Is Hollywood Losing Its Grip on the DVD?

CD_Pile_Clipart.jpgIn the wake of RealNetwork’s $30 DVD-ripping software, Hollywood executives are beginning to wonder whether the studios were losing even more control of the DVD format and its $16 billion in annual sales, Wired reports.

“The music industry years ago lost much control of its CD, which is not encrypted, to peer-to-peer file sharing services and technology allowing CDs to be burned easily—even by the technologically unsophisticated.” [Note: this is why we’re against copy protection, or DRM, for online music sales—the cat’s already out of the bag. All it’s doing is strangling the potential of legal sites and diverting more traffic to piracy.]

“That is among the reasons legitimate DVDs are encrypted with the content-scramble system licensed by the DVD Copy Control Association. The association is a group consisting of electronics and computer manufacturers, and Hollywood studios.”

Interestingly, courts still haven’t ruled whether or not it’s technically legal to copy a DVD for your own personal use, such as for a backup, or to rip it and watch it on your cell phone—even if you’ve already paid for the original DVD. Regardless, so far, the only people getting rich are the lawyers.

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