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Sony Media Movies Entertainment

New Sony DVDs Not Working In Some Players 651

Posted by kdawson
from the DRMed-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems that the most recent DVDs released by Sony — specifically Stranger Than Fiction, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness — have some kind of 'feature' that makes them unplayable on many DVD players. This doesn't appear to be covered by the major media yet, but this link to a discussion over at Amazon gives a flavor of the problems people are experiencing. A blogger called Sony and was told the problem is with the new copy protection scheme, and they do not intend to fix it. Sony says it's up to the manufacturers to update their hardware."
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New Sony DVDs Not Working In Some Players

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  • Gee. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Khaed (544779) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:34PM (#18744247)
    Sony DRM pissing customers off. Why does that sound so familiar?
    • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Funny)

      by celticryan (887773) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:38PM (#18744279)
      Nothing new to see here people, keep moving...
      • Bravo (Score:4, Funny)

        by clem.dickey (102292) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:44PM (#18744335)
        Nothing new to see here people, keep moving...

        If I had mod points, then if I had a sense of humor, ... oh, nevermind.

      • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ledsock (926049) on Monday April 16, 2007 @12:38AM (#18747129)
        Indeed. When it didn't work for me, I just launched DVDFab Decrypter, temporarily copied it to my computer, and it played perfectly. Ironic that the only way I could watch a movie I had legally rented was to illegally copy it.
        • Re:Gee. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MoHaG (1002926) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:50AM (#18748139) Homepage

          I found it necessary to decrypt a rental DVD to play a it on my computer. It kept complaining about enabled YV out.

          Bypassing copy protection should never be the only way to access protected content....

          • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:53AM (#18749733)
            That's the genius of disc DRM - the rippers bypass it easily while the paying customers can't watch it.

            I'm slightly surprised that the incredible disaster of CD DRM hasn't actually resulted in Sony learning anything.

            If anyone from Sony is reading, this is what happens when a customer buys a disc with DRM that renders it unplayable. Joe Sixpack simply returns the disc. A N Other Slashdoteer rips the disc and then returns it. Joe Sixpack then uses BitTorrent to download the rip made by A N Other Slashdoteer. Mr Slashdoteer thinks twice about buying another disc, as does Joe Sixpack.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      And they keep coming back for more. Is this a Stockholm Syndrome* thing? "Pégame...pero no me dejes!"

      *TNX
    • ...And return them. Wash, rinse, repeat...

    • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:26PM (#18744691)
      I wonder if the new DRM's been successful at keeping those movies off the torrent sites [isohunt.com]. Because if the article's to be believed, it's certainly been successful at pissing off paying customers, and what would be the point of doing that if the movies were still being pirated anyway [torrentspy.com]?

      Tickletaint [slashdot.org] (forced to post logged-out due to modbombing)
      • Consumer Math (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cgenman (325138) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:35PM (#18746449) Homepage
        Let's say that the average consumer is looking at investing in a movie, but knows there is a 1 out of 10 chance that they're wasting their money. There is now a looming doubt if the thing will play at all. It may be a small doubt, but any transaction cost is real. Let's then say that 1 out of 10 decide not to buy, and instead... well, it really doesn't matter what instead, as Sony has already lost their money.

        Let's also say that the average pirate is looking to change their ways, and is now out of college and making enough money to support paying for movies. Their incentive to do so is threat of legal persecution and, more significantly, a moral imperitive to support artists that they care about. Now, suddenly, on the other side of the equation is this looming doubt over whether the thing will work at all. If the scales had tipped one way earlier, this might just be enough to tip them the other way.

        So in other words, Sony has succeeded in alienating a section of their customer base, prevented another section from becoming legal customers, and all the while (judging by the wide availability of pirated copies of the movies mentioned) had zero effect on the piracy of their movies.

