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Legal DVD Burnable Downloads Launched

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the playing-catch-up dept.

218

rogabean writes to tell us that Hollywood studios have taken a large step into the future by launching their new program with CinemaNow which allows users to legally download and burn DVDs. While the current of offerings seems to be just the dregs, studio execs hope to expand the list quickly and offer a new way to find niche or older films that are difficult to locate.

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well... (1)

GonzoTech (613147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746278)

*cough *cough bullshit *cough

I can't wait!

Re:well... (2, Informative)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746677)

No joke

Prices start at $9

Firewall with Harrison Ford [cinemanow.com] , which has never really peaked my interest to see yet, is listed at $19.99. I guess the 'future' of DVD buying hasn't arrived, as CinemaNow.com states on their homepage. You can get this film from Amazon [amazon.com] for

For a second there... I thought they might actually be competitive [wikipedia.org] .

Cheers,
Fozzy

So, according to TFA... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746293)

... the reason they opted for this was supposedly having discovered a way to create a DVD that can be played in a DVD player, but cannot itself be copied. How is that even possible? TFA has no information.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746325)

Even if there is a way to prevent copying, what prevents you from burning multiple copies of the DVD the same way as one burns the first? If the program does not allow it, it should be possible for a hacked driver to capture the commands sent to the DVD burner, which could be replayed later.

Re:So, according to TFA... (5, Funny)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746356)

Even if there is a way to prevent copying, what prevents you from burning multiple copies of the DVD the same way as one burns the first? If the program does not allow it, it should be possible for a hacked driver to capture the commands sent to the DVD burner, which could be replayed later.
Their strategy to prevent this is apparently to only release movies that no one would ever want to copy.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746476)

+5 Funny, but I bet they actually were thinking that exact thing, in a roundabout way.

Industry Exec A: How will we keep people from copying stuff?
Industry Exec B: Oh, we'll only be releasing stuff that's stagnant anyway, so any sale is just money in our pocket.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

KingArthur10 (679328) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746516)

Reminds me well of what they did with the first "legal" music downloading systems. Cripple and offer shitty selection to deter usage. Then keep milking people the usual way because it's too hard to shift the business model to the changing times.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

Tolleman (606762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746697)

Catwoman! Heck even Zombie Flesheaters beats that piece of crap.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1, Interesting)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746351)

Perhaps by selling special media with a key pre-burned in that place where the CSS keys usually are (and can't be burned on normal blank media) and special burning software that will only decrypt and burn an encrypted image to DVDs that have been assigned to that DVD image online?

Rich

Re:So, according to TFA... (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746383)

You can just see how that would go

Site: Yes, you can download the movies and burn them to special dvds.

Customer: Thats cool, can I play them in my normal DVD player?

Site: Yeah sure.

Customer: How about at my friends house?

Site: Yup

Customer: But I can burn them with my own DVD writer?

Site: Yup

Customer: Can I make loads of copies of them?

Site: Nope, you can burn them once only.

Customer: Thats ok, it sounds good enough though how much are the disks?

Site: $49.99 each.

Customer: !!!! *sound of bittorrent kicking in*

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746517)

Yup. That's exactly how I see it.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746405)

So these disks will be $10+...eliminating the incentive to even WANT to use this service.

No, according to Cinemanow.. (4, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746540)

You can use any DVD +-R discs in your own burner.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746364)

Just guessing (based on the accuracy of most stories like this) they probably mean it can only be burned once. The assumption being nobody knows how to stick a disk in the computer's drive and hit the "Duplicate" button in their favorite software.

The other basis for my guess is from a story on a different, but similar plan,. You needed to download their software to unlock and burn the movie to disk (sorry, Windows only).

Re:So, according to TFA... (2, Informative)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746518)

Ok. The technology they use is FluxDVD. http://www.fluxdvd.com/ [fluxdvd.com] Perhaps more information about the copy protection system can be found there.

Re:So, according to TFA... (4, Interesting)

ops_com (912379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746602)

After, a quick look of this site, they use DRM from Windows... So goodbye Linux and Apple. As per the article an agreement with Apple for the distribution... (M$ DRM on Apple...) And the worst part, they`re talking about something that prevent the burner to burn more than one copy, sounds like a rootkit to me. Basically, the movie branch of Sony will repeat the same mistake as the music branch.

According to fluxbox... it uses Windows Media DRM (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746611)

fluxDVDs use a Microsoft Windows Media compatible DRM scheme that allows easy integration into exiting server- and client side MS DRM environments. Burned DVD-Rs use an updateable, sophisticated DMCA copy protection.

Uh.. Whoops (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746621)

I mean Flux DVD, not my friend the fluxbox desktop enviornment. It has nothing to do with MS DRM. I should be prevented from posting without previewing.

Re:According to fluxbox... it uses Windows Media D (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746655)

WTF is DCMA Copy protection? That says nothing about what the copy protection it is, or how breakable it is. Basically it says that it's against the law to break it, but that describes pretty much any method of copy protection currently available.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746599)

It's probably just like ARCCOS: the disc is corrupt enough that DVD Shrink chokes on it, but not corrupt enough to confuse a set-top DVD player.

Re:So, according to TFA... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746645)

Wouldn't that mean that it probably wouldn't pay in any computer dvd player? I think a lot of people would be mighty pissed if they bought a movie and couldn't play it on the laptop that they used to burn it. I wonder if the XBox would even be able to play it. It uses a standard computer CD drive, and as far as I'm aware, all DVD Decoding is done in software. If lots of discs were published using this method, couldn't DVD Shrink be modified to not choke.

Clueless as usual... (4, Insightful)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746310)

The prices "start" at $9, plus I have to download a few gigabytes and then burn it myself? Plus no storage box or artwork? Thanks, but it'll be faster, cheaper, and result in a better product if I just drive to Wal-mart and buy the same DVD for $7.

Re:Clueless as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746327)

New release DVDs for $7 at walmart? how much more for a unicorn?

Re:Clueless as usual... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746409)

New release DVDs for $7 at walmart? how much more for a unicorn?

None of the titles listed in the article are new releases. The Walmart price wasn't for new releases either.

The $9 price for the downloadable DVD in the article is the starting price. They don't say what they'll charge for bona-fide new releases.

Re:Clueless as usual... (5, Informative)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746420)

New release DVDs for $7 at walmart? how much more for a unicorn?

Just to pick an example from the article, Walmart's web site offers "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" for $5.50. Others will cost more obviously, but downloading this one yourself will be $9 minimum, plus the cost of the DVD.

Re:Clueless as usual... (2, Informative)

crasher35 (787091) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746719)

Walmart's web site offers "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" for $5.50.

I still think that's too much money for that movie...

Re:Clueless as usual... (4, Interesting)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746341)

That's what I was thinking. The movies you find in Wal-mart in the 2 for $10 bin are now going to be available for download for $9 (time, computer, internet connection, DVD burner and blank media not included).

Just be sure you don't burn a coaster on that first try...

Clueless as usual...slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746378)

"The prices "start" at $9, plus I have to download a few gigabytes and then burn it myself? Plus no storage box or artwork? Thanks, but it'll be faster, cheaper, and result in a better product if I just drive to Wal-mart and buy the same DVD for $7."

Oh NOW the store-bought DVDs are worth it. I hope that sudden 180 didn't cause you to wreck.

Re:Clueless as usual...slashdot. (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746508)

Who said either are "worth it"? People often pay more than something is worth.

Re:Clueless as usual...slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746674)

Oh NOW the store-bought DVDs are worth it.

He was merely saying that the online costs compare unfavorably with store costs. Obviously he wasn't suggesting that Carlies Angels Full Throttle is actually worth anything. Use some common sense.

Re:Clueless as usual... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746470)

Honestly if it is $7 for all the movies, I think it's a fair price. Maybe $5? And if the MPAA really sell all stuff at much cheaper (reasonable) price, the mega moviestar takes in 1 cool million dollar instead of 10 million per movie, there's probably not much of piracy problem here.


By the they'll save all the money they need to invest in protection/drm/root-kit and such. Though it's not the same as selling @ $15-$20 a pop, but this will make this world a much happier place :)

Re:Clueless as usual... (5, Insightful)

MrFebtober (922100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746489)

Even if they did bring the prices down to a competitive level (cheaper than buying the DVD in a store), they are pretty vague on the format. Would this be a ready-to-burn .ISO file? Would it be sized small enough to fit on a single-layer DVD-R (which likely means viewer extras, languages, etc) or would it be a duel-layer .ISO file requiring a dual-layer burner? Technical questions, yes, but these are the things that would make or break this idea in my mind. well...assuming the even did become competitive price-wise.

