MLP: SXSW to MPAA: STFU
“That was in the contract you agreed to when you bought the DVD.” I agreed to nothing!
Think about this: I can go to the store and buy a five inch reflective disc that holds digital media. If that disc is a music CD, I can pop it in my computer, encode it, put it on my iPod, and listen to it whenever I like. But if that disc is a movie DVD, I cannot, even though the same iPod is perfectly capable of playing the same digital content that I own just the same.
(Oh, and by the way, Apple created a billion dollar industry in legal song downloading because of this. Where's the Apple Movie Store? Ask the MPAA.)
Now, being the geek I am, I know I can encode movies and do what I just described. But I've got to use one of a handful of quasi-legal programs. The MPAA doesn't want me to do that, and they've threatened legal action against those that do. Plus, there's no way to do it using the same tools that came with my computer and iPod (namely iTunes) because of that same legal threat.
The audience was filled with other examples of an industry gone crazy. One guy moved to the UK and all his DVDs stopped working because they were region-encoded (as most are). Her answer? That was in the contract you agreed to when you bought the DVD. Another guy asked why he can't just download the Sopranos. After all, he's a HBO subscriber, so he paid for it, he just happened to miss the last episode. Her answer, again, was that the time is part of the contract. My answer: Give it a couple years and HBO will be doing this, or they'll be out of business.