Download, Burn, Almost Play (That) DVD


Hollywood, somehow cannot get its head out of its asinus, and then blames people for swapping movies online. The latest example of this bone headed behavior comes via Movielink and Cinema Now.

Major studios are now offering movies on these services for downloading and burning on a DVD – which is good move only if you ignore the fine print. The movies you download can be burnt on a DVD but will play back only on your PC, but not on your DVD players. What! Crazy!

For the (in)convenience of the downloads on Movielink (jointly owned by the studios, of course), you have to shell out more cash than you do physical DVDs. At least Cinema Now is trying to keep prices reasonable. Oh by the way it will take between one to two hours to download the movies. Think about it this way, this might force people to upgrade to higher speeds, and perhaps switch from slower DSL plans to cable company offerings!


Jesse Kopelman

Re: porn. Sex is the motivating factor behind all technology. Nobody should be surprised that porn is where the cutting edge applications are first rolled out.

Josh Hyde

You can tell who Movielink and Cinemanow think their audience is. It’s not tech savvy users. They don’t even support Firefox!


A crack for those “computer only” DVDs is in the works!

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Fazal Majid

Er, “asinus” means “donkey” in latin. Comparing movie executives to donkeys would be a grave insult to the noble but unappreciated quadrupeds…

I don’t see how any of them can believe this service is going to fly with that pricing, no matter how much they have snorted. DaScud’s theory is the only one that makes sense, but courts have found against record companies and their tactics of restricting distribution through captive music services, but courts have shown they are on to these smokescreens.


The cajones on these companies are unbelievable!!! Charge more than a regualr DVD when their costs are less, the quality is less, and you can’t play them on a DVD player?

And they wonder why…


The only reason i can think of for this half brained download service is that the hollywood studios probably want this new service to fail. Then they can lobby for stricter regulations with the DMCA and say “look we provided legal download alternatives but no one is interested”.

Given that they do not have to deal with a retail sales channel and no physical media why would they think that people will be interested in paying 1.5 – 2 times more for this download service which can only be viewed on a PC. This really makes no sense to me.

What would probably make sense is download rentals. I wouldnt mind paying $4-$5 for a 24-48 hr movie rental (near dvd quality) and
wouldnt care if it is heavily DRM’ed. IMO i dont think the hollywood studios are putting out too many movies that i would want to own or watch more than once :-).



I wish Malik write about what’s going on the porn market. I started my VOD company 4 years ago, but the only once who are interested were porn companies, all most 90% of them use us.

A lot of things you guys say here the main stream did are done by Porn companies already.


Om Malik

Wes, you make a brilliant point. I think in the end these guys are going to make these bone headed moves, and we all know where they are going to end up.

Wes Felter

I think it’s pretty simple: If a movie doesn’t play on a DVD player, we should insist that it is not a DVD movie and cannot be called a DVD movie. A similar thing called VCPS was proposed a few years ago and died on the vine; let’s keep up the opposition to fake DVDs.

Spaceman Spiff

I wish we could short Movielink. How much venture funding do you think this brilliant concept has gotten?


We worked on a download and burn to DVD technology that keeps part of the file on the server so a person cant just send the orginal downloads to friends.

Of course they can make a ISO out of the burned copy and send to friends, but then again you can do that with any DVD.

The only clients who are adapting our technology is adult at this point.


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