Copyright Battle 2012: The Stupidity Continues

in category of Bad News Suz, Suz Baldwin


The never-ending quest to stop piracy continues: the government has now made it impossible to skip copyright warnings on DVDs. They’ve also added a second warning – yes, now you have to sit through two warnings, ten seconds each, whenever you watch the DVD. That’s twenty seconds you’ll never get back each time you sit down to watch a movie. What does that add up to for a film you watch all the time, like Star Wars or the first Pirates of the Caribbean?

I probably shouldn’t answer that. It’ll kill what little street cred I have left.

The second warning screen features a logo from the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. It features what must be the most pissed off eagle the world has ever known. Actually, his beady little eyes have that same rabid stare that you see on the 28 Days Later zombies.

(I could forgive something like that. “Pirating this film? ZOMBIES WILL GET YOU.” At least give me something visually interesting if you’re going to take up my time with messages that are just going to irritate me.)

That brings me to the real issue at hand – why is this on actual, physical DVDs that won’t be watched unless someone buys them?

Maybe I’m just being overly practical, but this seems like the copyright holders are actually taking aim at the wrong people. The folks who have bought the DVDs in question have already handed over out their hard-earned money and purchased the freaking DVDs. Why are they being forced to sit through these messages time and again? I imagine the thought process going something like this: “Yes, let’s punish the good consumers that have done things the Right Way! THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.”

Meanwhile, average folks like me who do want to pay for content are constantly thwarted. I kvetched a bit about this in another article, and now I’ve got an update.

The other night, I went to a friend’s house. After devouring half a pizza and playing with her dogs, we decided to watch Bridesmaids. Now, my friend does not have cable; she’s got a computer hooked up to a big flatscreen, and streams movies and TV via Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. “Hey, it’s 2012,” we thought. “Between one of these services, we can rent it online!”

Oh, how little we knew.

We tried Amazon. Video currently unavailable, it told us. Due to our licensing agreements this video is currently not available for purchase or rental.

In other words: You guys can just suck wind.

OK, we had other options. Maybe iTunes? Nope! Not available.

I believe I’ve already bemoaned its absence on Netflix. Forget Hulu.

Here’s what I don’t get: an Entertainment Weekly article mentions Bridesmaids was the most in-demand movie available on video-on-demand, which includes paid digital downloads, so apparently at one point it was available for you to watch on your computer.

(Oh, wait. I just found out HBO got the Bridesmaids rights. Well, kiss any streaming ability good-bye. )

Clearly Bridesmaids wasn’t going to happen, leaving us with two choices. We could flip off the copyright moguls and download the thing, or we could find something else to watch. Being that it was late and we didn’t feel like waiting an hour for a movie to download, we went back to Netflix and watched Delhi Belly, a Bollywood action-comedy.

You know what? It was freaking awesome. Best movie I’ve seen all year.

So yeah, it all worked out.

I still think that angry eagle is ridiculous. 


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