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§ Gee, thanks a lot

It might surprise some of you to learn that I've never ripped a DVD. The main reason is that I don't really have an interest in doing so; my DVD collection is fairly small and I've already watched Alias and Slayers a thousand times. I don't travel much, either, so the portability issue hasn't cropped up.

I was tempted to learn today, though.

As I was walking out of the local neighborhood tech store, I spotted a DVD version of Office Space, which is a movie I like, but haven't seen in a while and never bothered to get, so I grabbed it and bought it along with the rest of the stuff I had. When I got home and started populating my new hard drive, I popped the DVD into the DVD player for background entertainment and waited for the standard FBI screen to expire so I could get to the main menu.

Only to be subjected to another clip comparing DVD piracy to shoplifting and other kinds of theft and some rather horrible music. That was practically a full minute long.

Now, I'm going to warn you that I really don't care to get into any arguments about whether copying a DVD is piracy or theft or copyright infringement or whether it is legal, ethical, moral, social, methyl, episcopal or whatever. I really don't care to have such a flamewar on my blog, and if anyone posts a comment about that I'm just going to delete it on the spot. I will say, though, that my thinking upon seeing this clip was more along these lines:

WHAT THE F*CK??? I BOUGHT YOUR DAMN DVD, THAT'S WHY I'M OUT TEN BUCKS! IF I HAD PIRATED YOUR STUPID MOVIE, THEN I'D BE WATCHING IT RIGHT NOW INSTEAD OF SITTING THROUGH YOUR PATRONIZING, UNSKIPPABLE PROPAGANDA VIDEO!!! WHY THE F*CK ARE YOU PUNISHING ME???

I haven't bought a DVD in a while and I had no idea they were now doing this. Putting in a 1-2 second FBI warning is one thing, but why should I buy a DVD ever again if they're going to force this irritating, condescending garbage down my throat every time I want to watch a movie that I legitimately purchased? Is it any wonder that people pirate movies now with this stupidity going on?

Update:

I received a request by email to tone down the language in this post. I refuse to do this. I am very offended by the contempt shown by the addition of this video and I want to make it very clear that I consider the addition of such a video to a product to be very inappropriate. A friend of mine brought up the very good point that he has videos intended for children that have this video prepended, which starts with a clip of a woman having her purse stolen. I don't condone piracy -- but this kind of treatment is NEVER called for.

Comments

Comments posted:


One word - AnyDVD.

jon - 01 06 08 - 02:40


I'll probably just end up playing it on a DVD player app that doesn't obey the control lockout flags. I spend more time with my laptop than with the TV, anyway.

Phaeron - 01 06 08 - 02:49


On some players, you can skip the "all consumers are pirates" screen by pressing stop, then play.

I do wonder about the point of those, given that the only people who will see it are those who have legally purchased the DVD. I picked up The Matrix the other day, and inside was a card saying basically "don't buy pre-release pirate DVDs because 90% of them are filmed with a camcorder and so suck". None of those pirate DVDs will have such a card, and I doubt anyone who buys a pirate DVD will care.

Torkell (link) - 01 06 08 - 04:22


I'd have preferred the card -- at least I could just dispose of it in the circular file, along with the "please register" cards I get in other products.

That they make these fscking videos unskippable is especially infuriating. Actually, that they even have the unskippable bit at all is hostile. What's next, are they going to strap a bomb to the video player so it blows you up if you try leaving while the clip is playing?

Phaeron - 01 06 08 - 04:44


Well, I did read that Philips got a patent for technology that prevents you from changing channels during ad breaks... You can see where this is going.

ender - 01 06 08 - 05:30


http://216.75.63.164/andrew/piracy%20ad...

(Taken from The IT Crowd season 2.)

squid - 01 06 08 - 07:01


I've purchased over 600 original DVD's. Even if I've only watched each disc once, that means a whopping 10 hours wasted by that crap as my "reward" for paying for the DVDs. Whatever moron thought that up should be dragged out and shot after some massive torture. (Can you tell I feel strongly about this?)

Steven - 01 06 08 - 09:15


"... I did read that Philips got a patent for technology that prevents
you from changing channels..."

.. and after a while, Philips will leak on the internet a key
combination for the remote (lets say s NEXT+NEXT+BACK+9+1+1)
which disables this feature.

zardoz - 01 06 08 - 10:14


Squid just committed classic irony by ripping the anti-piracy video....

Phaeron - 01 06 08 - 16:59


I don't buy a lot of DVDs either, mainly because I am not at all interested in films (and series, well I downoad them, big boohoo on me). I do however buy the occasional music DVD, and the first and usually only time I put it in the DVD drive of my computer is to rip its contents to my hard drive (using DVDdecrypter). From there it goes straight into one of the MPEG-2 supporting VirtualDub modifications and it gets converted to good quality divx.

My main reason for ripping the DVD, rather than watching it from disk, is the accessibility: I don't want to search through my mess whenever I want to view a DVD; from my hard drive, it's always only a few clicks away from the desktop. Another important point is those awfully annoying, non-skipable anti piracy warnings. In my opinion, those should just read:

"We took (too much of) your money, now sit here and watch this advertisement. You could of course save yourself the money and the annoyment of sitting through this warning the next time and download the torrent, but please don't. We are really poor and we really need your money."

[c]oma - 02 06 08 - 10:21


I'd just like to put my support behind AnyDVD and DVD Decrypter. Since you say you don't get many DVD's you should just stick with DVD Decrypter since it's free and AnyDVD only has a free trial (I forget what functionality is disabled).

fredgiblet - 02 06 08 - 12:23


Phaeron: You'll definetely like this DVD then, as it turns out it doesn't even have the standard text screen on it! Popped it in, and after the Warner logo it went straight to the menu.

I feel like I have a little bit of DVD history on my desk, from before the days of fast connections and Bittorrent.

Torkell (link) - 02 06 08 - 18:31


I hate those stupid things, too. And DRM. "Hi. Thank you for buying our crappy media product. As a reward, we're going to make it difficult to use it how you want to use it." Any copy protection, really. The only people it really causes a problem for are the legitimate users.

Also, you may enjoy this other parody of the MPAA "don't steal this" clip: http://www.a-m-v.org/video/150419

Coderjoe - 02 06 08 - 22:34


Heh... You americans(?) get a different "don't steal me" ad then the (nothern)europeans.

Mads - 04 06 08 - 11:13


"I received a request by email to tone down the language in this post"

I honestly cannot imagine that someone 'requested' that you modify your own post, on your own blog, hosted by yourself! What happened to the world?:((

Valentin Galea (link) - 05 06 08 - 05:02


Avery, you are welcome to mirror that post in its original form on my website. It is hosted in Sweden :)

Igor Levicki (link) - 07 06 08 - 12:03


I wrote a comment about your rant here:
http://www.levicki.net/articles/blogment..
Your thoughts are backed up there in their original form in case you get forced to edit your post.

Igor Levicki (link) - 07 06 08 - 12:35


Well, it seems you haven't been to the movies for some time because there you have to watch anti piracy ads, too. About how pirating this movie costs the industry at least a quadrillion of dollars after you've paid your 8-9 to watch that film.

Rumbah - 16 06 08 - 12:29


You're probably right... I can't think of the last time I went to watch a movie in a theater. The combination of the cost, the wait, the previews/commercials, the volume (it's always too loud), and not being able to pause for a bathroom break all conspire to make me not want to go. I hear that cell phones are much more of a problem now than the last time I probably went.

As you may have guessed, I'm not much of a movie person... which is probably why my relatively small DVD collection consists almost solely of anime.

Phaeron - 17 06 08 - 03:11


Last movie I saw in theater was Tomb Raider. There was an idiot few seats left of me who was talking on his cell phone, and right next to me was a couple -- an older male and younger female. She couldn't keep her mouth shut either -- she just went on telling her dad/sponsor/whatever what will happen in the next scene. Luckily the guy with the phone shut it up at one point but the girl was obnoxious and I finally asked the man to shut her up or to go sit somewhere else. He objected at first, threatening to become violent and asked me to move but I said I am visually impaired and there is a reason I am sitting in a dead center of the first row. Finally as if he was sick of her blabbing he told her to "shut up already" because "she is annoying others". I bet she was annoying him as well but he didn't have the courage to tell her until pushed a bit.

After that horrible experience I decided not to waste money on going to the movies anymore.

Igor Levicki (link) - 22 06 08 - 01:12


Well, I think the problem is that the beginning of a DVD is not the right place for things like anti-piracy education. I can understand why they want to do this, but move this somewhere else, such as TV.

Yuhong Bao - 03 08 08 - 02:53

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