OK, we are mostly on the same page here. No, I don't want that happening to movies.
EXACTLY! If they continue to fight, they will lose!!! The only way to win is not to fight! HOW do they protect their content? Hammering the consumers who are actually paying for the content is not the answer. Embracing and COOPERATING is the answer. My ideas are completely doable with current technology, IF there is cooperation. Everyone can indeed gain, because everyone has something to gain from cooperation. DVDFab and AnyDVD could go mainstream and see increased sales because of it. Media Players like DUNE could go mainstream, and see increased sales because of it. Studios could see increased sales from the excitement generated by mainstream media players. For those who haven't seen it, a video Jukebox on something like a DUNE is so cool. Bluray PQ and sound, but such a better experience. Studios would also gain from decreased pirating.
How would this work? Studios would agree to implement protection on retail and rental discs. HOWEVER, they would share the key to the protection with media player and software providers. Those providers would agree not to enable playback of rental copies. They would also agree to enable functions to limit retail copy playback to the original purchaser. How? just like B&N. Copying a retail disc could require watermarking your credit card #--used to purchase the software--on the copy. The Media Player would require that information on file to play back the copy. Piracy of both retail and rental discs is severely limited. Could this plan be beat? Of course. BUT, in much smaller numbers than now. Think about it. Everyone involved would have a stake in protecting this setup. By going mainstream, the software and media player makers will sell may times the numbers they sell now. The studios make allies of their current opponents. Consumers get great choices. New software makers will have a hard time, as there will be quality, established, legal competitors. Laws that benefit everybody--consumers included--can be passed to further protect the movie industry without any reasonable opposition. the feds can go after the bank accounts of those software makers that continue to enable piracy--without public outcry.
Certainly, piracy would still happen. It always will, whatever is done. But it would allow everyone, studios, hardware and software makers, and consumers to benefit from new technology. It would limit piracy by providing a financial incentive not to enable piracy for the software guys . Studios would benefit by both limiting piracy and seeing increased sales due to legal media players. Consumers win because they get to choose. But it would take COOPERATION, not fighting. Cooperation works, it really does.