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Space Shifting DVDs to Cost Extra?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the digital-restrictions-monkeybusiness dept.

Media 361

Depending on who you listen to Steve Jobs has supposedly been pitching the idea of selling "premium" DVDs that would include an extra fee for the privilege of transferring your legally-purchased DVD to a different device. "The courts have held that "space-shifting" your CDs to a portable music device is a fair use. So you can legally import your CD collection to your iPod, or any other device, without paying a penny. But Steve Jobs apparently wants to charge you $4 for the privilege of doing the same with your DVDs."

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587531)

_0_
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goatse is available at no extra cost [goatse.ch]

No way... (4, Funny)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587535)

Are you trying to tell me that Steve Jobs wants to make money off of consumers?

Re:No way... (2, Insightful)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587567)

Are you trying to tell me that Steve Jobs wants to make money off of consumers?

I don't think that the issue is if Mr. Jobs wants to make money of Consumers the question is how.

Re:No way... (4, Insightful)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588103)

I don't think that the issue is if Mr. Jobs wants to make money of Consumers the question is how.

The thing is, I don't think that Apple is going to make much money off of this. They traditionally don't make much on content.

I have to wonder if this isn't a way to advertise "ripping" your movies as a feature of their hardware. Remember that the original slogan for the iPod was something like "Rip, Mix, Burn" but they had to stop that lest they be accused of encouraging infringement. This way, it's all DMCA friendly.

Re:No way... (5, Insightful)

araemo (603185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588369)

The thing is, I don't think that Apple is going to make much money off of this. They traditionally don't make much on content.
The thing is.. Disney/Pixar DOES make a lot of money off of content.

And Steve Jobs is on the Disney board of directors.

Re:No way... (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587623)

It's saying Steve Jobs is trying to make customers pay more for the right to do something that's already a right.

But, you're missing something... (1, Interesting)

marklark (39287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587803)

Yes, customers have rights. Exercising them is up to the customer. I don't have to help them/you. If my help is desired, ask nicely. Payment would help.

Apple is (apparently) offering to help. They would expect payment - natch.

E.g., you have the right to keep and bear arms. If you don't have said arms, they may be provided to you - at a cost. (As a deflection to arguments from people outside of the US, I would say that you also have the same rights. I'm sorry if you don't have the same opportunity to exercise them.)

Re:But, you're missing something... (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588065)

Yes, customers have rights. Exercising them is up to the customer. I don't have to help them/you. If my help is desired, ask nicely. Payment would help.

Apple is (apparently) offering to help. They would expect payment - natch.
I still have about a hundred LPs. I have the right to record them on my Mac and turn them into AAC files. It's just an awful lot of work. If Apple sold the AAC files to me for $3 to $4 per LP, I would buy them immediately even though I legally don't need these files. (I spent 14.99 yesterday for a 320KBit MP3 download of two LPs that I own from the new Deutsche Grammophon shop).

Now with DVDs and Handbrake it is slightly different; i wouldn't pay $3 to $4 to save me the work of turning a DVD into h.264 format, but some people would. I would probably willingly pay some lesser amount. What people need to realize is that even though it is your right, it is still work.

Re:But, you're missing something... (4, Insightful)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588261)

It's more like a racket - they're suggesting they'll stop making it harder for you if you pay extra.

Re:But, you're missing something... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588455)

It's worse than that. Customers have the right to space-shift their DVDs. Because of css, many don't have the ability. Not only aren't the producers required to help the customers do that, it is illegal for anyone else to help them. Thanks DMCA.

Re:No way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587919)

Encrypted DVD's are additionally protected, in the USA, by the DMCA. It is not the same thing when it comes to copying your legally purchased CD. The software to do a copy of a DVD needs to be licensed if you are doing this above board.

Re:No way... (4, Insightful)

bfizzle (836992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587963)

Apple isn't trying to make money from the DVD sales. Their goal is to enable you to buy a DVD and move the content to their devices (iPod, iPhone, Apple TV). The MPAA has shut down every application that allows their users to do this, so Apple is trying a different approach. Going directly to the distributors and trying to find a way to allow Apple's customers to legal and easily (Applely) get content on to Apple's devices.

If Apple is able to pull in a few extra fees for developing and licensing the technology then good for them I suppose. They are in the business of selling hardware remember. I'm sure they would sell more hardware if there was an easy and legal way to transfer content from original media, but there is not and Apple is dealing with it in a way they are good at.

Re:No way... (5, Insightful)

Froboz23 (690392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588189)

So their real motivation is helping the customer. The extra 4 dollars that Apple and the movie studios get is just a side-effect.

I worry about this as a precedent. If we keep going down this route, eventually media purchases will be tied to a single device, using digital hardware IDs. I could see a day when you buy a movie, and only have "rights" to play it on one specific DVD player. You would have to provide the hardware ID of that DVD player at the time of purchase. It's no secret that content providers want you to repurchase the same movie a dozen times. One for home use, one for in your car, one for your portable player, one for your PSP, etc. DMCA makes this consumer nightmare possible.

Re:No way... (1)

Jasin Natael (14968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588295)

So their real motivation is helping the customer buy their products, and licensed accessories on which they collect royalties.

There, fixed it for ya.

Re:No way... (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588521)

Indeed. No point in having loads of Apple devices scattered around the place if there's no content to play on them.
After all, most mp3s being played on iPods were NOT paid for on iTunes, (whether they were ripped from owners' CDs or from the intertubes is another matter).

As the market saturates / competition hots up for mp3 players, the next big thing is HDTV hardware.

Except that DRM ensures that it simply does not work. Unless you download your non-DRM stuff from illegal torrents, that is, in which case it works fine. Or use MythTV, in which case it works fine. Both scenarious being doubleplusungood for both Apple & the studios, (and let's not forget Jobs is in deep with the studios, or at least 1 of them).

Since broadband downloading of films, (apart from torrents, again), has not taken off, why not try and replicate the iTunes model, only this time in an 'offline' way. Anyways, it's probably just a come on - Jobs will end up pushing for DRM-free stuff like he did with mp3s.

Re:No way... (1)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588061)

"Steve Jobs is trying to make customers pay more for the right to do something that's already a right."

It costs any US company extra money to create software for copying an encrypted DVD in the form of a license to do it; otherwise, I'm sure they would find their butt in court. Maybe this extra charge is for covering the costs that Apple has to pay the MPAA for the right to make a copy of a DVD?

Re:No way... (3, Funny)

RDW (41497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588223)

'It's saying Steve Jobs is trying to make customers pay more for the right to do something that's already a right.'

And the concept is old news - it's really just an extension of this program:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/itunes_to_sell_your_home_videos [theonion.com]

Re:No way... (2)

McFortner (881162) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588441)

From Apple's 2008 playbook: Apple to charge users to use electricity to power their computers....

McFortner

Steve Jobs or the MPAA (4, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587551)

Is this Steve Jobs wanting to charge you or the MPAA? I suspect the latter.

Luckily iTunes is not the only tool in town.

Re:Steve Jobs or the MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587601)

Exactly - Steve is just the end point of the policy. It's not clear if it originates from Apple or the MPAA.

Re:Steve Jobs or the MPAA (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587833)

I may have misunderstood the article, but I thought that Steve was the one pitch the idea of putting the copy on the DVD. The encryption is going to be there whether or not anybody outside the MPAA likes it. I believe that Steve was mostly pushing the idea of putting an itunes compatible file on the disc as well.

Even that sucks though, limiting the file to just an Apple format and charging far more for the file than it is reasonably worth it. And at that point, either the file is locked to one device or it renders the DRM on the disc completely useless. In either case it doesn't seem to benefit consumers much, if at all.

Shouldn't the courts acknowledge that DRM isn't a protection measure if most people can break it easily. I mean at that point, what's the real difference between DRM and exotic file format?

Re:Steve Jobs or the MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587843)

The other tool you're referring to is Steve Jobs?

Re:Steve Jobs or the MPAA (0, Troll)

davesays (922765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587877)

No! There's Steve Jobs as well!

Re:Steve Jobs or the MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587879)

Is this Steve Jobs wanting to charge you or the MPAA?

Or is it Steve Jobs, shareholder and (a) director of Disney that wants to do this?

Re:Steve Jobs or the MPAA (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588233)

As if it were an either/or proposition. Steve Jobs is a major shareholder in one of the MPAA's largest members -- Disney.

For that price... (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587575)

I tell you, I *might* be persuaded to pay that price if it was some sort of continuous license w/unlimited downloads. For example, if I could take a DVD from my current collection, get it so if I lose the file I can always re-download from Apple, and if they release an HD version I get it for free, then that might be worth $4. Otherwise, screw you, I'll rip the DVD myself.

Re:For that price... (2, Interesting)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587773)

I tell you, I *might* be persuaded to pay that price if it was some sort of continuous license w/unlimited downloads. For example, if I could take a DVD from my current collection, get it so if I lose the file I can always re-download from Apple, and if they release an HD version I get it for free, then that might be worth $4. Otherwise, screw you, I'll rip the DVD myself.

I'm speculating here, but I suspect what he's actually pitching will turn out to be something like packaging a code with the DVD that you can punch into iTunes to essentially "purchase" a copy of the movie on iTunes for no cost. It gets around the whole issue of space shifting because you're technically providing the service of downloading the movie off iTunes in another format, not just flipping an "it's ok to rip this" bit in the DRM. It's still slightly slimy, but somewhat less so than the summary makes it sound like.

