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158 comments

uTorrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153426)

Is there anything about the uTorrent aquisition? I havn't downloaded the new version because I am paranoid.

New BT network is proprietary, apparently (3, Interesting)

writertype (541679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153456)

Disclaimer: I'm pimping my own story [pcmag.com] on PC Magazine.

I'd be interested to hear what people think of the new BitTorrent DNA 2.0, which apparently uses QOS to dial itself down in the presence of VOIP, etc. But it also apparently won't be open-sourced, and will be proprietary to the Mainline client.

And I'm not a big fan of all the snarky comments, myself.

Re:New BT network is proprietary, apparently (1)

writertype (541679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153504)

er, snarky comments on the BitTorrent site, I mean. :)

Re:New BT network is proprietary, apparently (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154420)

This new network is also reliant on Microsoft DRM [engadget.com] , which rules out Mac OS X and Linux. How nice for Microsoft.

Re:New BT network is proprietary, apparently (1)

b00le (714402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155576)

Well, I wanted to add my snarky comment (as a Mac user living in Europe) but the Feedback button just leads to a server error... now why would that be? Ah, well. Here in Italy, downloading files is not illegal as long as you're not doing it for profit, according to a recent court decision. That decision may not make much sense even to me, but at least it means I no longer have to watch Italy's appalling public television, a trackless desert of infantilising mediocrity. Now let's see what Azureus has got for me this evening...

There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153474)

A lot of linux distros distribute ISOs via bit torrent. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that's legal under the GPL. As for non-GPL stuff, what about legaltorrents.com? Legal uses of bit-torrent aren't new.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (3, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153548)

Some of those file downloading places (File Front, I think) use torrents, too, as does the TAS Videos website. Bittorrent has become a normal download system and a substitute for FTP and HTTP downloads, although it's not as widely used yet. Some MMOs even use torrents for distributing patches AFAIK.

I think the difference is that this is an "official" Bittorrent service (i.e. by the guy who invented it although that may not count for much considering the openness of the system) and that it sells stuff that gets distributed over BT instead of merely offering free downloads.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153556)

Actually, I think theirs is the illegitamate usage of bit-torrent. Copyrights are not a legitimate property right.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (3, Funny)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153740)

"Copyrights are not a legitimate property right."

That's funny. There's this 200+ year old document that people like you accuse President Bush of trashing yet you seem toconveniently forget that intellectual property rights were included even before amendments were proposed. There are even older documents in Europe which grant intellectual property rights as well. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with these before making such a bold claim that is simply not true. You may not like them but it doesn't make them illegitimate. I don't like that I can't punch people like you in the face, perhaps I can ignore that law and claim it's an illegitimate restraint of human nature and primal urges to beat the crap out of the weaker of the species.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153854)

Show me the phrase "intellectual property" in the constitution and I'll accept your sloppy argument.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153922)

Intellectual property is a summary term for trademarks, copyrights and patents because it'd be annoying to spell all that out every time and the lws on them are pretty similar.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154524)

"Intellectual property is a summary term for trademarks, copyrights and patents because it'd be annoying to spell all that out every time and the lws on them are pretty similar."

Just in case you are unaware of one of the issues taken with your point it is this:

The term property assumes a good part of the argument.

Intellectual rights - may not get the same disagreement.

Then again, even rights may get some arguments. Are they fundamental rights as in the right to life, or more restricted like the right to drive up to 35 miles per hour where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour?

Another issue people have with lumping them all together is that the laws governing them do not lump them together, if some countries do, all certainly do not. This is a good way to lead to confusion.

all the best,

drew

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154932)

Let's just all get along and call them pseudo-intellectual concept retention privileges....

What??? Stop giving me that look....

On a similar note, can I claim intellectual property rights on the non-obvious idea that the Emperor's poodle wore invisible clothes?

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155696)

IP can be freely traded like other property so the rights term wouldn't really say as much although it is quite common to say "company X got the rights to Y" when referring to IP. However, IP is the standardized legal term and not as ambiguous as other terms.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (3, Informative)

BlazeMiskulin (1043328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153988)

Article I
Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power to... ...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;


i.e., "Intellectual Property"

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

Krakhan (784021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154314)

Copyright, trademarks or patents? If you're trying to lump them all into one word, it becomes misleading, since the three are different from each other.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154452)

The Congress shall have Power to... ...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
i.e., "Intellectual Property"
No, "regulatory monopoly"

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (3, Informative)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154016)

There's this 200+ year old document that people like you accuse President Bush of trashing yet you seem toconveniently forget that intellectual property rights were included even before amendments were proposed.

There's a world of difference between what "intellectual property" means in that 200+ year old document and what "intellectual property" means today.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154020)

Mr. Ballmer, is that you?

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154298)

I'm glad you mentioned that, the constitution doesn't give rights. It is only worth anything because it acknowledges some that we already have. Say, what kinds of rights have an expiration date anyhow? The fact that they do have an expiration date is an implicit acknowledgment that they aren't really a right. Also, copyrights are old, but not that old - most the entire Renaissance happened without them. There goes the argument that they propote creative expression. BTW, the constitution was presumed to "protect" slaves as a "property" too. Well bullshit, intellectual "property" is not property. Any 3yr old can tell you that they are nothing like regular property. The emperor is naked, get with the information age.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (5, Interesting)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154446)

...you seem toconveniently [sic] forget that intellectual property rights were included even before amendments were proposed.

Perhaps you stop and reread the Constitution before making such a sloppy argument. The Constitution allows Congress "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries". Note that Congress isn't required to enact copyrights and patents; it merely has the ability to do so under the Constitution, with a very specific purpose: promoting "the Progress of Science and useful Arts". Copyrights and patents, in other words, are an attempt at social engineering, one which Congress can enact or withdraw at its leisure. They are also transient ("for limited times") whereas real property rights are permanent, passing from one generation to the next until the property is finally consumed or abandoned by its owner -- even presuming such ever occurs.

In contract, regular property rights are barely mentioned in the Constitution, because they were already thoroughly established in the Common Law; real property rights formed a background so obvious to the Constitution's authors that they saw no need to make them explicit; copyrights and patents had to be mentioned precisely because they were not part of that background. Congress can revoke them on a whim because they exist purely by Congressional decree. There are some (badly worded and poorly interpreted) clauses which Congress can abuse to violate traditional property rights under very specific circumstances, but as such rights do not originate with Congress it would take more than a simple decree to eliminate them entirely. (It would probably take a major Constitutional amendment, a change in the very nature of the government itself.)

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154590)

real property rights are permanent, passing from one generation to the next until the property is finally consumed or abandoned by its owner

Or until the owner ceases paying property tax. You don't own property, you just rent it from the government.

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155104)

Or until the owner ceases paying property tax. You don't own property, you just rent it from the government.

Does your property cease to be yours when its stolen by a protection racket for failing to pay their fee? The case with government and property tax is no different. It's still rightfully your property, but it's been stolen from you with no hope of recovery.

When discussing the actions of a government I prefer to start by judging them according to their own bylaws (e.g. the Constitution), since such arguments are simpler and tend to appeal to a broader range of people. That doesn't mean I consider the Constitution to be a legitimate grant of authority to commit coercion, which means I consider all government acts (which could not have been performed by a private citizen) to be aggressive in nature and the government itself no different from any other criminal organization. (The only coercion I consider legitimate is proportional self-defense against prior aggression.)

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

xiong.chiamiov (871823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153736)

And what about that site by Azureus? What's it called... (looks it up) - zudeo [zudeo.com] . I've dled a vid from there, worked well. IDK if you have to use Azureus though, since I use it anyway.

Legal BitTorrent use in multiplayer games (1)

SimonShine (795915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154158)

Blizzard use their own hybrid BitTorrent/HTTP client to download new updates for World of Warcraft. With millions of players each downloading hundreds of megabytes of patches (I think they've passed one gigabyte with the game expansion), they save quite an amount of money on dedicated hosting.

What they instead do is use BitTorrent for the most part and then supply with HTTP whenever the transfer rate drops.

So yes, legal use of BitTorrent isn't new. But it's always nice to see more. Bram did use to advertise BT as "not filesharing (presumable referring to the anarchic concept), but file distribution".

I download

Re:There wasn't legitimate bittorrent before? (1)

Experiment 626 (698257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155964)

A lot of linux distros distribute ISOs via bit torrent. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that's legal under the GPL. As for non-GPL stuff, what about legaltorrents.com? Legal uses of bit-torrent aren't new.

In terms of media downloads, "legit" is typically a code word for "commercial". As things like Linux distributions are distributed free of charge, they wouldn't qualify under this definition. This is actually a clever bit of marketing, since it downplays the monetary aspect, appeals to people's desire to be on the up-and-up, and casts a bit of FUD on anything that's not part of a commercial download service by implying that it's shady.

WMP only??? (2, Interesting)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153478)

From TFA:
BitTorrent's content is protected by Windows Media DRM and will only play back using Windows Media Player.

Is there a DRM alternative that is suitable on all platforms?

Re:WMP only??? (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153534)

From TFA:
BitTorrent's content is protected by Windows Media DRM and will only play back using Windows Media Player.


Note to Bram: just because you invented BitTorrent doesn't make this whorish attempt to ram defective-by-design DRM systems any more acceptable.

Is there a DRM alternative that is suitable on all platforms?

Yes. Strip off the DRM infection using FairUse4M. And then repost it on a torrent tracker. Or don't bother, because somebody else in the fight for our shared culture will already have done that.

Re:WMP only??? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153970)

Realistically, how else do you propose to sell stuff over a P2P network?

I think it's quite funny that you're using a program called "Fair Use" and then go on talking about a free tracker that is definitely NOT Fair Use.

Selling content in the modern world. (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154390)

Realistically, how else do you propose to sell stuff over a P2P network?

