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Microsoft Businesses

Disney Licenses MS Windows Media DRM 385

Posted by Hemos
from the so-many-people dept.
securitas writes "CNet/ZDNet reports that Walt Disney has licensed Microsoft's Windows Media DRM technology for use in online movie distribution via the Internet. Reuters reports that Disney plans to sell movies online in late 2004 or early 2005, while AP reports that the multi-year license for Microsoft's digital rights/restrictions management and copy-protection software will let Disney distribute content on mobile phones, PDAs and portable media players (mirror). The companies are expected to officially announce the deal later today (Monday)." Conspiracy theorists, start your engines; kidding aside, this is something to watch, as these are two titans of industry.
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Disney Licenses MS Windows Media DRM

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  • by fjordboy (169716) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:05AM (#8225574) Homepage
    How are the illuminati involved in this again?
  • Not Important (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyclopedian (163375) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:06AM (#8225580) Journal
    Disney is not going to be a "titan" any longer. They're on the decline. Unless Eisner and the current board of directors are gone, Disney will be run into the ground. At that point, we won't have to worry about Disney DRM or their Senate Lackeys.

    -Cyc
    • Re:Not Important (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NixLuver (693391) <stwhite@kch[ ]tic.com ['ere' in gap]> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:15AM (#8225682) Homepage Journal
      I agree that the quality of Disney productions is declining, but Disney will continue to be the pre-eminate supplier of Children's content until some one steps up to fill the gap.

      Also, let's not forget Touchstone, either. Or their licensing business, which is still doing a stunning trade, judging by the number of Winnie-the-pooh and Tigger products I see.

    • Re:Not Important (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tverbeek (457094)
      Disney's Senate Lackeys have ensured that the company will be able to continue indefinitely on the momentum of its intellectual property rights.
    • Re:Not Important (Score:5, Insightful)

      by andih8u (639841) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:21AM (#8225738)
      Disney was on the decline for a long time in the 70s and 80s, and then picked up again with The Little Mermaid, etc. They're on the decline again with their recent poor animated movies and losing the Pixar contract, but at some point they'll produce another few winners and be back on top of the pile again. Aside from the movies, they still have all of the theme parks and the merchandising.
      • Re:Not Important (Score:5, Informative)

        by silentbozo (542534) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:52AM (#8226049) Journal
        Disney wasn't on the decline in the 80's. It was on its DEATHBED. Michael Eiser and the late Frank Wells were brought in to help rescue the company back in 1984, which evidently was a takeover target. Animation, which they finally killed off this past year, almost died then, after The Black Cauldron. The Little Mermaid turned things around, of course, shepherding an almost decade-long era of big profits.

        The point is, back in 1984, when Disney almost ceased being Disney, they had theme parks and the merchandising, and that would have done was provide the corporate raiders with more pieces to break off after buying the company. Unless Disney can continue producing more properties for its library and for the distribution channels that it paid so much money for (cable and ABC) its future growth is in question. Look at MGM as an example of where Disney does not want to end up - anemic, and perpetually on the auction block.
    • Re:Not Important (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thebiggs (625489)
      It's true that they may not have much new quality material to apply the DRM to, especially since Pixar's gone away (at the same time as Disney has cut all of it's own animation staff.) BUT they have a formidable back catalog, and one can imagine them applying some pretty formidable rules to it. For instance, you can buy Snow White and watch it on your PDA, but only until it goes "back in the vault," after which you'll have to wait 5 years to buy it again.
  • by 99bottles (257169) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:07AM (#8225589)
    With Microsoft's record for security, this should help assure free [Disney] movies available to anyone who wants them.
  • Great News! (Score:5, Funny)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:07AM (#8225593) Homepage Journal
    Now i can watch a disney DVD on my non Microsoft device.. err wait... perhaps not...
    • Re:Great News! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LehiNephi (695428) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:15AM (#8225684) Journal
      copy-protection software will let Disney distribute content on mobile phones, PDAs and portable media players

      Does anyone around here have an interest in watching a movie on a 1.5" (4 cm) lcd? I guess some people may like it, but for some reason I have a hard time believing people are going to shell out their hard-earned cash for a movie that will only play on their cell phone.
      • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:26AM (#8225773) Homepage Journal
        I have a vga port on mine.. so im not really limted to just the LCD.

