruff of there necks but when they eventually decide to just give the customer what they want then they will start making money again, as in any business that is affected by technology, video is going through a change and those that do not expand to embrace the new tech will be left behind and others will fill the gap. Theaters are the guaranteed money maker , they are where studios make the money back that they have used to create a movie, and the VHS DVD Blu ray were just methods to make a little extra, yes they made a great deal extra but now that party is over and they need to try the on-line streaming and selling of files. They might not make much , or not as much as dvd's made in there hey day but they will make more than they did before they had no method to sell content to customers, so they cannot complain, they have had a very profitable time with DVD's not they need to accept that they will make much less with movie files but they will still make hundreds of millions if they are not going to overprice and over-control those files with unreasonable DRM.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:32pm

      Re:

      I think that's the point. Nothing is going to make as much for Hollywood as DVDs because it's an artificial market. It's overpriced to begin with, and now that it's not the only game in town, surprise, people aren't using it.

       

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      LycanLord, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:33pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:10am

      Yeah, but you can easily go broke providing content for the 95% who never pay, especially when the 5% who would pay just download it anyway and don't bother.

      95% who never pays? Have you seen the movie ticket numbers? Did you notice that the most pirated movies are the ones that most money make? So who is babling nonsense here? The problem is that the MPAA/RIAA are cartels and this is a war for control of the outlets not for a couple of kids downloading shit.

       

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    James Plotkin (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Tougher than we think

    I agree 100% with the position of Mr. Pogue. Fear of innovation has hamstrung the content industry (except for video games) for some time now.

    The thing is that the pirates have so much of a head start now that it can be difficult for the content producers and distributors to assure their product is paid for. It takes the right kind of DRM/TPMs.

    The video game industry has been able to manage by incorporating online sign on DRM. You have to "log in" if you want to play. I think that model comes with it's own problems but it seems to be serving that community pretty well.

    To my understanding, the e-book industry is running well too.

    The film industry has to do something similar (or something else that will lock down their content while still allowing people to have sufficient freedom with the copies (or more accurately licenses) they purchase.

    Again, in a world where most people don't see it as wrong (regardless of legality) to pirate a film, the reticence of the film industry is understandable. That said, they're only in this position because of their lack of a will to evolve in the first place, so I think we're back where we started.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re: Tougher than we think

      I, for one, would love a Steam-like service. Simple DRM system with near-unlimited redownloadability included (that may be removed by individual companies - See also: EA, Activision).

       

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        James Plotkin (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re: Tougher than we think

        Now we're talking! Making sure that there is some sort of share-ability function like ebooks.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          For those who have never tried to use the so-called "share-ability" of e-books: it is a joke.

          (FWIW: my movie collection is mostly VHS from the thrift store for the kids. There are fewer than a dozen movies from the last decade that I would consider worth watching twice.)

           

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      Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:47am

      Re: Tougher than we think

      Luckily not all in the gaming industry are sick with DRM. CD Projekt Red for example have a strong anti DRM stance.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:54am

      Re: Tougher than we think

      There is no "right kind of DRM". You cannot assure that "product" is paid for.
      And if the content is locked down, the freedom is insufficient.

       

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        James Plotkin (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: Tougher than we think

        I know DRM is a bad word on this site, but it really isn't evil. Unless you don't believe copyright should exist, it's illogical to hate people for using technological tools to protect their work, as long as that's all they're doing.

        I'm not defending the Sony RootKit fiasco. However, when content distributes use DRM in a responsible way and do nothing more than protect the rights they should legitimately have, I don't see a problem.

        The problem for me with reference to DRM is on a legislative level. Here in Canada, the content industry has successfully lobbied the Federal Conservative Government to include strict anti-circumvention rules. Under Canada's new copyright law, it is illegal to break a DRM for most otherwise legitimate reasons such as modification for people with perceptual disabilities. There are only 3 or 4 very narrow exceptions that have mostly to do with encryption research and reverse engineering for cross platform compatibility.

        Under the new law, it is still an infringement if you break a DRM for an otherwise lawful purpose such as Fair dealing, format shifting or time shifting.

        These are the problems I see with DRM and as I said, they're on the policy level. Responsible use of technological protection measures is not wrong and anyone who says otherwise just doesn't respect the rights of creators.

         

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          Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          The problem is twofold. Ethical and practical.

          The ethical problem is that DRM treats consumers as potential criminals by default, i.e. it's preemptive policing technology. It's simply insulting and calls for opposing such kind of attitude.

          The practical problem is that it doesn't really protect any rights, since pirates break that DRM and distribute DRM free copies anyway. The only ones who suffer from DRM are legitimate users, who buy DRMed content and can't use it in a comfortable way because of all those crazy restrictions.

          Therefore DRM simply has no good reason to exist.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

            Yes, the fact that DRM does nothing to protect rights, but merely infringes on the rights of the end user often goes unmentioned.

             

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          techflaws (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          I know DRM is a bad word on this site, but it really isn't evil.

          The point is and always will be: DRM offers NO benefit to the customer.

           

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          Simple Mind (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:58am

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          I respect the rights of creators. I am one. But any DRM that makes a product inferior for paying customers is evil. If I cannot copy a movie to any device of my choosing, that is inferior. If cannot upload a song to my xbox, eg., that is inferior.

          DRM is a result of irrational fear that nobody will pay for your product if it is easy to copy. Make a superior product and provide superior service and people will pay you. DRM is just a waste of time and effort to make your product more inferior. Then people don't buy your product because of the DRM and you say "see, I was right to add that DRM because else nobody would buy my product". It is self perpetuating.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

            Truly irrational, given that it doesn't work.

            DRM is pretty much like having a crooked priest bless each and every item you wish to sell for a fee in order to prevent piracy.
            The only person getting any benefit from it is the person selling you the fake service.

             

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          Ninja (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          Under the new law, it is still an infringement if you break a DRM for an otherwise lawful purpose such as Fair dealing, format shifting or time shifting.

          I wouldn't worry, I seldom have to break DRM, I usually download a DRM-free copy =D

          Responsible use of DRM still drives me to download the DRM free copy =D

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          It's perfectly logical to hate people for using technological tools to protect their work in ways copyright law would not allow and then use copyright a shield against criticism in the vein of 'well you're only against DRM because you don't believe copyright should exist!'

           

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          I know DRM is a bad word on this site, but it really isn't evil. Unless you don't believe copyright should exist, it's illogical to hate people for using technological tools to protect their work, as long as that's all they're doing.

          As others have said, all DRM is evil, and it has nothing to do with copyright. When I purchase something, the terms of the sale should be right up and in front of me. With DRM (which is usually hidden,) the terms of sale are usually not included and when they are, they can always be changed after the fact by poor business practices and greed. I've purchased way too many games that didn't allow me to use the game after some years, or didn't even install on my computer right after I purchased it.

