Droid Charge Blockbuster App Also Blocking Rooted Users from Movie Viewing


Rooted Android users are once again being alienated by a movie-viewing application thanks to Widevine DRM. Last week we saw Google’s new Movies service blocked on rooted devices, and now Blockbuster (their app at least) has followed suit. Rooted Droid Charge users attempting to view movie content via the pre-installed Blockbuster app on Verizon’s shiny, new 4G handset are being greeted with an error message telling of an inability to “download or playback Widevin encrypted content.” In case the reason was unclear, the same message explicitly states that a rooted phone is the root of the problem.

Now if we take into account the fact that Google own Widevine (and thus their DRM technologies) we start to see a disturbing trend develop, no? It is as if having a rooted device is implicitly linked to performing illegal activities such as stealing movies, thus the reason why devices with super-user access are banned from such activities. We’re sure the mod community sees it more as a challange, another hurdle to overcome in their quest for compelte Android openness.

[via DroidLife]

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  1. The various industries like movies, books, and even software and hardware companies are failing to adapt to technology. Either there is a revolutionary change that completely changes the way we look at and use technology or we are stuck in the current crippled state where it is increasingly difficult to juggle the needs of users with the demands of the industry, not to mention the frivolous software patent wars and other problems crippling innovation.

  2. You watch, there will be lawsuits just like the music industry.  Downloading stuff for free is awesome, but it isnt legal.  Businesses are losing money alot of money from this.  I know it sounds lame, but what would you think if you were a making a living from Music, Movies or anything else similar.

    1. I sure hope we see lawsuits against Google and Blockbuster for this practice.

      1. I doubt we will. I’m sure they have no obligation to provide these services, and any agreements you enter into before doing so probably preclude the use of rooted devices. 

    2. Anyone who has their finger on the pulse of this industry would know that the Music and Movie industry is breathing its last breath. Much like the way the printed press had to evolve (die) and be reborn, so to they have to also. Failure to innovate is why talented folks don’t make money. Instead of pursuing the internet for all its bounty, they rather cling to the old ways of top down control and input. free content does not necessarily mean zero revenue. For now Google has to lean on the corporate side. But they too will capitulate.

      Oh and FYI downloading free stuff is absolutely legal. Next time you visit the Android Market, tap the FREE APP button.

      Edit: Yes I know about copyright issues. Blah Blah Blah let the courts decide.

    3. Is this a troll?

      This article makes no mention of “downloading stuff for free”.

    4. “what would you think if you were a making a living from Music, Movies or anything else similar. ”

      I don’t know, why don’t I go to the website of just about any indie band and find out?

      Wow! Turns out almost all of them offer all sorts of free music downloads! Why haven’t the major labels started doing this more? Wait – a lot of them do, too!

      And movies? Yep, indie filmmakers are starting to offer downloads and torrents as well.

      Now go away, troll.

  3. Who uses the Blockbuster app anyways?

    1. Exactly. One reason Blockbuster is where they are today (BANKRUPT) is their unwillingness to react to market changes.

    2. Not I. I watch movies on these big things called televisions. Unless you have a long ride to work, and you’re not driving, on a train, or have a lot of time to kill at work, are you really going to watch a 1.5-3+ hour movie on a 4.3″ screen? Not only that, if you’re watching movies downloaded or streamed from the network, you’re probably going to hit the “top 5% of users” pretty quickly (whatever the hell the top 5% is, it changes instantaneously, it seems – who knows, they make it up as they go along). I wonder just how often people REALLY use these apps regularly. I’ve had HBO Go since it was first released, and I think I’ve watched two trailers on it.
      Edit: I don’t want anyone who enjoys Blockbuster or Netflix to think I was insulting them, as that certainly is not the case. I am simply wondering how many people really use them regularly.

      1. I would use NetFlix one (If i could, old Droid here so, cant) but only in situations where I had to find something to kill the boredom like taking a loved one to the doctors or something.  However, also remember that Netflix has TV Shows.  I could see watching something waiting in line or waiting for a movie to start (I show up 30-45 minutes early to get my seat of choice).

