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Video industry plans escape from iTunes with 'open' standard

post #1 of 86
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Afraid that Apple will gain the sort of lock on downloadable video that it did with music, Sony and a group of video business heavyweights are planning a new standard that would let copy protected movies and TV from any participating service work with many devices..

Put under the umbrella name of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, the coalition was started by Sony Pictures but now includes rival studios Fox, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. Microsoft and web security firm VeriSign are also onboard, as are hardware makers such as Cisco, HP, Philips and Toshiba. Alcatel-Lucent and Best Buy are also part of the venture.

Officially, the goal is to create an interoperable but still locked down approach to distributing videos online where buyers or renters could simply assume that an online video could work. As long as a device is in the user's "domain," content would play. In a presentation on DECE obtained by AppleInsider, Sony also claims that such a system would create a much more consistent rights environment: customers wouldn't face shifting copy limits if they choose to switch stores, while many stores today are ultimately balkanized.

On Monday, the studio also noted that DECE rules would be looser than they are with many video services today. A shopper would have the option to make unlimited copies, including the DVD burns that have regularly been off-limits at current online providers. In the strictest conditions, a user could still have access to a "locker" which recalls the customer's rights to play certain videos and stream content without any permanent copy involved.

But while this public objective is meant to remove some of the isolation between stores, Sony's presentation also underscores an attempt to head off Apple at the pass. The movie giant cites iTunes' prominence as a music store as an example of "the problem:" by allowing proprietary stores to exist, the music industry has effectively left the dominant format in Apple's control. The latter's decision to move quickly on downloads essentially cornered the market by making it first past the post, Sony says.





Adopting DECE as a standard would prevent this from happening to video by divorcing control from the individual stores and making the rights the service offered to the end user.

The consortium plans to unveil its more detailed strategy for DECE during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, though the described approach bears some similarity to Microsoft's PlaysForSure standard. On its invention in 2004, the Windows Media-driven approach was envisioned as guaranteeing that content from supporting stores would always play on approved computers and devices; that standard continues to struggle for acceptance as its heavy dependence on Microsoft-made software has left it out of the current market, where Microsoft is only a minority.

Both Sony's outline and outside speculation also suggest the movie production house is worried that it might have to remove DRM its videos, which it sees as a negative that would make sharing too easy, remove obligations and prevent companies from invoking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to enforce usage rights.
post #2 of 86
Interesting how there was not a single iPod in the second example image -- do they intend to keep their content away from 80% of MP3 players?
post #3 of 86
I think they've missed the mark there, I'd say it was Apple's iTunes software (and it's integration with the hardware) that makes Apple successful, not the ability to have choice over the vendor.
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post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by macosxp View Post

Interesting how there was not a single iPod in the second example image -- do they intend to keep their content away from 80% of MP3 players?

You assume that they excluded Apple. It is much more likely that Apple refused to participate. Doing so would help Apple's competitors reduce iTunes' strength in the music industry.

I really hope that this standardized DRM (calling it 'open' is just helps spread the false idea that it is in any way comparable to DRM free files) does not slow down the adoption of DRM-free media distribution. I think it probably will though, which is a shame.

I really don't see what these companies are going to accomplish by standardizing DRM. Unless they prevent a single DRM-free copy of these files from getting on the internet, they are not going to hamper piracy with DRM. Apple's DRM made sense because it locked people into iTunes/iPod, but standardized DRM? Maybe the intention is just to lock people *out of* iTunes/iPod.
post #5 of 86
I believe something like this will be integral to the downfall of physical media, although I doubt this gang will get it right on the first try. For a system like this to succeed, there would need to be a third party who acts as the keyholder to your media; this keyholder simply keeps a log of all the media you've purchased, from any of the participating digital stores. Having a license for a particular song, tv show, or movie would grant you access to download that media on any of your devices in it's preferred format and DRM encryption; for example, if you bought a movie on your Apple TV, you would have instant access to download the same movie from the Microsoft store for your Zune (presuming both were participants in the keyholder program).

