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Warner Bros: New Program To Digitize Your DVDs 371

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the more-drm-is-awesome dept.
shoutingloudly writes "Warner Brothers has just announced a new 'Disc-to-Digital' program to convert your DVDs into digital files that you can play on your internet-connected computers. As the helpful Public Knowledge graphics demonstrate, all you have to do is find a participating store, drive there, pay again for your movie, wait while it's ripped for you, drive home, and hope it works. This will surely have tech-savvy movie fans saying, 'Brilliant! I've been looking for an excuse to uninstall this free, 1-step DVD ripper that I can use in the comfort of my own home. This is much better than DMCA reform.'" In exchange for paying a bit more you might get a higher resolution copy (DRM encumbered and stored in "the cloud"). The launch process is absurdly cumbersome, but: "Later on, Internet retailers like Amazon.com will email customers to offer digital copies of DVDs they previously bought. Eventually, consumers will be able to put DVDs into PCs or certain Blu-ray players that will upload a copy, similar to the way people turn music CDs into MP3 files." Will the video distributors ever offer DRM-free files that you own? The music industry doesn't seem to be any worse off than they were when they insisted upon DRM.
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Warner Bros: New Program To Digitize Your DVDs

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  • Already have some (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:15PM (#39265797) Journal

    DVDShrink, VLC media player, MakeMKV...take your pick.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:16PM (#39265809)
    Let me guess -- deCSS is for criminals, because it allows people to rip DVDs on their own, without paying for the privilege, and without requiring an Internet connection to watch?
  • Um, Duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:17PM (#39265827)

    "The music industry doesn't seem to be any worse off than they were when they insisted upon DRM."

    Yeah... because don't use it anymore. At least, most of them have wised up and have dropped their DRM schemes. Where they did have DRM, they lost money.

    Now if only some of the game makers would similarly wise up. Like you, Ubisoft.

  • by DC2088 (2343764) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:19PM (#39265853)
    Heaven forbid the target market for a service should get to voice complaints about the service being marketed to them. What a day to run out of mod points.
  • "Digitize" DVDs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth (2370816) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:20PM (#39265879)

    DVD's are already digital. No "digitization" is required.

    ...people who own standard DVDs will have the option of getting a high-definition digital copy for an extra fee.

    Oh right. "HD." Is that upscaled-DVD "HD" or barely 720p "HD"?

    Eventually, consumers will be able to put DVDs into PCs or certain Blu-ray players that will upload a copy, similar to the way people turn music CDs into MP3 files.

    Yes. That already exists. Except they want to put it in the cloud, so the movie you bought, then paid extra for to have in non-physical form, can still be completely controlled by them. Sure, that'll work. /sarcasm

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:21PM (#39265887)

    Will the video distributors ever offer DRM-free files that you own?

    It is the position of the movie industry that you are renting viewing rights with any movie purchase and nothing more. So no, they will never, ever offer files that consumers "own". Some people will actually take them up on this "offer" but it won't be very many.

  • Two Words.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nonillion (266505) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:21PM (#39265899)

    No Thanks...

  • Re:Wait a minute. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:29PM (#39265997)

    There are two possibilities. Either they're dumb, or they think we are.

  • Re:Wait a minute. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suutar (1860506) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:30PM (#39266009)
    It's the best way they could extract money from you. Proving you have the original is useless; you could have borrowed it. Building a library using user disks is moronic; I flatly refuse to believe they don't have the data in their archives (disc masters, for example). Going to the store is the way to make sure you're using their approved machine and paying for the privilege.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:32PM (#39266031) Journal
    The self destructing DVDs weren't a terrible idea. It allowed a rental model without having to return them. This would have made it a consumer convenience.

    The problem is public acceptance. I think people have a natural belief that the cost of buying something is related to the cost to make it. If they can buy exactly the same thing for less, but they're paying extra to have it not be deliberately sabotaged. Even if they do understand the business model it's hard to shake this feeling of being fleeced.
  • Re:If I buy a DVD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suutar (1860506) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:32PM (#39266033)
    Because they hadn't figured out a way to make the alternative salable (they tried, but divx (the disk format, not the codec) died an ignominious and well-deserved death), because folks had gotten used to VHS, where you can watch as many times as the tape will survive.
  • Re:huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:33PM (#39266049)

    "Warner Brothers has just announced a new 'Disc-to-Digital' program to convert your DVDs into digital files...