Re:For that price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587975)

It's far more slimy. You pay extra bucks to Apple for the right to burn a crappy highly-compressed 'iTunes special' video to a CD? Way to go Apple. What year was it they turned into slime-balls? Cos that's sure what they are now - and cheap-n-nasty with it.

Re:For that price... (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588175)

That makes more sense than having the file on the DVD itself. A full movie compressed for an iPod is gonna run 500megs-1gig. That's a bit big to put on a disc that has to share the space with the DVD-player MPEG2.

Re:For that price... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588347)

The file doesn't have to be that big. I compress files for my iPod Nano. It only supports 320x240 resolution, so that's the resolution I use. I can put a 2 hour movie in about 250 MB. The quality isn't spectacular, but the screen is so small it's hard to tell. Most DVDs have at least that much free space.

Re:For that price... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587911)

I'm still waiting for the ability to re-download already purchased music from itunes. If they added that ability, itunes would be my exclusive source of music.

Re:For that price... (0, Offtopic)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588257)

I'm still waiting for the ability to re-download already purchased music from itunes. If they added that ability, itunes would be my exclusive source of music.

It's been a while since I've used iTunes, but it was my understanding that it already had that ability, although with a catch. You're limited to downloading something like I think 5 copies (might or might not be over a certain time period), so if you tend to switch systems often you'd probably run out of downloads pretty quickly.

Re:For that price... (0, Flamebait)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588461)

I'm thinking he means the old media cds/dvds he has.... or maybe you are just clueless - again.

Re:For that price... (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588363)

"I'm still waiting for the ability to re-download already purchased music from itunes. If they added that ability, itunes would be my exclusive source of music."

Is it really that hard to choose File->Backup to Disc in iTunes and put blank CD/DVD into your computer?

DVDs are encrypted (4, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587577)

While it may still be fair use to copy your DVD to another storage device, the trouble is the disk is normally encrypted. So if you live somewhere covered by the DMCA you may be entitled to move your movie to another format, but only if you have permission to circumvent the encryption for that purpose, hence Jobs can make $$$ selling you what is already yours.

I guess if you don't like it, you shouldn't blame Jobs who's trying to exploit a commercial opportunity, but rather contact your lawmaker and explain in layman's terms why this is messed up.

Re:DVDs are encrypted (5, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587823)

I doubt very much Jobs is going to get any of the money. Look at it this way, is it to Steve's benefit for you to be able to rip your DVDs (which you cannot do legally or Joe Blow easily right now) to an iPod, or is it not?

Clearly Steve ONLY makes money off you if you CAN rip your DVD to an iPod. So I suspect what he's saying is hey MPAA, if we pay you a small extra fee will you let us turn off your encryption so my customers can put your movies on my iPods?

Re:DVDs are encrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588009)

Encryption smiption.

Re:DVDs are encrypted (4, Insightful)

adminstring (608310) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588069)

I agree with you that Jobs probably isn't going to directly end up with the money. He will instead benefit from market lock-in.

The way I read it, what he's saying is "hey MPAA, if our mutual customers pay you a small extra fee will you re-encrypt your movies in an iPod-compatible format so our mutual customers can put the movies on their iPods, but not on other devices which may not be compatible (and which are not sold by Apple.)

The ideal situation for the consumer would be no DRM and no DMCA... too bad consumers (aka "we the people") don't have any influence in Washington or we wouldn't be in this situation.

No, no, no (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587901)

The DMCA does not restrict fair use, per se. You are welcome to decode anything you purchase. You may not help someone else do it, nor may anyone else help you. You're welcome to buy any tool you need to do the decoding. But no one may sell it to you.

That's why having Slysoft off shore is so helpful.

Re:DVDs are encrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587923)

In theory you don't need to break the encryption to copy the DVD, since a bit for bit copy will work just fine. (As the encryption isn't really there to stop real pirates, but to allow the MPAA to control what features get put into players.) In practice, the writers and blanks available to most people won't let you copy the keys. So while you won't have to break the DMCA to copy the DVD, you will have to, play the copy that is missing keys.

Re:DVDs are encrypted (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588053)

  1. Setup mail-order business in Canada
  2. Have people mail SASE, Original DVD, Blank DVD
  3. Rip original DVD to blank DVD
  4. Return to sender
  5. Profit!

Might explain "Deauthorize Media" option (3, Interesting)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587585)

This might explain why there is a "Deauthorize Media" option in the Features menu of Leopard's DVD Player.

Re:Might explain "Deauthorize Media" option (1)

ralphthemagician (1096045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587661)

Whoa. I didn't notice that.

Re:Might explain "Deauthorize Media" option (1)

jcern (247616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587829)

Unless I am mistaken, it's there for to allow parents to restrict their children from playing the DVD. Although I suppose other uses may arise.

