View Full Version : Movie Industry Reluctant to Embrace iTunes: Shoots Self In Foot

Nov 20, 2008, 02:07 AM
I saw this today and thought it frustrating and revealing:


Apple's new MacBooks (including the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air) are the first Macs to include HDCP. McQuivey said Apple is clearly giving in to pressure from its studio partners.

McQuivey said studios are reluctant to deal with iTunes since its movie-purchasing model involves downloading content straight to a hard drive, where it is vulnerable to copying. Movies are easily copied and shared with friends on DVDs or thumbdrives (as long as the sharer also provides their password).

Movies from services like Vudu and Netflix, on the other hand, which stream movies over the internet, are much more difficult to copy and easier to police, he said.

McQuivey noted that iTunes' movie offerings (about 1,500 movies) pale in comparison to Vudu (5,000 movies) and Netflix (15,000 movies) because studios are distrustful of customers downloading movies to their hard drives.


McQuivey added that the HDCP restriction might be counterproductive for both Apple and movie studios: It could encourage MacBook owners to resort to illegal means of downloading, such as BitTorrent.

In the Apple support forums, this already seems to be the case.

"Apple will be out of luck, because we will, as of today, buy no more movies from the iTunes Store," writes a new MacBook Pro customer, who said he couldn't play an iTunes-purchased copy of Terminator 2 on his TV. "If this starts hitting the TV shows and the music videos, too, then we'll stop buying them from the iTunes Store as well."

I always suspected something like that was going on with all the wonkiness dealing with media on Apple TV. It's very sad, as offline storage of content has strong benefits.

This next week, for example, my wife and I are flying to Dallas for Thanksgiving and are wondering what to do with my curious, ever-active toddler for the 2-hour plane ride.

We ended up buying a bunch of movies and TV shows on iTunes so that we can easily take them with us on our iPhone and iPod Touch, without having to lug around all the movie cases we'd need if we were using DVD's instead.

It's brilliant because all the content fits into our pocket, and we can come home and watch it on Apple TV when we're done!

I've never used BitTorrent to download a movie, not once, ever. It's not even installed on my computer. Likewise I don't know anyone who has passed around an iTunes movie on a thumb-drive and surrendered their password to anyone (considering access to the password means access to the use of your credit card for iTunes purchases).

The studios are so stuck in the past, however, that they make it a pain in the a** for anyone wanting to legally download movies. I can see why people turn to BitTorrent and, frankly, I may consider it if the deals with the studios fall apart and get worse.

Michael CM1
Nov 20, 2008, 02:44 AM
We've been ripping that for a couple of days right hither: