Studio gives Kickstarter Veronica Mars movie backers substandard, DRM-crippled "rewards"

Ryan writes, "I was a backer of the Veronica Mars movie, one level of backer got you a digital download of the movie. They ended up going with Warner Bros owned/backed Flixster. So for me I have an apple TV and a Roku. Flixster doesn't support appleTV or airplay, the Flixster channel for the Roku will crash anytime you try to watch anything. Flixster also will not allow you to watch the movie on a computer that has dual monitors."

The studio will allow you to buy a better experience on a non-Flixster service, send them the bill, and get a refund (but only if you complain first).

There's a copy of the movie on The Pirate Bay with more than 11,000 seeders, which means that this Flixster business is doing precisely nothing to deter piracy, and is only serving to alienate megafans who voluntarily donated money to see this movie made, and to subject the studio itself to potential millions in administrative costs and refunds to investors who were forced into the retail channels.

The studios can't conceive of an "audience" that has an active role in, or any right to, the media they enjoy: not even when that "audience" is more properly viewed as the product's investors. What's more, they're the angel investors who bought in when the product was highly speculative and assumed 100% of the risk; the studio is just the VC who came along to put in a round of safe money after the project had proven out. In any real business-setting, the angels would be suing the pants off of the VCs and winning.

DRM has become a cult-belief among some studio execs, a point of pride without recourse to rationality. When your religious dogma causes you to lock the movie's investors out of the movie itself, perhaps it's time to reconsider your dogma.

They claim this is all studio restrictions but I find that laughable being that the movie is a Warner Bros movie Flixster is a Warner Bros service and If I purchased the movie on iTunes or Amazon or downloaded via a bittorrent I could watch it on my AppleTV in HD

Many unhappy comments regarding this choice on the kickstarter page also.

There's also no GNU/Linux version of Flixter, so your reward for being a GNU/Linux user who gave your personal, actual money to make this movie is a kick in the pants.

Warner Brothers to “Veronica Mars” Backers: Okay, Okay — Use iTunes or Amazon if You Want

Notable Replies

  1. rider says:

    Eventually people will learn to stop giving rich business men money on Kickstarter.

  2. mraos says:

    So? Everything hollywood touches turns into excrement. What's new?

  3. It's not investing, since the backers have no share in the profits. It's patronage.

    Now, kicking your patrons in the shins isn't any wiser if you wish to continue receiving funding. However, I think the studio isn't thrilled with the prospect of a new business model in the first place.

  4. On the other hand, if the Kickstarter hadn't been funded, the movie would not have been made. So fans of the series actually did get something they wanted for their money; they just got a slap in the face along with it.

  5. A percentage of them don't, even a number of commercial releases. I'm quite familiar with this.

    Unprotected dvd's don't need to be ripped first. You are confusing re-encoding the video with ripping, they aren't the same things. Often tools offer both, but the ripping is done automatically and requires no action on the users part. Like i said the technical hurdle for these people is encoding video, not ripping the content, so DRM plays absolutely no role in their lack of ability to reencode the video.

    There is, or their would be if it were legal. Right now anyone who wants discs from another region usually has to purchase them directly from that region. There is quite a large group of people doing this, the anime community is just one of many groups that import other region dvd.

    fair enough. I was really only meaning to point out the ridiculousness of your previous point, and that any price discrimination that gives paying customers the worst version is horrible.

    That is incorrect. Using DRM costs money, and every digital music retailer that has dropped DRM has seen a significant jump is sales.

    No, not that long really. DRM was invented in 1983 but wasn't used in a commercial product until quite a bit later. Might i suggest learning about what you are defending so that you don't make mistaken arguments:

    Because this is wrong. It is your personal incorrect assumption with little knowledge of the subject. The opposite has been shown to be true.

    fair enough, i will. you need to educate yourself about DRM.
    by market failure i meant the complete failure of a capitalist markets ability to self regulate due to a monopolistic stranglehold, heavy handed anti-consumer practices that only hurt and alienate paying customers who don't have any alternate, and the general failure to meet any of the initial goals of implementation, call it what you will, that was what i was meaning.

    Every company that has used DRM and dropped it. Every single one.

    This would be true if your assumptions about DRM were correct, but they are not.

    Because we aren't those kind of a**holes. We stand for what we believe in, we don't sell out out morals for quick profit. I know i'm not and i'm pretty sure from @teapot 's posts that they are not either.

    No I'm not. That is incorrect. Modern DRM schemes require that media be licensed and the license can be revoked at any point. It is built into how modern DRM schemes work as I clearly explain. Can you name one modern DRM scheme that is not bound to licensed media?

    Your fundamental assumptions and arguments about DRM are incorrect.

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