Talk about false advertising. Got a message in the inbox promoting:
Amazon Unbox Holiday Treats: No-Cost, Exclusive, and Topselling Downloads
I don’t know how many people checked into this, but I’ve been intrigued for quite some time about the future of media on the internet, so I thought I would check it out.
First off, if you want to find the No-Cost portion of the advertisement, you have to dig pretty hard. Some of the No-Cost content is labeled, but you have to actually go several layers into the transaction before you can select the No-Cost portion of the content that you want to try out.
No-Cost isn’t really being truthful, either. Oh, it’s true you don’t have to pay anything, in the way of money up front; however, you have to submit to downloading their viewer (which has exclusive rights to play their content) and you can only play the content on one system; nor can you burn it to disk to play it on a standard DVD player. So if the system you download the content onto isn’t the one you want to finally play the content on, you’re out of luck, and into the Cost part of No-Cost if you want to actually view the content.
Never mind some of the horror stories circling the net about lost downloads and Tivo’s; I have a hard time believing that Amazon would not refund a transaction that didn’t end satisfactorily for the customer, but I’m not willing to hazard even a few bucks on the service until there is some process in place for allowing me to watch purchased material wherever and whenever I want.
[FYI Hollywood mogul types; this is what it means to ‘buy’ something. You get to use it the way you please; and, by the way, the Torrent files I download for free don’t have any restrictions on them. Yes, I haven’t purchased any rights when I download a torrent file, but I don’t appear to have any rights when I do put out cash for properly licensed material anyway, so I don’t see the downside for me; well, other than being hounded into the grave by bloodsucking corporate hacks with nothing better to do than punish their customers]
Until that time, when I have rights to use the material in a normal fashion (i.e. play it in the average video player, display it on the average TV screen) I’ll be sticking to purchasing plain old (used/cheap) DVD’s and ‘free’ torrent downloads.
My apologies if your children don’t get to attend Harvard because of this. My children might actually be able to attend college on the money I save (did I mention I was skipping out on the upgrade to HD-DVD/Blueray? There’s some major savings there) What an ironic turn of events.