Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I've talked in the past about the ongoing battle between Hollywood Studios and the makers of the RealDVD software program - which would allow you to save your DVDs on your computer legally (as it adds all sorts of anti-piracy encryptions to copied files). However, this one just seems to get more and more interesting.

First, FreedomWorks has come out with a detailed report on the subject, written by their Chief Economist Wayne Brough. According to Brough, a victory for the studios would actually be a blow to personal freedoms and the competitive marker. If RealDVD is deemed illegal, he says, the resulting precedents would be "much to the detriment of fair use, innovation, and competition."

In addition, it's starting to look like the studios themselves are trying to get in on RealDVD's industry. If you haven't noticed, the sci-fi thriller The Day The Earth Stood Still is now out on DVD, and if you go to the website, they are selling a "3 Disc Special Edition with Digital Copy". Basically, they give you an extra disc that allows you to save the movie on your computer or iPod!


So, while they are trying to get the courts to make RealDVD illegal, they are starting to build RealDVD capabilities into their own DVDs. So, they clearly don't want to stop you from making digital copies of their movies, they just don't want to share the profits of the technology with other companies. So, this is not really about protecting copyright, it's about the studios covering their rear ends. All of the moralistic huffing and puffing is really just an excuse to shut down a competing company.


  1. Sondra Tompkins from Anchorage is filing an ethics complaint against Governor Palin for leaving the state during the Legislative Session.

  2. I thought Governor Palin ---- or any Governor of Alaska ---- didn't have any actual duties to perform at the time, whatsoever.

    So Tompkins got her name in the news again. Big whoop.

    Who or what is pulling HER strings? It's disgusting.

  3. OOPS! I forgot: GREAT point to make, Adam. But remember that not all corporations are greedy, much less corrupt---right?

  4. Believe it or not, I'm with you on this one, Adam. Having to pay extra for the right to make a copy of something I own is an outrage. As far as I'm concerned, once you buy a CD or DVD, it belongs to you to do with as you will. That industry groups are allowed to sue and seek fines and jail time for college students who copy their own CDs is an equal or greater outrage.

    Incidentally, the left-wing publication Rock-and-Rap Confidential has been monitoring the music end of this for years. You may find surprising common cause in the stories they've chronicled in Why Do We Need The Music Industry. RRC is edited by Dave Marsh, one of the most respected popular music writers working today. I mention this only as a bona fide.