This comes up every time there's a thread about the new "legit" BitTorrent service. I don't think it's possible. If this service attracts enough attention, the DRM is going to be bypassed. I doubt it's even going to be that hard, because the nature of P2P services makes end-to-end DRM impossible. So not only do you have the inherent flaws in the DRM system you choose, but you also have an inherent incompatibility between the DRM (which makes every user's file different) and P2P distribution, which depends on many users wanting files that are bit-for-bit identical with each other.

There's no good way to do both. They can layer on the encryption but it's nothing but turd polish; the data that's coming down the wire from the other clients has to be encrypted on a non-per-user basis (perhaps a per-file basis), and then the application of the per-user DRM needs to be done in the client. Which means the layer of encryption that presumably protected it in transit needs to be removed. So if you can play spot-the-key, and grab the per-file key as the client program decrypts it in preparation for applying the per-user DRM encryption, you can get a key that lets everyone decrypt the file.

In short, you cannot sell content via a service like this. Not going to happen in the long run, I think. What you probably could do, is sell access to the network, where the value is in the subscription to the content and not in the content itself per se. (Of course the movie studios would hate that, since they want to think of each movie "copy" sold as a revenue source.)

Looking forward, the future of services is to market the services and the access, rather than the content. Digitization and the resulting ease of copying makes it nearly impossible to sell pieces of information as distinct products, like aspirin tablets, in the same way that the content producers have grown used to. The game is up, it's just not going to work any more; they're fighting against inherent problems with DRM, inherent problems with P2P distribution, and inherent problems with the nonconservative nature of information.

However, what you can sell, is the access to a large repository or service which lets you access a lot of information in an organized and reliable manner. That represents a value to the customer, above and beyond just getting ahold of the movies/books/articles/whatever themselves. If a customer just wants to watch a single movie, say Pirates of the Caribbean, they can just go download a pirated copy. They are always going to be able to go and download a pirated copy. As long as the studios and "legit" alternatives mess around with DRM, it is always going to be easier for them to go download a pirated copy. However, what the studios could sell, would be instantaneous access to all the films ever made by Hollywood in the past century. Doing that -- putting together the database, organizing everything, providing a method of distribution, etc. -- is a value that's separate from the movies themselves, and the organization and logistics aren't readily copied. That wouldn't even require DRM; it wouldn't be practical for an end-user to copy more than a tiny fraction of the available material, so there's no risk. It's like a cable company and your VCR: the amount of content you can tape is never going to compete with the amount of content that's being pushed down to you all the time (I'd need to have 600+ VCRs running continuously in order to capture what Comcast pushes to me). Without DRM, you can use P2P to distribute without layers of useless encryption. To monetize it, you sell access to the network (the network is managed by a central server that tells clients where seeds and other clients are -- you don't pay, it doesn't tell you).

People don't want to buy content, they want to buy access to streams of content; they don't want to buy data, they want access to repositories of data that contain more stuff than they'll ever want, but allows them to be secure in the knowledge that they have access if they want it. (Think NetFlix.) If the movie studios realized that the value is not in the content itself, but in their ability to manage, organize, distribute, and present the content, they would probably be a lot closer to a realistic business model for the 21st century.

Re:Selling content in the modern world. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155692)

However, what the studios could sell, would be instantaneous access to all the films ever made by Hollywood in the past century.
...
That wouldn't even require DRM; an end-user to copy more than a tiny fraction of the available material, so there's no risk.
I agree that "it wouldn't be practical for an end-user" to grab all the content, but I think you underestimate the dedication of the release groups.

They are made up of many end-users and will do it just because they can, like they've done with the NetFlix catalog.

Re:Selling content in the modern world. (2, Interesting)

edmicman (830206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155796)

I've been saying the same thing for some time now. The "winner" in this whole media ordeal in the coming years will be the person/company (Google?) that gives me access to ALL CONTENT when and how I want it, for a price. Imagine if all historical media content was as ubiquitous as television, or what the Internet is approaching to be. Part of the whole reason people collect DVDs, download torrents, DVR programs, is because they want the security of knowing that that content will be available whenever they want it. What if there was a monthly service, like your internet or cable (or maybe it becomes a part of that?) that in turn gives you the ability to watch/listen/whatever any sort of media content that exists. You "subscribe" to The World. All historical movies, television shows, music, from all publishers, available in one place all the time, ready for you to search and bring up whenever you want. Throw in current stuff, too. Albums aren't released in stores, they just show up in The Network, and you can listen when you want. You can watch the latest episode of "24" whenever you want. Throw in wifi access tied to your cars, so you can do all of this mobile, too. How much would you pay for a service like that?

Re:WMP only??? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153572)

Until they fix the DRM problem, there's always this alternative: http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org] .

Re:WMP only??? (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153766)

Pirates are SCUM.

It's their fucking parrots that get me.

Yarrrrgh.

Re:WMP only??? (2, Informative)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153584)

IANAL, but where I live, Belgium, there is a law against such a practice. It is illegal to sell things which need another specific thing to be used. I think I'm gonna take a deeper look into this and perhaps contact some consumer groups because according to me DRM implemted like that is illegal over here... And most likely in other places as well.

