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Film Studios Sue Samsung Over DVD players 567

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the day-late-and-a-dollar-short dept.
Lam1969 writes "The Korea Times reports that five U.S. film studios have taken Samsung to court for selling DVD players which allow users to bypass DRM features. The film companies, including Walt Disney and Time Warner, are demanding Samsung recall the players. According to a Samsung spokesman quoted in the article, the movie studios probably 'take issue' with Samsung's HD841 model, which Samsung sold in the United States for five months in 2004."
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Film Studios Sue Samsung Over DVD players

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  • by tcjohnson (949147) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:58AM (#14774887) Homepage
    From the article: ''The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost $5.4 billion last year due to piracy.'' Hrm, yeah, and I bet that's all people buying dvd's from other countries and bepassing the DRM with samsung equipment. Oh, wait, wasn't that the Linux pirates last week?
  • Come after me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abscissa (136568) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:58AM (#14774889)
    What I have done for all the DVDs in my OWN collection is bypass the DRM using DVD decrypter (w00t!) because I am sick of these goddamn preveiews, menus, copyright notices, birth control notices, and other shit. DVD Shrink is a nice utility that allows you to reformat a DVD so that you can put the disc in the drive and JUST WATCH THE MOVIE. Some of these more recent DVDs that have come out require ten minutes of mandatory (e.g. you can't fast forward) viewing of SHITE before you can see WHAT YOU PAID TO WATCH. For rental DVD's, don't even bother... it's worse than the old VHS tapes, even though the retailers are PAYING LESS now to maintain their inventory!!
  • kvcd (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jlebrech (810586) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:00AM (#14774898) Homepage
    my dvd player plays kvcd's

    sue them

  • CPRM is like JEDEC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:00AM (#14774903)
    Samsung is the bad guy here. Well, insofar as Rambus was the bad guy in JEDEC. Everyone who was involved in the creation of the DVD standard agreed to a certain set of rules that they would abide by, but Samsung (like Rambus) flagrantly violated those rules and put other members of the association at risk.

    Now, DRM and especially things like region locks are really terrible for the consumer, but that's not the issue here. If there were a non-DRM standard for DVD, Samsung could manufacture players for that standard all they like. The fact is that they agreed to a set of rules which included not making non-DRM players, and they decided to go ahead and make a player that is for all intents and purposes non-DRM.

    They will be hit with a penalty, no doubt.
  • by skinfitz (564041) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:09AM (#14774936) Journal
    This is why I always recommend avoiding DVD players badged by large companies.

    Large companies have more to lose if they don't toe the MPAA line (I'm seriously wondering how long it will be until players refuse to play a movie more than once a week or so).

    Buy cheap players packed with features from middle east companies that may not even exist - much harder to threaten a company like that and features sell those sort of players and fierce competition keeps prices low.
  • by Oersoep (938754) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:12AM (#14774945)
    "Everyone who was involved in the creation of the DVD standard agreed to a certain set of rules that they would abide by"

    But what about CD's then?

    Ever noticed how many CD's in the record stores do NOT have de CompactDisk-icon anymore? That's because the copy protection (sabotage) violates the CD standard. And that's why some car-stereo's don't play them.

    Who's going to sue the record stores for selling non-CD's calling them CD's?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:14AM (#14774952)
    Kind of frightening how one might consider the middle east someplace where one can retain freedom and rights. How backwards our little country named the United States is slowly becoming.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:16AM (#14774960)

    Samsung is the bad guy here. Well, insofar as Rambus was the bad guy in JEDEC. Everyone who was involved in the creation of the DVD standard agreed to a certain set of rules that they would abide by, but Samsung (like Rambus) flagrantly violated those rules and put other members of the association at risk.

    Yeah, a bad guy like Robin Hood or George Washington - they too violated the commonly agreed rule to lube their backsides and take it nice and quiet. And now Samsung has joined these horrible villains in their infamy. Oh, the humanity.

