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"They will be totally absent from pirated downloads and bootlegs."
May 10, 2012 7:30 AM   Subscribe

If you're a DVD/BluRay viewer who is already annoyed by delaying, annoying animated menus or previews, get ready for 20 additional seconds of wait time. Yesterday the U.S. government announced an update to the old FBI copyright warning on home video, which will now appear in the form of two different anti-piracy warnings, each ten seconds long and both unskippable.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (83 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yarrr.
posted by mhoye at 7:32 AM on May 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


I can't wait to continue never buying an MPAA movie again.
posted by Jairus at 7:33 AM on May 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


This is like when schools decide the solution to restless children is to ban recess.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:33 AM on May 10, 2012 [18 favorites]


Reminds me of this old flowchart.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


Compares well to the 20 mins of unskippable adverts before the trailers even start in the cinema.
posted by jaduncan at 7:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have been enjoying watching my childhood Disney animated VHS collection with my daughter. The FBI badge is a quick slur of blue and lines, as are all the previews, and then NOW TO MY FEATURE PRESENTATION. VHS FTW.
posted by resurrexit at 7:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, any recommendations for players that can skip this junk (maybe with a little hack)?
posted by exogenous at 7:35 AM on May 10, 2012


...such warnings are rarely included in versions uploaded and downloaded via P2P networks.

Well of course not; the logos are copyrited. They may not be used without permission.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:36 AM on May 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


What's staggeringly arrogant about this is that they know that only legitimate users will see these advertisements - they simply claim that it's important "education" for the rest of us.

For years I had never downloaded so much as a second of video. But each time I had to sit through one of those unskippable threatening ads, I thought a little more positively about copyright violation. Now I've done it quite a bit. This new move will make me do it quite a bit more.

Question: are companies required to put this introduction onto their videos? Seems un-Constitutional, yes? So if they're choosing to put the intros on their videos, surely they are the ones we should target?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:36 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder how many times that hawk was sent back to the illustrator with a post-it that read "ANGRIER!"
posted by griphus at 7:36 AM on May 10, 2012 [23 favorites]


So, any recommendations for players that can skip this junk (maybe with a little hack)?

a bittorrent client and VLC?
posted by fuq at 7:37 AM on May 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oblig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 7:37 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


More honest message: "If you can see this warning you should know Pirate Bay probably have a DVDRIP up."
posted by jaduncan at 7:38 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


It doesn't actually say it's unskippable: "That screen, like the others, presumably will be made unskippable during viewing"
posted by smackfu at 7:39 AM on May 10, 2012


So, any recommendations for players that can skip this junk (maybe with a little hack)?

VLC, and (if you're technical) anything based on libdvdread.
posted by jaduncan at 7:41 AM on May 10, 2012


One possible solution for honest people: Buy the DVD then download the torrent.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:42 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


20 additional seconds per viewing. I wonder what this costs America in lost productivity?
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:45 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


My 3yro watched a DVD with a piracy message the other day. She was furious that it was taking so long for Angelina Ballerina to come on. She would much rather the one on the hard drive that plays NOW.
So the moral is, I'm sorry I paid for it.
posted by bystander at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, threats clearly aren't working. They need to move on to invoking other strong emotions.

Guilt: "Sure you can pirate this movie if you want the Coen Brothers should starve to death!"

Patriotic Xenophonia: "Only a filthy un-American illegal wouldn't pay for the privilege of watching He's Just Not That Into You."

Lust: "Hey, baby, wouldn't it be so much dirtier if you paid for this?"

Hunger: "There's a 7/11 on the way to Best Buy."
posted by griphus at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2012 [8 favorites]


So, any recommendations for players that can skip this junk (maybe with a little hack)?

The internet.
posted by mhoye at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it seems that at least two entities are at fault.

The DVD player manufacturers are at fault for allowing sections to mark themselves as "unskippable". I'm the one who owns the player, who are they to tell me I can't skip something I want?

And the DVD studios are at fault for marking these sections as unskippable. Near as I can see, they are doing this as a "courtesy" to law-enforcement, there's no law requiring this...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well of course not; the logos are copyrited. They may not be used without permission.

That's actually an interesting idea. Co-opting the "FBI Warning" image, but putting whatever message you want on it and putting it on everything.
posted by Hoopo at 7:51 AM on May 10, 2012


Is there a formal name in the psychology literature for this kind of situation -- an influence is applied with intent to have a certain effect but actually has an effect opposite to that desired? Because this sort of thing happens over and over again throughout the authoritarian realm -- where the constant threats of punishment for a behaviour eventually become the primary reason why someone offends. It's like being hounded day after day to go out and exercise, or to not eat donuts, or to get a job, or to brush your teeth, and finally you're just fucking sick of hearing it over and over again, so you say what the hell.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, the one good thing that ever came out of these warnings was that scene in The Sopranos when all the wives sit down to watch a movie in Tony's home theater and the camera holds through the whole length of the big on-screen FBI logo.
posted by griphus at 7:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there anything more infuriating than the little "function not available" thing when you're trying to skip something on a DVD?
posted by uncleozzy at 7:52 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good old Fart Blowers Incorporated.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:53 AM on May 10, 2012


The DVD player manufacturers are at fault for allowing sections to mark themselves as "unskippable". I'm the one who owns the player, who are they to tell me I can't skip something I want?

I always assumed there was some sort of law that forced the hardware manufacturers to abide; or maybe some codec/DVD licensing thing?
posted by inigo2 at 7:58 AM on May 10, 2012


Is there a software DVD player that will allow one to skip "unskippable" chapters?
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:02 AM on May 10, 2012


The only thing on a DVD that should be unskippable are the scenes where something awesome happens like the Enterprise comes in with all phaser banks firing or Tony Stark puts on the briefcase Iron Man suit.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:04 AM on May 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


They have to know this only punishes the people who actually did the right thing and paid for the damn disc. I can only assume they think it'll work like the jelly donut in Full Metal Jacket, but I haven't seen that working out so far.
posted by echo target at 8:08 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now all we need is a movie that is "unskippable."
posted by chavenet at 8:12 AM on May 10, 2012


I always assumed there was some sort of law that forced the hardware manufacturers to abide; or maybe some codec/DVD licensing thing?

Yep. On DVD players, it was always tied to the licensing agreement for CSS, the anti-copy content-scrambling scheme. If you wanted to license CSS, you had to agree to follow certain aspects of the DVD spec (including region coding and restrictions on playback) as gospel. I assume something similar applies to the Blu-ray spec.

Same thing goes for movie releases -- when a high-end independent company like Criterion or Masters of Cinema region-codes a disc, it's almost always because the content owner insisted on that restriction as part of the license. So it's really the MPAA that's to blame for all this horseshit.

Speaking of playback restrictions, I was alarmed to realize recently that some companies have started effectively disabling still-frame mode on their Blu-ray titles! I had a Disney disc in and hit pause, and a big graphic suddenly comes up, blocking part of the screen, with a three-second countdown until the whole screen was taken over by some interactive "Intermission" geegaw. A pirated version of the movie, of course, would be fully functional.

You can bypass this by ripping every disc you buy directly to your hard drive, but that's prohibited by the DMCA. Fuck this in my opinion -- how can ripping discs to your hard drive be illegal if you're doing it simply to fix flat-out broken functionality in the "out of the box" version of your movie? Circumvention of an access-prevention scheme should not be illegal if no subsequent distribution of the title in question takes place.
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:12 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's not all roses with the pirated videos though. That "PROPERTY OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES" thing is kind of obnoxious, when it scrolls across the screen every 10 minutes.
posted by Flashman at 8:16 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


what's a DVD? i get all my movies from the internet.
posted by cupcake1337 at 8:17 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Make sure to let the culprits know what you think:

IPRCenter@dhs.gov
posted by etherist at 8:21 AM on May 10, 2012


Flashman: "It's not all roses with the pirated videos though. That "PROPERTY OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES" thing is kind of obnoxious, when it scrolls across the screen every 10 minutes."

That's only for screeners, and it's not a terrible price to pay considering you're usually watching it before it's even available to the general public on DVD.
posted by mullingitover at 8:23 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only thing on a DVD that should be unskippable are the scenes where something awesome happens like the Enterprise comes in with all phaser banks firing or Tony Stark puts on the briefcase Iron Man suit.

If the FBI warning played over a randomly-chosen scene of this nature, I would be much more amendable to them.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:25 AM on May 10, 2012


That's actually an interesting idea. Co-opting the "FBI Warning" image, but putting whatever message you want on it and putting it on everything.