Re:Clueless as usual... (2)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746527)

Do you care about the artwork? Personally, the first thing I do when I get a DVD is pull out the disc, stick it in a 3 ring binder sheet (4 discs per side per sheet) and throw away the box.

Re:Clueless as usual... (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746579)

I'm the opposite (though still an engineer). I don't so much like DVDs, but with CDs and games, I love having a shelf of nice boxes to look at later on.

Re:Clueless as usual... (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746610)

WalMart offers many movies at $4.50 each (I just picked up Lethal Weapon 2 and 4 for $4.50 each last week). The studios need to do at least that well and post them as ISO images in order to make this worthwhile (Hello. MPAA? BitTorrent is the ideal mechanism to make distribution cheap, just charge for the "subscription" to the password for the tracker).

There are a LOT of old movies (and even freely-available stuff we're encouraged by the producers to bootleg, e.g., all the MST3K episodes) I'd buy from a service such as this. Lots of the old sci-fi movies from the '50s I've never seen, stuff that WLVI 56 in Boston used to air in their saturday "Creature double feature" run in the late 70s/early 80s (you know, stuff like Godzilla, Gamera, etc.), lots of dead TV shows that aren't in sydnication (I'd pay a few dollars for all the episodes of, say, Good Grief, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Alf, Tracy Ullman, ALL the muppet show episodes, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, etc. - dig up a LOT of stuff that Generation X caught the tail end of or missed out completely on). If you want to plug commercials in to subsidize the "cost" of distribution (e.g., to offer it at such a cheap price) then go right ahead- it's a fair tradeoff and I'll sit through the commercials to get legal downloads of stuff which isn't "legally" otherwise available. In other words, make it cheap enough, I'll buy lots of shows that aren't worth paying full price on a DVD on, but would be fun to watch if for no other reason to figure out exactly why I liked the show when I was 10 yrs old to begin with. :D

Will this stuff get pirated? Inevitably, yes, however if you sell, say, 1,000 units of each season of, say, the Ed Sullivan show, and the content would otherwise be rotting away in a vault somewhere, what's the harm? Hell, you'll get a viral marketing effect. Today's Jr. High kids might download Ed Sullivan and rediscover the Beatles, the Doors, Elvis, and a bunch of other old acts that have a cult following but doesn't otherwise attract new customers. Heck, I'd pay $15 for the Top of the Pops episode where Pink Floyd made an appearance. You're a lot better off selling SOME content, even knowing it's going to be pirated, than to make zero sales on it.

In other words, it's a great idea and not only should you jump on it, but take the maximum advantage you can by not being so closed-fisted and short-sighted. You may be surprised at what opening up your vaults to what the customers want may lead to increased revenues, rather than being so closed-fisted that if you can't lock it down with DRM every step of the way, you kill off any customer interest. HD-DVD is stillborn, don't do the same with this idea.

Re:Clueless as usual... (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746752)

Hello. MPAA? BitTorrent is the ideal mechanism to make distribution cheap

There's not a chance in hell I'm using my precious upstream bandwidth to help the MPAA member companies turn a profit. If they use a peer to peer distribution model, I better get compensation for my bandwidth in the form of cash, or credit for more movies. That credit better be linearly proportional to the amount of data I upload.

Re:Clueless as usual... (1)

really? (199452) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746726)

I agree with you, but, yes there is always a but, not everyone is as "lucky" as you to have a Wal-mart in the neighbourhood.

niche or older films?! AWESOME! (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746314)

they mean an old jimmy cagney noir piece?

or ooh! ooh! a hitchcock horror movie?!

maybe a john ford western!

this is so exciting!!!

scans article...

"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Barbershop and Scent of a Woman"

vomit, puke... choke, cough... vomit, hurl

Re:niche or older films?! AWESOME! (1, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746397)

Lets be fair- Scent of a Woman was good, Al Pacino had a great performance in it. Puke on the other two, if you don't mind.

