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DVD piracy warnings to increase as copyright police lose the plot

Date

Gadgets on the go

Adam Turner is an award-winning Australian freelance technology journalist with a passion for gadgets and the "digital lounge room".

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National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center logo.

National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center logo.

Treating honest people like criminals is a stupid way to fight piracy.

Einstein famously said; "Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results". You don't have to be Einstein to realise that the unskippable DVD piracy warnings are counterproductive. All they do is annoy people who are doing the right thing. Yet the copyright police feel that forcing us to watch even more warnings will help reduce piracy.

It's like pulling over every driver on the freeway who is observing the speed limit to lecture them about the evils of speeding, while other drivers speed past laughing. All you're actually doing is antagonising people who are doing the right thing, perhaps to the point where they'll start speeding just to avoid you. If more people start speeding, the answer is obviously to further antagonise the good drivers. 

Just in case you didn't realise that you were supposed to pay for the disc that you just paid for, the US government is adding two new unskippable piracy messages to DVDs and Blu-rays. Each will be at least 10 seconds long -- one to "educate" you and the other to "warn" you. Rather than when you first insert the disc, they'll run when you actually press play on the movie. So you'll get a 20 second lecture every time you watch a movie, even though you're a paying customer.

Of course people who pirate movies will obviously never see these warnings, but the copyright police argue the warnings are part of a "public awareness and education" campaign designed to educate people who already do the right thing. Similar warnings have been on DVDs for years but apparently they just weren't intrusive and annoying enough because people still copy movies. But I'm sure if the copyright police keep playing the warnings over and over again, they'll get a different result.

26 comments so far

  • If there has to be a warning, and it seems the powers that be are intent on having something on DVD's and Blu-rays, I truly believe it should say: "If you previously downloaded this feature illegally thank you for taking the time to purchase or rent it"

    Commenter
    Gareth
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    May 11, 2012, 11:35AM
    • For a long time I bought DVD's and a couple of Blu rays - but these 'warnings' were one of the reasons that I stopped. (and no, i don't pirate more movies now, I just watch what i want to see at the cinemas...)

      I don't understand the point of the messages - I paid $20-$40 for a non-skippable warning. Am i then supposed to tell my pirating friend off because he made me watch the warning?

      Commenter
      beatdan
      Date and time
      May 11, 2012, 11:40AM
      • I Live in Asia now and piracy is rampant. One of the biggest motivators is the censorship of movies, there's an industry itself setup just to censor movies - so there's vested interest in censorship being alive but this then spreads into piracy, due to the censorship and butchering of movies people will buy the pirate version ... you can go to almost any corner shop and buy the latest movie pirated. When you're trying to do the right thing and buy movies legit but then end up with a shabby butchered censored copy then it's hard to not buy the pirated version to be honest. iTunes itself won't let you buy movies if you live in certain parts of asia, you can get around it but it's simpling adding fuel to the fire having these restraints in the first place. Also, take into account where the pirate versions are coming from - there's quite a big industry and a lot of cash in bootleg copies. This is big business not a couple of guys in a garage making copies of the latest television series.

        Commenter
        Twisted
        Location
        Asia
        Date and time
        May 11, 2012, 12:34PM
        • Any advertising company worth their salt could tell them that they are focussing on the wrong demographic of people to do anything about "Copyright"

          Although I have considered forming a Lynch Mob to hunt down these "Pirates".. takers?

          Commenter
          Dadevil
          Date and time
          May 11, 2012, 12:55PM
          • They keep banging on about this and the people (at least in Australia) keep on asking when are we getting Netflix and Hulu, and consistently fast enough internet to support both?

            Commenter
            two-3
            Date and time
            May 11, 2012, 4:40PM
            • You can get netflix and Hulu already in australia. You just need to invest in a program that can change your IP address to an american one then you can get it all you want

              Commenter
              echelon1k
              Location
              merewether
              Date and time
              May 14, 2012, 1:57PM
            • I am aware of this but I would like it to work with my WD Live HD connected to my television and not have to use some tunnelling program and go to all that trouble. My point is essentially that as soon as the powers that be make it easier to access this content via a legitimate service, the sooner they can stop whining about piracy.

              Commenter
              two-3
              Date and time
              May 15, 2012, 9:57PM
            • @echelon1k
              Just because you can change your IP address does not make what you are doing legal or within your rights. Actually it put's you right in league with the pirates. You are not a citizen of the USA, and have no right to click agree to the licencing agreement.

              Commenter
              Jason
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              May 17, 2012, 3:56PM
          • I also hate rental dvds that have unskippable movie previews, where the only option is to frame advance quickly through it. I just want to watch what I paid for. Basically, I'm paying money to be annoyed by these clowns. They should realise that they are just making piracy a more attractive option.

            Commenter
            Habanero
            Location
            Perth
            Date and time
            May 11, 2012, 7:37PM
            • What the hell is wrong with these drongos? There are many options to combat piracy. This is definitely not one of them and the most basic common sense will tell you that it simply will never work. How do people get to a position of so much power when it is blatantly obvious they are complete morons?

              Commenter
              gdav
              Date and time
              May 12, 2012, 5:00AM

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