The Molly

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Digital movie copies: you’ve got a long way to go

I’m just downloading my free digital copy of The Hangover from Warner Brothers and … wow. What a bad process. The download itself is a Windows Media Player format. It’s not compatible with iTunes, PSP, or Zunes. The installation process also includes installing Adobe Air. To get the download, you must install a “Digital Copy Manager” that phones home about your “use” of the digital copy (this is not optional). Now, it wants me to upgrade “security components” of Windows Media Player so that I can play this protected file on my computer. All of this requires constant babysitting so that I’m 10 minutes in and can’t do anything else before I’m even ready to enter the authorization code. Oh, and then it auto-launches an ad. Guys. Seriously. iTunes has this figured out. There is no reason your DRM has to be this obnoxiously restrictive and intrusive. If the digital copy is this hard and this limited, it’s not a better option than piracy. And that’s not how you win. (Plus, now there’s no WAY this download will be done by the time I have to leave for the airport. Boo.)

12 Discussions on
“Digital movie copies: you’ve got a long way to go”
  • I went through a similar experience when downloading Breaking Dawn 2 for my daughter for her birthday. After that experience, we won’t be repeating it. We now rent exclusively on iTunes, Netflix and if not viable through either of those, rent/rip or “other means”.

    The music industry FINALLY more or less learned. It’s time the movie industry did too. They will learn to give consumers what they want, or they will pay the price.

  • I completely gave up on DMR. I had several Blue Ray movies that came with free digital copies. Some I downloaded when I was using a PC and some with iTunes. Now that I’m all Mac, the windows media versions are completely useless. None of which work with Plex. I would prefer to buy only digital copies in DRM Free format. For now I’m just doing the same as everyone else…rent and rip.

  • The funny thing about all of this painstillation is the question of whether that content is truly worth that much hassle? Today, there are literally less movies than I can count on one hand that I would like to own, let alone watch more than once. If it’s this much hassle to get a downloadable copy, then why would anyone want to do it? It’s simpler to get it from iTunes. The movie industry needs a major wakeup call. They may think their content is worth this much hassle, but the consumers are the one that speak with their wallets.

    I personally think we’re about to the end of Hollywood’s domination over content anyway. With the advent of HD flip cams and $150 FX editing suites, we’re at a turning point in home film making. It’s only a matter of time before we start seeing $1000 produced features that rival Hollywood and then Hollywood’s reign will be at an end. Of course, actors still make or break a feature, but the actors and crew can buy into the feature for a piece of the returns instead of being paid up front. This will give them more incentive to do a good job and give them opportunity for higher payout in the end (considering residuals).

    Hollywood understands this issue and is pulling out all the stops to protect their industry now before we reach that point. Sorry to tell them, we’re nearly there now.

  • I hear that!… My last one I did was Star Trek BD with digital copy and it seemed to go pretty smooth, atleast for iTunes and my 3Gs but I could’nt agree more DRM has gotten way out of control!.. When are these idiot companies going to learn.

    *Oh and by the way I just watched you “Drunk Idiot EP” for CNETTV Gadgettes and was LMAO! :) Keep up the great work, Hope you get your Droid 2.1 update soon! ;)

    Rock On!
    DJ Shawn

  • Just caught up on Gadgettes, love that show. You are so pretty Molly. Glad you have video podcasts cause your smile and laugh are so contagious!!! Keep up the great work.

  • I had the same issues with audible, getting on my palm via USB is a PITA. I have to start a program on the computer, the palm and switch from one to the other in a mysteriously choreographed shuffle of keyboard, mouse, graffitti and a stylus. DRM stinks.
    Good Luck at CES! I look forward to watching you :)
    Jane

  • I helped my wife download a copy of Sex and the City, only to find it’s process just as horrific and tedious. In the end, I just ripped it from the DVD I had bought, so I could get it in iTunes for easy transfer to her iPhone.

  • I’m in the process of using Handbrake to make digital copies of all my DVDs so my wife can watch them on her netbook. Until my Bluray discs can be easily ripped, my strategy will be to Netflix DVD versions of those movies and rip the DVDs. I’ll likely also do the same for movies we’ve purchased off iTunes, because I don’t entirely trust iTunes’ DRM. I’m making a point of only ripping DVDs of movies that we have purchased in one form or another–I don’t endorse piracy, just fair use.

  • In Free, Chris Anderson talks about this. Basically, people who have more time than money will pirate, and those that have more money than time (or those that value their time more than their money) will buy. That is only true, though, if the purchasing experience is a good one. If, like yours, it was a nightmare, people are more likely to pirate.

    That being said, since I can’t get movies the way I want them (High quality, without DRM), I just refuse to buy them. If I’m forced to be inconvenienced and watch them on DVD, then I’ll rent from Netflix because that is the cheapest and most convenient option. They would be able to sell me quite a few movies if they sold them high quality and DRM free, but until they learn that lesson (and you’d think they’d have paid attention to the music industry’s troubles) I won’t be buying any movies. Sorry MPAA, but you’ve lost at least one customer. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    The formula to success in the media business is easy. Give us what we want, and we’ll pay. Really, it is that simple. There will always be those who pirate, but they were unlikely to pay in the first place (they have more time than money). Those of us who value our time would rather pay for a quality product. Come on MPAA, give us what we want!

  • And this is the #1 reason I only get my digital copies from iTunes.
    But it is nice to know that I can not get my copy of the movie from iTunes, save me a ton of headaches. I guess I will just buy my movie from iTunes instead of buying a hardcopy.

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