There might be a catch (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587599)

What the /. post seems to miss is that most if not all DVD ripping programs use some form of deCSS, thus violating the DMCA. So if you can do the same to DVD as CD's without breaking the DMCA, you don't need Steve Job's premium DVD's.

Re:There might be a catch (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587689)

Oh? How do the other ones do it without circumventing the copy protection? Here's a hint: They don't. Every ripper circumvents the copy protection. It doesn't matter -how- it does it, just that it gets circumvented.

Re:There might be a catch (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587887)

Oh? How do the other ones do it without circumventing the copy protection?
Either the DVD was not protected by DeCSS (some Harry Potter DVDs are a rare example) or the copy is still encrypted and the player applies its own DeCSS.

Yes, Virginia, it is possible to create a DVD player that will play encrypted copies of DVDs where the key is not included on the disk. Then the copied disks will not violate the DMCA; only the player does.

(A third option is that the encrypted disk image also contains the key. Just because you can't burn a key onto a DVD-R doesn't mean it can't be present in an image file.)

Re:There might be a catch (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587935)

Either the DVD was not protected by DeCSS (some Harry Potter DVDs are a rare example) or the copy is still encrypted and the player applies its own DeCSS.
Of course, that should have read:

Either the DVD was not protected by CSS (some Harry Potter DVDs are a rare example) or the copy is still encrypted and the player applies its own DeCSS.

Re:There might be a catch (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587971)

Yes, but he said the 'ripper', not the DVD. I was unaware that there were mainstream commercial DVDs without CSS on them, but I knew it was perfectly possible.

Re:There might be a catch (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587961)

Yeah, the point of my post in the first place. It's a classic catch-22. You can legally back up your media, but doing so breaks encryption and breaks the law anyway. I guess that didn't come through in my original post.

Re:There might be a catch (1)

spleen_blender (949762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588047)

Breaking that encryption on a routine basis civil disobedience in the same way that sit ins of the 1950's affected the profits of the establishments in which civil rights warriors stood their ground. To be noble is not always to be legal.

Re:There might be a catch (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588445)

Nobody cares about breaking the DMCA. Lots of ordinary people already rip their DVDs to PVRs -- legally or otherwise.

Unless/until they start putting people in prison for criminal violations of the DMCA, it will be ignored by the vast majority of people who simply don't care.

But how much to watch on an AppleTV? (3, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587621)

Seriously, aren't they just giving that thing away now? I guess Apple's push into the entertainment center hasn't been as strong as he'd hoped, so now it's time to poison the well by making the plastic disc industry suffer.

They really need to make up their mind. Either they're selling us a license to their content (in which case the media should be irrelevant) OR they should be charging us for a physical product, in which case we can do whatever we want with that product including turning it into something we can use in ways they didn't expect.

If I buy some boards and a nails from Home Depot, they don't get a piece of the action if I try to sell the cabinet I made.

Re:But how much to watch on an AppleTV? (1)

Dirk Pitt (90561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587821)

AppleTV is ahead of its time - Apple and others will eventually have a mainstream media box that makes sense to more people. Perhaps when online movie downloads are more prevalent.

I have one - and love it. I'm not an Apple cultist, our house is a 'blended family' of O/Ss. The AppleTV has been great - most of our music is on it (about 300 CDs worth, plus downloads), some movies, our photos, etc. It's tied to our main TV and the whole-house audio, so it's really pretty ideal.

And no doubt something better will be there in a couple of years - they're just dipping their toes right now, as are XBox, PS3, etc. By the time a solution of Tivo proportion is ready, I'll have gotten my $300 worth out of AppleTV.

Re:But how much to watch on an AppleTV? (1)

Oopsz (127422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588133)

The appleTV is a great idea, but the lack of broadcast time-shifting is a killer, for me. I have a Tivo. It was free with MIR, and costs me $10 a month for service. That was worth every penny (since it includes a program guide- I cancelled digital cable and no one complained). But since Tivo Desktop came out and amazon's unbox service debuted, I can easily download TV, movies, music and photos to my tivo (purchased or personal copies), and pull recorded broadcasts from my tivo to my mac. With two clicks from Toast, I can burn DVDs of recorded shows and movies. And the Tivo UI is easy and intuitive, which takes away apple's usual trump card. In fact, the only downside to a Tivo I can see is that my itunes purchases can't be downloaded to it. ;)

Re:But how much to watch on an AppleTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588141)

AppleTV is ahead of its time

Sorry, no it isn't. It's a cheap pile of crap. People have been using HTPCs for donkeys years, and that includes the minimac running linux. The appleTV is grossly underpowered for HTPC duties, probably the slowest option on the market.

Even the hackers gave up on when they discovered how pathetically slow it is.

It's also several years behind the original xbox which could do the same, and that's without the amazing efforts from the XBMP and XBMC projects.

The 360 and PS3 are light years ahead, and both these are getting regular and useful updates for more functionality and codec support.

Let's do it! (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587641)

I'm all for it, if they change the rules a bit:

Charge me the extra $3-4 and leave off ALL DRM. That includes that macrovision crap and all of it. Don't require special software or hardware. Just don't put the DRM in place.

Re:Let's do it! (1)

SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588041)

I'm all for it, if they change the rules a bit:

Charge me nothing extra and leave off ALL DRM. That includes that macrovision crap and all of it. Don't require special software or hardware. Just don't put the DRM in place.
Fixed it for you.

Re:Let's do it! (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588211)

I'm with you here. If I could pay an extra $4 for a disc with absolutely no DRM on it, I'd be in heaven... although, I am in Canada and it doesn't look as though it is as illegal here to copy DVD's (I have not actually looked that deep into it).

The problem I could see is that if they release it with no DRM, they think that they will see it up on the net faster... which it may, but a large portion of the movies I download are because I personally cannot or don't have time to remove the CSS/DRM. I only rip them to my system because it plays smoother than right off the disc and I do not own a TV/DVD player. The other portion I download is when the movies don't make themselves to my city in the Theatre... so I download it to see if I like it or not.

Re:Let's do it! (2, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588303)

So you're willing to pay more for content that hasn't had expensive snake oil spent on it?

Not intending that as a jibe - guess it'd be quite nice to have a service/app that'd provide an optional 1-click "send to my MP3 player" or what have you for people who aren't inclined to transcode their own or download an iPod-ised version from TPB... but I think the DVD publishers are missing a trick by not including an already converted MP4 file on the DVD itself. It'd be low quality and therefore useless to most people but it'd certainly get people more used to watching stuff on their 2" screens ;) As it is, DRM is just an excuse to con you out of using "content" you already own ('cept in the UK of course, where any format shifting is technically illegal).

My MP3 player (iAudio X5) supports MPEG4 stuff in an AVI if you transcode it right, and I dare say I might use it more if the screen was a little better. As a further aside, I've transcoded a few ephemeral TV shows recorded the night previously on my Myth box via a custom job so as to be able to watch them on the way into work. That's quite handy, and means I don't have to spend 30 minutes of my at-home time watching it.

Re:Let's do it! (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588431)

They (the studios/mpaa/whoever) are convinced it will -cost them money- to release movies without DRM. The only way they are going to feel okay is to have it proven false (yeah, we've tried that for years) or charge more for non-DRM'd copies.

It worked for MP3s, didn't it? They started offering DRM-free files, but charged more. People bought -more- music instead of less, and now places are offering MP3s at the same rate that they used to offer DRM-protected files.

Someone said that 'they' are worried that there will be rips on the internet quicker than if there was no DRM... It doens't take any longer to rip a DRM'd DVD than a non-DRM'd one at this point. And I think even HDDVD/Bluray are in this same boat as well. DRM doesn't stop that piracy at all. They -might- be worried that people will make a local copy for their friends, but anyone that knows how to use a DVD writer also knows how to rip a DVD, DRM'd or not. It makes no real difference there, either. (At the worst, they might have to ask a friend where to get a program.)

So I'm willing to pay a little more for DVDs that give me back more of my 'rights'.

IMHO (5, Insightful)

inimcus (554859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587731)

I really doubt that Jobs gives a crap about which way you view content, as long as Apple made the device your viewing it on. It's more likely a carrot to the studios to get them to let you watch normally purchased dvds on your *pod / *mac. I imagine that if it were up to him, and the rest of us, there wouldn't be any premium.

Re:IMHO (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587881)

Yes, except for the first bit -- Jobs very much cares how you view your content because he only makes the portable player... the hooked-up-to-your-TV player is made by some Chinese company for $20 unless you're a sucker and paid some Japanese company $150, or you happen to have an Apple TV. In the case of BlueRay or HD-DVD Apple doesn't even have an option, and won't until they agree to put Vista style DRM in OS X.

what balls! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587739)

what a prick

convenience (0)

infinite jester (206583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587769)

I don't think it's a matter of charging $4 "for the privilege." Having an iPod-optimized version of the movie available on the DVD is an added value. It's not always a trivial matter to rip a DVD and transcode it efficiently for an iPod. It's time-consuming, if nothing else. Being able to drag a single file from a DVD into iTunes and onto your iPod is definitely more convenient. Whether that convenience is worth $4 is up to you.

Re:convenience (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587889)

"Having an iPod-optimized version of the movie available on the DVD is an added value."

Not when it's wasting a gigabyte of space that is of no use to anyone who doesn't have an iPod. I'd rather have better picture quality with all those extra bits, or more extras.

In any case, DVD 'copy protection' is history; why charge people more for something they can already do for free?