        Brilliant. Is it time to put Sony to bed with SCO yet?
    • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:56PM (#18745381) Homepage
      (1) Buy DVD, stick it in DVD player, sit down w/ wife & kids to watch the movie - no joy.
      (2) Swap at store, still no joy. Try to return, get hit with restocking fee - take DVD home irate.
      (3) Call Sony to complain, get told to update player.
      (4) Call player manufacturer to complain, get told "sorry, we've no idea, your player is out of warranty, go away". Now you're broiling angry.
      (5) Discover software that rips the CD, despite whatever security measure on it, and burns it to a DVD-R.
      (6) Realize you can do the same thing with DVD-R images on the net, and start downloading.

      Congratulations, Sony, for having turned a customer over to the Dark Side with your wonderful customer relations program!
      • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:57PM (#18745781)
        If it was just that... You forgot the "convenience" of:
        -having to get dressed according to weather
        -burn some expensive fossil fuels and put wear on an expensive car
        -wasting a half hour in city traffic getting cut all the time -- both ways
        -hunting for parking spots
        -walk around a store full of unhelpful minimum-wage/comission employees looking for what you want (hopefully you won't impulse buy anything you don't need in the process)
        -standing in line for a half hour to pay for it
        -find out it doesn't play on your computer either (unless you shell out money for something like AnyDVD)

        And possibly things like buying a new DVD player (more $) only to find out (if it even works at all) that there's unskippable previews and such crap (FBI warnings) on the disc too.

        Whereas using P2P I can download the thing in mere minutes. No DRM, no protection that prevents playing, no rootkits, no unskippable previews, no FBI warnings -- none of the usual crap. No need to waste time ripping/re-encoding it in mpeg4 to put it on my video server either.

        I would rather pay for a un-DRM'ed mpeg4 rip direct download then buy the DVD, but studios won't let us, much less for decent prices. Pirating is easy, fast (~30 seconds to start the transfer then downloads overnight), convenient and often provides you with a better product (at least an un-crippled one) -- and much cheaper too. As a bonus, you're not being treated like a thief by the pirated copy (oh the irony). So people pirate instead.
      • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Funny)

        by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:12PM (#18745913) Journal
        This is all a part of the Sony Customer Rage Assurance Program

        Sony CRAP, for short
      • Re:Gee. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Stripe7 (571267) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @09:56PM (#18746207)
        It is not functional and it is not the fault of your player. There should not be a restock fee. If there is SONY should be paying it not you. They are selling you defective merchandise.
        • Re:Gee. (Score:4, Informative)

          by throx (42621) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @11:54PM (#18746887) Homepage
          I've never been hit with a restocking fee for a defective DVD or game. Typically to avoid trouble I've just accepted store credit but complaining that something doesn't work at all will get you an immediate exchange/credit.

          Restocking only comes into play if you change your mind.
      • Re:Gee. (Score:4, Informative)

        by GooberToo (74388) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:42AM (#18749627)
        Swap at store, still no joy. Try to return, get hit with restocking fee - take DVD home irate.

        Do a charge back. Being charged for a product which fraudulently claims to be compatible with an industry standard (DVD) is fraud. Expecting you to pay fees associated with that fraud is fraud. The credit card issuer will more than likely understand that and issue the chargeback. If the store needs money to cover their restocking fee, they need to contact the manufacturer for producing a defective product. The problem exists between the retail outlet and the manufacturer and not between the retail outlet and the customer.

        Best of all, performing a chargeback is a great way for the retail stores to feel the pressure and pass it on to the manufacturer. Surprisingly, merchant associations have fairly heavy clout when they pull in the same direction. Try to make it work for you instead of against you.