Re:WMP only??? (2, Insightful)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153648)

Oh Noes! Against the law?

One should always obey the law, no matter how idiotic, obscene, corrupt and morally bankrupt, I presume?

Or not.

Re:WMP only??? (1, Insightful)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153956)

If you live in a democratic country, then yes. The whole point of democracy is to give the lawmakers legitimacy. Of course, you are free to believe that the democratic process in your country is not fit for purpose (I do of my country)...

Re:WMP only??? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155764)

Original post:

One should always obey the law, no matter how idiotic, obscene, corrupt and morally bankrupt, I presume? . . . Or not.

Reply:

If you live in a democratic country, then yes. The whole point of democracy is to give the lawmakers legitimacy.

I agree on the second point -- though with a different connotation than you probably intended -- but what difference should it make whether one person or a billion play a part in making the law? If a law is moral (not popular) then one should follow it, not because its the law but because its the moral thing to do. It would still be the moral thing to do even if the law didn't exist. On the other hand, if the law does not correspond to moral behavior -- whether it prescribes outright immoral behavior or merely prohibits non-immoral behavior -- then the law has no legitimacy and there is no moral reason to follow it (and there may be moral reasons against doing so). The only consideration that then remains is the possible repurcussions of violating the law, if/when one is caught. Given the probability of getting caught and the penalty for breaking the law some choose defiance whereas others choose to comply for their own safety; I applaud those who choose to stand up for their civil liberties, an act which benefits all those who seek freedom, but I see nothing morally wrong with either choice.

Of course, you are free to believe that the democratic process in your country is not fit for purpose (I do of my country).

I believe that and more: I believe that no democratic process in any country is fit for the purposes of liberty or justice or freedom. It may be fit for other purposes -- granting legitimacy to the government in the eyes of the people, for example, as you pointed out -- but such are not purposes I would willingly endorse.

Re:WMP only??? (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153876)

Does that mean that any computer program that isn't cross platform is illegal in Belgium? For example, a Windows program would be illegal if it required Windows to run, or a PS2 game would be illegal because it requires a PS2 to run? Or is there an exception that allows for the difficulty of porting between such devices?

Re:WMP only??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18154336)

I'd say you're DEFINITELY not a lawyer, or else the Belgians are more cracked than I thought, since that seems like an outrageously ridiculous law. That technically means it's illegal to sell DVDs (requires a DVD player), cats (requires cat food), frying pans (requires a stove), or fishing line (requires a fishing rod AND lures, not to mention a body of water and possibly a boat).

Re:WMP only??? (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155206)

I'd say you're DEFINITELY not a lawyer, or else the Belgians are more cracked than I thought, since that seems like an outrageously ridiculous law

well we have many ridiculous laws . but i doubt that it's really illegal ( maybe illegal , but not enforced )

Re:WMP only??? (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154394)

Can you elaborate on what that is exactly supposed to mean? I can think of many examples where items like this are sold - accessories for items (even those little discs for tassimo machines). What about cellphone car chargers? I've got a Motorola wireless devices where the base station and units can be sold separately... would this count?

I find the way you have stated this situation to be hard to believe.

Is it illegal to sell notebook batteries? I could think of thousands of examples of common products (not just software or content) that seem to go against this...

Ian

Re:WMP only??? (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154586)

I just looked into this some more, and I don't think the law is applicable here. The law is meant to stop someone selling a certain item cheaper if you buy another item. It's for example illegal in Belgium for cellphone providers to give away cheap/free phones with a subscription. I don't think it's applicable here, it would be if they were offering the media cheaper because it only plays on windows media player, and by that forcing consumers to use windows. But that's not the case here... But perhaps there are other consumer protection laws which are applicable to DRM, I am definitely going to look into this some more.

Re:WMP only??? (1)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153650)

Yeah, it's worse than that. This is the notice I got in the movies section. "it looks like your system doesn't meet the Minimum System Requirements. You can still purchase this title here, but please note that you may only watch it on a Windows XP computer meeting the requirements."

Re:WMP only??? (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153690)

You can still purchase this title here, but please note that you may only watch it on a Windows XP computer meeting the requirements."

To which you respond, "O RLY? That sounds like A CHALLENGE!"

And you shall not rest until it plays on your Commodore 64.

Re:WMP only??? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154000)

Is there a DRM alternative that is suitable on all platforms?

Yeah, it's called UNDRM and it works on every platform!

ToS (4, Interesting)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153494)

Somewhat crippling ToS from the site (you must download and watch movies/TV shows before 30 days, can only watch it for 24 hours after first playing); and the kicker: $3.99 for rentals. Imo at least the charge should be half that. There is no distibution cost other than keeping the tracker/site up, and you can only watch it for a day! If I watched even 3 movies a month, it'd cost less to just go through netflix, and I could keep them as long as I wanted.

