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DRM Flub Prevented 3D Showings of Avatar In Germany 386

Posted by timothy
from the token-of-our-appreciation dept.
Fraggy_the_undead writes "According to German IT news site heise.de, yesterday several 3D showings of Avatar couldn't take place (German; Google translation to English), because the movies were DRM protected such that there had to be a key per copy of the film, per film projector, and per movie server in the theater. The key supplier, by the name Deluxe, was apparently unable to provide a sufficient number of valid keys in time. Moviegoers were offered to get a refund or view an analogue 2D showing instead."
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DRM Flub Prevented 3D Showings of Avatar In Germany

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:32PM (#30477510)
    Just keep trying to micromanage everything, you DRM-loving assholes. Best-laid plans of mice and men ...
  • not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meerling (1487879) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:32PM (#30477530)
    Maybe now some of the rank & file will begin to understand the evils of pervasive DRM, even if only in Germany.
    • Re:not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sir_Dill (218371) <slashdot@zachul[ ]om ['a.c' in gap]> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:45PM (#30477744) Homepage
      How is this off topic?

      Infact it couldn't be more ON topic.

      The biggest problem is that people don't understand what DRM actually means and how it can impact them.

      Things like this shed light on the pitfalls of DRM.

      I am not a proponent of piracy, however I have had more than my fair share of DRM related issues in my home theater and as a result I vehemently oppose DRM schemes.

      Snafus like this really opens the eyes of the public and hopefully informs a few of them while we still have a chance to understand the problem and vote with our dollars(or euros).

      • Agreed -- when I try to tell most people about the dangers of DRM all I get are blank stares, or an "STFU, nerd". I notice, however, that people start to pay attention when it gets in the way of them using the stuff they paid for.
        • by COMON$ (806135)
          I just use a real example. Hey you want to borrow some music from me? wait I cant just copy the files? What about the TV show I recorded last night, you want that? Oh I am sorry you cant...well you can because I had the foresight to put in a DVR that doesnt use DRM but your TiVo is gonna screw you. They understand perfectly clear then.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by pnewhook (788591)

            Hey you want to borrow some music from me?

            Loan them the CD

            What about the TV show I recorded last night

            Why not invite them over for some socialization? And if you don't like them that much then they should have had the foresight to record it themselves.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I don't think that a snafu like this will do anything to open the eyes of the public to DRM; it's a technical snafu some theaters had running the movie, something which most patrons know nothing about, will never see how it works, and don't care how it works. This isn't equipment anyone is looking to buy or use, and the software (in this form) will never be available for purchase! From a patrons point of view something went wrong behind the scenes and they got a refund, something that happens all the time a
      • Re:not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:36PM (#30478568) Journal
        I began to consider piracy when I bought a DVD with non-skippable ads on them.
        • Re:not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

          by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity.yahoo@com> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:46PM (#30478728) Homepage

          By far, this is the most annoying thing about DVD's. So-called "acceptable user operations". The DVD decides what you get to do or not do, including watching a bunch of previews for movies you don't want to see. I could understand this happening once, the first time you watch it. But really, its an insult to avid movie fans with movie libraries. Forcing them to watch ads for movies that came out 10 fucking years ago is ridiculous.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Amouth (879122)

            Originally it was put in there to make the copyright FBI warning sign stay up so there is no excuse that the movie didn't have it - then they realized they could flip that bit for the ad's too..

            I've had movies where they ad's where so long i just ripped the damn movie and re burned it without the ad's

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Blakey Rat (99501)

              Man I wish I could find Ebert's post on that idiotic copyright screen. IIRC, he basically adds up all the time that has been wasted by humanity staring that that red screen that has never, *ever*, prevented a single case of movie copying.

              I have some DVDs by Rhino, and they get it... they are required to put the copyright notice up, but they always put it at the *end* of the movie when they can get away with it. When they have to put it at the beginning, they draw glasses and a mustache on the FBI director's

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sbeckstead (555647)
        Things like this shed light on the pitfalls of DRM. First run theatrical films will never be shipped to a theater unencrypted. This is not your run of the mill DRM.
    • Re:not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:55PM (#30477910)

      The rank and file, for the most part, will be mad that the projector was broken.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by COMON$ (806135)
      Sorry buddy, the suits in control will just look at it as a distribution problem, not a tech problem. Couldn't be anything wrong with DRM after all, it is going to save them billions! Thats right just keep drinking that Koolaid...
    • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:05PM (#30478112) Journal

      Good thing this wasn't the Dragon Ball Z movie, they'd laud DRM as the savior of humanity.

    • Re:not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mategan (669664) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:08PM (#30478182) Homepage
      Also happened in Australia. http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=677232&p=40#r783 [whirlpool.net.au] Cant imagine these are 2 isolated cases when its such a popular movie either.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ichijo (607641)

      Maybe now some of the rank & file will begin to understand the evils of pervasive DRM, even if only in Germany.

      If the fact that it's difficult to get right makes it evil, then what does that say about the Space Race?

      There are some good arguments to make against DRM, but that isn't one of them.

    • Re:not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bensafrickingenius (828123) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:38PM (#30478604)
      Except not a single person leaving that theater knew that DRM had anything to do with it. Or even the meaning of the acronym itself.

      "Sorry, folks, little glitch with the 3D thingamajig here! Heh heh... Well, you're all welcome to stay and enjoy the show in all it's 2D glory, including some free popcorn! Or we'll gladly refund your money."

      And they all came back the next day, and paid their money to support the now properly-running DRMed-up-the-ass movie, none the wiser. Do you really think the theater hauled out Cory Doctorow to hold forth on the evils of DRM for the audience's benefit?
    • Re:not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

      by photomonkey (987563) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:00PM (#30478964)

      Sadly, what they'll understand is that they suffered a minor to moderate inconvenience, to which a seemingly acceptable resolution was offered.

      There may be no understanding beyond "technical problem."

      And while I'm sure the studio isn't happy, they'll still probably get money from every single person that showed up to the movie. So they'll have something to talk about as they drive the big truck full of money to the bank.

      Of course, there are some exceptions to that model, and this is coming from a guy whose last several moviegoing experiences have been so unpleasant that I have not set foot in a movie theater in almost four years.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:33PM (#30477540) Homepage Journal

    Ha-ha! - Nelson Muntz

  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:34PM (#30477552)

    It's a good thing that they allow us to manage our rights like this.

  • Hah! (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by MightyMartian (840721)

    In Germany, DRM does you!

  • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:37PM (#30477596)

    Somehow, I believe the studio will twist this story to sound more like "See! Piracy is causing us to lose money!"

    This despite them putting in the DRM, and despite them generating $10B revenue in 2009.

    • by Ironchew (1069966)

      They couldn't distribute the keys in time? Easy fix: Distribute them with Bittorrent. Easier fix: Don't encrypt the content.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 0x15e (961860)

      Isn't that kind of like "You make me do this to you! Why do you keep making me hit you!?"

      Not denying that they did / would say that. I just thought it was funny noticing the parallels there.

    • by mpe (36238)
      Somehow, I believe the studio will twist this story to sound more like "See! Piracy is causing us to lose money!"

      As in "It may have been DRM which caused us to lose money in Germany, but it was only needed because of piracy" or something similar.

      This despite them putting in the DRM, and despite them generating $10B revenue in 2009.

      A small part of 2009, since the movie didn't come out on the 1st of January 2009.
  • Keygen (Score:5, Funny)

    by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:39PM (#30477628) Journal

    Once again the pirates solve a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place: http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=avatar+keygen [google.co.uk]

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:39PM (#30477638) Journal

    I'm sure someone planned to bring in a cellphone with a 3D camera and release a barely-watchable 30-second clip of some of the less important dialogue.

    DRM prevents piracy again! Yes!!!! Huzzah for DRM!

