|Jan 4, 2013, 05:50 PM||#1|
iTunes: open letter to Apple regarding content protection
I realize this is an enthusiast forum, but there's the chance that someone from Apple will read this.
I would like you to know that I am a paying customer that will not be spending money in your iTunes store on movies in the future until certain things are changed. Until today, I have been perfectly happy ripping my legally purchased DVD and Blu-Ray collection and importing them into iTunes keeping the physical discs for proof of purchase and backup. Today, I thought I'd take advantage of a couple of sale prices in the iTunes store and just download the movies I wanted. Little did I know that the process was not that simple. Your HDCP content has denied a legal, paying customer the ability to watch what was paid for. I have since deleted the files and filed a request with the store for a refund for both movies.
After clicking the purchase button, I was greeted with a cryptic message about how my computer may not be able to play HD content and that if I proceeded, the content may need to be transferred to a portable device. It then gave me the option of purchasing the SD content instead, or canceling. I thought this was very odd since I knew my computer is more than fast enough to play HD content, so I tried again. Same result. Same cryptic message and no option to proceed with purchasing the HD content. So I tried on another computer. Same stupid message and no option to get the HD content. I tried on my laptop which was still running an older version of iTunes (I thought that might make a difference). On the laptop, the purchase was successful. "Yay! I'll finally be able to watch my movies" I thought. I then went back to my desktop and looked under past purchases in iTunes and began the download of both movies.
After wasting 90 minutes and a good bit of bandwidth downloading them, they were on my computer. I then made the stupid decision to try to actually watch what I paid for. Apparently, that was my mistake - thinking I could actually watch what I paid for. Alas, it was not to be. I was greeted with yet another message saying that because my computer did not support HDCP, that iTunes refused to let me watch what I PAID FOR. I understand now that the first error I got probably had something to do with this too, but iTunes is so stupid that it didn't bother to actually explain that. It could have easily popped up a message saying "We have put so many stupid restrictions on this content that you want to legally purchase that you will not be able to watch it even though you are a paying consumer. We are happy to piss you off this way because we want to make it as difficult as possible for paying customers to get what they want." You see, had iTunes said that, it would have saved me a lot of time and bandwidth.
I'd like to remind you of a past issue that is very similar. There used to be a music store, let's call it iTunes for fun. There also used to be an illegal music sharing site - let's just call it Napster. Back in the day, people would try to buy music from the legal store (iTunes for this story), and would have so much trouble listening to the music that they paid for that they all went to that sharing site (codenamed Napster for this letter) where the music they could get had no restrictions. Then people got all upset about Napster being "illegal" and closed it down. Eventually, the people running the legal store (iTunes) realized that by removing the stupid content restrictions, paying customers were happy to use their store again. Now that legal store (iTunes) is the biggest source of music purchases in the world and all their fears of illegally copied music were for naught. Napster is (practically) gone and all is happy and legal.
Meanwhile, online movie distribution started getting popular. Paying customers were happy to get their movies from honest companies like, oh let's just make up a name - Netflix. Unfortunately, movie studios don't like paying customers, so they wouldn't let Netflix have the good movies. So paying customers tried iTunes. But unfortunately, iTunes hadn't learned their lesson about content protection and how it hurts paying customers and they tried to restrict their content again. This led paying customers to nasty, evil sites like The Pirate Bay and other file sharing sites. What iTunes didn't realize, was that those nasty sites weren't really bad sites. They just made it easy for people to get the stuff they wanted. Maybe if iTunes would learn it's lesson and quit acting like the bully on the playground who doesn't want to share his cookies, then people would be happy to come back and actually do crazy things, like pay them for movies. Maybe then iTunes could be the biggest movie distribution service too.
Until then, you're not getting any more of my money. I will take my money to Best Buy and continue to buy DVDs and Blu-rays and rip them (Fair use copy) into my library. I'm not a pirate. I don't share my movies with others. What I am is a pissed off customer with money to spend who is taking it elsewhere until you pull your heads out of your (you know where) and get rid of the anti-customer HDCP garbage. The only thing the content protection does is protects you from getting any of my money.
Sincerely (and angrily),
Jeff (last name removed)
|Jan 4, 2013, 05:54 PM||#2|
|Jan 4, 2013, 06:03 PM||#4|
It might be less a problem caused by Apple ... The content provider set the restriction under which distribution needs to be secure and copy protected until the display/TV. The same thing you have with pay TV in any kind. Region Codes for DVD fall in the same category. Send your letter to MGM, Sony, ...
For music files they got rid of DRM; for movies not (yet).
So continue with your rip DVD approach. The best you can do; you could even sell later DVD you don't want anymore (and delete copy from your disk ); something you can't do either with movies from iTunes.
Myself also stopped buying TV shows and movies for the same reason; but no deal. Amazon happy deliver all DVD I want to see.
Member of MacRumors.com Folding@Home Team (#3446) & developer of the F@H Mobile Monitoring app.
|Jan 4, 2013, 06:05 PM||#5|
FYI. I have contacted Apple and emailed them the same letter. This is just another place to post it. The more visibility, the more chance they may actually do something about it.
|Jan 4, 2013, 06:09 PM||#6|
|Jan 4, 2013, 06:15 PM||#7|
17" MacBook Pro • iPod Nano • Apple TV"Good judgment comes from experience,
PS4 • Dell XPS 13 • WP8.1
experience comes from bad judgment." - Mulla Nasrudin
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