However, it is still good to see BT somewhat more in the public eye. Maybe it'll catch on and more people will realize that they're being ripped off.

Re:ToS (1)

davef139 (790691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153632)

I agree $3.99/movie is pretty steep. But there are more hidden costs im sure. For 1 bandwidth/storage networks isnt cheap, plus you can get it on demand more of a convience factor.

Re:ToS (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153828)

Redbox rents movies at $1 / day. Limit is like 6. It probably looks suspcious that I rent the limit and then return them all the next day...

I really don't see how $4 for one day use any time over a month is fair. I'm not even getting anything physical out of the deal, plus I'm spending my bandwidth to get it. I DVD will play on my entertainment center, and as much as I like to sit at the computer all day, I have my memory foam recliner for a reason.

Now if the movies were say $0.50 (or lower.. come on, honestly), I'd actually look into this.

So I watched the Oscars last night... (5, Informative)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153564)

So I watched a few parts of the Oscars last night. I always find it a bit frustrating, because I don't ever find the time to go see many new movies in the theater, so when the Oscars roll around they are always talking about tons of movies I haven't seen yet. On the other hand, it makes me write down a few titles so I can plan on looking them up later.

When I saw this announcement, I went to the site and saw they they had a few movies I wanted to see. Not such a bad selection, and even some free stuff! Hell I'd pay for it if its a reasonable price, I thought.

I clicked on a movie to see how much it would cost to download and watch. $3.99 to "Rent". Oh shit, I thought to myself. Rent. That means, DRM. I looked at the bottom of the page:

Usage Rights
You may watch this on one computer. You have 30 days from the transaction to download the file and 24 hours to watch it after you first click play. See full terms of service.

System Requirements
It looks like your system doesn't meet the Minimum System Requirements. You can still purchase this title here, but please note that you may only watch it on a Windows XP computer meeting the requirements.


Well. Funny, I don't USE windows. Hm, guess I'm not part of their target demographic. Oh well, I'll just head over to isohunt then, or walk down to the movie store and get something older. I'm a little disappointed, but .. not really surprised.

Re:So I watched the Oscars last night... (1)

KenSeymour (81018) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153890)

That's funny. We rented "The Departed" a week and a half ago from our local video store.

We only watched it once. But we don't watch movies on a computer.

They are turning their backs on the enourmous market of people who want to watch movies on
their computers, but are only willing to do it on Linux or Mac OS. ;)

Re:So I watched the Oscars last night... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18155058)

Someone might actually think they want this to fail.

It seems fairly obvious: if you offer a new product, intended to compete with/replace an old product, the new product should offer some advantage. Yet every attempt at digital distribution by the media industries offers an inferior product at an equal or greater price (even as the cost of distribution drops to nothing).

If it does fail, as it is practically guaranteed to do under these terms, then the industries will have more "evidence" that additional draconian laws are required to "save the artists." One might suspect that this is their intent.

Limited selection? (2, Insightful)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153566)

I don't see any: Stargate (SG-1 or Atlantis), House M.D., the only Star Trek is movie 7,no American Idol episodes..

So when can I buy the crap I actually want?

Re:Limited selection? (3, Funny)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153992)

You actually want American Idol?

Consider it a service for them not having it!

Re:Limited selection? (1)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154486)

I haven't actually looked myself, but I seem to remember seeing an ad for SG-1 & Atlantis episodes on iTunes. Probably whatever usual DRM Apple does on them, so that might work - or just spend about $20-40 each and start buying the DVD season boxsets off Amazon.

"...available only to ... the United States" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153586)

"This title is available only to residents of the United States."

Get fucked Brad. This is the internet.

I predict dissapointment (3, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153606)

I can see it now... $4 to rent a reduced-quality movie for 24 hours, with DRM. Geeks everywhere will demand the studio masters to be downloadable without DRM for a nickel a pop (and even that may be too costly for some).

Re:I predict dissapointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153748)

It's already happening in this thread. People are complaining that 3.99 is too much for a "rental" that they can only watch for 24 hours. So instead they'll head down to the local video store and pay 3.99 for a rental that they have to return in 2 days. The ironing is delicious.

Re:I predict dissapointment (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154060)

The ironing is delicious.

But for masochist gourmets only.

Re:I predict dissapointment (3, Insightful)

babyrat (314371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154824)

Without either confirming or denying my geekiness...Why would you predict anything less than disappointment?

Without having tried the service, I'm guessing that for the same amount of money ($4) and less time, I could drive (or bike) to the video store, rent a DVD and get home and be watching it in less time than it would take to download - if this was a new release I would have 48 hours to watch - if it was not a new release I would have a week to watch it.

Oh yeah - I could watch it on any TV to which I could hook up a $30 DVD player.

If I watched 5 movies per month, a blockbuster online subscription would be much cheaper and allow me to watch many more movies for the same effort (pointing and clicking) and would not require my to have a broadband internet access at my house (which I do have, but many don't).

I highly doubt that the quality of the downloadable movies is higher than that of a DVD, and I would expect that it is actually inferior to the quality of a DVD.

I am supposed to be happy with paying the same amount of money for a lower quality less convenient option than I already have?

I think a nickel a pop would be a bit too cheap for what they are offering, but I think that $1/download would probably still be too costly for what you get.

This service is totally useless (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153626)

The files are Windows-only. What a disaster.

Re:This service is totally useless (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153818)

This service is totally useless...
The files are Windows-only.


Yeah, because nobody uses Windows anymore...

Re:This service is totally useless (1)

JeTmAn81 (836217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155396)

Indeed. These movies will only be playable on 90% of the world's computers. What the heck were they thinking?

Re:This service is totally useless (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155914)

And what percent of that 90% actually would know how to download and watch movies on their computer? Just because you own a computer doesn't mean you know how to use it. Downloadable movies always has been a geeky sort of thing to do, so the demographic is not everyone who owns a computer.

Besides, I'd be fired if I suggested that we should ignore 10% (likely more) of our potential customers for a silly reason like that.

Quality? (2, Insightful)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153664)

Are they distributing in high definition, or at least DVD quality? Or is this yet another "advancement" where all they do is lower the quality?

Re:Quality? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154072)

A quick glance shows that some titles are marked (HD), I'd assume that means they are in HD.

Re:Quality? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154628)

I'd assume that means they are in HD.

Whatever that means.

OH wow movie downloads via bittorent! (1)

chanrobi (944359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153750)

Too bad we can't use them here in Canada because Rogers decided it will throttle all Bittorrent traffic (1/2 kb/s up and down if you're lucky). Of course there were workarounds but Rogers eventually shut those down. Perhaps news of a "legitimate" download service will convince them to change their mind.

Switch to DSL you say? Unfortunately Bell/Tek-savvy do not currently offer service into my area so i'm SOL. I'd love to hear any (Bitcomet port 1720/1755 workarounds) right about now.

Re:OH wow movie downloads via bittorent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18154548)

Too bad we can't use them here in Canada because Rogers decided it will throttle all Bittorrent traffic (1/2 kb/s up and down if you're lucky).
I'm using Rogers right now and I'm downloading a file using BitTorrent at a steady rate of over 200 KB/s... The upload speeds are crap, but they always have been for Rogers home users. I would bet that you're being throttled either because you're leaching a ridiculous amount of copyrighted material or you simply don't know how to open the correct ports on your firewall.

Re:OH wow movie downloads via bittorent! (1)

Mr Pogson (996885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154826)

I've heard that everywhere but I've never experienced any throttling at all. I use a Azureus with the random port it selected. and set it to use Encryption when available I've also used uTorrent with similar settings. Depending on the torrent, most of the time, I'm able to pull all of the 6mb/s they advertise.

Teach a person how to fish... (2, Interesting)

ThePlaydoh (248874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153764)

Finally the big studios are getting with the program and embracing new technology ... OHNOES!! Have you seen the usage requirements/restrictions? Once again they have shot themselves in the foot.

Instead of giving the people what they want, they are following down the same stupid path as always. At least some good will come of this...

Now the average person who wasn't really familiar with BitTorrent can learn how and what it is used for from this site and then go to another site and download it for free. Thanks for the lesson BitTorrent.com !

Can someone say www.allofmovie.com soon ?

Re:Teach a person how to fish... (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154138)

OHNOES!! Have you seen the usage requirements/restrictions?


And, from this one [slashdot.org] :

Oh Noes! Against the law?


Is there a box I can un-check somewhere in the preferences so I don't have to look at messages that contain the phrase "oh noes?"

Re:Teach a person how to fish... (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154246)

>Is there a box I can un-check somewhere in the preferences so I don't have to look at messages that contain the phrase "oh noes?"

It's right next to the "No Family Guy References" button.

Re:Teach a person how to fish... (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154738)

Good one!

Re:Teach a person how to fish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18154878)

I thought it was a typo for "Oh Nose"

What is a noes anyway?

Re:Teach a person how to fish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18155246)

What is a noes anyway?


I think it's like a "noone." You know, as it "noone told me that 'no one' is two words."

Bram Cohen should be a Rabbi, not a programmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18153786)

Everybody can become a programmer but very few people are the offspring of Aaron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron) and bear the Cohen modal haplotype (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohen_Modal_Haplotyp e)

What a waste!

Every schlub can become a Rabbi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18154248)

He only needs hard work and determination, it does not matter that he is of obscure origin. Meanwhile the Levys and Cohens of the world, despite their distinguisehed lineages choose mundane professions such as medical doctors, lawyers, architects, rocket or nuclear scientists and so on. Really sad.

Levy Cohen, not a Rabbi

I think you meant schmuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18154754)

schlub - a clumsy and stupid guy
schmuck - a jerk (I think)

Re:Bram Cohen should be a Rabbi, not a programmer (1)

BSDetector (1056962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155772)

So now Slashdotters are anti-Semitic as well?

