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Disney+ won’t work on Linux at launch as the DRM is set too high

Disney+ won't work on Linux at launch as the DRM is set too high

Disney+ is coming to the globe in November

IT’S EXPECTED TO lead the vanguard of streaming services launching in the next six months, but Disney+ won’t be available to Linux users at launch.

The news, which also applies to Chromebooks and some lower-end Android devices, has come about because of the level of DRM applied to streams.

The service will use a system known as Widevine to try and keep stream rippers at bay. It has three levels of security, and most services, like Google Play, Netflix and Amazon use the lowest – Level 3.

However, Disney+ has turned it all the way up to Level 1, and that’s something that Linux just can’t handle. Oh yeah, and that cheap Chinese streaming box you’ve been meaning to replace? Yeah, now’s the time – it won’t support Disney+ either.

There’s no silver bullet for this one. Either Disney climbs down and turns its settings down to Level 3, or you’ll need to ditch your hardware for something that’s compatible.

Disney is notoriously protective of its intellectual property, and we probably shouldn’t be surprised that it’s gone hardball with streaming. Anyone who has tried to archive their Disney DVDs or VHS tapes will know that Disney DRM on physical devices was just as draconian.

Disney+ is one of a number of high profile streaming services to launch in the next few months. In the UK, it will join Britbox and offerings from a range of broadcasters to rival Netflix and Amazon Video. Elsewhere, streaming deals have been signed by Plex and Roku to give them a piece of the pie too.

But with streaming services ballooning, and each one attracting a separate subscription, we could find 2020 sees a race to get a foothold, with some players likely to fall by the wayside.

Disney+ includes content from the Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm back catalogues, as well as the Disney-owned network provider ABC. µ  


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