Die Hard DVD Will Ship With Ripped Movie File Included

20th Century Fox has announced that the special-edition DVD for “Live Free or Die Hard” will include a “DRM-free” computer file of the movie, playable through Windows’ PlaysForSure software. We suppose you can call this DRM-free, but it obviously doesn’t mean it’s not restricted. To access the file, you will have to insert the disc into your computer, then enter an authorization code that’s included in the DVD case. Once it’s copied over, you can play it on your PC or portable media players that use the PlaysForSure software.

Although novel, we’re not sure how much of an added value this really is since special edition sets are more expensive than regular DVDs anyway. (Amazon reports the list price for the Special Edition “Live Free or Die Hard” DVD is $34.98, discounted to $23.99. By comparison, they list the regular old ugly DVD release at $29.99, discounted to $15.99.) And yes, the semi-tech-savvy can rip DVDs and compress them for playback without the studio’s help. Still, they win points for convenience, and we’re impressed and surprised that a studio isn’t running screaming from a movie file for once.

We’ll reserve final opinion until after we hear more about how easy the process is, and just what “DRM-free” really means to a movie studio, but here’s how Hollywood Reporter describes the process:

To utilize the Digital Copy feature, consumers can insert Disc 2 of the “Live Free” DVD into their computer. A menu will pop up, giving users the choice of either executing the Digital Copy application or launching the DVD special features. If the Digital Copy application is selected, the computer will verify the proper requirements and ask the user to enter a 16-digit serial code, found inside the DVD case. After selecting a destination — either the computer’s hard drive or a connected PlaysForSure video player — the transfer will begin, and the program will be ready for playback after about five minutes.

Not to be outdone, Warner Video is also planning on releasing the latest Harry Potter movie this way later this fall.

“”Die Hard” DVD will include computer file” [Reuters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Nick says:

    DRM-free my butt!

    Oh, wait. I get it. That DVD is not protected with DRM, it’s just “Digital Consumer Enablement” enabled. ;-)

  2. C2D says:

    Interesting… But you can’t beat AnyDVD + HandBrake FTW.

  3. Mike_ says:

    We suppose you can call this DRM-free

    Sure you can … if you want to be wrong.

  4. cedarpointfan says:

    Baby steps….

  5. Ickypoopy says:

    PlaysForSure is a DRM scheme. A defunct DRM scheme now that its noy supported by MS anymore.

  6. FLConsumer says:

    I’ll stick with ripping the DVD and putting it any format I wish. Thanks for the effort movie studios, but just ditch the useless CSS and we’ll be happy.

  7. XTC46 says:

    A step in the right direction, but making it a simple AVI would have been better (and probably taken less space) I suppose the reason for this is to stop somone from copying it to their computer then sharing it, but the flaw in that logic is a person who is going to do that will still just rip the DVD and then share it. this doesn’t help nor hurt them, so why hurt those who actually bought the DVD?

  8. Jetfire says:

    Seems to be a lack of technical information as to what this will be.

    Resolution? Bitrate?

    It could be lousy quality, meant for ‘portable’ devices.

  9. littlejohnny says:

    I think there may be a typo in the article.

    I believe that the line
    “The DRM-free feature allows consumers to…”

    should read

    “The free DRM feature allows consumers to…”

    Because the description sure sounds like they’re using DRM.

  10. Bay State Darren says:

    I was planning to legitimately buy this movie on DVD [awesome flick!] instead of just downloading it, but now they’re talking about Windows PlaysForSure (misnomer) and compatibility with “select” devices. Since you can’t return open DVDs any more, if this thing doesn’t work on my Mac, then I’d be throwing my money away. Any one got a good torrent for it?

    [In the spirit of the franchise, maybe I should go to BestBuy and hold the place captive pretending to be an international terrorist with a funny accent for the purpose of secretly stealing the movie. Just kidding, all police and FBI reading this.]

  11. XTC46 says:

    @Bay State Darren: well, the regular DVD would play, its just the pre-compressed special version on disc 2 that wouldn’t.

  12. Baz says:

    Software specific? Isn’t that DRM?

  13. Bay State Darren says:

    So, if I understand correctly [which rarely happens but I wanna give it a shot here anyways], if I have the regular DVD and decent DVD-ripping software [which I have: HandBrake, I highly recommend it], then what the hell’s the point of this second copy of the flick?

  14. Buran says:

    “PlaysForSure” … doesn’t. PFS music DOESN’T WORK ON MS’ OWN MUSIC PLAYER.

    with a name like that, that’s incredibly stupid.

  15. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I wonder how long it’ll take Fox to sue Fox over this.

  16. oneswellfoop says:

    Search for the movie ripped by axxo for a good torrent. You want me to pay for movies and music? stop trying to force me to do it while limiting my ability to use what I paid for.

  17. ncboxer says:

    Wait, the movie isn’t already out??? I wonder what the heck I watched the other day at home…

  18. sbcale says:

    “We suppose you can call this DRM-free
    Sure you can … if you want to be wrong.”

    @Mike: Best comment ever!! How can you call it DRM-free? How??

  19. davere says:

    Doesn’t play for sure on my Mac.

  20. Nighthawke says:

    I’m not buying this gambit one bit, for one shake. The scheme is a broken 5 year old DRM stunt that MS has decided to redeploy, so they can say that they have extended an olive branch to the masses.

    I’ll stick with GRip and other Open Source apps to get my movies situated how and where I want them.

  21. ajn007 says:

    It will be a matter of weeks after the release and someone will have cracked this “DRM” scheme. Everything the distributors do ends up making it easier for their movies to be pirated. Just wait until theaters go digital…

  22. ord2fra says:

    Heh… Netflix+DVD Shrink+SUPER Converter+iTunes= on my iPod for nothing, and no BitTorrent IP address risk.

  23. RvLeshrac says:

    I’m with the other people wanting to know where “DRM-Free” came from. How is this in any way, shape, or form “DRM-Free”?

    If this qualifies, then ITMS is DRM-free, too.

  24. gregburkman says:


    Actually, the iTunes Plus tracks on the iTMS _are_ DRM-free.