        Also dont forget homebuilt 'tivo' like devices. Most of them wont be compatible either.

        Or laptops running something other then the latest ( not even old will work i bet ) versions of windows.

        I dont belive that 'pda content' is the end all goal.. not for a moment.
      • Not feature films (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:29AM (#8225811) Homepage Journal

        Does anyone around here have an interest in watching a movie on a 1.5" (4 cm) lcd?

        I don't see Eisner pushing full-length feature films in this medium as much as 11-minute-or-shorter episodes of "Recess", "Pepper Ann", "House of Mouse" or any of the other ABC crap that Disney has tried to push on K-12 kids.

      • Re:Great News! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BJZQ8 (644168) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:31AM (#8225834) Homepage Journal
        Don't forget the fact that not only will they allow you to watch movies on a tiny screen, they'll cost you $7 a pop, and only be watchable for 48 hours before they evaporate...the real purpose of DRM in this case is not to prevent copying, it is to facilitate per-view fees and the "rental model" for movies.
      • by TobiasSodergren (470677) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:42AM (#8225932)
        From the sales department:

        - If you have two phones, you get stereo sound!
        - Also, if you hold the phones really close to your eyes, it'll be like going to the cinema!
      • Re:Great News! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by john82 (68332)
        Does anyone around here have an interest in watching a movie on a 1.5" (4 cm) lcd?

        Perhaps not, but what about background images and ringtones? There are plenty of identifiable Disney IP that's already availble in those categories (albeit illegally). But there are also newer game machine/phone hybrids for the 12-20 set (as evidenced by the new model from Nokia). I'm sure those are not the last instance of such integrated functionality we'll see.
      • Re:Great News! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by debian4life (701155)
        Ok so you are telling me that all this stuff I am hearing about phones that you can surf the Internet on, IM, take pictures, use Bluetooth, ssh, VNC, etc, all while typing on a numeric keypad with buttons 1/10th the size of my finger is a bunch of overblown hype. Now I have to cancel my order on my Motorola v27000
  • Just wait (Score:5, Funny)

    by AllInOne (236413) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:08AM (#8225604)
    Just wait 'til Steve Jobs, who is already head of Apple and Pixar, decides that he wants to be the head of Disney too.

    How long would the MSFT deal last then?
  • by Breaker_1 (688170) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:08AM (#8225605) Homepage
    Will they be using a standard format then that would be compatbile with many devices or are they going to be using a custom format?
    Wait.. do I REALLY need Mickey Mouse (C) on my cell phone?

    ::runs for the hills::
  • by kc0re (739168) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:08AM (#8225607) Journal
    Does this mean that half way through the Disney movie, right when Mary Kate and Ashley are starting the best porition of their acting, you're going to have to reboot?
  • by Selecter (677480) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:08AM (#8225609)
    From the Pixar/Apple deal gone bad. Eisner is going to try to punish Jobs for dismissing him.

    Vain egos often make bad business decisions. Pixar does not need Disney any longer, and most of Disney's recent ventures have been pale imitations of Pixar's work.

    • by chod (587534) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:33AM (#8225840)
      The timing of this decision is definately suspect. After Mike and Steve had that public spat. It reminds me of Dr. Seuss's Zax:

      "And I'll prove to YOU," yelled the South-Going Zax, "That I can stand here in the prairie of Prax For fifty-nine years! For I live by a rule That I learned as a boy back in South-Going School. Never budge! That's my rule. Never budge in the least! Not an inch to the west! Not an inch to the east! I'll stay here, not budging! I can and I will If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still!" Well... Of course the world didn't stand still.

      Only time will tell who really needed the other person. But from this spot, it certainly looks like Disney is making one bad decison after another and Eisner may run Disney into the ground before he gives up the controls.