    Now, DRM and especially things like region locks are really terrible for the consumer, but that's not the issue here.

    Actually, it is. Samsung realized that they could make a product that's better for their customers than what was being manufactured previously, and took the opportunity to do so. That's all there is to it, really.

    The fact is that they agreed to a set of rules which included not making non-DRM players, and they decided to go ahead and make a player that is for all intents and purposes non-DRM.

    If one of the Prince John's tax collectors decides to let some poor peasant keep his money and buy food for his children instead of doing his "duty" by taking every last penny and leaving the peasant to watch his children starve to death, is he a bad guy for breaking the rules ?

    They will be hit with a penalty, no doubt.

    Sure, the Sheriff of Nottingham must deliver the taxes to Prince John, after all.

  • by leonbrooks (8043) <SentByMSBlast-No ... .brooks.fdns.net> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:17AM (#14774961) Homepage
    ...if I "reformat" one of their falafel rolls before eating it, so why should a content provider have any say in how you view their content?

    To be certain, it's nice for them to be able to ensure that the original content is high-quality and in a certain order and all, but I should be the one to decide whether I want to watch ads and splash-screens, or even more pointedly whether my kids watch the entire movie or just the 98% of it that isn't offensive.

    Would they care if I piped it into the 320x200 monochrome screen on my mobile 'phone to watch? Or watched it through a filter that corrected for colour blindness? Or just colour-inverted it? Or played it at 120% of realtime? Or toneshifted the soundtrack? Or karaoke style? If so, why?
  • by R.D.Olivaw (826349) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:27AM (#14774979)
    because you are supposed to buy seperate versions of the same movie for you DVD player and for your mobile and you i-pod and your PSP and any future gadget capable of playing movies that you might buy in the future.
  • by aussersterne (212916) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:41AM (#14775008) Homepage
    "The fact is that they agreed to a set of rules which included not making non-DRM players, and they decided to go ahead and make a player that is for all intents and purposes non-DRM."

    Um, by definition this makes them the good guy.
  • Re:Come after me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:42AM (#14775011)
    Ha! You too eh.

    Ads before DVD's is *such* a scam.

    I don't believe it's all about flogging off the studios other wares either... not for a second!

    I reckon they are *deliberately* trying to degrade the viewing experience for DVDs by reverting back to the ads before the movie VCR model, so as to make it easier for them to push their next generation DVD formats such as HD-DVD and Blueray.

    They want to make DVDs seem obsolete, and equivalent to VCRs in consumers minds.

    Think about it. For most consumers the promise of high definition means jack-**** as they don't have the hardware to appreciate it, so the studios have a tough sell ahead of them.

    It's a far easier push for them to sell their DRM-ed to sh*t next gen-formats if they make the current generation look at obsolete as they can. I wouldn't even put it past them to deliberately drop the compression quality on new releases just to make the new formats look better.

    I have my tin foil hat on... I know what's going on! :c)

  • by 99luftballon (838486) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:42AM (#14775012)
    Samsung stopped making this particular player nearly two years ago and the lawsuit looks more like a warning to other manufacturers.

    Any recall would be useless - if someone has one of these players and wants to keep it they'll just say it broke and they binned it. This wouldn't be impossible since a quick skim thought online forums indicates build quality on this particular model wasn't up to much.

    Instead the studios are sending a message to all DVD manufacturers to beef up their future models so this kind of thing can't be done in the first place. If they don't they too can expect a legal fight.

    Personally I think they are on to a loser - studios have very little pull over hardware manufacturers and if there's strong demand for an open player they will build it.
  • Re:Come after me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:56AM (#14775048) Homepage Journal
    One of the best features of mplayer is it's no-nonsense approach to DVD playback. It just launches the movie. No menus, no FBI warnings, no ads, no crap.
  • A recall? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TintinX (569362) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:58AM (#14775054) Homepage
    "The film companies, including Walt Disney and Time Warner, are demanding Samsung recall the players."

    Erm, how could Samsung make a recall on these players? They can't force people to give them back.

