You may have noticed that a lot of movies are offering a second or third disc in their multi-disc offerings which include what they are calling Digital Copy. But, really, what the fuck is Digital Copy?
I mean, for starters, the DVD or Blu-ray is already a digital copy of the film. What’s so special about the capital letter version? I read a good article that goes into a modest level of detail for being about a page long, and I encourage the curious to follow that link.
In a nut shell, you are paying around $10 for an extra disc which contains a version of the film you are purchasing which you can then play on your computer or portable device.
“But, Jimbo, I can already play DVD’s (or Blu-rays) on my computer.”
Mostly everyone can play DVD’s on their computers, and certainly anyone can rip a DVD into a format that can be transfered to a portable device (avi, mov, mpg, &c). So now you can ask yourself what you or anyone else might need with Digital Copy. I mean beyond the obvious “I’m lazy and someone already did it for me” route.
But suppose you really are lazy and would like to simplify this shrinking and portability problem. Then you should certainly steer clear of Digital Copy.
They are using a scheme of digital rights management that will restrict you to use your purchased movie on one device (iTunes or Windows Media Player or your portable device—not all three). Further, if you have a problem (like a hard drive failure) you are likely to lose your precious Digital Copy and have no reasonable recourse to reclaim it.
(The article I linked to above has some great personal stories of lost Digital Copy in the comments.)
What I find rather irksome is that with many of the new Blu-ray discs coming out, your only choice is a version which includes Digital Copy. You cannot opt out of that Digital Copy tax in your purchase negotiations.
It’s these damned marketers at it again. They tout Digital Copy like it’s the greatest thing since chapter selection, but then they hand you a spoonful of honey to which all the flies have already adhered.
Oh, and if you’ve already purchased some Digital Copy, you can use them as a nice set of movie themed coasters at your New Year’s party. I am.