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Managed copy in the works for HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc

One of the biggest arguments against digital rights management (DRM) is that it restricts users from doing what they wish with the media for which they’ve paid. For owners of high-definition movie players, such restrictions may soon be a little lighter.

The Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administration (AACS LA) says that it is now working to provide “managed copy” features on the media that uses its protection technology. HD DVD had plans to implement managed copy as part of its specification – a main reason why Microsoft and Intel stood behind the format – but Blu-ray Disc had thus far ignored the concept.

The final version of AACS will supposedly introduce methods for users to legally copy their high definition media. For example, a user may wish to copy a movie from his PC HD DVD drive onto his network for play on his PVR – and with managed copy, he may now do that without breaking copyright.

“The final version will include things like managed copy – which will address the main thing that hackers claim they're interested in,” said Michael Ayers, spokesperson for the AACS LA, to HDTVUK.

Currently, those who wish to do more with their HD content other than just play it straight off the disc must resort to using hacker-discovered processing keys or similar software, which are used to completely defeat the AACS protection.

Although the AACS LA’s plans to introduce a little freedom to HD media by giving users a legal way to copy their movies, the technicalities surrounding just how to accomplish that are still unclear.

“The structure of managed copy, how it's technically going to work, what will the rules and conditions for the offer of a managed copy be — part of it is just understanding the rights in offering a managed copy, the rights a content owner may or may not have,” explains Ayers. “Potentially, you could have a situation where somebody has the right to distribute on disc, but nothing else; or, the distribution rights are limited to a specific region or continent.”

Movie studios may elect to adjust its pricing on titles with managed copy. It would be an undesirable situation if movies with managed copy carried a premium over those without such rights – but the AACS is looking in the other direction, hoping that managed copy features will increase sales and acceptance of high-definition optical media.

“Studios will have to take that into account when they select pricing,” Ayers said to IDG. “We are optimistic that the studios will see this as a benefit that will drive sales.”

For current owners of high-definition movies and players, the change to managed copy will not be transparent. An upgrade to new AACS version 0.93 software will likely be required, either through an Internet connection or other means.

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Good but not enough.
By Mitch101 on 5/25/2007 10:41:17 AM , Rating: 5
They should quit spending all this money on copy protection and just price the media cheaper. After all what choice do they have since the copy protection has been fully hacked. So now they decide to throw money in another direction which we ultimately pay for in the end?

STOP DRM and just make the darn discs cheap enough that people will buy them instead of copying them.

Example Blank HD media will be $10.00 soon. If HD movies are $14.00 then it makes no sense to copy it to a disc.

When HD Media is $5.00 a disc to consumers then the HD movies should cost about $9.00.

Finally when HD Media is cheap as dirt then movies need to cost about $5.00-$7.00.

Movie Studios cant continue to charge $17-$24 a movie when its cheaper to rent and copy. I know no one likes that comment but if Movie Studios want to stay away from Piracy then they need to know how to compete with it instead of spending more money trying to protect it which will only be broken instantly and causing consumers to brunt the high price.

As long as the movie is priced around the cost of RENTAL + DISC then sales will be up and pirating wont be worth it.

They also need to release movies in both formats (DISNEY) because if you dont sell them in both formats then Pirates have the perfect opportunity to sell the movies in the format they dont make them in. It will be within a week that you see Pirates of the Carribean/Shrek/Cars/etc in HD-DVD on a street corner and flea market the week the BLUE-RAY disc is released but Disney is too stupid to release it for HD-DVD. Pirates will love disney for being so stupid. The person with the HD-DVD player wont have morals or know or even care because the dupes look just as good as the originals even the boxes are hard to tell.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Proteusza on 5/25/2007 10:45:56 AM , Rating: 5
If everybody hates DRM, and we all know we do, and we all think we would be better off without it, why dont we do something? Why dont we set up a group to mass boycott any company that uses DRM that is too restrictive.

Corporations only understand one language - money. Maybe its time we started talking back.

RE: Good but not enough.
By exanimas on 5/25/2007 12:42:14 PM , Rating: 1
I strongly agree with this; action does need to be taken to see results. It's the same as if a bully is pushing you around and taking your money, if you never fight back they figure "Hey, easy money". Guess it's time to take a swing.

