If this is true, it’s one of the least consumer-friendly things we’ve ever heard Apple (AAPL) get behind.
According to Wired, Apple has quietly added anti-piracy technology to its new MacBook laptops. If you hook your laptop up to your digital TV, projector, external monitor, etc. — which we do on a near-daily basis — to watch movies, it will block you from playing movies you’ve paid for from iTunes unless you have a “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection” compatible display.
The problem: No one outside Hollywood has ever heard that term before. We have no idea if our TV would work or not. (If not, we’re stuck watching our Ghostbusters II rental on our small laptop screen.) And we’re shocked that Apple would leave that up to us to figure out. Apple doesn’t even say if its new $900 Cinema Display would work. (It will. But Apple doesn’t go out of its way to tell you that.)
So: Why the heck are the studios and Apple pushing something so counterproductive? (And then not going out of their way to educate their customers about it.) It’s hard enough to get people to pay for legal movies and TV shows at iTunes, when they’re already easier to find (and free) on BitTorrent. So why punish your few honest customers?
Meanwhile, this is good news for Netflix (NFLX) and other streaming providers like Amazon (AMZN), whose video isn’t crippled with such lousy “protection.” (Though their streaming movies can’t be downloaded and saved for later, plane ride, etc.)
Good thing Apple doesn’t get much of its profits from iTunes movie sales.
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