Bandai’s DVD/UMD deal

In his December 2004 discussion with Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, Cory Doctorow pointed out that DRM:

[is being used] to sell you the same crap for more money.


[makes you buy] all your media over and over again.

It seems like a recent announcement by Japanese anime producer Bandai is a nice illustration hereof. Engadget reports:

Bandai is going to be the first company to package a DVD along with a UMD version of the same content to watch on your PlayStation Portable while on the go. […] You do have to pay extra for the bundle with the UMD in it (about ¥1,260, or $11.72), but at least it is less than what it would cost to buy each disc separately.

Although this looks like a sweet deal (you pay a lower price if you buy both DVD and UMD), the reality is that the DRM on both the DVD and UMD prevents you from porting the movie data between your computer and PSP (an otherwise perfectly allowed Me2Me use), thus forcing you to buy the same content twice.

Imagine a similar scenario being introduced to the music market: I can hardly believe consumers would pay for, say, a CCCD+ATRAC package (CCCD for your CD-player/computer, the ATRAC files for your Sony MP3 player).

Comments on “Bandai’s DVD/UMD deal” (feed)

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  1. You probably would not pay for such a package. And Cory Doctorow most certainly would not pay for anything carrying any DRM, package or not.

    On the other hand, other consumers might, and the copyright holder might make an extra profit from those sales.

    That depends on whether more people would buy the content twice than those who would boycott the whole thing.

    Not everybody knows what DRM is, and not everybody thinks this kind of question through.

    » Karl-Friedrich Lenz on April 19th, 2005 at 21:46

  2. […] Almost a year ago, I briefly mentioned Bandai’s plans to start offering DVD+UMD packs and pointed out that this “deal” is a fine illustration of what DRM is all about: it prevents content portability, thus forcing you to buy the same stuff over and over again. Consumers have understood this on time (or maybe nobody was really interested in watching movies on-the-go), and voted with their wallet: UMD movie sales are absolutely down, up to the point where the big movie production houses have announced (or are about to do so) that they’ll stop doing UMD releases, but stick to DVDs instead. […]

    » chosaq » UMD’s downfall on April 11th, 2006 at 14:14