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Here We Go Again — Video Standards War 2010 292

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the there-is-always-a-war-somewhere dept.
Andy Updegrove writes "Think of the words 'standards war,' and if you're of a certain age you're likely to think of the battle between the Betamax and VHS video tape formats. Fast forward, and you'll recall we just finished another video standards war between most of the same companies, this time between HD DVD and Blu-ray. Well, here we go again, except this time its the movie studios that are duking it out, and DRM issues are a big part of it. On the one side are five of the six major studios, dozens of cable, hardware, software, distribution and device vendors, and on the other side there's just Disney — and maybe Apple as well, and that's enough to have the other side worried."
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Here We Go Again — Video Standards War 2010

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  • Hang on... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How is this going to affect torrents except now we'll have to wait for one of two useless DRM schemes to be stripped away?

    • It will boost them and people with a system for one DRM method will want to watch content from the other. Ooops...
      • You say that now, but once they get a system like that that just works. It'll have a real shot as your average Joe is easily parted from their money for the sake of convenience.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jedidiah (1196)

          Why don't you get back to us when that actually happens.

          In the meantime, the rest of us will be doing what this technology only promises.
          Some of us will be paying our own way. Most of us won't. Either way, all of us
          will be taking advantage of what the tech has to offer rather than waiting for
          the moguls to give us permission to do what should be our right to do.

          Although the n00bs will probably get comfortable with the alternatives before
          the moguls deliver on their promises. If that means that most people are

          • Re:Hang on... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 11, 2010 @03:20PM (#30726698) Homepage Journal

            Either way, all of us will be taking advantage of what the tech has to offer rather than waiting for
            the moguls to give us permission

            You have hit the nail on the head there, friend.

            It's not about legal vs illegal, or morality and certainly not about the "protection of content creators".

            If people have the technical ability to exceed the speed limit without penalty, they will exceed the speed limit and nobody talks about it being "immoral".

            And regarding the "protection of content creators" I have yet to see any reliable data that downloading of movies has any impact on the income of content creators. Nobody believes that if there were a way to completely stop the downloading of movies (and music) tomorrow that the creative people involved would suddenly make more money. Somebody would make more money, but it would not be the people who do the creating.

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            The people doing most to fight DRM are probably those paying for non-DRM'd content online.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          You say that now, but once they get a system like that that just works.

          I can count the number of DRM systems that "just work" on less than one finger.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by houstonbofh (602064)

          You say that now, but once they get a system like that that just works. It'll have a real shot as your average Joe is easily parted from their money for the sake of convenience.

          And once I find a nice, honest, loyal and stable stripper to love me I will be a happy man.

          I think that is more likely than easy Linux support for this scheme.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Korin43 (881732)
      That's what I was thinking. It's not two sides, it's three. Whatever is happening between the media companies, their real war is against their customers.
  • by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday January 11, 2010 @01:49PM (#30725492) Homepage Journal

    [T]his time its the movie studios that are duking it out, and DRM issues is a big part of it.

    I tend to prefer those video standards which are inclusive and unencumbered such as xvid and x264. They've survived. Our library, some of which is many years old, still plays.

    No central server to authorize and track our viewing habits. No chance of having my devices' keys revoked. No need to keep all our gear connected to the net.

    .
    • You may care about xvid and x264 and whatever other codec or container you want. But your average media consumer is more than likely not even aware of such things in any meaningful way. Convenience and ease of use are the name of the game for your average person.
      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday January 11, 2010 @03:28PM (#30726882) Homepage Journal

        ``You may care about xvid and x264 and whatever other codec or container you want. But your average media consumer is more than likely not even aware of such things in any meaningful way. Convenience and ease of use are the name of the game for your average person.''

        And how convenient is it when you can't play the material that you paid for anymore? How convenient is it if you can play it, but only by using one of a handful of approved products? How convenient is it when you can play it only when you have an Internet connection? Only at home, but not in your car?

        When it's about convenience, widely supported, non-DRMed formats win.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ultranova (717540)

        Convenience and ease of use are the name of the game for your average person.

