General Musings

This section is where you'll find my thoughts on life from the eyes of an entrepreneur.  The biggest challenge is balancing the success and obligations that success brings as the more successful one becomes, it seems the more obligations they have to the world.  Feel free to comment as you follow my journey and general musings regarding that journey. 


General Musings on Life & Entreprenuership

False Advertising - When it's Not a Digital "Copy"

(11/20/2011) Mark A. Cenicola

I was never a big fan of Harry Potter, the books or movies.  My wife and kids are and that's why we own them on DVD or Blu-ray.  They like to watch them periodically and I've seen all of them as well (just not more than once each).  After we partake in the family viewing on the big TV, they typically watch them again on the computer or iPad via the digital copy.

Digital copy provides a lot of advantages. It's a fully legal purchased version of the movie, but makes it so you don't have to cart around a disk to watch it on mobile devices.  Diskless media is where we're headed and it's a no brainer for the studios to offer their movies in digital copy format.

My wife was quite livid this weekend when she purchased Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 as part of a special bundle which included the Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy.  Was it because Walmart had it in store for $24.96 and today has it listed for $19.96 online? No, it was because the digital "copy" isn't really a "copy" after all.  

Warner Bros. has decided to make it available only via streaming.  On top of that, access to it is only good for 3 years!  That doesn't sound like a "copy" to me.  This is purely access to a streaming version for a limited time only.  I guess that's what they mean by "UltraViolet." You can't really have your copy!

Obviously, only being able to access it via streaming makes it less convenient.  You must be connected via wifi because forget about streaming over a cellular connection.  It would be too slow and eat up expensive mobile data on your plan.  Or, if you're in a location that doesn't have connectivity, you can't watch it.

The word "copy," in this manner, is blatantly false.  Why bother claiming to offer a digital copy at all if it's not really a copy and simply access to a streamed version?

After she had already bought the movie, I saw a commercial for the bundle pack which makes mention of the fact that the digital copy is in the cloud.  Do you really think the average person cares about "The Cloud" if it complicates their lives?

The cloud is supposed to make things more convenient, not more complicated. My wife isn't in the technology business and could care less about the latest buzz-words of the cloud.  She just wants things to work and work at her convenience.  She's certainly willing to pay for it.

In this instance, having the movie in the cloud is a big inconvenience.  In addition, it adds to Warner Bros.'s overhead with them now needing to provide the required resources to stream it.

Her other option was to buy it in iTunes, which would have been fine.  The challenge there is that you can't get it in high definition.  The plan that we'd all watch it in high definition on the big screen, then her having access to watch it on the go, was ruined.  Unless, of course, we paid for the movie twice.  

I'm all for the studios turning a profit on the investment they make in blockbuster content.  They just need to be smart about how they go about it.  If they make the content too expensive or too inconvenient to obtain, they are simply giving people more reason to pirate the content.

One Sheet

Mark Cenicola strips away the hype and gives his take on technology and its use in establishing a better business online.

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