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Internet Movies Before DVD

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the watch-it-now dept.

The Internet 418

alfrin writes "Actor Morgan Freeman and Intel are starting a company that will sell movies over the Internet before they are released to DVD. "We're going to bypass what the music industry had to come up with, and that's to get ahead of the whole piracy thing," Freeman told reporters at Sun Valley after making his presentation, which was closed to the press. Wouldn't this just make it easier to pirate movies?"

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Rendezvous with Hurry the Hell Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999757)

I wonder if the first movie sold on the Internet will be Rendezvous with Rama. [] I just hope Freeman works a little faster on this idea...

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999761)

i think that this is the 1st post. who works for MSNBC here on /.

i think that the posters/editors love MSNBC

go figure - it's a venture between MS and NBC - thus MSBNC.

stupid fuckers.

SHHH!! (2, Insightful)

achew22 (783804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999762)

"Wouldn't this just make it easier to pirate movies?" SHHH!!!! Don't tell them!

Re:SHHH!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999818)

it doesn't pay to subscribe. you still have a bad karma.
don't try to fit in here. these people are stupid assholes.


in other news - 2 buck chuck comes out with 4 buck fred.

Well (1)

countach44 (790998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999765)

Kind of strange for an actor to be pushing this...

God? (-1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999768)

Actor Morgan Freeman...

Wow, God Himself is promoting this business, it must be good! (for the humor impaired, go watch Bruce Almighty).

Re:God? (1, Troll)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999797)

You would have to be humor impaired to laugh at anything in Bruce Almighty besides the finger growing trick.

Re:God? (0, Offtopic)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999913)

Aww, beat me to the punch.

Re:God? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999997)

So you mean to say only the humor impaired (read deranged) will find Bruce Almighty funny?

After watching it myself, I agree with that verdict.

Shawshank (3, Funny)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999769)

Did anyone else hear Morgan's voice in your head when reading the quote, as if it was a line from "Shawshank Redemption" or "Million Dollar Baby"? Spooky!

Re:Shawshank (1)

ditto999999999999999 (546129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999785)

I sure did... but it was his character from Chain Reaction... Weird ;)

Batman in the movie business? (2, Funny)

AussieVamp2 (636560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999855)

Or, 'Wayne Enterprises sells movies online' is what actually ran through my head first.

Need a photographic memory to remember all Morgan's roles!

Re:Batman in the movie business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999891)

Need a photographic memory to remember all Morgan's roles!

Here's how I remember: He's that zen-like guy who spends a lot of time by himself but is really smart and peaceful and happy.

Re:Shawshank (1)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999923)

Sorry, but I decided to read it with the voice of Sam Kinison just for yuks.

I mean, the MPAA and RIAA are nuts, right? If only he were alive, he'd make a great spokesman.

Doesn't this just make it easier to pirate? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999771)

No. Of course not.

Re:Doesn't this just make it easier to pirate? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999878)

I for one think it's about time someone figured out that people who use the internet are not all thieves. The music on itunes and other music download sites are STILL available on pirate sites, but people don't want to hassle and worry of viruses and the almighty copyright infrigments. I have bt'd movies and watched them.. but i'd be willing to pay a reasonable price to download a high quality movie even if it was dmr'd.

the difference between movies and music is.. most of the times i only need to watch a movie once (usually cause it's crap).. and if it's truely worth something then i'll fork over more cash for a dvd, and if i really needed a avi/asf of it.. i could rip the dvd.

the one thing i hope they account for is.. i don't want to "stream" movies.. cause i don't want to worry about skipping, and having to sit through a thousand commercials (like ign) to see something.

Finally (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999773)

Three words: It's about time.

Actually, the movie industry has done a reasonably good job of keeping ahead of the market forces that drive piracy. Depsite all the complaints about movies getting on the Internet early (as if the problem didn't exist with bootlegs prior to the Internet), I haven't seen any evidence that it has been a widespread issue. Your average person seems happy enough to go to the theater, buy a DVD, or sign up with Netflix.

The ones who should really be worried is television. The DVD rehashes of shows have helped, as have PVRs like TIVO. But the general populace is starting to get pretty annoyed about being told when they can and can't watch television. If TV doesn't reinvent itself as an internet business soon, the reprocussions could be of Napster proportions!

