Movie studios demand tougher iTunes DRM

Apple launched its iTunes movie download service around two and a half months ago, but so far only movies from Disney and Disney-owned studios are available. The reason for this apparent scarceness is that Apple’s copy protection measures have thus far failed to satisfy other studios, the Financial Times reports. Universal, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, and Warner Bros are all in talks with Apple, but they want the iPod maker to limit the number of devices to which users can transfer downloaded movies in order to quell piracy.

One movie studio executive in particular told the Financial Times that Apple needs to introduce a “new model” for movie downloads. He added that movie studios have more to lose from piracy than record labels because of the rising cost of blockbuster films. Of course, many blockbusters can easily break even from box office sales alone, so studios might not depend from DVD and movie download sales as much as they would like Apple—or others—to believe.

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    • floodo1
    • 13 years ago

    You know, I’m so tired of this mongering. These guys are so greedy that they deserve the piracy. Really the whole reason the piracy is even an issue is because they already charge too much.
    It’s all a losing battle for them anyway, the cost of piracy is so far below the cost of purchase that it is inevitable that someone will break their protection. I mean at this point in time, unless you’re unfortunate, it’s possible to pirate basically everything on your computer.

    Sometimes justice is on the side of those impoverished by the greedy.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 13 years ago

      Er, the cost of piracy ($0) will always be lower than a legal purchase. So the copyright holders will never be able to ‘win’ the price battle. Even when legal purchases are cheap, like <$1, they can’t win.

        • Flatland_Spider
        • 13 years ago

        <joke>The answer is of course the Open Source model. Something that is free can’t be stolen.</joke>

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    i agree. they should make it so tough that users will not be able to view the movies. who wouldnt wanna pay for that?

    • Lord.Blue
    • 13 years ago

    It get’s even better – now the MPAA wants to charge for every home theater setup that has a TV that is 29″ or more. To paraphrase one – “It should not be allowed for you to buy a DVD and then invite your friends over to watch it.”

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    How about the industry just accepts how people use media? Or even better, the law is reflected to not make standard behaviour wrong.

    What’s the difference between me burning a purchased downloaded movie to a DVD (protected even) a few times, one for me, one for my parents, etc and lending a purchased DVD to my parents, friends, etc?

    Sure, I can accept maybe the DVD should only be burnable a limited number of times – three for example.

    Also in my own house I should be able to access the media any way I want to, I assume I have a house-wide license to the content, as well as a personal license to the content. And it is the content they’re selling. If I have it on all my media devices, so what?

    DRM is a losing battle, unless they take away all the rights a user has. I doubt that burning a DVD is even possible with downloaded movies now – it’s probably limited to iPods and iTunes enabled computers, and iTV next year. How is that a problem? Do they want to get ‘per room in a house’ revenue, or ‘per person in a house’ or ‘per player’? (Yes, they do, but it’s ridiculous).

    Selling movies via iTunes seems far safer than on DVD anyway.

    • Ruiner
    • 13 years ago

    The business model they tried to foist on us with the original DIVX is coming back from the dead.
    buy it once…..cha ching!
    watch it again later…..cha ching!
    put it on your ipod/mp3 player/cell phone…..cha ching!
    more than 2 people sitting in front of your tv….cha ching!
    (don’t laugh…someone at **AA is thinking up a way to make that last one work!).

    • Taddeusz
    • 13 years ago

    Am I the only one that doesn’t understand how limiting the number of devices allowed would quell piracy of already protected files?

    DVD’s are a protected format that can be played in an unlimited number of devices and that doesn’t seem to bother the movie industry.

    It sounds like they’re fishing for less consumer protection.

      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      Sounds like they’re fishing for more cash from consumers.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 13 years ago

      You have a point except there’s a difference between a physical medium that can be shared between people who are able to interact face-to-face where the item gets shared a limited number of times and an electronic medium that can be shared between anyone anywhere regardless of distance and can be shared an unlimited number of times. That’s the catch-22 of ‘fair rights use’ in the internet age.

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