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587939)

He's right on the money. Transcoding takes time, and isn't exactly easy for the average consumer. If the transcoded ipod-ready version were already on the disk, it would is a big leap forward in usability.

$4? Seems fair to me....especially if I were buying the DVD anyway.

Re:convenience (1)

Steve525 (236741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588165)

It's not always a trivial matter to rip a DVD and transcode it efficiently for an iPod.

If it wasn't for DMCA there would be plenty of commercial software out there that would do this, (just like there are plenty of polished products for ripping CDs). Because DVD ripping software is effectively illegal, no company is going to invest $$ into writing a polished piece of software. The best we get are home-brew solutions, and half-assed products both of which get sued out of existence (or at least out of the US) if they begin to look halfway decent.

The market for the $4 iPod version of movie only exists because the DMCA prevents a competing product from existing.

If it wasn't for Jobs (and Apple) being in bed with the movie industry, I'd hope that they would take Hollywood on and make such a piece of software. Most people are comfortable with the idea that you can copy a CD to portable device, so it would take quite a PR job for Hollywood to convince people that DVDs should somehow be different.

Re:convenience (0, Troll)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588509)

"If it wasn't for Jobs (and Apple) being in bed with the movie industry, I'd hope that they would take Hollywood on and make such a piece of software."

So you expect a publically traded company to do something that is clearly illegal? It's not about the movie industry, it's against the law in the US.

Re:convenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588393)

It's not always a trivial matter to rip a DVD and transcode it efficiently for an iPod.

Yeah, but who the fuck would want to do that? Why would you want to watch a movie with a tiny, shitty picture and shitty sound? That's kind of like buying a Bose Wave radio and playing your mp3's on it. What's the point? It's still going to have shitty sound.

This reminds me.... (3, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587777)

... I need to buy Slysoft's ripping software: http://www.slysoft.com/ [slysoft.com] . Y'all can take your premium DVDs and shove it. I'd rather pay someone more for tools to protect my property than pay less in extortion money.

Re:This reminds me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587811)

... http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html [erightsoft.com] Super is free

Re:This reminds me.... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587945)

I consider the price I pay a subsidy for Slysoft R&D. In essence, I'm paying them to continue their decryption work. I could donate to free software, but a lot of them don't even have a donate button.

Re:This reminds me.... (3, Informative)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588197)

Handbrake [m0k.org] has been happily ripping DVDs to my hard drive for a while now... and its FREE... and its for Mac, Windows, and Linux. What more could you ask for? (cept maybe an easy import function from inside iTunes)

Um.... (2, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587789)

Who wants to tell them we've been doing this for years already?

MythDVD

Re:Um.... (1)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588051)

Who wants to grasp the concept that the only way to secure future rights from the grip of a DRM locked down future is to convince the studios, as Jobs is trying to do, that they can make money and give consumers more freedom.

Some of the loudest whiners in here rant and rave constantly about technological freedom that they think is absolutely forever and ever free. It's not. It never was. And if there are not legal avenues for people to acquire studio content and have some freedom with it (Fairplay) that studios can make an income from, you will then get whatever the studios want you to have when and how they say you can have it and that will be the end of it.

So please wake up and pick your targets here. Leave your pathetic anti-Apple biases on the C-Net blogs where they belong.

A Non-Starter (4, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587835)

Jobs usually gets things right, but if this report is true Jobs is pursuing a nonstarter. He wants to make it easier for people to put their DVD collections in iTunes, but there are so many problems with this proposed solution it's doomed to failure. 1) Anyone who wants to time-shift their DVD collection already does it, albeit to the chagrin of the MPAA; 2) The MPAA would never go for any format that is devoid of some copy protection; 3) The MPAA doesn't want to strengthen Apple any more than it currently is; 4) This compromise would only really mean something if it were applied to HD-DVD and Blu-ray, which we know will never happen.

Re:A Non-Starter (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588275)

Anyone who wants to time-shift their DVD collection already does it
You can't time shift something you can already watch whenever you want. I think you meant format shift.

What do you Want to Pay? (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587897)

You could learn how to use the various Open Source utilities to re-encode the DVD to the format the iPod uses. This process is not trivial if you've never done it before but once you get it all figured out it flows pretty smoothly. I think most fairly technical people could probably figure it all out and get it scripted within a day or two. There is some additional processing overhead involved, but if you want to do it for free it's most likely do-able.

Or you could pay someone to figure it all for you (Buy purchasing commercial software that has a nice GUI)

Or you could watch DvDs on your TV and not your iPod.

Which of these things is worth less than the $4 it takes to Steve Jobs every time? For most people I'm thinking option 3 will be the only one. A smaller group might opt for the commercial software that does the same thing. Very few people will make the effort to get it all set up with open source tools or to wait the length of time it takes to reencode all the mpeg files. I think that most people (who don't read slashdot) will be happy to pay Steve Jobs the $4. I think Steve knows that, too.

