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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I needed to vent my frustration to some of my fellow AV enthusiasts. I've spent the last several hours transferring all my old videotapes to DVD connecting an old Sony VHS to my Toshiba RDXS-54 DVR. Most of the tapes worked but some wouldn't, one personal and one very old Billy Joel concert that I was fortunate to get on VHS. I got a message "source content is copy protected. Recording has been terminated automatically." It's times like this that I curse that the executives in the business and, while I completely understand the challenges of piracy, there really isn't much of a big deal transferring VHS quality tapes to DVD for heaven's sake!!! I'm probably stuck having to circumvent this POS decision by our electronics manufacturers by connecting the tape directly to a PC and doing it the hard way. It also makes me want to donate money to the piracy defense fund for kids like the one who broke the macrovision copy code and others who have been able to give the old middle finger to the industry when justified. It's bad enough I need to have 2 DVD players so that I can play all those "Region 2" DVDs...


Thanks for listening. It's just incredibly frustrating.
 

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you can go the pc route or as i did, get a sima ct2 video 'enhancer' (code breaker)(probably not be available anymore).
 

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Agreed, the whole "anti-copy" concept is very frustrating for those with legitimate backup needs. And, based on my observations as a former owner of a video rental store for ten years, I'd like to add "misguided" to my criticism. The studios base their entire "anti-copy" obsession on a fundamentally idiotic fantasy business model: that if they make copying impossible, everyone who would otherwise copy will buy more.


Anyone who's ever owned or worked a video store knows this is complete bullsh*t: if anything, effective copy prevention kills off customers for the product. Human nature does not follow Hollywood's edicts, so its a zero-sum game: for every sale gained by anti-copy measures, the studios (and rentailers) lose dozens of rental transactions that would have otherwise taken place. People take casual copying for granted as a "fringe benefit" of renting: they want to postpone viewing without running up a late fee, or they just get a thrill from the idea of having made a copy. They will probably never watch it again, and they would not in a million years have bought a studio recording. But they did drop their three bucks into the overall revenue stream. Now many don't, thanks to CGMS and all the other weekly new booby traps put into DVDs. BluRay is even worse.


The studios defend anti-copy by citing the slow painful death throes of the music industry, but the two aren't completely comparable. There was never a "rental market" or a "theatrical run" for audio CDs, so when people got fed up with paying $18 for two hit songs and 10 fillers they jumped on file sharing and downloads, and that was that. Visual entertainment is an unholy trinity: theatrical or TV first run, plus rental, plus sales. The rental income alone should be offsetting any supposed losses from casual copying, but of course the studios have a long history of bizarre accounting practices. Better to demonize the consumer than face reality. (Large-scale professional piracy during the theatrical run is another story, this does take a big organized bite out of studio profits, but anti-copy technology is ineffective at combating it.)
 

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Some brands are more sensitive to "real" or "perceived" copyright issues than others. Of course, with my (now) ancient Panasonic DVD recorders/combo recorders (of 2005 and 2006 vintage) these were non-issues during my extensive dubbing project. Earlier I posted a lengthy description of that dubbing project (of around 5,200 titles). It isn't necessary to wade through that post. My point is that there is nary a word in that post concerning "copyright protection" because it wasn't an issue during the dubbing project.


In December 2006 I sampled a Funai-manufactured combo recorder that found almost every home-recorded videotape to be copyrighted. The product was soon returned to WalMart, after which my 2005-2006 Panasonics copied the very same videotapes without a problem.


For those interested in wading through that earlier post it is found here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13955310
 

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Citibear is 100% correct. Most all of my dubbed VHS and later DVDs that were copied from rentals I would have NOT bought. Select items that I really like I will buy the commercial disc but most I will just copy. Another "advantage" to a copied DVD is the copy(DVDR not bit for bit) allows me to search and skip through annoying warnings and previews that the same "original" DVD would not allow.

If Hollywood wants to force me to watch previews and warnings I will once, only when copying it, from then on my copy has no problems(actually I usually don't copy the FBI warning thing
) but you get my drift.

While Pannys won't copy a "real" CP'd disc they will keep the restrictions to REAL restrictions, not perceived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The tape I wanted to copy was bought. I feel like throwing the videotape (with a rock attached) through one of these corporations' windows. I feel your pain jjeff. Old videotapes were even worse. They used to have like 5-10 minutes of previous that weren't just a "next section" click to the movie! On some DVDs you don't have the ability to escape so you learn about old movies years later because this was forced down your throat...


I'm feeling gratitude for bit torrent. Kazaa. E-Donkey. E-mule. Morpheus. To quote Homer J. Simpson... time to stick it to the man...


I'm hooking up the tape to one of my PC inputs and I'll be fine. Thanks for listening and sharing guys...
 

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Media companies will never admit this, but some of the biggest pirates are working inside the industry. How else would a new movie get released on the net before it's at the theater?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/14177041


Agreed, the whole "anti-copy" concept is very frustrating for those with legitimate backup needs. And, based on my observations as a former owner of a video rental store for ten years, I'd like to add "misguided" to my criticism. The studios base their entire "anti-copy" obsession on a fundamentally idiotic fantasy business model: that if they make copying impossible, everyone who would otherwise copy will buy more.

No, not *everyone*. It only matters if ONE person will buy more.


(Actually, it doesn't even require one -- they own the copyrights...)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack /forum/post/14194725


No, not *everyone*. It only matters if ONE person will buy more.


(Actually, it doesn't even require one -- they own the copyrights...)

You are correct of course that they own the copyrights and it is indeed morally and legally dubious for anyone to copy for any reason. That said, a great many people do this and its what propelled the modern home video industry into existence as a studio cash cow in the first place. The studios argued and obstructed every step of the way while pocketing money they claimed they weren't making, and they continue to this day. They want the easy home video money but don't want to face the unavoidable reality of consumers repurposing purchased content for different devices, or making copies from rentals.


I was in the business from 1980 thru 2002 and can tell you stories of studio lunacy that would make your hair fall out, so I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree with your interpretation of studio logic. They have not ever been interested in a small, "if only ONE person buys more" strategy. They have consistently maintained that they are "losing trillions" because *every* home that copies, even for legit use in the minivan nanny player, would *absolutely* be buying dozens more DVDs (or VHS in the old days). They have been rebuffed and rebuked in this fantasy assumption year after year by everyone from Blockbuster to the mom-and-pop video stores: it is a dream that will never come true for them, unless and until they decide to blow out DVDs (or downloads-to-own) for no more than the cost of a Netflix rental. There is a finite pool of people who will pay $20 for a movie, everyone else completely devalues visual entertainment and would have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the buy-buy-buy concept unless offered a stunningly lower price, maybe $5 tops.


This issue has been coming to a head for a long time and is due to finally hit the fan soon. The last bungled attempt the studios made to seize control from retailers and consumers was 1981-82, and they miscalculated their ability to "run everything" so badly they didn't dare try again for decades. The transition to all-digital hardware connections and HDTV is opening the door for them to try again: most likely this will take the form of 100% absolute copy prevention within the next few years. They can and will try this once its within their reach, and when they do the swift decline in dollar volume will demonstrate once and for all how misguided they've been. An "official" compromise might eventually come of the whole mess, perhaps by 2015.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/14195055


I was in the business from 1980 thru 2002 and can tell you stories of studio lunacy that would make your hair fall out, so I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree with your interpretation of studio logic.

I've always been curious how the MPAA is compensated in the video rental market. Did you pay an inflated price for your DVDs to rent, did they get a percentage of your rental price, or something else. What do they do about free public libraries. My local library has quite an extensive collection of recent DVDs for lending -- free.
 

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Some movies are priced $14.99-$29.00 and the studios hope to make most of their money from sales to individuals. Rental stores pay the same low price for the DVDs they rent. Other movies are priced $59.99-$199.99 or maybe even higher. Many magazine and newspaper reviews of these releases will not print the actual price but simply say "priced for rental". The studios don't intend for many if any individuals to buy these movies. They will make their money from rental stores buying them at the inflated price. The studios try to figure out what kind of movie people will want to own and watch again and again and what kind people will want to rent and watch only once.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/14195055


it is a dream that will never come true for them, unless and until they decide to blow out DVDs (or downloads-to-own) for no more than the cost of a Netflix rental. There is a finite pool of people who will pay $20 for a movie, everyone else completely devalues visual entertainment and would have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the buy-buy-buy concept unless offered a stunningly lower price, maybe $5 tops.

I agree with this part.. Though I own a bunch of DVDs, I realized that I rarely re-watch the same thing... though I have a collector mentality. So I still sometimes (several times a year) get one or two of the various Fry's cheap DVDs of the week. (Cheap being about $5 or under. I got all 3 of the Matrix movies for I think $4 each, same with the first two Spiderman movies... I only even really really liked the first Matrix movie.. but there's my collector mentality.)


I don't want to start a debate, but just as a semi-tangent, I'm one of the few who *in theory* supported something along the lines of Divx. Because then I could "have" the DVD really cheap, and only pay when I actually watched it. But even I never bought one.


Heck, I would actually go for a PPV model for ALL TV shows, if it were FAR FAR cheaper than it is now, literally about an order of magnitude less... and the same number of shows were available (or esp if I could download them to save on my drive even if I only had a certain window once I started watching them -- i.e. so I knew I wouldn't miss an ep). That is, pay my 'cable bill' to another entity instead.. and not have bugs and logos on the shows.. even if I didn't buy them for keeps.


As it is, netflix(*) and Tivos-with-lifetime-subscriptions do well enough for now.


(*) Though admittedly I probably pay A LOT per movie, since I sometimes have gone months without watching a DVD. I was very very strongly considering going down to a lower level if they really removed the 'profiles' feature, but they backed down.. so I'll probably stay at the current level for at least a while more. I will probably use the 'pause my account' feature by the time the new network season starts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack /forum/post/14202314


I'm one of the few who *in theory* supported something along the lines of Divx. Because then I could "have" the DVD really cheap, and only pay when I actually watched it. But even I never bought one.

I'm not sure if the a DiVX-style PPV disc will make a comeback, but its certainly possible given current trends at the studios and the chain video stores. It was a good idea for some people, it was just introduced a little too quickly in the DVD (and PC) adoption curve and caused a big ruckus due to its live internet requirements. Now, it would probably be accepted as an alternative platform without a second thought. With all the fuss Sony is making over BD Live, they could easily absorb it into the Blue Ray spec.


The other controversial format that IS quietly making a comeback is the "self-destructing DVD". They tested this about 5 years ago and it went over like a lead balloon, but its been reintroduced this summer in select test markets. The idea behind this is you buy the DVD very cheap, $5 or so, but it has a limited viewing window. If you don't open the package it has an indefinite shelf life, but as soon as you open it and expose the disc to air and light it starts slowly decomposing, becoming completely opaque and unreadable within 30 days. A technically clever variation of an extended, no late fee rental, primarily for vending machines and convenience stores. Of course the green people had a fit first time out at the thought of millions more disposable DVDs in landfill, hopefully this time it'll come with a recycling plan.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson /forum/post/14197235


I've always been curious how the MPAA is compensated in the video rental market. Did you pay an inflated price for your DVDs to rent, did they get a percentage of your rental price, or something else. What do they do about free public libraries. My local library has quite an extensive collection of recent DVDs for lending -- free.

I agree DesertHawks answer was perfectly accurate re back in the VHS days. Studios charged stores anywhere from $90-150 for *each* new-release VHS tape, that was how they got their cut upfront. 90 days later they re-released the same titles as "sell through" collectibles, first at $29.95 and then steadily lower as DVD took over the industry. The exceptions were Disney movies and big Spielberg hits, often priced at $30 right from the start and released around holidays.


There were many studio pricing and revenue-splitting schemes over the years, some more successful than others and most too tedious to get into here. Eventually two arrangements predominated: the big chains allowed the studios into their computers to monitor their actual rental volume and take a literal percentage similar to the way they skim theater receipts, and the smaller independent stores continued to pay outrageously inflated upfront prices. The introduction and rapid success of DVD caused a minor earthquake in Hollywood, for a year or two the big chains really cleaned up at studio expense and the smaller stores got a way-overdue price break. That period passed, and now the studios make "output deals" with the big chains: i.e., Blockbuster agrees to purchase x-thousand copies of each studios release schedule at x-price for the quarter. That sounds simple but is incredibly complex for both parties and is renegotiated constantly between them. NetFlix has a similar arrangement and the studios have been known to actually customize and remaster some titles to better suit NetFlix mail-order dynamics.


The smaller independent stores that created the home video industry are sadly on the way out now, with the studios rudely shoving them out the door. Distribution to independent stores is not currently a profitable venture for middlemen or the studios themselves, so many smaller stores pretty much just go to Wal*Mart and buy their inventory from them at prices lower than the studios would charge them. Very sad. Its why I got out, it wasn't worth it anymore.


(BTW the largest dollar volume in DVD is thru Wal*Mart, not Blockbuster: Wal*Mart now accounts for over 50% of total DVD sales worldwide, and every studio is terrified of them and caters to their whims. If you ever wondered who the mighty George Lucas or David Geffen might be afraid of, its Wal*Mart.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/14177041


People take casual copying for granted as a "fringe benefit" of renting: they want to postpone viewing without running up a late fee, or they just get a thrill from the idea of having made a copy. They will probably never watch it again, and they would not in a million years have bought a studio recording. But they did drop their three bucks into the overall revenue stream.

True. I can vouch. I won a years worth of Netflix a couple years back and nearing the end of our subscription I rented movies and burned them as fast as I could so I could watch them later.


Truth be told, half of them are still collecting dust.


Now, instead of copying, we just buy the occasional DVD and trade with friends. Cheaper in the long run and I build a legitimate collection.
 

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mattack et al, don't forget about fair use! There's a lot more to copyright law than the studios want you to know. The original intent was to promote the spread of ideas by providing incentive to creators and by offering them reasonable compensation for their ideas. It was never imagined that it would be used to control the content forever and to control ones use of the content nor was there any idea that you would have to pay per use. Would you pay again and again everytime you read a book that you purchased? A magazine article?


Copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property law has been perverted by big corps and their lawyers in recent years to be far from what it was intended.


I hated the original Divx idea and fought it tooth and nail. I had a good friend who worked on it, but I was very glad to see it die. The corps, comcast and other cable cos and others would love the idea of pay-per-view for everything. To hell with them. I will happily continue to copy for my personal use as I see fit and I feel not the slightest moral twinge. Quite the contrary.


And the more SONY and other corporate thugs try to stop me from doing so, the more pleasure I will take in thwarting them at every turn. As I have said and posted many times, there are no bigger pirates, thieves, or crooks that the big corporations who have tried to buy and control everything they can, who cheerfully steal ideas and use the legal system to mug artists and others at the drop of a hat if it serves their interests or makes them an extra nickel.


Excuse the rant, but this is one battle worth fighting, IMHO.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/14177041


People take casual copying for granted as a "fringe benefit" of renting: they want to postpone viewing without running up a late fee, or they just get a thrill from the idea of having made a copy.

I would just like to comment as someone who rips and burns a backup copy of every purchased DVD I have. There is no such thing as casual copying of a DVD. At the very least, to make an analog copy requires both a DVD recorder and a copy-protection buster to go between the player and DVDR. A digital copy requires a PC with a good burner, knowledge of how to operate it beyond EMAIL and Internet surfing, and familiarity with a set of hacker tools to defeat encryption, rip, shrink, reauthor and burn. Neither of these are casual operations the average consumer is likely to undertake. It requires investment and some degree of skill.


My point is, I believe the number of people who home copy DVDs ("casual" copying) is very small indeed because the energy barrier is pretty high. On the other hand, if a person is patient, they can visit their local Blockbuster and buy any movie a month after release for $10 or less once the rental rate on that title has slacked off. At that price, it is my opinion that most people wouldn't give copying a second thought.
 

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"it is my opinion that most people wouldn't give copying a second thought."


Exactly! I believe you are quite correct. CC was selling relatively recent DVD's for $3 not long ago. Why copy at that price? So, clearly, very little casual "piracy" is going on. And the commercial pirates are not stopped by anything. So what's the real reason for DRM? Control.


I have the capability to copy multiple ways, but I still buy DVD's. But I make copies for my kids who apparently are genetically incapable of putting a DVD back in its case, for backup, and sometimes I convert to DivX to allow me to put multiple copies on a single DVD for convenience. All very legitimate uses, in my opinion.
 

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IMO, I think Netflix has the potential to kill off most "piracy." We got the service like 6 months ago, and have not been to a rental store since then!


We've got the 2 at a time, unlimited plan and usually watch 1-2 movies every week. Any movie we could ever want is available within a day or two. Since we only watch most movies only a couple of times (once or twice), it's much more economical to rent Nextflix than buy.


I guess what I'm saying is: 1)Netflix and other mail order services could cut down on piracy because getting the movie you want is so convenient. 2)Such services, at least in our house, have also made a major dent in the number of DVDs we've bought.


Random question for CitiBear: If I remember correctly, Macrovision copy protection found on VHS tapes weakens the syncing signal??



A note on music: I'm a Music Technology major, and try to keep close tabs on industry developments. I don't know how many artists I've heard say stuff like "we don't make any money off the CDs," and some like Radiohead are either giving their music away for free/getting out of label contracts. A lot of bands WANT you to steal their music. Why? Because the more fans they have, the more people will come to their concerts, buy their T-Shirts, etc.... Music piracy mostly hurts the label.


That being said, I only buy CDs (for new stuff) and LPs for old stuff.
 
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