  • by d474 (695126) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:42PM (#30477684)
    James Cameron was right when he said Avatar is the FUTURE of movies to come: DRM'd to the crippling point.
  • Wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TaggartAleslayer (840739) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:43PM (#30477714)

    I don't want to be the one modded to hell and back for saying it, but isn't this an issue with the company not purchasing the proper licenses in the appropriate amount of time rather than an issue with DRM?

    I understand this wouldn't exist if there were no DRM, but then the theater would still not have paid for the rights to show the movie. I'm just unclear on how that makes this a noteworthy "DRM is bad" case.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

      by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:46PM (#30477756)

      Hey ...you .. shut-up
      We're hating on DRM now.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gnapster (1401889) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:50PM (#30477830)

      I'm just unclear on how that makes this a noteworthy "DRM is bad"

      I think the main point is that their fall-back plan was a DRM-free acetate film strip.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iluvcapra (782887)

        I think the main point is that their fall-back plan was a DRM-free acetate film strip

        DRM has vanishing utility when the medium in question requires a $100,000 worth of equipment to play. Of course, then again, D5 decks aren't exactly cheap either...

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by idontgno (624372) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:52PM (#30477868) Journal

      Well, a recurring theme in almost any kind of DRM (and content licensing in general) is the entire issue of knowing and acquiring "the proper licenses."

      Did I buy enough Microsoft Client Access Licenses? Did I buy enough Oracle licenses for my upgraded machine with more cores? Did I buy the correct licenses for commercial use of this software? Is this DVD for a zone my player isn't licensed for?

      To some extent, the DRM community hasn't completely succeeded yet in shaping all consumer behavior. The Content Provider's fondest dream is that every consumer reflexively asks "Am I licensed to [do|use|listen to|view] this copyrighted content? Should I be giving those nice Content Providers more money?"

      So yeah, the problem was that the consumer didn't buy the right licenses. The problem behind the problem was "Why wasn't the consumer properly warned they weren't buying enough licenses for their needs? And why should that be possible?"

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by manyxcxi (1037382)

      You're right in this isn't a cut and dried DRM is teh evulz case. It does however highlight that everyone following the rules, forking over their cash, and generally being socially acceptable, still got screwed over by a DRM system. I'm assuming the movie theater(s) in question paid all the money they were supposed to to all the people involved. All of the movie goers paid over all their money to legally see it in such a way that the movie studios would allow, if only barely (the customers did leave the box

    • The key supplier, by the name Deluxe, was apparently unable to provide a sufficient number of valid keys in time.

      The problem is that even if they did pay the proper royalties, the key generation system still wasn't capable of providing the needed keys. It highlights the issue with DRM that it in no way benefits legal movie patrons. At no point does anyone other than the greedy MPAA/RIAA scum benefit from it. Perhaps even in this case, showing that DRM doesn't even benefit the content companies either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mister Whirly (964219)
        DRM isn't supposed to benefit movie patrons directly. It's purpose in digital films is to prevent piracy of HDD movies from people working at the theater. I am guessing they will claim that DRM does benefit the customer by controlling piracy, which if left uncontrolled would drive the average price of the movie tickets up. Whether or not this is true I have no idea, but I am guessing that is the stance they will use to justify the DRM.
    • by Golddess (1361003)

      isn't this an issue with the company not purchasing the proper licenses in the appropriate amount of time rather than an issue with DRM? I understand this wouldn't exist if there were no DRM, but then the theater would still not have paid for the rights to show the movie.

      Wait, what? If DRM didn't exist, why do you think the theater wouldn't have the permission of the rights holders (either through payment as you suggest, or however the system works) to play the movie?

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

      by FrostDust (1009075) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:56PM (#30477942)

      Reading the Google translation, it seems to say that the theaters had purchased enough licenses for their showings, but a glitch, or technical ineptitude, prevented the DRM from validating all of their copies of the movie.

      I think it's a big leap to go from that, to where the submitter says that the supplier was unable to provide enough keys.

      The most persistant argument against DRM surfaces here: because of the intricate technicalities involved in DRM systems, legitimate customers were denied access to material they payed for.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stiggle (649614)

        Deluxe were unable to provide keys or validate the keys they had provided. The supplier was unable to provide working copies of the movie.