    It's already digital.

    Yeah... here's the rest of the sentence you only got halfway through:

    ...that you can play on your internet-connected computers.

    Ah... now it's all clear!

  • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:44PM (#39266221) Homepage Journal

    The MPAA and RIAA have been playing the shell game of leasing and owning content with consumers for years. They might have finally stuck their foot in it.

    The RIAA is currently going after digital music re-sellers with the argument that consumers licensed the music use and do not own the asset for re-sale. Recently musicians have taken notice of the case because they get a one time payment for each sale. Treating the sale as a license means they are being grossly underpaid.

    Now Warner is going to legally re-define your DVD from a sale to a digital license. I have a feeling many of the hundreds of people involved in creating each film will have an opinion about this.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:45PM (#39266223)

    It's not about being resistant to doing things in a new way.

    Nobody is protesting the fact that the future's model will probably be digital purchases stored in the cloud and accessed anywhere.

    People are making fun of a laughable attempt to DRM movies that people bought before DRM, at cost to the consumer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:46PM (#39266245)

    If I own a copy 5GB of data, I'm NOT going to re-download it every time I want to play it. What if my internet access is capped?

      I pay when:
    I buy the DVD
    When they rip it for me
    When I download it
    When I download it again
    When I download it again again
    When they want fees for hosting it for me (betcha they will)
    Can someone remind me whats in it for me?

  • Re:Wait a minute. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xclr8r (658786) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:47PM (#39266255)
    The following is not my stance.

    It does a couple things:
    1. It shows there are alternatives to piracy so that "I have no alternative" isn't valid anymore.
    2. #1 allows legislatures to lay down laws that are harsh since there are alternatives.
    3. It's a labor intensive process that will make someone say why bother my time is worth more. Then the option of buying through some internet portal is made available at slightly higher price than conversion. win - win.. right?!?
    4. profit off the docile and persecute the unbelievers.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:47PM (#39266263)

    The self destructing DVDs weren't a terrible idea. It allowed a rental model without having to return them. This would have made it a consumer convenience.

    No, in actual practice Divx discs [wikipedia.org] (the format the GP was talking about, not to be confused with the divx codec), were piece-of-shit lame versions of the far superior DVD's. If that bastard of a format had won out (and it wasn't intended to supplement DVD, mind you, it was trying to kill DVD), we would have a world today of DVD's that each require activation at each viewing, had no extras, wasn't available in widescreen or anamrophic and which could be shut off at anytime by the studio (forcing you to rebuy it).

    It should tell you something that Divx was co-created by a bunch of lawyers at a Hollywood law firm.

  • Re:huh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:49PM (#39266307) Homepage

    Slashdot stips the unicode trademark symbol. Shame on them!

    Well of course they don't support the technology: It's only fourteen years old [ietf.org], after all. What did you think this was, some sort of cutting-edge technology news site?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @04:52PM (#39266341) Homepage

    Nobody is protesting the fact that the future's model will probably be digital purchases stored in the cloud and accessed anywhere.

    I'm not protesting it ... but I'm not going there until I have no other choice.

    I want my media contained on my machine, and in a way that doesn't require an internet connection or make it possible for someone to decide that I've "unbought" it.

    I'm not paying my ISP for the bandwidth to download something I already have ... I for one will not be putting anything into the cloud, because you basically lose control over it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @05:12PM (#39266567)

    Nobody is protesting the fact that the future's model will probably be digital purchases stored in the cloud and accessed anywhere.

    I'm not protesting it ... but I'm not going there until I have no other choice.

    Arrr, there's always a choice, matey. When bowing and scraping to the king's men becomes too hard for ye, mayhap you'll sign articles with us?

  • by houghi (78078) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @05:55PM (#39267105)

    but I'm not going there until I have no other choice.

    And that is why they will succeed. Because you think that at some point you have no choice, so you will go there.
    I will not go there. is the only option. And that might mean not seeing any movies. The moment you are willing to accept whatever they trow at you, you have lost.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @06:01PM (#39267197)

    >Wow, what a deal.