        In other words, your average person would be best served by the Pirate Bay.

        Disinfected - by which I mean that the DRM has been stripped away - downloads are superior in all ways to store-bought DVDs. Why keep around and insert "original disks" when you can just get the torrent, install the crack, and just launch the game/movie/whatever forever afterwards? Or, for that matter, why hunt for the Blu-Ray disk when high-def rips take a

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 11, 2010 @03:22PM (#30726756) Homepage Journal

      No need to keep all our gear connected to the net.

      That's a big one. I won't purchase any content or product that requires "phoning home". If a company puts out a product and is hostile enough to me that they're going to require I be connected to their servers, I'll find "another solution".

  • by click2005 (921437) *

    Disney always tries their own thing... (and fails)

    Its like when they tried to add crap to DVDs so that would stop working after a limited number of plays.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dunezone (899268)
      Actually, Disney used a very effective anti-copy technique when they were still using VHS. It would scramble the picture if you tried copying it, it required special equipment and a lot of know how to get around it.
      • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:02PM (#30725650) Homepage Journal
        Macrovision? It required special equipment, but that equipment wasn't terribly expensive or difficult to find. The biggest advantage to Disney is that because VHS tapes wear out with repeated viewings and because kids love to watch the same movies over and over again, they had a built-in audience of parents that would need to repurchase the movies at regular intervals. They didn't have to worry about people dubbing the tape and then redubbing it whenever the copy wore out.

        It never really slowed down pirates though, just honest people.
      • by S-100 (1295224)
        Really? A $65 box from Go Video, in series with the composite video very effectively removed the copy protection from Disney disks. Macrovision licensees could control the degree of encoding, and Disney always encoded their VHS tapes very heavily. So heavy that in many cases, there were artifacts (e.g. shifting black levels, loss of color subcarrier) in original tapes. Macrovision tapes couldn't be casually copied, but you didn't need much equipment or know-how to get around it.
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:40PM (#30726120) Homepage Journal

      From TFA:

      In the case of the Disney approach, existing standards will be used to make the system work. But in the case of DECE, both content and devices will need to implement a new format standard created by DECE.

      There lies the rub: Few want to replace all their gear just for a new DRM. I think Disne's seems the least unreasonable. If they eschewed DRM entirely, that would be reasonable, since DRM itself encourages piracy by making the legit data hard to work with and the pirate content easy.

      IMO we're in a world wide recession because the Ferengis who run things aren't very reasonable, nor smart. If they'd stop worrying about pirates they'd sell more "content" and make more money.

      • Perpetual Motion (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IBitOBear (410965) on Monday January 11, 2010 @03:13PM (#30726598) Homepage Journal

        DRM is the software version of Perpetual Motion. It is simply not possible to make the device described work as intended. But because of "the enormous potential income" should someone succeed, the greedy interest keep flushing money into the pockets of charlatans and charging the populace a tax for their stupid avarice.

        Since DRM can only work if all the parts of the system are controlled by external DRM, including all the DRM enforcement parts, you end up with "its elephants all the way down."

        So we will never be done until it is simply illegal. Just like the patent office will not accept patent applications for perpetual motion machines, and the FDA will not let unproved drugs out into the wild (in theory anyway 8-), the FTC (etc) will eventually need to refuse to let people try to sell things with this snake oil in it.

        But like those remedies and limits, it will take a couple hundred years of corpses and bankruptcies cause by the offensive practice of duping companies into "DRM" before anybody finally acts to stop the scam.

        And even then, people will still try to sneak it in the back door as "holistic systems engineering" or whatever.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday January 11, 2010 @01:53PM (#30725526) Journal
    "Whoever wins, we lose."
    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:00PM (#30725622) Homepage

      After the epic battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray, I bought an up-scaling DVD player with USB mass storage/Xvid support.

      HD DVD and Blu-ray are the new betamax.

      • by A Friendly Troll (1017492) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:18PM (#30725872)

        HD DVD and Blu-ray are the new betamax.