        So a phone line being down, or a network card dropping to 10Mbit/s or whatever the technical problems was causes movie viewers all over a country to not be able to watch a movie, for which all the data is already within the theater.

        DRM - your rights in their hands.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bit9 (1702770)

      I'm just unclear on how that makes this a noteworthy "DRM is bad" case.

      More like a "DRM is stupid" case. The point is not whose fault it was, but that DRM prevented a perfectly legal use of the material. The fact that the theater, having properly licensed the movie from the studio, still had to overcome this ridiculous DRM hurdle, shows that DRM is a pitiful joke.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

      by SoTerrified (660807) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:05PM (#30478090)

      ,,,isn't this an issue with the company not purchasing the proper licenses in the appropriate amount of time rather than an issue with DRM?

      The issue with most DRM is that it a) Does not actually stop pirates (at best it slows them down) and b) Does impair the ability for legitimate owners to use their purchase as intended.

      This is a perfect example. The DRM was broken so quickly, keys were available online http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=avatar+keygen [google.co.uk] so pirates were not inconvenienced, but the legitimate customers (the theatre who was showing the movie) were unable to use the item they had purchased in a timely manner.

      So I would disagree, this issue is indeed with DRM

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:53PM (#30478840)
        Alright, just a minute. Providing a link to google "avatar keygen" is complete bullshit. 95% of that is automatically generated nonsense. You can type in "any_string_of_characters" and "keygen" and get literally thousands of results for supposed key generators. They're usually just links to places that want you to pay to download some nonsense, or more often, they're malware downloads.

        Here's evidence:
        http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=asdfasdf+keygen&btnG=Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=
    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:05PM (#30478104) Journal

      Well, it's hard to say why the key generator company was unable to produce enough valid licenses in time. According to the article, the movie theaters had licenses but they turned out to be "no longer valid" on opening day. I suspect that either "Deluxe" (the key distributor) had a major systems failure and couldn't regen the day's licenses, or forgot to tell their customers that they needed to have the keys renewed frequently, or something.

      The movie distributor was certainly able to deliver the movies (which are delivered by courier on AES-encrypted hard drives) on time, so if the actual physical movies could be delivered you'd think the key generator company that the movie could keep up by issuing one key for each drive physically delivered, and if those keys have to be generated each time the movie is shown you'd think they'd have that worked out.

      I get the impression that the theaters (multiple, independent theaters across Germany were affected, not just one) have all been planning and looking forward to this for some time. Th article indicates that they all received their copies of the movie they purchased in plenty of time, and copied them to their theater server well in advance, but that the keys turned out not to work when they hit PLAY. But maybe this is the German equivalent of a RIAA/ASCAP thing where you buy the movie from one source and you have to buy the licenses to play it from an entirely different source, and the theaters didn't realize that the keys they originally got only worked for testing or something.

      Still, with all the advance planning, and all the various theaters that were affected, I find it hard to believe that so many theaters who had planned screenings so far in advance would somehow "forget" to buy licenses to play it. They had the physical movie, they had the glasses, they sold the tickets, and it sounds like they paid since the key distributor was able to get them the keys the next day.

    • The DRM in digital cinema copies is pretty evil alright. You'd think that digital distribution would make it easier for small moviemakers to put their work out, what with the ease of duplication as compared to 35 mm film copies? Dream on - the digital copies are mastered in such a way that each copy is essentially locked to a single projector, so you'll have to make a copy for each theatre you want to show your film in, and that of course means going to some post production house with the proper equipment,
    • isn't this an issue with the company not purchasing the proper licenses in the appropriate amount of time rather than an issue with DRM?

      It's perfectly indicative of how DRM is bad. DRM assumes that everything would work perfectly, all the time. And when it doesn't, for whatever reason, you lose the right to use your own legally owned content. Just like the movie studio, a leagal user of the film, lost their capability. If the movie studios and their limited number of partners with gazillion-dollar pieces of equipment can't make it work, what chance do meaningless slobs like me have?

