Star Trek Blu-ray Digital Download Codes All Used Up?

Nero, the Romulan villain who was driven mad by lens flares in the latest Star Trek movie, found a way to travel forward in time and use up a bunch of authorization codes included in special edition Blu-ray sets. For now, until Paramount’s support staff get back from the holidays, all you can do with that third disc is flash light into the eyes of people around you and call yourself J. J. Abrams.

Andrew writes:

So I received Star Trek on Blu-ray for the holidays. It was the target exclusive 3 disc edition with the 3rd disc holding the “digital copy” which can be transferred to your computer and mobile devices(ipod/iphone etc.).

I pop open the disc and insert it and open iTunes. I find the pack in insert with the redeem code for authorizing my digital copy through iTunes and then iTunes tells me that the code has already been used and can not be used again. I’ve done the digital copy process(on other movies) many times and have never received that error.

So I start looking for a solution and head over to the apple iTunes discussion board and make the following thread:

And apparently this indeed a large issue with many people. This looks like a breakdown on paramount’s security. I wrote to them on their support site but haven’t received a reply back(holidays of course).

If the same thing has happened to you, contact Paramount and ask for a replacement code. In the thread referenced above, a person speaking on behalf of the studio wrote:

We are still investigating this issue, but I can assure everyone that if they contact support via the website at, they will receive a new code for their digital copy of Star Trek for iTunes or Windows Media. However our support team has been very backed up because of the holidays so if you don’t get a reply right away, don’t panic. We will get to you.


Edit Your Comment

  1. meadandale says:

    DRM Fail…

  2. marion says:

    I purchased a copy of The Hangover from Best Buy on Monday night. The packaging indicated a bonus digital copy you could download. When I opened it, there was an insert with instructions on how to download the digital copy and a box for the authorization code. One little problem, the box was blank.

    I took it back to Best Buy the next day and exchanged it for another copy that did have an authorization code printed on it.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Huh. I’m going to have to look at mine to see if it’s blank. I didn’t pay much attention to it when I first opened it up.

  3. winstonthorne says:

    There are many good quality torrents of this film available. I’m not advocating outright piracy (since I know some people are sensitive about that sort of thing), but if you already have the rights to a digital copy and cannot access it due to the DRM being insane, I don’t think it would be unethical to download a good quality copy temporarily until Paramount gets un-backed up and gives you a code for “your” copy.

    • sleze69 says:

      Until they make legitimate copies as easy and convenient as illegitimate ones, piracy will never go away.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        I don’t think “legitimate” digital copies will ever be available without some kind of copy protection/DRM since the studios and content providers are so worried about piracy.

        • darklighter says:

          The same was once said about music.

          • fantomesq says:

            The only reason that the music industry backed DRM-free music was to break what they see as one company having too much control over the developing digital music scene…

            • logicalnoise says:

              and how is that different? The people supported the least offensive DRM standard as well as no DRM(in amazon and piracy) and the labels finally admitted defeat.

              • fantomesq says:

                You think the game’s over? This is a chess match that sometimes takes sacrifices to move forward. The music industry still holds all the cards in this game. (to mix my metaphors)

                • logicalnoise says:

                  they own rights to artists already successful, that’s great an all except living artists are finally pulling away from them and they know it. there’s a reason artists are making more money per year it’s because the fans are finding ways to support them without buying overpriced albums.

      • Scuba Steve says:

        I’m going with “As long as things cost money and people have free time” piracy won’t go away.

    • logicalnoise says:

      meh, I could just redeem the WMV version and handbrake it but I’d rather just get it off the disk. I’m in no hurry.

    • fantomesq says:

      Chris specifically requested in another thread today that methods of circumventing DRM -NOT- be discussed here so as not to trigger DCMA issues.

      To quote:
      And just in case I wasn’t clear, no you cannot share that sort of information on this site, or we will all be sent to DMCA time-out.

      • fantomesq says:

        DMCA… need an edit button

        • AI says:

          Discussing the ripped copies exist without linking to anything does not violate DMCA in any way. Legit news sites discuss the existence of piracy all the time. And in this case, it’s not even piracy, as the OP already has a license for the digital copy. Media companies have argued for years that we’re not paying for a physical copy, we’re paying for a license, so if you’re licensed for a copy, you should be able to use a ripped copy, as you already hold the license. The person sending it to you is doing something illegal, but you shouldn’t be as you hold a legit license.