All the user needs is a username and password for their keyholder account, and would log in exactly as you do on the iTunes Music Store, only your account information would be the same for all digital stores. With this system, the media itself is still tied to each individual device in whatever proprietary format and DRM the device creator chooses, but the user has unlimited usage of the media in that it's not tied to any single device. A licensing system can work if all the major players recognize the license.
post #6 of 86
Server stored content is not palatable because people don't trust that their content providers will remain in business. This model is doomed before they even begin.
post #7 of 86
I can't wait to download music from the Shell Oil online music store! [last picture]

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post #8 of 86
it tilts the playing field so it's not completely facing the movie and music industries. It gives the consumer (you know, wallets with people attached) far too much flexibility.

How dare you:
-not pay a tax to the movie and music industries when you purchase a consumer electronics device (yes, this 'plan' definitely includes a tax on all devices, labelled "licensing fees", paid indirectly to the labels)
-not pay a tax to the movie and music industries when you transfer their precious content from one device to another (you might not have to pay at the beginning, but you WILL have to if this can kill the iTMS)
-pay a reasonable fee, similar to the price of a CD or DVD for a movie or a song. The industry must be able to charge significantly more and/or go back to forcing the bundling of 10-15 songs at a time for them to be able to make any money at all.

The industry hasn't approached Apple to join this project simply because the purpose of this project is to put Apple's iTMS out of business AND to force Apple to accept the industries terms WITHOUT negotiation. They know it, and Apple knows it. The industry doesn't want the general public to realize this until it's too late, and they get significant industry adoption, so you don't have a choice but to buy a device with this incorporated in it if you want to listen to music or watch a video.
post #9 of 86
Why don't they give up on DRM already? I can get any movie I want for free as it stands now, so I don't know what piracy they are preventing. I know for a fact that DRM is preventing me from purchasing digital media, if I want to buy something, it will be a cd or a dvd not something that I can't re-download and has restrictions on its use.

That doesn't help them if I get the urge to buy something after the stores have closed, i either download it for free or forget about it by the next day.
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post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

The industry hasn't approached Apple to join this project simply because the purpose of this project is to put Apple's iTMS out of business AND to force Apple to accept the industries terms WITHOUT negotiation. They know it, and Apple knows it. The industry doesn't want the general public to realize this until it's too late, and they get significant industry adoption, so you don't have a choice but to buy a device with this incorporated in it if you want to listen to music or watch a video.

Exactly. That was the only reason the big three music labels "allowed" DRM-free MP3's to be sold through everyone's music store.... except Apple's. Anyone that backs an endeavor like this will only be shooting their own foot.
post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

I can't wait to download music from the Shell Oil online music store! [last picture]

I saw that too.... totally stupid...
post #12 of 86
DRM... Do not want!
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweben View Post

You assume that they excluded Apple. It is much more likely that Apple refused to participate.

Then why is iTunes listed in the top of the graphic as a participating store?

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post #14 of 86
Pretty sure these are examples of vending method, not confirmed tied on companies. If so the iTunes logo would be current and not something era of Version 4.
post #15 of 86
If it works properly this actually wouldn't be too bad if apple was part of this (obviously they aren't going to want to be until the last possible moment). Most people would still buy from itunes anyways, but it would work on an ipod, psp, zune, whatever. And if I bought from napster, amazon or whomever it would work on all the same devices.

Seems fair.
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post #16 of 86
i love how in the second photo half of those products are Sony's and the PS3 photo is still showing the old "boomerang" controller.
post #17 of 86
Have to see how this shakes out but it makes no sense to me as described. As has been pointed out already, if everyone is using the same DRM and the DRM is broken, (as it always is), it still does nothing to stop illegal downloading.

