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New Blockbuster App for the DROID Charge Also Hates Rooted Users, Blocks Movie Access

Just after Google I/O finished and Android 3.1 started popping up on XOOMs across the nation, we quickly realized that its newly announced movie service was not so root-friendly.  That’s right, Google or its contract with the movie industry, must have figured that since your device may be rooted, you planned on doing nothing but stealing from them and blocked your access.  So that XOOM you bought, which came with the ability to be unlocked, can no longer access all of its services unless you lock it up tight again.

It’s only getting better though.  The new Blockbuster app for the DROID Charge that became available this week, actually calls you out for being rooted and even proceeds to tell you that you will struggle to enjoy its content.  The app comes equipped with Widevine’s DRM software that has the ability to detect whether or not your device has been left untouched in the system department.  Oh and speaking of Widevine, did you know that Google owns them?  Who would have thought?

Welcome to the future of rooted users, my friends.

Cheers Cory!

  • http://twitter.com/JasonAGrier Jason A. Grier

    I just don’t understand… maybe Android in it’s current state doesn’t have DRM built into it or something, but Windows and Macs are “rooted” correct? I mean we have even more access to all the files/settings of our computers than we do even on our rooted phone but we are allowed to have rentals on there!

    Google please make a DRM built into Android, because eventhough I will never rent a movie on my phone, it just sucks not being able to do something because I’m rooted.

  • Anonymous

    LOL, guess I will be using Netflix then. Great job Blockbuster. 

  • Fattie McDoogles

    This is so stupid!!! Who at Google HONESTLY cares if a device is rooted or not? For that matter who at ANY of these companies really cares if a device is rooted? We dont use bloatware anyways why does it matter if we take it off our phones? As many pirated and hacked apps as their are floating around the net you think Google would be more worried about that than whether or not someone wants to remove a program that they arent using!

  • John

    People still use Blockbuster? lol

  • MALfunction84

    I have root on my PC.  I guess Netflix and Hulu will be blocking that next.

  • Shadow 303

    Ummm..Does this post indicated that the Charge has been broken and can be rooted?  Do tell..where..where.. how! 

    In other news… who cares about block, er..lackbuster.

  • Biznotch

    Blockbuster sucks anyway. Plus someone at XDA will figure out how to get around this ridiculousness.

  • Biznotch

    Blockbuster sucks anyway. Plus someone at XDA will figure out how to get around this ridiculousness.

    • Anonymous

      There nis a really easy way to get around it already. Install Netflix. 

  • Hey

    This came about from all the people tethering. You brought the heat. Thanks

  • Hey

    This came about from all the people tethering. You brought the heat. Thanks

    • Erick

      what does this have to do with tethering?

      Not only that, supposing I tether my Droid phone to a Xoom tablet.  I can leave the Xoom unrooted and tether from my rooted droid and still watch movies…. so I ask again, what does this have to do with Tethering?

    • Erick

      what does this have to do with tethering?

      Not only that, supposing I tether my Droid phone to a Xoom tablet.  I can leave the Xoom unrooted and tether from my rooted droid and still watch movies…. so I ask again, what does this have to do with Tethering?

      • Anonymous

        Hello yesterday’s news.  This whole debaucle came from a bunch of people with rooted phones illegally tethering.  This caused a stir at Verizon, hence the reason they are cracking down on rooted phones.

        • Anonymous

          This has nothing to do with that. That was verizon. This is Google, being pressured by the media companies. 

      • Anonymous

        Hello yesterday’s news.  This whole debaucle came from a bunch of people with rooted phones illegally tethering.  This caused a stir at Verizon, hence the reason they are cracking down on rooted phones.

  • http://twitter.com/MrBouche MrBouche

    I don’t understand the all the antiroot feelings out there.  Are they confusing us with malicious hackers?  So, we’ve taken control of out device.  We’ve made it work better for us.  Does our proclivity to enhance our technological experience equate to the actions we’re seeing over at SONY? No. Not from what I’ve seen.  So why all the antipathy?  I mean, given Blockbuster’s illustrious history of customer abuse concerning fines and their inability to compete with netflix, shouldn’t they be kissing everyone’s ass for some currency?  Guess not.