          While the company has no legal or ethical requirement to support their product years later, it should still be able to be installed and used on like equipment and operating systems to what it was intended to be used on, yet I've had quite a few games which I had to break the DRM in order to play them even 5 years after they were sold.

          While I tolerate Steam DRM, even Steam DRM is evil.

           

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          minijedimaster (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          I know DRM is a bad word on this site, but it really isn't evil. Unless you don't believe copyright should exist, it's illogical to hate people for using technological tools to protect their work, as long as that's all they're doing.

          LOL... so innocent.

          Hey everyone, check this guy out, he thinks DRM actually works!

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Tougher than we think

          I pay for my dvd's. Every time I play one, I am threatened with imprisonment. Except if I rip them to my file server.

           

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    ASTROBOI, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:40am

    The dvd is NOT dead.

    How many movies are availiable for purchase? 50K? 500K? Is somebody really going to stream them all, forever? Streaming makes sense for the most recent and most popular material. But physical media is still the most likely way to get less popular subjects into the market. It has taken years for movie collectors to convert their vhs and laser collections to dvd. That was a windfall for the movie studios. But now it's over. What percentage of the market consisted of these collectors? Who knows? Five percent, maybe ten. But it was significant. There are people out there that want their own copy, one they can watch whenever they wish. They don't want to hope somebody will stream an obscure movie. And there are plenty of people who can't get a reliable stream or just don't want to be bothered with setting up the service. Look at the numbers. The majority of people in the USA can't receive streamed movies. But anybody can play a dvd for a very small sum. The dvd will die when it is replaced by a better medium just as vhs and laser died when the dvd was perfected.

     

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      Josef Anvil (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:16am

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      No the DVD is not dead, neither are CDs, Cassettes, Vinyl, 8-track, 8mm, or even reel-to-reel.

      Yes you can still buy all of those.

      So you have obviously missed the point. Yes we know DVDs are still a gravy train, but the writing is on the wall and no one seems to care. The point you missed is that the game changed, its not just the medium that's changed, but the reproduction and distribution system as well.

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:15am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        The article is nonsense. It draws a false distinction between music and movies. Music has been liberated from physical media for a long time yet the physical media ensures. It ensures because it gives the customer both the advantages of physical ownership and the advantage of a digital copy.

        Netflix is nice but it is rediculously incomplete. The same technology that allows me to take my music with me also allows to take my movies with me. So "streaming" has no real advantage here in terms of capabilities or selection.

        Plus any "cloud" service is dependent on the quality and availability of your network connection.

        The content is already digital. You don't have to replace it with "streaming". Although the legal grey area that is DVD ripping does make a movie on physical disk seem less useful.

         

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          Greevar (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:13am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          DVD quality video (i.e. Standard Definition) can easily be streamed over connections of 1 Mbps and above without buffering. However, HD quality (720p and up)requires 5Mbps or more to stream without buffering. The problem lies in the ISP's that want to limit your usage because they want to push you to their legacy services and/or oversell the network without investing in upgrades that we should already have.

          It's all very feasible if the MPAA learns that they need to provide what their customers want, rather than what the MPAA wants and ISP's stop trying to hold back the networks so they can sell high margin services that don't provide the service people demand for a reasonable price.

          DVD's and all other read-only media, are dead, technology has declared it so. The internet is a far superior and far more efficient distribution channel. But the old guard is holding back the infrastructure and demanded services in order to prop it up. This is the reason people are going around the legacy services and seeking out alternatives that actually embrace reality. Businesses that rely on a read-only model will inevitably fail because the internet is a read-write model and cannot be circumvented, the public won't allow it.

          One day, everything will be done on the internet, everything. Cable, phone, movies, music, and every other communication medium will be assimilated by the internet. The MPAA/RIAA, telco, and cable providers will fight tooth and nail to hold back this inevitable paradigm shift, but they fight in vain. The internet bends to the will of the of masses and there are many more of us than there are of them.

           

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      Call me Al, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:32am

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      This is something that confused me. I'm buying less DVDs as I have run out of space but I dislike streaming because it limits my options. I'd be quite willing to buy a film and download it to my computer to be watched whenever I want but that seems to be something completely overlooked in the services.

      Having online storage lockers from where you can buy and download films can't be that ridiculous a service surely? It must also be easier than housing 50k/500k films in warehouses around the world.

       

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        Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:37am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        I agree with this. There is a massive market here that is not being exploited and I find that ludacris. Surely anyone with an ounce of business sense can see this.

         

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        Towergrove, Sep 2nd, 2012 @ 1:53pm

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        Yes it's called Ultraviolet and it's studio backed and the Common File Format is coming as well.

         

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:47am

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      But physical media is still the most likely way to get less popular subjects into the market.

      Where did you get this idea? The introduction of older and lesser known titles is one of the great things about Netflix. I have watched so many older westerns and sci-fi movies that I missed growing up and would cost me thousands of dollars to get physically. Instead, I can pay $8 a month and watch anything on it any time.

      The dvd will die when it is replaced by a better medium just as vhs and laser died when the dvd was perfected.

      The DVD is being replaced by a better option, streaming. Is everyone able to stream yet? No. But in the early days of the DVD, not everyone had a DVD player. Broadband is expanding, but give it time to expand fully.

       

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        Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:54am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        The DVD is being replaced by a better option, streaming.

        That's very questionable, since DVDs are easily compilable and transcodable to files (for personal use), therefore they have great usability advantage. Streaming services aren't that flexible, since they usually have heavy DRM. DRM free services selling video files indeed could be a better option, but where can one find such a thing?

         

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          DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:12am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          At one point the same could be said of CDs vs audio streaming music. But finally some content distributors gave in and started selling us downloadable DRM-free mp3 files.

          When will the movie industry catch up?


          Personally, I would pay the same as for a DVD to be able to download the DRM-free ISO file for the DVD. I would be able to enjoy it on all my devices. When I don't have it loaded on any device* those downloaded files all fit compactly on a few inexpensive 1 TB drives without filling up my house.

          The MPAA wouldn't have to deal with physical distribution. Another layer of middle man is cut out. No physical transportation and handling, it saves fuel of moving the object to my doorstep. It is instant gratification which makes me even more likely to buy.

          But on the other hand, this would all be too convenient. Given the overwhelming desire of the MPAA to piss off everyone, it makes better sense for them to change movie distribution (for consumers) into 8mm film format.


          *Note to MPAA: all my devices don't have infinite space

           

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            Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

            Yes, exactly the point. Giving such comfortable option of buying DRM free files will also increase overall sales, since most probably lot's of stuff is pirated not because people aren't willing to pay, but because they aren't willing to use crude uncomfortable services, when they can get the same file DRM free and use it anywhere they want and without relying on on-line connectivity, subscriptions and etc. Many would be paying for those files if they'd be easily purchasable. But as you said, MPAA doesn't seem to be concerned with their own sales, they seem to be more interested in upsetting the users without any reason. Rather bizarre if you think of it, given MPAA's hunger for money.

