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Movie Downloads to Coincide with DVD release 313

gihan_ripper writes "The movie download firms Movielink and CinemaNow have made a deal with the big five studios to ensure that downloads will coincide with DVD releases at Blockbuster and WalMart. Unlike previous deals, these will be full purchase downloads, and not merely for a rental period. The move is aimed at stemming the rising tide of pirate downloads, and DRM will be in force to prevent copying the movies to DVD. The first batch of downloadable movies will include Brokeback Mountain, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and King Kong."
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Movie Downloads to Coincide with DVD release

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  • by rosalindavenue ( 948022 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:51AM (#15049203)
    Wow-- talk about a quickly released download-- they haven't even shot it yet! []
  • Brokeback (Score:2, Funny)

    by celardore ( 844933 )
    I guess the fact they're releasing 'Brokeback Mountain' as a download is a good thing, for all those too embarrased to see it at the cinema or go out and buy it.
    • Re:Brokeback (Score:4, Insightful)

      by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:05AM (#15049283) Journal
      Why would somebody be embarrased to see a 2 hours Marlboro [] commercial? well ok ok, only the first half of the movie was, but seriously I was just waiting to listen to the man saying "come to where the flavor is, come to the Marlboro Country" (or the equivalent in the USA ad)
      • Cigarettes haven't been advertised on television in the USA (at least where I am) for quite a while. All we have is cigarette print ads.
        • Oh in that way sorry, I was just recalling that when I saw the movie, the first half reminded me of a Marlboro TV ad I saw sometime ago in Mexico, it had really similar photography as the movie (the cowboys and the sheep herd and all that) and at some time a man said: "come to where the flavor is", hehe, I was holding my breath to avoid laughing when at the movie theatre, personally I did not like the movie anyway.
  • Eh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:53AM (#15049221)
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Amazing! Not only can they transfer movies automagically over copper wires directly into my home, but the cables apparently create an inverse tachyon beam that brings movies in from the future!
  • Fearful of the same digital piracy that humbled the music industry, two online vendors are poised to start offering recently released flicks via the Web. It's the Steve Jobs effect.

    I thought the Steve Jobs effect was to make you believe that G5 smokes Intel processors only to a year or two later make you believe the opposite with equal fervor.

    Elephant Essays [] - Custom-created essays and research papers.
    • Is it still flamebait if I'm using a Mac? :-P
    • by MonoSynth ( 323007 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:32AM (#15049431) Homepage
      'When I was arrested, Apple said that PPC processors were evil.'

      'PPC processors are evil. Good. And Apple always said that PPC processors are evil, has it not?'
      Winston drew in his breath. He opened his mouth to speak and then did not speak. He could not take his eyes away from the dial.

      'The truth, please, Winston. Your truth. Tell me what you think you remember.'
      'I remember that until only a week before I was arrested, Apple used PPC processors. They even proved that they were the better ones. Intel's processors were the evil ones. That had lasted for nine years. Before that '

      Jobs stopped him with a movement of the hand.


      'Do you remember,' he went on, ' writing in your diary, "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two
      make four"?'
      'Yes,' said Winston.
      Jobs held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.
      'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?
      'And if the party says that it is not four but 4.0000000097768 then how many?'
    • nothing ever changes does it? certainly not when it comes to something as stagnant as the tech industry, and certainly not over a period of time so inconceivably small as a couple of years.

      I for one am still satisfied by my 640kb.
    • Steve Jobs never said that Intel processors were always better than G5s, just that they are now. And even more to the point, this is just after Intel released a whole new chip design that is even tempting AMD users over to the darkside. While your comment might seem to make sense on the surface, any amount of thought at all would show it to be unintelligent.
    • The old joke goes "How many lesbians does it take to change a light bulb?" The response of course is "ONE! And it's not funny!"

      Go ahead and laugh, the Church if Mac types won't get it anyhow.