        I hope not, because I would really, really like data backup on discs, not disks.

        I don't care about HD-DVD and Blu Ray as such, but the thing I resent Sony the most is that they've more or less prevented us from having "HD" burners in our computers already. If both formats were still alive, I think we'd be happily burning our data to 25-33 GB $2 discs on $50 burners today... As it is, they cost five times as much.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by c6gunner (950153)

          If both formats were still alive, I think we'd be happily burning our data to 25-33 GB $2 discs on $50 burners today... As it is, they cost five times as much.

          You can pick up a 1.5 terabyte HD for about $100-$120 these days. That works out to pretty much exacty the same cost per gigabyte as the price you quoted. So why bother with removable media?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Khyber (864651)

            "You can pick up a 1.5 terabyte HD, So why bother with removable media?"

            Technically, that is removable media, since we've pretty much moved to SATA, and SATA is hot-swappable.

            Anything using SCSI host commands should be hot-swappable. I've got two front-loading bays just for making hot-swappable diff backups.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by feepness (543479)

          I don't care about HD-DVD and Blu Ray as such, but the thing I resent Sony the most is that they've more or less prevented us from having "HD" burners in our computers already.

          How is that Sony's fault? Microsoft and Toshiba teamed up against pretty much everyone else to create FUD with a format doomed to lack of adoption from the start.

    • I really don't mind paying for my movies, tv shows and music. I do regret that such a big part goes to the studio vs musicians but that's the way it is in every industry.

      What I do mind is not being able to use what I have as I should.

      I want to be able to move recorded shows from my PVR to my laptop/ipod/psp/whatever

      I want to par a reasonable price for rent vs buy and cheaper for the electronic compressed version. Why would I pay 20$ for a compressed movie when I can get a DVD for often half that price and t

  • And the winner is... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pointy_Hair (133077)

    What side is the pr0n industry on?

    • by click2005 (921437) * on Monday January 11, 2010 @01:57PM (#30725568)

      The backside

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It is a myth that VHS won over Betamax because of the porn industry. If that were true, then HD-DVD should have beaten Blu-ray. The reason VHS won was 1) less restrictive license, and 2) it could record more an one hour of programming, meaning you could record movies and ball games. The one hour limit was Beta's main downfall.
      • by Verdatum (1257828)

        It is a myth that VHS won over Betamax because of the porn industry.

        No way this could be true. I'm pretty sure if it was a myth, then this would have been confirmed by now on Mythbusters.

      • by sremick (91371)

        Since I clearly remember renting full-length movies on Betamax, I feel the need correct you: with Beta II and Beta III, recording time maxed out at 5 hours.

        Granted, VHS was always a step ahead with recording time. And there were plenty of other factors.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:30PM (#30725992) Journal
      The internet streaming side without DRM, I would imagine. They make their money from repeat customers and, unlike hollywood, seems to have worked out that the value that they provide is creating new content.
    • That question suggests that they are somehow a unified, discreet group that can make that decision. I would be the first to admit I know next to nothing about political structures and groups in the pr0n industry, I don't get the impression that they are organized in that fashion.
  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Monday January 11, 2010 @01:57PM (#30725578)

    As with the Betamax/VHS formats, Circuit City's DivX and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, the ace up the sleeve is that people always have the choice not to buy. If people don't want a format or technology, nothing the studios or content providers do will get them what they want (our money). They never seem to factor that in to their plans.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      But can we vote with our wallets? Let's face facts, no matter how stongly you or I oppose these measures; Joe Public will probably just buy a new player with that fancy DRM stuff. Hoping that this DRM will not be accepted in significant numbers is optimism bordering on naivete. They will spin it as a value add, and the public will buy it. If all the content producers come together and stand firm behind this DRM scheme, they will still make money on said public, and effectively eliminate consumer choice
  • The more resources they waste on such posturing instead of modifying their obsolete rules of operation, the more they will have to squeeze consumers to remain afloat; also laws lobbied being more ridiculous. The more attractive alternatives will become.