    I’m happy these companies don’t sell houses.  “We see you’ve build an addition onto your house.  No heat for you!”

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. Its about time phones stopped being treated like the permanent property of the carrier and manufacturer, and more like the property of the person who bought it, to do with it what they wish. 

      If people want pirated media, they will get it, via their phone, or, even easier on their PC. Dont punish the vast majority of rooted users who wont do that, who very well could be your paying customers, just because they wanted to change the look of their phone or (most commonly) just remove the crapware that the carrier put on there that autoruns and drains battery life. 

  • MALfunction84

    Way to turn your legitimate customers into pirates.

    Screw this, I’m getting a– oh yeah, all the other phone OSes suck.

  • MALfunction84

    Way to turn your legitimate customers into pirates.

    Screw this, I’m getting a– oh yeah, all the other phone OSes suck.

  • MALfunction84

    Way to turn your legitimate customers into pirates.

    Screw this, I’m getting a– oh yeah, all the other phone OSes suck.

  • Tunkhannock

    Wow.  The stupidity just amazes me.

    I’m not holding this over Google, Verizon, or even Blockbuster.  This is 100% the content providers’ (Studios / Labels) doing.  The content providers are basically saying “Sure, you can show your movies / play our songs on your mobile device, but first you have to jump through these draconian loops.”

    They just can’t seem to wrap their pointy-haired heads around the very simple truth that if you choose to do so, it is laughably easy to download a copy of your movie / album off the internet for free.  Yet some people, such as I, feel that this is wrong, and would rather pay a fair price for the content.  But (and here’s the important part) when you make it so that it is very difficult for us to legally purchase the content, to the point of automatically assuming (and treating us) like criminals when we are trying to legitimately purchase the content, YOU WILL DRIVE US AWAY and we WILL acquire the content through different means.

    At times, I have to wonder if they are really this stupid or if this is really some part of some Machiavellian plot actually force all of their customers into the black market.  But I’m really starting to think that it’s as simple as the RIAA/MPAA lawyers basically manipulating the people in charge of those organizations with fear and threats of doom and making sure that the gravy train (for them) never ends.

  • Anonymous

    Cant be rooted to use blockbuster app, can’t be rooted to use Google movies. But how ironic is it that you have to be rooted to use netflix ?

  • http://trueacu.com acupuncture

    one would think that blockbuster would bend over backwards to save their skin. . . guess not.

  • PAJ

    Last time I paid any attention to Blockbuster they were still based on VHS tapes.  I think that was a week ago…

  • PAJ

    Last time I paid any attention to Blockbuster they were still based on VHS tapes.  I think that was a week ago…

  • Ron

    Now I can stop feeling sorry for them.

  • https://profiles.google.com/pdenson Paul

    I have been a faithful advocate of Android from the beginning, but I’m starting to reconsider my stance. iPhones don’t come with spam that can’t be uninstalled. If I’m forced to use a device as it is when I buy it, then Apple’s execution is just better.

    Sorry Google, but you need to get a handle on who you’re trying to sell to.

    • Guest

      The maps implementation on the iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad is crap… yet I can’t uninstall it. Go spread your FUD someplace else.

  • Xeno43

    So I bet this should speed up development on an Icefilms app. And I bet the icefilms app will not have any DRM… ;)

    Or everyone will just stick with netflix. Oh wait! Thats why Blockbuster is going bankrupt in the first place!

  • Coaster36

    Blockbuster? Theyre still in business? 

