×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

BitTorrent Video Download Store Falls Flat

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the working-as-intended dept.

Movies 195

seriously writes "We've all heard about BitTorrent going legit this week with legal movie and TV show downloads. Ars Technica took a look at the service to see how usable it was and ran into a few snags, including not being able to download or even open the video files on some computers. However, the ones that they did manage to open varied a lot in quality. Overall, they blame DRM: 'Without knowing whether browser compatibility and dysfunctional video files are a rare occurrence or not, it's hard to say whether BitTorrent's service is a good one overall. Our initial experiences have been disappointing and frustrating, and guess what the culprit is once again? DRM. Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear, but whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

again... (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184416)

Our initial experiences have been disappointing and frustrating, and guess what the culprit is once again? DRM. Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear, but whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable.'

Once again proving the point that DRM is nothing but punishment for being a paying customer.

You must be a quick reader... (-1, Offtopic)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184438)

to have read an Ars Technica article inside a minute of slashdot posting the story and you posting your comment. I'm still loading mine.

Re:You must be a quick reader... (4, Funny)

CiaranC (69596) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184472)

you must be new here

Re:You must be a quick reader... (2, Funny)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184524)

That old line hey, gets em every time.

Re:You must be a quick reader... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186238)

Don't subscribers get the stories earlier?

Re:You must be a quick reader... (5, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184512)

You know, AT is a popular site, especially among slashdot readers.

I read the article before it appeared here. Obviously someone else did because they posted it to slashdot.

I'm not saying the OP read the article, but this article appeared on Ars Technica before it appeared here. This isn't some story that slashdot broke.

Re:You must be a quick reader... (0)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184708)

I should hope that, being an article published by AT, that it would appear there before here.. Can you say "aggregator"?

Aikon-

Re:You must be a quick reader... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18186312)

>>This isn't some story that slashdot broke.

I'll break your face if you ever post here again.

Re:You must be a quick reader... (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184698)

He didn't have to read the whole article to post that... he just copied what was in the story above. And that certainly takes less than a minute.

Re:again... (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184460)

No, according to the RIAA it *adds* value for the customer!!! *rolls eyes*

Is a week long enough to tell if a service will work in the long run? Imagine if we used such journalistic skills for companies like Microsoft or McDonalds...

"After a solid 7 hours of being open, it's clear, Microsoft will never make a sale."

Tom

Re:again... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18184500)

Please tell me what the RIAA has to do with movies again?

Re:again... (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184514)

shutupyourface.

MPAA/RIAA/etc all the same shit. Sony BMG, Sony Pictures ... yeah really different companies there...

I could have just said mafiaa and covered them both, but I felt like picking on the music industry for a bit.

Also, your mother is a whore.

Re:again... (4, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184582)

You have no chance to survive make your time.

HA HA HA HA HA

Re:again... (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184680)

Sent us up the bomb?

Your mother, is not a whore. Though she does do that nice thing with her tungue that I like. (thanks tshirthell.com).

Tom

Re:again... (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184730)

Um.. I'm not sure if you were trying to work in some other joke I don't know about... but it's somebody set up us the bomb.

Re:again... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184804)

whatever, I never played the game [too busy with frogger, damn traffic] and I don't go around the office quoting it or anything.

I'm too cool to know the quote, ya that's it. :-)

Tom

Re:again... (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185268)

I guarantee you 99.99% of the people who can quote the Zero Wing "all your base" shtick verbatim have never played the game.

I can make no judgment as to how many of them played Frogger.

Re:again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185826)

And now will you tell us wtf a "tungue" is?

Mmmm, okay, lets see (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185616)

If I go into a newly opened restaurant, give my order and seven hours later I would still be waiting for my food, I would NOT give that restaurant another chance.

You seem to have an amazingly silly idea of how you sell things. In the real world you get your stuff in order and THEN launch. I know I know, this the computer industry, home of the patch and beta release, but regular stores like McDonalds do NOT work that way.

Why on earth you label a regular business with Microsoft or for that matter an IT company is beyond me.

You can rest assure that when McD launches a new hamburger they will have at least done some testing to see that the majority of customers are in fact able to digest it. They also do not attempt to stop you from feeding that burger to your dog, splitting a cola with your friends or use the ice cubes to cool your overheated radiator.

If the article is accurate then it is extremely bad, but expected, news for the site. Crippling DRM, inability to just take the customers money (imagine if McD refused to sell you food because it thought you were from the wrong country) and just plain not being able to match up with the ease of downloading the same stuff for free.

I could have gotten all the stuff he payed for, for less and play it without WiMP. Oh and used the money for snacks and drinks.

You know the funny thing? It is not that I am cheap, I got money to burn, and never had a trouble renting or buying stuff before. Just that it has gotten so much easier to just fire up a torrent.

Frankly this looks the same as when napster went legit. Too little, too late.

Re:again... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186166)

A day or a week is way too short. However, impressions like these won't help unless of course BitTorrent addresses the problems.

I think that DRM is only relevant for rented downloads, it allows people to pay for a limited time for a lower price. DRM for a personal copy is not something that I accept.

Re:again... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184904)

We don't call DRM Defective By Design, because it works all of the time ;-)

DRM, is there anything good that it can't break? It bugs the heck out of me that only "legit" services use DRM.

Re:again... (1)

NTesla (99917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185924)

"Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases.."
BECAUSE 50% of Windows XP machines that were used to download DRMed movies were using "borrowed" or keygenned serial numbers :)
[btw, this was meant to be funny]

DRM (1)

JamDonut (1068924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184440)

The industry will learn one day that DRM is not a viable business model, it just gets on peoples chimes....

Re:DRM (1)

beckett (27524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184548)

Video offerings in Microsoft file format didn't help much for cross platform operability or hopes for future compatibility either.

wtf chimes (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185462)

Whats with that phrase, 'get on peoples chimes'. Im seeing it everywhere since about two weeks ago. Is this some sort of guerrilla doorbell marketting campagne?

Re:wtf chimes (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185840)

Whats with that phrase, 'get on peoples chimes'. Im seeing it everywhere since about two weeks ago. Is this some sort of guerrilla doorbell marketting campagne?


I don't know. I tried squirting it on to Google, but the links just pointed back here ...

short term profit (5, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184488)

Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear

The more we can download all of our media, the less need there is for a giant distibution company. I don't think the big players want legal, easy, inexpensive media downloads.

Because "they" want to get paid "again" (4, Insightful)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184658)

The content industry has already admitted DRM has nothing to do with piracy and everything to do with forcing the consumer to pay for the same content, over and over again. It should come as no surprise then, that the downloaded content failed to work (so that the sucker^H^H^H^H^H^H consumer will be compelled to pay for the same content, again.)

Re:Because "they" want to get paid "again" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185422)

The content industry has already admitted

Source?

Re:Because "they" want to get paid "again" (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186064)

I'm not trying to flame you or anything but I'd be interested in press releases or anything of the sort where a media giant expresses that sentiment.

/genuinely curious

Re:short term profit (2, Insightful)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184894)

The more we can download all of our media, the less need there is for a giant distribution company. I don't think the big players want legal, easy, inexpensive media downloads.

I would have to disagree. The value of the "big players" to the actual content creators' isn't their ability to distribute films, it's their available capital and connections which are used to create insane amounts of marketing, world-wide.

For the independent movie producer, finding a distribution company to manufacture and distribute movies is relatively cheap and easy. What's prohibitively expensive is the TV ads, Billboard Ads, Radio Station ads and all the other publicity (in SONY's case even fake movie reviewers) which ensures the "blockbuster" movies are a hit; usually regardless of their actual quality.

The horrendous (but still very commercially successful) Da Vinci Code movie is a recent example.

Re:short term profit (3, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185102)

"used to create insane amounts of marketing, world-wide."

And, of course, the insane amount of marketing is needed to counter the insane amount of marketing that other makers get. Essentially making sure a large part of the capital available from the end-consumer goes, not to fund more movies, but to maintain a pointless marketing war that neither consumers nor creators want or benefit from.

Re:short term profit (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185530)

The mass marketing adavantage/need is beginning to slip as well. Look as far back as "Blair Witch", grassroots internet buzz and viral marketing are overtaking billboards and TV commercials.

Re:short term profit (1)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185954)

How did that work out for Snakes on a Plane?

DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184536)

Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear, but whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable.

Um, maybe its because most DRM works only by virtually destroying a user's PC? When DRM makers finally agree on a standard (for better or for worse) THEN we'll start seeing progress (on the part of DRM breaking 'hackers').

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (5, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184600)

Um, maybe its because most DRM works only by virtually destroying a user's PC?

No shit man, this has got to stop. I installed Windows Media Player 11, and my laptop display exploded in a puff of orange smoke. Then I installed iTunes, and my hard drive melted into a puddle of metal that burned a hole through my desk and set my pants on fire. Someone must do something!

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (1)

prencher (971087) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184874)

Let me guess, it's a dell?

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185014)

SOrry, wroNg answer. Please trY again.

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (2, Funny)

lambent (234167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185580)

SONPY? What the hell is a SONPY?

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (0)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185548)

oh yeah, well when I installed WMP 11 my computer got up, ran out of the room and invaded poland, *then* melted and blew up.

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (1)

g1zmo (315166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186258)

Someone please think of the pants!

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184758)

Yeah, we'll see progress when a standard DRM method is implemented across the vast majority of digital media the world over.

Just imagine the leaps and bounds in advancement our society will make when that one is cracked!

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185104)

"Um, maybe its because most DRM works only by virtually destroying a user's PC?"

For what it's worth, I've bought a bunch of stuff from the iTunes store (which makes use of DRM) and I haven't had any problems. Oh, I do get the "beach ball" from time to time, but it's usually due to mail.app, the new version of Adium, or sometimes even Firefox. I've never had a system instability issue which I could trace to the fact that I have a bunch of Fairplay music in a directory somewhere.

I've seen some iTunes store users complain about the limitations of DRM, but they've largely been on the order of "I wasn't able to use a song I bought in Final Cut and then distribute the MPEG" or "I can't easily put my music on a player other than the iPod." In both instances that's the purpose of Fairplay, and not an unintended side effect.

YMMV, of course.

Re:DRM failed? Say it ain't so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18186168)

Oh, I do get the "beach ball" from time to time


WTF? Is that a mac thing? Seriously, what does that mean?

Legit is a funny term for an industry cartel (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18184554)

DRM is clearly anti-consumer. The only way that it's possibly going to get accepted is by collaberation between supposedly competing groups within the entertainment industry. In other words a cartel. Now that probably is actually illegal; it definitely should be. The fact that they can get away with it by buying some politicians and by controlling the media (which they often own) doesn't make it any less criminal.

Let's not confuse "adding DRM" with "going legitimate" please.

DRM to be considered harmful (5, Insightful)

Looce (1062620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184580)

After HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs being locked out of people who didn't buy DHCP-enabled monitors, video cards and an encrypted video path to view them... This is not even a surprise to me.

In the end, the easiest thing for a consumer to do will be to just open up The Pirate Bay and type the name of a movie they want. It's sure to work wherever they want, provided they have the codec to play it. And if they don't, they can convert it to MPEG-2, or any other such standard.

Consumers do not want to buy a separate version of their music for their iPod, their Zune, their Gigabeat, their [insert name of portable Flash/USB player here], etc. They don't want to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on new technology to hear what they want, either. Audio CDs have worked for nearly two decades. This goes for video as well. The *AA's need to realise that.

Then again, it's what Apple and Microsoft want: to lock people into their player, so that they must buy another if it breaks. Interoperability would just make every player equal... Oh no, we have to actually think of new features for our players instead of just relying on lock-in to bring us sales! What should we do?!

P.S.: Many stories on Slashdot seem to revolve around DRM lately. I have an impression of déjà vu...

Re:DRM to be considered harmful (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184828)

After HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs being locked out of people who didn't buy DHCP-enabled monitors, video cards and an encrypted video path to view them... This is not even a surprise to me.

They're not locked out, they're reduced to a lower resolution. You can still watch them.

In the end, the easiest thing for a consumer to do will be to just open up The Pirate Bay and type the name of a movie they want. It's sure to work wherever they want, provided they have the codec to play it. And if they don't, they can convert it to MPEG-2, or any other such standard.

If they don't have a codec to play it, they probably don't have a codec to convert it.

Consumers do not want to buy a separate version of their music for their iPod, their Zune, their Gigabeat, their [insert name of portable Flash/USB player here], etc. They don't want to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on new technology to hear what they want, either. Audio CDs have worked for nearly two decades. This goes for video as well. The *AA's need to realise that.

Of course, if you buy the CD and rip it, you don't have DRM problems. Just a copyright flag that pretty much all software and even hardware ignores.

Then again, it's what Apple and Microsoft want: to lock people into their player, so that they must buy another if it breaks.

The paranoid among us might believe that Steve Jobs would release an open letter condemning DRM just to take the heat off Apple for using DRM. It might even be true. But I don't that's actually all that likely.

Microsoft, on the other hand, definitely operates through vendor lock-in.

Apple has never been the most open company or anything, but they're not as bad as Microsoft in that way. (They are worse in others; they have been known to attempt to hide evidence of their abuse of customers. So I think they both suck.)

Re:DRM to be considered harmful (2, Informative)

Looce (1062620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184956)

In the end, the easiest thing for a consumer to do will be to just open up The Pirate Bay and type the name of a movie they want. It's sure to work wherever they want, provided they have the codec to play it. And if they don't, they can convert it to MPEG-2, or any other such standard.
If they don't have a codec to play it, they probably don't have a codec to convert it.
Apologies for this. I didn't write what I thought correctly. I meant, if they don't:
  • have the codec in their player of choice, they can convert it with their computer if they have the codec on it (like AVI/DivX, even though DivX players are more and more common);
  • have the codec at all, ask someone they know for an MPEG-2 version.

Either way, they can always check the torrent site for MPEG-2 versions of movies they want. Or anything they have codecs to play.

Re:DRM to be considered harmful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18184890)

Leaving completely alone the question of why one would need Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) on a monitor to watch Blu-ray...

In the end, the easiest thing for a consumer to do will be to just open up The Pirate Bay and type the name of a movie they want. It's sure to work wherever they want, provided they have the codec to play it. And if they don't, they can convert it to MPEG-2, or any other such standard.

And, if they're not interested in looking at their HD movie on their 20-inch computer monitor, they can move their TV right next to their computer. But there's not enough room in their mom's basement. Then they can burn it to DVD. Except HD content is too big for a DVD. Then they can burn it to HD DVD. But they'd need to get both a HD DVD burner and a HD DVD player. Which they can't use because their set isn't HDCP-enabled.

Maybe they should just go to a neighbor's house and watch it there...

Re:DRM to be considered harmful (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185170)

And, if they're not interested in looking at their HD movie on their 20-inch computer monitor, they can move their TV right next to their computer. But there's not enough room in their mom's basement. Then they can burn it to DVD. Except HD content is too big for a DVD. Then they can burn it to HD DVD. But they'd need to get both a HD DVD burner and a HD DVD player. Which they can't use because their set isn't HDCP-enabled.
Leaving completely alone the question of whether this is a flame or not, there have been lots of reported cases of DA discs [ukcdr.org] (CD-DA: CD Digital Audio) that were not playable in legally-bought standard home stereos and car radios.

