Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

DVDs Don’t Last – Buying Digital Rights Instead of Plastic

with 2 comments

I was reminded this evening why I’m such a fan of digital rights when I dropped our venerable copy of the Dances with Wolves DVD. Bye bye Kevin Costner. Point being, I’d much rather by the right to a movie than a piece of plastic that happens to contain a movie if it’s not abused.

Most businesses have long ago caught on to this trend, procuring rights instead of plastic for all manner of software used to run their business. And sometimes even hardware agreements can be structured, through leasing, into a model that focuses on the asset truly being procured instead of physical units.

But buying rights and then maintaining an iron-clad record of rights – understood through personnel turnover and as the years go by – can be tricky. What seems to be needed is akin to an asset management system, but a virtual one.

There are a large number of software packages that attack this problem, for software, for businesses. It’s a complex issue that I’d love to hear your best and worst practices on.

As for me, I’ve got to invest some time in ripping my DVDs to my hard drive before they’re all gone – and perhaps it’s time to buy new titles in iTunes. My only worry is quality – am I buying rights to the titles in the current, not-quite-as-good-as-DVD resolution or will I receive a free upgrade to high-res when the service improves?

Tatonka anyone?


Written by Dave Stephens

03/21/07 10:20 PM at 10:20 pm

Posted in Opinion

2 Responses

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  1. Hi, Dave,

    Saw your latest blog post on digital rights and felt compelled to respond
    (but am too lazy to register to post a comment on your blog).

    The problem with so-called digital rights is that every current
    implementation of the technology is limited by the oxymoron of digital
    rights management. I can play a DVD in any of the PCs, Macs, and DVD
    players I have scattered around the house. I can also rip it to any storage
    device of my choice, and even download it to my iPod… if I really wanted
    to see Costner on a 2-inch screen… :-(. If I’m compelled to ruin an
    evening with friends, I can even take my DVD over to their house to watch it
    on the device of their choice. If I ever get a vehicle so-equipped, I could
    even play it in my car and drive up my insurance rates. And so on.

    Today, DRM prevents nearly all of those use-case scenarios. Hollywood’s got
    it all wrong, much in the same way that the RIAA is steadily killing the
    music industry with DRM. So far, digital rights just suck. I’m still
    buying CDs and DVDs, and will continue to do so until DRM has a wooden stake
    driven through it’s undead heart.

    None of that prevents me from lusting after the Apple TV device.

    Congrats on getting your first-round funding, by the way. Glad to see the
    wheels lifting off the tarmac for Coupa.


    Dave Stephens

    03/22/07 2:51 PM at 2:51 pm

  2. hi, i found a product that lets your transfer your dvds to your ipod. then if your dvd breaks or scratches you still have a clean copy. just hop over to my blog and check it out if you like.


    03/24/07 5:44 PM at 5:44 pm

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