      Answer: none. I need to just assume that sooner or later the content I paid for will just stop working. And that's wrong.

      • Dang. Messed up the quoting on my last post. Only the first line should have been quoted... Didn't look that way in the preview...
    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by value_added (719364) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:23PM (#30478392)

      don't want to be the one modded to hell and back for saying it, but isn't this an issue with the company not purchasing the proper licenses in the appropriate amount of time rather than an issue with DRM?

      Consider an alcoholic who beats his wife. Is the problem that he beats his wife (with a solution that he signs up for marriage counseling), or that he can't stop drinking?

      Say he also doesn't pay his bills on time. When the gas or electric get shut off and the kids don't get fed, what's the problem? That the kids are hungry, that he doesn't have enough money, that he didn't find a sympathetic ear at the utility company, or that he can't stop drinking?

      Microsoft routinely brushes off Windows activation "issues" with an implicit argument that it's an implementation snafu. Your argument is the same. Personally, I think it misses the point.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Noonian Soong (1016626) * <soong@@@member...fsf...org> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:32PM (#30478510)
      No, it is not a licensing problem. I read the German article and it clearly states that everyone paid, but the company providing the final keys (it is a process with several stages) could not produce the correct key. It was due to technical difficulties, not licensing issues.

      Here is my non-Google translation of the important part that explains what went wrong technically (sorry for the slightly unidiomatic English; I tried to stay as close to the original as possible so that the text would not become my interpretation of the original):
      Apparently, the DRM-keys for the film files were the cause of the problem. The distributor of 20th Century Fox sends the JPEG2000-encoded and AES-128-encrypted movies on external hard drives via courier. After that, the data (in the case of Avatar 150 GByte) needs to be copied to the theater server. Each digital projector/server combination generates a different certificate and transmits it to the DRM service in charge. The DRM service creates an individual key for each movie and sends it back to the theater. The key is always only valid for one copy of the film as well as one projector and can be limited to specific time periods and times of day.

      Yesterday (Wednesday), the transmission of the correct keys for the 3D screenings did apparently not work in several cases, though. Theater technicians tried for several hours to decrypt the gigantic pile of data, but apparently the service responsible for the digital distribution of the film, Deluxe, could not provide valid keys yesterday.
    • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jwiegley (520444) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:43PM (#30478666)

      Noteworthy in that it exemplifies a very real problem with DRM. They did pay for the licenses but the supplier of the license basically withheld the license and therefore the customer got screwed. This has come up many times as a theoretical question: What do you do when the validator of the license no longer exists, changes their rules or is unwilling to validate your license (or in this case incapable of) ?

      You're screwed. That's the answer.

      What people have to understand is what "Digital Rights Management" actually means. When we hear the word "right" we always think about "our rights" not the other party's rights (unless they belong to the same peer group.) So for instance, if I talk about providing "right to free speech" you are happy because you assume it includes you as a recipent of that right. We are biased to assume that rights are universal. (inalienable, etc.) That we all share the same rights. That an increased number, strength or quality of rights is better.Basically we will tend to support any right because we are subconciously programmed to believe it benefits us.

      The proponents of DRM are specifically using this psychology against us. They market their product with the term "rights" in order to make the intended audience/mark comfortable with their sales pitch/con game. Their "rights" yield to you NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL. What it does do is guarantee specifics rights for them which you cannot circumvent or otherwise deny or share in. What they ARE selling to you is "Digital *Restriction* management". In otherwords, you are agreeing to allow them to restrict what you can do with the product that you buy. And there is nothing that you can do to improve your position in the future should they change their mind or cease to exist. This is true whether or not legal issues change as well. For instance, let's say that you were convicted and jail for alcohol sales during prohibition. The law changes and it is no longer a crime. However you don't get let out of jail because your key/license was crafted without that right. Basically if things change in your favor the license does not automatically change for you.