    Makes the probability of Big Media bubble bursting slightly more likely...

  • Slave to the server (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Monday January 11, 2010 @01:58PM (#30725582) Homepage

    Another "slave to the server" DRM scheme. Those have a finite lifetime.

    What's the longest-lived "slaved to a server" DRM scheme? Has any such scheme been working for ten years? iTunes may be the oldest, but they didn't support video until 2005, and they've been moving away from DRM on audio.

    Think of what al-Queda could do with the signing key for Windows Update.

    • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
      Slaves to the server aren't intrinsically bad. The problem is that so far there's been no for form of guarantee that they won't eventually die. And in fact, they frequently do die. There are solutions to this. For example, one could have the servers managed by government agency. One would pay a surcharge when one buys the product that would go to keeping those servers around. They'd be kept indefinitely or for some very long time period. There are problems with this sort of scheme, but it isn't the only opt
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Slaves to the server aren't intrinsically bad

        Yes they are. All are intrinsically worse than unencrypted files.

        For example, one could have the servers managed by government agency. One would pay a surcharge when one buys the product that would go to keeping those servers around

        Why should I have to pay a surcharge? That is bad, and gives me nothing that I don't get from an unencrypted file.

        The upshot is that this sort of DRM can be implemented in an acceptable fashion.

        Having to pay an extra fee to be able t

      • by radtea (464814)

        For example, one could have the servers managed by government agency

        Right, because no one ever wants to watch foreign content, and no one minds giving their government the information that they are the proud owner of "Revolutionary Techniques for the Young Radical" or "Debby Does Someplace-that-starts-with-D".

        It would be bad enough having a bunch of corporations having access to all that data. Having governments--and possibly foreign governments--would be even worse.

        Governments are also remarkably fickle:

    • by ojintoad (1310811)
      According to Wikipedia, Rhapsody has been around since December 2001, meaning it is now 8 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhapsody_(online_music_service) [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nabsltd (1313397)

        Audible.com has been running since 1997, and I think the DRM is relatively unchanged since 2000.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Monday January 11, 2010 @01:58PM (#30725588)

    They've got some cheek, acting like letting us view the same content on multiple devices is an amazing new revolution. We could do that before DRM, and it would've been easy for them to manage DRM such that people could grab more authorised, licenced copies in different formats. That's the whole point of having a licence instead of a physical product.

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:00PM (#30725620)
    The only good news here is that is actually possible for both of them to lose ... if consumers don't buy into either scheme.
  • by jjoelc (1589361) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:03PM (#30725670)

    True standards will only be set by the end users. If nobody buys it, is it a standard?

    If there are 1000 Xvid copies around for every BD copy sold... which one is the standard?

    • If there are 1000 Xvid copies around for every BD copy sold... which one is the standard?

      The one that plays on your iPhone (or whichever gadget it will be for most, tomorrow).

  • by genican1 (1150855) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:03PM (#30725676)
    Ftfa:

    In the face of this reality, the industry has come up with a pretty practical solution: pay once for a video, and the seller will track your ownership for you, and make that information available to anyone who hosts the same content anywhere.

  • Wrong "two sides" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:04PM (#30725678)
    The two real sides in the battle at those who are in favor of DRM in any shape or form; and those consumers who want to own and control the content they purchase.

    If you RTFA, the two "sides" in that article are really on the same side, that is, the side of removing the consumers' rights for the content the consumers purchase.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:06PM (#30725714) Homepage

    KeyChest isn't really DRM, it's a central repository for purchase information of DRMed files.

    The idea is that companies opt into it, and then every device knows what you own. So when you go download Finding Nemo off iTunes, you can suddenly watch it on your cable box from the cable company, because they are both members of KeyChest and both know that you have a license to that media.

    Basically, it solves the "tied to one format" problem. Each file still needs a "real" DRM format, the KeyChest just serves as a central clearing house of what licenses you have.

