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Old February 20th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #1
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copy protection for small productions

I recently opened my own studio for weddings, small films and video art.
I am using adobe premiere, after effects and encore for the post production.
Recently i finished a wedding dvd and after two or three days a friend of the couple told me they were making copies of
the dvd for all their friends. He told me about for 20 or more copies....!
I didn't thought to use any copy protection because i gave them 3 copies and they told me they were enough.
The most people in my town do not know how to copy a dvd with programs, they only use nero burning rom or similar programs. So i am searching a way to
have a kind of protection for my productions because i know that is dificult to stop them if they know how to copy dvds. The solution of CSS and Macrovision for small productions like a wedding is not an option because of the fee i must pay for every copy.
Is there any other option?

thank you in advanced
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Old February 20th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kostas Rose View Post
Is there any other option?
No.

Any copy protection scheme you'll find for DVD-R is ridiculously expensive or a potentially destructive kludge (scratching the outer part of the disk.) Regardless, any copy protection scheme can be easily defeated by off-the-shelf or freely downloadable software.

Do a search here and you'll find several threads and many opinions about copy protection.

Personally, I think my solution is best: charge enough for the production and don't worry if the end user makes copies. I tell my clients they're free to make all the copies they want.

However, most of them come back to me for additional copies because I do it for a fair price.

It's when you charge a ludicrous price (for example, I've heard as high as $50 per additional copy) that you'll find your clients making their own.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #3
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I second that you should offer additional copies at a reasonable price (keeping in mind that you'll be delivering with full color graphics and custom sleeve art, right?). You can explain that you'd want your work properly represented by the complete "product" and make it reasonably pricced to do so.

If they make copies though, not a lot you can do... welcome to the digital revolution. You coul always send them a "pleasant" cease and desist letter (if there is such a thing), offering more copies at your reasonable rate, but unless you want to gain the reputation of the "videographer who sues their client", you've got little choice.

You should have a clause in your contract addressing this though, right? If not, get on it!
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Old February 20th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #4
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Hey Kostas.....

I let the clients know that my DVD's are of top quality, and i try to convince them that my copies are very affordable. I also give them the opportunity to keep the costs down by simply puting them in an inexpensive jewel case, without any fancy packaging.
Usually, that's enough.

But as mentioned..Welcome to the digital revolution. This is the chance you take...
Charge more for your work, less for copies, and cross your fingers...
It's impossible to copy protect your work...

Good luck.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 02:44 AM   #5
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Re: copy protection for small productions

thank you all for your advices.
I am from a small island in Greece and I always give to my clients 3 copies with cover and label prints in hard dvd case. If the client ask me for 4 copies i give it for free if he asks for 5 or more I charge 5 euro per copy with the same cover - label prints and hard dvd case. You know 5 euros or dollars for a copy is fair price. But as i know some other professionals here in my town they lock them succesfully for nero burning rom and i think this is enough for me because i know how easily they can copy them with other programs, but most of them they only know nero burning rom. Don't tell me to ask other professionals what programs they use for locking because they will not tell me. I am a competitor for them and they will not help me...
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:26 AM   #6
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Re: copy protection for small productions

I remember a thread here about 2yrs ago where 'a copy protection dongle' was the theme, now there are many.

Haven't tried any, but competition is bringing the prices down. UK DVD copy protection dongle - Bing

Cheers.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: copy protection for small productions

I agree with all of the posts here. Charge enough and make the pakaging nice enough that the customer knows they are downgrading if they make a copy.

There is no way I know of to copy protect a burned disc. This would be a welcomed addition if Adobe Encore could introduce a feature along these lines.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 10:36 AM   #8
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Re: copy protection for small productions

5 euros is a fair price, so I guess the'yre copying just for the convenience of it.

Like I said, I just don't worry about it anymore. If my clients want to copy, they're free to do so.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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Re: copy protection for small productions

There is a copy protection feature built into Adobe Encore. When you're ready to burn your disc, go to the 'Build' tab and scroll down to the very bottom. Encore CS5 gives a few options for Macrovision settings and provides other options for allowing a single copy, unlimited copies, or no copies.

It depends on how many copies you're producing. I have a separate CD/DVD publishing machine, so I never use the option for no copies. Plus, I don't provide service for weddings, so I usually have several separate clients ordering the same DVD. Aside from that, like everyone else is saying, you might want to look at building the cost of a few extra copies into your overall price. If you're doing a project where someone asks for an unusually low number of copies, you could always use the features built in to Encore to prevent copies from being made easily.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 08:52 AM   #10
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Re: copy protection for small productions

Those options in Adobe Encore are only for projects sent to replication houses, and will incur a per-disk charge. Those options have no effect on a DVD-R.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: copy protection for small productions

How about that. It seems you are correct for the Macrovision features. I thought the CSS option worked on DVD-R discs. I know I've had many experiences with DVD-R discs from other production companies that would not duplicate in my automated machine, nor would other options like Nero work.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #12
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Re: copy protection for small productions

Hello Kostas,

Perhaps I read this thread too fast, but I was wondering if you could clarify why you don't want you clients to duplicate DVDs.

Many engineers and videographers charge high prices for extra CDs and DVDs because they don't want to spend their time making copies. It's something the client should do. I expect all my clients to know how to do things like download files, burn a CD, and make copies. If they don't know how (almost everyone seems to know), I teach them.

Cheers.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #13
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Re: copy protection for small productions

It is better for me and my work to give dvd with my logo in cover and label because i am new in the market.
Plus it looks better to give a dvd to someone like the original with hard case and covers. It is like advertising.
Noone want to search inside or at the end of the movie to find my logo, my adress or my phone for contact.
I believe you understand what i mean.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #14
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Re: copy protection for small productions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Brown View Post
Hello Kostas,

Perhaps I read this thread too fast, but I was wondering if you could clarify why you don't want you clients to duplicate DVDs.

Many engineers and videographers charge high prices for extra CDs and DVDs because they don't want to spend their time making copies. It's something the client should do. I expect all my clients to know how to do things like download files, burn a CD, and make copies. If they don't know how (almost everyone seems to know), I teach them.

Cheers.
And by encouraging your clients to make copies themselves rather than purchasing them from you, you cut yourself off from a valuable source of potential future revenue. The original production fee is only one of your sources of profit. Resales are another, your version of the on-going residual cheques an actor gets every time a program or a commercial he's appeared in is aired. If you don't want to do it yourself, hire it out to a duplication house and sell the copies to your client at a reasonable markup. But don't just give away your valuable inventory just because you don't want to be bothered. Still photographers have been known to shoot for cost or even for free, realizing that the real money is in the print and album sales after the event. Shooting at cost may not be practical for wedding shoots where the client is only interested in a few copies but how about an event for a national corporation where DVD copies are eventually going to be sent to perhaps hundreds of offices or customers. Don't you think your providing GM with all the copies they need of a DVD you made for them to send out to all their dealerships nationwide to introduce a new model car, instead of just handing them the master and encouraging them to duplicate it in-house, would be a signfigant source of revenue for you?
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Old May 5th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #15
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Re: copy protection for small productions

Sorry Steve, I'm with Chris. The only difference is that with each of our dupes we include a music copyright licence release (applicable in the UK) which costs us about 5 per disk, so our charges are 15 per dupe DVD.

When you take into account the library case, insert, face printing, production time, office administration, accounting and tax at 20% it's not a profit item for us.

But if the client is happy to have a copy without music clearance and a paper sleeve, I'm afraid I'm not going to lose sleep chasing them or writing threatening letters. Of course right is on our side but our business is making programmes, not copies and certainly not going to court.
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