Friday, June 02, 2006

The DVD War Against Consumers

The DVD War Against Consumers
BusinessWeek, publication date: 30 May 2006
"The Blu-ray's DRM scheme is simply anti-consumer. The standard reflects what the studios really want, which is no copying of their material at all, for any reason. They're clearly willing to take active and unpleasant measures to enforce this. Last year's Sony/BMG rootkit fiasco comes to mind (see BW Online, 11/29/05, 'Sony BMG's Costly Silence'). The possibility that they would disable thousands of DVD players, not because they're hacked but just because they might be vulnerable, would have been unthinkable a few years ago; it's clearly an option today.

What do consumers really want? We want high-quality video and sound, of course. These days we also want interoperability. When we buy content, we expect to play it on every gadget that we own. The newest video servers require content to be copied to the hard drives, so that they can stream video throughout the house. Soon, we'll also want to take the movies that we paid for with us on small multimedia players like video iPods."

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