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Movie Burning Kiosks Coming To Retailers 173

Vitaly Friedman writes "The motion picture industry is in talks with some major retailers about installing DVD burning kiosks in stores. It's an interesting idea, but one that almost entirely misses the point. Hollywood's movie distribution system is in dire need of a fix - very few will dispute that. Movie attendance has been suffering, DVD sales are slumping, and all the industry has managed to do is come up with a half-baked, unpopular download service and a scant handful of simultaneous releases. In another attempt to sort of give consumers what they want, the motion picture industry is thinking about allowing retailers to set up in-store kiosks for distribution."
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Movie Burning Kiosks Coming To Retailers

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  • Why would I buy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:42AM (#15465793)
    ...something that:

    * Will last much less time than a standard DVD before failing
    * Not play in all of my DVD players
    * Mean I have to wait around for it to finish burning
    * Probably cost as much, or more than, a regular DVD

    I won't, that's the answer to that. Get with it Hollywood, you need to offer movies to download at a significantly discounted price, or with no DRM. Offering me less for more, which is what you try to do at every step, doesn't make me want to give you my hard-earned cash.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:42AM (#15465797)
    Hollywood found out they can sell you a product that self destructs.
  • Adaptation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:43AM (#15465800)
    FTFA: Retailers are concerned that digital downloads might spell an end to the sale of DVDs, and see the download-to-burn kiosks as a way to keep them in the DVD business.

    If only could they realize they gotta adapt instead of run hacks to keep the good ol' days.
    There weren't plenty of typing machine manifacturers that started making keybaords and mice as well I think. They just tried to keep the old ways and ceased to exist.
  • by TheDunadan ( 950302 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:56AM (#15465831)
    ...They should make better movies.
  • Re:Adaptation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:01AM (#15465846)
    There weren't plenty of typing machine manifacturers that started making keybaords and mice as well I think.

    Yeah, who ever heard of a rusty old anachronism like that typewriter manufacturer International Business Machines competing in the new economy. []

  • by Xugumad ( 39311 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:13AM (#15465876)
    *sigh* /.'s attitude of "It's okay to copy anything I want" is really, really getting tiring.

    Look, yes, the movie companies are almostly solely producing overpriced undifferentiated mush. However, it's clearly mush a lot of you want. As such, is it so crazy to suggest you either pay for it, or if you genuinely feel it's over priced, make a stand by neither buying nor copying? All you're doing by copying movies/music/games/etc. is saying to the producers "I want your product, but don't want to pay for it".

    The MPAA/RIAA are both fairly clearly evil incarnate, I agree. However, copying everything you want is not actually going to help, it's just going to give them more legal leverage. If you actually feel things need to change, stop buying, and stop copying. Go read a book or something :)

  • by cliffwoolley ( 506733 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:14AM (#15465880)
    I guess it never occurred to the movie industry that perhaps sales/attendance are slumping because all of the movies they're coming out with these days are (a) expensive and (b) exactly the same as all the other movies for the last N years? "This story line worked before, it'll work again!"

    Thanks, guys. :-P
  • by zidohl ( 976382 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:17AM (#15465885) Homepage
    Well, the retail stores want to stay in the DVD buisness, and obviously, if they present a much worse product than the alternative of downloading it legally from the internet, they wont for long. So basicly it will be up to them to make a deal with Hollywood and present you with a better option if they really want to sell these DVDs.

    The cost could essentially become lower, if they actually want to lower the price, because you eliminate the need of transporting the fully packed DVDs, you remove them from the shelves which gives them extra space for other products and they wont make more DVDs than they actually sell. However, standing around for the kiosk to download and burn the DVD would probably strain most peoples patience..
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:56AM (#15465989) Journal
    /.'s attitude of "It's okay to copy anything I want" is really, really getting tiring.

    While I somewhat agree, you need to realize that (unlike most geek-oriented issues), that attitude reflects what the majority of humans feel.

    People do not, and did not ever, respect the concept of copyright as more than a good idea in theory if not in implementation. But until very recently (historically speaking), individuals didn't have the option of violating copyrights on any significant scale, so the system remained basically intact.

    Even prior to last 50 years, "piracy" still occurred (how many hand-painted copies of the Mona Lisa exist? I recall reading a number in the thousands recently). It just took much longer, and the resources necessary to pull it off on a large scale almost guaranteed detection.

    But from moment photocopiers gained widepread availability, college students have photocopied textbooks. The introduction of the cassette tape also saw the introduction of massive music sharing - likewise for the VCR. As soon as software-compatible PCs appeared, everyone swapped software among friends. When CD burners appeared on the scene, they just replaced the cassette tape, and likewise for DVD burners.

    And when the internet made piracy ever so much easier, people flocked to using it for exactly that purpose. When P2P made finding and downloading copyrighted content as close to trivial as any user-initiated action can get, the P2P networks turned into nothing short of massively distributed digital radio stations with the users as the program directors.

    So why do I write the above? For perspective. You say that in-your-face piracy as a form of civil disobedience won't work for swaying minds - But no one's mind needs swaying. Society has seen the idea of copyright, and rejected it outright whenever physically possible.

    We don't need to win mindshare buy-in - The media producers need to come up with a model that allows them to make money while accepting that people will copy their work regardless of the law.

    And if P2P scares the RIAA, wait until the next step. Some wireless-enabled portable music players already allow sharing songs actively, but it still takes too much effort to consider more than a quirk. When (not if) that turns into a passive action, compatible with devices just about everyone has (whether iPod-like players, or cell phones, or PDAs, or wrist watches, or some new killer toy we haven't even imagined yet) - When everyone you pass in rush-hour traffic, or on a busy sidewalk, or in a crowded mall, automatically sends you their entire music library almost instantly and without the need for you to even click "okay" - I think that really will mean the absolute death of anything similar to our modern content-selling industries. And what I just described will happen - Some portable music players already can do exactly that, they just need faster transfer rates, more storage space, and most importantly, either ubiquity or compatibility with other devices.

    The RIAA and MPAA has until then to come up with a new trick. If they want to focus their energy on litigation, or even on a laughable anti-piracy PR campaign - They may as well close up shop today.

    So when you see geeks saying "I will pirate it if I can, stick it to The Man!", don't bother getting annoyed - Whether or not such people know their "real" motives, they don't say anything new, or surprising, or even express an unpopular sentiment. Instead, look at them as a symptom of a badly broken system, broken from the start and finally approaching complete disintigration.
  • by justthinkit ( 954982 ) <> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:07AM (#15466028) Homepage Journal
    With NetFlix, the "one DVD a day" turned out to be a bad dream. The reality was more like one every two days. The other big problem was they didn't have every DVD I wanted to watch. Amazon does but it takes a week to get it. A rare-movie-burned-while-I-wait sounds like a niche-filler to me -- bring it on.
  • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:31PM (#15466904) Journal
    Get with it Hollywood, you need to offer movies to download at a significantly discounted price, and with no DRM.

    Fixed it for you.
  • by Rib Feast ( 458942 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:10PM (#15469063)
    For £15 the film industry will have have to use their formula of Film x DVD Retail Price and evaluate if offering downloads in a market is worthwhile.

    Let's see - 30 (films per month) x £10 (DVD) = £300 net sales that are being replaced by a £15 fee.

    Yup, I see them going for it!

    They own the content - they make the price. While we continue to buy DVDs they will continue not to offer cheaper downloads as the economic model of DVDs is clearly working for them and only the geeks are having little hissy fits but continuing to buy (or pirate) films. In their minds it's less costly to pay a pack of lawyers to squash as much of the latter as possible and continue their DVD model.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.