      (this post written on a G4 Powerbook which unbelievably has not changed my life in any signifcant way and which does almost nothing better than my PC!)
  • Can't Burn? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:56AM (#15049233)
    If you can't burn a copy to play on your DVD player, then forget about it... Unless it's cheaper than buying the DVD (by at LEAST $10)... I'm fine with them putting the CSS encryption on my burnt DVD, but they have to let me burn it for me to even consider it...

    *Note* I only dl movies if I want to watch it first before buying, but I normally do actually buy the DVD (if the movie doesn't suck).
    • Yes but this subscription will include 4 office chairs so that all family can sit in front of Windows computer and enjoy DRM'd movie together.
    • Re:Can't Burn? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neersign ( 956437 )
      I think cost is what drives piracy, and I think it's time the movie industry and recording industry realized this. Instead of spending more money on DRM that will be cracked anyway, they should just give in and realize that no one wants to pay $20-30 for one DVD. The people I know who purchase DVD's on a regular basis only buy them when they are on sale for $10 or below.

      and, as you were hinting, people who pay for and download a movie should be entitled to burn it to dvd if they choose. I don't see how

  • DRM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:56AM (#15049235)
    both sites for now are only allowing the movies people buy through downloads to be stored on PCs or on devices like the game player Xbox outfitted with certain Microsoft software

    Cue to DVD-Jon crack in 3.. 2.. 1..

    Seriously, does anyone know how much effort it would take to crack these DRM'd formats and export to AVI? What sort of security is in place? And wouldn't anyone be able to make a "bootleg" analog copy anyway?

    • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DannyO152 ( 544940 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:11AM (#15049329)
      Why do their work for them? I say, if they don't want to release in a format I can use, then they proceed without my dollars and with my negative word-of-mouth.
    • Re:DRM? (Score:3, Interesting)

      OK we can't really rely on DVD-Jon (since he's gone over to The Dark Side) but hopefully there's a DRM-Kristian or DRM-Sven out there to crack the encryption.

      Having said that, the encryption can probably be updated each time a movie is released (to play this movie, click [here] to install latest player update"), making things much harder to crack. That said, there is no such thing as an unbreakable DRM system and i'm sure someone'll do it.

      There's no way of making an optical (and therefore relatively
      • Who in their right mind would even bother cracking the DRM since there are dvds readily available of a much higher quality. i mena seriously, every amateur dvd bootleg is better quality then this overpriced, drm-crippled piece of shit. The industry keeps wondering why their profits are going to shit, because they are wasting billions of dollars on bullshit ideas like this one. I don't know who the fuck would buy this except some geezer who wanted to impress his son, only to find himself asking his son why i
        • I assumed that the downloaded movie would be encoded in H.264 with all the languages and stuff you'd get from a DVD. A 4.7GB dvd is lower quality than a 4.7GB (which is what these movie downloads better be) H.264 movie. Try watching a DVD on a projector- artefacts EVERYWHERE. Balls.
    • Oh hush now. If there were any problems with DRM, we'd have seen them with DVDs which are controlled using CSS, a version of DRM, and Hollywood would be releasing "online" versions of movies to counter massive file trading, for example. Fortunately, that reality doesn't exist. CSS was never cracked, and you can't download movies via P2P networks.
  • Thanks... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:56AM (#15049236)
    ...but I think I've already dowloaded most of those.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:58AM (#15049246)
    Who wants to download something you can't burn and then watch on your home theater?

    I will just buy the DVD thanks.
  • Nice idea, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by coffeechica ( 948145 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @08:59AM (#15049248)
    Unlike their current services, in which online shoppers pay around $4 to rent new movies for up to a month, the films will be sold for prices "similar to home video," says Ramo.

    Are they trying to deliberately kill the idea of movie downloads? Simultaneous release, same price... why should anyone wait for a few hours for a download when it's just as quick to get the actual DVD? And costs as much? The DVD can be passed on to others and there's no need to install special software on the PC to actually get it running.

    Looks very much like an alibi action - "we tried to offer it, but nobody wanted it! So why should we bother?"
    • by tessaiga ( 697968 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:14AM (#15049346)
      Unlike their current services, in which online shoppers pay around $4 to rent new movies for up to a month, the films will be sold for prices "similar to home video," says Ramo.
      Ramo (Chief Executive of Movielink) is more explicit in a separate LA Times article [] where he admits that Movielink will actually be selling the online downloads for about double the street price of the physical DVD. The article quotes movie studios as saying that they don't want to alienate their existing DVD sales channel operators, since DVDs currently account for 46% of studio sales -- about double the take from the box office.
      Piracy fears also prevent online services from giving technological early adopters what they really want -- the ability to watch downloaded movies on their televisions. That's because the studios insist that downloadable movies include rigorous safeguards on copying. Users, for instance, can burn a DVD of a downloaded movie, but it will play only on a PC.


      Ramo said download-to-own movies would sell for $20 to $30 -- up to double the $15 that discount retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. charge for DVDs, with downloads of classic titles for $10 to $17. He said the premium reflected the convenience of the service and the flexibility to transfer the digital download to two computers, as well as the ability to create a backup DVD that also would play on computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system.

      Reading quotes like this really make me wonder if some of these executives are living in a bizarro parallel reality, or if they've just gotten accustomed to spewing this sort of doublespeak nonsense with a straight face. Supposedly consumers will be happy to pay double for the "flexibility" of being able to back up their new movie to computer and play them on their computers. Well, when I buy the physical DVD from the store, surprise surprise, I can play my DVD on my computer OR the TV -- and guess which display I'm going to be watching most of my shows on, my 20" monitor screen or the 35" TV downstairs? Backing up the DVD is a snap too, and I don't have to deal with the annoying hassle of Movielink/CinemaNow's homebrew DRM.

      Last I checked, paying more for something that I can do strictly less with wasn't the dictionary definition of "flexibility", but hey, I'm not a high-paid exec, what do I know.

    • .why should anyone wait for a few hours for a download when it's just as quick to get the actual DVD?

      Exactly. Even with cable internet on a popular torrent, you're still looking to at least an hour for a 1.4GB compressed copy, even longer if this service uses full 4.6GB uncompressed. I can go outside, wait for and take the bus, buy a hard copy, and get home all before this is done. Or just pick it up on the way home from work.
      • Re:Nice idea, but... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Laur ( 673497 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:04AM (#15049635)
        you're still looking to at least an hour for a 1.4GB compressed copy, even longer if this service uses full 4.6GB uncompressed.

        FYI, commercial DVDs are definetely not uncompressed, they use MPEG2 compression. Also, full dual layer DVDs are closer to 7-8GB, not 4.6GB (of course, this includes things like extras and special features, which I'm not sure if these downloads will have).

      • Yes...but many people are lazy and would rather start a download before going to bed than get in their car. The argument that people will not download films due to the size ignores the fact that it's already happening. Just because YOU are not doing it does not mean other people are also not doing it.
    • Are they trying to deliberately kill the idea of movie downloads? Simultaneous release, same price... why should anyone wait for a few hours for a download when it's just as quick to get the actual DVD? And costs as much? The DVD can be passed on to others and there's no need to install special software on the PC to actually get it running. There are advantages for the rental portion. You can queue up downloads in advance, watch it within a given window, don't have to worry about every copy being rented
    • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:21AM (#15049764)
      They don't want to kill movie downloads - they want to kill physical media and not give consumers a price break. Americans pay far less for movies and music than the rest of the world, and the movie companies would make a hell of a lot more money by narrowing distribution down to a single middleman with no costs for physical media. It would also mean no more movies passed around between friends, shown at parties, schools, etc.. Sure people probably won't pay full price for downloads now, but the service can take a loss for a few years while they work out the bugs, and then Harry Potter six or seven can be released as an internet exclusive, at which point the movie companies start abandoning physical media and start reaping huge profits.
  • DRM galore (Score:4, Interesting)

    by giorgiofr ( 887762 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:00AM (#15049253)
    FTA: Movies can't be "burned" or copied onto disks that can be played on other devices, such DVD players. The movies, however, can be copied to play on as many as two other PCs

    Of course, it would be too easy if they were let out of the DRM jail...