    • by kerry-buckley (647774) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:41AM (#8225921)
      From the Pixar/Apple deal gone bad. Eisner is going to try to punish Jobs for dismissing him.

      I wonder if it might have been the other way round -- Jobs dropping Disney because they were insisting on using MS's proprietary DRM.
    • Yep. Although I'm no fan of Jobs particularly, there is no doubt that Pixar has more creativity in their bathroom than Disney has in their whole company. And this, by the way, is not to knock the talent at Disney, which still has some of the most talented people in the world. But the environment there doesn't encourage creativity any more.
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:09AM (#8225613) Homepage Journal
    Thank you for using the proper term here: titans. Disney and Microsoft are surely powerful in their industries (right now, today). But everyone here has the choice to not purchase or support these products. No one is forcing you to buy Disney products, watch ABC television, or wear their licensed gear. No one is forcing you to buy products using MS DRM technology.

    Remember that before you suggest that either is a monopoly. Look at things in your life and find out where the real monopolies are.

    Can you bow out of Social Security? Are you forced to eat at McDonalds? Do you have to pay into federal unemployment insurance? Did you pick your car insurance company, or was it "granted to you" by the voting majority?
    • by mr.capaneus (582891) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:25AM (#8225767)
      Do you know what a Monopoly is? Extending the definition to include social security and unemployement insurance is really a stretch and not really in any way useful. We have a different word to describe what you are talking about. It is "government". There's really no need to make it any more complex than that.
    • by NixLuver (693391) <stwhite@kch[ ]tic.com ['ere' in gap]> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:27AM (#8225792) Homepage Journal
      The measure of a monopoly is not whether you are forced to buy their products. No one has to watch movies - does that mean it wouldn't be a monopoly if there were only one company? No one has to have a telephone; does that mean that there can't be abuses of the Sherman Antitrust Act by a phone company?

      If you think that Microsoft, Disney, or most other large corporations have not violated the sherman [stolaf.edu] Antitrust Act of 1890, you should probably read it. The word 'monopoly' has been bandied around specifically to confuse the issue. Section 2:

      Section 2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty
      Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

      "Attempt to monopolize" etc. Section 1 discusses restraint of trade - which this could most certainly be percieved as a step towards, dependin g on how Microsoft and Disney deal with the DRM issues - and with their track record, it's not looking good.

      Creating a barrier to entry is what the industry is trying to accomplish with mandatory DRM. If you have to pay a $50 license for DRM, and it's illegal to distribute something (software, os, hardware, or all three) without it, then the Free Software world - and, perhaps, open source - is essentially relegated to irrelevance here in the US. And in any country that would hope to do business with US and the IMF/Wold Bank. Bleah.

      • by GoofyBoy (44399) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:32AM (#8225837) Journal
        >"Attempt to monopolize" etc. Section 1 discusses restraint of trade - which this could most certainly be percieved as a step towards, dependin g on how Microsoft and Disney deal with the DRM issues - and with their track record, it's not looking good.

        Exactly how is Disney a monopoly?
        • I should hope that you would understand the difference between "monopoly" and "attempt to monopolize". I didn't claim Disney was a monopoly - or Microsoft, for that matter. The word confuses the issue because a corporation does not have to be a 'monopoly' in order to violate the Sherman Act. That's the point I was making. It's restraint of trade that matters.

          If you don't think that this is the first step in trying to establish Microsoft's DRM as the de-facto standard prior to governmental requirement of DR

          • "... a corporation does not have to be a 'monopoly' in order to violate the Sherman Act. ... It's restraint of trade that matters."

            But wouldn't a company have to have significant, if not near dominant, market share to be considered restraining trade in this case? Disney is a corporate titan but has nowhere near the market share necessary to restrict consumer choice with a distribution technology.