And what about uTorrent? (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18153824)

Now that BitTorrent owns uTorrent, doens't it make sense for them to now restrict uTorrent from downloading copyrighted material? How long before Warner Bros, etc demand that Bit Torrent put the reins on uTorrent?

Looks like it's time to develop another Bit Torrent client.

Re:And what about uTorrent? (1)

CUatTHEFINISH (970078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154260)

If anything, don't update uTorrent to the update that would prevent you from doing so. I don't understand how that could be easily done though. There would be ways to get around it unless you had to log in some centralized server and they watched your every torrent download.

Legit? Legit where? (2, Interesting)

Findeton (818988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154028)

I live in Spain and here it's absolutely legal to download or upload copyrighted material without paying. What is punished is to make profit of it, but if you download, let's say, the movie 300, which hasn't been released on the cinemas yet, well, that's absolutely legal (i'm not joking). And we're ready to fight back if any politician here wants to change this.

So, when you say 'legit' p2p, what do you mean? do you mean legit in the USA, UK, or where?

Re:Legit? Legit where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18154996)

Since BitTorrent Inc are renting movies at $2.99 or $3.99, and selling TV shows and selling music videos for $1.99, they are obviously "for profit", which according to your description would be illegal in your country if they didn't have a license from the copyright holders.

It's too expensive (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154054)

$3 per movie and I still have to use my outbound bandwidth? I can rent movies from the local rental shop for cheaper than that and still have the option to watch them on the living room DVD player. Between 50 and 75 cents seems like a more reasonable price point, particularly if I'm helping to cover their distribution costs.

Re:It's too expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18155180)

It takes under 10 minutes to rent a movie from my local video store and it's only $1 for new releases, but they could compete by offering movies not usually available at most rental places. Even if my connection was completely used by the download of one title, it would take less time for me to go outside and get a DVD (unless it's highly compressed). Although the longer wait time and higher prices wouldn't be worth it for widely available movies, it could be worth it for ones you can't get any other way.

Looks lame so far (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154208)

All the movies available for download are old... we're talking like already-past-VOD-old, which is about 2-3 months older than DVD release. As in these movies have all been on DVD for 4 or more months.

When are the movie execs going to realize that PPV and PTD (pay to download) are only going to really take off when you can download the movie the same day it comes out on DVD?

Downloading and/or VOD means less distributions costs for distributor, faster and cheaper movie for customers. If they decreased the number of DVDs produced, and released VOD and downloads at the same time, they would likely see higher sales and profits,and the customers would be more happy too.

Bouncing around the Mark Cuban question... (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154622)

Well I guess we can welcome Bram to the ranks of "slick talking" company executives (only he's not very slick). His snipe about Cuban is an extension of an ongoing argument (well...a couple of comments) between the two on Bittorrent, its cost, and legit traffic.

Mark Cuban started things off [blogmaverick.com] and Bram Cohen responded [livejournal.com] . Bram's problem is that he mischaracterizes Cuban's argument when he makes his case. For example, right in the title of his blog entry, Bram claims Mark predicts the downfall of Bittorrent. Mark never said anything like that! And in fact Mark responds to Bram's false accusations in his own blog [livejournal.com] . How many billionaire CEOs would you see doing this? Of course people will keep accusing Mark of being a self-centered, power hungry megolomaniac. That may or may not be true. However, we can provably show what someone did or did not say in a blog and in this instance, Bram is way off.

I love Bram to death for what he's given to us for free and I don't know if he's deliberately mischaracterizing this criticism or perhaps temporarily misunderstood what Mark was getting at, but this constant spinning of his is kind of lame.

How the hell do you do DRM and bittorrent together (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154908)

Any realistic DRM scheme for downloads must involve encryption with a customer-specific key. Otherwise I can just copy the file. But that kind of encryption makes it impossible to give everyone the same file. I take that back; the player could be locked-down and refuse to play things unless it receives authorization from a remote server. That seems like it'd be far easier to break, though.

You don't. You don't DRM at all. (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155858)

Since DRM has been proven insecure over and over again, it is simply a matter of time before your R&D is completely subverted by pirates who will just re-encode/recapture your media and release it with no DRM for distribution. Hell most DRM laden crap is just that, crap. Low quality etc. As many have said before, pirates are after the highest quality rips not the garbage, so *shrug* it's a 50:50 proposition honestly. Put the money into keeping shit most pirates wouldn't touch, semi-offlimits (to the customer) or releasing something without all the money in the DRM (which the recording industry won't touch, because they've drank the DRM cool-aid) that the customer can actually use.

Since when does watching a show on my computer, portable media device of laptop have to require a license for each device? If the media outlets think that the average consumer will swallow that pill they've got another thing coming. Instead of creating a ubiquitous platform for their media they've developed a thousand little niches that all waste so much time and effort in DRM it's only their insane margins that keep them making a profit.

What I want in digital downloads (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18154948)

For "purchased" items I want a perpetual-use, use-anywhere, one-use-at-a-time, as-many-copies-as-I-need, no-DRM, honor-system "like a book" license, "enforced" only by a customized copy that can be traced back to me if it gets spread around the world. I expect to pay no more than I would at a video store or mail-order for a DVD.