    Recalls are only for products that are faulty, when the purchaser gladly and willingly returns them.

  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:18AM (#14775116)
    So they basically put this number out of their *ss, and whip it out every time things get rough for them :) This is so amazing!

    Samsung: That's it, we're releasing the DVD-s as is.

    MPAA: No! You can't!

    Samsung: WTF?

    MPAA: "The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost $5.4 billion last year due to piracy."

    Samsung: What are those estimates based on, not on Samusng DVD players right?

    MPAA: Can't you read man, come on, SHOCK! See: "The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost $5.4 billion last year due to piracy."

    People: MPAA you're suing your users and manifacturers and keep pulling those numbers out of your *ss and applying silly DRM restriction so people don't buy your production, what did you expect?

    MPAA: And you'll all be sued!!! You know why!? "The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost friggin $5.4 billion last year due to friggin piracy."!!! Estimate=Fact! Estimate=fact!! Don't question us or you be sued!!! Arghh..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:31AM (#14775159)
    Maybe because players with known 'tricks' to bypass DRM crap sell like hotcakes?

    Back when I was in the market for standalone DVD player, savy customers asked for one thing - 'how easy is this to mod region free/macrovision free?'. After that was settled, then discussion turned into the other features.

    In other words, at least over here, high end DVD player market was one where not-easily-moddable devices were DOA at retail. nobody wanted them.

    Yes, uneducated masses bought crap from chain stores at low prices with no such care (tho even those players were often unlockable with remote control keycodes), but at high end, it was the first feature people would ask from the salespeople.

    Samsung is not stupid. They want to produce consumer electronics that SELL. This model probably sold a lot better than crippled ones. In fact, some manufacturers seem to be engaged in 'shell game' regarding this - they put out player model, then 'leak' the unlock info, and when MPAA cries foul, they have already a new model ready to replace the old one.

    This time it's different in that, 1. HDCP was involved and 2. I think MPAA wants to set an example to the 'consumer-licking nogood electronics manufacturers'...

    IMHO Samsung should flip the middle finger to the MPAA.
  • by Otto (17870) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:47AM (#14775209) Homepage Journal
    If waiting 2,5 minutes for a film to start seems unbearable to him, should he even be watching TV?

    2.5 minutes. That's 150 seconds. Try something: Sit there and count off 150 seconds. That's rather a long freakin' time to be waiting for a video to start, no? It takes less time to make a bag of microwave popcorn.

    Really, waiting 2.5 minutes isn't the problem, it's waiting 2.5 minutes when you know that it's totally pointless that's really annoying.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @05:14AM (#14775255)
    Every player on the market can be made region-free
    You couldn't sell them in Europe otherwise
  • by Danger Stevens (869074) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @05:28AM (#14775293) Homepage
    The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost $5.4 billion last year due to piracy.

    Meanwhile, everyone else estimates that they continued to make record profits.
  • Re:Overreaction? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iezhy (623955) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @05:44AM (#14775328) Homepage
    nah, MPAA would sue them too - trading non DRM-copliant devices now equals trading firearms and drugs..
  • by Jarlsberg (643324) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @06:12AM (#14775394) Journal
    The point is not spending three minutes with your kids, it's the wasted time. When you want to watch a movie, you don't want to pop in the DVD and then wait for several minutes before you can push play.

    It's even worse when you have these kids DVDs that show the loud "you're a thief"-commercial in the beginning. (You wouldn't steal a car blah blah blah). The noise and the imagery is actually quite scary for kids. I'm forced to "pirate" this movie to remove the fricking anti-piracy message from these movies (along with several minutes of commercials -- some Disney movies have 10-15 minutes of non-skippable commercials before the menu starts).

  • by dwandy (907337) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @07:23AM (#14775578) Homepage Journal
    People can't spend 3 minutes with their children these days with their hectic lives, in order not to have to watch the previews etc.? I think this is getting pretty sick.
    If you think watching an unskippable FBI warning or other crap is quality time with your children then I think you need to re-evaluate...