    This would fix one of the MAJOR problems with DRM. It's still DRM, but it would be better than what we have now.

    There was a short article on this somewhere (Gizmodo, Engadget, Ars Technica, somewhere) last week. I can't find it right now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:30PM (#30725998)

      So you are saying it will play for sure.

    • Oh, no privacy issues here, nosirree.

      Private companies (and government agencies) already have way too much private information on way too many people, IMHO.

      I wish them all good luck in completely destroying their business. Hats off to them!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by darthnoodles (831210)
      And all of this means that NOBODY will support it. There is no way that the cable company, or iTunes will show you a movie for free because you purchased a copy from Best Buy or something and registered the key when you brought it home.
    • Except fo Course... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IBitOBear (410965) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:52PM (#30726272) Homepage Journal

      You _aren't_ going to get a key for "The White Album" you are going to get a key for "the 2011 release of 'The White Album" in MP3 format from Sony Interactive for use on sPlayer #xxxxxxx" simply because they _can_ be that specific and they _don't_ want to sell anything once that they can sell a million times.

      DRM == RENT, and illegal prior restraint, and a scheme that can never actually work because it is a system that violates every principle of both software engineering and cryptography. No matter how you slice it, DRM is a stupid waste of leptons, time, and money. It is a system based on a complete lack of modularity and locality.

      DRM is a classic case of "who will watch the watchers?" and not just at the corporate and financial and cultural levels. As a simple exercise in software engineering DRM must fail. It is a system that must be part of every element of a system (which is the failure of locality and modularity etc) to the degree that you need to have DRM policing the DRM system.

      DRM is the Perpetual Motion of Software. People keep inventing new versions of it that don't quite work because no version of it can _ever_ deliver what is promised. Companies keep buying into the hype because they are blinded by "the potential". The only difference is that we are all being forced to buy these perpetual motion machines. Sure _this_ one has a battery in it, _that_ one has to be hooked up to the electrical mains. Some other one needs a waterwheel or a solar panel, and they will all tear off an arm or crush your child if you aren't careful... but we are _almost_ there... just one more scheme and we'll have it right...

      The whole thing is a tax, levied by the stupid, paid by the sheep, and ready to break businesses when, I don't know, say Microsoft (or whomever) forgets to update a certificate (or whatever) before it expires (or whatever).

      Where the heck do I find the Opt-Out?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      This would fix one of the MAJOR problems with DRM. It's still DRM, but it would be better than what we have now.

      CSS is DRM, but my DVDs will play no matter if I have an internet connection or not. If DVDs needed an internet connection, you wouldn't be able to watch them from a plane, train, or even a car most of the time. As it is you can take your laptop to the park and watch a movie sitting under a shade tree. With this stupid sceme you won't be able to.

    • Have we learned nothing from them? If this DRM plan goes through, the companies will obsolete media just as fast as the drug companies obsolete drugs that are about to lose their patent. (They remix the formula slightly, and take another patent out).

      So basically, that copy of Blade Runner you bought 3 years ago? The Director's cut plus? Well, that was then, now we have a completely new product, Director's cut plus enhanced, with a never before seen napkin drawing of Roy Batty's potential haircuts that never

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumRiff (120817)

      I can't wait to register every device I own with one central authority.. Especially registering all the ones that connect to the internet!.. Bye bye freedom of speech, and anonymous cowards...

  • A standard war (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:08PM (#30725748) Journal

    Look, what happened between Betamax and VHS is well know, Sony were full of themselves with their better format, and didn't want to license it to anyone whereas VHS was licensed to anyone that wanted to build that platform.

    But since then it's been easier to figure out which format will win. It's not which is technically better for consumers (ie. less / no DRM), but which company has the biggest pocket to give the biggest backhanders. Follow the money.