The only real flaw I can see with this plan is that half (possibly more) of the people crying about DRM, are probably downloading songs from iTunes. And removing the DRM on it doesn't count, you've already spent the money on the song, you've already supported a cause you are supposedly against. So as of today, I (and I'm sure Proteusza as well) refuse to buy from any company with DRM that's too restrictive.

RE: Good but not enough.
By 16nm on 5/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good but not enough.
By namechamps on 5/26/2007 3:56:27 PM , Rating: 3
As radius decreases the capacity decreases by a larger amount. Surface area of a disc is Pi*R^2.

So a 12cm disc has 452cm2 of surface area while a 7cm disc would have 153cm2. That about 30% of the capacity. DVD hold 9GB, HD DVD holds 30GB, and BD hold 50GB. A 7cm HD DVD would hold 10GB and a 7cm BD would hold 17GB. Not nearly enough for HD which has about 7x the pixels of DVD (640x480).

12cm was chosen for a reason. It is a good compromise between size and capacity and it makes the equipment backwards compatible with DVD and CD. A 7cm disc would be small but also only hold 1/3 the capacity. A 16cm disc would have an amazing 60GB/100GB for 2 layers but it would be considered too large by consumers/retailers. There is no free lunch in material physics.

RE: Good but not enough.
By ira176 on 5/27/2007 5:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? DVD's generally cost more than $20.00. I'm sure that HD-DVD is going to cost a bit more than DVD. The problem is many people get things they can't afford. Things really are too expensive generally. We are a merchandise hungry, debt spending society. How well would business' bottom line be if all American's spent within their means?

RE: Good but not enough.
By Micronite on 5/25/2007 12:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that would be cool...
Until I really wanted that one movie...

When all is said and done, most people just want to put the dumb disc in their expensive player and watch the show. The small number of people you could gather to stick to their guns and not buy DRM-protected material will really not make that much of a difference to these big media corporations.

It's a nice idea, it's free-market thinking, but until DRM seriously affects the majority, it's pie in the sky.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Moishe on 5/25/2007 1:19:11 PM , Rating: 3
I've been doing this for years. I stopped buying new CDs from artists associated with major labels. I only buy used CDs online. I get the CD, the content, and the hard, verifiable license (the physical disc) to use it and I get it for usually less than $5.

Then I rip it and use it how I want.

The funny thing is, there are so many ways to avoid giving your money to entities that you don't want to support that I'm surprised that more people don't do it.

RE: Good but not enough.
By jadedeath on 5/25/2007 11:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
That would both support and hurt the argument that the poster used that you're responding to.

For example: If you follow what he is telling you then you'd buy an HD player, Toshiba would rejoice. But then you would only buy HD movies on pirated HD disks. This would make Toshiba sad and Blu-Ray would win because it's fairly obvious they've got supporters that are willing to pay the price for the movies.


RE: Good but not enough.
By Christopher1 on 5/26/2007 9:21:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with that. I absolutely REFUSE to buy movies and music that have a very restrictive DRM scheme. For games, I won't buy them unless they get VERY cheap and I feel like buying one on the cheap or used.

It's past time, with the prevalence of HSC, that they allow people to buy things online and burn them to disk ourselves at a reasonable rate.

RE: Good but not enough.
By sprockkets on 5/28/2007 1:11:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hehe, I did. I have not bought any HD format player :)

RE: Good but not enough.
By blaster5k on 5/25/2007 10:51:53 AM , Rating: 3
Very well said. I agree that the prices have got to come down to increase sales and reduce piracy. The same goes for music.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Mitch101 on 5/25/2007 11:22:12 AM , Rating: 3
I didnt even want to mention music. $13-$17.00 for a Stereo Audio CD on a piece of Nickle media. $1.00 downloads with DRM on most songs still. Then they dont pay the artist didly.

I look forward to Artists selling their own music online and bypassing the Music Industry all together.

Someone should come out with an easy to pay download system for the struggling artist and put the RIAA down for the count. In fact thier recent stunt to charge the radio stations for promoting I mean playing thier artists music should be the beginning of the RIAA's demise.

Boy the Lawyers are really sticking it to the Music Industry but Im sure they dont see it that way. I should have been a lawyer in the music of movie industry.

Did anyone know one of the most profitable bands is the Greatfull Dead and they encouraged people to bring tape recorders to their concerts.

RE: Good but not enough.
By jtesoro on 5/25/2007 12:11:57 PM , Rating: 1
Artists DO sell their music online to bypass the traditional gears of the music industry. However, success using that method is much much harder to come by. That's why artists still strongly prefer to work with the big music labels, even though these middlemen take a huge cut of the money coming in.

We can all hate them to death, but the labels take a lot of risks by putting in money for production, distribution, promotion and related activities. As I mentioned in other articles, even though the artist is the one who makes the song, the middlemen play a greater role in monetizing it, and this justifies them getting most of the revenues.

RE: Good but not enough.
By sviola on 5/25/2007 1:46:47 PM , Rating: 3
Well, not all stars write their songs...many labels have professional musicians that write the music and songs, so the artist can perform (I won't mention any artist, but you can think about half the blond hot singers...)

RE: Good but not enough.
By oTAL on 5/28/2007 2:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
In those cases maybe the real artist isn't the one performing...

RE: Good but not enough.
By Christopher1 on 5/27/2007 5:37:38 AM , Rating: 2
However, success using that method is much much harder to come by.

Not really. I've been selling my own stories on a website for about a year now, and I have made about $300 dollars, more than I thought I was going to be able to make.
It's not the same as music selling, but it is close enough to it to count.

the labels take a lot of risks by putting in money for production, distribution, promotion and related activities.

Actually, they don't take very much risk at all, because if they even have ONE blockbuster star, they make back all the money they put out for studio time, equipment, distribution, etc. for EVERYONE ELSE with one record or CD.
They WANT you to believe they are taking a lot of risk, but I have done research into this subject and found out that the big medical companies, music companies, game companies, etc. are not really taking that big of a risk, if any risk at all.

RE: Good but not enough.
By jtesoro on 5/27/2007 10:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's good that you're able to make some money selling your stories and it seems that self-publishing via the web is something that fits your needs. However, for those who want to make it really big (as in the next U2 or Beyonce for instance), signing up with a big label is the way to go.

Once you're in, the labels spend a lot of money on you. As I said before, this typically includes production, distribution, marketing, etc. This costs a lot of money, and yes, this is a risk. A pretty big one. For every single success, there will be lots of others where they will be significantly be in the red.

To illustrate, consider a rich 20-year old (family money, for instance) who decides to invest his money in creating his own album and do what it takes to make himself the next Justin Timberlake: spending to get his album available around the world, getting radio stations to play his songs, schmoozing with the industry elite, etc. Doing that isn't such a good idea because his chances aren't good (his parents will probably give him a good whipping :) ).

If the guy doesn't have money, what are the chances a bank will give him a loan for this? Practically zero, because it's a big big risk.

Labels spend money for artists. It is a risk, and that is why they do deserve to get the big chunk of the revenue.

RE: Good but not enough.
By ajfink on 5/26/2007 12:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
It would be interesting to see an established, popular artist cut ties with a record label and sell downloads from their own website. Imagine the no-bullshit disclaimer they'd have, "What you pay comes to the artist, not to any record labels. If you like our/my music, buy it without restriction, but please buy it here." I would in a heartbeat. What's more, the artist would be able to sell them cheaper than the labels and still make more money since the label wouldn't be taking so much. Many smaller pseudo-labels would probably spring up that take far less money but still provide rising artists with the services they need. A savvy kid with a computer and good audio equipment could do it.

If such a sales model became popular, the first person to write good software for allowing users to download the music in whatever format/bit rate they choose (in the vein of would make a fortune selling it to the artists for use on their sites.

But perhaps it's just wishful thinking or years away. One can only hope. But with RIAA now calling for royalties on radio play, I think it's time the labels get a swift kick in the pants.

I'd like to also take the time to congratulate EMI for the changes they've made regarding DRM restrictions.

RE: Good but not enough.
By DokGonzo on 5/25/2007 12:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
Very well said. I agree that the prices have got to come down to increase sales and reduce piracy. The same goes for music.

I think we passed that point long ago. The recording and movie industries continued efforts to brand consumer as a potential thief has done so much damage I think we can never go back to how it was before MP3 and Internet, it just isn't going to happen. Some truly innovative sales models need to be implemented if this downward spiral trend in sales is to be curbed, and even then there are no guarantees...

