Originally Posted by Wolfman
I think that you let the entertainment/content industries off way to easy. After all, Napster thrived in a vacuum of usable solutions offered by those companies.
Countless music titles were either unavailable in digital format at all and what was available could only be used via ridiculous DRM-based rental schemes.
Apple & iTunes changed all that and established the standards under which music is sold today.
That's quite a lot of hyperbole. You could even in Napster's day rip a CD to a digital format just as easily as you can today. After all, how do you think all that music got onto Napster in the first place?
Similar mindless consumer-unfriendly schemes are being employed today for movie distribution.
You can only buy movies digitally in SD, rent only a month after SD sales started and only rent HD.
The single reason: Maintain physical DVD (SD/HD) sales that provide higher margins. Even then digital copies on BD are only SD and then often even limited in the time they can be viewed.
How did you come to the backward conclusion that physical sales have a higher margin that downloads? With the cost of preparing the menus and bonus features, pressing discs, packaging the discs, shipping to stores, it's pretty obvious that downloads end up with a much higher margin when all they have to do is pass a couple of files off to the download service (it's probably more than that, but it's obvious there should be a lot less effort involved in prepping a download).
The reason they want to protect physical sales is because brick and mortar stores use DVDs as loss leaders to drive sales to other higher margin items. Thus, B&M stores will offer steep discounts that lead to huge sales numbers for discs. No company offering downloads except Vudu has any real need to push digital video downloads because they are just a side-business used as another feature bullet point on their products. Last year, sales of physical HD content (Blu-Ray and HD DVD) was double that of digital downloads, and HD sales were just a blip on the scope when compared to standard DVD sales.
Then of course there's the fact that there are millions of potential customers that don't have an internet connection capable of downloads. And millions more that just have no interest in fussing with downloads when they just pop a disc into a player.
Considering of how old HD standards actually are and the FCC digital broadcast mandate in US, it is a joke to consider HD a premium.
Despite being fairly old tech, HD is still just coming out of its infancy especially in the US. Also, what does the FCC mandate have to do with HD? Absolutely nothing, there's no requirement to switch to HD in it, only to digital.
Don't get me wrong, I don't support piracy but technologies like HDCP have absolutely zero value to consumers and the lack of HD digital content is appalling in view of the available technologies to support them.
I won't disagree with the fact that HDCP has no value to the consumer. But it does have value to the movie studios. No, it (and the other forms of DRM) won't stop large-scale piracy. It's not meant to, it's meant to curb the casual piracy that has helped to send CD sales into the toilet. It's meant to limit how easy it is for Joe Public to say to his friend, "Sure, I'll make you a copy of that." It's meant to make it hard enough that the average user will decide its just easier to go buy a copy.
In all the years I've owned DVD, the DRM involved never got in the way of me enjoying the movies on the disc the way that Apple's Fairplay has with music. I can't play those movies on any non-Apple product. I can easily take that DVD out of my Sony PS3 and go upstairs and enjoy it on my Pioneer DVD player. In the year and a half I've bought Blu-Ray discs, the DRM has never gotten in my way.