Last night, I received my preordered copy of Star Trek on Blu-ray. I noticed that this disc included a “digital copy,” which is some code to activate a DRM-enfeebled file that you can install on your computer. I’ve never owned a disc with this feature, and it has always struck me as mildly bogus. Upon seeing it on the disc box, though, I thought it seemed like a nice convenience — after all, we don’t have a portable Blu-ray player, but we do have portable computers. Then I got to the fine print.
Of course, you’ll need to activate the “digital copy,” and you can only do this once (although, if you link it to an iTunes account, you can play it back on any computer that is authorized for that account). Apparently, the digital copy cannot be activated after November 10, 2010 (that’s 51 weeks after the release date of the disc). So buy now, kids! In addition, an all-caps, condensed barrage of text informs me that:
THE DIGITAL COPY CONTAINS A COPY OF THE MOTION PICTURE ONLY, WITHOUT DVD SPECIAL FEATURES, IN STANDARD DEFINITION FORMAT WITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRACK IN STEREO ONLY AND IS NOT CLOSED-CAPTIONED OR SUBTITLED.
What a convenience, indeed! If you’re willing to overlook the minor omissions of the digital copy: namely, special features, 3/4 of the resolution on the Blu-ray disc, four audio channels, any concessions to the hearing- (or volume-) impaired, and the flexibility to install it a year from the date of release, then it’s quite a deal. In fact, the only glaring shortcoming of the digital copy is that it doesn’t include a spring-loaded boxing glove with which to punch the viewer in the groin immediately upon installation.