Is there anyplace that I can actually buy a digital movie?
December 6, 2014 5:33 PM   Subscribe

Is there any online service that will allow me to purchase a movie and download it as a standard video file?

I'm tired of services that interpret "buying" a movie as "unlimited streaming", or "local encrypted cache" or whatever baloney they're hawking this week. I want to be able to pay for a film, download a file, and go my merry way. It's 2014, and it's infuriating that I still have to order a DVD, wait a week, and then rip it and encode it if I want to own a digital file. Any services out there that can give me what I want?
posted by phooky to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
iTunes lets you purchase and download digital movies. You can see the actual movie file on your disk, copy it, back it up, etc.

Of course it is encrypted with DRM, so this may not qualify for what you're looking for. But the file is not hidden in any way, the movie isn't secretly streamed, etc.
posted by alms at 5:54 PM on December 6, 2014 [2 favorites] is best known for DRM-free games, but they also offer DRM-free movies for purchase.

The movies at GOG are mostly indie documentaries about video games or similar topics. You won't find anything from major studios, because the studies make DRM a firm requirement for anyone who wants to distribute their content digitally.
posted by mbrubeck at 5:57 PM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is no such service for major studios.
posted by wnissen at 9:05 PM on December 6, 2014

Best answer: VHX, which is a distribution service that the Alamo Drafthouse and other indies use.
posted by the letter at 9:51 PM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks. Looks like I'll be stuck with wasting plastic for now. VHX looks like an interesting take on bandcamp-for-video; I'll have to follow that and see if it grows.
posted by phooky at 7:30 AM on December 7, 2014

If you're comfortable with stripping DRM from DVDs, you might be interested in how to strip DRM from iTunes Store videos, which will give you the same result without the plastic. (Note: That's an old article; the latest methods may be different. Similar methods probably exist for other video download services.)
posted by mbrubeck at 8:25 AM on December 7, 2014

Vimeo has DRM-free movie downloads.
posted by DakotaPaul at 5:00 PM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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