Re:Finally (5, Interesting)

Universal Indicator (626874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999815)

I am happy enough to use Netflix to pirate movies. At $50 for a month, you can get nearly 50 DVDs sent to you, if you simply copy them immediately when the mail comes and then get them back out to the post office the same day. If retail DVDs are an average of $15 x 50 discs for a month, that is $750 worth of movies in a month. 50 DVDs for the price of three :-) Is there a system like this for music?

Piracy for the Sake of Piracy. A.K.A. hoarding (5, Insightful)

fodi (452415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999884)

I don't really understand why us geeks like to hoard intellectual property so much. Of those 50 movies:

1. How many do you actually watch?
2. How many do you use to buy friends with?
3. How many get thrown on a spindle and forgotten?

I know people that download almost 50 movies/TV shows/games a month. When I ask them how many they actually watch/play, it's rarely 20% at most.

I think this stems from the fact that having so much media readily available to us is still a relatively new concept. It was only 10 years ago that it took us 2 hours to download a 5 minute, low-quality movie (usually porn). I believe people are thinking "Wow !! i CAN have all these movies", not "Wow !! I want to WATCH all these movies".

I believe that when our kids grow up, they won't have this desire to accumulate all this media, because they'll be able to watch/play all this stuff when they want it.

Instead of paying $50/month of DVD, just to have the pleasure of burning and stock-piling them, why not hire 10 DVDs for $30 from your local video shop and buy some beers to drink while you watch.....

Re:Piracy for the Sake of Piracy. A.K.A. hoarding (5, Interesting)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999939)

I know several people that spend so much time finding movies and burning DVDs that they never have time to actually watch them. Pick a random DVD out of their collection and it's almost a sure bet that they've never seen it. It's really rather sad.

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

Oopsz (127422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999892)

Sure. The new subscription based napster (or real rhapsody).

See, right now most people don't have the bandwidth for subscription based movie download services, and as very few actually want to watch movies on a 19 inch monitor, converting and burning to DVDs is non-trivial. It's somewhat like the old axiom: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of quarter inch tapes." For a lot (if not most) people, getting two DVDs a week by mail is much more efficient than downloading, so the subscription movie services are mail-based.

This isn't true of music; bandwidth is high enough and compression good enough that market forces have driven a download-based subscription service, as you can easily download and listen to music on the computer, and burn it to CD for home theatre playing.

Re:Finally (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999920)

For Hollywood to get $50:month out of you, they usually have to get you to go to the theater between 5-10x. At $80B:y, that's a strict average of $13:human:year, which might be an average of once a month. Which means that if people, on average, give free copies to less than 5-10 other people (with no overlap), then Hollywood does just as well with your kind of piracy as without. Considering the much higher costs of theatrical distribution than postal DVD's, and that $80B includes all kinds of other revenue not threatened by DVD piracy, it sounds like you're doing them a favor.

I hoard original DVDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999965)

I collect original DVDs, and I buy more than I have time to see (although lately I've stopped buying them because I'm temporally living in another country). Does anybody else has the same problem?

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

XMyth (266414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999858)

I don't know. I mean...if you want to get your TV shows then you want something reliable (like ShunTV or BTEfnet were). Reliable = big = big target. They seem pretty capable of bringing down big targets (probably small ones too but they only focus on the big ones).

I don't think many people are going drop TV as the medium in favor of something that's unreliable. I know I sure didn't tune in to the Daily Show on TV when ShunTV was around...but now, without a consistently reliable source for it I watch it on TV.

I don't think we're going to be able to get a good distribution point for it as long as a threatening letter or a lawsuit can bring one down (which will be the case for the foreseeable future).


Re:Finally (4, Interesting)

Stick_Fig (740331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999951)

Personally, my beef with TV is that good shows are getting cancelled because the terrible ratings system focuses on the cream of the ratings crop rather than what has the most potential to grow. They're focusing on empty ratings at the cost of long-term success.

If they could modify the formula so that the shows with potential could get as much playing time as those that are already hits, I would be all for it right now. The crap factor is just terrible on TV right now.

