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Media Businesses Apple Your Rights Online

Space Shifting DVDs to Cost Extra? 361

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the digital-restrictions-monkeybusiness dept.
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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Space Shifting DVDs to Cost Extra?

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  • No way... (Score:4, Funny)

    by hax0r_this (1073148) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:06PM (#21587535)
    Are you trying to tell me that Steve Jobs wants to make money off of consumers?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CaptainZapp (182233) *

      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... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by OECD (639690) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:45PM (#21588103) Journal

        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... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by araemo (603185) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:03PM (#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.
        • by aonaran (15651)
          I don't think Apple is going to make any money off this (not directly anyway) because they don't sell DVD movies.
          I do think that Disney and Pixar stand to make more, and I think that Apple will have a competitive advantage when they are allowed to incorporate DVD ripping into iTunes just like they have CD ripping.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by oahazmatt (868057)
          I actually wonder about this as well, but propose a different outcome:

          If Steve Jobs promotes these DVDs that allow you to copy the movie, and it only costs $4 to avoid a very in-depth discussion of your rights as a consumer in regards to intellectual property, there may be quite a few people who adopt to this format.

          Now suppose, and this probably isn't too likely, the public begins to purchase these slightly-more expensive DVDs. Would we see price cuts in the original format as well as this new format
        • Re:No way... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @10:20PM (#21592707) Journal

          The thing is, I don't think that Apple is going to make much money off of this
          I have a 3G iPod (20GB). I have ripped every CD I own, and it's not quite full. In the four years since I got it, my music collection has grown by about 3GB (and I've been buying a lot more music recently than I used to since I started listening to Radio Paradise). In the same time, the iPod in the same market segment has increased in capacity by 60GB. When I can get a 24 or 32GB flash version, I will probably upgrade (moving parts are so 20th century). After that, I probably won't buy a portable music player for a very long time.

          On the other hand, I have around 50-100 DVDs (not sure exactly how many, some are seasons of TV shows in boxed sets with multiple disks). Assuming around 7GB per DVD, that's 350-700GB. Even reencoding as H.264, that's a few more generations of iPod before I have enough space. More to the point, you don't need to buy too many DVDs a year to make your current storage device obsolete.

          If iTunes let you rip DVDs in the same zero-click way it lets you rip CDs, I would probably have ripped a lot of my disks already, and would be a lot more interested in an iPod with video out (especially one that had support for 5.1 sound out via an external splitter). For $4, I'm not interested though. I suspect the aim of this is to get the functionality shipping in iTunes and then lose a class action lawsuit objecting to them charging.

      • Re:No way... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dc29A (636871) * on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:41PM (#21588905)
        I would pay 4$ extra for a DVD that would include the following bonuses:

        - One iPod and PSP version video of the movie along with one version in a standard codec.
        - One iPod and PSP version video of each episode (if it's something like a Futurama season DVD) along with one version in a standard codec.
        - Flac/Wav/lossless version of the songs, if it's a concert DVD.
        - No DRM on the ripped stuff.

        I am sick of installing 10 gazillion CD/DVD rippers and encoders just so I can watch my DVDs on my PSP and my DSM-320. 4$ for me would be no big deal to pay for that service.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by noc007 (633443)
          Personally I would not pay. IMO it is Fair Use for me to make a backup copy of the DVD movies I purchase. I'm no lawyer, but it seems that the DMCA does allow for copies made for fair use. I'm referring to Sec.1201(c)(1) [loc.gov]. It seems like there may have been a case that ruled in favor of DVD ripping for personal use considered fair use, but I may be confusing that with the contrary. Regardless of the way it is, I feel that it is fair use for me to rip my legally purchased DVDs for personal uses only. I'm in th
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mazin07 (999269)
          Mencoder will do DVD ripping and any type of encoding imaginable, and you can just unextract the binaries instead of installing. All you need is some command-line know-how. Just thought I'd let you know.
    • Re:No way... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by purpledinoz (573045) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:11PM (#21587623)
      It's saying Steve Jobs is trying to make customers pay more for the right to do something that's already a right.
      • Re:No way... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bfizzle (836992) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:34PM (#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... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Froboz23 (690392) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:51PM (#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.
          • So their real motivation is helping the customer buy their products, and licensed accessories on which they collect royalties.

            There, fixed it for ya.

        • 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
      • by yo_tuco (795102)
        "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?
      • by RDW (41497) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:54PM (#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]
    • by McFortner (881162)
      From Apple's 2008 playbook: Apple to charge users to use electricity to power their computers....

      McFortner
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:07PM (#21587551) Homepage Journal
    Is this Steve Jobs wanting to charge you or the MPAA? I suspect the latter.

    Luckily iTunes is not the only tool in town.
    • by fermion (181285)
      For music, the ITMS provides extremely good long term value. Burn the music onto a CD, and one has the ability to play the music for as long as CD players exist. Reimport the music to another computer, and one has the ability to play the music for as long as the computer holds out. Of course Amazon is now the first choice with unencumbered music for the same price.

      OTOH, ITMS has never provided a good value for videos, does not compete with free, and I have spent relatively little money there. The vid

  • For that price... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:08PM (#21587575) Homepage

    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by orclevegam (940336)

      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

      • 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.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          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.
      • Perhaps this is the real reason that Apple developed and applied for a patent on a special mini-DVD adapter for slot-loading drives. The iPod-encoded x264 version might be a little big to squeeze on next to the MPEG-2 version, but perhaps they will include a mini-DVD in the package that has an encrypted copy of the x264 version on it, and the unique Disc ID must be registered to your iTunes account before it will copy to your library or device. It would also give you a way to put a bunch of movies on your

    • 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.
  • DVDs are encrypted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:09PM (#21587577) Homepage
    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.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:25PM (#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?
      • by adminstring (608310) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:42PM (#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.
        • by ceoyoyo (59147)
          Lots of people said the same thing about FairPlay but all the time Jobs was putting pressure on the music industry to make DRM free releases available. If you look at this it's following the same pattern as what Apple did with online music: make the copyright holders happy, turn iTMS into a big hit, then use that popularity to lean on the copyright holders.
    • 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.
      • by russotto (537200)

        The DMCA does not restrict fair use, per se.

        So it says, right there in the legislation. But it does, de facto.

        You are welcome to decode anything you purchase.

        Not according to MPAA v. 2600 (which the EFF failed to appeal). Further, if you create a tool to help you in the decoding, you're violating the DMCA.

        You're welcome to buy any tool you need to do the decoding.

        Depends on whether "trafficking" includes purchasing as well as distributing. Usually it does.

    • by pknoll (215959)
      The DMCA already allows you to circumvent encryption for the purpose of interoperability. Whether that applies in this particular case, I wouldn't know.
    • by Dan667 (564390)
      dd if=/dev/dvd of=movie.iso problem solved, still has encryption and it did not cost you a dime.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        "dd if=/dev/dvd of=movie.iso problem solved, still has encryption and it did not cost you a dime."

        Doesn't always work. Try it with Pirates of the Caribbean 2...won't work. Sony did something weird like putting in bad sectors on purpose that blow up bit for bit copying....

  • by psydeshow (154300) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:09PM (#21587585) Homepage
    This might explain why there is a "Deauthorize Media" option in the Features menu of Leopard's DVD Player.

    • by dipakpatel (682365) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @07:37PM (#21591531)
      From DVD Player Help:
      ------
      Authorizing DVDs
      When parental controls are enabled, the computer administrator must authorize a DVD before it can be played.

      To authorize DVDs (if you are the administrator):

      Select how you want to authorize the DVD:

      To allow the movie to be played this time only, and then to require an administrator name and password every subsequent time, click Play Once.

      To allow the movie to be played this time and every subsequent time without requiring an administrator name and password, click Always Allow.

      Type the administrator name and password.

      To remove authorization, insert the DVD and choose Features > Deauthorize Media. Then either quit DVD Player or insert another disk to complete deauthorization.
      ----
  • by Alzheimers (467217) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:11PM (#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.
    • by Dirk Pitt (90561)
      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
      • by Oopsz (127422)
        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 click
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192)
        AppleTV is ahead of its time

        What does the AppleTV do that a tivo, xbox media center, or mythtv box couldn't do years ago?
  • Let's do it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:12PM (#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.
    • 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

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrNemesis (587188)
      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 pe
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        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
  • IMHO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inimcus (554859) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:18PM (#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.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      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.
  • This reminds me.... (Score:4, Informative)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:21PM (#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.
  • Um.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:22PM (#21587789) Homepage
    Who wants to tell them we've been doing this for years already?

    MythDVD
  • A Non-Starter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:26PM (#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.
    • by riceboy50 (631755)

      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.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:30PM (#21587897) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by Nova Express (100383) <lawrenceperson@g m a i l . com> on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:30PM (#21587903) Homepage Journal

    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...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Myopic (18616)
      Something that is supposed is not factual, or is possibly not true. Something that is apparent is factual, or is probably factual, in that it appears to be factual.

      It's "Apparent", as in "obvious". Something that is apparently true is obviously true (though possibly untrue, if appearances deceive). On the other hand, if you merely suppose something to be true, then you are much more likely to be wrong, in that you don't have evidence, you just have a supposition.

      More to the point -- dude this is Slashdot. I
  • 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.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:35PM (#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.
    • by bechthros (714240)
      "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 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.
  • Hey, buddy! (Score:3, Funny)

    by operagost (62405) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @02:39PM (#21588037) Homepage Journal
    Those black turtlenecks aren't free, you know!
  • 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.
  • 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).

  • 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 g

  • So which Steve is this? Is it Apple Steve Jobs, or Disney/Pixar Steve Jobs?
  • Reality check? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566)
    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 high
  • Maybe I'll pay (Score:2, Informative)

    by anneha (1051480)
    But only if they change that retarded name - "Space-shifting"? Back in the day, we used to call it "moving files".
  • by DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:01PM (#21588337) Homepage
    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).
  • In basic economics classes, they teach that when two items are bundled the price of the two will tend to average toward the price most suited to the item of greater demand.

    So, slap a $4 dollar download code onto a $12 dollar DVD and while you might get away with a $16 dollar price for a brief time with strong advertising, it won't be long before the thing sells for $12 dollars again.

    Nobody bundles a strongly-demanded product with another strongly-demanded product. If both were strongly-demanded then they'd
  • I'm sorry, I know, you'd think I'd know better by now, but I read the article.

    And it basically says Jobs likes the idea of a company selling a "premium" version of a DVD that includes an iTunes download of the same movie. And so TechDirt spins it as "the DMCA at work"-- which is a reasonable explanation, given that technically a tool like Handbrake _is_ illegal.

    (Funny, of course, that nobody wants to take the folks who make Handbrake to court yet...)

    It would've been so easy for Apple to spin it the other wa
  • Won't be an issue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ToasterTester (95180) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:34PM (#21588811)
    This wouldn't be an issue or topic if people actually just did space-shifting or only made a copy a couple actual friends. The record companies tolerate that. But people started giving copies out to the whole world, while acting all innocent as claiming they just want to space-shift or archive is why prices have never dropped, why so much music is formula crap, and so on. People like to point to record companies and scream they are greedy, but they are reacting to what the public is doing to them. It's a vicious circle.

    I would say all this has led to people wanting quantities of music and not quality music. In past when everyone paid for music you listened hard to who you were going to spend your money on. Record companies had to try their best to put out good music so get your money. Now a days people just want to say "I have 10,000 downloads of stuff". How much of that do you actually listen to versus just occupies space on a hard drive and is all that really stuff worth listening to??? I only bring this up because the war between the downloaders and RIAA has many bad side effects and a boatload of crap music is one of those side effects.
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday December 05, 2007 @04:00PM (#21589143)
    This proposal illustrates clearly one of the main points that opponents of DRM have long made against DRM and that is that DRM allows the creators or owners of the work thus protected to seize extra rights for themselves or even those rights which have classically belonged to the consumer (i.e. fair use). Of course, the reason for doing this is so that the creator or owner can SELL that "privilege" back to the consumer when in fact that "privilege" is a right which belongs to the consumer and cannot be sold back to them because it was theirs in the first place.

    Now, it may be the case that through DRM they have made it difficult to exercise my rights without paying them (i.e. I have to break the DRM to enable my rights), but that brings up another problem with DRM and specifically the DMCA. It is unlawful (technically) to break the DRM (aka access protection mechanism) even if I break it for the purpose of re-enabling my rights to time or format shift or for fair use. As the law is currently written it is unlawful to break the DRM no matter what the intent and that is wrong. The DMCA needs to be changed so that safe harbors for breaking the access protection mechanism are created when the consumer is re-enabling RIGHTS that the creator or owner has seized improperly via DRM (aka the access protection mechanism).
  • The only mentions of Jobs or Apple in the NYT article are: "Disney, of which Steve Jobs is a director and large shareholder, sells movies through the iTunes Store, and the other major studios don't. The issue has been that the studios want to charge more money for downloads than Mr. Jobs thinks they are worth." and "Apple has relented and has agreed to a higher wholesale price for movies."

    The following paragraph continues, "More interestingly perhaps, the studios are hoping to create "premium" versions of DVDs that include a copy of the movie that can easily be put on an iPod (and presumably a laptop with iTunes or an Apple TV). Fox has tried this already, with a version of "Die Hard 4 that includes a digital copy. Mr. Greenfield writes that this version costs $3 or $4 more than an ordinary DVD."

    This paragraph doesn't refer to Jobs at all, but rather to a DVD that Fox released.

    I'm missing the connection between Apple and Fox that Tim Lee's seeing. Can someone explain where this is hiding?
  • by LKM (227954) on Thursday December 06, 2007 @09:47AM (#21596121) Homepage
    The iPod was successfull because it's legal for Apple to offer a way to move CDs on an iPod. The same is not the case with movies, but now that iPods, iPhones and the AppleTV support movies, Apple needs to find a way to make it legal.

    This is probably the only way they can get the content providers to agree: Show them the money carrot. Make it legal for your customers to move movies to different media, and you'll get money. I think it's not so bad; everyone wins:

    1. People who buy DVDs get an easy, legal way to move their movies to their iPhones, iPods and whatnot (and no, handbrake does not fit that bill)
    2. Media owners get more money
    3. Apple gets a market for the AppleTV, which was a failure so far, and a way for users to fill their movie-capable players

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