Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Entertainment

Hollywood afraid of Microsoft 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the do-you-fear-what-i-fear dept.
prostoalex writes "Associated Press claims that media industry has been quietly avoiding Microsoft and trying to keep the movie and music industries to their own. However, these days there's little chance of doing business without Microsoft and the movie studios are afraid of digital piracy more than they're afraid of Microsoft. The biggest fear? Microsoft will use its desktop PC monopoly to charge Hollywood outrageous fees and basically own the movie industry. Microsoft refutes the accusations, saying that it's only interested in selling more copies of Windows and applications for its platform, and providing movie content would promote the platform. Also noteworthy that among the four video-on-demand services that New York Times reviewed recently two that got the journalistic acclaim (StarzTicket and CinemaNow) are run by technology companies - Real Networks and Microsoft."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hollywood afraid of Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • by mfh (56) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:21AM (#9980864) Journal
    > The biggest fear? Microsoft will use its desktop PC monopoly to charge Hollywood outrageous fees and basically own the movie industry. Microsoft refutes the accusations, saying that it's only interested in selling more copies of Windows and applications for its platform, and providing movie content would promote the platform.

    This is FUD. Microsoft can't own the movie industry because the movie industry doesn't even own the movie industry. The customers own the movie industry and if Hollywood continues putting out crap films, studio execs will only have themselves to blame for the fall of Hollywood. Obviously Microsoft doesn't want that to happen. They want to keep doing business with Hollywood and Microsoft is afraid of Open Source, so Billy's army of one will only have to start competing with Open Source in a way that is fair and honest (not "Best Practice", True Practice), or Microsoft too will only have themselves to blame when the palace of cards comes tumbling down.

    I see some parallelism here between Hollywood and Microsoft. Both are too big for their own good and it's about time they realize it and start acting like they have something to lose if they don't change their tactics.

    I just saw a Canadian movie today called Shot in the Face (2001) [imdb.com]. Yes the fans at IMDB give it an under-rated 5.6/10, but to me the film had a unique plot, interesting characters and it was fun -- it was just low budget, but it still brought a smile to my face. Obviously not A-list by any stretch of the imagination. My point is that large organizations take something unique out of films, and they also take something unique out of software and operating systems. Polish sometimes ruins things, and both these industries have ruined their products by either having too much polish in all the wrong places, or by have not enough polish in the places that matter.
    • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:22AM (#9980891) Homepage Journal
      Sure they can't own the movie industry...but they can certainly give themselves a stranglehold over its distrobution resourcse.
      • And a stranglehold over the financing!
      • Distro.. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ackthpt (218170) *
        Sure they can't own the movie industry...but they can certainly give themselves a stranglehold over its distrobution resourcse[sic].

        Indeed, if Microsoft introduces a video/audio player with it's one proprietary encryption, then just gives it away Hollywood* would likely embrace it. Once all the investment is made, to convert media to this format and a few iterations of releases Microsoft, there could be no backing out and Microsoft would be calling the tune. I expect Windows Media Player is exactly this

        • Re:Distro.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by GTRacer (234395) <gtracer308&yahoo,com> on Monday August 16, 2004 @12:12PM (#9981458) Homepage Journal
          Open Source? Don't make me laugh at your naivity...

          What makes you think F/OSS is any less secure? Because you can see how the lock is made? If it's made right, it shouldn't matter. If it's implemented right, it shouldn't matter.

          And if it isn't, then someone can find out quickly and without fear of DMCA enforcement and let the coders know there's an issue.

          Because in its long history, PGP has been hacked HOW many times?
          GTRacer
          - P.S. It's naivete.

          • Re:Distro.. (Score:2, Insightful)

            by ackthpt (218170) *
            If it's implemented right, it shouldn't matter.

            The problem is you're taking the short view. The long view is all the main players, owners of large libraries of film, music, etc. encode stuff, they want it secure perpetually. They're paranoid -- many of the entertainment industry moguls fortunes were made by shamelessly exploiting people and keeping rights to things in perpetuity, why else would they have pushed for the seemingly endless copyright protection?

            The reality is, they'll have to settle on som

          • Re:Distro.. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2004 @12:24PM (#9981570)
            Because in its long history, PGP has been hacked HOW many times?