Right. (5, Interesting)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999777)

Interesting definition of "get ahead" of. My impression is that movie downloading illictly on the Internet has been "no big deal" for the masses for quite some time. When my clueless barely point-and-grunt literate co-worker offered me a DVD copy of the latest Star Wars 4 days after it opened I realized it had already hit the mainstream. Sorry guys, to little, to late.

Re:Right. (1)

AussieVamp2 (636560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999874)

Yeah. Where someone I know works apparently all the staff do it. According to that person, it is likely that your dog is more computer literate than a lot of said staff.

Re:Right. (4, Funny)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999880)

You and youre buddy were either way behind or way ahead of the times if you had Starwars 4 on DVD days after release theatrical release.

Re:Right. (1)

lizard459 (897599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999960)

He means he recieved Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith four days (aka 4 24 hour periods, aka 96 hours) after the theatrical release.

Re:Right. (5, Funny)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999966)

but if you read it that way, there really isnt as much opportunity for derisive sarcasm.

Re:Right. (5, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999911)

It is exactly this kind of illegal downloading that would go away if they offered reasonably priced legitimate copies. It's true that they will have to offer some recording capability (probably with reduced resolution) -- people feel pretty strongly about their ability to record what they see on their TV.

However, for all the grandstanding of the media companies in the US, the real "piracy" (actually, a very bad term [] ) problem they face is in the far east. The problem is not people downloading low-resolution copies of movies (which doesn't cost them much business), but entire factories which churn out illegally copied DVDs, and people who buy the cheap fakes rather than the expensive originals.

Will this make it easier to pirate movies? (4, Funny)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999781)

I dunno. The presentation was closed. I don't know anything about the specifics. If they use hard core DRM, it's possible it wouldn't be cracked. I suppose their first move should be to hire "DVD Jon" and then send him on a permanent vacation with no net access.

The Intel Connection (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999819)

Intel is building DRM right into their chips.

Re:The Intel Connection (1)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999992)

Informative? WTF... Where's my mod points when I need them?

Re:Will this make it easier to pirate movies? (4, Funny)

Slackrat (128095) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999830)

1) Calculate revenue lost to piracy
2) Use said funds to send key hackers to a tropical island with spotty net access and an open bar
3) Piracy defeated.
4) Profit!

Re:Will this make it easier to pirate movies? (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999879)

Seriously, I think there may be something to it. "Anybody who breaks our DRM just needs to tell us, and submit patches, and you get to have beautiful women in bikini's serving you drinks on the beach for the next five years. Anybody who goes public means we pay a lawyer whatever we would have paid to send you on vacation."

Complete Contradiction (2, Funny)

HillaryWBush (882804) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999782)

Freeman told reporters at Sun Valley after making his presentation, which was closed to the press.

Is this guy versatile or what?

Re:Complete Contradiction (3, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999800)

Read that sentence again. He gave a presentation to some people. Afterwards, he told reporters about it. Literacy isn't a bad thing, you know.

Not at all. (1)

vhold (175219) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999810)

The presentation was closed to the press. He told the reporters after the presentation. That seems pretty clear to me, especially seeing as how the Sun Valley is the name of the entire city.

Re:Complete Contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999897)

Freeman told reporters at Sun Valley *after* making his presentation, which was closed to the press.

5 points? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999982)

this should get 10

It might decrease piracy... (5, Insightful)

Tanmi-Daiow (802793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999783)

If they find the right price and the right movies to sell. They might create an 'itunes' effect, except in the movie genre. Most people would buy it if it was readily available and cheap.

Re:It might decrease piracy... (1)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999816)

True, but the bandwidth needed for compressed music is far less the badnwidth needed for video.

Re:It might decrease piracy... (1)

Tanmi-Daiow (802793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999870)

that may be true, but broadband internet is cheap these days.

Re:It might decrease piracy... (2, Insightful)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999927)

How many movies are really worth buying, though? I will be purchasing the boxed extended edition set of LOTR, because it was just so kickass. I also own Hackers (pure bullshit, but entertaining) and a couple others. My actual collection is pretty small, though. Most movies I tend to only watch once. Some movies, have replay(watch?) value, but not many. Because of this, those that I do actually feel the need to purchase, I want to have the whole box and everything for; that's really the reason for the purchase. It just wouldn't be the same to download the original Star Wars trilogy whether I paid for it or not.