  • Good on ya, Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argent (18001) <<moc.agnorat.6002.todhsals> <ta> <retep>> on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:10PM (#30725776) Homepage Journal

    With the multiyear HD DVD Blu-ray battle still a recent memory, we have a new standards face off in video, just as we do in eBooks, and just as it looks like we may in on-line print, where a new consortium led by the News Corporation and others is launching a standards-based "digital newsstand." All of these devices, of course, are targeted at you and I, and each has the potential to not only extend the woes of the music/video/print vendors behind these standards battles, but to waste your money and mine as well.

    Does that strike you as a shame?

    Hell no. The last thing we need is easy to use, standardized DRM. Apple derailed Microsoft's attempt to make Plays for Sure the boot stamping in the face of the music lover, forever, by making sure NOBODY won the music DRM wars. It looks like they're up to their loveable tricks again, and I salute them for it. A fragmented, hard to use, unreliable DRM ecosystem is to the consumer's benefit in the long term.

  • The difference between this format war and the last one is that Blu Ray, while picking up speed - is not quite at the same point DVD's were when Blu Ray/HD DVD were introduced. Albeit, everyone still had a VCR and their VHSs. And people still DO have their VCR and VHSs. However now most movie collections consist of DVD's, unless you just started your movie collection a few years ago.

    Some people don't even have a Blu Ray Player - let alone a sizable Blu Ray collection.

    So what happens when this new form of co

    • The difference between this format war and the last one is that Blu Ray, while picking up speed - is not quite at the same point DVD's were when Blu Ray/HD DVD were introduced.

      The real difference is that it's software, not hardware. There's nothing stopping you from installing both players on your PC, or Sony licensing both codecs and wrappers for their TVs. You don't HAVE to cook all your eggs in one pan.

  • by quo_vadis (889902) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:11PM (#30725782) Journal
    The TFA talks about the war between Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) from 6 of the big movie studios versus Keychest from Disney. But the important this is that Keychest is not DRM [engadget.com]. As the name implies its a Key management service, proposed by Disney. It needs DRM such as DECE or Apple's Protected AAC stuff to work. The TFA's author doesnt seem to grasp the basic difference.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      DECE isn't really about a new DRM format, it's about everyone using the same DRM format. That idea, and a centralized license manager, are both different approaches to solving the same problem: being able to play your DRMed files on different devices.

      The author glosses over the specifics, but the basic conflict is as described.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:13PM (#30725818) Journal

    Ok, I read TFE, and it seems to me that for consumers (which is what I personally am concerned about) there's a clear choice -- buy content (if reasonably priced) from Warner Brothers, Paramount, NBC Universal, Sony and Fox, and torrent content from Disney. What standards war?

    Of course, if both solutions are confining and/or expensive, neither will be adopted en-masse. For the first time, consumers have a third choice -- free -- and to compete with that, content providers will have to provide something that benefits consumers instead of annoying them. I wonder if the content providers get this yet.

  • Clarification (Score:4, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:17PM (#30725862)

    Apple, incidentally, remains Disney's largest single shareholder

    Technically, Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder of Disney. His shares come to about 7% of Disney. He is also a shareholder in Apple but I'm not sure what about how many shares he has.

  • by jthill (303417) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:24PM (#30725916)

    All the major media companies except Disney and Apple are supporting a media-purchase-validation system that won't work unless your purchase is DRM'd. Disney and Apple are proposing one that works equally well with un-DRM'd media.

    Jobs is at it again.

  • i peaked at 250 some DVDs before selling off my collection almost 10 years ago. got to the point where i would watch a lot of the movies only once or twice a year at most.

    today with my 10 mbps cable internet ( i run speed tests and my cheapo time warner cable ranges 8 - 15 mbps depending on the time and day) and my 32GB iphone and laptops with 320GB hard drives i want to watch it anywhere and don't want to carry anything around and don't want to pay for things to own i may only watch or listen to once a yea

  • Do you mean like AVI vs MKV?
    Or XviD vs x264?
    Cause the latter ones are clearly winning. ^^

    Sometimes I feel like I’m on a different planet than those media companies... And theirs is just about to go down in flames. ;)

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:40PM (#30726116) Homepage

    -I.E., DVD/BluRay discs, any DRM is useless and will be subverted.

