Physical = Digital?
Before I joined the team here at Sitening, I was tapped for a freelance project running the social network for the production company behind the new X Files movie, which proved to be a big hit amongst the fan community. Somewhere down along the way I was asked for ideas in naming the box set version of the DVD, which was a big thrill for me as a fan when the studio decided to go with one of the suggestions that came out of a brainstorming session I had with another person on the project. With the street date of the DVD being today, I went out at lunch to procure a copy and came across what 20th Century Fox is calling “digital copy”, or a disc in the box set that includes a version of the movie for your portable players, both PC and Mac based. Nice of them eh?
Anxious to see how it works (I’d be betraying my nerd heritage if I didn’t dive straight into the digital copy) I popped the third disc of the set into my MacBook Pro and let it load up. It immediately prompts you to “click here!” and it takes you to the iTunes Music Store where you are prompted to enter a VERY long string of numbers provided to you in the DVD insert as a purchase code. But here’s where the fun begins….instead of copying the movie from the disc provided in the set, it appears to be pulling it off of the iTunes server, all 1.17 gigs of it in it’s 853×354 copyright protected glory. After doing a little research, the movie is in fact downloading itself off the disc, but is that even necessary if the file already exists in the digital realm?
So my question is, why even bother including a “digital copy” disc if all that disc does replicate something that could be done in a truly digital form? Why not just include instructions on the sheet that the code included entitles you to one download of the film from iTunes or another PC based digital content source, such as Amazon? Do major studios think that people must have physical things in their hands to use them? I just can’t fathom why the studio would go through the expense of printing an extra disc with something that already exists in the realm of the digital world. Let’s keep the physical physical and the digital digital, shall we?