            "... this is the first step in trying to establish Microsoft's DRM as the de-facto standard prior to governm
            • The problem with the establishment of Microsoft's DRM as a standard is that, sooner or later, those corporations who depend on IP for their income will succeed in lobbying congress to require mandatory DRM inclusion. If Microsoft's is the 'de-facto' standard, there is significant incentive to adopt it as a 'standard' rather than some open standard; Chances are that it will cost money and open software like cdrecord or Linux or *bsd will be in violation of the law.

              Yeah. It could literally make free softwar

    • Monopolies, yes (Score:2, Insightful)

      You are the quibbling sort, always looking for any excuse to avoid reality. Microsoft has been convicted of being a monopoly, and has not appealed it; Microsoft thereby admits to being a monopoly.

      One of the classic anti trust cases involved a railroad bridge across the Mississippi River. There was no other suitable location for a bridge crossing within hundreds of miles. The railroad was convicted of being a monopoly, because there was no practical alternative.

      You are the kind of quibbler who would say
    • Well, you are correct about Disney, but some US states, and assorted countries around the world disagree with you about Microsoft.

      You say that no-one is forcing you to buy microsoft's DRM technology, nor presumably their browser technology, or media technology, or office technology.

      To a certain extent you are quite correct, However because of their monopoly position in one market (achieved through technical excellence, being good at business, or sheer luck, it doesn't matter), they are able to leverage th
    • What a moron (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spitzak (4019)
      Monopoly by definition does not include the government, no matter how evil and controlling that government is. Though I don't always agree with them, most Libertarians are quite intelligent and logical, and you are insulting them with such stupid arguments.

      If the evil government said everybody *must* purchase Microsoft, then Microsoft would still be the monopoly, not the government. The government would be a bad government.

      PS: Microsoft certainly is a monopoly. It is physically impossible to do many thing
  • by cliffy2000 (185461) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:10AM (#8225625) Journal
    Wolf in sheep's clothing makes deal with devil. Sounds like a Disney movie to me.
  • by zboy (685758) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:10AM (#8225630)
    The only Disney movies I've actually paid to see in the last few years were all Pixar animations. Now that Pixar's gone, Disney doesnt have much left, and I dont think a little cell phone screen is going to make their animations look any better. I think they need to focus on creating quality features before they try and start selling them...unless they're trying to bypass stores all together and go to a direct-to-phone distribution..
    • by Lightwarrior (73124) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:18AM (#8225705) Journal
      Don't write 'em off yet. Pixar still has three movies it owes Disney. How long has it been since the last three Pixar films? How long do you think it would take Disney to setup a Pixar knock-off?

      -lw
      • Pixar still has three movies it owes Disney.

        Two now that Finding Nemo is done[1]. Or does the contract specify that Pixar owes Disney something beyond The Incredibles and Cars?

        How long do you think it would take Disney to setup a Pixar knock-off?

        Knockoff? Not long at all. Division whose movies survive for a strong second weekend? Not while Eisner remains in power.

        [1] "Done" as in "dinner's ready" [losingnemo.com].

      • by null_session (137073) <ben.houseofwebb@com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:45AM (#8225965) Homepage
        How long do you think it would take Disney to setup a Pixar knock-off?

        I don't think the question is setting up a Pixar knock off. If Disney wanted a fully 3d animation studio I'm sure Eisner could put it on his personal platinum card and have it bought this afternoon. So let's say they do that, what then? The problem is that Disney almost never produces any original ideas. Most of their work has been adaptation of existing stories. Outside of their distribution agreements with Ghibli and Pixar(oops), There aren't manny original stories that they can claim. Oh, and before you tell me that the Lion King or Disney's take on Atlantis were original, you had better check here [indiana.edu] and here [animenewsnetwork.com].

      • How long do you think it would take Disney to setup a Pixar knock-off?

        Like PDI/Dreamworks? A looong time.

        Creating a reasonable facimile of the technology to generate these kinds of pictures? Probably not too long?

        Assebmling an organization with the talent needed to produce films on par with Monsters, Nemo, Shrek, Ice Age, etc? That's a different question. That seems to be the area where they can't deliver anymore, innit?