I think Netflix has got it nailed. A monthly subscription to just keep watching new movies, plus a database of my ratings and suggestions offered to me which are usually pretty on target. Now if they could figure out some way to do that over the internet, I'd definitely be interested.

Re:It might decrease piracy... (4, Insightful)

ArcticCelt (660351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999929)

What I hopping to see is lots of cheap old good obscure not mainstream movies. Those movies are hard to find in local video stores and expensive to buy. That situation sucks. I'll be the first one to buy lots of these. But if they sell over 5$ piece I'll probably go on eMule to look for some "substitute product", for education purpose of course.

Like for music, there is lots of material out there and each individual desire probably to own much more stuff than what is wallet can afford. In consequence even if they lower the prices, there revenue wont go down. The people who where spending 200$ each year on movie purchase will still spend it but will just get more. The people like me who weren't buying anything will maybe start to do so. I hope they will realize that they can make much more money on the volume than on the price of each movie.

Not very efficient.... (3, Insightful)

fodi (452415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999784)

"before they're available on DVD" isn't quite going to cut it. Most movies are available via torrents before, or while, they're still out at the cinema. Sure, they're inferior, pirated copies, but for most people that seems to be good enough.

Re:Not very efficient.... (2, Interesting)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999811)

The way ahead is simultaneous release in all formats in all territories. Mark Cuban is doing just this with his 2929 Productions and HDNet Films. The first releases will be a bunch of stuff by Steven Soderbergh.

Re:Not very efficient.... (3, Insightful)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999853)

it will be as effective as selling music online. it wont eliminate piracy, but it will curb it because a lot of people are willing to pay a few bucks and get a high quality download the first time with spending a lot of time searching for a title or competing for bandwidth. (i am one such person.)

getting the download out before the DVD is key, as part of the motivation for piracy is to be the first kid on the block with the latest and greatest. This shortens the time span for which that is a motivation.

Re:Not very efficient.... (1)

clontzman (325677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999915)

Do you really think that's true "for most people"? I think it's the opposite -- most people would rather spend a little money (and get out of the house) or wait a while and buy/rent a movie for $15/$4 than go through the hassle of downloading a lousy copy of a movie shot by a camcorder.

My guess is that the market for low quality, shaky-cam movies is very, very small in reality. It's not like MP3s where you're usually listening to them in environments like your car. If you're watching downloaded movies, you're either watching them on a really sharp monitor or blown up on a TV. Either way, you're going to see every flaw.

Inferior bootlegs are fine for inferior movies... (2, Insightful)

gumpish (682245) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999935)

Sure, they're inferior, pirated copies, but for most people that seems to be good enough.

If Hollywood were capable of making films that were good enough to merit the trouble of going to a theater and paying the premium price to see it, then people wouldn't be satisfied with crappy camcorder internet bootlegs.

no more ???? (2, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999791)

The mysterious step 2 is solved.

Get with Apple, do a (probably relatively minor) code revision to iTunes for the selection/shopping engine and DRM (face it, its gonna have it in some fashion) and add video support, maybe do some more work to use distributed downloading like bittorrent or have multiple mirrors in network-close proximity (work with cable and satellite cos?) to users, and have at it.

more like compete with apple (1)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999902)

there have been rumors of Apple adding movie downloads to the iTMS for months now. They already have music video downloads and the ability for HD video playback built in. (iTunes 4.9 + Quicktime 7.0)

Apple, Intel, Freeman (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999950)

Apple has experience with the iTunes Music Store. They know how to run digital distribution models. They would be good candidates for running a video download store.

Apple also has the H.264 codec. According to their site [] , "H.264 delivers stunning video quality at remarkably low data rates, so you see crisp, clear video in much smaller files."

But, H.264 needs a fast processor. Now, Apple has fast enough processors, but only in their high-end lines.

Apple moves to Intel. Intel has faster processors. Now every Mac can have a fast enough processor.

What else does Intel have? Intel has DRM built into the chip. But Intel doesn't control the whole computer. They don't want to offer things to Windows users off the bat where they have to know about their processor. (Many barely know it runs Windows.) They make the store for Macs only to start. Movie studios start to relax knowing their content is protected.

Plus, if the store gets cracked, only Mac users have access. The Mac is an ideal testing ground for these things.

Just some random thoughts.

Why would this help piracy? (3, Insightful)

millennial (830897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999792)

If music is released on iTunes before it comes out on CD, the only ways that that music could be pirated are:
1. burn it to a CD, then rip the CD, thus losing quality
2. record the audio as you play it
3. crack the encryption.

However, with a video, #1 and #2 are out of the question. Unless, of course, you really want to hook up an S-Video/etc. out plug to a digital camera or VCR, record the playback to the camera, and transfer it back. It's just not feasible. Unless (until?) the encryption is cracked, this won't help piracy one bit.

Re:Why would this help piracy? (1)

MaKS327 (654475) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999937)

Actually, hooking up the video out to a digital camera, VCR, or another computer would produce a video of much better quality than today's "screeners."
Today's movie piracy for anything not on DVD yet is pretty much entirely screeners or maybe an internal copy here and there.
So yeah, now there's something better than some guy sitting in a theater in Korea taping it on his camcorder.
Still think it won't help piracy one bit?

Re:Why would this help piracy? (1)

rhesuspieces00 (804354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999977)

Its called JHymn, friend.

Music industry Suffering? (2, Insightful)

bhive01 (832162) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999794)

FTA "fearful of suffering a similar fate as the music industry, which has been hit hard hit by piracy enabled by file-swapping services."

Since when is the music industry in a real slump?

About the movies, I wish they would do this and make it as portable/open as possible, but as we all know it will be DRM'd out the ass and completely unusable except at Uncle Bob's house on Tuesday after 5pm.

Wouldn't this just make it easier to pirate movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999795)

Wouldn't this just make it easier to pirate movies?

Short Answer: Yes.
Long Answer: Yes.

Great Idea (3, Interesting)

mkop (714476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999796)

Now sell it for half the price of a regular DVD and I would probably buy more movies.

What _is_ this? (4, Insightful)

linds.r (895980) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999798)

This is really only news when a couple of big labels actually sign on.

yeah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999799)

this guy knows what he's talking about, being the voice of Darth Vader and all... i'm listening!

Re:yeah (1)

evoltap (863300) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999835)

i think you mean james earl jones....he speaks for verizon.

Mod Morgan Freeman Redudant (2, Interesting)

ArchAngel21x (678202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999801)

There are already services that let you view movies online. If I am going to pay full price for a movie, I want the physical media that I can hold. Considering how cheap Wal-mart DVDs are, they better offer dirt cheap prices on this service if they expect to succeed.

*Ahead* of the piracy thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999803)

Well, I seem to pretty clearly remember people I know swapping VCDs of "The Matrix" just days after it hit theatres. But if the movie peoples are going to embrace this 'internet' thing instead of hiding until Apple rips them bodily into the sunlight, then well, good for them.

easier? (1)

banz23 (737504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999804)

Wouldn't this just make it easier to pirate movies?
How could it get any easier than it is? I would be willing to pay a couple of bucks for better quality.

He Saved Earth From The Comet (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999805)

Maybe he can save the movie companies from the pirates.
Then again, probably not.

Wouldn't this just make it easier to pirate movies (1)

quickflash (636214) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999808)


fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999820)

and with the help of the proprietary windows-only player, all the *nix users out there wont be able to watch the movies. either that or the movies will be all over the torrent networks.

i dont think this problem will be solved until we all have 100 mbit connections to our homes and we can stream the movies securely. they should make the movies $3.00 to watch the first time and $0.50 every time after that.

movielink is an alternative (1)

hammeredpeon (572012) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999824)

that requires IE. if you want me to buy your movie, you're going to have to provide a little more flexibility than that.

Re:movielink is an alternative (1)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999842)

You are probably not Movielink's target consumer. The average consumer does use IE and likely doesn't know that there are alternatives.

