If I buy it, don't I own it?

by WillR
33 replies
I'm surprised by how many products these days are STILL made up of membership sites with videos inside them. Videos that you are NOT able to download.

What ever happened to being able to own the product you purchase?

If I have to log in to someone's membership site to view the material everytime then do I really own that product? What happens when they decide to take the product down and I want to go back to that same product to look over something again?

Please, allow your customers to download the videos they have paid for. It's kind of like walking into McDonald's to buy a burger and the lady at the counter holding the burger box whilst you eat it. Shouldn't you be able to walk out the door with that burger you have paid for?

If you are worried about people sharing your videos, well I have news for you. People who want to share your videos will do it regardless of whether or not you have them downloadable. There are plenty of programs people can use to rip them straight off your site. In fact a lot of times the harder you make it for them the more interested they are in trying to crack through your security.

Besides, you should be catering your site and content to your paying customers NOT those small minority who might redistribute your videos.
#buy
  • Profile picture of the author Devin X
    Banned
    Are you a vendor with your own products? A lot of hours go into writing ebooks and making videos and I know I'm protective of customers being able to download anything. Too many shills are downloading the content and then getting a refund. Know what I mean?
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    • Profile picture of the author madhushan
      Yeah. There are many advantages to not letting a user to download videos. Since it is the seller's site, he can easily communicate or sell more products if you are visiting his website repeatedly. And also, it protects the videos from misuse. After putting in so much effort to create videos, I guess the sellers should be given the privilege of preventing these from misuse.
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    • Profile picture of the author cbader
      Originally Posted by TheRealDudeman View Post

      Are you a vendor with your own products? A lot of hours go into writing ebooks and making videos and I know I'm protective of customers being able to download anything. Too many shills are downloading the content and then getting a refund. Know what I mean?
      Well, that will always probably happen. BUT not all sales copy are forthcoming. I've asked for refunds after getting the wrong impressions.
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      • Profile picture of the author Devin X
        Banned
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Yes, I have a few products and all of my videos are downloadable.

        As I said above, if you think you are stopping piracy or refunds by not allowing people to download anything then you are sadly mistaken.

        Besides, if you do your videos right then people redistributing them will only be advertising your business... and they are people who would never have paid money for your product anyway.

        I prefer to cater to the needs of my paying customers rather than the few black hat tools out there.

        Know what I'm sayin?
        Yea I know what you're sayin' lol. I don't think I'm stopping piracy or refunds entirely, but it's certainly making a difference on minimizing my losses. If it works for you that's fine, but I don't think you're entitled to downloading material in a membership site just because you're paying for it...to use an analogy...you don't get to take gym equipment home just because you have a gym membership, right?

        Originally Posted by cbader View Post

        Well, that will always probably happen. BUT not all sales copy are forthcoming. I've asked for refunds after getting the wrong impressions.
        Yes indeed it will, so that's where operational risk management comes into play. I can see where some people ask for a refund because they learn the product isn't anything like what the sales copy says it is...but in my experience most refunds that happen within 3 days are from people looking to take advantage of you as the vendor...not because of misrepresentation or a shoddy product.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Yes, I have a few products and all of my videos are downloadable.

    As I said above, if you think you are stopping piracy or refunds by not allowing people to download anything then you are sadly mistaken.

    Besides, if you do your videos right then people redistributing them will only be advertising your business... and they are people who would never have paid money for your product anyway.

    I prefer to cater to the needs of my paying customers rather than the few black hat tools out there.

    Know what I'm sayin?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Yes, I have a few products and all of my videos are downloadable.

      As I said above, if you think you are stopping piracy or refunds by not allowing people to download anything then you are sadly mistaken.

      Besides, if you do your videos right then people redistributing them will only be advertising your business... and they are people who would never have paid money for your product anyway.

      I prefer to cater to the needs of my paying customers rather than the few black hat tools out there.

      Know what I'm sayin?

      You do realize that a few black hat tools as you say consist of hundreds of illegal downloads, don't you?

