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Lionsgate joins Apple's Digital Copy for iTunes program

post #1 of 32
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Leading indie film house Lionsgate said Monday that it is working with Apple to provide Digital Copy for iTunes, offering customers who purchase select DVDs an additional copy of the film formatted for iTunes.

Just like movies purchased from the iTunes Store, an iTunes Digital Copy is easily transferred from a DVD disc to iTunes, where it can then be viewed on a Mac or PC, or synced to an iPod, iPhone or widescreen television connected to Apple TV.

Lionsgate is just second studio to announce support for the program, joining Twentieth Century Fox, which helped launch the initiative with Apple back in January. The first Lionsgate DVDs to debut with iTunes Digital Copy will be the special edition DVD and Blu-ray releases of "Rambo" on May 27th, and "The Eye" latter this summer. In addition, Lionsgate and Apple said they plan to deliver numerous other films on DVD with iTunes Digital Copy later this year.

"Lionsgate is constantly identifying fresh opportunities to monetize its 12,000-title filmed entertainment library in an increasingly digital world and provide product that is at the very cutting edge of consumer taste," said Steve Beeks, President and co-Chief Operating Officer of Lionsgate. "Our consumers are always looking for new viewing options in terms of the motion pictures they buy, and we are always searching for new ways to deliver content in formats that reflect consumer preference across the entire home entertainment spectrum, from packaged media to digital storage to VOD."

Once a customer buys a Digital Copy-equipped DVD, he or she inserts it into their computer, enters a unique code into iTunes, and the movie is automatically copied to their iTunes library. Each DVD will only transfer its iTunes Digital Copy to one iTunes library, and an iTunes account is required for the process.

Lionsgate is one of several studios which offer a wide variety of movies for rental and purchase on the iTunes Store, including recent hit releases like "3:10 to Yuma," "Good Luck Chuck," and the action film "War" in addition to classic library titles like "Dirty Dancing" and "Reservoir Dogs."
post #2 of 32
Lions Gate is the best movie company there is and they're from Vancouver (the good Vancouver not the other one down south)
post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

(the good Vancouver not the other one down south)

Thanks for reminding me, I forgot about the Vancouver in Nunavut.


But seriously now, given how easy it is to re-appropriate the actual DVD, I'm kind of surprised a studio bothers to do this. I suppose it's the legal alternative.
post #4 of 32
I think this is a great business model, especially since DVD sales are plummeting.

The ability to have access to digital copies without going through the hokey and illegal pokey really adds value to Lionsgate's releases. Additionally, the integration with iTunes delivery system will encourage less technically savvy consumers to purchase portable playback devices like iTouch.

Smart move.
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post #5 of 32
I wonder when we're going to get more content - i check itunes movies every tuesday when dvd releases come out - and there still haven't been any new additions - still 38 pages of 21 titles per page in total (rentals and purchases) - so less than 1000 titles.. : (
post #6 of 32
is the resolution going to be consistent with what would be available on itunes? or, since you are loading it from a dvd, which should be fairly quicker then downloading it from itunes, will it be of larger size/ resolution?

also it says a digital copy will be provided w/ blu-ray, if it's on the disc, how do you get it onto your computer with no blu-ray compatible drive on any mac?

on another note, I have no prob. using hand-brake but would certainly like this better if its quicker w/ higher res.
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by counterpart9 View Post

is the resolution going to be consistent with what would be available on itunes? or, since you are loading it from a dvd, which should be fairly quicker then downloading it from itunes, will it be of larger size/ resolution?

I think the goal is that they are playable on iPods, so, no.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by counterpart9 View Post

also it says a digital copy will be provided w/ blu-ray, if it's on the disc, how do you get it onto your computer with no blu-ray compatible drive on any mac?

You use one of the many Blu-ray drives that you can buy for any computer.

Quote:
on another note, I have no prob. using hand-brake but would certainly like this better if its quicker w/ higher res.

It's not going to be higher resolution. the point is to prevent piracy by offering an alternative to people to copy DVDs for mobile platforms. This is a great comprimise. Surely, there will be those that spend hours transcoding their DVDs for personal use but a good majority just want a mobile version. That means the qualty will be no more than 640x480 resolution @ 30fps and 1.5Mbps.
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post #9 of 32
Hm, I wonder if there would be a market for studios to take their old movies and put a bunch of them on a single DVD, specifically for iTunes/iPod/AppleTV consumption (ie, there's no DVD movie on the disk, just the iTunes vesion)? It would be an option for people who don't have fast enough internet connections or don't have the time/inclination to rip DVDs themselves. And you'd automatically have a back-up on DVD in case your hard drive crashes.

It would also be a way for studios to bundle their movies since Apple will likely never allow it on the iTunes Store...buy these 3 good movies and we'll throw in these other 2 for free! You could probably even get the entire season of a TV show on a single disc which would save manufacturing costs.

I'm not sure Apple would go for it since it would compete with iTunes sales, but maybe they get a cut. Or maybe they accept it as a way to build market share of digital video and increase sales of iPods and AppleTV.
post #10 of 32
My understanding is that you download the file via itunes - it's not on the disk itself, as silly as that seems.

[edit: Just double-checked on this, and no, it does come from the disk. Initial reports of people using it thought it was being downloaded from the internet because it apparently copies the file to the computer via the "Downloads" section on itunes. here
post #11 of 32
Great idea. Too bad few, if any, of the movies I watch come from the two studios that do this.

Of course, an even better solution would be for the courts to rule that when you buy a DVD and rip the movie to your iPod that it falls under fair use. Then I could do it with everything.
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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

My understanding is that you download the file via itunes - it's not on the disk itself, as silly as that seems.

My understanding is that the file is local on the diskand comes with a serial key. This key will then match itself against a free key in the iTunes DB. Once signed to your iTS account the seial key can no longer be used with another account and the video is given the appropriate individual signing, like with iPod games, to play.

But I could be wrong.
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post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Hm, I wonder if there would be a market for studios to take their old movies and put a bunch of them on a single DVD, specifically for iTunes/iPod/AppleTV consumption (ie, there's no DVD movie on the disk, just the iTunes vesion)? It would be an option for people who don't have fast enough internet connections or don't have the time/inclination to rip DVDs themselves. And you'd automatically have a back-up on DVD in case your hard drive crashes.

It would also be a way for studios to bundle their movies since Apple will likely never allow it on the iTunes Store...buy these 3 good movies and we'll throw in these other 2 for free! You could probably even get the entire season of a TV show on a single disc which would save manufacturing costs.

I'm not sure Apple would go for it since it would compete with iTunes sales, but maybe they get a cut. Or maybe they accept it as a way to build market share of digital video and increase sales of iPods and AppleTV.

Nice idea. Studios would have to offer a reasonable price, which would probably be
the biggest stumbling block.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

My understanding is that you download the file via itunes - it's not on the disk itself, as silly as that seems.

I think you are wrong. When the word "download" is being used, I think they are simply referring to it being copied from the disk into iTunes.

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post #15 of 32
Yeah, it's copied from the disk. Sorry. I edited my post above.
post #16 of 32
I can rip any DVD with Handbrake to my iPhone. Why would I care if it came with this Digital Copy?

Are the copies protected so that, once imported into itunes, they can be played on another computer (without the DVD)?
post #17 of 32
..........
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post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

I can rip any DVD with Handbrake to my iPhone. Why would I care if it came with this Digital Copy?

Because it's illegal, it takes significantly longer to transcode than to copy a pre-formatted file, and not everyone is savvy enough or willing to go through the trouble.

Quote:
Are the copies protected so that, once imported into itunes, they can be played on another computer (without the DVD)?

Yes, so long as they are authorized to that iTunes Store Account, as I understand it.
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post #19 of 32
Awesome, so I'll be able to easily watch "Open Water" on an iPod. That only leaves the question of why I'd want to.

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post #20 of 32
That "illegal" thing is really stopping people, isn't it?
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

That "illegal" thing is really stopping people, isn't it?

Not everyone takes a flippant attitude toward laws. Regardless, it was one of several reason I mentioned.
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post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Not everyone takes a flippant attitude toward laws. Regardless, it was one of several reason I mentioned.

Isn't DVD ripping only illegal to do in Australia and that backwards country known as the US?
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Isn't DVD ripping only illegal to do in Australia and that backwards country known as the US?

It's Just Illegal Enough (TM) to keep the major software companies from publishing applications that make it easy to do. If Handbrake was charging money for the great product, it would be much more likely to be the target of lawsuits (even if only in the US and Australia). If the software isn't pre-installed, on the shelf on Wal-Mart, or available on Amazon, the average consumer will never hear about it. For most users, Handbrake doesn't exist.
post #24 of 32
It's interesting they're also doing it with blu-ray, that's something I had wondered about.

I wish people would stop calling lionsgate an independent film studio now though, that's kind of a joke.
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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

For most users, Handbrake doesn't exist.

They sure know about ThePirateBay and VLC though!
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking View Post

I wish people would stop calling lionsgate an independent film studio now though, that's kind of a joke.

I don't recall if Altman started the company with his own money or used investors, but either way, it's now publicly traded so it is no longer an independent studio on that front. However, it is the largest independent film distributor, so perhaps some are referring to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

They sure know about ThePirateBay and VLC though!

THe usual reports say that only a small percentage make up for most torrent use. I know plenty of people that know nothing about torrents or transcoding media.
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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

They sure know about ThePirateBay and VLC though!

I think one has to be desperate to use VLC.
post #28 of 32
The Digital Copy file comes on a DVD-ROM, no matter if you purchased the film as a DVD or BD.
post #29 of 32
[QUOTE=solipsism;1227950 I know plenty of people that know nothing about torrents or transcoding media.[/QUOTE]

Not everyone knows about every software out there. I know plenty of people who know nothing about Macs, iPods, OS X, or iTunes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think one has to be desperate to use VLC.

Every top downloads tracker I've ever seen has VLC being a lot more popular than iTunes. Many of them have it listed as the number one download.

As a standalone player, VLC is actually really good. Just drop files in the playlist, and they work virtually every time no matter the source. It's a much more functional application for what it does than anything I know of.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

Every top downloads tracker I've ever seen has VLC being a lot more popular than iTunes. Many of them have it listed as the number one download.

As a standalone player, VLC is actually really good. Just drop files in the playlist, and they work virtually every time no matter the source. It's a much more functional application for what it does than anything I know of.

It's very functional in terms of what it will do, but usually I find it to be flaky, on two different platforms. I make it my player of last resort only.

While I understand that many may not know what a Mac is or iTunes, I'm really skeptical that you know a lot of people that's never heard of an iPod, it would seem like one would have to be quite an isolationist.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It's very functional in terms of what it will do, but usually I find it to be flaky, on two different platforms. I make it my player of last resort only.


Flaky in what respect? Certainly not stability, I've never seen VLC lock up or crash, and it's probably the only application for any platform that I can say that about.

What do you think is better?

Quote:
While I understand that many may not know what a Mac is or iTunes, I'm really skeptical that you know a lot of people that's never heard of an iPod, it would seem like one would have to be quite an isolationist.

Heard of one, sure. They read about them in the paper. But Plenty haven't actually seen and/or touched one (or have even a rudimentary understanding of what it does). Heck, I had somebody ask me a little while ago what the internet was. He'd read about it, but didn't understand what it was. Seriously.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

Flaky in what respect? Certainly not stability, I've never seen VLC lock up or crash, and it's probably the only application for any platform that I can say that about.

What do you think is better?

For DVD playback, seemingly just about anything is better. Scrubbing the timeline sometimes gives it fits on the media formats that I tried. It throws errors on menus. Sometimes the timeline isn't even correct, where the "end" is actually at the 2/3 point on the bar.
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