Now, can you tell me for sure whether that will happen or not in the future for legally-bought set-top DVD players? And if that does happen for DVD players, what can the consumer do about it?

Re:DRM to be considered harmful (1)

kilbo (725707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184948)

After HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs being locked out of people who didn't buy DHCP-enabled monitors, video cards and an encrypted video path to view them... This is not even a surprise to me.
What about BOOTP?

Re: "What about BOOTP?" (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185086)

What about it? BOOTP is a network protocol from which DHCP orignated.

Re: "What about BOOTP?" (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185182)

I see you're covering ground patrol this week.

DHCP vs HDCP (2, Informative)

bogd (912084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186160)

DHCP [wikipedia.org] - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network

HDCP [wikipedia.org] - High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to control digital audio and video content

Re:DHCP vs HDCP (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186308)

Haha, I didn't even see that letter switch, even in the preview. Sorry about that typo. Yes, it's HDCP.

WHY? (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184588)

"Why the DRM failed to work on 50% of our purchases is not clear, but whatever the cause, it's simply unacceptable.'""

Why? If failed because it is defective by design. It failed because they (whomever "they" are) don't have control over all the various bits and pieces. It failed because DRM deliberately breaks things, on purpose. DRM fails, unless you have complete and utter control over all aspects of distribution/playback, and simply put, they don't have control over people's PCs. Nor will they ever.

And, it is simply unacceptable. But rather than look at the real problem (DRM), they are blaming the distribution protocol (BT).

One last point: The whole "whatever the cause" is turning a blind eye to the real issue, which is DRM cannot work on systems (not just computers) that they don't control. PERIOD.

I just wish the industry technocrats would just look at the obvious. DRM doesn't increase (or maintain) control, it decreases satisfaction in the customer, which makes it .... "simply unacceptable"

Re:WHY? (2, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184812)

The one way that DRM can work is replacing the "personal computer" in home environments with a dedicated entertainment appliance.

This has numerous advantages for the home user because it can be immune to viruses, spyware and trojans. It can provide a superior entertainment experience apart from what constitutes a "home PC" today. And, it can be cheaper because there will be fewer options and support will be much, much cheaper.

And, because it is controlled, DRM can absolutely work. 100% of the time, just like CSS works on a DVD player today.

Forget WebTV. Think OLPC for home entertainment.

Re:WHY? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184932)

"And, because it is controlled, DRM can absolutely work. 100% of the time, just like CSS works on a DVD player today."

Yes, indeed. So why not just buy/rent DVDs ??? Oh because you want to watch them on your PC flying from NY to Paris, or on your PSP on the commute into NYC from the Hamptons, letting the rugrats watch in the car on the way to grandma's house, or on your cell phone during halftime at the game or ......

The problem is that people want to not only time shift but also format shift what they want to watch, without having to pay for it over and over.

Are you willing to pay for the movie for each of the mediums you wish to view it on? I didn't think so.

Re:WHY? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185000)

Why? If failed because it is defective by design. It failed because they (whomever "they" are) don't have control over all the various bits and pieces. It failed because DRM deliberately breaks things, on purpose.
Defective
Recorded
Media

Re:WHY? (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185066)

I've always used and favoured the (perhaps more accurate, definitely more inflammatory)

Defective
Restricted (or restrictive)
Media

You can substitute "Music" or "Movie" for "Media" where suitable as well.

DRM (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18184636)

Overall, they blame DRM

OK, I'll get flamed to death, but oh well. To make a statement like that is silly. That's like trying a new piece of software and then condemning all software in that category because one failed. Apple has shown that properly written DRM can have a minimal impact on the "user experience". Just because the DRM mechanism used by BitTorrent sucks, I guess the naysayers feel the urge to exclaim, "It was the DRM" (visions of MP and Death with outstretched fingers). In reality, it was BitTorrents DRM, and hugely important distinction. We cry and moan when one flaw in OSS causes critics to then paint all OSS with the same brush, but we are so quick to do the same when it suits us. But hey, I guess that means that we're only human.

Re:DRM (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184880)

Apple has shown that properly written DRM can have a minimal impact on the "user experience".

Excuse me? Huh? Maybe if you have a player that supports AAC it has a minimal impact. Otherwise you have to burn a CD and rip it back to MP3 (which isn't hard but it's more than a minimal impact) to play on your less expensive hardware.

All Apple's DRM has shown is that people don't give a shit as long as they are cool because they all use the same device with white ear buds to play music.

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185122)

Excuse me? Huh? Maybe if you have a player that supports AAC it has a minimal impact. Otherwise you have to burn a CD and rip it back to MP3 (which isn't hard but it's more than a minimal impact) to play on your less expensive hardware.

Fine, if you're part of the 20% that doesn't use an ipod, and even more, part of the significantly smaller percentage that I guess insists on using ITMS without an ipod, then it's a hassle. Fact is, for the majority of people, Apple has presented a decent (and best so far) middle ground between protecting content and not getting in users way. You can come up with end cases all day long if you wish.

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185430)

Uhh, the majority of people in the world don't own an iPod and thus the store and its DRM are pointless for the rest of us. It's a fucking hassle.