            I'm not sure if distributing ISO files makes more sense than distributing simple video files. ISO needs to be mounted and etc. before using it. Video file on the other hand can be viewed by any software player. The only benefit could be writing the ISO back to the physical DVD (may be to watch it on dedicated DVD player?), but that's kind of going against the point of the article, that physical DVDs are becoming obsolete.

             

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              DannyB (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

              > ISO needs to be mounted and etc. before using it.

              Funny, in Ubuntu I just right-click on an ISO and pick Open with VLC.

              Then I get the full DVD experience including the menu, bonus creatures, etc.

              But it is also easy to skip the unskippable crap.

               

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                Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

                Well, some players can support such a thing without mounting (mplayer too), but not all. Video files are more straightforward, especially for mobile applications.

                 

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                Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

                Anyway, it's not essential. If ISO is available - you can always transcode it into something else if needed.

                 

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          Yakko Warner (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:13am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          This is the main reason I buy DVDs -- I can do what I want with them, when I want. I can even take the deleted scenes and re-insert them into the film. And my watching them is not dependent on a less-than-100%-reliable (my home internet connection has been known to "blip"), less-than-omnipresent (on my commute to work, I go through three consistent dead zones), less-than-unlimited (bandwidth metering has been talked to death) service.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          "That's very questionable, since DVDs are easily compilable and transcodable to files (for personal use), therefore they have great usability advantage. Streaming services aren't that flexible, since they usually have heavy DRM. DRM free services selling video files indeed could be a better option, but where can one find such a thing?"

          Umm, there is nothing intrinsic to streaming that 'needs' DRM.
          Yes, at the moment, the industry is determined to reduce the value of their products by insisting on DRM but if they eventually get a clue they will realise that DRM costs them money, disadvantage their customers and makes their product less valuable. Then, they will drop it and people will be able to stream and/or download without these idiots messing with them and plenty of money will change hands and reward either the creative talent or at least those who wrote the contracts that the creative talent signed.

           

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            Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

            Yes, I was saying that it's early to dismiss DVDs as dead yet, since current streaming isn't DRM free, therefore DVDs have a strong usability advantage over these services.

            When DRM free video distribution channels will emerge, then one would really be able say that DVDs are dead.

             

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          techflaws (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          That's very questionable, since DVDs are easily compilable and transcodable to files (for personal use), therefore they have great usability advantage.

          My WDTV with attached 2.5" HDD beats disc usability hands down.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

            How does it beat DVDs in regards to DRM on the streaming distribution at present? Usability is not in the handling of the physical disc, but in ability to transcode it into a file and then use it wherever you want. As far as streaming services are be DRMed they won't be able to beat that, no matter WDTVs or not.

             

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              techflaws (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

              Sooner or later (probably later) they will get it and offer files without DRM at which point you download it to your HDD and be done with it.

               

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          anon, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 5:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          The DVD is not dead yet, there are still a lot of people buying DVD's and some that have huge collections. But when you can store thousands of good quality movie files on a 80.00 portable hard drive the same size or smaller than a paperback book the future is very clear. If the studios had to make it easier and cheaper to download good quality movie files a lot of people would pay to buy them, especially if they were automatically catalogued and were even easier to access or review before watching. The only problem with movies is that they are not as valubale as music files, yes a lot more money goes into creating a movie but the entertainment a muci file gives is way way more than a video, who is going to go jogging while watching a movie, who is going to watch a movie in there car whilst driving, who is going to watch a movie while out shopping or on the train like they do with music, this is where the studios are going to come unstuck, I have listened to some music tracks dozens of times, and continue to listen to those same tracks if they are in a collection I have made that I like, some music tracks have special meaning to me , whether it be the words of the song sung or the memories surrounding the time I listened to it first, we can listen to music together with others we can dance to it, everyone has there own special music tracks they will play for you if you are having a music night like we do rather often. , but I only watch a movie once, I think there might be two movies I have watched more than once, The fifth element and the Avengers.

          Now how can you ever justify a higher price for a movie than a music track, I don't want to pay more than 1 or maybe I will pay 2 just to compensate the artists more but anything over 2 for a high quality movie file is a waste of my money, I believe. And I want to own that movie at that price point. I want to be able to purchase a few of every genre of movie so that I can watch what I feel like watching from my library, if I am in the mood for a musical I will watch that or a comedy or a horror or sci fi, but I want the choice of what I want to watch when I want to watch it on the device I want to watch it on.

          TLDR: Give me a high quality movie file for a reasonable price and I will not pirate it. promise, pinkie swear.

           

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        Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        The DVD is being replaced by a better option, streaming.

        That's very questionable, since DVDs can be easily copied and transcoded to files for personal use, therefore they have great usability advantage allowing you to use your data on any device of choice. Streaming services aren't that flexible yet, since they usually have heavy DRM and very limited ways of using them. DRM free services selling video files indeed could be a better option, but where can one find such a thing?

         

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        JEDIDIAH, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        >> But physical media is still the most likely way to get
        >> less popular subjects into the market.
        >
        > Where did you get this idea?

        My Netflix Queue.

        I also see this problem on iTunes. Less popular items are missing from both their music and video catalog.

        What Amazon can sell me on hard copy is much more comprehensive by far.

         

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          Keroberos (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          Less popular items are missing from both their music and video catalog.
          The same was true when DVDs/CDs first came out. Could you get those older or obscure titles on DVD/CD? Nope, and for a lot of them, you still can't. And how many DVDs/CDs have since gone out of print? DVD has had 17 years to fill that gap, CD has had 30. Come back and make that argument against streaming/downloaded movies in 2029 and against streaming/downloaded music in 2042.

          The biggest problem with the selection on streaming/downloading services is not that they can't or don't want to provide everything ever made, but that the studios won't let them.

           

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        Milton Freewater, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        "The DVD is being replaced by a better option, streaming. Is everyone able to stream yet? No. But in the early days of the DVD, not everyone had a DVD player. Broadband is expanding, but give it time to expand fully."

        There's one big asterisk here.

        Getting access to DVDs means purchasing and installing a DVD player - a one-time charge of about $200 back in the day. And it's a physical hookup, so as long as your cord is good it works like new. Everyone owning a DVD player is like everyone owning a toaster.

        Streaming is a monthly charge, unless you do it through your smartphone. And it also relies on public networks. Everyone streaming is like everyone making long-distance calls at the same time. Remember how that used to (not) work?

         

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        ASTROBOI, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        "Where did you get this idea?"

        OK, lets think about this. I grant you that a number of lesser known titles are streamed, often because they are cheap. But compared to the number of titles on dvd streaming must always be a limited source. Can anybody really provide reliable streaming of 50,000 different titles? I think you must differentiate between a viewer who is looking for something entertaining to watch and one who is looking for a specific title. And I'm not saying you can't be both. There are people, like myself, who just want their own copy. But if streaming works for you thats great.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:39pm

          reliable streaming of 500K titles

          hmmm... Anyone heard of bittorrent? The technical solution is simple.

          Why would anyone seed "Obscure Movie Produced in 1937"? The publisher might be willing if he gets money for it from a paying customer. The cost of seeding a torrent is insignificant compared to the cost of digitizing the movie (one time cost) or publishing it on DVD. And once the paying customer watches the movie and laughs his head off, he will probably tell a friend...

          If the publishers put up their own download sites, the pirate sites would certainly languish. How l337 would it be to upload a file that is available from the publisher for $10?

           

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      Mr. Applegate, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:59am

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      Um, yeah it is. The Movie Industry is trying to push the DRM laden Blue Ray Disc, which the public has largely rejected in favor of digital downloads.

      How many movies are availiable for purchase? 50K? 500K? Is somebody really going to stream them all, forever?

      Yes, see GOOGLE for details. (At least they would if the MPAA would get out of the way)

      The majority of people in the USA can't receive streamed movies.

      Cite Please?

      According to a report out this week from the FCC only 6% of the US population don't have access to broadband. About 100 M choose not to subscribe (about 1/3 of the population). In either case hardly a majority.

      Movies can be streamed over Satellite, Cable, DSL, 3G and 4G networks, these technologies cover something like 97% of the USA.

      "The dvd will die when it is replaced by a better medium"

      It has been replaced by the digital medium. Not just streaming. I should be able to download a movie to my hard drive and stream it to my TV, tablet, or convert it and save it to my tablet / phone.

      If the Movie and Music Industries would get that through there thick heads, they could be making money hand over fist.

       

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        ASTROBOI, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        I seriously doubt that 94% of the population has access to broadband. I believe the FCC was caught out considering ISDN as being broadband. But even so, having access isn't the same as purchasing the service. In my city everyone has access to two casinos. Yet the majority of people will never go to them. The next consideration is whether the availiable service is good enough to carry streaming movies without artifacts, dropped frames, crashes, etc. I've watched some streams that were unacceptable in real time but looked just fine if they were downloaded. And of course streaming isn't free. A good dvd player is 40-50 bucks. A crappy but servicable one is 29 bucks.

        Saying the dvd is being replaced by streaming is like saying the supermarket is being replaced by restaurants. It's two different technologies and both will probably remain viable for a while.

         

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          Simple Mind (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:10am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          It seems like the content industry thinks that if everything is available for streaming nobody will purchase DVDs or go to the theater. It isn't an either-or situation. If the content industry made content available in all forms people would consume the content however they choose, just as they do now. The only difference is the content providers would get paid. The content industry seems to be the ones that think the DVD will die if they get rid of restrictions.

           

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          Mr. Applegate, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 4:05am

          Re: Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

          I just reported, what I read, doubt they are counting ISDN, but I am sure they are counting 3G and 4G networks, and satellite, which are all valid broadband and available to the VAST majority in america. Further I said the report also said approximately 1/3 of the population don't subscribe, but that is a choice, just like many choose not to buy DVDs or goto movies or....

          " And of course streaming isn't free. "

          Who said anything about free? If you are referring to the cost to host and stream, it is a lot closer to free than you think. Storage is DIRT CHEAP (on the order of 5 Cents per Gig or say 50 cents for a HD movie). Maintaining the Servers and Bandwidth needed to allow download and Streaming is not that expensive in the grand scheme (look at Comcast, Netflix, Akami... Compared to the costs of manufacturing and distributing a product it is a no brainer. Ever noticed how you don't get media when you by a new device anymore? Why, because it is cheaper for them to host the stuff and let you download, or make your own DVD.

          "Saying the dvd is being replaced by streaming is like saying the supermarket is being replaced by restaurants. It's two different technologies and both will probably remain viable for a while."

          Um, that is not what I said. I said "It has been replaced by the digital medium. Not just streaming." Meaning the download of digital media to the device of my choice. It's more like replacing growing everything yourself, in your garden, and storing it in the root cellar with a local market where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables and meats all year long. It is an advancement in society.

          Someone else said it here, something like Steam for games. Let me download with no real intrusive DRM. Track what I "Own" and let me re-download... VHS tapes get stretched, eaten... DVD's get scratched, cracked... Hard Drives fail...

           

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      John, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:41am

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      There is an option to own your own copy of a movie digitally that you can watch whenever you choose, but the only people distributing such movies are the torrent sites rather than the movie studios. Having a hard drive loaded with hundreds of HD movies that can easily be organized and searched is much more convenient than having a bookshelf full of DVDs. Yes there will always be some collectors that like to keep the physical copy just like there are still people with record collections, but the way of the future is digital distribution. Right now you can get a better product for free than what is offered by the movie studios. They should be selling digital copies of movies and streaming rentals, but instead are dragging their feet trying to cling to an outdated business model. It is similar to their reaction to VHS when it came out, which was to try to destroy it all together because they feared it would destroy the theaters and their profits. Now that technology which they fought has developed into one of their largest revenue streams. Hopefully they will figure things out soon, just like the music industry did. People wanted to buy mp3's with no DRM so that they could own their music and play it whenever they wanted, once the industry started to provide people what they wanted at a reasonable price they started making tons of money (in 2011 digital music sales accounted for over 50% of all music purchases).

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:52am

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      Are you being intentionally obtuse? Given that a 720p H.264 rip of a movie is under a GB of data, why is it not feasible for a company to store a significant portion of these? Data farms exist across the globe with capacity that significantly exceeds the amount required to store virtually every movie ever produced(500,000 movies was your reference point, that would be 500 Terabytes assuming 1GB a movie, a 2TB HDD can be had for under $100USD). On another point, this is already being done by the pirates for significant portion of these, ever ran a search on TPB for a old/obscure/crappy movie? If the individual users there can retain copies of the movies, why can't the industry? As for your statement that the majority of people in the US can't stream movies, I'd LOVE to see a reference anywhere that proves that to be the case. Even with a 1.5mb connection you'd still be able to stream lower quality movies from Netflix or similar, hell I've streamed shows on a 50kbps VPN tunnel and it worked with some downsampling. At the end of the day the point still stands, it's only the industry holding this back, and digital distribution is continuing to replace physical media for a significant portion of people.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

        This whole thing of it's better to stream that to use a DVD is crazy.
        Why not not have both and the consumer can have it either way.
        Last year I decided to build a HTPC...just for my entertainment center.TV,Movies,Streaming,Bluray,DVD all feeding out to a large Plasma plus a wireless mouse and keyboard with a wireless connection to the internet and topped off by a 7.1 Surround.

        Life is good on my sofa. Now all I need is content...

        I sometimes have a 12mbs speed and sometimes it's 1mbs. So when I'm streaming sometimes I get Good HD and sometimes I get 280 or continuous buffering.I rented a movie from Amazon,and Netflix...the same thing certainly not HD.

        That's my streaming experience.Not such a good life on my sofa.

        I like TV (some of it) and it's free OTA and I get a consistent 1080I and it looks and sounds great.And you can watch movies on TV.I recently watched Ironman 1&2 for free and it was great.

        I rent a DVD or Bluray and it's ranges from great to incredible.

        I didn't spend all this time and money putting this system together to watch Crap! Streaming 720i? Buffering 1080i.Getting throttled for streaming to much? I think not!
        Streaming is too much work...all I want to do is watch some HD content.
        As too the future of entertainment? Who Knows?
        But what I do know is that Streaming is no where near ready for Prime Time.

         

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      Keroberos (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:43pm

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      Is somebody really going to stream them all, forever?
      Why not? Data storage is cheap, and getting cheaper all the time. It makes less sense to not be streaming them if there is any money to be made from it.

       

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      surfer (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:26pm

      Re: The dvd IS DEAD

      Believe me, the DVD is dead and buried. I have 35,000 Standard Definition, and almost 10,000 720p movies on a 20Tb server that streams to my members, and I don't charge a dime.

      So, if I can serve that up for about $100/mo, why can't legitimate businesses? If all those streaming pirates are making billions of dollars via advertisements, then why doesn't the MAFIAA exploit the same?

      I can tell you why, they don't want to, because all those streaming pirates are NOT making the 'big' bucks, they do it out of passion. And 'Big Content' has zero passion. They want to continue to fuck the public for the big margins they were used to, hence the imaginary 'lost sale' bullshit.

       

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        surfer (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Re: The dvd IS DEAD

        So, the MAFIAA's lost sales numbers are off by $11,350,000,000, for a single user.

        See how ludicrous copyright is yet? I hope bob blows a head gasket on that one.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 6:58pm

      Re: The dvd is NOT dead.

      The most recent and most popular material isn't available for streaming, generally. That's the point. All there IS on Netflix these days are obscure films that people would otherwise not watch.

      You seem to have completely disassociated yourself from reality.

       

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:41am

    Not RE the article but I want to rant about Last FM

    I have been a subscriber for a while now because it was the best place to discover new music but now that has changed. Due to licensing restrictions, they have had to introduce a limited number of track skips (6 per station). This greatly reduces the site's effectiveness for me because I cannot keep skipping tracks I don't want to listen to.

    The whole attraction of Last FM (unlimited skipping) has now been destroyed by rights holders who want to control what I listen to. Do they not want my money for a service I like?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:48am

    pirate mike supporting thieves again, destroy content business then ask them to sell there goods for peanuts while thieves still rip them off with little enforcement.

    Marble cake

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:49am

    victims of their own greed (a.k.a poetic justice)

    release windows and region locking have artificially inflated their income beyond what it would have been if there were no boundaries between countries. Now that the internet has enough bandwidth for movies, it has effectively wiped the borders of digital distribution. They're fighting a lost battle to keep this artificially inflated income going and they're dragging the US goverment along, which in turn is bullying the rest of the world for what basically amounts to money they shouldn't be getting in the first place.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:40pm

      Re: victims of their own greed (a.k.a poetic justice)

      I travel to Europe fairly often and I see dvd's there that are not available in the US. But they won't play on my machine so I can't buy them.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:07am

    'The DVD is dead and no one in control has realized it'
    oh, they have realised it, but refuse to accept it in case it means they have to adapt to the digital age and start giving customers what they want and not want the industries want to give. the fact that this attitude is actually inhibiting their business more than any act of 'piracy' could ever do, is like pissing into the wind, it always comes back and gets you!

    'Look, I don't want to tell you how to do your jobs, but sweet something of somewhere, someone needs to be offering a little guidance'
    more to the point, somebody needs to be listening to and taking notice of the guidance that's been on offer for decades. trouble is, if they took notice of someone who actually knows anything, it would mean giving up some of their control and take away the options of being able to sue people for doing what the industries dont like and also stop them from being able to bribe politicians into making new, harsher, more ridiculously useless laws!

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:14am

    What Hollywood doesn't seem to understand is that if their movie isn't on Netflix, I've got 300 others waiting in my queue that I really want to see. I will simply not watch their movie, and I have zero reasons to ever buy a DVD.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:23am

    Hey Hollywood! Listen up!

    Try this one on Mr. MPAA. When I, the older consumer, pay to see a movie at the theater, I feel almost no obligation to wait months to pay to view it again at home.

    Window all you want. Whine about the starving artists all you want. Once I've paid for the first experience, I feel NO obligation to pay you again. BECAUSE, I'm old enough to remember that once you paid to see a movie, you just had to wait a year or two to see it on TV for FREE. There were NO other options once it left the theaters. Sorry that the tech left you behind. Good luck with that.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:37am

      Re: Hey Hollywood! Listen up!

      "BECAUSE, I'm old enough to remember that once you paid to see a movie, you just had to wait a year or two to see it on TV for FREE. There were NO other options once it left the theaters. Sorry that the tech left you behind. Good luck with that."

      Which makes you old enough to remember when television was going to kill the movies and then the vcr was going to do it, then they discovered that they'd make more money from the market that opened up than they did from both cinema showings and tv market. Now they don't want to do anything unless it will make at least as much money as the physical home market did at its peak.

      You're old enough and I'm old enough that we must both wonder if they will ever take the rational approach to the incoming tide or will the sky always be falling for them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2012 @ 7:34pm

        Re: Re: Hey Hollywood! Listen up!

        I think it's cool how shows I watched in my youth, like "Isis", "Space Academy", "Land Of The Lost", and even "Quark" are available on DVD (though the first 2 show's sets are now out of print). There are plenty of other shows I wish they'd release, like "Vegetable Soup" (remember that one?).
        I go to YouTube and watch episodes of "Electra Woman & Dyna Girl", but I'd rather have good quality DVDs.
        You'd think they would try to capitalize on the relatively recent death of Andy Griffith by releasing "Salvage 1". That was a cool show.

         

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    Curt (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Actually...

    Since the biggest pirates also tend to be the biggest spenders on media, Hollywood are doing themselves a favour by encouraging piracy, since it helps their sales. However they are also hurting themselves, because the highest selling media tends to be the most pirated, therefore the more they sell, the more money they actually lose.

    The only solution is for the MPAA (and RIAA et al) to implement mandatory entertainment taxes on all the citizens of the planet, to ensure they don't lose money. Without those entertainment taxes, entertainment could cease to exist!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:10am

      Re: Actually...

      I may be wrong but I believe that there are already entertainment taxes being collected for the industry in many places.
      For instance a tax on blank CDs and DVDs and Players.

       

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    Shmerl, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:43am

    No alternatives so far

    While DVDs usage may be is in decline, what alternatives are there? Any existing streaming service is plagued with DRM. Where can you legally buy a film, back it up, copy it to your device of choice and so on?

    DVDs remain the only media which easily allow you to make a file out of the content (transcoding the data) and conveniently use it on any personal device. Until streaming services will get rid of their sick DRM - there won't be good alternatives to DVDs. Delays in their releases are unfortunate, but what can you do.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:24am

      Re: No alternatives so far

      SSssshhhh, don't let them know that it's the lack of effective DRM on DVDs that is boosting the sales above what they ought to be at this stage.

       

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:44am

    It's true for that DVDs are dead. The only discs I touch these days are my PS3 games. I've got a Blu-ray burner drive for my computer, but I rarely use it. I don't use it to watch movies, they're all on my hard drives. It was simple practicality that forced my change: the last place I lived in, I had the room to store hundreds of DVDs. Now, I'm living in an apartment and simply don't want stacks of DVD cases cluttering the place. So, I took the time and effort to rip everything and store it on my hard drive, or when I was feeling lazy, I just downloaded what I had.

     

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    Xan, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:27am

    24 Hours Rentals

    The 24 hour digital rental is what bugs me. We go out of town for the weekend and I let my son use the tablet to watch some movies I rented. He wants to watch them all on the way to our destination. Three days later when we head home all the movies have expired. Unless I go sit in Starbucks and download some more he doesn't get them on the way home, so I just don't rent digital movies anymore.

    They need to make the rentals last at least a week to make it worth it. What does it matter? I am only going to rent the movies once whether I get them for a day or a week anyway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:33am

    Most major ISPs have a direct or indirect part in entertainment, be it Hollywood directly, subsidiaries, their own portals, stores, etc.

    They have money EITHER WAY. Rent from my store? Pay me. Download from my line using my bandwidth? Pay me.

    They're making money both ways, just like Sony did with VHS VS Beta. Whoever loses, hollywood wins.

    Why not keep fighting then? It's just more money for them, even if the dinosaur they are has been decomposing for ages...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 9:48am

    Say it isn't so

    The DVD is dying? I hope not
    Personally I like DVDs.
    They're cheaper to rent locally than online and I can easily rip them to my hard drive.It's less than a mile from my home and I usually pick them up/drop them off on my way to another destination.
    Sometimes I have them back in a couple of hours and the rental company can re-rent them to someone else.
    I see it as a win/win/win.
    The movie producers get their money,the rental company gets their money and I get to enjoy a movie and have a copy for future use.I don't stress out about the delayed release dates or subscribe to the "instant getification" mindset.

    One of the clerks did ask one time how could I watch 4hrs of movies in such a short time.I explained that we were "speed watchers" and we just play them back at double time.
    He bought it and I had fun with it.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:38am

      Re: Say it isn't so

      So you are the one who has been in a coma for the last 10 years.

      Sonny, DVDs are collectors furniture. Nowadays you can stream and our connections have evolved wonderfully!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:51am

    What? DVDs are still around? Blurays?? People buy those?? Harddrives are cheap people!

     

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    Ken Martin, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Poor Range of Music Videos Available

    Short sighted Hollywood et all. I view a lot of good YouTube music videos. But cannot buy them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 11:29am

    For me, the average consumer, I really want to pay for the following things:
    1 - When I leave the theater and am all excited from the fun (Didn't say good.) movie I saw, sell me a DVD. Or a USB stick with a DRM free version. I'll buy!! Two weeks or much longer later, my wife gets the deciding vote and I may never buy the movie.
    2 - I'm an older guy and I get nostalgic for the movies/tv shows of my youth. Sadly, I can remember far more shows that what is considered popular and can be found on DVD/streaming.
    Surprisingly, TPB seems to have a few more old shows. I would love to buy the show of my youth, if it were for sale.
    3 - I love Amazon prime. I pay a few cents for a show and I can watch it on my lunch break. I would buy many more but, the selection sucks. Why?

    In short, I will pay for a bigger selection.
    I will pay for a copy of the movie I just saw.
    I will pay to revisit the shows of my youth. (Mrs Peel was hot!) (Fred Astaire was amazing.)

    As far as saying there isn't enough ability to stream everything. Well, that may be true if you have to stream everything there is but, if you setup a service, like Netflix, then only what is selected is streamed. There has to be an opportunity to make $$$ there. I bet Netflix would spend the money to set that up if Universal were to allow them to host the entire catalog. I know this, someone would jump at the chance if a studio would let them.

    And, ultimately, I the unremarkable consumer that wants to fork over his cash, would pay.

     

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    Joshy, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    One of the most underreported story's is how Hollywood's greed has killed off the innovation in movie houses. Theater owners typically don't make a profit on ticket sales until the third or fourth week. Thus the overpriced concession stands and understaffed megaplexes. It's amazing that an entire industry is built around someone else's product that your (theater owner)in charge of presenting yet you don't make a profit from your main purpose (showing movies)


    Many have tried and few have had success in trying to offer better service, food and meals, Alcoholic drinks, cleaner and more accommodating theaters etc.... Simply because there is no profit incentive for offering a better viewing experience i.e. more butts in seats doesn't translate into higher profits (unless overpriced (highly profitable)concessions are purchased)

    If a theater owner was given a more reasonable share i.e an incentive to get more butts in seats just imagine how much more of Hollywood's product would be sold at a higher ticket price (higher margins), free of worry of mass duplication. Again selling the experience not just the bits and bytes.



    Unfortunately Hollywood's greed will be it's demise.

     

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    Anonymous Cowherd, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Fortunately, it is possible to release and have all your titles on the Pirate Bay at once.

     

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    Danny, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Seriously?

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to release or have all our titles in the market at once. Oh, okay. So they're not available because they're not available.
    What?

    Mel Brooks was able to have Spaceballs out on VHS in time to use it for the filming of the movie. That was 15 damn years ago. You mean to tell me that with advancements made in technology since then it's not possible to release in the theater, online, and DVD/Blu Ray at the same time? What exactly makes it "not possible" to release in those three formats without a 3 month window in between each?

     

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    DanZee (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Retailers

    The thing people don't consider is that the CD and DVD departments of movie studios and recording companies are run by people with experience in retail. They only think in terms of manufacturing, distribution and retail selling. They don't understand the Internet or how to make money from streaming. And they're also trying to protect their turf, because if a studio goes all streaming, then it won't need factories, trucks, warehouses OR THEM! I think that's what this really is about. A streaming model hands all the power over to high-tech guys with a different skill set. A lot of people will lose their high-paying jobs and their power within the business. That leads to a lot of screaming about falling DVD and CD sales and how the sky is falling.