    Encode the bits all the way to the monitor/TV display. It makes no difference. Someone, somewhere will figure out how to convince the data stream that it's driving an encryption compliant display, while in actuality, that now unencrypted data stream is being written to a hard drive as an H.264 video/audio file.

    Even if eventually, everything comes from the cloud, the Chinese will be happy to sell you a greymarket flatscreen TV/Monitor with all the audio/video out ports you could ever want on the back of the display. All ready to plug into your computer.

    Until then, ffmpeg and Handbrake/MacTheRipper are your archiving friends.

    As for torrents, I look at the Internet as my own personal Digital Video Recorder that automatically edits out the commercials.

    Oh, and lastly, I buy almost all my DVDs used. No point in paying the studios/networks/production companies that DRM their products.

  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zmollusc (763634) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:45PM (#30726172)

    I can't wait for this. When I buy a bluray film I will then be able to download the film to my iPhone and my netbook. Well, I will if iTunes and whoever also stock the film. And, of course the downloads may well be heavily censored versions of the film because you can't expect them to stock everything. Oh, and there will be lots of targetted ads that i can't ffwd through pasted into the films. Oh, yeah, and the netbook will have to be trusted so cannot be using that evil linux operating system.

    But that aside, yay, woo, I have my credit card ready.

  • Sorry about the title, but I get really frustrated when I hear about continued efforts to pursue DRM. I believe that producers of content should be able to protect their legal rights but DRM is simply flawed from the get-go. I know this has been said and re-said on /., but I'm going to point it out again: the one requirement for all DRM technology is that the legitimate buyer of the content must be able to watch/listen to/read it. The technology is irrelevant; if a buyer can view the content, it can be re-e
  • by chrysrobyn (106763) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:50PM (#30726246)
    I am perfectly capable of managing my own digital rights. I don't need someone else's server to handle it, mine does so just fine. Keep sending out encryption of the same caliber as DVDs and I'll keep supporting your industry. If you treat me like I can't be trusted, I can, will and do act like it.
  • by JerryLove (1158461) on Monday January 11, 2010 @02:54PM (#30726314)

    Instead, what's involved are two different approaches intended to help content vendors somehow survive in the face of plummeting revenues

    2010 was a record year at the box office and (I believe) the video store. Where's the damage that they are attempting to mitigate?

    DRM just seems like a way to force me to rebuy what I already own 10 years from now.

  • by S-100 (1295224) on Monday January 11, 2010 @03:09PM (#30726550)
    DRM systems will live in their own insular little worlds until they fail financially (e.g. DIVX disk and self-destructing DVDs). But for everything else, it's simply a matter of firmware. There was nothing a user could do to turn a Betamax deck into a VHS deck, but as long as the disks are still round and read by lasers, it's largely just a matter of firmware, which in many cases can be upgraded without much difficulty.

    For the computer/HTPC/media player box, it's even simpler. Those boxes already include CODECs for dozens of different formats, and many of those boxes include near automatic firmware upgrades to permit installing more CODECs and capabilities continuously.
  • DMCA cockblock (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Monday January 11, 2010 @04:35PM (#30728164) Journal
    It is impossible to get behind any DRM scheme while a full flat ban on decryption remain in effect. Works that have fallen in the public domain but wrapped in encryption need to have a provision in law before we can even begin to talk about universal DRM.
  • by harl (84412) on Monday January 11, 2010 @07:15PM (#30730608)

    They solved the DRM problem decades ago. Macrovision worked. DVD_CSS works.

    They both stopped people from making casual copies.

    I don't understand this drive for unbreakable DRM. It can't work. At some point you must possess both the lock and key in order to view the content.

    You're never going to stop the motivated ones. Someone will always break the DRM. If for no other reason than to prove they can.

    Both macrovision and DVD_CSS stop the casual copier and unless you tried to copy you didn't even know they were there. You still had your rights of first sale. You could play on any device. You could lend it out.

    The only flaw they both have is the physical media requirement.

         

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