  • karl

    Sounds like someone woke up and said, “How can I lose more customers to netflix?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705034 Jeff Simpson

     Well, the question becomes, how does it know that it’s rooted? Is it checking for the existance of “su”? That can be easily remedied by moving the file away and back again

  • John

    Don’t get your panties in a bunch.. if you’re rooted and want to use this app, wait a bit and someone will develop a fix or a modified .apk.. just like every other app that won’t run on specific phones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zachary-Thorp-van-Driel/1192552417 Zachary Thorp van Driel

    I am disappoint.  The Library of Congress is disappoint.

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/26/library-of-congress-adds-dmca-exception-for-jailbreaking-or-root/

    it’s not tampering.  it’s not a trade-off.  the High Priests of Copyright have blessed the Root of both Hardware and Software, and manufacturers and vendors seem happy to be on the wrong side of this.

  • GotSka81

    Does anyone else think it’s hypocritical for Google to be so vocal about being anti-DRM and then use DRM on their own movie services (referencing the WideVine DRM)?

  • http://profiles.google.com/msrobi Mike Robinson

    As I mentioned before, it’s not the streaming companies that are doing this.  It’s a requirement by the rights owners to allow streaming.  The reason is they are afraid that you could copy the stream to a local file (which would take away their control of the movie/show).

    A perfect example is the Ghostbusters movies.  Right now, the newest movie is over 20 years old and isn’t really considered a premium property.  However, if Ghostbusters 3 gets made, both of the previous movies will become a premium property again.

  • cowdog

    Interesting.  I think blockbuster works on a jailbroken iphone.  

    I don’t see myself using blockbuster anyway.  More to the point, all these “new” phones are meh.  I’m waiting for something more interesting.  

  • b00sted

    why don’t they realize this is what causes piracy to happen? hrm lets watch a movie on my phone that I have a custom rom on so I can enjoy my phone. oh wait I cant hrm.. 10 mins later the movie/tv etc is now illegally obtained and serving the same purpose.. they are really just shooting themselves in teh foot..  I signed up for netflix just for my phone and if this ever happens with them I will go back to the grey channels I once use to dwell in..

  • Anonymous

    This is hysterical. One of the reasons to root your Droid is to get rid of the BlockBuster crapware app. So this is just a reminder not to use Blockbuster. Good thinking guys, no wonder you’re bankrupt.

  • http://twitter.com/dougedwards9844 Doug Edwards

    blockbuster closed all there stores in my area due to the face of over charging and not much business and they seem to think that the android app will bring them back to life but i think that when you get a company that is going to be charging the same price to rent a movie on my phone as it was to get a movie in the store is over priced . i will stick to my netflix 

  • Anonymous

    With each and every lockdown Android loses a bit more of its identity. We dont want another lie-OS. So, when and what will be the next OS? Looks like we might all be giving it a try.

  • Anonymous

    This would be interesting if anybody gave a damn( besides VZW who seems hell bent on loading their phones with garbage like this)

  • http://profiles.google.com/chasehammer Chase Johnson

    dun dun dun….

  • Bigsike

    Silly little Blockbuster keep this up and you may go bankrupt …..oh wait :p

  • Bert336

    we hate you too Blockbuster!

  • Anonymous

    In other news, downloads of the utorrent app have increased dramatically in recent days

  • Silverhawk

    Guess I won’t be watching many movies from the Android market. Rooting >> Movies.

  • Silverhawk

    Guess I won’t be watching many movies from the Android market. Rooting >> Movies.

    • Silverhawk

      Or any movie service for that matter, not just from the Market. Time for coffee.

  • Anonymous

    Why does everyone assume that all devices should just be open, unlockable and rootable while at the same time allow you to download a movie that you can copy and distribute at will?
    Its either or people…  You want cloud music, movies, etc etc?  Its a tradeoff… You either get a open device, or you get services…

    • Eric

      That is not true at all.  What it really means is, people will NOT use these services, and obtain the movies, music in other ways.  They want us to pay for these movies?  They want us to pay for this music?  Let the people who use this stuff use their devices.  It is legal to root your device, so get over yourself thinking that rooting our device is in any way “wrong” or “shady”.