    If the studios and record companies could clear themselves of the retailers in their organizations, they could figure out another business model to bring in money. We've seen this before. When VHS was introduced, the executives in the theatrical rental department were the ones screaming against home video, and the MPAA sued instead of jumping on that new platform. It took the porn market to show the movie industry that tons of money could be made through home video.

    The secret to success for the movie industry might be to put out blockbuster films steadily through the year and allow people to stream from day one instead of ganging up blockbusters in the summer and holiday seasons. Most of a film's money is made in the first couple of weeks of release. Let everyone who wants to see a film see it any way they want, either in a movie theater (maybe in 3D), at home, or on their iPads. By the time the revenue from that movie runs out in four weeks, then release the next blockbuster. Each studio then needs to put out 12 blockbusters a month and then fill in with some little films like teen horror flicks, romantic comedies, and so forth. If the studios did it right, they could have $100 million or more flow into their coffers every month and not have to worry about piracy!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    No mention of Blu Ray?

     

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    fuckhollywoood, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    FUCKHOLLYWOOD

    FUCK HOLLYWOOD!

     

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    Joe Youngblood, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    Idiots will Idiot

    I've spoken and written about this problem extensively to the point where friends and colleagues will finish my sentences. The established movie industry, record industry, insert other entertainment industry just doesn't get it. Everyone screams it, talks about it, validates it but they still barely listen at all.

    It took me a long time to find a silver lining to this entire mess, but I did find one. This should be a boon for independent film makers. No matter how terrible the production values and low budget the film you should be able to get far more exposure today and increasingly into the future as hollywood slowly shuts down and online streaming ramps up. That is also great for movie lovers because we don't have to suffer through an entire year of b comedies with the same formulaic patterns and reboots of old hit movies.

    This idiotic business blunder should deliver unto us a new utopia of movie enjoyment with a vast array of choices.

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    iTunes succeeded, even though it originally had a bunch of silly restrictions placed on the files. You could get the same files as DRM dree MP3 files, but people still bought the protected iTunes files. Now, most music is sold in DRM free format that will play on most devices.

    Why can't the movie industry copy this model? Please don't say that it's fear of piracy because the pirates are already providing these movies in DRM free formats. Would the files get pirated? Probably, but that's already happening and the studios are making exactly $0.00 from it. Put nice, high-quality copies up for same in various formats. For example, DVD quality in Xvid/AVI, medium quality in H.264/MP4 and high-def in H.264/MKV. Let people download the format(s) that they want, and keep them.

    They wouldn't even need iTunes to do it. They could hire some college kids to digitize the movies, and set up the web site. People are already doing this sort of thing for free, so I'm sure some of them wouldn't mind getting paid to do the same thing.

    No special software required, no membership required, just go to the web site, make a one-time payment and download the movie in the format(s) of your choice. If they could ever straighten out the licensing mess, they could put the majority of their catalog online for less than what it would cost to do a single DVD release. Very minimal investment and they'd be making money off films that are sitting in their vaults gathering dust.

    Of course they're too greedy to ever do this. They want the content locked down so that people have to pay each time they want to see it.

    Remember this commercial;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ9qcp6Lcno

    "Every room has every movie ever made"

    Except for movies that are lost, we have the technology to do that today, but you'll probably never see it happen, both due to greed and copyright law.

     

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    Socks, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Yeah but...

    Yeah but if Hollywood followed your advice Mike then they wouldn't be able to go to the government and cry "Look Mommy! They're being bad people - make them say sorry!".

    Trust me, there's method to their madness. If they can't cry foul then they can't insist on control over the new medium of distribution that is totally ruining their business model. If they can't get control then they can't keep their monopoly, and that's just a "No Dice" scenario for them. Who cares if they can be profitable under this new market, they just want the old one back.

     

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    objecterror, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    I wish I could stand behind this article, but, really, it's not "hollywood", it's the RIAA and the MPAA that are neglecting the push to embrace digital media and so on.

    Also, to set the record straight, most laptops do ship with DVD drives, it's the Ultra Slim/Netbooks that usually ship without them.

    The majority of users buying computers in this day and age are the mom and pops upgrading that old compaq they've had for 7 years. So when they get their new Windows7 desktop and laptop the first thing they do is install all of their software or look for a DVD drive to burn scanned copies of their pictures.

    I think you missed the point that DVDs are used for other things besides movies.

     

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    MahaliaShere (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    My small handfull of DVDs still have value to me. Extra features, the main reason I ever bought them to begin with. Ah, those were the days. But I'll never again buy a new one. I stopped doing that, as well as going to movies, renting, and no more Netflix. So yeah, they've lost my business.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 5:24pm

    Not to mention most Holkywood dreck loses its lustre a few weeks after the marketing blitz subsides. It's amazing how many vaguely interesting movies seem like ancient garbage by the time they hits the new releases section. This stuff isn't timeless poetry. Speaking for myself, I just couldn't be bothered usually.

     

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    Asahi, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Plastic Discs

    I agree there's a large market for digital, but not *everyone* wants streaming/digital downloads. Some of us still like to actually own what we buy and haven't given up on physical media yet. Please don't speak for everyone when you say "The future is such and such".

     

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    Chris Chiesa, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    Hollywood Cedes Ground To File Sharing

    I can't imagine "valuing convenience over ownership." For me, it's ALL about ownership. As such, I am feeling very disenfranchised by ALL of this.

     

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    Alan Toubeaux, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    really?

    I don't think so. I work at a major library in a major city and dvds check out contstantly. We are constantly "inter-loaning" dvds we don't own for our patrons, through that system.

    I don't think so, and I certainly still DO prize owning them, rather than convenience. I'm fairly adept at most tech things, but sometimes working with the streaming doesn't really appeal to me. I'll take dvds over that, as long as I can.

     

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      Alan Toubeaux, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 6:36pm

      Re: really?

      I forgot to add something:

      DVDs circulate for FREE at most public libraries. the only fees are if you are late. Perhaps I 'll show a search related to Library circulation of DVDs.

      In our library it is clearly the most circulated item (over books, or even music cds, mp3s, etc.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    Clearly, you do not have small children

    I get your arguments for "watch it once, I'm done" type of content. And, 95% of what I and my wife watch probably falls into that category.

    Not so for my 3 and 5 year olds. They are quite content (no pun intended) to watch the same learning DVD/cartoon movie/etc over and over. I suppose I could continuously stream from Netflix - but that would be absurd. Much cheaper/more convenient to buy from the used bookstore that sells used DVDs (or find a good deal online), rip it and have it available on our 2 HTPCs. Also, we have the DVD for traveling in the car - how the heck do I stream in the car or on vacation without a brutally expensive data plan and tethering??

