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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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  • 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).
  • 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?

  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Theatrical release (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Loconut1389 ( 455297 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:29AM (#15049410)
    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.
  • by g4e ( 964775 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:30AM (#15049417)
    Totally agree. This DRM is an absolut show-stopper.
    A new, pretty good flic about DRM and Trusted Computing: []
  • by techstar25 ( 556988 ) <techstar25 AT gmail DOT com> 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.
  • Re:DRM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stunt_penguin ( 906223 ) on Monday April 03, 2006 @09:53AM (#15049590)
    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 permanent copy of these movies, therefore anyone who buys one online but whose HD Crashes/Mobo fries/computer is destroyed will have lost all the movies they bought more surely than if they'd been burgled and their DVD collection stolen.
  • Re:DRM galore (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2@earthsho[ ] ['d.c' in gap]> on Monday April 03, 2006 @10:48AM (#15049979)
    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 the SCART socket high, to select RGB mode}.

    If your graphics card will sync down to 50Hz interlaced, it should theoretically be able to display on any set with an RGB input -- if you can create the appropriate modeline. TV sets are generally more resistant to out-of-spec sync rates than monitors, since they have to tolerate all manner of weirdy shit inbetween stations.
  • 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 think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson