Why not turn off DRM on Disney movies?

In my comments to the post I made about Steve Jobs’ screed on DRM lots of people are giving me crap for this post. Pretty usual stuff “Scoble’s an idiot.” Tell me something I don’t already know.

But Michael Markman says I should have gone after Steve about movies since Jobs owns a lot of Disney. Why not open those up instead of asking music companies to open up music? Now THAT is an interesting question. Seems that Jobs already has the ability in his hands of opening up the world. Why doesn’t he take it? Thanks Michael for adding to the conversation instead of just calling me an idiot.

UPDATE: Cory Doctorow really deserves the credit for pushing an anti-DRM stance. He even spoke to a very crowded room at Microsoft a few years back to try to get Microsoft’ies to see the light (Bill Gates whined, but didn’t do anything about the issue). Here’s his reaction to Steve Jobs’ memo. Short version: he liked it, but wants to see action now, not just memos.

59 thoughts on “Why not turn off DRM on Disney movies?

  1. Wow, skatterbrain, you just ignored the inconvenient truth to make your argument there. We’re not talking about whether it’s possible to rip music CDs as opposed to DVDs.

    Steve’s point is music CDs are ALREADY sold WITHOUT any DRM, so why are the music companies obsessed to try to DRM something they already sell without any DRM.

    As has already been pointed out to the slow of thought or the cynical, the difference is that DVDs ALREADY HAVE a DRM system on them. Unfortunately for consumers, undoing a DRM is illegal thanks to a DMCA. That’s why ripping a CD is okay (because there’s no DRM to break) while ripping a DVD is illegal. That’s the inconvenient truth of what the law as it currently stands.

    So forget this irrelevant argument about whether it’s easy to rip a DVD or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s still illegal beause in the process of ripping, you are undoing the DRM, which is not the case with music CDs.

    Maybe someday we will reach a stage where DRM in all forms are deemed worthless, but that day is not today. But the time is right to talk about music, which doesn’t have the issue of needing to circumvent any DRM with regard to CDs.

  2. Wow, skatterbrain, you just ignored the inconvenient truth to make your argument there. We’re not talking about whether it’s possible to rip music CDs as opposed to DVDs.

    Steve’s point is music CDs are ALREADY sold WITHOUT any DRM, so why are the music companies obsessed to try to DRM something they already sell without any DRM.

    As has already been pointed out to the slow of thought or the cynical, the difference is that DVDs ALREADY HAVE a DRM system on them. Unfortunately for consumers, undoing a DRM is illegal thanks to a DMCA. That’s why ripping a CD is okay (because there’s no DRM to break) while ripping a DVD is illegal. That’s the inconvenient truth of what the law as it currently stands.

    So forget this irrelevant argument about whether it’s easy to rip a DVD or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s still illegal beause in the process of ripping, you are undoing the DRM, which is not the case with music CDs.

    Maybe someday we will reach a stage where DRM in all forms are deemed worthless, but that day is not today. But the time is right to talk about music, which doesn’t have the issue of needing to circumvent any DRM with regard to CDs.

  3. Wow. Amazing how the “debate” seems to return to ripping CD’s being “fair and legal” while DVD’s are not. True, but ignoring the facts don’t make them go away. DVD’s are as easy to rip as CD’s. If you don’t think so, you’re either naive or doing something wrong. HD content is fairly simple to rip also. So that pretty much levels the playing field in terms of differentiation. So MPAA is being given preferential treatment by the courts, which could be argued (by a very expensive attorney) as predatory practice, by the RIAA, but they won’t likely go there. So, one house is protected by the law, the one next door is not. Amazing. These laws were written when the vast divide between video and audio content was noticeable. They no longer are.

  4. Wow. Amazing how the “debate” seems to return to ripping CD’s being “fair and legal” while DVD’s are not. True, but ignoring the facts don’t make them go away. DVD’s are as easy to rip as CD’s. If you don’t think so, you’re either naive or doing something wrong. HD content is fairly simple to rip also. So that pretty much levels the playing field in terms of differentiation. So MPAA is being given preferential treatment by the courts, which could be argued (by a very expensive attorney) as predatory practice, by the RIAA, but they won’t likely go there. So, one house is protected by the law, the one next door is not. Amazing. These laws were written when the vast divide between video and audio content was noticeable. They no longer are.

  5. Bringing up Movies is kind of silly when Steve’s “Thoughts on Music” was about, you know, _music_. Steve never suggested DRM be removed from videos. I suspect this is because DVDs have always had DRM of some kind, so his argument about music CDs with no protection does not apply to DVDs anyway.

    Oh, and Steve is simply on the Disney board, do you really think he can pull off getting DRM removed for a product that has traditionally sold with DRM (see my first paragraph)? Just what power do you think being on the board holds? Google’s seat on Apple’s board couldn’t get Apple a deal with Gmail instead of Yahoo! Mail on the iPhone, could it?

    Your initial blog entry on Steve’s memo was fine, if way to cynical and avoiding the music DRM debate in lieu of taking jabs at Jobs. But this entry is just ridiculous.

  6. Lawrence Lessig points out that there are independent artists on iTunes who would be happy if the DRM on their music were turned off today. Why doesn’t Steve start there? And start now?

    Without knowing the details of the RIAA deal that Apple has to do for the iTMS, there’s no way to know, but there could be a dozen reasons why, from contractual to convenience.

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