      There's one thing everyone is overlooking and a solid reason as to why you allow access to the product on a one-time membership style content site and that reason is, they have to come back to your website. You can easily put special offers, other free webinars etc in the members area and it passively sells for you when each member is ready instead of a hard sale.
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      • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
        I don't think the OP is as much about membership sites as it is about courses that you buy outright (one-time purchase), but they still house the videos on their site and you have to view them there.

        I see where it's an advantage to the seller, as it brings the buyer back to the site where he can be marketed to for additional products. But on the other hand, I wouldn't buy a toaster if I had to return to the store to use it.

        Maybe I'm just too simplistic...
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        i don't mind going to a site to view - but I do mind not being told that's how the product is delivered. If the price is for "access" the sales page should be clear about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
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    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    Please, allow your customers to download the videos they have paid for. It's kind of like walking into McDonald's to buy a burger and the lady at the counter holding the burger box whilst you eat it. Shouldn't you be able to walk out the door with that burger you have paid for?
    I agree on this. There really are cases when you feel you still don't know what you already bought. It seems that there has not been a way ever discovered yet that will protect files from being ripped by unauthorized users.
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  • Profile picture of the author LikeBarryBonds
    That is the whole rebill model, where they have to keep paying monthly to view the content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Sometimes you are buying the videos, and other times you are buying access to the videos. As long as you can view the videos, what difference does it really make in the bigger scheme of things?

    For the record, all of my video products are sent to people in a zip file.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
      This is the wave of the future (on top of being more profitable). Cloud storage, online apps, the whole deal - MS (and now google and apple) have been pushing us toward that for years. "Virtual computing" - you don't own anything, you just "rent" it.

      Recurring revenue, man!
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      • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
        Even those who charge a one-time fee have us at a disadvantage, as they can pull down their content at will - then what have you paid for?
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  • Profile picture of the author slicka
    the worry is that you will download it and then share that info with people who havent paid for access to the videos
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post


      Please, allow your customers to download the videos they have paid for. It's kind of like walking into McDonald's to buy a burger and the lady at the counter holding the burger box whilst you eat it. Shouldn't you be able to walk out the door with that burger you have paid for?
      I have access to a real world "private members club."

      Fees are paid yearly, and if a certain amount of money is not spent each month in the dining facilities, it is also automatically charged to the account.

      I can't take the tennis courts home, or the big screen TV's in the sports bar, or even the chairs and umbrellas from the beach house.

      I don't own these things, I only have access to use them when I visit the club.

      And if the club was to go under for some reason, I would have no access or ownership of anything there.

      As you know, there are ways around the video dilemma you are facing - but perhaps the best solution for you would be to ask the owner of the site if you could get a downloadable version for your own personal consumption at a time convenient to you. Perhaps you'd like to download them to an ipod or something that you can listen to when you are out and about. If it's that important to you, they may just comply if they sense you have no ill intentions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    Let me start off by saying that I don't have a problem letting paid members download videos and other stuff from a members area. The key is to update those same videos, add new videos and stuff, etc... to the members area to keep them as members from one month to the next.

    And yes, like you mentioned... Work your videos and other stuff so WHEN it is pirated, you gain some benefit from it.

    Now in my personal opinion, the one-off sale is the worst model to make money from. You have to constantly sell, sell, sell. When you quit selling, your income stops.

    The best two models to really make great money at, and be able to put in less and less work over time are.... AND in this particular order:

    1. Residual Income Models (by far the best)
    2. Recurring Income Models (membership sites fit here)

    That's my 2 cents and I'm sticking to it!

    Re's
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    • Profile picture of the author David-JP
      Please, allow your customers to download the videos they have paid for. It's kind of like walking into McDonald's to buy a burger and the lady at the counter holding the burger box whilst you eat it. Shouldn't you be able to walk out the door with that burger you have paid for?
      I think you are presuming that you are purchasing the videos etc. So I think your metaphor is wrong. If you pay to watch a movie, are you upset that they don't give you a copy when you walk out? How about use of gym equipment, or even online software as a service? Depending on the business, site, and terms, you may just be 'renting' access.

      What I offer is premium membership which gives access to my premium content, not sales of videos or the content. (although i do offer quite a bit of content for download)

      That being said, its virtually impossible from preventing a member from downloading a video if they really wanted to (plenty of software to do that), but for the 99% of members who won't do this, the pay for access model works well for site owners.

