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Legal movie downloading gets a huge boost

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 04 Jul 2007 15:10 User comments (20)

Legal movie downloading gets a huge boost After months of false starts, DVD burning and legal movie downloading got a huge boost this week when the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD-CCA) approved a final amendment that will allow movie downloading services and DVD kiosk companies to offer on-demand disc burning using CSS-encrypted copy protection.
The amendment should be finalized by the end of the week at which point the changes will become effective. Then, movie download service will be able to offer movies that can be downloaded and burnt to physical DVDs as well as played on standalone players. The move should be a huge boost for movie download services due to the added appeal of being able to own the DVD after you download it.

"CSS is that line in the sand,"
TitleMatch chief technology officer Aaron Knoll said last week during the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy conference in Los Angeles. "Once there is the ability to legally replicate CSS [on such discs], we expect the coffers to open up."

The first hurdle in the process was getting Panasonic, which is one of a few companies that controls the master license to CSS, to agree with the move. Panasonic declined to accept the amendment when it was first tried in April.

Now, with the new licenses, retailers will be able to go to software companies such as Sonic for programs that will provide CSS-encrypted burning.

"Up to 50% of retail purchasers can't find the title that they want to buy, because it's not in stock,"
said Jim Taylor, senior VP and general manager of the advanced technology group at Sonic Solutions. "There is a huge untapped demand that can't be met because of shelf space limitations".

Sonic also said it has had a software package developed that would allow burning using CSS, but distribution was riding on the approval of the amendment.

There is however, like always, a catch. According to Video Business, consumers will need to buy a new DVD writer as well as a specific (probably new) type of DVD-R disc.

More updates as they become available.


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20 user comments

14.7.2007 15:16

There is however, like always, a catch. According to Video Business, consumers will need to buy a new DVD writer as well as a specific (probably new) type of DVD-R disc.
Wait....if the stuff is CSS encrypted doesn't that mean w. AnyDVD you could just burn them to regular DVDs just like how you backup your DVDs you buy in the store?

24.7.2007 15:27

yea im pretty sure anyone with that knowledge can make a 'backup' hehe
i guess they just keep puttin that useless protection to keep people who dont know how from copying em

34.7.2007 15:32

There is however, like always, a catch. According to Video Business, consumers will need to buy a new DVD writer as well as a specific (probably new) type of DVD-R disc.
If that is the case then no one will adopt this idea.

44.7.2007 15:56

Yeah, im sure they`ll try to stop the conversion somehow, untill you see somewhere something like copypod or softwares like that, who know maybe well see Dark Alex make an Sonic OE hahahahaha

54.7.2007 16:19

heh first off, a new dvd writer, and new disks, this is outrageous, i know you can burn css on movies, because i beleive sony vegas has this option for you to do with current dvd writers... plus sonic, who actually uses sonic software? Nero is where its at. plus i bet that these are not even full dvd quality, so it wont catch on because of that as well... so many limitations, so little satisfaction, its just not worth it...

64.7.2007 16:19

"Huge untapped demand?"
This is like the guys who say home piracy is "rampant" and make up some ridiculous number in billions that "are lost" every year.

74.7.2007 18:01

consumers will need to buy a new DVD writer as well as a specific (probably new) type of DVD-R disc.
Yeah, I think I heard about this, it's called Blu-ray, right? :D

84.7.2007 18:59

This will become a media nightmare.

No matter what they do. These will be copied, ripped, ect.
DVD writers will be hacked, flashed, and modified for the new format.

All-in-all a big win for those of us who refuse to pay to watch shit movies. ^_^

95.7.2007 4:51

There actually is a huge untapped market. I was reading somewhere (Fortune magazine maybe?) that HP was digitizing thousands and thousands of hours of programming that has not even made it to DVD yet! Of course, most of it is crap that the majority will not be interested in, but with the on demand aspect of this, they can reach that small niche market for startup costs that are significantly less than mass producing the DVD and sending them to retailers. If the DVD burning does not come along with this, we'll still see this show up as a streaming service, a la Netflix.

105.7.2007 5:15

It could work in multi culture environments....

If your from India, Japan, or Timbuktu, and u live in the a-hole of the world - USA, then perhaps this would cater to their needs more.

There are multicultural cities everywhere. Stores cannot stock it all, nor can TV stations broadcast it all to the small audience who wishes for it.

115.7.2007 12:23

There is however, like always, a catch. According to Video Business, consumers will need to buy a new DVD writer as well as a specific (probably new) type of DVD-R disc.

- Excuse me while I just laugh in the faces of the idiots who delude themselves that this is ever going to happen.

WTF is wrong with these morons?

Their grossly over-paid and clearly tiny minds seem incapable of making the connection between actual present day reality and any possible realistic path forward from todays actual reality.

Almost no-one, at all, is ever going to buy a new DVD burner for this and they're not going to buy new media.

'They' can't even be sure either new high def format is going to succeed nevermind this nonsense.

Why can't these greedy out-dated dead-heads - for once - just wake up to the realities of the modern market and the lack of control that digital world entails?

Instead of this pointless push to continually try to assert control (at huge expense and in ever more unlikely and unrealistic schemes) in a world where less and less control is possible it would be great to see some genuine imagination & forward thinking.

It's long overdue.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jul 2007 @ 12:26

125.7.2007 16:21

Anything with encryption will not catch on. I love the idea of the downloading and burning onto discs but why dont they just charge for the service without having the protection on it. You paid for it why do u need protection on it if you own it.

136.7.2007 5:55

I do not think that you would need a new burner but you will have to have different discs than the ones currently able to purchased.

I have looked into this area a few years back for the simple fact of trying to make 1:1 bit copies of movies so as to NOT circumvent the DMCA. I know.. we can all rip discs. I know we have the fair use right to do it. I also know the DMCA forbids removing the CP.

So back to my point: Currently the standard store bought discs are missing the region where one would burn the CSS to. Without the aresa to burn the CSS data to obviously you cannot burn the disc; hence the reason for new discs.

This does however open up the concept of being able to once again 100% LEGALLY rip archive copies of movies (because no one here is ripping rented or borrowed ones right? lol) by being able to leave the encryption in place, or being able to replace the encryption once removed.

Just an extra step in the 'fair use' run around I guess.

146.7.2007 7:50

I'll revise my statement and say this: if they overcharge for crap, say $15-$20 for each disc, it will fail. Instead of spending all of this money on DRM, they should just lower the cost. I know that MPAA and others think their sales will drop, but the fact is they will maintain, because people will buy more quantity at a fraction of the cost. How could anyone justify paying $50 for 1 season of Friends, ER, etc. that originally aired for free? We all know you make these discs for pennies on the dollar.

157.7.2007 0:54

I wonder why they think we even want optical disks at all? The best future for me is to store movies on a server and access them with software like Media Portal. Hard disk space keeps growing and dropping in price while home networks are now common. Why would I even want optical disks and their readers and writers? I already have enough junk gathering dust in my home. Optical disks should be obsolete now.

Yeah, the fat cats are losing money because I'm not buying disks that I couldn't buy anyway because no store in town has them on their shelves. Then the commercial download providers charge as much for the downloaded content as local retailers do for the disk in a box, and in addition, I have to pay for my own disk storage. In my opinion, those people are just plain stupid. And by the way, can someone tell them that there will never be a copy protection scheme that cannot be broken. They're just wasting their money trying to create one. Or, to say it another way, they're desperately clinging to the past because they find the modern world too frightening to accept.

Then, there are thousands of titles available for free download--maybe not legal, but free nevertheless. So, while the content providers are hell-bent on making content acquisition either difficult or expensive, and most likely both, we the consumers are faced with a dilemma: play the game and suffer or bend the rules and have fun. Well, that's certainly a tough choice!

It's hard for me to feel sorry for an industry that makes as much money as does the movie industry. I can understand the need for control while a movie is still in theaters, and perhaps during early in-store sales. They do have a need, and a right, to recover costs and make a profit. But charging $20 for a movie that is 20 years old and made a lot of people rich more than a decade ago, well, that's just plain greed, and I don't like it.

My preferred future is for the price and the barriers to acquisition of content to drop. Make movies easy to get and charge a reasonable price and almost everyone will be happy. I wouldn't mind paying a few dollars for downloading a movie. I would like to see the movie studios buy some torrent trackers and add a payment system and let us fetch all the movies we like at a reasonable cost. The only reason they're losing revenue is because they haven't adopted a business model that fits the modern world. In the meantime, we're all laughing at them.

167.7.2007 0:59

ah hell who cares. If people are going to be so against it, then why have their downloads boosted. Here is the bottom line guys. People go where they can to get what they can for the best price. Those of you who download illegally, hey thats on you buddy. Back in the day, i used to say, why pay when i could get it for free. Then I realized, if people keep downloading, thats not going to make prices go down. Well let me get back on subject. Some people will go for it, others will not. You never know what will happen. This could end up being one of the biggest hits on the web.


The Unknown.

177.7.2007 1:02

i know ill go for it

i live in mexico in a 15000 people little town
we have 1 blockbuster and thats it, heck i dont rent anymore cause theres nothing else left to see

187.7.2007 2:00

Originally posted by signal:
Then I realized, if people keep downloading, thats not going to make prices go down.
The relationship between downloading and revenue is a complex one. In some cases, downloading may indeed reduce revenue, as when the consumer is avoiding cost. In another view, consumers often download a movie that they would never buy, which doesn't return revenue, but is nevertheless good for the movie industry because it increases consumer interest. One thus needs to consider motivation of the customer. Some may be motivated by cost avoidance while others may be motivated by increased choice. Either group, however, would be better served by a more efficient, and more modern, distribution mechanism.

What is at issue is how the product gets to the customers. The industry has lost sight of the fact that those who download are customers. What the industry needs to address is how to get those customers into the distribution system. Copy protection and other barriers to ownership are not the answer. Reduced cost and easier ownership are the answer.

If one million copies of a movie are sold, then $20 per copy may be necessary for profitable business (total: $20,000,000). If ten million copies are sold, then perhaps only $2 per copy would be needed (total: $20,000,000). It's the old notion of economy of scale: the more sold, the lower the per sale price should be. The movie industry would like to sell ten million copies at $20 per copy (total: $200,000,000) which is also known as greed. If the sales are by download, then the distribution cost would have to be much lower than putting the movie on to an optical disk, sticking the disk in a box, adding theft protection, putting the boxes into a bigger box, shipping them to a store, unpacking the bigger box, putting the little boxes on a shelf, hiring someone to operate the cash register, processing returns, returning unsold boxes, etc.

Many, if not most, software companies are selling their products via download. They seem to be doing so quite effectively. I've bought a lot of it myself. Ultimately, a movie is just software.

Hmmmm... I wonder if there would ever be something like a movie upgrade? Maybe just patches? Version numbers? I think I'll go download Blade Runner version five.

197.7.2007 2:31

Interesting Point. However the product reaches the consumer really makes me think. People are always going to try to find a way to get something for free. I'm not opposed to that as long as it is legal. And you are right about the movie downloads boosting the revenue in regards to movies that are not of great interest. Hmmm, I'm going to sleep on that one.....Thank you for the input....


The Unknown...

Broken Signal

209.7.2007 8:42

What I find really nutty about the new copyright and DRM is that even commercials and ads are protected. It seems to me that the coprighting of a funny commercial defeats the purpose of advertising in the first place.

Old news clips are copyrighted as with the old movies. It used to be after 21 to 24 years, things became public domain. Now, a copyright is 99 years and for $1.00, the copyright is extended another 99 years.

When the MPAA and the RIAA started all these law suits, they announced that they were not interested in someone downloading a copy of the 50 plus year old "It's a Wonderful Life" or an old song or jingle. Who was the first person they sued...a 12 year old girl that downloaded an old nursery rhyme tune.

It has been and always will be the money.....

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