Disney, the behemoth that owns Marvel, Lucas film, Pixar, 20th
Century Fox, Buena Vista and more, is trying to kill physical media. They will no longer release any of their films
on Blu-ray, 4k HDR, or DVD in Australia. This is likely a test run to see if
they can get away with ditching disks worldwide. People with long memories won’t be surprised
by this. In the early days of DVD (a format agreed upon by film distributors
and electronics companies in order to avoid the sort of mess created by the VHS
vs Betamax wars of the 80s) Disney went all in on a competing format, DivX.
was designed to take ownership of media from the consumer. The player had to be
hooked to an active phone line to function. The consumer would buy a disk
(Cinderella, for instance). The disk would play the first time it was inserted
in the machine. Then each additional time it was played, your credit or debit
card would be charged a rental fee. You could also try to play your copy of
Cinderella, only to find that the title had been disabled by the rights owner.
was a large and understandable level of protest against this, and DivX went the
way of the Dodo.
mindset behind it, however, has lingered. We all know the stories of people “buying”
a digital copy of a film, only to find it missing from their library. Now
streamers remove titles from their services without offering the rights to
other services or distributors so the show or film is simply unavailable.
film lover, this is a disaster. If
Disney’s move here looks profitable, others will follow the mouse down this
path. The viewer will have access to only the films and shows that the big
corporations want them to have. We will go from a golden age of film, into the
are companies out there doing the work to keep physical media alive, and they
deserve your support. I suggest checking
And many, many others!