Re:What do you Want to Pay? (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588459)

"You could learn how to use the various Open Source utilities to re-encode the DVD to the format the iPod uses. This process is not trivial if you've never done it before but once you get it all figured out it flows pretty smoothly."

If you have HandBrake (free open source for Macs, Windows, Linux) you put a DVD in and you choose one of the available presets -- iPod, PSP, AppleTV, etc. and click a button. How could it be any easier?

"supposedly", "apparently" (5, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587903)

Steve Jobs has supposedly been pitching the idea
Steve Jobs apparently

I know this might be a radical departure for Slashdot editors, but have you ever considered only linking to articles that have, I don't know, actual facts? Instead of rumor and innuendo to drive Apple bashing for Page Hits.

Also, did you hear that rumor about ScuttleMonkey? Supposedly he likes to have sex with washing machines. Apparently it's something he does quite a lot...

Reasoning (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587905)

Steve probably wants to be able to let users who purchase iTunes videos to put them on DVD's for viewing on TV.
That seems like a better argument than releasing an iTunes compatible version on their DVD's- a thing that would take up more space (the movies are not tiny) on the DVD. This would diminish the amount of content movie studios could add on their own.
Simply put, it's in Jobs' best interest to pry away at the DRM that disables the functionality he wants.

This is not how purchasing media should work (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21587977)

If I buy a CD, in my view as a customer, I'm buying that disc and therefore I can use its contents any way I choose which does not infringe upon the publisher's copyright. I don't see an EULA stuck on the front of the case, so I'm clearly not being licenced the non-exclusive transferrable right to listen to the disk in up to three (3) CD players or whatever. When I buy a DVD, I expect that I should be able to stick the contents on a portable video player that doesn't have a DVD drive. I don't want to pay again for the ability to play the same damn thing on a different device, be it through iTunes or as a premium on the disc. However all the usage restrictions (which pirates so effortlessly bypass) mean I have to go and download the show off bittorrent to do that. The result? I've just uploaded copies of the video to people who are just pirating the film. So all that's been achieved is that they've caused a legitimate customer to become a small-scale pirate. Sorry, this is a bit of a rant. I appear to have a head cold.

Re:This is not how purchasing media should work (1)

bechthros (714240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588149)

"I don't see an EULA stuck on the front of the case,"

PLEASE don't give them any more bright ideas...

The EULA is on the disk. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588325)

The EULA is on the disk itself. It's on those "The FBI and Interpol are going to kill your family if you copy this." screens that precede the commercials that you can't skip past.

This seems fair to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21587983)

If Steve wants this, He ought to have it.

[Reality Distortion Field] (0, Flamebait)

whogben (919335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588019)

Really, the summary implies Steve Jobs wants to exploit the consumer by convincing other companies to offer content-transferrable DVDs at a higher price. It fails to note that while one currently has the *right* to transfer content, they do not have the right (under the DMCA) to the necessary reverse-engineering involved in that transfer.

So - while I agree it'd cast Steve in a very negative light if consumers were already legally able to transfer their DVDs (note "legally able" as opposed to "legally allowed") this is not the case. Steve Jobs is petitioning studios to increase consumers legal ability to transfer their DVD contents.

Do people imagine that Steve is going to get a cut of that extra price just for pitching the idea? Or that the idea - charging for non or less DRM'd DVDs is going to set DMCA revisionists back 100 years? As a maker of media players, it's in Steve's interest to do away with DMCA restrictions on DVDs, as it only makes iPods look better to consumers as the realm of movies available for them increases. I can't see how Steve's interests and my consumer interests don't align on this one.

Hey, buddy! (3, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588037)

Those black turtlenecks aren't free, you know!

Thaks Steve! (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588109)

But I think I'll just keep using Handbrake. It won't just let me rip my DVDs to my iPod, but also to my PSP, my computer, my , etc. I'm quite happy with it and needn't pay anyone $4.

Premium DVD? (1)

Hanging By A Thread (906564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588113)

You would have thought he would have learned by now. If you just stick a small letter "i" in front of it they would fly off the shelves, and no one would even ask questions.

Dr. Zoidberg says "Star Wars on iDVD? I'll take ten please."

Jobs != MPAA (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588115)

While Steve Jobs has a legitimate interest in the legal download industry (via iTunes and his shares in Disney), I thought he was the one who spoke up for more rights for those who paid their 79p for the music. True, his idea is that piracy 'gives you bad karma', but AFAIK he's the one who has pleaded with the music industry and the RIAA to remove DRM on legal downloads. This makes sense - it gives less incentive to people to download illegally.

I doubt this is true - but nevertheless Jobs has surprised us before. Let's hope we won't be getting a nasty surprise.

