Thomas Newton

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There has been at least one entire generation which grew up with music as "free" downloads. No big surprise streaming became the norm for music catalogs.
With music, people want easy portability between formats and devices. You can safely listen to music while driving or walking. People also want the ability to buy just "good" music (whether hits or deep cuts), not lots of filler by "one hit wonders".

Instead of catering to customer demand, the music industry tried to cripple hardware. First there was the AHRA, which forced SCMS and media taxes on DAT/MiniDisc/DCC. Next there was the lawsuit filed against the makers of the Rio on the basis that the Rio violated the AHRA. Except that it didn't, and the music industry lost. So what did they do? They pushed SDMI. They larded DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD with DRM, as if those formats did not already face an uphill challenge in superseding CDs.

One vendor even shipped "CDs" that installed "root kits" on Windows PCs.

The music industry made a bed of nails for customers. Little did they realize that the sharper they made the nails, the more they would be the ones lying on them.
 
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jcroy

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One vendor even shipped "CDs" that installed "root kits" on Windows PCs.
(Long rant).

It was actually several: Sony + BMG, EMI, etc ...

Over the past few years, I've been scavenging through thrift shops looking for old $1 cd titles which had nasty drm from that time period (2001 to 2005 or so). Mostly they were Sony and BMG titles, and some EMI ones. (There were a few one/two shots from other record companies like Warner and Universal, but they dropped it very quickly).


The nastiest audio cd drm was Cactus Data Shield which was on many EMI cd titles over the early 2000s, which had deliberate bad sectors which the cd player's error correction is not able to correct at all. (It appears to have been deliberate corruption of the c2 error correction packets). In principle the cd player could "interpolate" over the deliberate error in a sector which wasn't too variable, but in practice I never saw that being done at all in any consistent manner.

Eventually then-newer computer cd/dvd-r drives were designed to get around these problems of deliberate bad sectors on Cactus Data Shield encoded titles. I have only came across a few titles from early->mid 2005 which current computer cd/dvd drives were not able to read properly at all, such as Coldplay's X&Y cd. (Up to this day, these mid-2005 Cactus Data Shield infested titles still cannot be read properly even on modern 2019-2020 manufactured computer cd/dvd drives).

In the end just before all these audio cd drm schemes became a huge rootkit fiasco, Cactus Data Shield was re-designed where they dropped the deliberate bad sectors corruption altogether. This redesigned version started showing up sometime in mid->late 2005, such as on Nickelback's "All The Right Reasons" cd. The actual audio data wasn't corrupted anymore, but other data on the disc was maladjusted.


In contrast Sony/BMG used mediamax and xcp, of which the latter was the one with the nasty rootkit. Ironically, these two variants were easy to bypass where the actual audio data was not directly molested. Smarter cd ripping programs knew how to get around this, and not rip any of the rootkit and corruption data. With careful reading of the actual audio cd sectors, the cue sheet with the entire table-of-contents could be reproduced piece by pece, while ignoring the corrupted portions of the disc.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Yes, most people just move onto something else.
Yup. And that’s also how we wound up with a little cottage industry of websites that tell you what is leaving and arriving on each service when. And this is why people freaked out when shows like “Friends” departs Netflix, and why streaming companies will pay millions of dollars for temporary rights to programs that could be bought easily and cheaply on disc.
 
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jcroy

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Yup. And that’s also how we wound up with a little cottage industry of websites that tell you what is leaving and arriving on each service when. And this is why people freaked out when shows like “Friends” departs Netflix, and why streaming companies will pay millions of dollars for temporary rights to programs that could be bought easily and cheaply on disc.
More generally, I have to wonder how much of this complaining/howling about stuff being pulled on streaming services, is actually from people who actually watch these shows/movies via streaming. In contrast, compared to people who just like to complain for the sake of complaining, and don't actually watch these shows/movies at all. ;)

In the end, Netflix will probably know whether such complaints directly correlate to customers unsubscribing or not.
 

Traveling Matt

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I'm sure it's somewhere in this long thread, but many people are of course not debating discs or streaming. With their interests spread out over numerous streamers at $10 per, they've simply returned to pirating. That, sadly, neutralizes the concerns we're discussing on both formats, and for them results in a different question to deal with. If it's any kind of question for them in the first place.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think part of the reason streaming services are priced as they are (for instance, just $6.99 a month for Disney+) is because studios understand that streaming’s competition isn’t physical media, it’s piracy. I think the lesson for studios is that the product needs to be affordable and easy to use. Piracy is free but can require a little bit of effort on the end user’s part, so the studios need to make their stuff work easier than what the pirates have out. It’s why Netflix and HBO don’t care about password sharing; they’d rather have two households sharing one account than neither household joining at all.

But at this point in our history and for the years leading up to today, we’ve basically been on the honor system when it comes to home media.
 

jcroy

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But at this point in our history and for the years leading up to today, we’ve basically been on the honor system when it comes to home media.
(From an historical perspective).

I remember back in the day with vhs/beta, that it was only really the hardcore types who would copy movies by connecting two vhs (or beta) machines together. Also when the old macrovision drm was being used on prerecorded vhs tapes (such as MCA/Universal released movie titles), it was only the hardcore types who would go to the efforts to buy a "macrovision scrubber" box which removed the drm from the analog signal.

I suspect the hardcore pirate type were not a large enough problem to drastically affect prerecorded vhs tape sales. The macrovision drm was probably good enough to stop the non-experts from making their own dubbed copies of movies. (In those days the first time I ever came across a macrovision drm encoded vhs tape, was Back To The Future 1).
 

Thomas Newton

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But at this point in our history and for the years leading up to today, we’ve basically been on the honor system when it comes to home media.
Maybe in the last few years, for music. Not so much for video (movies, TV shows, music videos). The history there is one of nearly continuous copy protection, DRM, or keeping useful technologies off of the market, reaching back to VHS days. (LaserDisc is the one exception that tends to prove the rule.)

Even now, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs continue to have DRM – including region coding that does nothing to stop piracy, but that actually makes it less attractive to obtain legitimate copies of titles that have only been released elsewhere.
 

jcroy

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Maybe in the last few years, for music. Not so much for video (movies, TV shows, music videos). The history there is one of nearly continuous copy protection, DRM, or keeping useful technologies off of the market, reaching back to VHS days. (LaserDisc is the one exception that tends to prove the rule.)

Even now, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs continue to have DRM – including region coding that does nothing to stop piracy, but that actually makes it less attractive to obtain legitimate copies of titles that have only been released elsewhere.
Most likely the movies companies know very well that DRM will not stop the hardcore technical folks.

It is likely meant to stop the non-hardcore/non-technical casual folks.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Caveat that I might be misunderstanding your point...

The thing is, DVD and BD protection is ridiculously easy for an end user to get around (people who have home theater PCs use MakeMKV all the time). And perhaps more importantly, if you go to download or stream pirated media, it only has to be cracked by the person who uploaded it in the first place. It’s super easy to download an illegally ripped file. And it’s super easy to play. Pretty much all TVs from the last ten years or more have USB ports built in; simply put your bootlegged file onto a thumb drive, plug it in, and done. That’s why I think it’s super important for the legitimate services to not throw up unnecessary barriers to entry; if you make it too hard for people to use HBO Max, for instance, you’re simply going to shift viewers towards watching that programming illegally on something easier to use. The problem with the bootleg economy, if you will, is that the hard work is already done by techies and pirates who just enjoy the challenge and being the first to post something. The viewer doesn’t have to put any real effort in.

I could very easily watch 99% of the same content I pay for legally through pirate sites and services and pay nothing. It’s the honor system that keeps me from doing it, not any hurdles they’ve thrown up.
 

Thomas Newton

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I could very easily watch 99% of the same content I pay for legally through pirate sites and services and pay nothing. It’s the honor system that keeps me from doing it, not any hurdles they’ve thrown up.
It's not the honor system, but personal ethics, that keeps you from doing it. If it truly was an honor system, the industry would be throwing up few, if any, hurdles at all.
 

mark27b

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As a seller of media online my normal ‘best of the year’ sales are always the weeks from mid November to mid December.

How the DVD and Blu-ray market is facing a very tricky winter - 17th July 2020

 
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Robert Crawford

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How the DVD and Blu-ray market is facing a very tricky winter - 17th July 2020

Those interested might want to read the following series of articles:




 

Jasper70

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Interesting article but really has no bearing on my sales as 99% of my DVD or Blu-ray sales are discs that are usually OOP. I scour pawn shops, thrift stores, flea markets to get my inventory. Where I live DVDs are usually $1 or less, Blu-rays $3 or less.
I have bought new stock from online wholesalers but the sad thing is most of their titles can be bought new on Amazon cheaper than I can buy them wholesale. There are exceptions to this but it takes hours of pouring through their lists to check pricing on Amazon to see if there is any profit to be made. So I rarely bother with it.
I also sell VHS tapes, yes people still buy them. Especially if they were never released to any disc format.
 
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