'Burning' DVDs...but not the Law

Dennis Faas's picture

The movie download site CinemaNow.com is partnering with Sonic, makers of the Roxio CD and DVD burning software, to allow consumers to legally burn movies bought online for playback in DVD and HD-DVD players.

Curt Mavis, president and CEO of CinemaNow, said that his company is, "pleased to unlock a vast collection of previously unavailable content for consumers to instantly access in the home and burn to DVD." (Source: I4U News)

The deal would seem to solve the problem of transferring downloaded content from computer to television. Several products are already on the market to accomplish this without the use of a DVD, such as Apple's set-top box Apple TV, but with far more homes already invested in DVD technology this development could make transfers easier and far more widespread.

Using CSS (Content Scramble System) technology, CinemaNow and Sonic hope to open up access to the consumer while still protecting intellectual property from piracy.  Problem is, there are no DVD burners currently being made for home computers that can employ CSS protection, and the new technology will require a different form of DVD-R. (Source: Ars Technica)

Another hitch in the plan is that none of the major studios have agreed to allow their content to be replicated. In a response to this issue, Mavis said, "I'm assuming that since they [the Hollywood movie studios] were part of the approval process that I'll be able to get the content. But we probably won't really roll this out until the second quarter of '08." (Source: Video Business)

That's a big assumption, especially for an industry with a history of holding on to its vast libraries with an iron-clad fist. Although some smart moves have been made recently, both Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox will be releasing digital versions of their movies over the holiday season, which can be used on select portable devices, and studios have been releasing content on iTunes and CinemaNow for some time. (Source: Engadget)

But does that really go far enough?

The traditional models of distribution are changing. People have machines capable of freeing content in ways that were impossible less than 10 years ago. Hollywood has to start delivering what consumers are looking for now, and not what the Studios are willing to come to terms with. Fact is, piracy has become so rampant you can already obtain software to "rip" a copy-protected DVD. If the US film industry doesn't move with the times soon, they may find themselves left behind by their own customers.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet