Copy protection in movies doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.


Why? Because I just don’t watch movies anymore. I had to think really hard about the last movie I saw in theaters, or the last few DVDs I’ve purchased. (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the last theater movie, Wallace and Gromit, Father of the Pride, and Serenity for DVDs.)

The Hollywood movies these days are just so pretentious and boring that there’s really no point anymore. Just like how DRM in online music doesn’t really affect me anymore because I’ve opted out of encrypted online music. I buy from Emusic, and I buy on easily mp3-ised CDs. Most of what I used to listen to that I would have gotten online I’ve discovered myself no longer liking or caring for. The only time I’ve purchased anything off a DRMed music site was a complete disaster and I vowed never to use them or any other similar service again. If I hadn’t burned a CD of that and reripped it at lower sound quality I wouldn’t even have the music now.

I find it interesting that several studios have stated that their first generation of HDDVD and Bluray discs will not have copy protection because of the big problem with HDCP being mostly unavailable. If only all the other studios would see the light and if the practice continues…

In places where it IS important to me, the tide seems to be turning somewhat. Stardock has made it cool again to release games with no CD protection. Playstation 3 will be abandoning the long standing practice of region-coding games and Nintendo has already done so with their portable systems. Baen to this day still releases their books unencrypted. PS3 and Computer data really are the only reason I support Bluray. I doubt I would ever purchase a copy protected movie in either of the high def formats because what you end up with is low definition anyway.

However, if the PS3 comes with that erasable magnetic stripe for use in preventing used game sales, I will likely not purchase the system. The ability to take the game between multiple PS3’s in my house or to a friend’s house is essential to me, as is the ability to give my games to a friend when I’m finished with them. Because console games are like books in their copy protections, they should be treated like books and not tied to a single user or console. Lending of books is one of the primary drivers of word of mouth for authors and the game manufacturers should recognize it as a strong driver for secondary sales in that game and future games in those series. I have no problem with if they want to work out a deal with the used game sellers to relicense games sold through them so long as it doesn’t affect my ability to lend games to friends and move them between systems. This would also be disastrous for finding rare titles. Frequently they sell out quickly and are never reprinted.

The PC industry managed to work out a way to prevent used game sales, why can’t the console companies figure out a way to share profits from them?