    Customers can hook up their computers to their TV sets using specially equipped video cables

    Uh? Specially equipped cables? WTF are they talking about? Something that's got to do with HD and/or closing the analog hole?
    • Re:DRM galore (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ajs318 ( 655362 )
      I guess some expensive, non-CRT TV sets can probably tolerate the scan rates used by PC monitors. All TV sets bigger than 35cm. have RGB SCART inputs; but these are expecting TV-style, negative-going composite sync, so you might have to do some rudimentary signal conditioning {use a 2903 dual comparator, which has open-collector outputs that can safely be wired together, and a pull-up resistor -- you can pick up 12 volts somewhere like a disc drive power cable. While you are at it, pull pins 8 and 16 of
  • Let me guess (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <> on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:00AM (#15049254)
    320x240 video, 96kbps mp3 audio + some drm monkey dung.

    Or I could run over to a torrent site and get BareBack Mountain,

    RiPPER......: Replica GENRE......: Drama/Romance
    ViDEO TYPE..: NTSC RUNTiME....: 134 min
    AUDiO TYPE..: DD5.1 STORE DATE.: 04/04/06
    iMDB RATiNG.: 8.0 RLS DATE...: 03/17/06

    I wouldn't mind paying for it but make it worth my while.
  • by Professor_UNIX ( 867045 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:01AM (#15049259)
    Offering movies and then restricting them to a PC, most likely some form of Windows Media DRM crap, for the same price as you could buy the unencumbered DVD in the store is not a way to market a new service! This is even worse than iTunes Music Store and their lossily encoded AAC DRM-restricted music files. At least with that you can burn a sub-CD quality version to a CD and rerip it to MP3 format to archive it.
  • WIndows only? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Selivanow ( 82869 ) <> on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:02AM (#15049264)
    Both companies seem to only support Windows and IE. What about the other half of the planet. Opensource aside, there is still a pretty big Mac base out there. It makes great market sense to alienate a group of users like that.
    • Re:WIndows only? (Score:3, Informative)

      by way2trivial ( 601132 )
      a big mac base?,+switch+to+ Intel+chips/2100-1006_3-5731398.html []

      1.8 percent of the market..

      realistically, 1.8% is a fine percentage of folks to skip, when development and support would cost just as much as for the 98%

      kinda like movies that no longer get released in vhs...

      • Such strange logic, given that this is a group of people who are willing and very able to use digital media on computers (as opposed to the average PC user who can't even manage to keep malware off their systems) *and* have demonstrated over and over again how very willing they are to actually *pay* for stuff they use.

        Couple that with a cheap system that can eaily be hooked up to a TV and *comes with a remote* and it would seem that the studios are overlooking a serious bit of cash flow.

        And your argument ab
        • the entire point for the studios and companies supplying the movie is to maintain the DRM.

          pray good sir, how to they retain their DRM intentions, and support the alternate platform, using quicktime?
          The answer is, they can't.. the download companies will only get the green light/licensing if they can secure the media~
          they can only secure the media through drm development~
          to serve this up on a macintosh, a small portion of the market, will cost as much as the lion's share.

          I may not like it, but I acknowledge
      • 16% small? (Score:3, Informative)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) *
        16% doesn't seem that small to me [].

        Even if you think that number is too large, the argument they make is compelling for a market share of at least 10%.

        The mistake you have made is a common one of confusing market share (percentage of computers sold per year) with the installed base. There are a variety of reasons why that is much higher for Macs, especially among home users as corperate sales mask the percentage of macs in people homes - you know, where they might actually buy and watch movies.

