CinemaNow to Offer Burnable Film Downloads

I’ll be watching this to see how it works out. I’m interested in the limitations put on the burned discs.

CinemaNow will soon start selling downloads of popular films that can be transferred, or “burned,” to blank DVDs for use with home DVD players, and such Hollywood heavies as Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have already signed on to provide content, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.

. . .

In the past, CinemaNow users couldn’t watch film downloads on their televisions unless they connected them to computers, the AP reports.

. . .

Hollywood studios have been hesitant to adopt the online download sales medium for films due to piracy concerns and the possible cannibalization of retail stores sales, but advances in encryption and additional digital rights protection technologies have led them to experiment with the concept.

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Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony’s home entertainment division, told the AP, “It’s a test of the distribution and security architecture,” and he agreed that studios would license more content once the system is vetted.

The company will offer films starting at $8.99 each, and they’ll include all the features that a DVD purchased in a retail store would, according to the AP, though once a copy is burned, its quality will be slightly lower than an official studio DVD. CinemaNow’s film downloads will also be able to be transferred to DVD only once, but customers will be able to repeatedly watch the movies on their computers, according to the AP.

I’m interested in what DRM protections they’ll be using, and whether the burned discs can be backed up. I know there are piracy issues here, but there are also issues of me being able to keep a movie I’ve paid for and should legally be allowed to watch whenever I want. At least, if I understand what they are doing, that seems to be an issue to me.

[tags]CinemaNow, Legally downloadable movies[/tags]