Last week Amazon introduced their new movie download service called Amazon Unbox. This is a service that should be avoided at all costs. Amazon has created a service that can’t be used unless you are using windows. If you are using Linux or Mac OS you are in luck because the service doesn’t work with these systems. The terms of service that Amazon has come up with are completely unacceptable. You should go over to BoingBoing and read this analysis that Cory Doctorow wrote up. In order to watch the movies you have to download some software from amazon. The software monitors your computer and if you try to delete the software you won’t be able to watch the movies you “bought”. Amazon also explicitly prohibits the “buyer” from watching the movies in places like hotel rooms, hospital rooms, or other non-residential locations. So if you go on a trip with your laptop, you better not watch your movies. If you go on a road trip you can’t let kids watch the movies in the back seat of the car. Amazon also reserves the right to change their terms whenever they feel like it. All this for a price about the same as what you pay for a physical DVD that you can do whatever you want with (well at least as long as you are willing to violate the DMCA, but that’s another story).
With bright ideas like this it’s no wonder the mainstream entertainment industry is going down the toilet.