        Once upon a time, they had ppl that could develop stories and characters that
    • by gosand (234100) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:50AM (#8226022)
      The only Disney movies I've actually paid to see in the last few years were all Pixar animations. Now that Pixar's gone, Disney doesnt have much left, and I dont think a little cell phone screen is going to make their animations look any better. I think they need to focus on creating quality features before they try and start selling them...unless they're trying to bypass stores all together and go to a direct-to-phone distribution..


      To be quite honest, you don't matter to Disney (unless you are a parent). They market their tripe to the mass-market of parents. Good, wholesome family values. They get parents to buy every friggin thing they put out with this method. Who wants to hear a kid screaming over and over that they want to watch The Lion King 1 1/2? Just buy the DVD so the kid will shut up for a couple of hours. Go into a mall, and look at who is actually buying things in the Disney store. Go to that train-wreck Disney themed indoor amusement thingy. Go to Disney World. Ugh. They aren't concerned with quality, they are concerned with $$$$$. Microsoft is the way to go for them...

      • by DrCode (95839) on Monday February 09, 2004 @01:14PM (#8226831)
        Kid: (Whine) (Whine) Dadddyyy!!! I'm bored! (Whine) I want to see a disney cartoon on the phone.
        Dad: Sorry, my phone won't do that.
        Kid: (Whine, Sniffle) But Joey gets to watch them on his dad's phone.
        Dad: I know, son, but I don't have the right kind of phone for that.
        Wife: Damnit, Bob! I told you not to buy that Linux phone. (Nag, nag, nag) All my friends bought phones that let their kids watch Disney, but you had to go buy another one of your geek toys!
  • Disney vs. Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:12AM (#8225645) Journal
    Or rather, Eisner vs. Jobs.

    They hate each other.

    Jobs is determined to become the next Disney.

    And Disney is turning to Microsoft. I almost feel sorry for them, no-one (and I mean no-one) has ever done a deal with Microsoft and not regretted it later.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:12AM (#8225646)
    Is a documentary on Bill Gates called: Bluescreen and the Beast.
  • Seems rather early (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SparafucileMan (544171) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:12AM (#8225652)
    Considering most people in the U.S. don't have broadband, this seems rather premature. And would those with broadband really want to wait an hour or ten to watch what, compared to a DVD, is pixelated crap? Would you really want to invite your gf to watch some grainy compressed video or would you splurge on the $3 DVD rental?
  • by toupsie (88295) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:12AM (#8225655) Homepage
    I wonder if Steve Jobs took his little computer animated characters and left Disney because they went with M$ DRM. Deals like this don't happen over night. Just a thought...
  • by Bingo Foo (179380) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:13AM (#8225657)
    I guess I'll get that 8 gig memory card for my phone now. Oh, and 5.1 DTS sound.

    CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW MR. BRUCKHEIMER? BOOOOOOM!

  • by lennart78 (515598) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:13AM (#8225662)
    Disney made a genious, tough at the time risky, move to do business with Pixar. Pixar, with every new movie they put out, has raised the bar on animated movies. Traditional 2D-Disney animation is on a steep decline, and Pixar is now breaking free of Disney. (I've seen the figures somewhere, don't have a link, but take it from me, it's impressive...)

    For this deal with MS to be a success, they must have content people are willing to watch. And that is something they're not putting out anymore with Pixar off their team.

    They can still be considered a titan, but for how long?
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) * on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:51AM (#8226045)
      I have a long memory, and have been working with Disney professionally on-and-off for over 20 years. I remember Disney before Pixar, their ups and downs. Mostly ups. Sure, the Disney/Pixar relationship was great for both organizations, and a more cynical person could easily argue that Pixar, despite their obvious talents, needed Disney *then* more than Disney needs Pixar *now.* There are other Pixars "out there" just waiting to be taken under a big corp's wing (the MS/Bungie deal come to mind immediately, I don't know why...), and both EisnerCo and GatesCo have demonstrated they know how to find them. Sure, Pixar has raised the bar, and my hat's off to them, but the animation bar now rises at an almost exponential rate annually due as much to the tearing down of tech barriers as to the pushing of creative envelopes. Content is of course still "king," but in no field is that crown held on so uneasy a head as it is in animation.