            That's because the problem PGP solves is... well... solvable. DRM is the art of giving information to someone without giving it to them. Not just impossible, plain stupid. Now I'm as much a FOSS fan as the next (/.) guy, but I don't think it can do the impossible. :-)
        • by budgenator (254554) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:10PM (#9982103) Journal
          Hollywood wants super secret encryption
          Firstly a stupid question is one that questions a premise that everyone falsely believes to be true so here goes

          If encryption is a methods to allow two trusted parties to comunicate without an untrusted third party understanding the communication; how could Hollywood, use it to comunicate with an un-trusted consummer? Obviously they can't. Some how, some way Hollywood has to give the decryption key to the untrusted for viewing and no matter how obfuscated the key is, it has to be available and therefore breakable.
          • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:18PM (#9982174) Homepage Journal
            no matter how obfuscated the key is, it has to be available and therefore breakable

            Exactly. At some point they have to realize they can only do so much. Amazingly it's taken decades to bring out some of the stuff we've always wanted from the vaults -- old films, TV shows, and maybe maybe classic events in news or sports (they are playing some classic old football games, but imagine being able to choose the game you want to watch -- what did the end of the 'Heidi' game look like?) Produce and outstrip the pirates, undercut the prices of the pirates. It's amazing what people showed they were willing to spend to have a copy of a movie on Laser Disk or Video Tape -- too bad Hollywood still thinks it needs to charge high prices, which are the greatest contributor to piracy.

      • by abb3w (696381) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:31PM (#9982302) Journal
        Sure they can't own the movie industry...but they can certainly give themselves a stranglehold over its distrobution resourcse.
        [sic]

        Mmmm... no. On the one hand, Quicktime is competition; if backed into a corner by Microsoft, the movie industry would be humping up Apple's leg in no time.

        On the other hand, "Hollywood" is not the whole of the movie industry. Leaving aside the black sheep of the family (pr0n! [asciipr0n.com]), there's also Bollywood, and a shlode of independents. Of course, they won't be spending $70M on production and $50M on marketing [boxofficemojo.com], but that doesn't mean that they can't put out good movies. The special effects may be cheezier, but heck, I still play Angband and NetHack [nethack.org].

        I suspect that, much like lots of little Indie music bands putting out MP3s on the cheap-and-easy, some people may start putting homemade movies up in [insert favorite format] on the Torrents. They won't get rich, and 90% of everything up there will be poorly made crap... and thus, probably a better ratio than we get today. =)

        Now, perhaps M$ can end up in control of Hollywood -- given "reasonable" terms, and perhaps a little backmail ("We've 30 billion lying around... maybe we should start a movie studio? Whadayathink?"); but they don't DARE try to drive Apple out of business-- they've already been a convicted monopolist once, they don't want to deal with that again. Ergo, the little guys will continue to roam wild and free... for a little while longer.

    • by garcia (6573) * on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:24AM (#9980914) Homepage
      The customers own the movie industry and if Hollywood continues putting out crap films, studio execs will only have themselves to blame for the fall of Hollywood.

      Yes, yes, the will all only have themselves to really blame but who will they blame instead? Any outside force that they can; the weather, the people, the pirates, the actors, the staff, Microsoft, the theatres, the lavish party planners, whatever.

      Bad movies are put out because people still go and watch them either in the theatre or later on DVD. They will always have a market because there really isn't competition out there. It's not exactly as if we have a large group of movies to choose from every week...
      • It's not exactly as if we have a large group of movies to choose from every week...

        My favorite choice each week: none of the above.

        The last time I went to a movie with my wife, we spent something like $25 on tickets and concessions, the movie was awful, there were people talking behind us, and someone with huge hair in front of us. Even with our crappy old TV at home, I'd rather rent for under $4 and have mediocre microwave popcorn than go to a movie theatre. Also, I can drink beer during a movie at
    • by KontinMonet (737319) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:27AM (#9980946) Homepage Journal
      Some people have a great problem just with English so no doubt adding Polish might ruin things for them...
    • the customers PAY for the movie industry to make movies(or rather pay for getting to see the movies), when they pay they don't get a stake in the company that produced the movie or get to reap money when they recommend the film to their friends and they go see it.

      there is actually a word for a company that is owned by it's customers(and as thus giving all the profit back to the customer-owners as the companys only reason for existing is to provide a service for the people that own it and _not_ to make prof
    • Easy Target (Score:2, Funny)

      by neilb78 (557698)
      Something is wrong...blame Microsoft.
    • The movie industry has had phenomenal growth in the past few years. They just keep getting bigger and bigger.

      Each project (movie) is now an individual $50 to $200 million ?corporation?. A movie is a corporation that is its own product. And it?s a corporation that delivers about 2/3rds of its possible profitable return within a month after it is introduced to the public.
      The stream of profit that comes from all the secondary sources (post-theatrical release, i.e. DVD & video rentals, TV broadcast,
    • I see some parallelism here between Hollywood and Microsoft. Both are too big for their own good and it's about time they realize it and start acting like they have something to lose if they don't change their tactics
      The picture that keeps popping into mind as I'm reading this is that of two obese bears locked in a wheel-like formation with each biting the other's ass, rolling down a hill towards a cliff.
  • by garcia (6573) * on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:21AM (#9980868) Homepage
    Microsoft views these deals as thawing its icy relations with Hollywood and eradicating old stereotypes about Microsoft software being buggy.

    Well of course it can't as it has been proven time and time again that it is indeed buggy and exploitable. It seems to me that the current methods for playing movies in theatres works pretty damn well and it isn't exactly as if MS' deals are going to make distribution inexpensive enough to become attractive.

    Yet Microsoft can't quite shake fears that its real intention is to use its monopoly position to charge Hollywood outrageous fees to access the computer desktop.

    They charge everyone else astronomical licensing fees and speculation that it will only get worse is running rampant - probably justifiably so. Would they really cut Hollywood such a sweet deal as to protect them forever from licensing fees that would make this cost prohibitive? I doubt it. I would really like to know exactly how MS is trying to sell this to them.

    To be honest though, I am fairly impressed that Hollywood is actually making a stand and telling them off. I don't know too many other businesses that would be so wary.

    ...studios say they need to encourage competition so they won't be held hostage by one company.

    That is one hysterical comment that was only for the benefit of those that won't RTFA.
    • Yet Microsoft can't quite shake fears that its real intention is to use its monopoly position to charge Hollywood outrageous fees to access the computer desktop.

      And of course this goes counter to what MS has been saying recently, and conventional wisdom. MS has explicity stated to shareholders that it has saturated OS and Office markets and is searching for new markets to grow profits.

      Do antitrust laws prevent a monopoly from becoming monopolies in other industries?

    • ...studios say they need to encourage competition so they won't be held hostage by one company.

      With the MPAA we aren't held hostage by any one movie studio.

      With the RIAA we aren't held hostage by any single record company.

      Microsoft needs to learn to innovate like the MPAA and RIAA.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:21AM (#9980877)
    I love it when the monopolies... err I mean, monopoly and oligopoly fight.
  • Antitrust (Score:4, Funny)

    by Klar (522420) * <curchinNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:22AM (#9980879) Homepage Journal
    Hell, I'd be afraid too if the Hollywood movie Antitrust [mgm.com] has much truth behind it.... watch out for the little geek people bigtime Hollywood types.
  • by TheUncleBob (791234) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:24AM (#9980908) Homepage
    With MPAA on one side and Microsoft on the other, I just don't know who to cheer for.
  • by bunburyist (664958) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:24AM (#9980911)
    The suits who run the studios are so disconnected* from the techies in the render farms that such issues never enter their brains.** And to big-corp-think, of course, free software -- free anything -- is an abomination and unclean anyway. Understanding this, IMO, is key to understanding everything from the [MP|RI]AA's reaction to piracy, to Microsoft's reaction to Linux. In their perfect world, you pay for everything; more specifically, you pay them for everything. The idea that anyone might be able to get useful stuff for free wakes them up in screaming nightmares. This is not rational cost-benefit analysis. This is a clash of worldviews as fundamental as Galileo's with the Church.

    --

    * I'm not claiming any special insider knowledge of how Hollywood studios work. This is my guess based on my experience of how big corporations work in general.

    ** If they have brains. Or hearts. Or courage. All of which are highly debatable.
    • by krog (25663) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:30AM (#9980989) Homepage
      Are you implying that an industry would turn down something free (as in beer)?

      Linux will never make it to the desktops, the productivity applications will forever be 5+ years behind. But on the other side, in the render farms, Linux has already replaced more expensive solutions like SGI and Solaris. It's free, and it works just as well or better. People in charge of enormous corporations like that sort of thing.
      • by Goonie (8651) *
        Linux will never make it to the desktops, the productivity applications will forever be 5+ years behind.

        Are you telling me there's been any genuinely significant improvement in Microsoft Office in the last 5 years?

        • by krog (25663)
          No, there hasn't. And the productivity suites that run on Unix/Linux still haven't caught up -- and even if they did, we still lack a coherent, consistent, elegant and usable "desktop" interface.
        • Are you telling me there's been any genuinely significant improvement in Microsoft Office in the last 5 years?

          Yes. The most obvious being the HTML/XML support, internal program smart tags (2002 and 2003 will actually ask you, in a rather quiet way, if you want them to stop or undo an automatic change), and a slew of things that interoperate with an MS server.

          Oh, and Excel's Pivottables, new data formats (in 2000 - four years old, and not likely to go anywhere soon), Frontpage sucking way less than it di
      • Are you implying that an industry would turn down something free (as in beer)?

        I think what he means is that a typical suit doesn't believe in the 'no-strings-attached'. A suit usually work for money and think money. Anything that isn't in this realm of thinking is mysterious to them

        "How can you can a product/service without spending ressources? How can such a thing survive?"

        It's not that they will never adopt Linux, it's just that they can't project anything about it. If everything was Capitalis
      • Only problem with that analogy ( which i dont personally agree with, but that aside the point ) is that a LOT of businesses and home users are using software and hardware that are already 5+ years old.. Remember windows 98 is that old.. So is office 97.. Both are in heavy useage 'out there' in the 'real world'.

        And they are doing just fine...
      • by The_REAL_DZA (731082) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:51PM (#9982595)
        "...People in charge of enormous corporations like that sort of thing."

        Maybe, but the people just down the hall from the people in charge of enormous corporations like to have someone at whom to point the ominous finger of blame if (and inevitably when) something goes wrong. Sooner or later, somebody (and I'm not saying it might be someone in the employ of everybody's favorite villain. I'm NOT saying it. No way!) will launch an attack against everyone's favorite open-source OS and find some nasty little holes that nobody's ever noticed -- that's not a criticism of any individual, the open source "community", humanity in general, or anything else -- that's just plain common sense; nobody's perfect and therefore nobody's OS is perfect, no matter how hard we try to make the perfect one. That realization and the fact that Mr. IT Manager Dude doesn't want this script to play out in Mr. Bigwig's office someday:

        Mr. IT Manager Dude: "Sir, our supply-chain server was attacked by the HRPuffinStuff virus last night, and everything's gone."
        Mr. Bigwig: "HRPuffinStuff, eh? I heard something about that the other day at the club...Johnson's server over at Amalgamated was wiped out! I warned him about using that "freebie" software. Say...how did it affect our servers, I thought HRPuffinStuff only attacked...that other stuff?"
        Mr. Dude: "Well, er, uh, well..."
        Mr. Bigwig: "Oh, I see. Well..." [signature flick of the hand] "...you're fired."
        Mr. Dude: "But sir! My department came in 40% under budget last quarter! You were so proud you said you wish I had married your daughter!!"
        Mr. Bigwig: "That budget was for you to spend to keep me in business, not to save and put me out of business!" [muttering] "Why isn't this darned trapdoor button working?" [louder] "Uh, take about three baby-steps to your left. No, wait, not your left but my left."
        Mr. Dude: "What? Oh, yes sir. NOOOOOooooooooooooo..."



        is what's maintaining the "status quo." He'd much rather it went something like this:

        Mr. Bigwig: "Fleeson! What's wrong with my supply-chain server?!"
        Mr. IT Manager Dude: "Oh, those torpid mooncalves over at IttyBittySoft have done it to us again, sir! We were hit by the HRPuffinStuff virus last night and it'll be about a day and a half while they come up with some sort of a patch. Meanwhile, though, if you need me I'll be sitting on top of the cluster singing it a soothing lullaby -- no, it probably won't help, but just in case..."
        Mr. Bigwig: "My God, man, what about your wife? Your family? Your golf game?!?! No, I can't let you waste your life here because of the incompetency of those...uh, what'd you call them again?"
        Mr. Dude: "Oh, torpid mooncalves, sir."
        Mr. Bigwig: "Yes, yes, that's it...good one, Fleeson! And, you're sure there's no alternative to their product?"
        Mr. Dude: "Well, sir, I know how you fear, er...what is it you called it...oh, yes, 'that freebie stuff'..."
        Mr. Bigwig: "Quite right! Besides, we can't go fooling around with things the shareholders wouldn't understand, like that stuff, but they sure understand the incompetence of IttyBittySoft! (You know, they're not as 'tech savvy' as we are!)"
        Mr. Dude: "Oh, no Sir!
        Mr. Bigwig: "Now, show me again how you start that nifty Solitaire program..."


        "CYA" is still "Management-101" in a lot of books!
    • by GoofyBoy (44399) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:30AM (#9980990) Journal
      >** If they have brains. Or hearts. Or courage.

      If movies have taught me anything, its that one quick trip to the Wizard of Oz can fix this!
    • I subtly disagree.

      Big corporations with people in charge who have no understanding of modern technology or people don't view free software (or free anything) as "an abomination and unclean". They just view it with deep suspicion.

      This is perfectly natural. If someone you had never seen before was giving away free burgers on the street you might view that with suspicion. If somebody approached you and said "here, take this truck - it's free" you would view that with suspicion too. You would be right to
  • by scotay (195240) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:24AM (#9980913)
    If you replaced the word 'afraid' with 'jealous.'
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:26AM (#9980934)
    And the movie industry is the nicest bunch of people you'd ever want to meet. No vendetta's, no black listing, everyone operates above the board. Every movie star is the perfect role model for our children.

    If they get mixed up with the likes of Bill Gates, I just don't know what this will do to our shining example of what Americans are really like?

  • by oasis3582 (698323) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:26AM (#9980935)
    Simple. Don't buy into their DRM scheme. Release movies on the net with a proprietary or with another vendor's IP for DRM.
  • by Agent Green (231202) * on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:26AM (#9980938)

    Hollywood is generally the greediest of them all. After all, if they had their way:

    • There'd be no video rentals (i.e. Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, your neighborhood shop).
    • There'd be no video recording devices (VCRs, TiVo, etc).
    • There'd be no internet...because we all know about the evils of peer-to-peer networks (according to Orrin Hatch)

    So I guess they really have two outputs: Movies and FUD.

  • by FatSean (18753) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:29AM (#9980974) Homepage Journal
    ...For all the accusations and hyperbole here, he seems a much more honest businessman than the hollywood crowd. Hopefully their sleazy(er?) practices don't rub off on Microsoft!
  • by beacher (82033) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:31AM (#9980994) Homepage
    Remember a ways back when Microsoft announced codecs for use in digital theatres [microsoft.com]. I'm not sure of implementation #'s but this was when they could have staved this off. Trusted Computing, DRM are here because Hollywood was a huge proponent of these technologies. Here is your bed, Hollywood.
  • by etymxris (121288) * on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:31AM (#9981000)
    Microsoft has shown time and time again that it's primary objective is making money in the long term. It'll do that through whatever opportunities present themselves. Now, the players in the movie industry aren't stupid. They've seen how MS has locked others into their proprietary formats and they don't want their revenue streams subverted similarly.

    As for MS's "noble" intentions...pure bullshit. Where did MSNBC come from if MS wasn't interested in encroaching on Hollywood?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Microsoft's objective is to make money?

      How about, 'every' publicly traded companie's objective is to make money and increase share value?

      Even your precious Apple and Google's primary objective is to make money.

      No one in business has 'noble' intentions without a bottomline to consider.
  • by chiark (36404) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:31AM (#9981003) Homepage Journal
    Well, the BBC has rightly identified this risk, and is politely telling MS, and the other "controlled" DRM pay-per-hour-encoding people where to shove their technology.

    DIRAC, the BBC-technology project to bring a new, royalty and patent free open source codec into life, has got to be worth looking into.

    Surely someone with an ounce of intelligence in Hollywood could put 2+2 together and make 4. ie, Hollywood has money. DIRAC looks good, and could do with industry support and resources...

    As our American cousins would say, "you do the math".

    • by dave420 (699308) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:45AM (#9981164)
      The BBC aren't doing that for some sort of ideological reason, but because they have to do "our bidding". They can't be in Microsoft's pocket by using their technology to encode the video streams - it has to be done in-house, and free of external licenses (also remember the license could extend to the client decoding side, which would mean every license-fee-paying-person would be automatically signed up as a MS customer)

      I wish everyone here would stop equating "not microsoft" with "vehemently opposed to microsoft on an ideological level and smoking the open-source pole" - it is possible to just not choose MS and still think for yourself.

    • by sql*kitten (1359) * on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:48AM (#9981191)
      DIRAC, the BBC-technology project to bring a new, royalty and patent free open source codec into life, has got to be worth looking into.

      Yes, well, I'll believe it when I see it. The BBC is funded by the British taxpayer to the tune of GBP 2.5Bn (that's around USD 4Bn) per year. All the material they produce WE ALREADY OWN. I should be able to download - or at least, buy for the cost of the media alone - anything produced by the BBC ever, simply by proving that I've paid the TV tax (which I have). Instead, the BBC is off on some ivory tower "let's invent a new format" wild goose chase.

      There are already squillions of codecs. The BBC should just pick one and get to work encoding its video archives for download. Dirac is nothing but procrastination.
    • Yes, but helping others, even as a result of helping yourself, is Evil(TM) and only commies would do such a horrible thing.

      Hollywood knows better than to get involved with open sores.
      </sarcasm>

      Anyone ever hear of efforts in Hollywood to help the poor, victims of disaster, those without healthcare, or anything to benefit mankind, EVER?

      There are a few actors/actresses who give a shit about the rest of the world. From what I can tell, the rest of them are a waste of human flesh.

  • by tod_miller (792541) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:43AM (#9981139) Journal
    Blue Screen, coming to a cinema near you...

    Slightly OT, but I saw this coming, alongside Microsofts patent scams, 'licensing' their API's (read, now they are established, pay for them biatch, whilst destroying other standards).

    Microsoft are moving in subtle ways - they have the money to do this as well.

    Now we can have bad movies that delete themselves, at least that saves us the trouble...

    I wonder how long it will be before they dynamically or on the fly replace movie scenes and adverts within movies across the lifespan of the movie?
    • by JaxGator75 (650577)
      Actually, this is quite an idea. They already have the technology to replace "Coke" ads for "Pepsi" ads on live TV during soccer/football/baseball games, so it's not too far of a stretch to think that they could replace "Lexus" for "Microsoft" and then again for "Hudson Hawk 3: The Glistening" at their leisure.

      I'm sure the DVD releases will replace all those ads with self-serving ads, like previews fro the newest "Studio ABC" release, or simply a shout out to their own company! I'm still sick of all the p

  • by dcavanaugh (248349) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:45AM (#9981163) Homepage
    Henry Kissinger's comment on the Iran/Iraq war in the 80's: "Too bad they can't both lose."
  • by Doug Dante (22218) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:46AM (#9981167)
    In his Microsoft Research DRM Talk [craphound.com]

    I'm a Microsoft customer. Like millions of other Microsoft customers, I want a player that plays anything I throw at it, and I think that you are just the company to give it to me.

  • Solution? 'Hollywood', or whatever conglomoration of companies that will really refer to (is Sony in Hollywood?), should write their own format and get their own software out there to play it. No licensing fees for use of the codec, wrapped in whatever DRM they fancy.

    That's precisely the thinking behind the BBC Dirac idea, and it's the same sort of thinking that needs to be adopted here. And yes, I know the idea of the DRM is unpalatable - I'm trying to imagine things from the studio's viewpoint not the

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:53AM (#9981264)
    "Free Klippy" - the story of a boy's love for his penguin-eating killer whale...