    For me, the point isn't about 60seconds, or 120 seconds. It's my media. I bought it. I should be able to use it as I see fit, not as they see fit.
    How about from now on, whenever you start your car, it won't move for 3 minutes. You must be buckled in your seat ('cause after the ~3-minutes are up, it starts to move w/o further warning) and on the windshield a video message is displayed about how you need to change your oil to keep the warranty. ...tell me you'd tolerate that from a car manufacturer.

  • by OneSeventeen (867010) * on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @07:27AM (#14775585) Homepage Journal

    From the article: ''The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost $5.4 billion last year due to piracy.'' Hrm, yeah, and I bet that's all people buying dvd's from other countries and bepassing the DRM with samsung equipment. Oh, wait, wasn't that the Linux pirates last week?

    Contrary to popular belief, Linux is not the only OS you can bypass DVD encryption on. However, Linux is the only OS that you need to bypass encryption in order to play DVDs.

    Personally, I would venture a guess that it was more the crap movies they produced, and the prices they charge for them. As a linux user, I've given up buying DVDs because it is illegal for me to play the DVDs I bought on my laptop, which is unacceptable. Purchasing more products from them would only encourage it.

    Out of curiosity, if you heard your DVD player was recalled because it had more features than it was supposed to, would you really respond? Personally, if I weren't a geek and didn't know what was up already, I would research why they wanted to recall it, then I would discover what the MPAA is doing, and I'd be pissed. (It's hard to tell the MPAA is screwing you until you use an OS that doesn't have a single legal on-the-shelf 3rd party DVD playing software, and the only free software is deemed illegal.)

    Personally, I'm wondering where I was when these things were being sold! A DVD player that plays DVDs! No wonder the MPAA is suing, you only leased the right to have a DVD copy of the movie, there is no implied playability unless you also purchase their decoders. Next they'll start selling descrambling glasses that you have to visit one of their eye doctors to have focused for you!

    Serves 'em right, but then again, serves us right for those who copied movies every chance they got.

  • by dtsazza (956120) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @07:32AM (#14775597)
    The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the movie industry lost $5.4 billion last year due to piracy.
    More accurately, the MPAA estimates that the retail value of pirated films, etc, was $5.4bn. Now I'm not advocating piracy, but when I was a student a couple of years ago I would download albums and films, and I can personally guarantee that it did not cost the industry any money - simply because as a poor student I couldn't afford to buy them. If I hadn't downloaded them, I just wouldn't have seen them, and that's that.

    The MPAA seems to think there's a dichotomy of pirating films or purchasing them, and by extension that if we make pirating impossible, then every pirate will go out and purchase everything that they would otherwise have pirated. And that, my friends, is a rather baseless claim (even if you're completely unaware of the animosity towards studios in general).
  • by wheany (460585) <wheany+sd@iki.fi> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @07:42AM (#14775632) Homepage Journal
    Reminds me of what has lately become one of my favorite quotes from The Insider. [imdb.com]

    Movies released on DVD have been available in the internet in very good quality since DeCSS. And even before that professional pirates could make a bit-for-bit copy of any DVD that worked just like the original. One DVD player model that made it possible to circumvent DRM does not have any effect on international piratism. Not one fucking bit.

    That cat's totally out of the bag.
  • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @09:04AM (#14776008)
    We're talking about massive amounts of potential customers taking your product without paying for it.

    You are wrong because: arguement by bizzare definition

    Take (n): To get into one's possession by force, skill, or artifice, especially: To capture physically; seize

    Even in the most egregious case, where I sneak into the RIAA president's house, boot his computer and pirate his entire collection of music, the property has not actually been taken. It's still there. Except I have my own copy now.

