Warner Bros boss moots 'disc-to-digital' scheme

New files for old

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Warner Bros wants you to trade in your DVDs for cloud-stored video files, the home entertainment's president has indicated - its latest method to persuade punters to buy rather than rent.

Speaking at a Morgan Stanley tech confab in San Francisco this week, Warner Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara outlined an initiative, dubbed ’Disc-to-digital’, under which movie fans will be able take discs back to shops and get digital copies.

Likewise, online retailers will provide links to downloadable copies of disc contents. And Tsujihara said he can envisage a time when playing a disc for the first time will automatically add the title to your online library of downloadable files.

There's no timeframe for the plan, but it's clear Tsujihara and co. see it as a way of steering punters away from file-sharing sites and from disc rental and streaming services such as Netflix and Lovefilm.

The industry fears these services not simply because they generate far less revenue for it, but because it encourages, it believes, a 'rent and rip' culture. Disc-to-digital is about replacing that with 'buy and download'.

Make it easier for people to get legitimate copies - duplicates that, unlike rips, will be DRM'd, of course, so can't be shared - of content they've already paid for, and they'll be more likely to carry on buying discs, goes the theory.

Such a scheme could tap into UltraViolet, the Hollywood-backed standard cloud-based film library - with associated DRM tech - that, the industry hopes, will get folk buying Blu-ray Discs to keep. ®

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