I predict more and more artists will publish their materials via their websites or iTunes-like services and the recording industry as such will loose a great deal of it's influence and importance. A similar thing happened to the movie studios in 1960s and 1970s... And looking back it was the best thing that could have happened to the film industry.

RE: Good but not enough.
By FITCamaro on 5/25/2007 10:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
Uh a 40 pack of blank dual layer DVDs is about $75. Thats a $1.88 a disc. Yet new movies are still $20(typically $15 the first week though). So your dream of movies being under $10 just because the media is cheap already doesn't apply.

And I'm happy with movies at $15. I don't feel ripped off since thats about the cost of going to the movies to see it. Of course its cheaper to rent and copy because you're not buying it. Your logic that it shouldn't cost much more to buy the printed disc than a blank one is ridiculous. And people will pirate as long as they're able to regardless of the cost.

What if the games industry were that way? Game studios would be gone. Movies and games cost a lot of money to make. Now granted with movies, they usually easily make their money back in the theaters. But the games industry doesn't have that luxury.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Mitch101 on 5/25/2007 11:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you and what your stating is exactly why piracy is occuring. A lot of people will just say why spend $15-$20.00 when I can Netflix/blockbuster it and Copy it completely to a $1.88 media. I can find Blank DL's for around a $1.20 and Verbatim brand making the scenario even more attractive. They can even DIVX it to a 25 cent piece of media.

However if standard def movies were about $4.00-$5.00 each then there wouldnt really be a reason for someone to dupe them because its near the cost of duping without the process. Surely the movie studio's get the media even cheaper that we can as consumers. So if they pay a quarter for a DVD then that leaves $4.75 worth of profit.

But the problem is greed at the movie industry and thats where the problems begin. Still charging $17.00 for a movie and if we use the figures above this means they want $16.75 profits on each movie. Well that roughly $16.50 profit for pirates. Because of this Pirates then see the potential to make and sell dupes to consumers then the pirates make the money and the movie studios cry foul instead they should learn to compete with the pirates so there is no market for them.

An HD movies is approximately 25gig so it wont fit back onto a DL unless you recompress it. I would rather have it in its native format for quality reasons.

I personally think $15.00 is too much for a movie because the thrill is lost after the first time you see it. Now I only buy about 3-4 movies a year because I dont personally need to own every movie I ever see that is partially decent because chances are it will be on HBO every other month 5 times a day. So If Im going to pay $15.00 its going to be at the movies because while my home theater is good its not a 20ft screen and for my $15.00 I want the full wow factor.

I still havent decided on a HD format and will probably not even go that route and just get a HD-TIVO instead and not buy any HD movies. I can wait 3 months when its on HBO and once I tivo it I can watch it till Im bored and never have to buy the movie.

RE: Good but not enough.
By therealnickdanger on 5/25/2007 11:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
1TB HDD = $400
Rip ~35 HD-DVDs to as ISOs, no loss of PQ or AQ, instant access.

RE: Good but not enough.
By jtesoro on 5/25/2007 12:28:05 PM , Rating: 3
A movie DVD may be expensive but I think we shouldn't oversimplify it by simply comparing the price with the cost of media. After all there's production costs, distribution costs, marketing costs and other expenses that need to be recovered.

I won't pretend to know what the price a movie DVD should be, but we can't say that a $5.00 movie on $0.25 media results in $4.75 of profit.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Mitch101 on 5/25/2007 12:39:12 PM , Rating: 1
I agree with you jtesoro but if the MPAA wants to rule out pirates then they have to beat pirates at thier own game.

Pirates dont have production costs, distribution costs, marketing costs and other expenses they just have a master disk and copy it X times over and sell it. The movie studio did all the work for them.

If the MPAA competes at the consumer level of copying and the pirates cant make a good profit on copying the movies then while the MPAA wont make as much as they used to at least they wont be losing money to the pirates.

The MPAA needs to learn to compete because suing is only making the lawyers rich which of course they pass that cost along to us in the price of the movies which keep them high.

If you took out lawyer costs and DRM costs what kind of savings would the MPAA be able to recoup and possibly drop the prices to?

RE: Good but not enough.
By jadedeath on 5/25/2007 11:43:29 PM , Rating: 1
That's exactly WHY the MPAA can't beat pirates at their own game {and it's kind of a stupid thing to say}.

