You may have read today that it may not be too far off before you can legally download DRM'd movies to your computer and burn them to DVD. Although the article isn't all that clear, it sounds like the DVD CCA may have decided to license their CSS technology to video services to allow consumers to burn real video DVDs for playback in their DVD players.
Wow, actual, uncrippled DVDs that playback in your home entertainment system! Amazing!
But why now?
The DVD CSS encryption has only been broken for seven years, why give it up now, instead of after six or five years? Maybe it's because we're moving to a new format, though that seems unlikely what with the costs of an HD-DVD or Bluray being so expensive and neither has yet to be adopted by the masses. Maybe someone figured it was about time tighten the screws to all of us home movie creators that burn DVDs for kicks, though I'd doubt that too, because there's nothing in these stories that would indicate all DVD burning software will have to use CSS (whew!).
No, I think what's happening here is what we've been saying for some time… while the use of DRM seemingly may be useful to large content creators, it's short-sighted and will likely harm your ability to compete (let alone tick off consumers of your content).
Since the advent of the DVD, we've entered a new world of online content delivery. Still, people prefer to watch movies in front of their TV. And although NetFlix may want you to believe otherwise, we all know it's fairly easy (albeit time consuming) to send DVD video over the Internet.
Clearly, the technology has long existed for Hollywood to sell and deliver this content to consumers over the Internet. So, why haven't they done it? The news today seems to indicate that their adherence to both an out-of-date DRM and the old DVD distribution model has been preventing them from moving forward. Somehow, they got (somewhat of) a clue.
It's not what many would have liked–that Hollywood start selling unprotected movies via Bittorrent–but hopefully it's a start. Hey, at least, if the story's implications are true, we'll be legally downloading the already cracked standard that we all know and love! If priced right, how much you wanna to bet we see DVD sales increase and piracy decrease?