STORAGE VENDOR Seagate has announced an unholy alliance with Paramount Pictures to distribute its titles by loading them onto Freeagent Go drives.
The hook-up will see the film studio that brought us such celluloid classics as Pootie Tang, Crossroads and Drillbit Taylor load a select number of its back catalogue onto Seagate drives that will require the user to purchase an activation code in order to view the films.
Seagate for its part not only has agreed to further lower the initial 'plugged-in' capacity of its drives by loading content that the user doesn't want but decided to partner a web store for Paramount titles to flog the activation codes required to view the movies on the drive. Seagate says that about 10 per cent of the hard drives that it afflicts with Paramount media content will be taken up by the bundled films.
For the pleasure of doing without a physical copy of the movie, you'll be asked to fork over between $10 and $15. Of course as this is all run by a film studio your basic rights are violated at just about every stage in the process.
The list of requirements and restrictions runs long, so if you aren't a Microsoft Windows user with Internet Explorer installed, forget it. Even then you need to have Microsoft's Silverlight ready and waiting in order to view the website correctly. Paramount Pictures will bestow upon you the right, after paying top whack, to play the film on three devices. If you lose the data you're allow one extra download, so you had better hope that your Seagate hard drive doesn't give up the ghost.
Unlike going into a shop and purchasing the same movie on an actual DVD disk, Paramount doesn't even allow you to supply your own DVD to create a hard copy of the film. Of course all these restrictions will help, if you are to believe the blinkered thinking of film studio executives, to curb nasty copyright infringement.
According to figures supplied by the film studio, a 150 minute film comes in at 2.5GB. That's hardly the type of sound and picture quality most people want after spending $15 for a film. Coupled with the absurd prices of theatre tickets, it's not surprising that all but the most indiscriminate of punters are forced to source the same material elsewhere rather than get ripped-off for a below standard visual experience.
Quite how long it takes for some smart hacker to beat Paramount's DRM system purely for kicks remains to be seen, but we'll hazard a guess that it'll be quicker than the time it takes for the film studio's executives to realise that their unwise and futile attempt to curtail their firm's losses due to their own excessive greed will suffer a Failure to Launch. µ