Example: You think that if we send boat "A" with DVD's out and someone hijacks the boat and sells the movies at a discounted price, that when we send out boat "B" the movies on this boat should be sold at a cheaper price because the pirates who made off with the first boat were selling stuff at a discounted price.

To say that the MPAA should discount their product and try to beat the prices of people who're illegally selling product and intellectual property that doesn't belong to them, is kinda ass-forward.


RE: Good but not enough.
By FITCamaro on 5/25/2007 12:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
The majority of pirates don't sell the stuff they copy. People just copy it and others download it. At least in the US. Only in Asia is pirated media really sold like you're talking about.

And just because you can rent it and copy it, doesn't mean you should. I can steal a Ferrari if I want because its a cheaper alternative to buying one but that doesn't mean I will.

And the movie industry is not the music industry. Yes they don't want people pirating their stuff. But they're also not suing people left and right like the RIAA is.

And you may not want to buy a lot of movies. But some do. And I think the cost to go see the movie for two in the theater is a reasonable price to pay to own it and watch it any time you want. You can call it greed all you want. But I think its reasonable. Now HD movies are more unreasonably priced. A lot of movies I see on HD formats are $25-30. And I'm not willing to pay that to own it. Especially when the players are still $300-400.

I really hope HD-DVD wins. Because I don't see Blu-ray ever allowing managed copy. Knock Microsoft all you want. At least they're supporting the format that calls for it.

RE: Good but not enough.
By frobizzle on 5/25/2007 7:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
The majority of pirates don't sell the stuff they copy. People just copy it and others download it. At least in the US. Only in Asia is pirated media really sold like you're talking about.

Uh, no! I live in a city in Western New York and can go into the inner city stores to buy pirated movies in stores. And I don't think this town is unique in that trade either.

RE: Good but not enough.
By corduroygt on 5/25/2007 10:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously, you've never been in the NYC subway system :)

RE: Good but not enough.
By P4blo on 5/27/2007 10:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
I read someone moaning about people just being cheapskates and that movies are reasonably priced. To this argument I say - the product (films) are very desirable items for most people. If they made a drastic price cut (say 50%), people's film collections would probably triple in size! Besides, does anyone else think some lead actors fees are rediculous? They're only able to earn these daft amounts because the money's being squeezed from more and more fedup consumers.

Films are a collectors item, people want all that cool extra footage and original collectors edition box sets. Instead of restricting how many films each year the average person can AFFORD to buy, give them a reason to buy more! Once these films are made you might as well shift them. It costs nothing to manufacture more.

DRM will fail I think. If it disadvantages the consumer, it's doomed. What that leaves is the need to sell a product that really shows it's value as a legitimate purchase. Whether they like it or not, there is a competitor in their market now. There's only one way to really impact upon the pirates...

RE: Good but not enough.
By Moishe on 5/25/2007 1:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
A fair price is probably rental times 2 or 3. Basically, $9-$12 is perfectly reasonable to expect to pay for a movie.

I think some people will always simply pirate. There needs to be acknowledgment of that by the industries. BUT pirates use "greed" as a scapegoat quite a bit and it's a shame. Some people will simply pirate because they can. Because they are not the ones on the losing end of the piracy. They would only care if it were their money, profit, or income.

RE: Good but not enough.
By FITCamaro on 5/25/2007 1:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. People who pirate a lot of stuff always use the excuse that corporations are greedy to justify it. They'd sing a different tune if they had something people wanted to buy and people were stealing it from them.

And maybe corporations are greedy. But they have a product that everyone wants. You can either choose to buy it, or you can break the law, steal it, and face whatever legal consequences may arise.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Moishe on 5/25/2007 2:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
so true.
On the corporations side, if they want to avoid piracy and revolt they should set their prices at a reasonable price.

I think the responsibility is on both sides.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Moishe on 5/25/2007 12:21:18 PM , Rating: 2

the problem is, they don't want to set a precedence for affordable movies because it's hard to raise prices once they've been low. With the advent of affordable home theaters, the DVD/disc movies market will continue to grow. They're trying to keep the same price point AND the growth when instead they should be embracing the growth and accepting slightly less profit. DVD/disc movies are a different (and larger) market than theaters.

After I got a decent HT setup, I only watch the ultimate blockbusters (or movie I want to support) at the theater, and even then I try to go to a matinee so it becomes at least close(r) to rental prices.