Could work... (1)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999833)

Really depends on the pricing. As iTunes showed, there is a market for legal downloads as long as the price matches the convenience and quality. Would I pay ten bucks for a download I could get for free later? No. Would I pay two? Maybe, especially considering it would be a nice production copy rather than a crappy cam version which I find out is in Polish after I download it. As long as they keep in mind that in this case the fee is not for the movie, which will usually be available free in short order, but for the service, i.e., the fast, good quality, and of course legal download.

Give the public what it wants! (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999847)

The public will buy it before they steal it if:

1. Good quality
2. Readily available
3. The price is right

Most people, to this day, don't know that most DVD movies are encrypted and have the Macrovision(r) switch turned on. They just put the disc in and press play. What they care about are the three things above.

Item #3 doesn't mean free. In fact, it can't be free because if people see a price that's too low, they will think it sucks. #2 is important because from what I have seen, people download movies mostly because they aren't available on DVD yet. When the DVDs come out, they often buy'em... (or not based on whether they liked the movie...) #1 is pretty obvious, but I think it's not as important a draw as the later two. It is significant, however, as at present, in order to make video content on the internet feasable, a sacrifice in image quality will likely have to be made even with the best consumer grade broadband. So even if they capture the stream and put it on a DVD and can even play it that way, it will not likely measure up to the quality of a production DVD which would be a motivating factor to buying the DVD... not necessarily instead of downloading and not necessarily in addition to downloading either. I don't think the two are connected drives.

Re:Give the public what it wants! (1)

evoltap (863300) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999917)

" So even if they capture the stream and put it on a DVD and can even play it that way, it will not likely measure up to the quality of a production DVD which would be a motivating factor to buying the DVD".

I agree. Most people don't realize that itunes downloads are mp3 files which is nowhere near the quality of a CD (16bit, 44.1). Even with readily available formats for 24 bit audio, people don't care.....they'll pay 10 bucks for an album that's compressed to hell. I think they'll definitely compress movies for download purposes.
Unless consumers demand hi fidelity audio and video, I think the digital trend is lower fidelity.

Re:Give the public what it wants! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999955)

aac files. aac > mp3. Still compressed to all hell, but for most tracks people buy (read: manufactured pop), no one will notice.

Re:Give the public what it wants! (1)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999961)

Low price will always beat high fidelity. Sure, you'll have a certain percentage of people willing to pay a premium for 24 bit quality, but the vast majority of consumers think that MP3 is CD quality.

Freeman +1, MPAA -1 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999866)

kudos to freeman, the respect i already had for him just doubled....this just shows how out of touch the MPAA really is...

if an actor almost 70(!!) can understand the importance of new technology, why can't a "consortium" of movie companies who "supposedly" have our best interests in mind embrace digital distribution?

Buy movies by the scene? (1)

potus98 (741836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999869)

With some music distribution models, I can buy individual songs I like without having to pay for the entire album. I did it with 45's, single-song tapes (with a "B" side), single CD's (with 4 re-mix versions of the same song), and of course with Internet disti models.

What if instead of buying an entire movie, I could simply purchase by the chapter? I could take a movie like... Pirates of the Carribean, and buy only the scenes that I thought were cool or enjoyable. They could even bundle "action-packs" or "slow-boring-love-scene-packs" as sub-products of the movie.

Re:Buy movies by the scene? (1)

Carbonite (183181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999986)

Interesting idea, but I can't see it working. Movies are usually made to work as a whole, not split up into parts. Songs on an album rarely tie together as tightly.

The logic is flawed (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999872)

This was over at the register and i read it earlier. They want to create an intel device with DRM that will allow users to download first run movies before they hit DVD. Presumably the DRM will be 'strong enough' and enforced with the DCMA. They think this will compete with, for example, the copies of star wars III that were available 5 days after release.

Of course this ignores the fact that SWIII was avalable worldwide for download the day of release. It also ignores the fact that this service will not be available on the standard PC, and since it will compete with iTunes, which will also likely go movies in the next year, the Intel Mac. It ignores the fact that these movies will be on PPV for a comparable cost, where they can be copied from the TiVo, at or before the time they are available from this new service. It also ignores the fact that increasingly the release of DVDs are not timed by marketing concerns, but by the time they take to master. Not to mention that the unlicensed copies in Pakistan were probably a fraction of what a studio would charge(say $20 instead of $25).

So I see this as just another in a long line of failed DRM schemes that litter the living rooms of unfortunate early adopters. A few will buy the special device and the expensive broadband neccesary to use it. A few OEM manufacuters might even build it into the computer. But at the end of the day whoever delievers directly to computer, or, as is happening now, directly to the TiVo, will previal.

Oh, one more thing. As mentioned before, the saving grace of the DVD is the added content. The additional sound tracks, the interviews, the music videos. If the studios just plan to provide a vanilla copy of the movie, that probably won t compete with the unlisenced copies.

We already get DVD movies before they go retail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999876)

By this I mean actual retail DVD rips and not DVD screeners. They come out a month or two before they're released to retail video stores. In addition to this fact, it hasnt stopped the pirate scene from producing Telecine rips (some of which offer AC3 5.1 surround sound), which provide a high quality rip good enough to keep you happy until you can buy, rent or rip the DVD.

I dont see this combating piracy at all. By the time you get to download Mr Freemans rip, the DVD rip is already out. Take SW:EP3, a watchable VHS screener was out the day the movie was released, 3 weeks later a high quality DVD rip came out. In order to get ahead of the whole piracy thing, you need to release DVD quality rips the week after its released in the theater.

It seems to me that the big difference between DVD rips and the downloaded version that Mr Freeman is pitching is that one has DRM and the other doesnt. If the product is pay-pay-view, I forsee Mr Freeman & Intel losing alot of money the way Circuit City did with the DiVX DVD format. The only benefit is that they will be able to alter the copywrite protection every so often and not have to worry about invalidating the millions of DVD players out on the market.

Intel's Involvement? (2, Informative)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999883)

The article just barely touches on Intel's involvement in this project:
Intel spokesman Bill Calder said Intel had been working for several years with Freeman, setting up "digital home" technology in his studio and doing a long-range wireless demo at the Sundance film festival.

"It fits into our whole digital home strategy," Calder said of the investment. "One of the things we've always said is content is key."

Other than the strategy involves a multimedia PC hooked up to a TV, Intel's only part in the rest of the article is a big Uncle Penny Bags that could have equally been filled by Nabisco, Hustler, or some other big company.

It sounds like they intend to DRM this tech heavily, but it baffles me a bit how they intend to do this. The download format will be encrypted, but if it is decrypted for display there are a lot of ways to record that stream. What do they intend to do? Put intel chips in televisions themselves? Degrade the signal so any additional lossy compression will render it as unwatchable? Junk it up with video bugs to identify the original source? Maybe they just assume that Joe User will be able to steal 3 or 4 movies, but he'll soon give up if he fills up his hard disk and decides it's just easier to stream them all the time.

Any speculation or additional articles on what this plan intends to implement?

Re:Intel's Involvement? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999995)

Put intel chips in televisions themselves?

Ding-ding! We have a winnar.

This is obviously just a way (2, Funny)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999890)

for an aging actor to get into Lori McCreary's [] pants. I can't blame him - she's easy on the eyes.

O'course, having seen his off-camera personality, I suspect he's more into the one he has his arm around.

Piracy, Arrrr... (3, Insightful)

thunderpaws (199100) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999895)

The only piracy that really hurts the movie and music industries is what comes from industry grade copying and packaging. Internet downloading and P2P don't really hurt. The quality is not truly there. Those who really want a copy will buy the retail or "legitimate" downloads. The recording industry has been advancing these arguments since the days of wire recording (cassette tapes were the devils own in their day). New tecnologies, new terminology in the rethoric. A great many artists know that people "sharing" creates greater exposure and ultimately promotes sales of the full featured top quality product. The movie industry has recognized this by putting so much into creating all the extras on DVD's. Mr. Freeman is a brilliant man, and further shows his love of craft and business accumin with his statements.

Excellent! (1)

Fantasy Football (886971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999896)

So they'll send everyone the movies over the internet, making it easier to upload them to P2P programs?


By releasing them earlier, everyone can get them illegally earlier, and DVD sales will really plummet.

