Originally Posted by mtrot
I guess I don't understand why, from the studio's standpoint, they could sell these "crippled" discs any cheaper, as they would have to have a separate production run for the rental outfits like Netflix. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just make them all the same?
They want to discourage renting, encourage buying and feel that this will in part help them accomplish that. They are ignoring two facts:
Fact 1 - these movies are available for FREE in full quality online within hours of release. When it becomes too hard to get the content legally for a reasonable price, people who would normally want to purchase the content will quickly turn to illegal or black market avenues. Right now the few dollars it costs to get the rental is less expensive (from a time/hassle/risk standpoint) than downloading a 30GB file from a questionable source. If it suddenly is going to cost $20+ for one viewing of a movie at home, that equation changes pretty quickly.
Fact 2 - thanks to the first sale doctrine, there is another avenue available. You can borrow the movie from a friend. Or you can buy the movie and then sell it to another person for the net cost of the price of a rental (or less). Then they can do the same, and so on.
The first sale doctrine is why they are so interested in the digital copy/streaming arena. Thanks to DRM tied to the user (instead of the movie as a whole), they can effectively kill the first sale doctrine provisions. You have no longer 'purchased' the physical media that you are allowed to resell, instead you have licensed the right to view the content for a limited duration.