I'm not a pirate, BUT I think the MPAA & associates are hurting only themselves by trying to artificially keep prices up in an era when technology has changed the way things work. They can't sit in the stone age forever and expect to still maintain the profits of old.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Mitch101 on 5/25/2007 12:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Well said Moishe but I wonder if the profits would be less? If they were able to sell to people who would normally pirate the movies they would then be making some profits from those they havent before.

Then everyone wins because prices are lower. Less piracy and less lawsuits.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Moishe on 5/25/2007 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think they're expecting something like this:
What we used to make on movies $15
total $15

when they should settle for:
what we used to make -$10 =$5
new income growth $10
newer tech/better product $3
total $18

obviously these are arbitrary numbers, but theater sales are not the only way to make money and they're seeing growth in some areas. If they were to spend less on piracy (only focus on large scale operations), and drop prices a little bit I think they could make up for it in volume. But I'm no expert.

They want large margins all the time with little to no extra work. While this is a nice dream, it's far fetched.

RE: Good but not enough.
By Oregonian2 on 5/25/2007 2:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Books (paper) use your pricing model most of the time. It's cheaper to buy the book than to copy it -- or at least the margin above copying is small enough to not make it worthwhile.

RE: Good but not enough.
By jadedeath on 5/25/2007 11:44:16 PM , Rating: 1
You don't really understand anything about basic economics, do you?


RE: Good but not enough.
By chick0n on 5/29/07, Rating: -1
$4 more for the movie is still a lot
By XZerg on 5/25/2007 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 2
$4 x 1,000,000 illegal copies is $4,000,000. That's the money illegal copy makers will see, an individual might not. Also given that most movies are available on internet while they are still not out or are playing in theatres. There are tons and tons of no-name video stores that sell dvd movies for dirt cheap.

So the whole copyrights can be gotten rid of by decreasing the cost still does not make sense from business perspective.

my 2 cents.

RE: $4 more for the movie is still a lot
By Proteusza on 5/25/2007 11:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
You have to understand what motivates people to pirate.

There are two things.

First is cost. Things are too expensive, they cant afford them, they pirate. If they do pirate, it isnt a lost sale - they never would have made the sale anyway, because the guy cant afford it. Go to Africa, Russia etc and tell me if people can afford $15 a movie.

The second reason people pirate is a lack of consequences. They know little or nothing well happen. This is especially true in third world countries, where police have bigger fish to fry like violent crime.

Put it together - if people pirate because they cant afford it, you can lower your prices and increase your revenue. Some people that were afraid of the consequences but still couldnt afford it now will no longer pirate.

The other thing they can do to boost sales is to remove DRM. As an example, there is a game, whos demo I quite liked, its called Trackmania Sunrise. I discovered through a friend that it installs a rootkit to prevent piracy. I refuse to purchase that game on moral grounds. if more games and movies follow suit, I think more and more people will get turned off by DRM.

RE: $4 more for the movie is still a lot
By Schrag4 on 5/25/2007 2:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not being able to afford something doesn't mean it's ok to steal it. Unless of course you need it to save lives...

That being said, I agree with your point that piracy seems to have little or no consequence for most people that do it. At least I'm not hearing about it on the news every day (I'm not a big pirate myself).

And I also agree that if the movie studios wanted people in "Africa, Russia, etc" to buy their movies then they really should decrease the prices in those regions. I would have assumed that they actually do decrease pricing where people don't earn relatively much. Can someone inform us about US movie pricing outside of the US?

RE: $4 more for the movie is still a lot
By Proteusza on 5/25/2007 9:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
Most movies in south africa cost about R200. To give you an idea of how much that is, it would food for a family for nearly a week.

In the UK, a movie might cost £10 - £20 - one nights supper.

Not being able to afford something doesnt give you the right to steal it, no. But what is does show, is that record companie's lie through their teeth when they say that they lose money through piracy. They dont - had the people not pirated they still would not have bought it, its a lost sale anyway, and its caused by high prices.

RE: $4 more for the movie is still a lot
By chick0n on 5/29/07, Rating: -1
It might work...
By GreenDragon on 5/25/2007 3:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
My main problem with DRM is not being able to copy it for myself. Cost is something that, for me, is independant of DRM.

