Realnetworks new RealDVD program has been causing quite a stir which has now landed in the courtrooms. Hollywood in general, movie studios (can the MPAA be far away? I doubt it.) are all trying to stop the sale of this software that allows people to copy the contents of DVD’s to their computers so that it can be played without the disks.
Movie people are saying that this thing will essentially make massive piracy easy. I think that is kinda like saying that selling me a few Harley parts means I’ll be cruising on a new hog next week. It just doesn’t work that way.
From what I’ve read about the RealDVD program (see their FAQ for details), the software doesn’t break or crack the encryption that’s used on DVD’s to prevent copying. Instead the whole thing, encryption and all is copied to the computer where it can then be played. Copying to another disk would require breaking that encryption.
The movie folks are sure that this means there’s going to be a storm of people renting DVD’s and then copying them before returning so that they won’t have to buy the title. That’s unrealistic in the extreme, even paranoid.
First is the way people watch movies. For example now that it’s out I’m planning on getting Iron Man as soon as I can. I plan on buying the title instead of renting it because I plan to watch it more than once and I’m going to want to watch it on my 27 inch tv, not a 17 inch monitor. That means having the disk to put in my DVD player. It’s called fair use. When I buy something I want the ability to use it on any device I own or obtain in the future, even if that device wasn’t designed to use the original format.
Second is cost. RealDVD costs $49.95. If I want to just rent the movie, make a copy and return it, I’m sure not going to spend $49.95 to do it when there’s free, easy to find software available all over the Internet that will do the job easily and quickly. Software that will even make it possible to burn the resulting copy to a blank DVD.
The reason People are going to spend that $49 on RealDVD and programs like it is because they don’t mind buying a title they like….. once. However then they want the ability to do the same thing that they can do with software, make a backup copy or put it on another medium so that it can be used in a different device. Continued efforts on the part of movie studios, the MPAA, and other entities isn’t going to stop people from doing these things. It’s just going to make certain software really popular.
[Tags]realdvd, copy dvd, copy movies, movie studios, mpaa, burn dvd, not piracy, fair use[/tags]