Download-to-own DVDs could be a reality

Written by Brett Thomas

July 18, 2006 // 6:10 p.m.

Tags: #burn #download #dvd #mgm #movielink #mpaa #own #paramount #sony #universal #warner-brothers

We never thought we'd see this happen: while the RIAA keeps retreating backwards from digital distribution, it seems the MPAA is trying to step forwards. Sonic has licensed its DVD-on-Demand technology to Movielink, which would allow consumers to buy movies online, download them, and burn them to DVD that could play on a standard player... legally.

Sonic is the maker of Roxio product line, and will bundle the Movielink service in its current software like Roxio CinePlayer. Movielink will allow a consumer to purchase a downloadable, encrypted DVD file that can then be burned up to a standard DVD-R disc using Sonic's program. Once burned, the disc should be playable in any normal DVD player. Though there's been no specific mention of it yet, one could assume that the file will be playable within registered DVD codecs, which would be great for media center machines.

Jim Ramo, CEO of Movielink, had this to say:

"We are anticipating an industry resolution to establish rules for converting secure Internet-delivered Movielink downloads into a secure format compatible with DVD players in the market today."

One might first think that the MPAA will simply sue Movielink, but there is an interesting twist to the story. Doing so would be chopping off one's own leg, as Movielink is actually a joint operation between the five biggest MPAA companies: MGM, Paramount, Universal, Warner Brothers, and Sony. So basically, all the big players are already on board.

As usual, particulars about DRM, how many copies, etc. are currently lacking...but it's nice to see the MPAA taking another step forward into customer convenience that can span more than one piece of equipment without being some legal infraction.

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