    Star Trek calls this technology a "replicator"
  • by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @09:13AM (#14776077)
    They're being made out to be the bad guy because there's no objective proof it is in fact a huge and real problem, and they've been given a ridculous amount of gravy by Congress in the form of extended copyright terms, Draconian copyright infringement penalties, the DMCA, mandatory 3% tax on blank music CD media, etc. The $8.95 billion they contribute to the economy doesn't come close to the costs they incur for *everyone* because of these concessions, in many peoples' opinion.

    They claim $5.4 billion in losses, but by its very nature it's a number that's more or less pulled out of the air with no means to know how that figure was determined, and thus how accurate it might be. Given that many of the individual RIAA/MPAA members have shown a propensity to mislead and cheat the public and have been held accountable by the court system for doing so, I fail to see why I should accept that their reported losses are even within an order of magnitude of any true losses they may have experienced.
  • by jahudabudy (714731) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @09:14AM (#14776086)
    Then why is everybody so surprised that the MPAA is trying to protect their products?

    I don't think anyone is really surprised that the MPAA is trying to protect their products. I think what everyone is surprised/completely pissed off about is the fact that the MPAA is claiming such ridiculous losses due to piracy, and using these outrageous claims to "justify" forcing everyone to pay for their losses. The problem is, they have zero evidence to back up their numbers. I personally believe that much more of their "lost" revenue is attributable to shitty movies, ridiculous ticket prices, and more people choosing to wait and watch a movie in the comfort of their own home. Imagine if tobacco companies started suing PVC pipe manufacturers, b/c people were using their products to smoke pot, which is an illegal activity that directly cut into the sale of cigarettes. I don't see the MPAA's actions and rationalizations as being any more legitimate than that would be.
  • by Rayaru (898516) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @09:20AM (#14776133) Homepage
    Jane and John Doe out there, who are puzzled as to how one "rips" a plastic DVD, didn't go to the movies as frequently this year. It wasn't because they have a l334 pirating station in their basement, it's just becuase there was not as many movies that they wanted to see. It's just easier for the MPAA to go after the pirate problem with lawyers rather than address the decay in creativity with good actors/writers/producers/directors.
  • by RedHat Rocky (94208) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @09:27AM (#14776188)
    'I'm forced to "pirate" this movie to remove the fricking anti-piracy message'

    Don't fall into their verbal hole. You did NOT pirate the movie. Modifying content you PAID for is NOT pirating. Part of the whole problem with dealing with the media companies is keeping straight what is being addressed, by allowing them to redefine terms, we lose.

    Taking another's content and selling it for profit is pirating.
  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @09:31AM (#14776223)
    The "DRM" (Fair-Use Circumvention Kit) features the MPAA would like to see in the player are not legal everywhere, and where they are, turning them off frequently is not illegal. Further, it's a widely held belief that one day the consumer or the powers that be might realize that people are getting the proverbial shaft and ultimately take a more sensible tack that obviates (or at least, no longer mandates) the need for such measures.

    Samsung is simply building a player where the anti-consumer features can be made as consumer-friendly (or hostile) as the prevailing market conditions permit. This saves them effort of hardwiring different rules and functionality for each and every market or whenever there's been changes to local laws or customs.

    Lets face it -- a minority have the player, and there's no tangible effect on the MPAA, since professional pirates wouldn't use a player like this to make bootlegs; heck, most amateur pirates would just as well rip the DVD.
  • by Ashyukun (551101) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:05AM (#14776456) Homepage
    The player in question is unique in being one of the only upscaling DVD players that would output the pseudo-HD DVD picture over analog outputs and was not limited to the DRM-infected digital ports- that's what this is all about. The studios think everyone with a HD set without digital inputs is a potential pirate and as such wants to lock us out from being able to watch HD movies on our non-DRM'd HDTVs (or at least that's the message they seem to be sending).
  • Pirating (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShavenYak (252902) <bsmith3.charter@net> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:15AM (#14776529) Homepage
    Taking another's content and selling it for profit is pirating.

    No, boarding a ship and stealing its cargo on the open sea is piracy. Doubly so if you make the ship's captain walk the plank. ARGH!