Re:DRM (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185456)

Apple has shown that properly written DRM can have a minimal impact on the "user experience". Just because the DRM mechanism used by BitTorrent sucks, I guess the naysayers feel the urge to exclaim, "It was the DRM" (visions of MP and Death with outstretched fingers).
I was sent a gift certificate for the iTunes store. I use Linux, I can't redeem the certificate. You call that "minimal impact"? Some people just wasted quite a bit of money on a useless certificate.

Unfortunately the person that sent it to me didn't even know about DRM (they know about Linux though).

Sorry, 'proper' DRM is interoperable DRM that doesn't infringe on fair rights.

Want to talk about properly written DRM from Apple? I know people who couldn't play older DRM songs they bought from iTunes after they upgraded iTunes. Is that proper?

Re:DRM (1)

hooded_fang (964565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185928)

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic/ [apple.com] I'd tend to disagree with you. While Apple uses DRM, it's pretty obvious that aren't 100% on it. I've worked with DRM and its like trying to pull your sportscar with a horse. It doesnt work all that well and probably costs the end user a lot. When it gets to more than its worth you'll see the end of DRM.

Why bother? (3, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184766)

Wow. What a crock of shit. I wanted to see what exactly these movies they offered, and well.. They speak for themselves.

In the Sci-Fi category.

4d Man "rent"
A Clockwork Orange "rent"
Alice in Wonderland Broadway production "rent"
Buncha "Alien" movies. "all rent"
Animatrix "own"

Yuck. I wouldnt even download this garbage from Thepiratebay.com , and they're free. I also looked at other sections that piqued my interest, and the similar veneer of crap was about them all.

Why should I pay for a "rental" or a "own" when there are plenty of websites that provide it for free, along with more rights than I would gain with "bittorrent.com" ?

Answer that, and you solve the majority of piracy. And shutting those sites down is not an acceptable answer, as the USA interests are not shared globally.

Re:Why bother? (0, Flamebait)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185060)

"Why should I pay for a "rental" or a "own" when there are plenty of websites that provide it for free, "

Copyright infringement is both morally and legally wrong. Obviously you think Piracy is okay, because you think everything should be free.

"Answer that, and you solve the majority of piracy."

I did, except you insist on piracy because it is "free" (without cost). When presented an alternative (technical merits aside) that doesn't involve "free" you then complain you can get it for "free", even if it is illegal (in most jurisdictions).

People like make me sick and ruin it for those of us who want technically sound, legitimate formats that are convenient and are willing to pay for them so that we aren't infringing copyrights.

Grow up.

Re:Why bother? (1)

chad.koehler (859648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185248)

Copyright infringement is morally wrong? How do you know?

Re:Why bother? (2, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185474)

I tuned out when he called "A Clockwork Orange" garbage.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185916)

The movie is junk.

Have you read the book? That isnt junk.

Just like most of what Phillip K Dick or Asimov wrote: the movies are junk but the books or short stories are awesome.

Re:Why bother? (0, Troll)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185864)

---Copyright infringement is both morally and legally wrong. Obviously you think Piracy is okay, because you think everything should be free.

Wrong. When I download from 'those' websites, I get more than I would have purchased (at any price): my freedom. Please do tell, you CAN shift media formats when you buy the DRM'ed WMV, right?

And whose morals are we talking about here? Mine, or your morals you'd like to force everybody to follow?

---I did, except you insist on piracy because it is "free" (without cost). When presented an alternative (technical merits aside) that doesn't involve "free" you then complain you can get it for "free", even if it is illegal (in most jurisdictions).

No, you didnt. You just did the standard religious "my morals are better than your morals so youre going to hell" type of argument.

Where can I BUY media that is the same quality and same freedom in that which I download freely? I remember vaguely what EMI said... something about us paying for their mistake or somesuch...

---People like make me sick and ruin it for those of us who want technically sound, legitimate formats that are convenient and are willing to pay for them so that we aren't infringing copyrights.

Is geographic lockout good for copyright? Is preventing time and format shifting good for copyright? Is treating the honest, paying user like a criminal good for copyright? Is including disablers and other forms of obnoxious software on what is supposed to be a media disc good for copyright?

I dont think so.

Unfortunately, I cant buy media on terms dictated by fair-use laws and precedent. Hence, I either buy the DVD or download them. I maintain my freedom, unlike those who bought HD-DVD and BluRay and other forms of anti-user control.

My rights matter more than their money.

Re:Why bother? (1)

hooded_fang (964565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186106)

Okay big boy step off the morally superior box for a bit. Who's morals are you using? I know Im not a big fan of the "Do as I say not as I do" technique the US is trying to force others to adhere to the US copyright laws. They are amongst the worst copyright and IP laws going right now cause they put the power in the hands of lawyers not the content creators. If something isnt morally right then yes you dont do it but the US copyright laws stop at the US border. If you have a problem with my morals then I wont come over to dinner but dont come over to my house and tell me to live like this because YOU think I should. Content should be free. Make it ad driven. Id rather watch the Apple Computers presents Heroes free and legally then pay for it. Do you have a problem with that? Tough luck. It's thinking off the stream and challenging questionable ethics that you espouse that is a huge part of being an individual. Attitudes like yours make it hard for those who try to find legal and useful purposes for such technology. If I choose to copyright my stuff and give it out for free that's my perogative. If I choose to allow advertisers to brand my stuff in order to give it out for free that is also my perogative. Im glad your getting sick because you cant have your technically sound formats. MP3 is crap and so are a lot of the formats available on the stores. Heck, you can get better codecs that are open source these days. The big companies refuse to listen to thier customers and if their customers dont feel that they should pay for crap then the big companies should come up with better stuff. By the way since when did conforming to the rules ever produce anything profound. If we stuck to that way of looking at the world, then the sun would rotate around the world and the Earth would be flat. The companies need to change their attitudes and catch up with the public or someone else will. Ive also grown up and realize that dissent is not a bad thing. Maybe it is you archangel michael that needs to grow up and stand up for something except authority and the perceived status quo.