        1. Agreed. As I said, I wasn’t knocking the Netflix or Blockbuster apps. Like you, I do watch videos or the occasional TV episode on some of the apps I have. I watch a lot of videos on youtube, and one of my favorite apps is “Cartoon Classics”, which I use to watch an episode or two of an ancient cartoon every night while I’m going to sleep. I do have a Netflix account, although I never installed it on my phone, but I would use it to watch a TV episode on Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, or TV.Com if I had a train ride, or, as you mentioned, waiting for a loved one in the waiting room of a hospital, etc. As Spartacus mentioned about pre-loaded movies, I have a friend who bought a Galaxy phone that came pre-loaded with “Avatar”, and he said he watched it once, thought it was neat to see a full-length movie on his phone, and never watched it again because of the small screen. If you already have a Netflix account via a video game console, computer, Blu-Ray, etc., chances are, you really aren’t going to watch a lot of full-length movies on a ±4″ screen. It’s definitely great that those apps are there for such moments, but not having Netflix on a phone wouldn’t be a make-or-break decision. At least for me. It is nice to know that they are available though.

      2. This. The only movie I have watched on my Galaxy S was the one I got on my SD card when I bought the phone. It is too small of a screen.

  4. Do these companies really believe we are going to give up control of our phone to use their services? It wont be “us” that suffers but instead “them”

  5. I still don’t see how so many of you seem to like to watch movies n stuff on a lil phone screen. It’s cool & all but just not that practical imo =/

    1. thats because you are old and probably cant see without your glasses anyway.

      1. heh…although i’d agree with that reply normally….i’m in my later 20s. i live & breathe tech but still don’t get why so many feel the need to have movies on their cell phones =/

        1. Personally, I have screens from 10” to 10’ at my house, they all are useful for watching media for different reasons. A phone with Netflix would be useful too. It wouldn’t be the main screen for watching shows, but useful just the same.
          There have been times when I have been stick somewhere for an hour or two (but didn’t feel like playing a phone game) and really wished my phone had some decent content on it. Netflix would have been a nice addition at those times.

    2. Go camping.

  6. Now, how long till a work around for this is found via said root? lol.

  7. Long as Netflix doesn’t follow along with this BS I don’t care.  I used ROOT to remove the Blockbuster app from my device. LOL

    1. Ditto.  These days the only way to have a smart phone that is not loaded downb with “crap-ware” is to root the phone.  

  8. You know if we were going to download and steal a movie it wouldn’t be through our phones.  This is a pointless loss of business for Blockbuster.  I have full root/admin privileges over my computer are you going to block that as well?

    1. Wait! I hear the lawyer cockroaches scrambling for your home computer. Quick, hit the lights! LOL

  9. Yeah, cause THIS is how people will pirate movies.  Right.  All these companies are doing is blocking people from using a legitimate service (and paying for it), thereby making some people more likely to pirate.  Good job.

  10. People with root have Blockbuster installed?  Removing that crappy program would be my main reason for rooting.

  11. Seriously? Do they really think that blocking Blockbuster will keep me from rooting my phone? It was one of the first things I removed from my rooted Droid X. And, unless I’m stuck in an airport with nothing else to do, it’s not likely I will be sitting around watching movies on 4.3″ screen. That’s what tablets are for.  

  12. What a bunch of “killjoy Johnny come lately” types cropping up.  

  13. Looks like netflix is a root users only option

    1. Not the only option, but an option.

      Interestingly, having a rooted device makes it more likely that you can use Netflix.

  14. Do these companies realize that on the desktop every user is “rooted” yet they still send the content anyways. This seems like there are alterer motives at play since nobody is going to go through the efforts to steal a low res streamed copy of a movie from their device when they could get a high res streamed copy on the desktop or just use a torrent based off the BR.

  15. Our desktops are rooted and are more than capapble of pirating a movie or just about anything. Our smartphones arent as capable as our desktops. Only one thing that might happen is root users reaching their data cap limits by downloading movies.

  16. This turd of an app is frozen like brown ice…worthless…

  17. Guilty until proven innocent?

  18. You mean not only can we not get RID of the bloatware, but now we won’t even be able to use it either? (though of course if you cant use it then you do have the ability to remove it… still)

    Do people actually use blockbuster??

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