      As for the whole DRM bugaboo, I gotta tell you, most people don't care. In fact, most geeks don't care. Should they? Sure, but it's a topic for a different conversation. Disney will be making and distributing -- and MS will be securing -- entertainment for the mass populace. If everybody who sez they'll never buy a DRM'd download REALLY never buys a DRM'd download, it will still be less than a rounding error on the Disney/MS titan's ledger.
  • by mikerich (120257) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:13AM (#8225663)
    Anyone for Goofy the Office Assistant?

    Best wishes,
    Mike.

  • by The Placid Casual (661461) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:13AM (#8225664)
    This has all the hallmarks of being just a dig at Pixar after the two companies very public 'falling out' earlier this month... (Falling out = Disney trying to shaft Steve Jobs?)

    I'm guessing that all this will mean is that Mac users won't be able to watch 'Lion King 7' on their computers when it come out... :p

    Without Pixar, Disney could be in real trouble film wise...

  • DRM will be cracked (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SparafucileMan (544171) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:15AM (#8225681)
    I mean, seriously....haven't they been paying attention to the friendly hackers? Once it gets popular we'll break the DRM faster than Bush can say "weapons of mass destruction."
  • 2 titans... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by selderrr (523988) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:18AM (#8225708) Journal
    ... on the way downhill
    i would rather bet my $$ on the Apple/pixar tandem : 2 stars on the rise
  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <<teamhasnoi> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:19AM (#8225722) Homepage Journal
    of a mouse in chains. But it wasn't any ordinary mouse - this mouse was gigantic and fat. It ate everything it saw, and stomped on the things it couldn't bend down to eat.

    The mouse was very old; seemed like it had been around forever. Whenever anyone talked about the mouse, it'd better be good or *stomp*! No one was allowed to take a picture of the mouse or fashion its likeness in any way.

    All the people around the mouse were tired parents in chains - as long as you put chains on when you were in the presence of the mouse you were safe. As soon as you took the chains off - *stomp*!

    I really have to lay off the homemade guacamole.

  • by leifm (641850) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:21AM (#8225743)
    Figure it'll cost as much as going to Hollywood/Blockbuster and renting a DVD. Add in potential connection issues with streaming, time do dl if it's download, and then it's on a computer. I'll take renting a DVD, throwing it in and watching it on a TV. Less issues, probably the same cost. Movie downloads aren't going anywhere for several years at least, let Disney roll with MS DRM, it's going to fail anyway.
  • by wine (211387) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:22AM (#8225744)
    As part of the new Disney-Microsoft deal, Bill Gates will be starring as Peter Pan in the new Disney remake of this well known epos. A source close to Microsoft said that Steve Balmer will co-star as Tinkerbell.
  • by glpierce (731733) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:22AM (#8225747) Homepage
    So will the movies only be playable every seven years?
  • Using Microsoft's DRM in the only way you can ensure tyou will be able to update the DRM for flaws or improvements. MS installes the DRM on every OS it ships and can force the updates down user's throats.
  • Not like RIAA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WarSpiteX (98591) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:25AM (#8225764) Homepage
    At least they're being pro-active about this and are creating a legal way to download. I think they'll also need to lower prices relative to DVDs, but that's beside the point.

    Rather than joking about Microsoft security or Disney's financial situation and friendship with certain Senators, why not discuss the possible viability of the online movie market. Will people really download these legally, rather than get DVD rips off Kazaa and BitTorrent links? Or worse, when the DRM technology gets cracked, will the movies spread for free?