      The United States has a Bill of Rights and the citizens generally hold this to be a significant factor in the quality and justice of the United States. Imagine how low we would think of a country who's government was based on a "Bill of Restrictions". A description of limited abilities that the government allows, arbitrarily or to the benefit of its politicians/dictators. Well that is *exactly* the relationship of DRM. It is truly Digital Restriction Management.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mr. Freeman (933986)
      Because it wasn't the theater, it was the people in charge of the licensing that fucked up. Furthermore, if there were no DRM then this entire problem would be gone. The theater could have purchased the rights to show it, shown it, made money, everyone is happy
  • by avandesande (143899) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:45PM (#30477738) Journal

    Do not see this movie.

  • And... ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tiger4 (840741) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:47PM (#30477782)

    An isolated failure with no particularly big consequences. The story tries to make DRM look bad, but really, is this the first time a critical demo went bad at an embarrassing moment?

    Hate on DRM all you want for all the evils it might contain. I do. But this is a nothing story.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wizardforce (1005805)

      DRM creates un-necessary barriers that make pirating unlocked media even more appealing.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      But it's another one of those failure that *don't* have to be, that you know is there just because of DRM. Just like my annoying TV, it is supposed to support HDMI but it only manages direct HDMI. Run it through any pass-through and it'll fail. I did check online and yeah, it has HDCP handshake timing issues. It could have been the receiver too but the point would still stand. Same on a computer, you upgrade something or don't upgrade something or reinstall or swap hardware and something and you know that w

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:05PM (#30478102)
    This should been a welcomed effect of DRM. Everyone is basically saying "pretty pictures, but the story sucks", and at almost 3 hours long I'd hate to be stuck in the cinema wading through that.
  • Achtung! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Skelde (697341) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:09PM (#30478198)

    Diese DRM nicht for the gefingerpoken

  • by VitaminB52 (550802) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:16PM (#30478286) Journal
    The legal system manages the rights on books, movies and music.

    DRM 'manages' the restrictions when playing a recording - in fact DRM often violates the rights of a consumer (e.g. when preventing making backup copies while the legal system grants consumers the right to make a backup copy).

  • Moviegoers were offered to get a refund or view an analogue 2D showing instead.

          And only because it would be illegal if they didn't offer the customer any form of compensation. It's not as if they care enough about their business to make sure things are done right.

          When you go to the cinema, this is exactly the sort of crap you are supporting.

  • typical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:49PM (#30478784) Homepage

    As usual, license management screws up. Of the many things that can go wrong, it's licensing is necessarily the most likely. It's the only part of the system that assures failure at the slightest hint of an irregularity BY DESIGN. At it's best, it's more brittle than bad code that never checks for errors.

  • by xav_jones (612754) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:03PM (#30479006)
    While watching the latest Batman movie the screen went dark and stayed that way for about 20 minutes. Speaking to the attendants afterward, they said their projectors had lost the internet link which authorized the movies to be shown. All projectors in the cineplex went down since all were digital (theatre was in Riverside, CA).
  • Huh? Not me... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:28PM (#30479458)

    I saw in in full 3D and THX glory yesterday.

    But instead, kumbaya-singing treehugger overkill in smurf land prevented me from enjoying what was otherwise an extremely impressive piece of film.

    Q: How do you know that there is waayyyy too much of something in a movie?
    A: If even the main character in the freakin movie complains about it about a quarter in, but it doesn’t stop anyway, until the end.

    One definitely sees that it’s the late realization of the dream of a 13 year old Cameron (which it is, according to Sigourney Weaver). In a way it’s like Star Wars Episode I. With parts of the most bombastic Star Wars in-between.

    But I’d say the FX/VR is a whole new league. (Maybe because of the 3D and actors acting an an augmented reality suit.)

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:09PM (#30480878)

    Moviegoers were offered to get a refund or view an analogue 2D showing instead.

    It seems all my local theaters only offer 3-D viewings at the jacked-up price (for glasses).

    While I know that 3-D adds to the experience, for some movies, I'm getting tired of having to pay an extra $4 for the glasses *each time* - then being asked to "recycle" them afterward. Let me pay a slightly higher price - once - for, possibly nicer, glasses and reuse them. In addition, if the movie is only offered in 3-D, the glasses should be free. </rant>

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