I posted the following reply in the Slashdot comments, to someone that has a similar train of thought as you, or maybe it actually was you, anyway here's my reply to that post:
I think you covered things pretty well, but you seem to be under the impression that the mere thought of something being copyrighted is evil. I don't agree, I think copyrights should be in place to stop widespread copying of content and ideas, which is not just harmful to large corporation but also Joe average that just had this great idea he'd like to copyright.
You'll agree with me that the movie producers want to protect their investment, certainly in cases where the initial run of DVDs has to make enough revenue to break even, or make a profit, if I were them I'd want to make sure I stay in business, and be profitable, as well.
What I dislike, and I agree fully with you there, is the fact that they enforce upon the consumer their own set of laws that prevent me from playing back the content I bought unless I do so in exactly the way they intended me to use it. If such a scheme is used on a DVD, CD or other media, I want it to be clearly listed on the cover, so I can steer clear of it. This wasn't the case here, which I think is misleading.
In the end, some form of DRM will show up in the next few years. If I had a say in this I'd say on-disc DRM is a good solution, the disc checks whether the content and the disc unique serial id match and if so unlocks the content, no internet connection needed. Much like many PC games and other software CDs can't be copied as the disk verification is in the first few sectors which are already written to on blank CDRs, you can never create a bit-for-bit identical copy, so the copy is broken and doesn't work. It does however not stop the p2p-ing and breaking of the DRM, but this is a lost cause as is, no copy-protection scheme is full proof.
The on-disc DRM also voids the arguments of people that, rightfully, question whether a DRM license server will still be able to validate their content in five, or ten years from now if online verification is needed. It does however not allow for making backups, and storing the original in a safe location, but then again who does that with DVDs? It wasn't even technically feasible until dual-layer DVDRW drives entered the market, so I think people would be fine with that, I sure would.
As for DRM on live TV, making it impossible to record your favorite shows, or even skip commercials, I think that is a severe limitation of my desire to watch the content that I like when and where I chose to. If I'm to ever switch to a digital TV system I want it to be as flexible as a analog VCR in terms of recording and playing back anything I'm interested in watching. If not, I'm not going to bother with it.
That's a few thoughts about this whole issue, feel free to reply.
"I think you covered things pretty well, but you seem to be under the impression that the mere thought of something being copyrighted is evil."
Absolutely not. I write software for a living and I firmly believe copyrights should exist and should be enforced. I do not believe draconian measures to enfore it are the solution, however. I also do not believe that copyright's should be as long as they are in the US. The author's life +25 years was reasonable. The author's life +70 years is stupid. It was done so that Disney would not have to create any new movies/characters- A good thing considering their almost complete lack of creativity- After all, they made the majority of their money by adapting prior works that had already entered the public domain.
"What I dislike, and I agree fully with you there, is the fact that they enforce upon the consumer their own set of laws that prevent me from playing back the content I bought unless I do so in exactly the way they intended me to use it. If such a scheme is used on a DVD, CD or other media, I want it to be clearly listed on the cover, so I can steer clear of it. This wasn't the case here, which I think is misleading."
"In the end, some form of DRM will show up in the next few years."
If it does, and I can not just put the movies on a server in my basement and forget about them then that is the last DVD I ever buy. It's that simple for me.
"no copy-protection scheme is full proof."
So why do they keep spending untold some of money on them? Why not save the money and just give people a better value in the first place and thus making piracy even less likely.
"It does however not allow for making backups, and storing the original in a safe location, but then again who does that with DVDs? It wasn't even technically feasible until dual-layer DVDRW drives entered the market, so I think people would be fine with that, I sure would."
Just because it was not technically feasible does not mean it will remain that way. I started writing my own DVD library interface when the largest hard drives were only 20GB. At the time it was improssible to copy your movies to a server. So why did I do it? Because I could see the day when I would be able to sit down, scroll through a list of DVD's and play one without ever having to get up. I could see a day when I would not need to worry about people borrowing my movies because I had them locked safely away. I could see a day when I would not worry about scratching my discs because there are no discs. Now that 400 GB disks are available I can store my entire movie collection on just 5 drives. In a couple of years it will be 1 drive.
The MPAA has always been short on brains- When movies first came out on VHS they cost upwards of $75 (a lot especially considering the time period). Piracy was rampant and the situation seemed hopeless. Then someone came up with the crazy idea of dropping the price to $20. All of a sudden profits soared and now home releases make up a majority of a movie's revenue. Anything that makes it easier for a viewer to watch a movie (and therefore more likely to want to buy it) should be embraced by the MPAA. Instead- anything that does not fit into their outmoded business model is deemed a threat and they fight it. It is stupid and foolish.
The fact that movie studios try to counter piracy by sticking to high prices and securing their copyright by elaborate schemes such as DRM has me baffled as well, judging from my own buying habits, and those of the people I socialize with, I'm confident that lowering prices will certainly make people buy more DVDs. Actually prices in Europe used to be a lot higher than they are today, which motivated me to buy my DVDs abroad, especially when travelling to the US or Canada, but over the past two years I've seen prices in the US go up as well, which surprised me. I don't download movies for the simple fact that I want the best possible quality. I do however backup my movies to my fileserver which has the exact setup you mentioned, it is a precaution, but also a much more userfriendly approach. I obviously strip out all nonsense so what I'm left with is the movie and soundtrack, just that. In the end I think that there needs to be a balance between copyright protection schemes and the ability of the user to play back and if possible backup the content, hence I think on-disc DRM, which does not require a net connection or any other user intervention, is a good measure.