    Really! I am so excited! And then I would *NOT* be able to play it on any of my Linux machines, on my TiVo, on my phone, on my Xoom tablet, on any device NOT connected to the Internet, or behind any type of restrictive connection.

    And for those who DO have a device that is "approved" and "connected", they will have to deal with ISP data overages, server loads, logins, DRM, and virtual media that could just "disappear" at any time for any number of reasons.

    Great job, Warner! Just what we have been waiting for.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @06:03PM (#39267217) Journal

    Seriously, who the hell is in charge at Warner Home Video these days?

    I suspect that their "washington" men may have had something to do with it. A fair few politicians support the idea of allowing private copies or format shifting of movies that one already owns on DVD/Bluray, and for good reason: it is an eminently reasonable notion that you can watch a movie any way you like if you've paid for it. The fact that these politicians don't openly support or vote for this has less to do with their actual convictions than with political expedience, and that might change.

    This way, the movie studios can kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Not only format shifting is gaining political momentum, but some politicians (quite a few actually here in the Netherlands, for instance) even feel that they should not prosecute content pirates too harshly, if at all, as long as there is no viable legal alternative to obtain downloadable or streamed content. With this insane scheme, movie studios can claim that there now is a viable legal alternative to piracy, as well as a good legal way to format shift. Even if no actual consumer ever makes use of this service, they only have to convince the legislators that a legal alternative is now finally here, and they ought to outlaw all other options.

  • iTunes Match (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rogueippacket (1977626) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @06:18PM (#39267365)
    At first, I thought this sounded like iTunes Match, but for movies - load disc copy of movie into PC, receive rights to the original high-definition video file stored on Warner's servers. An easy and painless way to "launder" your collection of DVDs, no questions asked, with the kicker that each digital file is going to be DRM'ed and watermarked to prevent you from seeding it to The Pirate Bay. I'm sure most users would consider this a fair trade, even with an associated yearly fee, as they are getting something of value for very little effort - but it turns out I was wrong, and this is the most retarded idea they've come up with yet.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @06:41PM (#39267653) Homepage

    People are making fun of a laughable attempt to DRM movies that people bought before DRM, at cost to the consumer.

    Apparently DeCSS has been around so long you forgot that DVDs always had DRM. It's not effective anymore and it hasn't been for 15 years, but there was no before. That people bought DVDs after DeCSS came knowing they could rip it as much as they wanted anyway is a completely different matter.

  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @07:03PM (#39267901)

    Not true. That's what copyright has been perverted to now, but that's not what it was supposed to be. Copyright is supposed to be the public temporarily giving up their right to do whatever they want with what they bought so the creator/author has temporary exclusive distribution rights to provide a monetary incentive for the creation of said work. The goal of copyright was not to allow people to make money. The goal was to have more works created for the public, with the assumption that more works is a good thing. The money is just the carrot to entice the artists/authors/creators/whatever to create those works. Or to put it another way, the money is the means, not the end. The original authors of copyright law clearly felt the end justified the means. Unfortuately, due to the steaming pile of feces copyright law has become, that is no longer the case. The end no longer justifies the means. That is why so many people pirate and don't care.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @07:10PM (#39267951)

    you never owned it, what you bought was a license, not the content.

    So, I scratch my DVD, they'll send me another, right? After all, I didn't buy the DVD itself, I bought a license to the content on the DVD, which, because of the scratch, I can no longer access. And since I paid for access to that content, they'll send me another DVD free, Right??

  • by billstewart (78916) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @07:23PM (#39268089) Journal

    If they want to charge a buck or so for the labor of digitizing the DVD, burning it onto a new memory stick, handling all the plastic, etc., that's fine. I probably won't use the service, but it's reasonable. On the other hand, if they want to charge me a higher price for a license to view the intellectual property that I've already paid for, no, that's Piracy and I want no part of it :-)

    Meanwhile, I've bought DVDs that have some stupid Macrovision copy protection on them, and I can't play them on my Tivo's DVD drive because my TV has a built-in VCR, and something about it triggers the copy protection so the picture keeps dimming in and out. Is there any easy way to get rid of it by ripping it onto my PC and then burning a DVD myself, or does the copy protection slip through that?

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