          • fantomesq says:

            True enough but a distinction without a difference. There is no legitimate way to get a ripped copy without violating DMCA. Distributing the ripped copy is outright piracy and discussing the methods is encouragement of piracy. Do you really take Chris’s warning to mean that Consumerist has taken a stand against converting content that you’ve purchased but they are fine with discussing pirating illegal content that you haven’t purchased?

            Discussions like this undermine the moral high ground that Consumerist claims in holding companies to task. I take Chris’s comment as saying that this sort of discussion doesn’t belong here.

            • ktetch says:

              Untrue. You are only violating hte DMCA if you are distributing without permission, or if you personally circumvent an ‘effective copyright protection method’. Just downloading it does neither.

              I don’t get how so many people have problems understanding the DMCA, of course, there’s a lot that try and avoid it where possible, because of the nasty little ‘penalty of perjury’ item. Thats why the copyright infringement notices on youtube and myspace aren’t DMCA notices, Audible Magic would spend it’s life in jail.

              • fantomesq says:

                Reading comprehension. I didn’t say that downloading a pirate copy of the movie was a violation of DMCA. I said that if Consumerist has taken a stand against discussing methods of bypassing DRM due to DMCA then discussions of outright piracy (which don’t require DMCA to be a straight copyright infringement) are surely also not allowed on Consumerist on the same basis. It falls under the ban on advocating illegal actions and, as I said, undermines the moral high ground that Consumerist counts on to be effective in advocating for consumers.

            • Chris Walters says:

              All I meant by my earlier statement was that you shouldn’t provide links to scripts or precise explanations of how to strip DRM from something.

              I don’t know that Consumerist has formulated a single philosophy about stripping DRM, file sharing, etc.

          • Guppy06 says:

            It does not matter if it is an actual violation of the DMCA, all that matters is whether or not the copyright holder (or even simply someone claiming to be them) sends a take-down notice.

            It’s called a “chilling effect” for a reason.

      • AI says:

        No DRM is being circumvented by downloading a ripped copy. By definition, a ripped copy already has no DRM, so there’s nothing to circumvent.

      • eccsame says:

        Suggesting that someone to download a copy isn’t “discussing ways to circumvent DCMA”. There were no clear instructions on “how to” do it.
        If my friend needs money and I say “you could rob a bank” I can’t go to jail for saying it.
        If I draw a map of the bank and give him a gun and passcodes, that’s a different story.

  4. logicalnoise says:

    still no reply from paramount but I’m happy they are stepping up or whoever that poster is.

  5. LastError says:

    Is anyone really REALLY going to be put out if they have to wait for a code?

    People seem to get upset about such things but honestly nobody has ever died because they could not see a movie, digital download version or otherwise.

    Some advocate downloading a ripped copy. That’s not the appropriate response to a problem like this. I mean, it’s like “My car won’t start, so that’s tacit permission for me to go take another car off the street!”

    • AI says:

      If you could take an exact replica of the car you purchased, without taking the car away from anyone else, what is the fricken problem? You paid for the car, you get a car!

    • opticnrv says:

      Yes, I’m really REALLY going to be put out. I’m traveling home tomorrow, and can’t watch this movie on my flight. It was the reason I received the gift in the first place.

    • fantomesq says:

      Rationalize any way you like but its still infringement and still illegal.

    • gsarnold says:

      No, that’s not a correct comparison, because grabbing a car off the street would deprive the rightful owner of that car from their own use if it. That’s the difference between copying and stealing.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      People seem to get upset about such things but honestly nobody has ever died because they could not see a movie, digital download version or otherwise.
      Maybe we should just change the standard for being put out to your standard. If nobody will die because of something, it’s not a big deal.

      “Oh, your steak didn’t arrive and you were billed for it anyway? Well, you had bread, so it’s not like you’re going to die because you didn’t get the entree. Looks like you could stand to lose some pounds anyway…”

  6. DoktorGoku says:

    “Nero, the Romulan villain who was driven mad by lens flares in the latest Star Trek movie…”

    I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at a Consumerist post. Bravo. :D

  7. NotEd says:

    I actually have a 2-DVD edition that the wife bought me at Walmart that has some unrelated issues. See we both wanted Blu-ray. So she bought it from the Blu-ray display at the 2nd Walmart she tried (the first had no stock) on the day before Christmas.
    Well after finding out it was mis-shelved after opening it Xmas morning she gave me the receipt and told me to go ahead and exchange it. Which I tried yesterday.
    Walmart can’t find it in their system. The UPC does not match the receipt. They ended up apologising but sending me on my way.
    No big deal I figure. I tell her about it that night and she is not suprised. Turns out when she bought it the UPC wouldn’t come up either, so they made one up (a DVD department “placeholder” number of some kind).
    Well the DVD was bought 5 states to the east of here while visiting family, so there appears to be no way to get the Walmart here to talk to the Walmart there and sort this out. Stuck with this copy and all I am thinking is “At least I can put the Digital Copy on her new iPhone.”
    Oh well.

  8. The_IT_Crone says:

    We bought this around Thanksgiving and had the same problem.

    This is yet another reason why I’ll resist buying DRM ever again.

  9. TheMonkeyKing says:

    I still cannot get my digital copy of Batman. It keeps saying it cannot connect when I do not even see network traffic.

    It hasn’t been a big issue with me yet because of the Christmas excitement and all the other things I have on my list of things to do. But maybe this weekend I will try again and send Consumerist my screen caps of this issue.

  10. partofme says:

    Does anyone think that companies are shooting themselves in the foot for the future? With the move to licensing over selling a physical product, a company is taking money to ensure that I have access to particular content. If I have a license to a particular work, it doesn’t matter what form I have it in. Further, if that particular form goes by the wayside, the licensing agent is still bound to provide access to said content.

    In essence, I can throw away a physical product, often because I don’t want it around anymore. However, if what I’ve paid for is “access to content”, isn’t it like buying an option? Only it’s more like a “pre-paid option”. If the option doesn’t have a specifically spelled out expiration, why would I ever throw it away? Therefore, the onus would be on the seller of the option to provide perpetual access to the content I purchased, at any time, in any form.

    • fantomesq says:

      Depends on the terms of the license but as digital music licenses are currently written, no, you don’t have rights to anything other than the version they are providing you at the time of purchase of the license. So, if the company later turns out a higher quality version later, you have no rights to the new version.

  11. mariospants says:

    “Nero, the Romulan villain who was driven mad by lens flares in the latest Star Trek movie, found a way to travel forward in time and use up a bunch of authorization codes included in special edition Blu-ray sets. For now, until Paramount’s support staff get back from the holidays, all you can do with that third disc is flash light into the eyes of people around you and call yourself J. J. Abrams.”

    Consumerist Best Opening Paragraph of the Year Award contender, right there.

  12. edrebber says:

    This is kind of like getting a lump of coal in your stocking. Paramount probably sold a boat load of these DVDs over the holidays and part of it doesn’t work. Paramount needs to issue a full refund to anyone with a non working code. If you gave one of these as a gift, initiate a charge back with your credit card company. The disk is defective.

  13. awer25 says:

    Just look for the guy on eBay selling 100 codes for $1.

  14. idip says:

    YAY! Mine worked, it’s downloading as we speak!


  15. dg says:

    This is why you should never buy anything with any Digital Restriction Management on it. All DRM does is to inconvenience the LEGAL customer, it doesn’t do jack to inhibit the pirates. And once it does inconvenience the legal customer, that legal customer either:

    1) Never buys from you again because they don’t want to repeat the poor experience
    2) Turns to the pirate channels to get the copy they paid for, and are entitled to, but which you broke.

    And once #2 happens, they have to ask themselves the next time if it just won’t be less trouble to pirate it, rather than taking the risk that something will break.

    Let’s also consider the possibility where someone receives a gift, gets in a car accident on the way home, gets transported to the Hospital, and doesn’t even open the silly thing for 3 months. Then when they’re home convalescing, they try to get the digital download and are thwarted. A call to Paramount (or whomever) says “uh huh, sorry. That offer is no longer available….”.

    A digital copy should be just that – a DIGITAL copy on the disc they included in the packaging. You shouldn’t have to log on, authorize, or whatever – it should be RIGHT THERE for you to use as you please.

    Make the product a decent price, and people won’t pirate it – because it’ll be less trouble to buy the damn thing. But charge a premium, and make us jump through hoops, and the pirates will win. The sooner the [MP | RI]AA figure this out, the better off we’ll all be, and the MORE MONEY THEY’LL MAKE…

  16. axiomatic says:

    At what point does a company realize that they will have lost more money trying to protect the IP with failed DRM attempts and then the added cost of reparing any damage done by the DRM versus just charging a little more for a DRM free copy of the IP.

    Yes, 100% DRM FAILSTORM.