Warner's wolf in DVD clothing?

Warner's wolf in DVD clothing?

Summary: Under the guise of revitalizing physical media-based music sales (given the beating that CD sales are taking due to the Internet), the Wall St. Journal is reporting that Warner Music Group is looking to sell its artists' music on DVDs instead of CDs.

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TOPICS: Legal
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Under the guise of revitalizing physical media-based music sales (given the beating that CD sales are taking due to the Internet), the Wall St. Journal is reporting that Warner Music Group is looking to sell its artists' music on DVDs instead of CDs.   According to the story:

Warner, the world's fourth-largest music company, is in the final stages of securing technical licenses that will enable it to sell a bundle of music and extra features on a single DVD, according to people familiar with the matter. The DVD would include a music album that plays in both stereo and surround-sound on a standard DVD player -- plus video footage that plays on a DVD player or a computer. There will also be song remixes, ring tones, photos and other digital extras that can be accessed on a computer.

Ringtones?  Hey, you'd better hope that you don't have one of those handsets where the wireless carrier disabled the feature that makes it possible to put your own ringtones into your phone.  Apologies for the digression.  This is an interesting move given that there are already CDs on the market with extras on them.  Well, perhaps not enough extras in which case DVDs with their extra capacity could come in handy.  Of course, there is one small problem.... you know..... the one where DVDs don't work in anything but a DVD player? OK, so you're pretty handy with ripping, burning, etc and you're thinking you can just lift the music off the DVD, burn it to CD, and then you can play it you car, boombox, discman, etc., right? Later in the story:

And users would not be able to copy the main audio mix onto their computers. On the proposed DVD album, the main audio mix is to be protected by the same software that already protects the content on normal DVDs.

Gotcha!

Let's see.  It only works in DVD players and it.... only works in DVD players.  Seems idea to me.  Not.

(sidebar: the story mentions a lower quality version of music tracks that buyers will be able to copy onto their computers)

A related something else that will be short-lived: Circuit City will apparently be starting a DVD copying service where, for $10 for one copy, $20 for 3 copies, and $30 for 5, they'll copy an DVD you bring in as long as it's "from your collection."  Ken Fisher has the deets on why the service will get shut down before it has a chance to get off the ground.

Topic: Legal

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9 comments
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  • Don't forget

    In their infinite wisdom, one can assume that Warners will charge more for these than for a standard cd, even though they are less useful. It's a great product for those who listen to music through their television. Everyone else, not so much.

    Also, gotta love Circuit City flagrantly breaking the law. Is this the speakeasy of the 2000's?
    tic swayback
  • "he same software that already protects the content on normal DVD"?

    You mean CSS? That means, what, 5 minutes before a copy hits P2P?

    I don't believe they're protecting with something that already has known holes that anyone can find software to defeat with a simple google search.
    rpmyers1
    • The very same

      Yup, that same ultra-sooper-dooper-trade-secret encryption technology that you can't get a license to use (although, curiously enough, there aren't any patents required) without agreeing to a long list of Critical to National Security contractual provisions. The technology far to critical to be entrusted to open source.

      That one.

      The same one I completely ignore when viewing DVDs on my Linux boxes, as a matter of fact.

      If I cared about anything that Warner Music is publishing lately, I might bother to rip one. As it is, the only stuff I want from them is in their back catalog and not for sale -- if I want a copy, I have to buy it used. Heartbreaking, isn't it, the way that piracy is costing them sales?
      Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Reminds me of old Wendy's commerical

    All of this reminds of a Wendy?s commercial back in the late 80s or early 90s. The commercial was set back in the Soviet Union, where apparently the communist political party was sponsoring a fashion show. The show essentially consisted of a rather large woman wearing khaki uniform, going back and forth along a runway. Party officers were strategically placed on the stage, to signal the audience when to clap, and to work the spotlight ? which looked very much like a flashlight issued by the secret police. Another party officer was there to MC the event, and said things like, ?Beach wear ?.. evening wear ?.sports wear ?? to the audience. When that happened, the rather large ?model? in khaki, strutted back and forth with a beach ball in the first announcement, a shawl in the second announcement, and a tennis racket in the third announcement ? all the while wearing the same khaki uniform. The Wendy?s commercial then went on to say, some places don?t give you real choices.

    It is kind of funny the way media companies strut out DRM and try to dress it up with new distribution methods and other perks, while everyone in the audience says to himself / herself, ?They have got to be kidding!?
    P. Douglas
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