For rented items, I'm willing to accept time- and device-restrictions. If I rent a DVD from NetFlix, I don't expect to play it on anything but a DVD player. I expect to pay no more than I would at a video store or DVD-rental-by-mail service for a similar product for a similar rental period.

The advantages of a well-done digital rental service are that when ordering, I can
  • Specify the destination device, e.g. "Windows Media Player" or some other device that may or may not exist yet
  • Specify the rental time limit to begin watching, e.g. 30 days after payment
  • Specify the rental time limit to finish watching, e.g. 24 hours after first playback or 30 days after payment
  • Extend my rental without downloading the whole thing all over again
  • Specify if I'm willing to watch commercials before, after or during the media and if those commercials will be in the form of breaks, border ads, or product-placement ads. If I want to pay more for a "no commercials" option I can do that too. Of course I can also provide marketing information in exchange for further discounts, coupons for other products, etc.

Re:What I want in digital downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18155438)

That's odd because your rental wants sound kinda like a media distribution drone's wants.

Here's the biggest issue with renting digital media: It will never, ever protect the copyright holder.

Here's a hint to all you copyright holders: want to compete with netflix? Get realistic and start *SELLING* your property at a pricing plan similar to netflix. I know, it sounds like herecy, but who else (other than media distributors) would consider a good business plan to be herecy? I'm not saying that hard physical media should be slashed in price (not that it hasn't been already), I'm talking about digital media. Sell people subscription plans, the subscription plan tiers would include not only the 1 at a time, 2 at a time, etc. happy horses**t, but also an exclusivity factor. The exclusivity factor would relate to what titles would be available for download. See below for a little example of what I'm saying.

Pay 10 bucks a month and you can download older, crappy titles at the rate of 1 title per day and pay 5 bucks per newer title downloaded.
Pay 15 bucks a month and you can download older, crappy titles at the rate of 2 titles per day and pay 5 bucks per newer title downloaded.
Pay 25 bucks a month and you can download older, crappy titles at the rate of 2 titles per day and some newer titles at the rate of 1 title per week.
Pay 30 bucks a month and you can download older, crappy titles at the rate of 2 titles per day and some newer titles at the rate of 2 titles per week.
ad nauseum.

Now, forget the DRM because that's stupid and make your content available via big fat pipes so that downloading it from you takes less time than waiting indefinitely for some lousy, unreliable bit torrent service.

Multiply these plans by as many subscribers as would be chomping at the bit to sign up for this and profit like you've never profited before.

But, oh wait, that's right you guys aren't terribly interested in making a profit, are you?

re: rental - yup (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155952)

"That's odd because your rental wants sound kinda like a media distribution drone's wants."

Yup. If I'm renting it, it's usually because I or my family wants to watch it once and it's not on TV this week.

The Falacy of Unlimited Broadband (1)

Rashkae (59673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155078)

Contrary to popular belief, Internet broadband is not limitless or even abundant. Companies that sell you 'unlimited' connections for $100 / month are grossly overselling,, it only works if the customers use, on avg. less than %10 of that. (This is why there is such a push to destroy net Neutrality, *someone* has to subsidize the underpriced connections now that more and more people are downloading GIGS per month.) Using bit-torrent to distribute paid-for material is grossly abusing an already broken system.. If this business model actually takes off, ISP's will have no choice but to scrap the unmetered Internet entirely,, (And really, I think, that might be best overall). Who then will be foolish enough to contribute bandwidth they are actually paying for to seed torrents that someone is is getting paid for?

Re:The Falacy of Unlimited Broadband (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155752)

Internet connections are already so asymmetric (at least in the US) that it takes about fifteen people seeding to use up as much *upstream* bandwidth as one person downloading.

ISPs such as Bellsouth consume TONS of downstream bandwidth from their customers downloading data, but hardly any upstream bandwidth since A) customers don't generally upload much compared to what they download, and B) customer upstream bandwidth is typically a small fraction of downstream.

Might as well utilize those upstream pipes, right? I doubt ISPs mind people uploading. It's using otherwise underutilized upstream bandwidth.

-Z

US only (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155120)

Another US only service.

Nothing more to add.
 

place your bets... (1)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18155264)

Now taking bets to see how long it takes to crack the DRM. $3.99, I should be able to own downloaded material for that price!

only play through media player, what version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18155476)

I'm pretty sure media player version 6.4 is available to run on linux but not a higher version. Again linux users are lead down the non-drm traveled path which is of coarse, the naturaul path. If i was to pay for digital content the following must be met. I'm not paying for commercials, i'm not paying for drm, and i'm not paying for time limited &/or quality limited content either. Also, I'd prefer a straight download off of their ftp server over bittorrent(unless the bandwidth is fast). I bet you could get 2/3-3/3 to pay for "legitmate" content if it was done right vs. the 1/3 they estimate will pay using drm.
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