I would be ok with some kind of hardware sync. Not that this is a well thought out plan, but what if all you had to do was sync your media players at least every month or few months. And by syncing you would be able to play it on any device. I don't think this would stop piracy, but it would discurage it since music and movies couldn't stray away from owners for too long.

At least with this idea or just being able to copy my media like they propose would be a great leap foward from everything I have against DRM.

RE: It might work...
By eppenoire on 5/27/2007 3:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
I hate it when this topic comes up, because it an issue of ongoing frustration for me. I have a tonne of DVDs, at least 15-20K worth. Some of these are limited Criterion collections, which may not be released again. Suffice to say, replacing my collection would be next to impossible. However, DVDs have a finite lifespan, in fact the average life expectancy of a printed DVD is almost half that of a burned one. In order to combat this and save my originals from getting scratched, I started ripping copies. Over time this became harder and harder to accomplish. Now I am in the process of ripping my entire collection to Hard Disk (ala Kaleidescape style). With the release of HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray I am now contemplating some kind of compression scheme (which would violate the DMC).

People who don't buy DVDs, never will and going after them is pointless. Instead of pursuing them, I would like it if they just focused on the needs of me and the people who do pay for DVDs. We want disks that last. We want to be able to make copies of them, which we are legally entitled to, without violating another law that was put in place to prevent us from lawfully using our DVDs. People who pirate DVDs in the US primarily download them and yes I have been to NYC and seen the sidewalk dealers. However those guys may make a couple hundred a day selling DVDs and fake Tag Heuers. So, when I see Michael Schumacher making a PSA about the problems of buying a fake Tag Heuer from a corner vender, I will acknowledge that those guys are a problem.

RE: It might work...
By GreenDragon on 5/29/2007 11:12:35 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that a DVD's lifespan sucks. My kids destroy them way too fast. I would like DVD's that last longer, but its not high on my list of things I want. I want bigger and better hardrives that are cheeper. Things are great now, but I anticipate needing even more storage in the future. 5 years ago I wouldn't have thought I would ever need more than 100 GB, but now I'm pushing 2 TB. (not that I've used it all yet though)

By therealnickdanger on 5/25/2007 10:30:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'll manage my own copy, thanks.

By Lonyo on 5/25/2007 10:42:05 AM , Rating: 3
At least they are almost thinking in the right direction.
I mean, no copy protection BS would be best, but if they are at least allowing some copy protection for personal use, it's almost less of a step back.

Movie Piracy
By cajunspice on 5/25/2007 2:14:12 PM , Rating: 4
Most of you have good points. But think about it this way.

Yes the movie studios have certain costs that they must recoup, however, the cost of producing DVDs is much cheaper than with VCR tapes;media, copying costs,cases,printing costs, etc. The price of movies has kept going up. What about the margin that they make? These are going up much more than the selling prices. To the point that people will find alternative ways of getting the product (buying pirated movies, copying rentals, downloading, etc). So one issue is that margins per disk are extremely high, but they would be high at lower price with higher sales volume.

A second issue is distribution. Lots of people do NOT want to go to the movies to sit thru 10-15 minutes of advertising and previews (my wife would argue against the preview point, but I digress), and pay $17-20 for 2 tix, then $2-10 for parking, not to mention the $4 fountain soda , gummy, sticky seats with bad angles (ever sit in front or on sides?), and my personal favorite - "buttered" popcorn (covered in yellow oil). Because of these things (which make the theater experience not so special)consumers wait for the movie to be a rental. Ahhh, but rentals aren't released for 3-6 months, but pirated movies show up the day of the theatrical release (sometimes earlier!) for $5.

Someone mentioned that pirates pirate because they can - i subscribe to the idea that people want products as reasonable prices in reasonable timeframes without being inconvenienced (trailers, commercials, and DRM!). If movies were priced at $6-8 (the price of a supersized McDonald's meal), the number of people buying DVDs would skyrocket. And don't forget, the margin on a DVD is directly related to sales volume since most costs are fixed (production costs).

Next, why should americans be asked to pay $15-20 per DVD when they sell them for $5 or less in Asia (to try to combat piracy over there)? This same argument can be used for medicine costs, but.... No one likes to think that they paid more for a DVD than someone else. (Ever try pricing seats on airlines? Makes you feel raped if you start asking other passengers what they paid!). Consumers want to be treated fairly.