        No worry for
    • Both companies seem to only support Windows and IE. What about the other half of the planet.

      The other 7% surely?

      I think the whole idea is stupid, but going for a Windows-only base probably makes their lives easier in various ways, so you can understand it. If it takes off they might find it financially worthwhile to take in the Mac crowd too.
      • And just think, if they hadn't wasted their time with the (easily crackable, as demonstrated by a previous poster who was able to copy and transcode it on his Windows system) complicated DRM nonsense, they could easily have 'supported' 100% of the market.

        • Oh, I totally agree. I don't think DRM does them any favours at all. But it'll take them a good few years before they come round to that way of thinking...
      • The other 7% surely?

        If I were to buy a downloaded movie, I definitely would want it to play on my iPod, so that other market share is more like 70%+. I definitely would not want to be stuck in front of my computer screen to watch a moview.

        Funny how Microsoft has been pushing to try and get Apple to support their DRM on iPods, claiming the need for consumer choice, but when Microsoft gives you zero choice on which OS to use their DRM with (you can choose any OS as long as it is Windows). Once a monopo

  • From the article:

    To keep from competing directly with large retailers like Wal-Mart, both sites for now are only allowing the movies people buy through downloads to be stored on PCs or on devices like the game player Xbox outfitted with certain Microsoft (MSFT) software. Movies can't be "burned" or copied onto disks that can be played on other devices, such DVD players. The movies, however, can be copied to play on as many as two other PCs, says Ramo.

    So they mean unless I have an Xbox, I'll have to watch it

    • Actually it could work if you had an Xbox 360. The problem is that, thanks to poor design on MS's part, you also need a media center PC to watch video on an Xbox. Hopefully, they'll fix that with Windows Vista, but it was a pretty dumb move.

      As it stands, who in their right minds is going to pay $20-$30 for a movie that they could buy cheaper and at higher quality on a DVD, with the inconvenience of it being DRMed to the PC to boot?

      If they really want to suceed, they need to cut the price to half that of the

  • So basically... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:02AM (#15049268)

    The move is aimed at stemming the rising tide of pirate downloads, and DRM will be in force to prevent copying the movies to DVD.

    So basically, they aim to compete with piracy by selling me something less convenient at a higher price? Genius!

    Seriously, when are they going to get it that the only thing they have going for them is convenience? The black market of free downloads is always going to be cheaper. The only way you can fight it is to offer a better, more convenient product. And tying it up with DRM that prevents what is probably the second most desired feature after watching it is only going to screw that up.

    Why would I buy from them when I can get a copy that I can burn to DVD at a cheaper price? It's sad when anonymous pirates can provide better customer service than multinational corporations that created the damn thing in the first place.

    • something less convenient at a higher price? Genius!

      It's so crazy it just might work!

      Oh no, wait, that line only works if you're MacGyver or the A-Team.


  • Great, you let people download the movie, but then they can't burn it to a DVD?

    Even with downloaded music, you just gotta allow burning it to a CD so it can be enjoyed on all devices. Hard to imagine how movie downloads are going to sell if they can't be burned onto a DVD.

    • With no way for the customer to burn the movies to disc, how is that a permanent ownership? I imagine they are expecting people to start using this as the way to buy movies, but what happens when somebody buys 10 movies? 20? 50? Are they supposed to just keep buying more HD space to store them indefinitely?

      Plenty of people have already mentioned the "but I can't watch it on my TV, what's the point?" reasoning.

      I think an ideal system would be a service where you can download a reduced-quality version (like i
  • by LandruBek ( 792512 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:04AM (#15049281)
    Although I don't like DRM I think this is something of a hopeful sign -- to see more legal movie distribution via download. If it gets to be common knowledge that download != illegal (much less "piracy" or "theft"), then the MPAA and RIAA won't (I predict) be able to pass a lot of goofy, anti-P2P legislation.