Lets just hope they use Real Player! ;) (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999909)

Lets just hope they use Real Player! ;)

DVD Not Good Enough (1)

Gamefreak99 (722148) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999910)

For most of the people I know, the majority of the movies they download are movies that are just in theaters. I don't think its good enough for them to release it "before it comes out on DVD". Sure, it will be nice not having to go pick up the DVD but I think they're missing the "point". People don't want to have to sit in theaters with annoying brats and stale popcorn. If they can hook it up to release them when (or very shortly after) they hit theaters I think a huge majority of movie pirates would be willing to cough up the dough.

Hardware DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999914)

Intel huh? Does this mean all new Intel precessors are going to have crazy DRM in them and stop working if someone disables/cracks it? Good idea I suppose. One more reason to stick with AMD. Plus there's the fact that pretty much every movie is floating around on the internet already. So this possible DRM would only work on new releases...

Reporting and the Technology Gap (0)

v3rgEz (125380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999945)

From the Article: "Those services have yet to catch fire with the public, in part because the films are delivered over the Internet."

Which is why there is an incredibly low amount of movie pirating over the "internet." So low, that only 1/3 of the internet is used up by this "bittorrent" thing that most "movie pirates" use. Christ, journalism's in a sad, sad state when this crud gets past editors and printed as "fact." Films over the internet is inherently bad? No, slow transfers over the internet, yes. Big difference. Not that has better editing, but ...

Full disclosure: I'm a journalist.

Will this service ease the piracy of movies? (2, Insightful)

syukton (256348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999949)

Yes, of course it will (eventually, once the DRM is cracked) make it easier to pirate movies.

But it will also make it easier for people to legitimately buy movies.

No irritating crying children.
No people who smell bad.
No waiting.
No hassle.
No lines.
No fuss.

Given the choice, I think that most people would like to compensate the actors, directors and producers of a movie. What that price point is, remains to be seen.

If it would be computer-tethered and non-portable, I personally wouldn't shell out more than $5.00 (matinee ticket price).

can't beat em, join em (1)

davek (18465) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999952)

This is exactly the right direction for anyone who wants to be part of the new media industry. The fundamental way of making money off of music and movies (i.e. selling the media itself) will become obsolete, and other new ideas will take over.

This Freeman/Intel combination is a step in the right track, but it can still be pirated. The move to real free (as in speech) media will take many years and will be (is being?) fought at every turn.


Thank Goodness! (1)

Kaorimoch (858523) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999956)

How long has it taken the movie industry to realise what the music industry has found out?

And how long has it taken the movie industry to realise that you can mix around the Cinema -> DVD -> TV approach to satisfy customers? I've always believed that piracy flourishes due to lack of a commercial alternative and here we have someone looking at providing the movies in the period where consumers are demanding to watch the movie and are forced to go the cinema before the run is over.

This sort of approach should be to movies what iTunes was to music. All they need to do is make some deals with handheld movie player manufacturers and they could stitch it up!

I suppose I could hope that the movies will be DRM free and available all over the world, but there is no chance either will occur.

Why pirate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999974)

Coz those people in hollywood earn too much. How can they? Just because they are handsome, or with big boobs? NO, they don't deserve! It's the scientists/technicians who create this beautiful world.

Nowadays, business is in a ridiculous model. Catching eyes==money==top position in the food chain. In the old days, hard work+intelligence rules.

Watermark? (1)

awfar (211405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999976)

Ok, so a watermark is added while streaming.

Would it not be difficult to eliminate, or even detect, such a watermark which gives a traceable signature back to the source?

From PBS's "The Electric Company" to This (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12999983)

I still remember Morgan dressed as a groovy 70s vampire on the Electric Company from when I was a kid. God I loved that show! Anyone else here remember that?

13000000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999990)

Thriteen Millionth Post?

Re:13000000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13000003)

nope... this one?

If they're going to pirate it anyway.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12999999)

People pirate things. They're going to pirate the DVD anwyay, and making it easier for people to buy the movie only means more people who would buy it, will buy it. Sure, piracy will be easier, and more people who would pirate it, will pirate it, but take the reduced costs into account and it'll probably all even out in the end.

This also means greater variety, since you don't have to weigh the cost of making physical media to the potential profit. For low-budget or independent films, this sounds like a dream come true.
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