      Main point: stop trying to prevent black market distribution, focus the attention on delivering a superior product that the consumer will go out to the store and pay for.  I will never sign up for “blockbuster” as long as they keep making it hard for people like me, who pay $80+ a month to have/use my droid.

    • Jonathan Clark

      This is such a stupid argument that it’s almost not worth responding. So I’ll just say this: almost any computer is far, far more open than any rooted/jailbroken/unlocked phone or tablet.

      • Sp4rxx

        really? Maybe you shouldn’t have answered because your response has nothing to do with what was said.

    • john

      You do realize that being rooted has nothing to do with stripping the drm off the movie, right? Oh wait, apparently you don’t.

      • Anonymous

        On top of that, dont you think if someone wanted to get pirated movies or music. It would be easier to just download a torrent of it.

    • http://twitter.com/chqueed charles rogers

      Or since I can’t stream it on my phone, I’ll just get it somewhere else then put it on my phone. Although currently I don’t watch movies on my phone, nor do I want to. Really, it’s up to them. I would rather overclock my droid 1 and copy movies off my computer, than pay them again to watch them and not overclock my droid.
      My Amazon cloud music works great on my rooted phone btw.

    • http://twitter.com/chqueed charles rogers

      Or since I can’t stream it on my phone, I’ll just get it somewhere else then put it on my phone. Although currently I don’t watch movies on my phone, nor do I want to. Really, it’s up to them. I would rather overclock my droid 1 and copy movies off my computer, than pay them again to watch them and not overclock my droid.
      My Amazon cloud music works great on my rooted phone btw.

  • Squish

    I really don’t understand who’s watching TV and movies on a tiny phone.  I care 0% about video on my phone.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, I basically watch short clips.  I think will have a larger impact on tablet users.

      By impact I mean other apps blocking root. Obviously there will be no uprising over Blockbuster’s app.

    • Anonymous

      I do. It beats the heck out of staring out the train window or looking at the balding head of the person storing in front of me on the way to the office. Ideal, perhaps not… but better than the alternative. TV.com serves quite nicely for this purpose.

      • EC8CH

        The entire first season of Phineas and Ferb is also available on Netflex if you have access to that on your phone… thought you might be interested in that

      • http://twitter.com/totalchaosgamin Total Chaos Gaming

        Not to mention newer smart phones mirror hdmi output so you can watch those movies from your phone on a big screen.

    • http://twitter.com/leanbarton Pepe

      I watch videos like Nova or Nature in bed on my DroidX screen. BUT, no one is using the ridiculous Blockbuster app to do the same.

    • http://twitter.com/OreWaZero Christopher Zoellner

      I just convert my blu ray rips to m4v format and play them on my phone. So I don’t need any service to stream movies.

    • wascrash

      I have a motorola Atrix with the laptop dock. im on the go alot on the road.  Im one that would like to have netflix or atleast blockbuster work with my rooted Atrix

  • MrToTo83

    Does that mean they will let us uninstall officially. Since they don’t like root. ….wishful thinking.

  • Anonymous

    Err, I thought Blockbuster was no longer in business. Zombie Blockbuster?

  • Anonymous

    Err, I thought Blockbuster was no longer in business. Zombie Blockbuster?

    • Anonymous

      They still exist, they got bought out by Dish Network and have come back basically as a Zombie corp…

      • Anonymous

        Dish Network is still in business? Marriage made in heaven, I guess.

    • Anonymous

      They still exist, they got bought out by Dish Network and have come back basically as a Zombie corp…

  • Bill

    Luckily nobody uses Blockbuster

  • Bill

    Luckily nobody uses Blockbuster

    • http://twitter.com/leanbarton Pepe

      as referenced by their 2 star rating for their apps.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares… they will be out of business in a few weeks anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares… they will be out of business in a few weeks anyway.

    • Anonymous

      Blockbuster was bought out by Dish Networks.