    The stifling effect of widespread DRM is another serious problem, but I would rather for the moment rather see legitimate, mass-consumption downloads, and then we'll see less "troll" legislation.
  • Hollywood should reduce the prices on new DVDs. Seems like too many new DVDs are coming out at $30 USD or higher. This means I'm picking up the DVDs when Amazon or Borders are offering them at 30% off or waiting a while for the prices drop down to $20 USD range. Granted, I'm a cheap bastard. But I had to wait two years to pick up The Lord of The Rigns trilogy extended collection for $60 USD!
    • Seems like too many new DVDs are coming out at $30 USD or higher.

      What hellishly expensive boutique world do you live in? I haven't paid more than $15 for a newly released DVD in years. Hint: Wal-Mart, Target, and the other big chains compete well on these things. Even if you hate Wal-Mart, you can enjoy the fact that they're paying the *AA bottom dollar.

  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:06AM (#15049297)
    So basically they expect people to watch the films exclusively on their PC, rather than their living room TV. You end up with a product much worse than a DVD for a strikingly similar price. To make it even worse, you have to spend hours of your own broadband bandwidth to download it.

    Not only that, DVDs can regularly be had for reduced prices at high street DVD stores, I'm willing to bet these downloads will not have equally aggressively prices sales periods.

    This just lends credibility to people saying they are basically just setting legal downloads up to fail, so they can push for harder legal restrictions afterwards.

    A download is a lower quality product than a hard copy DVD, as you don't get the physical copy and packacking. Since there is no physical reproduction, no physical transport and no extra goodies, people have certain expectations to price. Since you don't get physical media, your investment is a lot less secure.

    Any download replacement should be:
    a) much cheaper
    b) convenient
    c) easy to backup

    This product fails on all of these points.
    • The question here is what disadvantages would the MPAA have in intentionally failing a DRM download distribution scheme. I think the most obvious one is that they would prove people dont want to download movies, and that the problem truely lies with traditional distribution methods being troublesome. If you can get a dvd screener and watch it with 4 or 5 of your friends, it's certainly a better option than spending a combined $50 at the theater when the movie comes out. By making the download release con
    • So basically they expect people to watch the films exclusively on their PC, rather than their living room TV.

      Not that I'm defending the idea (I think it's a step in the right direction, but that it doesn't go far enough), but as media PCs become more and more common, more people watching the films "exclusively on their PC" will be watching it on "their living room TV".

      Perhaps this sort of thing will be a more attractive proposition as media centre-style PCs become more common, but it's a bit of a chicken an
  • Not relevant for me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:08AM (#15049307) Homepage
    Unless these morons (both MPAA and the legal DL sites) figure there is a LEGIT, ORIGINAL buying community got sick of waiting for DVD "plastic" to watch them on their computer OUTSIDE of "America", I wouldn't care less.

    Also as WMV and RealVideo, Quicktime supports 5.1 sound for ages, if you pay the same money as Dolby Digital or DTS DVD to a stereo download, you have been err.. what was the term? :)

    If it is kind of hard to understand why a random guy on Slashdot got real mad about the situation

    1) Consider you want to watch a Region 2 DVD , you don't care about the region fight.
    2) Go to, turn OFF "one click" feature and..
    3) Put couple of DVDs in your shopping list
    4) Fill in the delivery form as you live in Istanbul,Turkey or some other European country outside UK
    5) Look to "shipping and handling" cost and be amazed. If you have only 1 DVD on that list, it will be generally HIGHER than the Movies original cost.

    Step 6 is generally launching a pirate client and download the freaking movie. As a guy in industry, I don't. Can't blame others if they would in current amazingly stupid scheme of things.
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:08AM (#15049309)
    Now that you can download movies anywhere in the world as soon as the DVD is released, there's no reason for discs to have region codes anymore.

