GOG adds DRM-free movies to its lineup, hopes Hollywood will join in

Andy Chalk at

GOG's hook, as we all know, is that the games it offers are all DRM-free. No logging into a service to prove your copy is legit or having to be connected to the internet to play; you just download it and do what you will. By all appearances it's been a pretty big success, and so now the gang from Warsaw is trying the same thing with movies.

There is, naturally, a certain reluctance among the big Hollywood studios to hop aboard the GOG train. "Our initial idea was to start with the big guys, but the process is not easy," GOG's North American VP Guillaume Rambourg said. "Most studio officials agreed that DRM is pointless, but were quick to add that the lawyers would not allow them to get rid of it."

Faced with that, GOG is doing something very similar to what it did with videogames: Launching with documentaries in an effort to "prove their point in practice." The initial lineup of 20 films includes the world premieres of Gamer Age, The King of Arcades and Pixel Poetry, as well as two freebies, Art of Playing and TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard. More movies will be added on a weekly basis, and all of them will be available as either a download or streamed directly from GOG.

I think it's a pretty fantastic idea. Even if GOG can't attract new releases from major movie studios, there's enough indie fare out there to allow it to carve a unique niche as a film distribution platform. And sooner or later, someone is bound to notice; let's not forget that it took a couple of years before GOG was able to sign distribution deals with major game publishers.

GOG's DRM-free movie service is live now, although the site's being hammered pretty hard at the moment, so you may have trouble logging in until the crowds clear out.