The LA Times reports on a plan by the Motion Picture Association of America and member studios to offer DRMmed, Windows-only feature film downloads — for as much as twice the price of DVDs. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Consumers will snarf the overpriced, PC-only downloads like cake, the convoluted thinking goes, for "convenience factor." What's so convenient about being charged twice the current retail price for movies you're less free to enjoy as you please on the devices you own? Link to story, and see also this MPAA press release issued late last week about why more restrictive DRM is good for you. (Thanks, Roland Dobbins)
In related news, Torrentspy's response to an MPAA lawsuit argues that if linking to copyrighted content is unlawful, the studios should go sue Google for infringement, too:
Attorneys for Torrentspy likened the service to that of Google when it comes to finding BitTorrent files. Their response cited several cases, including the Supreme Court's infamous decision in MGM v Grokster.
The defense noted how users of either Google or Torrentspy who look for torrent files must also access a "torrent tracker," which manages the distribution of files. "There is no allegation that defendants' website manages file distribution like a tracker," the response said.
Link to WebProNews item.
Reader comment: Michael Winter says,
When talking about the "convenience factor" you left out the convenience of only spending an hour or six downloading the video instead of taking 5 minutes to run into the Wal Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc. most of us drive past every day.
With that kind of great pricing structure and convenience, I may go back to watching movies in the theatre instead.
Reader comment: Gary Neill says,
It appears to me that they are doubling the price (despite the lack of overhead) in order to try and kill the market by saying that making movies available for download doesn't work as a business model when we all decide not to pay their exhorbitant fees. Crippling the downloads with DRM will just seal the deal. (Or maybe I should've opened my argument with DRM and noted that crippling the downloads by doubling the price seals the deal.)
It's ridiculous to think that I would pay twice the price for content when for half the price, I can get the content AND a really cool (in some cases) cover to go with it and be relatively assured that it will last me forever (due to my obsession with keeping the media in my collection in pristine condition.) It's a ploy, i say.
Reader comment: Eric Eberhardt says,
Also laughable is the "Watch the Movies on your TV" section of the site, which attempts to walk "Joe User" through the daunting process of running an S-Video cable between his computer and TV. I'm kind of inclined to agree with the earlier comment that they want this site to fail based on how long and unecessarily complicated the FAQ is!
Not to mention the CinemaNow site won't even let you access the downloads in anything but IE6. Yeah, they are squeezing that A-Hole shut tight!
Reader comment: Mike Shea says,
It's probably overkill to mention this, considering the other fifty ways this service sucks, but Movielink's website requires Internet Explorer because it: "supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies." Gods I hate the word Utilize.