    "xXxP" - Vin Diesel returns as the tattooed secret agent. This time he's after Open Source Communists and he's only taking DRM for an answer...

    "The XP Men" - see the superpower team of Dr DLL, Outlookman, Captain Codec, Blue Screener and The Worm battle the "Freedom Force" of Stallman, the Perlmonger, Apache and Python...

  • MSNBC? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Monday August 16, 2004 @11:56AM (#9981288)
    Microsoft refutes the accusations, saying that it's only interested in selling more copies of Windows and applications for its platform, and providing movie content would promote the platform.
    How does its content partnership with NBC News (aka MSNBC) help it sell more copies of Windows? The content is freely available over the television and unrelated to Windows. Sure they probably get headlines for their web portals, but it'd seem making a deal with cnn, fox, etc would be a smaller capital investment. Their intent seems to be to get into content.
  • by sammyo (166904) on Monday August 16, 2004 @12:04PM (#9981379) Journal
    But more than any-any-anything else, it fears losing money. So find an application (like, oh say, linux rendering servers) that saves significant money, and that crowd will jump at it. Give them a linux movie client that returns real dollar to them and they will jump at the new distribution media.

    Remember: Hollywood will go with Linux if it Makes Money.

    • by multimed (189254) <mrmultimedia@NOsPAM.yahoo.com> on Monday August 16, 2004 @12:45PM (#9981793)
      I'm not quite sure if I'm being facetious or not but...if what Hollywood fears most is losing money then why is it that that movies so often officially lose money. Granted maybe it's about minimizing taxes or something and whether a film loses money doesn't mean the individuals or investors for that matter lose it.

      I think if Hollywood was so afraid of losing money they would make more of the smaller films moderate casts and minimal expenses. I think Hollywood's fear of losing money pales in comparison to it's lust to make boatloads of it. That's why there's all the blockbusters with the big budgets, because if they are enormous sucesses, the money will flow and most are willing to take the risk of failure for the possibly of a huge success.

      That said I think the biggest factor isn't money at all but power & ego and control. Sure money helps but it's the only way to get it. Why do the studios spend so much lobbying for the academy awards? They don't really make all that much more money for anyone, but it's all about the juice. Look at me! Look what I did!

  • There's no need for the movie biz to rely on Microsoft. They can develop their own tech -- then they'll own it. Maybe there's a startup with a system now they can buy.
    • Yes, but they learned something the hard way with DVD. Unless you control the players, you don't control jack. Their whole region coding scheme was rendered null and void as soon as software DVD players became available.

      They want Microsoft buy in so they can have customer lock-in. (Keep in mind, this is an industry that has already been broken up by Antitrust courts before. In addition to producing and distributing movies, they also used to own the theaters.)

  • The new Internet 2: Censored.

    The new revised Internet sequel, Internet 2 coming to a PC near you is a fully censorship based controlled media. Enjoy the old free Internet now while you can.

    http://www.newswithviews.com/public_comm/public_c o mmentary7.htm

    Although I am enjoying liberal Hollywood taking a beating for dumping their nonsense leftist movies on us, Microsoft would be worse. MSNBC is a failure. (MS = Microsoft)

    Ths new Internet 2: Censored, should make Microsoft our official Censorship Czar fo
  • by melted (227442) on Monday August 16, 2004 @12:39PM (#9981731) Homepage
    Now that would be a victory whole slashdot could enjoy. Read this for more details: http://vai.com/AllAboutSteve/postcard_040220.html

    Guess what, I quote:

    For instance, If you go to Itunes and download a song for $.99, Apple retains about $.34 and the label receives about $.65. Labels then calculate a royalty base price to apply to the artists deal points. Following are some of the deductions:

    a. A packaging fee (container cost) of up to, and sometimes more than, 25%. That's 25% of retail which is $.99 equaling about $.25 (by the way, there is no packaging on a digital download).

    b. A 15% deduction for free goods. That's an additional $.15 or so. (There is usually no free goods with digital downloads unless someone is ripping it from the net.
    That leaves a royalty base price of close to $.60 per track that the artists royalty is calculated against. If an artist receives 15 points in their deal (and remember, that's a very good deal) then he is entitled to aprox. $.09 a track. This is then cut in half because of the "new technology clause" that is incorporated into most deals. The artists royalty is then calced out at $.04-.05 a download and from that, 100% of it is withheld by the label to go towards recoupment of any advances to make the record, advances in general, tour support, radio promotion and other things in some cases. Most managers and producers are paid from record one and are paid regardless of the expenses, leaving the artists with even more of a recoupment burden before they start to see any income.