    Now, I'm sure that once my kids are 10 and 8, that'll change, and they won't want to re-watch the same thing over and over. But, until then, buying a DVD is still VERY viable and appreciated.

     

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    spikehk (profile), Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 8:55pm

    Duh

    "The first issue plaguing Hollywood's thinking? The DVD is dead and no one in control has realized it."

    This statement is so off base that it almost invalidates everything written after it. It pre-supposes that Hollywood studio management, most of whom are MBAs, accountants and sales people, are unable to read simple balance sheets.

    Well, guess what? They can read them. They know the figures are in a tailspin. They've known it for years. They just don't know what to do about it.

    Most of the people in charge at the studios are the same people who were in charge in the "glory days," the days when making DVDs was akin to a license to print money. These people are old school to the max. They don't get the reasons that DVD has died and don't know how to go up against competition and so they just keep on doing what they've been doing in the hope that something somehow someday is going to work.

    I used to work for one of these studios. I'm someone who wasn't upper management himself but had regular access to these people and their meetings. I sat there 7, 8 years ago when they'd sit around and say "we don't want to have some Napster come along and do to us what it did to music" and then spend hours arguing over what flavor of DRM was best. I would say, "forget DRM, get the stuff out there NOW before people develop habits of getting it in other ways" and I'd be asked to leave the room.

    The one thing that's killing them the most these days I think is the release window. It will be years before it goes away. Theatrical is the only division of the studios that is doing well now and they won't get rid of the window because no one is willing to alienate the theater owners short term in favor of longer term good.

    The studios remain profitable, perhaps not as profitable as 10 years ago but profitable. They cut costs and do massive layoffs on an annual basis. Nothing will change for a very long time.

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Aug 24th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Survey Says

    DVD: Remains a viable form of media distribution that provides some semblance of ownership and convenience. Selection availability is somewhat limited. Relatively costly. Portability is good though initial hurdles to strip and rip can be deemed difficult to some. The media is somewhat fragile.

    Streaming: Popular and convenient. Selections vary widely though current professional catalogs are severely restricted. Serves professional content producers and amateurs equally. Dependencies on players, operating systems, network availability. Relatively inexpensive though somewhat burdensome time limitations. Portability is nil.

    Torrents: Popular, convenient and incredibly efficient. Selections are dependent upon the global catalog (read: vast). Dependencies on local storage available. Relatively free(unfortunate but such is the current case). Catch and release (like=keep, dislike=delete, repeat as necessary). Supplants VCR, CD, Cassette, DVD and Streaming options.

    Theaters: Popular - is an experience, an event. Can be expensive and concessions are an enormous expenditure. Advantages are the experience of the delivery platform. Can be considered a risky venture. Extremely limited selections, quality (of both the venue and the content) and availability.

    Current distribution, delivery mechanisms and restrictions, licensing and other requirements are adversely affected by a management tier that is wholly ineffective given current global market conditions and are imposing undue and unnecessary burdens, requirements, limitations and expectations on both their clients (producers and creators in general) and their clients' customers. They are adversely influential to governments and legislation. Monopolistic behaviors. Oft considered to be a cartel in their use of strong-arm "agreements" and contracts, threats, litigation, seen to employ grossly illegal, unethical and immoral tactics. Mysterious and undue influence on governing bodies. Protectionist to the point of being detrimental to their own needs and effectiveness as well as to the needs of their clients and their customers. Historically short-sighted. A veritable threat to progress on many fronts.

    Customer satisfaction varies greatly with each delivery mechanism. Client satisfaction varies widely though, for the most part, currently remains beneficial to their largest, top-tier creative organizations, which happens to remain to be their primary means of finance.

     

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    Joshy, Aug 24th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    In five to ten years memory will be so much more abundant that you will be able to hold every song and movie ever made all on your personal Ipod like device. We today have a front row seat in watching the RIAA and others just reshuffling the deck chairs.

    It doesn't matter how high the chairs are stacked in there vain attempt to stay dry. The mighty industry ship was comfortable and powerful yet only those that are willing to abandon ship and try different vessels will be left alive.

     

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    Ryan, Sep 1st, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Bluray for movies 100%. Nothing else will do. But dont mind streaming for certain tv shows.

     

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    Terry, Sep 3rd, 2012 @ 8:10am

    I still buy movies

    Being the movie buff that I am, I still enjoy owning my favorite movies. Until streaming gives me the special features and commentaries I will continue to buy or rent movies.

     

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    everycritic, Dec 16th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

    Here's what I don't understand...

    Why is the thinking on this subject so black/white and either/or? Why do we have to discard one format simply because a new one comes along? Why do we even have to use such phrases as "DVDs are dead?"

    The automotive industry sells a product, i.e., a machine you get into and move from Point A to Point B. But they know they need to supply an enormous variety of product options depending upon their customers' lifestyles, wallets and geographic location. Just because a kick-butt hybrid comes along doesn't mean the SUV market is "dead." And they even have thriving rental options along with sales!

    So why can't entertainment marketers (and the fans) wrap their minds around multiple formats and delivery systems coexisting? Why hasn't Hollywood actively tried marketing the permanence of DVDs to collectors like me at the same time they promote the "convenience" of streaming for the renting mentality?

    It seems to me they should cater to the customers' diversity rather than shove this one-size-fits-all mentality down our throats. It would be like the auto industry forcing us all to drive hybrids and no other kind of car or truck.

     

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    John (profile), Mar 9th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Streaming

    I'm a bit late to this article but thank you for stating the truth about online movie rental.
    I am so sick of reading on tech blogs about how good this service or that service is when that is not my experience at all. None of them match the service my local video rental store used to give (before it closed down) and generally the selection of both old and new release movies is terrible. I am very anti pirating but I have to say, when I ask all my friends which service is the best, they all say Pirate Bay and I'm beginning to understand why.
    Friday night in our house is movie night and since our rental shop closed we now spend half an hour trawling through the online movie selection desperately trying to find something we want to watch it's pathetic.

     

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    Ruth Fournier, Aug 27th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    DVD's dying? .....simply not available!!!!

    First time I've seen an article discussing the unavailability of movies and the need, yes the NEED to pirate if you want to see anything. I live in Canada and I don't know what's going on up here except the content is really poor. Having owned a video store once upon a time....I love movies and have tried to obtain, rent movies legally to no avail. Netflix doesn't carry the range that I want up in Canada. No more video stores and the networks are limited. If the studios are so concerned about piracy why aren't they renting or making it available for a fee. Someone needs to fill this gap. People have no recourse but to get it anyway they can. I for one would prefer to do it legally so give me options.

     

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