Also, maybe I missed it, but what format are these files going to be in? How can the same DRM work for a Windows media file as well as an Mpeg or an AVI file? If video and audio files are to be interchangeable in this broad fashion, they'd do better to standardise the formats before they worry about DRM. I don't see MS giving up their attempt to control the formats, so even if the DRM is the same, I still couldn't watch the video on my player of choice.

Lastly, they are basing this on the mistaken assumption that people actually *want* to buy stuff form multiple outlets. This is just not true. No one wants to go all over town price shopping for DVD's and no one wants to check out five different online stores to see who is offering things cheaper. The companies themselves want this because it means at least some of the time you will overpay for a product.

I'd definitely put this in the "unlikely to succeed" column. Bottom line is that the easiest way to achieve the goals they are setting out here (interoperability and multiple vendors) is to simply offer the product at a reasonable price and without DRM. When a group of companies like this gets together and then *doesn't* pick the simplest solution, you know something is fishy.

And why isn't this illegal anyway? Collusion amongst all the top media companies to fix sales criteria, prices and control? This is just a monopoly in effect.
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post #18 of 86
Consumer choice picture doesn't include "one" Apple product. What they don't realize is; iTunes is winning because the service and products are better, so people "choose" it.
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post #19 of 86
So the 1. World (Media) War begins...

- Is Apple in trouble?

- What should they (Apple) do?

- Should they abandon AppleTV?


I really like the iTunes model. But then again... almost all my gadgets wears the Apple logo I surely do´nt want to abandon them...??!
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post #20 of 86
DRM as an issue aside, this idea makes perfect sense. And I can't see why Apple wouldn't support this if SJ really meant what he was saying re DRM in relation to music.
Like everybody here I lean towards Apple solutions and Apple's way of thinking but the concept of proprietary formats is inherently undemocratic and unfair for the end users as well as for the 'players'. It is expensive, it hinders innovation and necessitates duplication. If I buy a piece of music I should never have to be concerned with where or how it is played back. What I buy is the 'right' to listen to that piece of music however I choose. The function of any available music playing device should first and foremost be to serve that end in the best possible way. In a practical day to day sense I don't care if my content is locked to Apple - at this point in time, anyway - but who knows what the situation will be in 10 or 20 years. From a political and philosophical pov I completely resent having my content tied to any device or brand, whether it belongs to Apple or Microsoft or whoever.
post #21 of 86
No thank you. I'll stick with iTunes.

Before iTunes (and after), we as a mac users were locked out, unable to do anything such as: order musics at napster, walmart, microsoft and other music/movies sites (before it was DRM-free). iTunes saved us and it's tightly integrated.

Their ideas = bullock. I know there will be softwares + hardwares incompatibles (like you cannot run software on a last year model, only required this year model.) I doubt it will be any good b/c they will hurry up and all they think is the profit they want and lack of innovation and creativity. Also, I'm not sure if this was SONY powerpoint but I've noticed there aren't any mac or iphones in 2nd slideshow - so I assumed they will lock us out again like it was before iTunes.

hulu.com is a good site BUT close to iTunes for now. iPhone/iTouch is a good device and no other device are close to it.

Good luck Sony and whoever with it.
post #22 of 86
Oh, most importantly of all - don't forget to include subtitle/closed caption and that will attract more consumers. I don't know why it isn't showing some in iTunes as well as Hulu. I assumed it's the movie studio who are too greedy or have something to do with copyright issues.
post #23 of 86
With powerpoint slides that shit I don't think anyone has to worry about that group of morons overtaking Apple.

Seriously, take 1/2 a second to remove the white background in the photos you stole off the internet. And double seriously Sony, get a fricken up to date version of your own damn product, instead of a prototype image from 3 years ago...
post #24 of 86
Is it me or is the server time wrong? I posted it at 9:46PM EST and on the forum it said I posted at 1:46AM. Please fix it. Thank you
post #25 of 86
SONY is retarded. iTunes doesn't just run on MAC. Why they show only Apple products.

iTunes is successful because no one else is trying to accomplish same thing. SONY is just eating their nails after seeing that iTunes is getting 75% market share of music/video players.

Even if they open formats for any kind of Music Library Software that will attract so many illegal distribution of copying of video and music to a higher level.
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post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

I believe something like this will be integral to the downfall of physical media, although I doubt this gang will get it right on the first try.

I thought there have been several tries already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremedesigner View Post

No thank you. I'll stick with iTunes.

Before iTunes (and after), we as a mac users were locked out, unable to do anything such as: order musics at napster, walmart, microsoft and other music/movies sites (before it was DRM-free). iTunes saved us and it's tightly integrated.

The problem is that there is no other cross-platform DRM of significance. The dominant system was Microsoft's, and I think it was Telestream reps, among others, that said that Microsoft's DRM cannot be used on a non-Microsoft platform, which is the core problem. Apple won't license theirs and I haven't heard of anyone else stepping up. I think Apple had to do it in order to protect their platform, give their users at least something. I'm not sure if there is sufficient incentive for anyone else to step up.
post #27 of 86
Exactly. If "legitimate" video content requires people to switch and use crappy non-Apple devices and software, then this will simply drive large numbers of otherwise content buying customers to the far cheaper and more convenient pirating option.
post #28 of 86
I still don't like the industry moving towards selling "rights" instead of selling content.
I don't trust large content-owners because I see them trying to make restrictions to the "rights" they sell, wherever they can, in order to ensure artificial future earnings.

With a CD you own the content, and you can almost treat it like an object, it's transferrable, etcetera. That's not the case with "rights".
My main gripe is that you need to pay every time the content becomes available in a new format (.mp3 -> .mp4, see iTunes Plus also) instead of being able to rip in the new format from a high quality "original". You can't even re-download the original content you payed for should you lose it (in iTunes), which to me is very atypical use of digital technology (since there are no real barriers to allow people to "rerip" or "redownload").
All in all I think funtion is taken away rather then gained.

Also, I feel like these developments are slowing down the broader development of technology. Think of new media file-formats. It's in the industry's benefit to frustrate the development of .mp5.
The industry will try to slow down the pace of development.

All of these developments are very artificial and seem to me to indicate a very unhealthy market place.
Add to this aggressive efforts to change copyright law.

Maybe I'm missing the obvious, wonderful aspects of the "rights"-method, if so, I would love for someone to explain it to me.
post #29 of 86
A couple of things of note:
1. All of the images are from older generation products: old Moto Rokr, old PS3.
2. Use of the v. 4 iTunes logo.
3. How exactly are you supposed to get this new content onto your Landrover Discovery? Mine didn't come with a USB adapter, is that something I need to pay extra for?
4. Conspicuous absence of the MSFT logo, instead represented only by Zune, and its their older logo at that.

This all seems like something that was thrown about a few years ago. And somewhat sloppily at that.

As far as any effect on Apple, it should be negligible. Apple sells the best hardware, and uses their software to keep you hooked. Its where the margins are (or were). If you can sacrifice a few million dollars in revenue by allowing content from other stores onto your devices which bring in even more millions in revenue, then its a no brainer. This seems like a dated attempt to get out of the Apple shadow, and odds are it will fail unless the hardware side steps up its game big time.
post #30 of 86
If the movie industry doesn't institute some sort of control, then as networks get faster they're going to lose a ton of money when you can download a movie as fast as an MP3. They'll lose a lot of jobs, just as the music industry has. Although ticket prices are high, DVD prices are low, and studios are a lot more fair about pricing (not at the theater) than those charging $18 for a single CD.

I'm no fan of DRM, the people who put it in place seem to want to be as restrictive as possible, literally trying to screw the consumer into buying it more than once to view on different devices. Maybe this system can stop that, and it is their second try. I just hope it's updatable in a sophisticated way, so that compatible players aren't locked out for being old, as has been said, because the standard will get hacked and they'll have to do security updates... though hopefully not for every flaw as that would get annoying.

The problem with old DRM was every company had their own flavor. If these guys can get it right, allow you to play it on your PSP, Computer, Tivo, iPod or iTV or Roku all at the same time in a fair and easy way, then I say freakin go for it.

But they can't go too far. They can't count how many times you watch a movie or really have any contact with the file at all, they just need to sell it and keep it off the torrent sites. Rentals should last a while, like 3-5 days unlimited viewing. They don't ever need to know what's on a computer with the intent of policing, or no one will cross over out of fear. Just be fair-ish and things will go your way, don't and you'll get hacked and fail because people will go with that. It'd be great if you could do it anonymously or somehow pay cash for it at a physical location (like when they include an itunes copy with your dvd), for those of us who don't want our data to be mined any more than it already is.

Oh and they need to work with Apple or they're screwed. Sorry for the rant.
post #31 of 86
The real problem for the media companies is that they no longer add much value, but of course do not want to stop getting rich from the creativity of others. The video industry is trying to avoid the fate of the music industry, but they don't realize how lucky they are to have iTunes.

The record companies think their problem is the fact that Apple wants to keep prices down on song downloads, because the record companies would like to charge more. They would also like to sell albums in which only one song is good. The truth, which Apple seems to understand, is that for many consumers, the choice is between getting a song for free or paying a little bit for convenience. If it costs much more than a buck for a song, people won't bother to pay, so raising the price will lead to less revenues, not more. The iTunes store is the best thing to happen to the labels in years, whether they realize it or not, because Apple isn't actually trying to make a lot of money selling songs. The iPod is the only thing that makes the business model work at all. If anything, the record labels should be subsidizing iPod sales, not trying to raise prices.

Apple's primary concern is keeping the iPod compatible with new media, and giving the consumer a good experience. If the consumer buys the iPod, they get the free iTunes software and they get access to lots of music and video at reasonable prices. By aligning their interests with those of the consumer, they have made a very successful business in a difficult environment. If a media company had figured out a way to give customers a convenient and fun way to listen to the music they want when they want it, they would have made money too, but they have been too busy trying to cling to an obsolete business model.

The media companies now hope that by supporting competition, they will be able to pit the stores against each other and gain more leverage, which would allow them to drive up prices. However, in doing so, they will be working directly against the interests of the consumers, and the consumers will probably just revert to the DIY distribution approach. It's hard to feel too bad about this, since few musicians make much money from record sales anyway, even some quite successful ones. You can get an idea of how this works here: http://www.arancidamoeba.com/mrr/problemwithmusic.html

If the media companies knew what was good for them, they would just focus on working with a company like Apple that will provide the best service for the lowest margins--a company that understands new media better than they do.
post #32 of 86
Ok, are they worried about the consumer not having access or that they need MORE money?

Frankly, I don't trust that MULTIPLE vendors will be able to provide a consistent end-user experience that Apple has been able to with iTunes. Look at PlaysForSure. It was/is one DRM format provided by multiple providers based on Microsoft coding....yet one by one, they are fading into nonexistence and buyers of those tracks are losing the ability to play or transfer them. The idiotic piece now is the Content Providers are allowing non-iTunes vendors the ability to sell DRM-free tracks, yet require Apple to have the DRM for those same tracks. So, go ahead and shoot yourself in the foot, DECE!

iTunes provides a generous catalog of digital content and now those same content providers(and receivers of the income from those sales) are crying foul? Gimme a break! For them it's not about making money, it's about making MORE money.

Apple has found the right formula that works well for them AND the consumer, thus EARNING the 75% market share for audio and digital content sales. Their hardware products are updated annually and greatly improved each passing year. Their FairPlay DRM may only work in their system, but their system is compatible on both the MAC and PC computing platforms and in their iPods, as well as through iTunes thus removing the requirement for a digital player aside from their computer. If you have a PC, you download iTunes, pay $3.99 for a movie rental, and you're enjoying it.

I prefer the all-in-one experience....one stop shopping in a software that brings me the most content, fair pricing, and a media player that handles the content in digital form or producing a burned copy(of purchased music). Why do I need other options? Because other media companies decide what's best for me?

I don't think so.
post #33 of 86
I think every one of these companies would slit each other's throat to accomplish what Apple has. None of them believe they can pull it off individually, so...do what losers do best (at least try).
post #34 of 86
Sony's just miffed that Apple's not supporting Blu-ray in any Mac products.

Had Sony been leading the music download wars they'd be singing a new tune.
DECE won't take off anytime soon and Apple will have already had the intertial forces
needed to make sure it's a tough uphill battle.

I really don't need muliple stores to sell me the same content when it comes to online
services. With physical product the store stock, accoutrements (listening stations etc) and
other creature comforts dictated what stores I shopped at. Until the competitors find a
superior way to present music and movies than iTunes you're going to see them all languish.
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post #35 of 86
well, this should be a fantastic train wreck.
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post #36 of 86
thats lame, I look at the picture and I was like what? Such a low quality presentation. How do they expect to impress? First impression is key....guess not everyone knows that.

Quote:
Sony's just miffed that Apple's not supporting Blu-ray in any Mac products.

What! no blu-ray? At all? No way, Im sure there will be blu-ray in Mac, the question is just when.

DRM is crap, if DRM is so good, you will not be able to find pirated copy of your favorite music artist. Try searching google now for your favorite song torrent and you will get loads of result. So does DRM work? Well only work for people who buy legal music , how bout the majority of people who still pay free for their music?
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post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc OSX View Post

I think they've missed the mark there, I'd say it was Apple's iTunes software (and it's integration with the hardware) that makes Apple successful, not the ability to have choice over the vendor.

But the "integration" is only between iTunes and iPod/iPhone. So yes, the excellent software-hardware integration is what made Apple so successful. But those iTunes Store files cannot integrate with, say, a Zune. The goal of this collaboration is to make all digital purchases integrate-able with all hardware.

If Apple's success is really due to its integration, it should have nothing to fear from removing DRM from its store. The truth is, those restrictions have helped Apple sell hardware. I've got iTunes-restricted files, so my next MP3 player must have an Apple logo on it. And that Apple iPod must sync using iTunes, so now I've got no choice as to where I purchase my music - unless it's at a DRM-free place like Amazon.

Believe me - I love my iPhone, and iTunes organizes everything conveniently. But I've stopped shopping at iTunes for music because of the inconvenient restrictions it places on my files. I'd do the same for video if there were something better.
post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

DRM is crap, if DRM is so good, you will not be able to find pirated copy of your favorite music artist. Try searching google now for your favorite song torrent and you will get loads of result. So does DRM work? Well only work for people who buy legal music , how bout the majority of people who still pay free for their music?


DRM doesn't really do what "they" say it does, and it will never be unbreakable, but you chose a bad example. Most music is sold without DRM in the first place, there's no need to break any DRM on a purchased CD. How you can think that's an example of DRM not working when it's readily available through legal channels without it having to break any, I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post

Then why is iTunes listed in the top of the graphic as a participating store?

With an outdated logo?

I don't know if that graphic is showing who is participating, they seem to be a bunch of logos thrown in to make a point.
post #39 of 86
there's an iTunes CD and the green musical note in the second graphic next to the Zune logo :-)

so I guess they will include iTunes
post #40 of 86
LOL some of you guys are so funny. I do believe the general idea is companies like Sony, Lionsgate, and microsoft don't want the monopoly (APPLE/iTunes/iPod) the consume the video world. It's one thing to be successful but its another when consumers don't have a choice but to go with apple. That is.... also against the law. It's not strictly inforced when it comes to entertainment but it should be. I am a proud owner of the iphone 3g and I admire apples innovative technology but I am tired of the molopoly. As a member of a band I hate that I make less money on my iTunes sales compared to Hard copy or many other internet media venders and I still pay the same tax on the earnings.
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