    Quote ends. Suddenly hollywood people look like Mother Theresa.
  • dilemma... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Bobzibub (20561) on Monday August 16, 2004 @12:57PM (#9981959)
    I'm not sure who to root for!
    = )
    -b
  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:23PM (#9982213)
    Almost every company who did business with Microsoft basically was screwed by them in the end. IBM, Stac, Borland, Sun (who had to fight tooth and nails so that M$ didnt take over java), Mosaic (who had to fight for years to get a decent compensation for the Mosaic code, Netscape and a ton of others I think Hollywood really should try to avoid them as much as possible
  • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:36PM (#9982366) Journal
    Yeah, this hasn't ever happened before:

    Microsoft: "Hi there! I'm Microsoft, and I just want to play friendly and build up value for my own products. I have no interest in your markets. You don't have to worry about us!"

    The number of companies that have been subsequently crushed or eaten goes on and on and on...
  • by gillbates (106458) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:39PM (#9982417) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft knows how to do technology and software. They don't know how to tell a story.

    I fear that this is actually false; they know more about telling stories than technology:

    • They tell stories about "Enterprise Class" operating systems that must be patched on a monthly basis to remain "secure". Of course, the absence of auto-update on mainframes means that they must be inherently insecure; after all, nobody could code a secure OS from the start, right?
    • They tell stories about managing your business with their software, yet disclaim any responsibility whatsoever for customer data after the install. Which is exactly what I want - right? I mean, if I lose a "mission critical" business system to a Blaster-type worm, the last thing I want, or expect, is for the vendor to take responsibility for their shoddy design practices.
    • They tell stories about "low total cost of ownership", yet their analyses conveniently forget to include virus cleanup, constant patching, and damage due to loss of proprietary information through security breaches.

    And no, a company which is not content with 95% of the desktop share wouldn't possibly try to buy Hollywood, now would they? I mean, that would be so out of character for them - those felonies, drumming competition out of business, etc... - those were just a few minor slips, right? I mean, gosh, deep down inside, Microsoft is really just a misunderstood giant...

    Not that I'd cry for Hollywood, though. But it does seem a little insincere on Microsoft's part.

  • by polyp2000 (444682) on Monday August 16, 2004 @01:44PM (#9982502) Homepage Journal
    Well , there is of course one obvioius solution to that isn't there? Its so blindingly obvious that Open Source is one solution to Microsoft extortion.

    Nick ...
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday August 16, 2004 @02:13PM (#9982897) Homepage Journal
    I sincerely hope that MS charges Hollywood a billion dollars a picture to use MS products. I hope the people who brought you the commercial in your theater with the fat bald stuntman have to eat their own children.
  • by Dan East (318230) on Monday August 16, 2004 @02:37PM (#9983229) Homepage Journal
    I've noticed something over the course of watching hundreds of movies over the years. Invariably when a movie shows a PC or a notebook it is 9 times out of 10 a Macintosh. I've found this to be rather odd, considering how disproportionate this ratio is compared to the real world. It would be interesting if someone compiled a database of movies and the computing hardware used for props.

    I've often wondered what underlying politics within the movie industry drives this trend, as it certainly is no coincidence.

    Dan East

    • That's because the art directors of these movies are invariably mac-heads (aka creative types). Just as the graphic designers, video editors, music editors, and even the writers tend to use Macs... It's only OUTSIDE of the film industry that people use PC's... So the film industry, cloaked in their ivory towers, don't realise the rest of the world uses PCs.

      I worked in TV for a few years... Everyone had a Mac where I was...

APL hackers do it in the quad.

Working...