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2.29.2008

Shooting sparrows... [part 2]

In this post, I ranted about buying DVD's and hence actually supporting the industry, and STILL having to be faced with the suspicion and criminalization of my person, from the "You wouldn't steal a car..."-intros and printed inlays with the "now-now little Nicky - don't you go downloading movies"-raised finger messages.
- unfortunately at that time, I could not produce the inlay, as I had probably pissed on it, burned it, hanged it, stabbed it, burned it again, and finally tossed it out.

This time I kept it. It does have another sound to it compared to the first one though - it is not as much a raised finger as it is a thanks - and then again...
It's a small 12x18 cm leaflet with a logo on the entire front, saying (in danish):
"Skip the copies, keep the originals".
On the flipside there's first a little note saying:
"Thanks for keeping the movies alive. When you watch a movie in the cinema, buy or rent an original DVD rather than copying or downloading it illegally, you're participating in ensuring that actors, script writers, instructors and all the people behind the movie gets paid for their work. And thus you're participating in ensuring that there will also be someone who cares about making movies in the future. Because who want's to work for free?"

- and that was just the introduction. Fair enough. A little appreciation is absolutely commendable, and I DO agree with the gist of the text. But the lesson that follows about how many people it takes to make a movie (in the given example, Shrek), and how fast internet connections and DVD-recorders in every home are making it too easy to break the law, and so on and so forth, really bugs me. I already know this. And if people are buying the DVD, you really don't need to tell them that they shouldn't download it. Surprise - THEY ALREADY BOUGHT IT! So these little cards were much better off as free postcards on the many caf├ęs and diners around town. I really resent having these lectures thrown in my face, when I am in fact not doing anything wrong. It just has this feeling of "yes yes, so you bought the DVD, but technically you COULD go and copy it or download it illegally". Come on - technically I COULD also use a crowbar to break into a house or smack someone silly with. But the crowbar doesn't come with a blurp like that... "Thank you for buying the Dyson Crowbar (tm). Use it for it's designed purpose, but remember - breaking into peoples houses and killing them with this item, will make a lot of people sad - including the Dyson staff, who worked long and hard to bring you the finest in demolition equipment".
Technically I could run someone over with my car - on purpose - yet the car does not come with a blurp of such kind either.
- it's just so wrongly aimed.

Furthermore, I'm sure they spend a fortune on the little informercials and printed campaigns and whatnot. But I'm almost willing to bet my entire DVD collection (yes, it is HUGE - the dvd collection, not... well...) that not one of those who intended to copy a DVD, decided to NOT do it when they saw the "You wouldn't steal a car..."-intro, or read the little inlay. Not one.
These campaigns are pointed at the ignorant. People who don't know it is illegal. But there's not really that many who don't know it's illegal, is there? They should instead target their campaigns to those who profit on the illegal copying/distribution. Those who refuse to pay anything to be entertained. But more importantly they should stop trying to dictate when and how we play our legally purchased entertainment. Don't bother with the copy protection - everything that can be coded, can be decoded. So it really is futile, and it stops nothing. On the contrary. Some people get off on being the first to crack a new protection, and it turns into a sport in those circles. And it usually never takes more than a day or so anyways. So it's expensively paid, but still borrowed, time. And all you get in the end, is pissed off consumers, who in sheer frustration of not being able to play their newly purchased cd on the car stereo because of some crappy protection which does not reckognize the 20 year old CD-player, goes and downloads it illegally instead - and maybe does so the next time too, without bothering to buy an original first.

Skip the regions on DVD's. Stop releasing movies on different times in different countries. Start working HARD on bringing digital content to people through the internet, rather than try to stop it. Give people options for the content. Cheaper=lower resolution/sound quality - More expensive=higher definition/THX or Surround. Give people the option to not spend everything they've got, but still be able to enjoy the stuff while still at least paying a little to the artists. It's so damned easy and the solution is right there. You can't get rid of it completely. As long as there's laws to break, there's people who will break them. But you can stop criminalizing people without any reason, and start caring for them as your customers - the same way a good restaurant cares about their customers. Give them a GOOD reason to buy your products, rather than point your finger at them the minute they set foot in the store.