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The Download to DVD Possibility

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The next step in the internet/television/movie download movement will be legal download to burned DVD. This has been greatly held back by the child like attitude that Hollywood takes when discussing rights or piracy. This is happening and will continue to grow as larger companies get involved.
The idea has a lot of appeal to most consumers, as discussed on CNet News ;

One of the more obvious and tangible forms of video-on-demand has always been a site where consumers could order a movie, have it delivered over broadband, and have it burned straight onto a disc. Consumers love it because they own something physical and tangible at the end of the day and content owners like the outlet that it gives them to sell those old episodes of the Don Knotts Show.

Right now only a few companies are exploiting this market. As I posted before, EZTakes is using the technology to offer download to DVD that is then protected in a way that the DVD can only be used by the owner. This helps address the fears that content makers have about piracy. EZTakes.com is a pretty small company that is being hindered by these fears.

Akimbo has been making some progress in this market. They do have a download to own service that allows some of its programming to be purchased in a digital form that allows burning to a DVD. But this is a pretty limited amount of its catalogue presently.

Some of the major studies including Warner Bros. and Sony have flirted with the idea in conjunction with Movielink subscription service, but they haven’t made a big impact on the market. In my opinion because it is too expensive and you can’t get DVD extra features from the downloads.

The one company that might really expand this market and make it useful to users is NetFlix. NetFlix has plans for a download to DVD service to be launched late 2006 or early 2007. I have zero details about this and would love to hear some. NetFlix does have the customer base and the money to make such a plan work.

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  • Bliffle

    I always load my netflix DVD into the computer and dub it. Just because I don’t know when I want to watch it, not because I want to give a dub to someone or sell it. I’m just timeshifting for my own convenience. I seldom watch a DVD more than once. Some of the DVDs are movies I saw many years ago, wanted to see again, and then set aside. Some are merely curiosities. Some DVDs that I thought might be interesting turn out to be flops and after a few minutes I put them aside and they are forgotten.

    I consider this fair use. In fact, it is considerably less use than one might make of a song recorded onto audio cassette tape and played many times.

    If I could not do timeshifting for my convenience I simply would not use netflix, in the same way I haven’t used blockbuster for several years.

  • Credible Threat

    Bliffle: I hope you are not amongst those who complain about Netflix’s “throttling.” You are exactly the type of Netflix customer that annoys the crap out of them and cheats them by doing your illegal act.

    I suspect you are throttled like crazy.

  • Hi TeevBlogger,

    Thanks for writing about us and for supporting our idea.

    While more movie download sites were developed to appease the desires and fears of movie industry executives, we started off with the simple idea that we should develop something good for paying customers. We thought that if we could get the customers to use our site, we could get the content. The strategy is working. Just to let you know, we’re getting better and better content with more and more mainstream appeal.

    Please keep an eye on EZTakes for more announcements in the next few weeks.

    Best Regards,
    The Folks at EZTakes

  • Bliffle

    I’m aware that throttling exists, but I don’t know if they’re doing it to me or not. I simply dub the DVD when it comes. I have a backlog of movie DVDs that I draw from occasionally, at my convenience. I think I pay about $2.50 for each and I have about 200 in my queue.

    I think this is a fair deal. Netflix gets money it would never get otherwise. I don’t sell, or even give, dupes to people. Sometimes I play a DVD for a guest.

    These are the only terms on which I would do business with Netflix. I don’t want to be forced to view a DVD just at that time I receive it in the mail, or shortly thereafter. I’m not a DVD consumer.

  • Credible Threat

    Your logic is funny. The whole point of Netflix is to keep the DVD’s until you watch them [as long as you want], and then return later.

    You don’t need to copy. You have no way to legitimately justify your ILLEGAL act. Plus, the copying is ILLEGAL. (It needs to be repeated) Hopefully you get throttled to the point you don’t get any movies. You ruin it for the rest of us.

  • Bliffle

    “Your logic is funny. The whole point of Netflix is to keep the DVD’s until you watch them [as long as you want], and then return later.”

    Your logic is silly. If I don’t watch the movie for 6 months I won’t get another, and will end by paying $60 for one movie. That seems dumb to me.

    Illegal? So what! We’re a nation of scofflaws, including our leaders. Bad laws are an invitation to abuse.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly is “Throttling”? I’ve honestly never heard this term before (at least not in this context).

  • Credible Threat

    Throttling is when Netflix slows your queue down by saying that DVD’s are subject to some kind of wait, when if another person signed up for a free trial at the same instant, they would not have any waits. Netflix (now) openly does this so that frequent renters will slow down.

    “Your logic is silly. If I don’t watch the movie for 6 months I won’t get another, and will end by paying $60 for one movie. That seems dumb to me.”

    Your logic is silly. If you receive, burn, and send back, you break the law like crazy.

    Besides, YOU are exactly the kind of person that gives Netflix a legitimate excuse to throttle. When people complain about throttling, they can just put a picture of Bliffle on the screen and say “We throttle because we suspect piracy.”

    If everyone does what you do Bliffle, Netflix would go out of business.

  • Dynamo of Eternia

    Thanks for the explanation of throttling.

    I’m kind of on the fence about this issue.

    In general, I don’t condone piracy and I believe in paying for/supporting the official product whenever possible. I personally an a huge DVD buff, and own several hundred legal, official DVDs (I generally buy and do not rent, hence why I am unfamiliar with some of these netflix terms).

    Having said that, I don’t really take much issue in what Bliffle is doing.

    Sure, technically speaking what he is doing is piracy is technically illegal. However, certain sex acts are illegal in certain states, but I’m sure that doesn’t stop people from getting their “freak” on in the bedroom.

    The point is that, yes, piracy is an issue. But it really becomes a problem when people are doing it in a manner that is either for personal gain (profit) and/or does not support and detracts from the money that the official product would otherwise make.

    Bliffle doesn’t seem to be doing that. He is paying his Netflix fee, same as anybody else. He burns a copy, which is technically illegal, but he said himself that he will likely only watch it once. So, where is the real harm in that? He’s not selling copies to other people, he’s not copying something that he would otherwise fully buy if the copying process was unavailable, and he is still paying the rental fee. Netflix is not losing anything more on him doing this than they are with someone else who watches the rented DVDs within the first 24 ours of receiving them and returns them, requiring the next movies in their que to go out.

    I understand where you are coming from, Credible Threat. Generally speaking, I don’t like piracy either because of the negative effect that it can have when abused. But someone like Bliffle is not the primary type of person that the authorities are looking to go after. Sure, they probably aren’t happy that he’s out there doing this and they’d would probably prefer that he didn’t, but when all is said and done he’s mostly watching the movies once like anyone else using Netflix, he just does it a few months down the road.

    You said that if more people did this, Netflix would go out of business. But as Bliffle said, if he couldn’t do this, he wouldn’t use Netflix and they wouldn’t get his money at all. So, I must disagree there.

    As far as throttling goes, Bliffle doesn’t seem to be one of these complainers in that regard, however, if that is Netflix’s practice, that is rather shady on their part and really questions their business ethic. Sure, copying DVDs like Bliffle is questionable as well, but this is a business making a profit, and there are certain expectations of quality. And a long time loyal customer (someone who maybe watches their DVDs right away and then sends them back) should not be put on a wait list so that they can lure in some unsuspecting person using a free trial just so Netflix can then do the old bait and switch on them by making them think they will get their movies in a timely manner, but then just slow it down later on. And suspecting the occasional pirate is not enough of a reason for this. Odds are most of the customers are honest, so that offers little reasonable excuse.