    • *grumble grumble* Don't count on it. You'll have to jump through all the hoops that you do for getting foreign store access in iTunes currently. No technical reason for them, but the contractual nastiness of giving certain distributors exclusive rights in territory X/Y/Z means that they'll have a fragmented sales model and some sort of CC-linked proof-of-legal-residence requirement, just like iTunes.
  • by Ilex ( 261136 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:13AM (#15049338)

    DRM will be in force to prevent copying the movies to DVD.

    Joe six pack will soon discover the evils of DRM when they can't burn the film they legally paid for onto DVD to watch on their new HD TV or their HDD / Computer fails and they have to buy all their movies again. Unlike the pirates who can happily burn / backup their W4r3z.

    A lot of people, especially the tech savvy ones will still choose to get the pirate downloads. Remove the DRM and let people burn their own DVD's.

    Let me spell it out for the MPAA! Will you pay for a product which is inferior to one you can get for free?

  • Downloading (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Secret Agent X23 ( 760764 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:21AM (#15049377)
    Seems to me the industry wants to offer downloads just because they've heard people like to download movies, as if they (the movie execs) think the act of downloading were, in itself, the objective. And if it flops because people don't like the prices and/or the restrictions, the executives won't understand -- because, after all, they were letting us "download."

    Well, I dunno. That's the way it sounds to me.

  • DRM is sooo "Brokeback"
  • Theatrical release (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Loconut1389 ( 455297 )
    Now if the download coincided with the theatrical release and they mailed you a real dvd when it came out, I'd be sold- DRM or no.
  • And just what is my incentive to download a movie I can't burn to DVD and play on my home theater system? It costs them next to zero to distribute movies this way and the consumers nothing in return.

    Just why do they think this is going to work? Only in Korporate Amerika do people imagine that you can get something for nothing.

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:35AM (#15049450) Homepage
    One of the reasons why iTunes Music Store works is that although music is priced at about the same price per minute as the same content on CD, you have the option of buying individual songs. And in fact this works very well for me. I have probably purchased between fifty and a hundred individual songs where I want the individual songs but do not like the artists well enough to want eleven more.

    So... maybe they should try offering individual scenes from movies.

    This wouldn't work for every movie, but "Basic Instinct" would probably lend well itself to this treatment.
    • o... maybe they should try offering individual scenes from movies.

      Other than Porn (where there are experimenting with this) when else would this ever work. I think for movies the right analogy is huge selection very cheap. No one wants to stock lots and lots of DVDs. Netflix and Amazon have shown that there is a very long tail. What's missing is a preview site with multiple trailers organized like IMDB and instant downloads.

      That's where the money is IMHO.
  • That's around $20 to $30 for newer films, and $10 to $20 for older flicks. CinemaNow intends to be more aggressive, offering some of its new flicks for under $20 and to build traffic, it will offer a two-for-one sale at the outset.

    Movies can't be "burned" or copied onto disks that can be played on other devices, such DVD players. The movies, however, can be copied to play on as many as two other PCs, says Ramo.

    Why the hell would anyone want to pay that kind of money for crippleware? These guys just do
  • by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25 @ g m a i> on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:46AM (#15049534) Journal
    From the article
    Movies would cost $20-$30.
    They would be resticted to specific hardware (your Windows equipped computer).
    You can't watch them on your HD home theatre system.
    Sounds like the PSP UMD format.

    Why can't we just buy the DVD from Wal-Mart for $15, and then walk to our PC and put it in, and then watch it? Then when we're done, we take the DVD, walk to the home theatre DVD player and drop it in and watch it again. Boy, all that walking has got me tired.
    • Sounds like the PSP UMD format.

      You just shot yourself in the foot. Proportionate sales notwithstanding, the PSP UMD format has been an outlandish success, sales-wise. People are buying them and studios are releasing more movies to the format than I'd ever imagined considering the constraints it offers.
      • Actually, I recently read that some studios who shot out of the gate with great support for UMD are scaling back, and even places like Walmart are no longer buying them because they gather too much dust on the shelves.

        I think this was a great example of the "early adopter" market making a great showing, but the product didn't have what it took to cross the chasm.