Re:Why bother? (2, Insightful)

marick (144920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185486)

Um... yeah, so the order of the listings on the Sci Fi/Fantasy page is kind of lame. Alphabetical order does that.

My advice to you is to skip past the ones you don't want to see to the ones you DO. For example, I watched "I, Robot" the other night, with a buddy.

It was a 40 minute download (YMMV) for $2.99. And yes, we spent that 40 minutes making popcorn, chatting, and such. The movie was great - my friend's video projector put it up at a whopping 60 inches, and yes, it was good quality at that level.

And no, I didn't try downloading it from ThePirateBay, but now that you mention it, here I go... Ok, I got a torrent, and yeah, it will be another 3 hours 40 minutes until it's downloaded at 64KB/s.

What is your time worth? I'd say on a Friday night, I'd rather pay $2.99 to download a movie in 40 minutes than get it for free in 4 hours. Seems like a good deal to me.

Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (4, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184770)

So bittorrent offers films to rent. I can't see a way this can be implemented without DRM. Otherwise you haven't rented it, you now own the file

So, is the argument that we shouldn't be able to rent a film using our computer or is it just a complaint that they use a poorly implemented Microsoft DRM that isn't compatible across platforms. If, say, Real who already offer applications on each platform were to make some DRM that works on *nix, OS X and Windows would the /. crowd then support it?

I can't see how services like this can be delivered without some way to restrict viewing after a period of time. Is there another option I'm missing?

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185008)

So, is the argument that we shouldn't be able to rent a film using our computer or is it just a complaint that they use a poorly implemented Microsoft DRM that isn't compatible across platforms.

The former. The concept of DRM is inherently flawed. You have a choice between either being forced to use a crippled device that is not the general purpose PC that we all know and love, or having DRM which will be cracked with very little effort. You cannot have both.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather leave my computer alone and not be able to rent movies. I personally don't believe that movie rentals, however cool they might be, are so great that they should be an excuse to destroy the most powerful invention of the past few decades.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185010)

You are correct: you cannot "rent" a download without DRM. The deeper problem, the consumers are basically demanding to own (not license) a movie for the price of rental. If the industry doesn't comply, the consumer goes pirate. Suprise, profit margins just got smaller. The industry needs to stop bitching and accept it. All major profits for a movie must be made in the box office, just like it was before home video.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (1)

chad.koehler (859648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185288)

If a consumer won't purchase an item because the PRICE is not agreeable, then THAT consumer does not affect the profit margin whatsoever.

Now, in this case, the consumer doesn't have the "right" to participate in copyright infringement, but if they do so, it STILL doesn't affect the profit margin.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185758)

Actually, profit margins get larger.

The profit margin on a $20 DVD is probably about 50%. Half of the purchase price goes into manufacturing, shipping, and paying the store.

The profit margin on a $4 online movie purchase could be over 90%. Bandwidth and servers are very cheap and there are basically no other marginal costs to pay.

Online distribution should be win-win, but the big studios seem determined to make it a lose-lose.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185136)

No, you can't wind this game, especially not on slashdot.

Renting is a antiquated term when viewed with respect to digital media of any type. The biggest issue is that there has been a tiered pricing model in the past based on length of access - that access was limited by a physical medium. Both the software and music industries recognized that there is no "rental" when the data is so easy to reproduce as to be trivial - and in response they made certain that copyright law forbid the rental of the physical media which contained those works (I don't have the citiation, but in the US it is true). For video, it was relatively expensive and/or inconvenient to copy the works, and rental stores flourished. I still remember annual and initiation fees (many north of $100) just to have the priveledge to rent the movies.

The idea of renting something doesn't really make sense in a world where there are no incremental costs to produce, and no exclusivity of use of an item. But there's the problem, too. Most consumers put a lower price expectation on a "loaned" item than to own the item - that's natural because we've all grown up to believe in scarcity. There is no scarcity in digital media - the first copy costs an insane amount to produce; the second costs almost nothing. Now, on the opposite side of that debate are the content providers/producers. They value their end-user item at a fixed cost, as if there were an incremental production, packaging, handling, and delivery cost - just like they've always had. In return for reducing or eliminating most of those costs, a lower fee may be paid for a time-limited use. Except that digital media eliminates nearly all of the incremental costs.

So we're at a stalemate where consumers expect a $2-$3 product and the producers want to sell a $20 product. No, let me correct that - the producers expect to sell a $30 product - the "suggested retail price" - even though consumers are used to finding the traditional product at a significant discount, closer to $20. So you've got a 10:1 expectation gap as a result of the data revolution. Until that gets settled, there will be DRM, and nobody will really be happy.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185152)

You're right, you can't have download to rent without DRM. There would be no way to ensure that you didn't watch it after downloading an unprotected source. Really, I don't see any reason why someone would pay to rent a downloadable movie. Playing it on your TV is a lot harder than sticking a DVD in a DVD player. The quality is worse than DVD. It takes longer to download than it does to go to the movie rental store. And that's without any problems encountered due to DRM and files not playing the way they are supposed to.

As far as buying movies through downloads, you definitely don't need DRM. The whole experience would be better without it. Just convert it to whatever format you like, or burn it to a DVD.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18185434)

I can't see how services like this can be delivered without some way to restrict viewing after a period of time. Is there another option I'm missing?

Recognition that if the movie was so shitty you'd only watch it once, you probably wouldn't have paid for it in the first place?

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (0)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185786)

"Otherwise you haven't rented it, you now own the file"

How is this different from going to blockbuster, renting a dvd, then ripping it to your pc with dvd shrink? Sure you technically "rented" it, but you still have a copy too. My point is that "renting" already includes the ability to keep the content, and has even back in the day, with 2 VCRs.

If I've seen something once, doesn't my brain own it? Shouldn't I be able to summon back memories of scenes at will? The only thing stopping me from doing that is a less than perfect memory. Well I personally use the computer to augment my memory, so I fail to see how copying a dvd is any different than having a picture perfect memory.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186042)

> I can't see how services like this can be delivered
> without some way to restrict viewing after a period
> of time.

Well technically I guess you would like pay for ability to download the content or something. By any means. Bittorent protocol seems fine here. But it does not really mean. It could be some other protocol like heavy proxying the content to local ISP servers or smth. like that.

I would pay (be f.e. $10 for good movie) then download the file then watch it and keep it on my HD. What is the problem with that?

It is obvious that I could not legally sell this movie/file to someone else. I could not because I dont *own* the file. I am just being licensed to have it on my HD (my purchase history in strore proves that) but I cannot resell it (licensing terms). But I can do whatever I like with it like plugging it to my video iPod or some other gizmo. What is the problem with that?

With DVD you can buy it and then resell it to another person. So legally let the DVD cost $20 than you and your 20 friend come together and buy the DVD together. And then resell it to each other so finally watching it costs you $1. How it is better/more profitable than selling one file $20 that cannot be legally copied? DRM won't stop me from inviting 20 friends and watching the file with them so it is another mistake.

I am speaking in terms like "can" as in legal terms. Since in practical terms you can do WHATEVER you wish. You just download anything you wish from pirate sites and you watch it. No DRM is ever going to stop this. So this is flawed logic right now.

So MAYBE content distributors need to just change their distribution model since renting films in Internet is not exactly the same as renting films in store. It is annalogical to that surfing web is not exactly surfing on ocean. Quite different in fact.

Re:Is the objection to DRM or Microsoft DRM (1)

jamietre (1051578) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186052)

"I can't see a way this can be implemented without DRM. Otherwise you haven't rented it, you now own the file"

No, you rented it. If you borrow a book from the library, you don't own it. If you rent a video from Netflix, you don't own it. If you borrow a CD from your friend, you don't own it. In each of these cases, I can do whatever the heck I want with it once it's in my house - make a photocopy of a book, burn a CD or DVD copy, whatever. You have always been able to violate the law if you choose to. But the bittorrent downloads have FEWER features than these things - I can't play it on my DVD player, I have to use my computer. And apparently even that doesn't work very well.

As an analogy, I can also drive over 70 miles per hour, do you think cars should be electronically limited to that speed? There's no road in this country with a higher speed limit.

DRM is trying to ensure that people cannot break the law. The problem is, whenever you do that, you don't stop the TRUE lawbreakers, and you punish the regular guy. If we decided (as a society) to electronically limit our cars to the speed limit, well, apart from the obvious awful congestion that would result from nobody being able to pass on the highway, the people who were going to speed a lot anyway would find a hack to remove the limiter. So the scofflaws still do whatever the heck they want, while those of us just trying to be good citizens suffer awfully because we can't exceed the speed limit for a few seconds once in a while to pass a slower moving vehicle in a reasonable amount of time.

Tried it.. worked ok (4, Informative)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184920)

I think I had the same problem - his Windows Media settings were wrong. In order to use the DRM you have to "Allow scripts" in the DRM settings. I bought and downloaded it on Linux, played it in Windows WMP10.

I would have been up in arms as well - but I noticed the yellow banner which told me to enable scripts.

The movie I tried (Broken Arrow) worked and the quality was fine. I consider it about the same as a movie ticket - but I do wish they'd allow more than 1 day to watch the movie after you start watching it(yes, I know you have 30 days to begin watching it - but I wanted to check to make sure it worked first). If I were buying the video I would have been much more annoyed with the DRM - but since it was a rental I wasn't too irked.

Download time was 1 hour (255 KBytes/second average download)

why? (3, Insightful)

joemawlma (897746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18184996)

Let's see... The majority of people who actually know and care about bittorrent are already getting their downloads for FREE and without DRM. I can't imagine why this would be off to a bad start.