    Personally I believe that this won't stop online piracy or make up for the lost sales, but the legality and conveniece will make the downloadable movies an attractive alternative. The revenues will never be the same but it'll be better than trying to prevent online distribution at all.
  • by tuxzone (64722) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:25AM (#8225771)
    microsoft
    disney +
    ----------------------
    mickeysoft
  • more can be less (Score:3, Insightful)

    by madchris (266878) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:26AM (#8225777)
    There are times when forcing more control over something leads to a total loss of control. As individuals, we tend to resent being distrusted. As a group we are no different. I don't see anything useful coming out of these DRM schemes. Dishonest people will *always* find a way to break into something.
  • Walt? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Fishstick (150821)
    Walt Disney has licensed Microsoft's Windows Media DRM technology

    Wow, so they un-froze his head long enough to sign a license? Cool!

    Oh, you mean the Walt Disney Company [hoovers.com]!!!
  • Crash and burn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Petronius (515525) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:33AM (#8225844)
    People don't want to buy DRM media. Period. Let Disney try it and then feel the wrath of consummers when they figure out they *lost* the "rights" to the movie/clip/music they had *PURCHASED* with their hard earned dollars. MS's DRM is dead on arrival. To this day, I yet have to meet a single person that encodes her music to WMA and that is psyched about it. People stick with MP3 beacause at this point it's open enough and it'll be supported for life. Good luck Disney.
  • This could restrict Disneys customer base considerably. MSFT does not have a very good record or marketshare for those small devices and unless MSFT ports it's DRM to the other OS's, this will be a partnership for the WindowsPC only. IMO.

    Remember, the current champions of the consumer electronics space( Japan ) are all moving to GNU/Linux for those devices. The PalmOS( PalmOne and Sony ) still outsell MSFT/PocketPC by over 60%(IIRC). Not to mention this is after MSFT losing $$ at it's Mobile Unit for it's
  • by InsaneGeek (175763) <slashdot@nOSpaM.insanegeeks.com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:36AM (#8225863) Homepage
    Let's face the facts. DRM is coming, it's going to be here no matter how much kicking and screaming people do it's going to be here. Many of the Slashdot crowd have been wringing their hands concerned with Linux/BSD/other being squeezed out of being able to view movies, listen to MP3's, etc. All they have been saying is M$ is bad because of DRM they are going to screw *US*. Well they are going to screw non MS users if we don't do something about it.

    Content providers want DRM, MS probably doesn't care a bit about DRM but they realized that providers want it before they'll release their product. So they fill the niche because opensource has only been against it instead of offering their alternative. If opensource, etc doesn't want to be completely squeezed out of this market they need to offer an alternative. An alternative that can be used on any platform without cost. Content providers don't want to pay a M$ license, they just want a warm fuzzy. If we can give them a warm fuzzy without cost; it'll still be DRM but it'll be *our* DRM that won't prevent *my* OS from being able to view their content. We need to get an acceptable alternative out there before we non-M$ users completely lose any use (even a crippled DRM use) because we let M$ control the market completely.
    • "Content providers want DRM,"

      There are a lot of things that big business wants, but that doesn't mean that consumers will go for it. No consumer benefits from DRM, so if it makes their life harder they just won't buy: to work at all it needs to be a non-DRM DRM like Apple's iTunes, where you can still burn DRM-free copies to CDs to listen to.

      As for producing our own DRM, why? We don't want it, Joe Sixpack doesn't want it, just let it crash and burn in the marketplace like all those other bad inventions th
  • With companies as big as these, with their large budgets and potential power in politics, and with the RIAA as an effective role model in lobbying, its possible that the WM-DRM software may become the de facto software for any copyrighted content online. If you can't monopolize the business, monopolize the media and the source.
  • by gr8_phk (621180) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:38AM (#8225897)
    A recent /. talked about the demise of record stores. Is the same bound to happen with movies? With legal downloading - even if it's for one-time viewing - what's the use of Blockbuster?
  • by JawFunk (722169) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:50AM (#8226028)
    Microsoft has put increasing emphasis on its entertainment technology and Hollywood relationships over the past few years, as it envisions a role for the personal computer as the hub of the average home's living room entertainment center.