    What you're talking about is COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. No matter how many times the ??AA tell you it's theft or piracy, it is NOT. They have not been deprived of property; they have been deprived of potential revenue. If we let them define the language of the debate, then the terrorists have already won. Or something.
  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:19AM (#14776563) Journal
    Sounds like the Democrats in the 90s. "The Republicans are cutting funding to ______" when in fact the Republicans were reducing the rate of increase. It just sounds a lot more dramatic their way.

    For a lot of families, it's simple math.

    2 adult tickets at $7.50
    2 child tickets at $4.50
    1 massive popcorn barrel at $5.50
    3 drinks at $2.50 each

    Total: $37 (based on real local prices)

    Now, let's say they get a huge TV and surround sound system:
    NetZero/Blockbuster subscription: $10 a month
    Entertainment system (50+" HDTV and combo home theater system): $1,500 - $2,000, financed to around $50 a month.

    For just $23 more than a trip to the movies, you can watch a dozen movies a month at home.
  • Re:VCR (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2@earthshod[ ].uk ['.co' in gap]> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @10:55AM (#14776893)
    Christian ..... as in "christian rock music". Characterised by the absence of what is usually considered to be the defining element of a kind of thing, and therefore acceptable only to one who is utterly deluded.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:03PM (#14777488) Homepage Journal
    You know what really annoys me? It's how these articles always lie to me because they're just parroting what the MPAA said: ...avoid encryption features that prevent unauthorized duplication... That's a bald faced lie. The Samsung players allowed users to bypass region coding, which has absolutely nothing to do with encryption or unauthorized duplication. Rather, the players allow you to play movies you bought in other countries. That's it. The MPAA has to lie about this because if they told the public what they were really mad about, they would get no sympathy at all from the public (But we want to charge more in Europe! Just because we can! Why are these pirates ruining the game for us?!?).

    It's no wonder the average person turns on them when they finally learn the truth. You can't keep lying to people and expect them to trust you.
  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:30PM (#14778139) Homepage Journal
    It's abusive even for copyright notices. If you buy a DVD, you have the right to watch the video thereon in any order you want; your DVD player shouldn't be telling you what to watch.

    The only time when P-UOPs can really be used legitimately is when allowing the viewer to change course at a certain point would break the disc's navigation (by leaving registers in an inconsistent state, etc.). Even then, there are usually better ways to solve the problem.
  • by qmVSE*w!7e,QF(, (924179) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:45PM (#14778283) Homepage
    One DVD player model that made it possible to circumvent DRM does not have any effect on international piratism.


    No, but scaring manufacturers into making damn sure that they comply with DRM requirements on upcoming HD and/or Blu-Ray players might.
  • by SillyNickName4me (760022) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:29PM (#14778687) Homepage
    If someone in Europe wanted to view US movies, it seems they could easily and cheaply buy a US DVD player and watch all they want.

    But why should they?

    I can walk into any consumer electronics shop and get me a region free/selectable region player (usually with the possibility to disable macrovision and the like as well, at times with alternative firmware).

    Those players will have the advantage of playing both pal and ntsc content, being able to play both on the typical pal tv set people have here, has a scart connector so I can use a rgb connection to my TV etc..

    Oh, and I don't get the bother of having to find me a 110V outlet or converter.

    Usually such players start at around 30 euro (new)

    So, no there is no reason for people in Europe to buy a DVD player from the USA, rather, there are lots of reasons to not do so.
  • by ryusen (245792) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:52PM (#14778865) Homepage
    There are laws in place that they have to play by, and when their competition/customers ignore those laws, it's not a fair playing field. Of course they have a right to complain.
    Most of those laws are bought and paid for by the industry to further their own needs. Who do you think lobbied and gave campaign contriobutions to have Copyrights extended from 14 years to the life of the artist PLUS 70 years? Who do you think paid to have the DMCA passed? The PIRATE and INDUCE acts? If you think an industry buying laws to protect it's own interests is the American way and truly a fair market, i disagree.

