- Digital copy
Digital copy (launched in 2007) provides consumers who purchase a film on DVD or Blu-ray Disc with an additional, digital copy of the movie for devices capable of operating with a file in contrast to a DVD.
There are two types of digital copy. The first is a copy already made in advance and included on the disc. The second is created dynamically from the DVD content itself. In both scenarios the publisher decides which content, formats, digital rights management (DRM) systems and technical parameters are used for the digital copy file. Digital copy solutions based on existing files are less flexible than dynamic transcoding solutions.
Digital copy files based on existing files include only one audio track and no subtitles, although the DVD itself may have multiple audio tracks and multiple subtitles. Also, the quality is limited by the bitrate used to encode the file which is typically relatively low and not adjusted to the device to be transferred to.
Digital copy files based on transcoding solutions can use the correct audio track and subtitle based on the user's location or choice and individually create the digital copy based on the target device properties (video and audio bitrate, display resolution, aspect ratio) of the target device.
Most often, digital copy solutions offer Windows Media or Apple iTunes files with their respective DRM services, Windows Media DRM and FairPlay. Newer solutions also provide support for Sony PlayStation Portable and phones using 3GP video files and Open Mobile Alliance DRM. Some publishers limit their digital copies to Microsoft operating systems and devices. Apple computers and devices are not supported by their digital solution.
To limit the number of free digital copies, the disc typically comes with a single-use code to authenticate a computer over the internet. Alternatively, content owners can offer the digital copy feature as a paid service. Often the authentication code has an expiration date rendering the copy invalid if unused before this time.
Tech industry analyst Michael Gartenberg described this initiative as "a smart move" providing an easier alternative to customers compared to converting the files themselves using software such as HandBrake. Gartenberg was critical of Sony for restricting themselves to files for the PlayStation Portable that were not widely compatible with more popular personal media devices.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation described digital copy schemes as "stealing your fair use rights and selling them back to you piecemeal" disputing claims by Hollywood studios that it is illegal for customers to rip a personal copy of a DVD to put on a portable video player, even if they own the DVD. He references Jon Healey of the Los Angeles Times who describes the situation as consumers being asked in the case of DVDs to pay more for uses they had before at no extra cost with CDs and cassette tapes.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ComputerWorld.com describes the "digital copy" as nonsense, a feature that is no feature at all. He criticizes it as an attempt by the industry to sugar coat DRM, complaining that viewers should be able to watch the movie they have already bought on any device they want, and that media companies should change their business plans to meet their customers' legitimate needs.
- Managed Copy
- Protect Software
- ^ "Digital Copy:". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Copy-DVD/. "The Digital Copy on The Dark Knight, for example, expires on December 9, 2009, one year after the DVD/Blu-ray was first released."
- ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Sony Pictures. SONY. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20080511015748/http://partners.sonypictures.com/bonus2/us_en/faq.html. "The complimentary Unlock Code must be redeemed by the date printed on the insert included in the disc packaging."
- ^ Mike Musgrove (April 18, 2008). ""Digital Copy": New DVDs and Blu-ray Discs Bundled With iPod-friendly Files". Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2008/04/digital_copy_new_dvds_and_blur.html. ""For many consumers, if it doesn't exist in the iPod-iPhone-iTunes ecosystem it might as well not exist at all," he said. "There are a lot fewer PSPs out there than there are iPods.""
- ^ von Lohmann, Fred. "Why Hollywood Hates RealDVD". Legal Analysis. Electronic Frontier Foundation. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/10/why-hollywood-hates-realdvd. von Lohmann, Fred. "Stealing Fair Use, Selling It Back to You". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-11-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20071123125459/http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2006/11/stealing-fair-use-selling-it-back-you.
- ^ Jon Healey (November 29, 2006). "Wal-Mart's not-so-super downloads". Los Angeles Times. http://opinion.latimes.com/bitplayer/2006/11/walmarts_notsos.html. "So from the perspective of the studios and federal officials, consumers have to pay for the privilege of doing the sorts of things with DVDs that they're accustomed to doing with CDs (and LPs and cassettes)."
- ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (December 7, 2008). "Digital Copy: A feature that's no feature". Computerworld. International Data Group (IDG). http://blogs.computerworld.com/digital_copy_a_feature_thats_no_feature.
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