Walmart DVD to Digital: Is This a Scam or Something Else?

We’vre recently started seeing commercials regarding a new “service” that Walmart is launching which they are calling “DVD to Digital”. My GF and I were just sitting here discussing this and it’s pretty funny because just last night I was thinking about the implications of this so called “service”.

Walmart is charging customers to bring in the DVD’s and they will copy the movies and then make them available online.So you pay for a DVD and now Walmart wants to charge you to copy them (is this even legal??), upload them to a server and then make them available to you to watch from any PC, tablet phone or other device.

To me it sounds like Walmart is going to be making a move on the corner that Netflix has which is the ability to allow a subscriber to view movies via the internet and with many different devices.Walmart will make money over fist in this deal because they get their customers to PAY THEM to copy and upload the files and this will then allow them to collect a huge database of movies which THEY WERE PAID TO MAKE. After that, they simply buy the licenses they need and then open up shop, charging everybody to watch those same movies online.

So after doing a little research online,  looking in to DVD copyright laws, it seems to me there may be something “dirty” in all of this. Sony is just one of of the many companies that has made a huge investment in adding “protection to their DVD disks in order to prevent them from being copied. Here’s a little of what I found….

SOURCE

When movie studios were preparing to release movies in a digital format for distribution on disks, they learned from the mistakes of the music industry. Hollywood insisted the disks include a layer of copy protection that music CDs don’t contain. But the technology that protects DVDs was cracked within a few years of the disks going on sale. (Actually copying a DVD would require extensive technical know-how that’s well beyond most consumers.) Congress, meanwhile, passed a law that made it illegal to produce or distribute tools that enable consumers to circumvent copy protection.

So it’s illegal to copy a DVD? Interestingly, no. Judges have said that consumers have a right to copy a DVD for their own use—say, for backing it up to another disk or perhaps watching it on another device, such as an iPod. That’s the same “fair use” rule that made it legal to tape television shows for watching later, perhaps on a different TV. The problem is that consumers can’t duplicate DVDs without software tools that get around the copy protection on those disks. It is those tools that Congress outlawed.

So based on the current copyright laws, any and all software that could be used to take a DVD and make it digital is ILLEGAL and therefore using it BREAKS THE LAW. So knowing this, how in the hell is Walmart going to take all these DVD’s, which have copy protection, and make them digital WITHOUT BREAKING THE LAW???

After doing a little more looking I found that Walmart has apparently worked out some sort of “deal” with the top five movie studio’s in Hollywood (20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros) in order to be able to pull this stunt off. So now we have Walmart making backroom deals with Hollywood studio’s…. I wonder if they already have a deal in place which will allow them to charge customers to access their movie database once it’s built… They are building this by charging customers on the front end and then they will charge customers on the back end as well once they have a grip of movies in their collection.

WOW! What a deal, right?

 

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    • Darin
    • May 19th, 2012

    Does Walmart really do anything? I mean if I bought in “Star Wars” like a thousand others I’m I really watching a copy of my movie or just the same title on there cloud server? Is my $2 or whatever going to watch my movie or just getting access to that title on there server?

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