Re:niche or older films?! AWESOME! (1)

Who235 (959706) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746761)

I don't like to go this offtopic, but I can't let that comment slide.

Yelling a lot does *not* make a good performance.

That movie was a POS, and Pacino's performance in it was every bit as bad as he has consistently been since the early 80's.

I'll admit that the script didn't do him any favors, but the blame for that performance still rests with him.

Not Interested (2, Interesting)

pcguru19 (33878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746315)

Why pay $9 for movies that are in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart already? Scent of a F-ing Woman????? Al Pachino owes me $7 for seeing that in the theater.

I'd rather see the service go after recent 1st run movies at the same time the $1-$2 theaters get them. I'd pay $9 to download and burn a featureless DVD of a recent release(think X-Men 3) and still consider buying the commercial DVD is I liked the film enough. It would give the studios a revenue stream on a flick while they were working on the DVD title.

Because that technology is still being tested... (1)

Yardboy (742224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746316)

...it will likely be dead on arrival.

No resale value (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746319)

What with these things costing $9-$15 for old titles, they'll be almost as dear as buying the real thing from stores, or online. But, when you've had enough, you certainly won't be able to raise any beer money selling them on, and ebay will probably think you're selling a dodgy copy!

Now you did it (5, Funny)

xirtap (955611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746321)

How are the tubes going to give me my internets when people are filling them with dvds!?

Re:Now you did it (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746514)

By blasting a lottery ball down the tube. Duh!

One small step (1)

xXShadowstormXx (939073) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746639)

And Hollywood moves one small step by only starting to embrace technologies like Bit Torrent. Good.

Re:Now you did it (1)

GeorgeFitch3 (988277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746694)

To speed up delivery, the movies will be delivered via racetrack horses; kinda like the Pony Express. As we all know, racetrack horses have no problem with internet congestion, and can just run through the tubes at high speed.

Viable? (0, Offtopic)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746323)

Coupled with the CinemaNow agreement, a deal with Apple would cement the internet as a viable distribution vehicle.

Can someone define "viable" as it is used here?

Definition (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746406)

Viable:
1)Close enough to current distribution and profit models to not cause MPAA concern.
2)Alternately, likely to result in complete failure while still provide an "I told you it wouldn't work" excuse.

Re:Viable? (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746418)

'redundantly prooven yet again'

Re:Viable? (1)

Brett Johnson (649584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746427)

Except that the CinemaNow technologies work only with Windows XP/MS MediaPlayer 10.
No Mac OS X support at all. [Although they at least let Mac users browse the site, better
than their competition, Movielink.]

Re:Viable? (0, Troll)

the jerk store (960388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746630)

Dear Macintards,

When your oh so 'superior' OS gets more than a 5% marketshare, maybe someone will actually care about getting your business. Until then, wipe the tears off your pretentious, art-school dropout glasses and crawl back in your corner.

Love,
The rest of the world

Re:Viable? (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746443)

cement the internet as a viable distribution vehicle.

You know, like cement overshoes that helps distribute Jimmy the Squealer to the bottom of the sea bed.

As it is not linked in TFA or the summary... (2, Informative)

onlysolution (941392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746324)

...The site mentioned is at http://www.cinemanow.com/ [cinemanow.com]
101 titles, but I don't know how much they cost because...
"You must use Internet Explorer Version 6 or higher on a PC running Windows 2000 or later in order to use the CinemaNow service."
Well that's great. Guess we can rule out smart windows users and linux users. Apparently /. readers need not apply.

Re:As it is not linked in TFA or the summary... (1)

horologium (956654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746478)

No-one on /. would be interested in those films anyway. We're not missing much.

Re:As it is not linked in TFA or the summary... (1)

AxXium (964226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746501)

"You must use Internet Explorer Version 6 or higher on a PC running Windows 2000 or later in order to use the CinemaNow service."

This may be how they stop you from burning the disc more than once. Some friendly ActiveX script that cough* destroys* cough secures that downloaded DVD data.

-Axx

$9 (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746329)

Nine bucks for old movies that can be found in the bargain bins for $5 - $10 already is not really going to turn a lot of heads. When they start pushing out current releases with this model, then we'll see if the studios are serious about doing something like this.

To me, it doesn't really look like a serious business strategy, so much as a pre-emptive strike by the studios against eventually being held over a barrel by Apple Computer the way the record labels are right now. They want the infrastructure for something like this in place early in the game, so they don't give up their power to make the rules.

Price too high? Wait for the Russian version (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746421)

allofDVD.com

It'll happen soon, I'll betcha.

the selection (2, Insightful)

Benw5483 (731259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746330)

Those are some of the absolute worse movies to offer for an initial selection. I imagine the studios are just throwing on some shitty movies and when nobody downloads them they'll say...
"well, that didn't work, we obviously shouldn't use this as a business model."

ehh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746336)

right, because downloading and burning in itself - that wonderful tingly feeling it gives you - is the reason why piracy is so rampant...

Jesus, what do these guys eat for breakfast?

Please make MST3K: The movie available (1)

TalShiar00 (238873) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746339)

It is currently out of print is is selling for hundreds for an unopened copy (see wikipedia for more info). Mystery Science Theater 3000: the movie would be prefect for fan who wish to buy the movie after the studio feels its not worth stamping CDs.

Re:Please make MST3K: The movie available (2, Informative)

MrFebtober (922100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746437)

From what I recall, the reason "MST3K: The Movie" went out of print was due to the rights to "This Island Earth" expiring, which is essentially the film within a film. It's not about stamping the discs in this case, it's about forking over more dough for rights to This Island Earth, a movie that actually is regarded as a classic bit of Science Fiction history.

As for The Movie, it's likely still floating around on bit torrent somewhere. I know it used to be.

Re:Please make MST3K: The movie available (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746623)

Download it, share it, etc.

The credits tell you to share bootlegs. They are explicitly granting permission. If there is a legal problem with that, let the holders of the copyright to This Island Earth and other lampooned works duke it out with the MSTK producers, THEY'RE the ones who explicitly granted the license in the credits. :D

Hmmmm. (4, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746350)

Let's see:

Cost compared to buying it from the store: Same
Rights compared to buying it from the store: Less (Assuming DRM still works 5 minutes after they release it)

So, let me get this straight...I'm going to waste hours and dollars downloading a movie that (I assume) can only be ripped to DVD, which will be less functional than same dvd bought from the store, though just as pricey.

Tempting...If they include a free beating or tax audit, it'll be impossible to resist.

Re:Hmmmm. (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746449)

They claim that it includes the DVD-style extra features. So it is equivlent to a store bought DVD, except that the picture quality is somewhat worse so it can fit on a single layer writable DVD.

Re:Hmmmm. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746484)

And it doesn't come with the nice packaging, etc.

This whole "Selling digital content for the same price as a hardcopy" crap is starting to piss me off. They're not the same! Hardcopy costs should ALWAYS be higher. If they aren't, we're getting screwed...There is no second option!

If I have to spend hours of my life, plus money for the goddamn media, plus download, plus cpu time while the DRM mangles the download into somethign I can't reburn, the damn thing should cost 5 bucks at most. I am sick and tired of being treated like a moron.

5hrs?! (5, Informative)

darcling (987237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746352)

"The first part of the burning process is Converting the file into a format that can be burned. This can take anywhere from 2-5 hours and happens as you download the file."

5 hrs during/after the download... think I'll pass. O, that and I'm a Linux user : P

Re:5hrs?! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746453)

"The connection with the server has been reset. Please start over".

And has anyone done the Time Value calculations on either your billable rate at work or the "opportunity cost of 5 lost hours" in your leisure time?

P.S. the /. Preview Word is "Manure".

--TaoPhoenix

Re:5hrs?! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746669)

Which most likely depends on the speed of your processor. So how much is 5 hours of my hard drive grinding and my processor running at full steam worth to me?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746362)

... at least now my monthly bandwidth statistics will look a little more legit to my ISP.

"Sir, you are using a crap ton of bandwidth, and we think it might be due to illegal downloading."

Nope, I use cinemanow.

yes... but... (0, Troll)

GonzoTech (613147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746371)

.. can it run linux?

because if so, I for one would happily support and bow down to our new legal burnable dvd download masters!

Re:yes... but... (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746403)

Nope, you've gotta be using Windows 2000 (or newer), and IE6. :_(

I suppose you, for one, will NOT be happily supporting them.

Microsoft Only? (4, Informative)

tashanna (409911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746373)

Just looking around their site, you can't do anything of substance (even find out how much the movies are) without IE 6.0 (or greater - yippie). Well, that isn't working too well for me. Be gentle, though - they seem excited about their new and shiny business model.

- Tash
Yippie - hybrids! [tashcorp.net]

Re:Microsoft Only? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746400)

Well, that isn't working too well for me. Be gentle, though - they seem excited about their new and shiny business model.
Nah, They just want to prove that there is no market for legal downloads, so they can get support from our legislators for their old business model.

Re:Microsoft Only? (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746575)

I suspect they think that the legislators are *theirs*, since they've bought and paid for them. :-(

Re:Microsoft Only? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746703)

"without IE 6.0 (or greater - yippie)."

The latter part simply isn't true - I'm using Firefox FFS! :)

/P

Oh hey WOW! Another corporate front end to avoid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746380)

With an astounding "fuck that" from the masses what other Rootkit/Malware will be dropped onto your PC without your knowledge, consent and/or permission?

Shit for brains.

I bought and watched all movies the I got/downloaded, fuck them if they provided substandard media; i paid to own a copy to watch and i will not keep paying. What the fuck do they think movies and music is, AIDS medicine you can gouge on till death?

Asshats.

yeah, right... (1)

ltwally (313043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746391)

"Prices start at about $US9..."
Yeah, right... I'm gonna shell out $9 to download a copy, when for $5-10 I could purchase that same DVD at Wal-Mart and get a nice case and maybe even other goodies.

If Hollywood actually wants this to catch on, they're going to need to set some realistic prices.

If, on the other hand, this is only there for Hollywood to point to and say, "look, there is an alternative to illegal movie downloads," well then, well done! You've gone and created something that no one but the courts will actually take seriously!

They are realistic prices (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746693)

Realistic media prices. Bend over consumer and accept our "cost savings will cost you more money" economy.

VHS is more expensive then DVD (especially in europe where you need a seperate VHS version for every combo of sub/dub for every language) to produce, ship and stock so DVD is more expensive. Downloading saves production, shipping and stocking, so it is more expensive. Give it 2 or 3 more generations and you will have to pay the entire movie production costs if you want to see the trailer.

GNAA--Troll or Funny? (1, Funny)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746394)

They said something in TFS about niche films; if Gayniggers from Outer Space isn't a niche film, then what is? Au revoir, karma.

Re:GNAA--Troll or Funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746496)

You been into Timothy's Gay Porn collection again???

I guess it is true what they say: Spermburpers of a feather fag out together.

GNA

Paves the way for Apple to do the same? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746407)

So if one company can do this, you can imagine that Apple wanting to sell movies through ITMS would want to do the same. How can they argue against it now?

This really seems to take the wind out of the rumors of online rentals through ITMS. Who wants to deal with all the hassle of online movie rentals and watching them on a computer when you can burn a real DVD that you can use in any number of ways?

I wonder if it would also include some extras, in other words be a true DVD image and not just a movie feed...

Re:Paves the way for Apple to do the same? (3, Informative)

tachyon13 (963336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746471)

Folks need to realize the compression on some of these movies is going to be horrific.

Most users out there burn DVD +-R dvds, no dual layers. One of the first things I do when I backup my copies is to remove all the crap like menus, FBI/Interpol warnings, Featurettes I couldn't give a rat's ass about. Then I have a movie that needs little to no compression.

Also, I concur with the Walmart bin comments. Downloading and burning DVD's is a mid to upper level computer task. Gram and gramps at home aren't doing these things. Do they assume that people with this level of computer knowledge will not be smart enough to shop around and compare prices on these crap movies?

Buy before you buy (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746497)

The way I see this possibly working is if they sold really new releases - say movies while movies were still in the theater and there was no DVD yet available. Then some people might put up with the bother and buy a movie online to watch at home instead of the theater.

Then if you really, really like it you might even buy the actual DVD with extras later.

Re:Paves the way for Apple to do the same? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746603)

This is great for backing up kids movies so they don't get damaged. Take off all the crap, and the DVD plays instantly, no navigating through menus, no FBI warnings telling me how bad of a person I am, and no soundtracks from languages I don't understand anyway. This is the way DVDs should be, with the menu button showing the menus only when you want to see the menus, and not otherwise.

Snail pace downloads.... (3, Informative)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746411)

Until the telcos deliver on their 6+ year old promise that I was supposed to have a 45+M/bit sync fiber connection by now; I think I'll pass and just drive to the store and buy the movie instead (it would be quicker). It would be nice however to be able to download some old movies like 'Quatermas and The Pit'. But if Hollywood still insists on crippling it with DRM/CSS I'll just go somewhere else.

Only if... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746432)

I'd only be interested in this service if they would offer movies that I couldn't get on DVD otherwise, such as content in widescreen that I used to be able to see in pan-and-scan on HBO like (in no particular order) Looker [imdb.com] , TAG: The Assassination Game [imdb.com] , Night of the Comet [imdb.com] , I Come in Peace [imdb.com] (preferably over the its retitled version Dark Angel), Electric Dreams [imdb.com] , Deadly Friend [imdb.com] , Moontrap [imdb.com] (better than Virus [imdb.com] ), Terminal Entry [imdb.com] , and The Squeeze [imdb.com] . Only a couple of those have I gotten off TV, and they still require rematteing (assuming that they are open matte instead of pan & scan).

And that's just the movies. I doubt we'll ever see such TV series as TV 101 [imdb.com] or Whiz Kids [imdb.com] released either.

The "dregs" I want to see made downloadable are the ones that the studios don't feel would be profitable enough to sell on prepressed DVDs. Studios, put your whole catalog online and see what people are still interested in. Perhaps it may even convince you that there's a market for stinkers (Terminal Entry is pretty bad).

Dregs? (1)

Xeth (614132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746438)

Just briefly looking at the list, it seems to include Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Syriana, the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie...

Re:Dregs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746759)

Yes, dregs. You have to click the "Burn to DVD" button to get to the burnable dregs. And dregs they are.


You're looking at the "regular" CinemaNow stuff, that's just a big steaming heap of Windows DRM that you must watch on your computer with Windows Media Payer, er, Player, 10

Two Words: Intentionally Broken (5, Insightful)

isecore (132059) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746464)

I think this thing is just like all the other "downloadable movie"-sites. It's purposefully broken (in this case overpriced) in order to drive customers off, either to the traditional go-buy-a-disc-at-walmart or go-download-some-warez. Because most customers want convenience, they'll of course scoff at this offering and continue to download Xvids from the local bittorrent-tracker.

Hence, MPAA et al can claim that "our potential customers WANT to pirate movies, we tried but it didn't work, woe be us!" and the retarded justice system will let them continue their crusade against evolution, since the industry has "proven" that downloadable movies "don't work".

It was the same with the other sites that offered "downloadable" movies. The movies were heavily tied down with DRM (which prevented them from being burned to DVD or moved to another computer), customers were expected to provide the bandwidth for the other customers, and the movies were horribly expensive - usually twice the price of a dvd in the bargain bin, but without the flexibility of a DVD, without the extras, and with lesser audio/video quality.

*adjusts tinfoil-hat*

Re:Two Words: Intentionally Broken (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746592)

Maybe the quality of these suck--I haven't tried, and I don't intend to--but $9 doesn't seem that bad. That's what you'd spend on a cheap movie at the store.

big assumption (1)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746503)

"While the current of offerings seems to be just the dregs studio execs hope to expand the list quickly"

Where does this tidbit come from? Not the article. Nor has the behavior of studio execs in the past suggested any hurry to get their valuable IP onto the Net.

iTunes Movies (1)

Pitr (33016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746524)

So... anyone want to explain to me how iTunes Movies being a subscription based service makes sense in light of this?

Their selection sucks! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15746560)

Most of the movies are avaliable in the bargin bin at WalMart. About the only thing I saw that I would consider was Firefly and even that would be cheaper to drive out and just buy the whole season on factory DVDs. I was really curious to see if anything here was even worth buying but I can't bring myself to buy any of these for $9 a pop.

In regards to burning DVDs (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746586)

From their Q & A on burning DVDs

For Rent and Buy Hollywood Hits titles from www.cinemanow.com:

You can burn a copy of a downloaded rental or "buy" title to DVD for storage purposes only. These files are Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected, so you will only be able to watch the video on the computer or device on which it was originally purchased. The video, even though it is burned on a CD or DVD will still be unavailable to you after your viewing period has expired. As such, storing video files to disc is not recommended for rental films because the viewing period is so short; however, we do feel that this is a good solution for storage of Download-to-Own files, as your viewing period is unlimited.

Windows Media Player 10 sometimes does not allow burned copies of protected files, so you may get an error when using WMP 10 to burn the storage only copy of a title to DVD. Please contact microsoft to help troubleshoot this problem.

If you do use another program to copy your video file to a CD or DVD, the same rules apply with regards to playback. Currently you will only be able to play the file back on the computer where you originally made the purchase (where the license is stored). If you have any further questions or concerns please take a look at our FAQ's regarding Licensing.

For titles which are allowed to be Burned to DVD and played back in a DVD player, please check the Burn To DVD Channel.

 


Pretty much looks like the stuff you might be able to burn to a standard DVD is stuff you might not even care to watch once.

"Relatively new anti-piracy"? (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746615)

There are three ways I know of making a normal audio CD impossible to pirate/play on a computer:

  1. Mess with the Table of Contents. I believe this [dontbuycds.org] is an example of a ToC that has somehow been changed so that computers don't see it as an audio CD. Unfortunately, it would also probably affect mp3 cd players and other, similar devices which are not computers, cannot possibly enable piracy, but still read the ToC and the data areas so they can find mp3 files.
  2. Mess with the audio data. There have been some clever attempts at changing the audio such that it sounds normal on a normal CD player, but it has annoying pops and hisses when played on a computer, or ripped to mp3. Unfortunately, this also has the same problems -- devices could always have the same problem reading the disc as computers.
  3. Install a rootkit or other evilness in the autorun. This can be countered by one or more of the following:
    • Turning off autorun
    • Ripping on anything that isn't a Windows OS
    • Suing the shit out of Sony for abusing our computers
    While the rootkit method will have the least false positives, it will also cause the most damage, and it's the easiest to circumvent.

I suspect that any method which allows you to burn your own DVD, even if it'll let us use single-layer media, is going to use one of the above retarded methods for attempting to prevent copy protection. They could try using Blu-Ray, except that Blu-Ray media isn't cheap enough yet.

The real question is, will the downloads be full DVD quality, and if not, will they be DRM'd before they get to the DVD? In other words, could I download these using their software (undoubtably they'll require software), then copy them over the network and play them on my Linux box?

If not, then this will likely be used to say that people will always pirate, no matter how cheap/convenient they make it. They could take a hint from the pirates, though. You can't make it much more convenient than an un-DRM'd BitTorrent download, and it's certainly cheaper to publish that way.

Here's my conditions for using this service or a service like it:

  • Saturate my connection, whether you use BitTorrent or HTTP.
  • Use a standard protocol -- BitTorrent or HTTP. Please don't use FTP.
  • Charge a reasonable amount (I think they're doing that now).
  • Let the files themselves be un-DRM'd and in a standard format -- I'd love h.264 in an avi, mkv, even mov. Note that h.264 != high def.
  • If you give me subtitles, let them be soft subtitles.
  • If I must download commentary and special features, they should be no more than 20% of the total download size.

I'd like high def with lots of extras, but that's not necessary. The above list is, though. Miss even one of those and I'll just rent them and rip them, the way I always do.

Does not play well with others (2, Informative)

Captian Obias (959206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746632)

Just came over from CinemaNow and it does not play well with firefox.

Can't even contact Customer Service without IE (1)

bfe369 (110743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746663)

So I'd have to purchase a(nother) computer system, with an OS I don't want or need, just in order to contact them?

Wouldn't you love some time in a dark room with the ****stain who came up with that idea?

So (1)

Stoned Necromancer (926330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746730)

It's finally legal to burn porn?

Free Movies (2, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15746758)

Just went to the site and had a look at their list of free movies. That's 5 minutes of my life I will never get back. Page after page of Z-list crapola and not one (NOT ONE !!!111) movie I have ever heard of. It must have taken a lot of work to come up with a list of movies this bad.

"Bad beyond all infinte possible dimensions of badness"

Enough suck to pull small planets out of orbit.
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