    • Re:Gee. (Score:4, Funny)

      by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @11:55PM (#18746899)
      Sony...like no other
  • by scubamage (727538) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:37PM (#18744273)
    Just thinking about it, if they're selling them using the DVD label identifying it as a dvd, doesn't it legally have to be playable in dvd compatible players? If it wasn't, wouldn't that be a bait and switch scam? Just saying, they may have just opened up the floodgates to yet another massive lawsuit.
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:46PM (#18744357)
      The music studios got in trouble with Phillips on that score: they were told flatly that if it doesn't conform to the published spec they can't use any relevant tradmarks, call it a Compact Disc, use the CD logo, etc. But given how the DVD industry is structured, I doubt much will come of this.
      • Bait and Switch (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:07PM (#18744505) Journal
        Yes, Phillips did the enforcing on CD encoding standards because of their trademark control. The DVD industry has no internal standards enforcement, so this mihgt be the time to bring in external enforcement, namely the courts. If the box says "DVD" it should play in a DVD player. Sonys product is only DVD-like and as such should not be legal to sell as a DVD. It would be like a gas station selling ethanol but calling it gasoline, sure it still works in some vehicles, but it's not the same product.
      • by digitig (1056110) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:44PM (#18744805)

        The music studios got in trouble with Phillips on that score: they were told flatly that if it doesn't conform to the published spec they can't use any relevant tradmarks, call it a Compact Disc, use the CD logo, etc.
        Yes -- and when did you last see any of those things on what-looks-like-a-CD packaging? Hereabouts it all seemed to vanish from the packaging at about the time Philips made that clampdown.
      • by apodyopsis (1048476) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:20PM (#18745077)
        True Philips did state that any CD that did not conform to the Red Book specification exactly could not use the CD logo, but the response from the music industry was less then thrilling. They reply was basically "so what?" - the argument was that if it was 12cm wide and shiny people would put in their player anyhow, and they did.

        Copy Protection on audio CDs was always a less than satisfactory method anyhow - relying on part Orange Book multi session TOCs with looping or non-existent sessions or degraded EFM, interleave or error correction (of course Red Book players would ignore such things and data players would kill the audio or disc). What has killed audio copy protection is market forces, some labels have already dropped it and others look to be doing the same.

        Conventional CD audio player (Red Book) are largely removed from the market, nowadays all CD player also play MP3 - in other words they are data CD players (Orange Book) in order to read the ISO9660 or UDF format and hence read the MP3 files. When this shift happened - we started dropping classic audio systems from the CD players we made in about 2002, and the market took a few years to follow - the industry suddenly found that a *very* large percentage of the hardware could not play their discs so the copy protection was dropped. That and the fact it was massively unpopular.

        I remember sitting in lectures from the IPFI when they clearly stated that the CD patents from Philips would expire some day and people did not give a damn about the logo or not. The IPFI certainly did not, and as long as Philips got the license money neither did they. Certainly CD copy protection never made the job of building CE audio equipment any harder - we ignored it largely.

        Now we have the same again, as Sony has changed the format of the DVD system slightly for *enhanced* copy protection - there is a slight difference as they also have patents on DVD as well as Philips and others. There are only a few things that can happen here :-

        1. The people who make DVD systems will alter their FW and that takes a while to reach the market - but (trust me on this) the teams involved in most firms have had sample discs with encoding on for quite some time.

        2. Market forces will force Sony into a humiliating reverse *if* sufficient publicity and bad press can be generated. What is takes is a very large number of bad tempered people and some media backing. I would be confident that Sony has tested this new system on a wide variety of player to get a feel for the market first.

        3. The number of players that refuse to play them will be small enough that the MPAA/Sony/Others will be able to railroad in this change over a year or so (after all some people will assume that their player is fucked and just get another cheap one) - but as the hackers of this world have a formidable reputation for cracking these things in a week or so the status will largely return to normal in due course.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nacturation (646836)
      They may have found a way to fully comply with the DVD specifications while at the same time taking advantage of a flaw to implement copy protection of sorts.
       
    • by TekPolitik (147802) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:01PM (#18744935) Journal

      Just thinking about it, if they're selling them using the DVD label identifying it as a dvd, doesn't it legally have to be playable in dvd compatible players?

      This will depend very much on the local laws. In Australia a DVD that fails to play in a significant number of DVD players meets the statutory definition of unmerchantability, which requires goods to be suitable for every purpose for which they are normally bought (unlike other places where they have to be suitable for just one of the purposes for which they are normally bought). This will give the consumer the right to a refund, but won't lead to any penalty. There is also an argument that applying the label "DVD" to the product (or even selling it in a manner that makes it seem like it is a DVD) is misleading conduct for which anybody could apply to the Federal Court to get an injunction to prevent the product from being sold in that way.

  • Works For Me (Score:5, Informative)

    by thesaint05 (850634) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:38PM (#18744287)
    I have a Pioneer DVD player, maybe second generation. The thing is huge, and probably something like 8 years old. Casino Royale works just fine in it. Granted, that sucker will play just about anything you throw in there, from DivX to DVD +/- RW. Best DVD player I ever bought, and one of the reasons why I still only buy Pioneer DVD players. Makes you wonder about what's in some of the other newer DVD players if my old one can play Casino Royale with no problems...?
    • Re:Works For Me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Marc_Hawke (130338) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:46PM (#18744361)
      That's what I was thinking as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the Sony reps didn't lead him down the wrong road.

      Reading the comments at Amazon and the blog, it sounds like it's just certain NEW models of players that aren't working. So instead of saying "It's our new copy protection and we won't fix it, but you can update your machine,' they should have said, "There's a bug in these models of players and they need a PATCH, which we are working on."

      I guess they need to tell the truth (hah hah hah) but it seems unlikely that it could be the players and not the disks.

      However, I guess if it's a relatively SMALL set of disks that have problems on these players....

      I don't know. I still vote that there's nothing changed about the DISKs, and it's just a flaw with the devices.
      • Re:Works For Me (Score:5, Informative)

        by WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:16PM (#18744605) Homepage
        IINM, it IS the discs - with Sony's ARccOS [wikipedia.org] protection.
        • Re:Works For Me (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:52PM (#18744871)
          Please stop using obscure and useless acronyms.
          If I'm Not Mistaken... How hard was that? huh?

          BRB/TYT/LOL/etc. were useful at a time when we had to "pay" for being online by the hour (or the minute for some) and had 10 private chat windows open, 5 IRC channels, etc.

          Did typing IINM save you anything? A couple of keystrokes? Is it that widely used?

          No, it doesn't make you look/sound smarter, because there are a LOT of acronyms that are just plain dumb.

          Sorry for going off, I didn't mean to shoot directly at you, just the whole acronym thing is driving me up a wall.
    • Re:Works For Me (Score:4, Informative)

      by segedunum (883035) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:17PM (#18745055)
      You might want to read this:

      http://handbrake.m0k.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=383 9&sid=8ef154d0c7e60ccd6ca7e1b64d38edbe [m0k.org]

      By the way, the "Good" Main Feature in 'ZOOM' is only 2.97GB in size, so think about it for a New York Second: the DVD is 7.95GB in volume, or so the Finder's Get Info tells us, so we're paying for 5GB of CRAPOLA/GARBAGE from the nice engineers at Sony's DVD mastering house. Isn't that an amazing thought? 3GB of movie, and 5GB of CRAPOLA in 'ZOOM'! That's what you get from our favorite masters of the DVD, and we here at the MTR Project are happy to say this: It still isn't good enough to prevent backup by R-14!
  • Dammit... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chouonsoku (1009817) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:38PM (#18744289) Homepage
    Now I can't make fun of Microsoft for having HD-DVDs that don't play on the Xbox 360.
  • once... (Score:4, Funny)

    by cosmocain (1060326) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:38PM (#18744291)
    ...upon a time i believed in a fairy tale. it was called "standardization and customer satisfaction".

    thanks, sony, for transporting me to the real world.
  • Again? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tehwebguy (860335) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:39PM (#18744293) Homepage
    Isn't there a saying about someone burning you twice?

    If you buy from Sony and don't expect this to happen, who's fault is it really?
  • by gardyloo (512791) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:39PM (#18744305)
    ...it's obviously the universe conspiring to keep people from watching the dreck. Wish I'd got it on this new media.
  • by User 956 (568564) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:44PM (#18744343) Homepage
    It seems that the most recent DVDs released by Sony -- specifically Stranger Than Fiction, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness -- have some kind of 'feature' that makes them unplayable on many DVD players.

    Yeah, that's the copy protection feature. Hollywood finally figured out that if you can view it, you can copy it. If they simply make the content unplayable, nobody can pirate the movie!
  • Alternatives (Score:5, Informative)

    by karnal (22275) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:45PM (#18744351)
    If you're having trouble playing them on the legit side, why not just rip them? Besides the moral issues, you could burn and watch then destroy the copy.....

    2 options: Ripit4me (in conjunction with dvddecrypter) or dvdfab decrypter....

    *ahem*verified on Stranger Than Fiction*ahem*

    • Re:Alternatives (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Marc_Hawke (130338) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:52PM (#18744419)
      And once again, (also mentioned in a previous post) DRM has bitten the legitimate customer, but the "pirates" haven't even been slowed down, (or in this case, they didn't notice at all.)

      What it HAS done, is forced the legitimate customer to turn to the 'black market' to get access to the material that they payed for.

      "I bought this movie, and I can't play it, but it doesn't matter because I was able to grab a rip off the Internet that same day and burn a new one."
  • Happened to me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pionzypher (886253) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:47PM (#18744369)
    I bought Casino Royale two weeks ago. When I got it home, neither my Toshiba in the living room, or the Pioneer in the bedroom would play it.

    So I ripped it and returned it.
  • by ditoa (952847) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:48PM (#18744371)
    that this new copy protection system will not stop the DVD from being ripped and will only effect people who legally bought the DVD.

    It is things like this that make me cautious about buying media from Sony these days. I have no problem with buying DVDs however one of the reasons I buy a DVD is that I know it will work perfectly in any DVD I wish to buy (unlike XviD rips from BitTorrent or Usenet) however apparently this isn't true anymore so DVD is now no better than a rip downloaded from the internet.

    It is a shame that the companies are worsening their products with these copy protection systems to help fight piracy when all they end up doing is ruining it for the people who want to buy DVDs.

    One thing that I have wondered about for a while is how many DVD rips online originate from retail DVDs? I would have thought the majority (if not all) came from pre-release copies as the DVD rips are normally several weeks (if not months) ahead of a retail DVD release.
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @05:54PM (#18744427)

    This copy protection prevents most people from renting/borrowing a DVD and making a copy of it. Until people download the latest software for cracking it. This is mostly targetting non-technical people who were given DVD Shrink by a friend.

    There will be copies of the DVD available on the Internet, because someone will crack the protection. All it takes is one copy on the Internet to ensure that anyone on a peer to peer network can get a copy.

    Sony is risking alienating a large number of people to stop a small number of pirates. Not just a small number of pirates, but the non-technical pirates. They are also annoying Walmart, Blockbuster, BestBuy and any other retailer who sells their DVDs. Who are the consumers going to complain to? The retailers.

    Oddly, this could cost them money even if you ignore retail backlash. Companies which rent DVDs to the consumer, purchase DVDs based on rental demand. If someone rents and burns a DVD, the movie company is pissed, but it still increases rental demand. Higher rental demand, increases sales of the DVDs to the companies who rent them. If someone finds they can't rent and burn, they probably will just download the image from BitTorrent rather than buy the DVD. Not to mention the people who can't play the Sony DVDs, they'll want a free version which actually works.

    Sony has the right to put any copy protection scheme they want on their DVDs, as long as it maintains compatibility. If you sell someone a product which is designed not to work properly on their DVD player, you better tell them first. Even if the consumer was willing to get firmware updates, do you think the manufacturers want to start sending out discs and supporting consumers through the update?

  • Just boicott Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viking80 (697716) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:02PM (#18744471) Journal
    Sony Electronics was a great company until the bought the movies division.

    Now, Sony Electronics tries to deliver great products, and Sony Pictures strongarm the electronics division into delivering defective products.

    Just stop buying Sony altogether (Movies and electronics) until they become a customer focussed company again.

    In the end the blame goes to the stupid Sony customers that allows Sony to sell them this defective crap, and then comes back for more.
    • by arrianus (740942) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:06PM (#18746259)
      Sony Electronics has gone down the tubes in the past decade or so (it started a while before that -- old school Sony TVs and CRTs had a full metal Faraday cage around the tube, and touches like that went sometime before then). Nowadays, Sony electronics is mostly living off of the reputation it developed up through the 80s or 90s, when it delivered truly exceptional quality products at a high premium. Sony still charges a premium (albeit a smaller one), while delivering mostly sub-par products.

      The Sony laptops are light and attractive, but almost universally have mechanical problems (hinges and latches break). The MP3 players are a disaster. A relative bought one, and it wouldn't play MP3s -- he had to convert music into Sony's proprietary atrak format before it worked. He returned it and bought an iRiver. The headphones give reasonable (but not exceptional) audio quality for the price, but generally break after about 3 months of use. Cameras have nice imagers, mechanically filmy (but not horrible), but as with most Sony, try to force you into a proprietary, incompatible, overpriced technology stack with MemoryStick. PS3 was an unqualified disaster. Home audio equipment is okay, but suboptimal on the price/performance curve (e.g. Kenwood generally has better-sounding, better-quality equipment for the same price in my price range).

      I also really, really, really hate the attempted "synergy." If you want the PS3, you need to pay for Blu-ray. Everything you buy will use MemoryStick, and where possible, use proprietary cables, plugs, and formats to try to lock you in to buy other Sony products, and not work well with non-Sony products.
  • by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:03PM (#18744479)
    We Do Not Intend To Fix It

    Fair enough, we do not intend to support your arrogance. Welcome to our blacklist.

  • Easy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RealEstateGuy (1088269) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:07PM (#18744509) Homepage
    Buy a copy, open, find out the DVD is "broken" take back for exchange. Rinse - Repeat a few times. If everyone does this they'll fix it.
  • ARCCOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:09PM (#18744525)
    These discs feature Sony's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARccOS_Protection [wikipedia.org] ARCCOS, which doesn't work with some DVD players and cannot be ripped by any program under Linux.
    • Re:ARCCOS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:14PM (#18745025) Homepage
      You got to love how it comes full circle - disks with corrupt sectors? This reminds me of some floppy protection schemes from the 1980s. Also how the page lists half a dozen tools that'll get around it. If there's one thing worse than DRM, it's when they try to "fix" a broken system by making non-standard discs which break normal players while the patching tools get updated to work around it. Same thing with the "CDs" which don't play in CD players. The cat is out of the bag. The horse has left the barn. The genie is out of the bottle. The referee has blown the whistle. The fat lady has sung. He's dead, Jim. You're flogging a dead horse. Are there any more ways to say it? It's OVER. Get some therapy for your denial issues and let it be.
      • Re:ARCCOS (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:34PM (#18745203)
        It's a matter of degree. CSS encryption, for example, really didn't have much impact on ordinary users of the DVD. The discs played and the encryption stopped the vast majority of people trying to copy the media using ordinary copy programs. Frankly, I believe that's all CSS was ever meant to achieve, and it did. They knew that sooner or later it would get broken and you know what? It was broken, and Joe Average still hasn't a clue how to copy that disc he just bought or rented so it's still doing its job. Many seem to count CSS as a failure the moment DVD Jon figured it out, but the fact of the matter is that CSS was a success and still is to this very day.

        The problem is not so much the DRM (bad as it is) but that in their neverending quest to prevent copyright infringement (pardon me, "theft of their intellectual property") they've begun to deny legitimate purchasers of their product the ability to actually use that for which they plunked down good money. Oh, I'm sure Sony figured out well in advance that some number of purchasers would get screwed, but decided that the risk was acceptable. I guarantee it won't be acceptable to me, if I ever mistakenly happen to buy a Sony Pictures DVD.

        This has got to run afoul of more than a few laws, and it sure as hell isn't a good way to run a business.
    • Re:ARCCOS (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tack (4642) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:52PM (#18745329) Homepage

      ... which doesn't work with some DVD players and cannot be ripped by any program under Linux.

      This isn't quite true, at least for certain definitions of "ripped." I know someone (not me of course) who initially had troubles dd'ing a Greys Anatomy DVD (damaged by ARccOS) but had no problems ripping the tracks individually using mplayer (i.e. mplayer dvd://1 -dumpstream -dumpfile 1.mpg). I'm sure mencoder would have worked fine too, for transcoding.

    • by Manchot (847225) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @10:19PM (#18746335)
      It shouldn't be that hard to undo ARCCOS: just run it through COS!
  • Why, oh why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:10PM (#18744555)
    Why do manufacturers do this? I so would buy more DVDs if they weren't so bizarely priced and if I could rely on feature and quality stability. The movie industry would make tons of money. But no, they have to piss off their customers as much as possible. Would anybody of you give a damn about Bittorrent if each DVD would cost 8 dollars, come with all the extras, no CSS and no Region Code? I wouldn't. Sony and Co. would earn themselves a golden nose in the movie after-market called DVD-sales. But no, they have to chase away customers with crappy copies, a totally bizar publishing policy and DRM schemes that brink on the criminal. People go through all the bittorrent fuss just to get a movie. That should ring a bell with the execs. Then again, as proven before, probably only Steve Jobs is smart enough to see this.
    I hope Sony Entertainment chokes and dies on their new DVDs.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:17PM (#18744611)
    Every DVD that doesn't play, opened or not, is defective. DVD players are a well-known quantity now. After Sony starts getting returns in the tens and hundreds of thousands back, they might change their mind. And if they refuse to accept even a single one for a full refund, then I expect to see the Mother of All Class Actions Suits launched against them. At some point, Sony just has to go down once and for all. They're a terrible example to every other manufacturer.
  • by theeddie55 (982783) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @06:45PM (#18744819)
    Ive got casino royale and having read this decided to try it on all the dvd players in my house (i live in a student house of computer scientists and engineers) so having tried it on going on for a dozen different players, the only player ive found that wont play it is a... guess which manufacturer (for those who dont want to play, its sony)
  • by ween14 (827520) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @07:36PM (#18745211)
    I love this quote right at the top of the entry about Sony:

    they have in fact made their latest releases unplayable on some DVD players, including my Sony DVP-CX995V DVD player.
    I don't think we even need another sign of the incompetence of Sony then the fact that they break their own hardware with their ill-conceived protection mechanisms. Obviously Sony divisions no longer talk to one another about what they are doing. This is a shame considering that communication between units was how Sony invented one of their most profitable items ever...the Walkman.

    left hand: make decent hardware...Profit!
    right hand: break hardware made by left hand...don't tell left hand about it....Profit?
  • Nice way to blow it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Triv (181010) on Sunday April 15, 2007 @08:03PM (#18745427) Journal

    I grabbed a torrent of Casino Royale a few days ago because it came up in conversation with some friends, and really liked it, liked it enough for me to buy it the next time I was near a video store - I wanted the better picture quality, and the extra features, and to free up the space on my drive. Now that I know it's copyright protected to the point of being unplayable? Sorry Sony; you just lost my twenty bucks. Sucks to be you.

    Triv

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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