It’s kind of comical when you think about it. When we buy a copy of our favorite movies on DVD or Blu-ray, we like to think that we then own them, right? Not really. No, I have all but stopped buying them and instead rent movie content over Netflix or Amazon Unbox (Roku box) as it’s all I am legally allowed to do with the content anyway. I mean seriously, according to the DMCA, I am unable to make media center friendly copies onto my hard drive for local, personal use (with movies I own) because of the rules stating that I would be in the wrong due to not following the rules with regard to the content’s encryption.
Now I am a free market kind of guy. If the movie and TV industry wants to be this short sighted, awesome, more power to it. Since not enjoying the content provided is not really very practical, I simply am following its given guidelines by legally renting my content instead of “renting” the content on a disc format so they can tell me that I cannot legally make backups.
Many of you will point out that apps like Handbrake, among others, make XMBC access for my content a snap — just rip the DVDs. But the fact of the matter is, I am not willing to do that. No, why give in to this kind of thinking when the industry has worked so hard to make sure I will never truly be able to use the content I have purchased in a way in sync with how I do things in my household? Nope. thanks to the short-sightedness of the industry, I will play by the rules and NOT spend money on buying Blu-ray DVDs any longer. Instead, I will rent them via legal sources as outlined above and let the industry remain as it is: stuck in a time warp.
It’s really too bad, because if I was allowed to rip my Blu-ray DVDs with tools like Handbrake for use on my XMBC, my media enjoyment would be complete and my weekend, a lot more fun. At least there is still Hulu Desktop hooked up to my TV, plus the benefit of music access (DRM free Amazon MP3s) accessible from my XMBC server for the time being. Then again, who’s to say how the new “non-commercial use” clause is to be interpreted, anyway? I suppose I need to get to work on my new documentary about how I like to watch legally purchased DVDs on my media center without the disc drive. Could be a real nail biter!