    This is a great step forward in Microsoft's strategic plans forthe future. Facing a growing threat from competing operating systems, and losing market share in international circles, mostly business clients, Microsoft has braced itself for the future, when it will not be the no. 1 OS. Take for example MSNBC, a money losing venture for Microsoft since its launcha few years back. Xbox barely takes in a profit. Yet these two products are examples of how MS is carefully pushing itself into media delivery, a business I believe Gates is targeting in the future. By having even a presence in these industries, even if a small one, companies and shareholders in the future will learn to trust MS in this field.

    Some years from now (like 8) when MS does another big buyout or forms a subsidiary in a movie business or production studio or home entertainment encryption, MS may have established itself as a trustworthy name, and the OS part of its company may play a lesser role at that point. Remember that Disney has influcence and presence in many circles of business as well, making this an alliance to watch carefully.

  • Expiring DVDs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by andih8u (639841) on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:51AM (#8226038)
    Didn't Disney attempt to sell the DVDs with an expiration date? And if I recall that failed gloriously.

    And who will really want to stream a movie? Pay, say $5 for something that looks like crap; or maybe they'll let you download DVD quality...who couldn't download 3 - 4 gigs of video, right? Disney really has had some strange ideas lately.

    In any event, buying the DVD will probably only be $10 more than paying to download it, so why bother at all?
  • Great News!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt...johnson@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 09, 2004 @11:59AM (#8226116) Homepage
    Given Disney's trackrecord of turning every DRM solution they touch into a consumer backlash, we should be able to watch the market failure of MS's DRM product.

    Remember, these are the guys that have watched DivX and disposable DVDs flop in the market. Maybe third times a charm, but it'll be more fun to watch MS get sucked into Disney's inability to squeeze more money from the pre-school crowd who watch those movies till the VHS tapes are worn thin.

    I say, let the games begin. ;-)
  • MS Press Release (Score:4, Informative)

    by pmhudepo (595903) on Monday February 09, 2004 @12:16PM (#8226264) Homepage
    Microsoft has posted a press release [microsoft.com].
  • "Industry"? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Monday February 09, 2004 @12:29PM (#8226382) Homepage
    Titans perhaps, but industry? Doesn't that imply the production of useful goods or services?
  • by eaddict (148006) on Monday February 09, 2004 @01:34PM (#8227059)
    I know that we buy Disney DVDs right now cause they can be played anywhere. We have a DVD player in the van (for road trips - ha!), DVD players on the kids computers in the basement, and of course, the DVD player by the entertainment center. I even have a DVD player on my laptop that is used on flights and in hotels. I can't imagine streaming a copy to my TV then buying another copy for the van or PC. How will DRM affect how I share my movie through the 4 or 5 ways I can watch it right now?
  • Welcome to the Finding Nemo DVD!
    1. What would you like to do?
    2. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to watch this movie now (for yourself).
    3. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to watch this movie now (for another person).
    4. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to enable the current DVD player to play this movie.
    5. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to enable the current TV to display this movie.
    6. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to watch the outtakes from this movie.
    7. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to watch the commercials that accompanied the theatrical release of this movie.
    8. Purchase an Enjoyment Right (tm) to watch previews of coming attractions.

    NOTE: You must purchase a Disney certified Enjoyment Right (tm) for each person viewing any portion the movie. You must also purchase a right for each piece of equipment involved in the presentation of the movie. This right lasts for the duration of the movie, and then expires. Failure to purchase the correct number of rights is a felony offense. Inclusion of any missing, false or misleading information in the Enjoyment Right (tm) request form is a felony offense. Use of playback or presentation equipment which does not support Enjoyment Rights is a felony offense. Attempting to circumvent any portion of the Enjoyment Right restrictions, as outlined by the FBI, is a felony offense.

    Thank you for choosing Disney products. Enjoy the movie!.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday February 09, 2004 @04:32PM (#8229456) Homepage
    ...I doubt I will be elligible to buy from Disney. :( Forget about DRM, what about the amount of data I would be downloading? Would I be able to download my kids' favorites to watch without fear of being disconnected?

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison

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