This is my next point: if we treat consumers (you and me) like thieves with DRM, why should we treat the movie companies any differently? Am i buying a DVD or the license to watch the movie (both really!)? If I buy the movie, shouldn't I be able to watch it on whatever device I want? For all of you that think the equates to piracy, please think again - just because I can pirate something does NOT mean I will.

So what have we learned? here are my key solutions for all.
1) release DVDs at same time as theater and make theater experience the reason i pay more (IMAX and real butter!)
2) price DVDs at reasonable rates ($6-8) and price it the same or nearly equal to other countries (factor in exchange rates, etc).
3) eliminate DRM which has not worked well (or at all) since inception. Pirates already bypass it and legitimate consumers are handcuffed.
4) Treat your customers with respect - Stop assuming that all consumers are thieves!


RE: Movie Piracy
By jadedeath on 5/25/07, Rating: 0
Good but not enough
By ICE1966 on 5/26/2007 11:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
The whole thing boils down to money, period. its not about content or artistic expression, or any of that other bull crap we are told. It's about the money, and who is getting it. I don't mind buying movies and I do buy alot, but the price of the movies is crazy. First they make a ton of money at the theaters, then comes all the merchandise. Then there is the console games and pc games. the real question is when is enough money enough, and will we continue to pay all this money to a bunch of greedy people. Lets not even mention the music industry. I buy cd's, but when was the last time that you bought a cd that had more than 2-3 songs on it that were any good? At $15-$18 a piece, cd's are a joke. People need to stand up and say no more. No more releasing sub standard, crappy material and then charging a premium price for it. In case most of you do not know this, video stores have a profit sharing agreement with the movie industry to share the profits from rentals so money is being made at every corner. Only by sticking together can a change be in the future, but that will never happen in this country. we have no resolve, as a country, to accomplish anything.

RE: Good but not enough
By Christopher1 on 5/27/2007 5:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the last time I bought a CD that had more than three good songs on it was when I bought the TMNT 2 soundtrack nearly 17 years ago.

That was actually, come to think of it, the ONLY CD that had enough good songs on it to make it worth my while.

RE: Good but not enough
By chick0n on 5/29/07, Rating: -1
To be clear...
By smitty3268 on 5/25/2007 11:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
For example, a user may wish to copy a movie from his PC HD DVD drive onto his network for play on his PVR – and with managed copy, he may now do that without breaking copyright.

You could always make a copy without breaking copyright under the fair use doctrine. It's the DMCA that prevents you from legally doing so.

The missing factor
By Treckin on 5/25/2007 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
The thing missing from all the arguments here is he prevalence of DVD-9 content on the internet via bittorrent. I will have to plead the fifth on this one... :-P
Movie studios arn't loosing money by people profiteering on pirated media... they are loosing money on the freeware status of movies via bittorrent clients (bitcomit, azureus, Utorrent etc)
People just dont want to pay 30 dollars for movies, and its that simple. The comment about studios needing to price movies competitively with pirated content makes perfect sense, with the only exception being the cost of the rental. Everyone I know that has pirated movies just download them. and example would be (if you care to browse...):
-ad infinitum-

One thing I would add to this argument regarding DRM:
If I only license the content of the media I purchase, and not the media itself, than movie studios need to offer a free upgrade when a new format is released. I purchased the right to watch Shrek 3. I should be able then to watch shrek 3 to my hearts content, the format simply being the medium in which the content was at that time. Im sure that was a little confusing, I simply couldnt find a better way to articulate my point.
The studios want to have their cake and eat it too. They dont want you to do anything other than watch the movie you purchased. however under the terms of the license agreement I believe if I purchase a DVD player that doest play the licensed content, Im entitled to be able to watch the movie at their expense.
To illustrate more clearly, if I bought a move ticket at a theater, and they subsequently notified me that I purchased the right to see the movie, however they were under no obligation to make that possible...

RE: The missing factor
By jadedeath on 5/25/07, Rating: 0
hahaha who cares!?
By Samus on 5/25/2007 7:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
hackers will just crack the encryption before its even released to the public, anyway.

ohh wait. they ALREADY DID.

RE: hahaha who cares!?
By chick0n on 5/29/07, Rating: -1
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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