      David
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  • Profile picture of the author Super Warrior
    There's a point WillR! I am also of the view that the videos should be downloadable.
    Just imagine, that you're in the mood of viewing videos but your internet is too
    slow on that day. In some countries the internet speed is slow all the time. So,
    if the videos are downlodable, then any customer can put them on download
    and can watch them later.

    Sometimes, you want to see the videos while you're offline and are not
    connected to the internet. In that case too, the "download" feature is very much required.

    I've a reservoir of internet marketing videos which I've classified, but when I buy
    a video which can only be viewed and can't be downloaded, I can't add it to my pool.

    So yes, the videos must be downloadable and I hope WSO sellers will try to change
    the way they're offering their material.

    Thanks for bringing it in notice of IMers around here.

    -Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
      Originally Posted by Super Warrior View Post

      In some countries the internet speed is slow all the time.
      Some people refuse to believe that in some parts of the world (even here in the USA) broadband isn't really available. For example, I live in a rural desert town in Southern California. You can't get cable or DSL here at any price. Our only options are dialup (yeah, I said it) or satellite internet with ridiculously small monthly download limits (gigabytes? try megabytes). Streaming video here is absolutely impossible and even downloading video can take days. If I pay for a product and find out after the fact that there's no possible way I can use it (it's almost never mentioned in the sales letter), what choice do I have but to ask for a refund?
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      • Profile picture of the author kdbbdk
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        Originally Posted by stevenh512 View Post

        Some people refuse to believe that in some parts of the world (even here in the USA) broadband isn't really available. For example, I live in a rural desert town in Southern California. You can't get cable or DSL here at any price. Our only options are dialup (yeah, I said it) or satellite internet with ridiculously small monthly download limits (gigabytes? try megabytes). Streaming video here is absolutely impossible and even downloading video can take days. If I pay for a product and find out after the fact that there's no possible way I can use it (it's almost never mentioned in the sales letter), what choice do I have but to ask for a refund?
        agree with that
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  • Profile picture of the author Olayainka
    Banned
    Of course, video should be downloadable then it would be helpful to all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisha5684
    The people who get access to the videos for free from people who "steal" it and give it away are most likely not people who would be coming to your site to pay for the videos anyway. I think that people should just make it downloadable and then not worry about the fact that it is given away to the masses. This can actually create brand awareness, so it can actually help you. I have an ecourse and I have made it so everything is downloadable. I don't care if someone gives it away. It's still for sale and the people who want to buy it will buy it.
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    I think if you are signing up for a membership site with the knowledge that you are going to be paying a monthly fee, then no you shouldn't be able to download the videos because in a way you are not buying them you are buying access to that information.

    However, if you are purchasing a product or a package of videos, say 8 videos and 1 pdf, and it is sold a one course and not as a monthly ongoing membership, but the seller has put the content into a password protected area and won't allow you to download that information, then that is wrong.

    I think the distinction needs to be made between a password protected area and an actual ongoing membership site.
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    I think it depends on how it is sold.

    Are you accessing the content through a subscription based service? In that you are only getting access to the membership section as long as you continue to pay the price.

    That is essentially a monthly license to access that content. If it's sold that way, with full disclosure, than I see no need for you to have a download section.

    But, (you knew it was coming) if your selling a digital download, where full ownership is assumed because of your sales page not clearly identifying what kind of product you are offering... and you have to enter credentials every time to view, than I call bullshit on that.

    BP
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  • CanĀ“t you just use some screen capture software while viewing the videos?
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  • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
    I'm with WillR and Super Warrior on this on.

    Some internet companies only allow you a certain amount of GB's to use each month, depending on which package you purchased. Mine used to offer unlimited, not anymore.

    To watch videos, or attend a webinar is just not possible unless I plan on paying overage charges. I really feel I miss out on a lot of things that I want because of this.

    It's understandable about the piracy issue, but if someone wants to steal something, they're going to do it, period. Whose to say I can't just pass those videos along to my "friends" with my password and they can watch all they want!?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Rhodes
    I agree with you Will. Once you purchase a product, you should hold the rights to it. Thieves will steal, whether or not you have a security system implemented.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      There is no such thing as a "non-downloadable" video. There are only people who don't know how to find the actual URL of a video file. That's really no excuse though, as there's plenty of free software out there that allow you to rip any video to your hard drive, just as quickly and easily as if you had been provided the direct download link in the first place.

