Thursday, December 23, 2004

20 Minutes Into The Future?

...or how I learned to stop worrying and hate the DRM.

Sander Sassen describes the... ah... "fun" he has when he tries to play the WMV9 High Definition version of Terminator 2 that he legally bought on a trip to the 'States -- could this be the future of DRM for High Definition movies? The WMV9 codec has already been chosen to be used by both Blu-Ray™ and HD-DVD™ formats, and it certainly sounds like a wet dream for the MPAA...

Quite ludicrous.

8 comments:

mmChronic said...

It's a PITA - but exactly the same issue as regions on DVD and that's never going to go away due the right to regionalise repeatedly being enshrined in law. See the various EU 'grey market' rulings.

Merg said...

Well, I still feel regions are a restraint on fair trade. But they're one thing... having to access a fscking license server that checks your location and then issues a temporary playback license is just flat out ludicrous, IMHO.

Regions have pushed prices down here -- when DVD's first came out here they were quite a bit more expensive than they are now (and, oddly, when they first appeared in the US they were quite a bit cheaper than they are now...) and I honestly feel it's the relative ineffectiveness of region coding that has done this.

Ironically, I can understand their desire to protect their movies from people passing copies around, and if they can come up with a scheme that allows personal backups that are playable on any machine but somehow prevents widespread distribution, whilst remaining transparent to the user, I'm okay with that. (In fact, I read of a proposal for a scheme that would do something like that, and it sounded workable... it was based on being able to track back to the player copies were made on -- I'll dig the info out if you care. In fact, it sounds like it'd even allow end users to copy the movie to a big disk server and not have to deal with find-disk-insert-disk hassles, surely a holy grai of the "media hub" thang...).

My major problem with DRM is they're using it to remove more and more rights from the end user, and generally abuse market position.

The other thing that occurs to me is that if they took all the billions they spend on R&D, licensing, etc. of these DRM schemes... and instead kept it and cut the price of the movies, people would be more likely to buy move DVDs. I know I would -- I generally only buy stuff on sale these days. So, they'd be better off. For most people, it's not like they'll ever manage to buy all themovies they'd like, soo...

But I guess they're worried if they ever tried it and it didn't work, they'd never be able to put the prices back up again...

Or perhaps it's just the "but it's WORTH $xxxxx!" idea...

mmChronic said...

I don't agree with regions either but there's no escaping them now. They even apply to fscking socks and jeans!

I agree the whole DRM thing is just penalising customers. It's certainly not inconveniencing pirates.

I wouldn't mind info on the copy as many times as you want scheme if you can find it. It sounds way too sensible to be adopted.

Did you read the Long Tail thing? It's main argument was drop prices, sell more (even of old shit that you thought nobody wanted), profit more. It's a no brainer. But people have been saying this about music / games etc since I can remember. We are still being ripped.

We'll have to be careful what we say about piracy mind. We don't want the lurking Dogs to go into an apoplectic fit and explode. Unless we can watch.

Merg said...

I've not read the "long tail" thing but yeah, it's common sense.

I can think of tons of old movies/TV shows that I won't pay full price for but I'd buy if they were cheaper. I suspect many people would since impulse buys would rocket.

Ho hum.

Right, orf for ze last minute Christmas buying spree. Wheeeeeeeeee etc.

(ps Ram arrived. The world is once more a nicer place.)

mmChronic said...

Ha - Merg fscks male sheep! Or at least I can think of no other reason you be so happy that a Ram had turned up. ;)

I recommend reading the Long Tail article - it is very interesting.

Merg said...

Feh.

RAM. Memory.

One of my old DIMMs had failed, and doing anything in XP in 256meg is painful to say the least.

BTW, that "self protecting" thang I was on about above is here. I'd meant to post it to the front page and forgot about it. Rather interesting.

mmChronic said...

I know - just couldn't resist! ;)

That protection scheme sounds the biz - but the make personal copies bit is set by the content producer ie the same greedy bastards that are trying to stop you playing a CD on all your players or stopping you buying cheaper stuff from other regions. I bet that doesn't get enabled very often.

Merg said...

Indeed. As usual, they're convince if they lock everything down tight we'll buy so much more...

Which is bizarre, because it just puts me off buying anything at all.

There's three things I primarily demand from content -- it has to be reasonably priced -- that's MY definition, since it's my cash -- and it has to be convienient, and it has to not offer me huge disadvantages over previous ways of getting that content (q.v. ebooks vs real books... ebooks often cost the same but are lcoked to one reader device, can't be sold or loaned, etc. ... or buying music online vs on CD for another example.).

I'm sure this is a fairly common attitude. What I don't understand is why the content "providers" can't get thir heads around this simple concept...