Underpants Gnomes, where are you? (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185096)

I've figured out the ????!

1. Make really large files full of random numbers and pretend they're movies
2. Market the hell out of some fictional movies.
3. Sell the files and tell people they can't view them because of the DRM
4. Profit!

Note that I haven't actually to pay for the cost of making a movie here. It's sheer genius!

Re:Underpants Gnomes, where are you? (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185258)

That reminds me of a Foxtrot cartoon where the kid was distributing random bits and that any resemblance to the source code to Windows XP was purely coincidental.

Wake me up When We have Watermarking (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185226)

Seriously, guys, if you want to stop copying, just watermark the videos before download and I'll be happy to buy them. I'm not going to share them so that's fine, but I need to be able to work with them. Put my name and home phone number in there, I really don't care.

You've got to get over your Control-Freak needs to tell people where, when, and how they can use their media (DRM) so you can get on with making a profit by actually selling huge amounts of it.

Once you give up on the idea of selling me Back to the Future 25 different times over the next half century this is all going to work out well for you.

ethical issue (1)

BalkanBoy (201243) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185418)

DRM is attempting to solve an ethical issue via technological means. Kind of like using trigger locks on revolvers and pistols to stop someone from killing people...

The only sad thing is that it takes the creators of such futile technologies approximately a decade of losing face before they give in to decreased or no revenue, and/or outright failure of such technologies.

Bittorrent sucks. (0)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185606)

I hate using bittorrent. Setting up port forwarding, setting up a static ip so the ports stay fowarding, finding a tracker with a good number of seeds, and then it's still slower than direct downloading, and all the uploading freezes my connection so I can't browse the web at normal speeds. Of course it's a lot easier on a website's bandwidth, so I understand if they want to use that for free files, but there's no way in fuck I'd use bittorrent to get a file I paid for.

Re:Bittorrent sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18186138)

Setting up port forwarding, setting up a static ip so the ports stay fowarding

If you know what you're doing, these things take a few seconds and then never have to be done again.

finding a tracker with a good number of seeds

Not a problem if you know the right places to look -- at least, not any more of a problem than finding an HTTP server that's not halfway across the world and on a T1 that has a hundred other people accessing it.

and then it's still slower than direct downloading

Only if you're doing it wrong or are on a crappy tracker.

and all the uploading freezes my connection so I can't browse the web at normal speeds

First, your router sucks. Second, your client sucks. Get a client that allows you to set an upload speed cap, and set it to about 2/3 of your maximum outbound bandwidth. Problem solved.

fail on purpose (3, Interesting)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18185686)

Is there any chance bittorrent is doing this to make a mockery of DRM and send subliminal messages to just download the (illegal) torrent instead?

Why it fails. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18186124)

It failed because people shouldn't have to pay to use their bandwidth to get something that is crippled.

Why? (2, Interesting)

init100 (915886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186130)

Why would anyone sponsor the big movie companies with their bandwidth, storage and cpu power? I fail to see why anyone would want to do that without receiving a piece of the action, i.e. monetary compensation. This is just a plot by the movie companies to be able to sell movies and have the users pay for the infrastructure.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

sikandril (924466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186272)

This is what big media fails to see - the key issue is high bandwidth, high quality content. Give us DRM free, DVD quality downloads which stream consistently at 350 KB per second and we'll be happy to pay 1-4$ per movie. Oh you want more? Sorry chump, times have changed and your product has devaluated. You need to give me something which is easier and better than searching for a torrent, waiting for the download, taking the risk of a defective / low quality file etc. It ain't rocket science.

It's the content, stupid ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18186136)

The network protocol doesn't matter as much as the content's artistic & technical quality and format's ease of use (read drm+closed).

Next Week:

*New SMB video download service*
no content, DRMed, poor quality: lame.

Why sell over Bittorent (2, Informative)

ZwJGR (1014973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18186296)

Why are they bothering to sell files over bittorrent?

Bittorrent is by definition a "Peer-to-Peer" protocol.
--- There are no peers ---
There are only the clients and the source.
Hence it would be infinitely simpler to just use a perfectly ordinary HTTP (or whatever), download service from the source to the client, client--server.

Bittorent is perfect for downloading the latest ultra-popular freshly pirated movie, or downloading all six Slackware 11 isos at high speed (as there were so many peers after it was released), but using Bittorent to download a file from a point source, when there are probably negligble other seed/leech sources is simply counterintuitive, and ultimately a suboptimal use of the protocol.

Its no surprise that download speeds may be rubbish, that's a quirk of the protocol (and a function of its probable non-popularity).

As for the DRM, any half-baked excuse for an almost sentient attempt at a life form with more than working brain cell and with its head not buried in the sand (or in its wallet), could tell that DRM simply doesn't work, and merely annoys the user. This has been discussed to death over the last few years in great detail, and if even enormous companies like Apple can twig and get the hint by making their legally obligatory DRM as unobtrusive and transparent as possible (they partially succeded), then these "five movie studios" can do so too...

Overall I judge this as a method of "testing the waters", rather than a serious attempt at making money, or providing a service. Ultimately the conclusion is inevitably negative.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?