      So this is really a non-issue, IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author superowid
    Think like a cinema or cable TV... you pay to watch it not to bring it home with you or make copy of it. There is other business for that. Just get into the right one.
    So, what's the problem?
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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    It should be made clear upfront - are you buying a product or a membership?

    Big difference between belonging to a gym and owning a set of dumbbells
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    I'm surprised by how many products these days are STILL made up of membership sites with videos inside them. Videos that you are NOT able to download.

    What ever happened to being able to own the product you purchase?
    You can't download my videos. You didn't purchase them. You purchased training; information; knowledge. You're free to keep that.


    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    If I have to log in to someone's membership site to view the material everytime then do I really own that product? What happens when they decide to take the product down and I want to go back to that same product to look over something again?
    No, you do not really own the product. And I never say you do. I say I will train you. As for taking the products down, I never take anything down unless it's outdated and I replace it.

    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    Please, allow your customers to download the videos they have paid for. It's kind of like walking into McDonald's to buy a burger and the lady at the counter holding the burger box whilst you eat it. Shouldn't you be able to walk out the door with that burger you have paid for?
    The proper analogy is Red Box. You pay $1 to watch the video and then you have to return it. Simple. You bought the right to view it.


    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    If you are worried about people sharing your videos, well I have news for you. People who want to share your videos will do it regardless of whether or not you have them downloadable. There are plenty of programs people can use to rip them straight off your site. In fact a lot of times the harder you make it for them the more interested they are in trying to crack through your security.
    You can't rip mine. You can't even get to them in the Amazon cloud. The only thing you could do is to a screen capture of the playing video. I'm not going to make it easy for you. There's no reason why you need my video file on your hard drive. As long as you are a member, you can watch it anytime you like.

    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    Besides, you should be catering your site and content to your paying customers NOT those small minority who might redistribute your videos.
    Funny, I've never had a complaint about lack of ability to download. Then again, they're not internet marketers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
      I like the idea of telling the customer up front if they can download or not.
      Being a long time net user I have gone through the experience of joining these sites some one time purchase, some lifetime memberships. Anyway, what happens is the sites are sometimes down making it inconvenient for me, so I enjoy having the option to download and even if not I will rip the vid and that's still a pain.

      As far as the lifetime membership sites guess what? In every case they disappeared or went through a redesign process where when their done I was left with no lifetime membership. When asked about my memberships the sites all simply said it wasn't for a lifetime.

      As a buyer I can tell you how I feel about the whole process, I rip them and they usually stay on the back burner until I remember I purchased them or need to review the material. I don't come back to your sites, I don't give a ratz azz what offers you make, and I note that this is the azzhole that made me have to rip the vids and didn't tell me in their sales copy that they were going to do this.

      As far as blackhat, hackers etc are concerned you got to understand the mindset and I learned this way back in the BBS days. A hacker usually doesn't care about hacking your site and grabbing your stuff except in the following situations. Your price is to darn high for what you offer, you treat them like crap, you don't offer a download and never make the customer aware before purchase, you keep putting out the same products under different names etc you get the idea. Then the hacker will go out to the others and make it a goal to snatch your stuff and give it away.

      On the other side of that coin they don't even mind paying as long as it's quality. I go with the other warriors when they say use your materials to market, be it an ebook, video or whatever, add links, add sites, that help you to sell more, even if your product is stolen, so that more people can know about your business. And I know a lot of you don't like the idea of putting your own affiliate links in your ebooks, but I would do that as well.

      Another thing to keep in mind is people who get things on the cheap, or free usually don't place much value on them, so most stuff someone is going to steal won't be used at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Romanov
    Next time I go to the buffet, I should tell them: "I paid for everything I can eat, so wrap it all up, I paid for it".

    How do you expect to be able to just download all the content of a membership site? In that case all you would have to do is pay a trial fee and download everything.... And if there is no trial than just one month.

    Seriously, how do people even ask such questions...
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