    We're not talking about obsolete business plans. We're talking about massive amounts of potential customers taking your product without paying for it. Illegally.
    We ARE talking about an obselete business plan. Even as deplorable as pirated DVDs are, from a purely economic point of view, even ilegal competition is still competition. When someone is undercutting your prices and you are selling a ludicrously over priced product, you should drop your prices to compete, then make it up in volume. That's High School economics.
    Also consider that someone commiting copyright infringement is NOT neccessarily a loss for the industry, since many of them would not have bought the product anyway.
    They are also producing a LOT of crap. If you look at certain movies, they rake in huge numbers and other... just aren't worth the inflated prices to watch.
    Lastly, they ARE dealing with an obselete business model. In the past, the AA's had a great monopoly on the industry, simply because startup costs were so great that no one else could truly compete. Now that is getting less and less. They are also facing other competition that never truly matter years ago. VIdeo games are geting huge. The bigger video games get, the smaller the % of people's incomes will be spent on Music and Movies.
  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:36PM (#14779739)
    if you don't abide by the contract you have with them (EULA)

    Just a sidenote, but EULAs aren't contracts. EULAs have unclear status - if the EULA is found to be unenforcable (as they have been in multiple cases), the software is limited to the protection offered by copyright law.

    Note that you are correct that they can void your warranty.

    They do not purposefully add code to their operating system which is specifically designed to take control away from you.

    Not the case at all. OS X for Intel has substantial and increasing hardware-lockouts, ensuring that you can only run the software on Apple-approved hardware. How does that not take control away from the user?

    You are free, by law, to take your copy of OS X and attempt to install it on your toaster if you like (iToaster?)

    Yes, you are. The problem is that Apple doesn't seem to think so - and they have threatened legal action against websites that so much as link to information on how to circumvent the hardware lockout.

    The other thing I notice is that Apple doesn't really care WHAT you do with the products you buy from them, as long as you don't violate copyright law.

    Not the case either. Apple has clearly stated that they do care what you do with their products, and they have threatened legal action against a number of parties who have attempted to circumvent their hardware locks.

    Previously, my plan was to buy a copy of Mac OS X for Intel when it becomes available at retail. I already have a nice notebook, don't have $2000 for a MacBook, and want to be able to run Windows on my system as well. I wasn't expecting Apple to make it easy and wasn't expecting any support at all. Now, however, with the actions that Apple has been taking, I don't think that I can buy any Apple products at all.

    At least Windows Vista will run on my hardware.
  • by wandernotlost (444769) <slashdot@trailma ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @06:38PM (#14780808)
    I for one never understood why I shouldn't be able to watch DVDs that I bought in Europe because I *cannot* get them here.

    That's easy! By denying you the ability to watch films from other countries, the members of the MPAA cartel encourage you to get your media fix by spending your money on their own films. As a fringe benefit, since you won't be exposed to other films, you won't even realize how bad their schlock is, nor will you be aware that their increasing influence over American politics is creating a more restrictive environment than that found in countries over which America has traditionally touted its freedom!

    Good times here in America.

  • Re:Come after me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by instarx (615765) on Thursday February 23, 2006 @04:47AM (#14783305)
    Still, I'm hardly deterred by that. I'd like to see them try to sue someone for playing a disc that they personally own. I after all know the Kryptonite of any standard corporate lawyer-ninja squad: the jury trial. You'll be hard pressed to find a jury that will award against Joe Q. Public to a multi-billion dollar corporation for doing something that seems reasonable.

    Maybe that is indeed kryptonite for them, but it is way down the road. YOUR kryptonite however, is right here right now - attorney fees and defense costs. They have millions and you have your paycheck. They hire a team of lawyers and sue 100 people and it cost them almost nothing per person. You however, are totally screwed. You could easily lose everything you have before they let it get anywhere near a courtroom. What's more, even if you did happen to win, they still don't have to pay your attorney fees.

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.

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