        I can't find the original news article, but Engadget [] is usually a pretty trustworthy source.

  • About ten minutes after these are released, the DVD Jon's of the world will have these up on all the P2P networks.

    Filenames to look for:

    Broken/Cracked Mountain
    Harry Potter and the Pwners of the Phoenix
    King Kpng
  • I tried to check out the movielink site, but instead got a page telling me that the site can only be viewed on Internet Explorer using Windows XP.

    You won't even let me see your page with Firefox?
    What the fuck. I hope they are a massive fucking failure of a company.
  • DVD prices (Score:2, Insightful)

    by justthinkit ( 954982 )
    Am I the only one who finds that DVD prices are very much better these days? I just bought a special edition (Red Heat) for $7 from Amazon, for example. At these prices what is going to compete with DVDs? Certainly not HD DVDs. Certainly not DRM limited downloads, at any price.

    It seems to me the whole movie downloading thing started because DVDs were over priced. Now it seems that they aren't.

    Score one for the good guys.

  • The customers send you 12 bucks or whatever and instead of downloading your DRMed and crippled version, they download the torrent, thus they won't put stress on your servers while still getting a movie they can actually watch on the DVD-equipment in the living room instead of trying to decypher what's going on on the tiny screen that's still connected to the only Windows-Box running. Think of it as some kind of license, kinda like it is in the software industry where you buy the license, not necessarily the
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:16AM (#15049727) Homepage Journal
    Unlike previous deals, these will be full purchase downloads, and not merely for a rental period.

    Which is DoubleSpeak, because it's untrue. If you can't transcode it to run on other devices, extract clips for purposes allowed under Fair Use, and the DRM prevents you from playing a restored backup on an upgraded or reinstalled purchase, it's not a full purchase now, is it. . .
  • From

    Rent a movie for 24 hours viewing,
    • New movies only $3.99, all other movies $2.99. Plus, check out Showcase Section for discounts as low as 49 Cents.
    • Your 24 hour viewing period doesn't start until you play the file

    Buy a movie for unlimited viewing on your PC

    • Movies range in price from $9.95 to $19.95. Be sure and check the site for more offers and discounts.

    Maybe I'm just a cheap bastard... but there is no way in hell I'm going to pay what is basically full price for an elec

  • That's my only question...

  • by SpryGuy ( 206254 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @12:00PM (#15050749)
    This is interesting news, in light of this story []:

    A new service being launched by Vivid Entertainment on April 3rd, 2006 will allow consumers to purchase, download and burn a complete DVD for instant gratification. Always on the leading edge of technology innovation, the adult entertainment industry is again among the first to offer the ability to download and burn a fully functioning DVD complete with menus, chapter navigation and subtitles (do adult entertainment videos even have subtitles?). The initial launch of the service will include 30 movies from the Vivid Video collection and will cost about $25, which is the same price as purchasing the physical DVD.

    This may not be exactly what Bill Gates was referring to when he said that the format war between Blu-Ray and HD DVD would likely be the last, but this is clearly a step forward for the digital distribution of content. The Vivid download DVDs are using a DRM technology that will only allow the video file to be burned to a DVD once. This technology is an important step in providing Vivid with the confidence to go forward with its plan. It's not known whether the burned DVDs will be encrypted with CSS and can be unencrypted and replicated using software such as DVD Decrypter or DVDShrink.

    Mainstream studios will probably pay close attention to this service to see if the initial 30 DVDs start to show up on P2P networks with any greater frequency as an indication of piracy rates of movies distributed in this manner. The benefits of digital distribution are significant since it reduces manufacturing and distribution costs as well as any issues with inventory surplus or shortfall (not to mention personal discretion). Despite these advantages, I don't think we'll be seeing any of the major studios following suit anytime soon.

    I think they're shooting themselves in the foot by not allowing you to burn a DVD of major Hollywood titles, personally, but maybe they'll fix that after they see how Vivid's experiment goes.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor