Tuesday, 6 April 2010

DVD "licensing"

I don't want to sound like I'm harping on a theme, but I'd like to talk about DVDs again today. Publishers often like to claim that DVDs are licensed, not sold, or some such nonsense. When you're buying a DVD, they claim, you're really buying a license to play that movie in that designated region (and only on the devices the publisher approves). The problem I have with this situation is that it is the most abusive license you're ever going to enter into.

For instance, this license is dependent on your ability to maintain the physical disc you purchased. They've said before that if you want a backup to avoid losing the movie, you buy another disc. How it should really go, if DVDs represent a license, is that you should be able to trade in a broken disc for a working one of the same movie, free of charge. Or, if you choose to rescind your license to play the movie, you should be able to turn in the disc for a full refund of your "license fee" (ie purchase price). Neither of these actions are considered by movie publishers to be necessary or realistic. Given that observation, I think it's safe to conclude that the licensing propaganda is bogus.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If the license was not so abusive, would you still buy?
PPS - I might, if the refund clause was there.

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