I have one word for Steve Jobs... (1)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588125)

SlySoft. [slysoft.com]

And I will add that a few of my studio-pressed and paid-for DVDs are beginning to show signs of deterioration. I'm not paying for another copy when I can recover the original disc's file, repair it in the process, and re-burn it (as I should be able to do under Fair Use) to a replacement disc.

Keep the peace(es).

Oh come on now is Slashdot this stupid? (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588139)

Or is this just a example of how poorly implemented Firehose is? There is not one bit of information that could be factually backed up in the linked article. They wont even say Jobs is outright doing it (saying apparently or suspected)

Given Jobs recent letters to the media, I highly doubt this is true at all, and strongly suspect this is a bullshit article made to play right into the fears people have here. There are a number of media entities who dont like Jobs, and I would not be shocked that the same groups suing grandmothers, would also like to see Jobs tarnished for making them look like fools to the public.

Until I see Jobs outright say it, this is bullshit, and anyone who is taking this to be fact is a gullible fool. There is not one shred of factual basis anywhere in the blurb.

Which Steve? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588155)

So which Steve is this? Is it Apple Steve Jobs, or Disney/Pixar Steve Jobs?

Reality check? (2, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588291)

Lord, oh Lord, the Apple apologists are out in force. Surely Jesus Jobs would never do anything that would lower his saintly profile to less than those of Mother Teresa and Ghandi!

Get real folks. If Apple pulls another $4 out of your pocket of course they're taking a cut. What are we? School children?

And Poor Saint Jobs, forced by the big bad media companies into doing this? C'mon! Jobs sat down with them and together they cut a deal that will hopefully see both of them make bigger profits. It's highly unlikely that Jobs is giving away the farm with no benefit to Apple shareholders. To suggest otherwise is incredibly naïve.

Maybe I'll pay (2, Informative)

anneha (1051480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588333)

But only if they change that retarded name - "Space-shifting"? Back in the day, we used to call it "moving files".

How much for... (0)

PoopDaddy (1064616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588335)

Space Shifting DVDs to Cost Extra?
How much for Shape-Shifting DVDs?

Apple miscalculation (3, Insightful)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21588337)

Apple makes some wonderful products, but people forget the company has a string of failures alongside its string of successes. Not that there's anything wrong with this, you have to fail to succeed, even if you're Steve Jobs, but iTunes video is best understood in the context of failure, IMHO.

There's just very little reason to buy video from Apple at this time. DVD players are overwhelmingly cheap, and DVDs are cheap and easy to buy OR RENT. Netflix, Blockbuster, Wal Mart, Target etc etc are all too happy to put DVDs in your hands. They are making loads of money on them, as are the studios, the only people not cashing in are the writers (see: WGA strike).

The primitive state of broadband means downloads are not pressuring the industry, there is piracy but it's just not like it was for music in the Napster days. At that time you could literally get virtually any song on your hard drive within a few minutes. For video, you need to figure out BitTorrent, then wait wait wait for the download. Or you need to set up iTunes and then wait wait wait for the download.

THEN you have to get your TV hooked up to your computer, and then tolerate visibly worse quality. This was not the case with MP3s, they sounded just as good as CDs to most people, despite the specs, and people already had headphones to plug in to their computers, or a miniplug to hook up to the stereo cost $5 at Radio Shack.

Amid this backdrop, Apple is trying to make a market for video downloads. But the effort is futile until broadband speeds get up closer to FTTP (fiber) levels. Even then, the studios probably won't hand Apple a new market to dominate like they did last time. Wired recently quoted one studio head who said he gave in to Jobs on iTunes because Jobs pointed out that Mac's 5 percent market share mitigated the risk -- if the studio's worst nightmares came true, the impact would still be minor. No one is going to be fooled this time around into thinking Jobs just wants to make an innocent little side service for Mac users. You can bet a Google or Netflix is going to get licensing parity (which did not happen with iTunes).

DVD's are a little different than CD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588475)

The main problem, in the USA, with ripping a DVD to your media player, like you can with a CD, is that it against the law (DMCA) to break the encryption on a DVD. CD's don't have encryption, therefore there should be no law against it.

Actually.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21588497)

I'd love it if the HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray disks I bought included AppleTV friendly (720p) versions ready to play.. $4 extra for that, isn't *that* offensive...

AppleTV/iPod friendly 480p versions on standard DVDs should be free...

I'd prefer to see it go the other way as well... I'd prefer to see Apple sell 720p content and allow it to be burned to HD-DVD/Blu-ray for viewing ... I don't want to have to buy a 5th 500GB HD for a few movies I'm going to watch once a year!

This would help encourage more HD adoption.. Win/Win... Those that aren't interested in paying extra for lowres content can be happy, and people that want higher quality, and most often are more than willing to pay for it, will be as well.

Shrug. I have doubts we'll see this tho. That would make too much sense. Odds are it will be $4 extra for 480p content *spits*.

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