Not enough young people have seen it in the first place for it to go mainstream.
posted by bystander at 8:25 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


who are they to tell me I can't skip something I want?

I always assumed there was some sort of law that forced the hardware manufacturers to abide;

I believe (but maybe wrong) it's not so much as that section carries a flag that marks it unskippable, rather that other sections carry instructions for what to do when [x] button is pressed. That section does not carry any instructions for those buttons, therefore becomes unskippable.

I've always assumed it's this way, because if it's the other way, a flag to indicate unskippable, it would be possible to make a player that ignores such a flag. But it would not be possible to make a player that ignores a lack of instruction. Compensating for the missing instructions would have to be done on a case by case basis, someone would have to create instructions for each disc.
posted by BurnChao at 8:25 AM on May 10, 2012


I've always assumed it's this way, because if it's the other way, a flag to indicate unskippable, it would be possible to make a player that ignores such a flag. But it would not be possible to make a player that ignores a lack of instruction. Compensating for the missing instructions would have to be done on a case by case basis, someone would have to create instructions for each disc.

I almost always come down on the incompetent side when the question is whether something is an evil conspiracy or just incompetentcy. This time, I vote evil.
posted by bystander at 8:30 AM on May 10, 2012


I seem to recall that about 10 years ago (maybe a little more) Windows Media Player would automatically start playing the longest video "title" on the disc, but you could still see all of the previews and warnings listed as short titles in the playlist/table of contents. I really wish that's how DVD players worked in general. Unless the disc is something like multiple episodes of a TV show, there's generally no need for the menu and previews until after the movie is done playing.
posted by stopgap at 8:31 AM on May 10, 2012


If only the studios were as dedicated to making good movies as they are to making people feel like idiots for wanting to pay for legitimate copies.
posted by Zed at 8:32 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have never downloaded a movie illegally. But every time I put in a DVD with five minutes of unskippable nonsense, I really consider it. I don't want to watch trailers when I watch a DVD. Especially if I PAID for the DVD. That's just a kick in the nuts.
posted by ColdChef at 8:39 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know, there are more than 600 movies in the Criterion Collection. Most of them are pretty good. And none of them have an FBI warning or an unskippable trailer.

(Not an employee, just a happy customer.)
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:49 AM on May 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


The studios sure are going out of their way to make sure that watching discs is a pain in the ass. I'm not sure why they are so keen on accelerating the shift to streaming from sites like netflix; it seems to me that they make a lot more money on disc sales than movie streaming, but it seems that the media companies can always be counted on to try to kill the golden-egg-laying goose.

This is the same problem that we discussed recently here about DRM on ebooks. The same inconvenience that locks people into Amazon, giving that company inordinate power to dictate terms to the publishers, will in the video realm cause physical disks and media to no longer be worth the trouble.

I wonder if this isn't all about the media companies wanting to get back to a "pay-per-play" model, so that the consumer never owns the movie at all and instead has to pay money for every viewing. As older geeks will remember, this is essentially the same scheme that they tried going on 15 years ago now with DiVX, the pay-per-play adaptation of the original DVD technology that sent Circuit City into its final decline.

I rather think that this strategy is doomed to lose the companies money. If I buy a blu-ray disc for 20 dollars, that is essentially the same as renting it 4-5 times. Who watches a movie 4-5 times these days? I'm not just talking about my own life -- in my bachelor days, sure, that might've been possible, but now I have a wife and a 2-year-old -- but all of us, with the advent of netflix and hulu, have so many flipping options to watch -- I still have to get around to seeing The Wire and Downton Abbey -- that watching the same movie over and over again seems like a waste. I know kids love to watch movies over and over again, but for the rest of us...

My point is, the media companies may think that pay-per-play would vastly increase their profits, but I suspect that instead they would make far less per movie as people realized that they don't really need to watch Iron Man again. So they make 5.00 on the movie instead of 20.00. Bravo.
posted by Palquito at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand movie industry logic and thinking.

They're losing money to piracy [1], and they want to reduce or eliminate piracy. That I understand perfectly.

What I don't get is their approach. Rather than trying to reward their paying customers with cool stuff, they take the approach of irritating their paying customers and making the product you get by paying worse than the product you get by piracy.

How does this sort of thing work? Does no one in the board meeting point out that annoying paying customers probably won't get them to buy more?

[1] Though I doubt as much as they think.
posted by sotonohito at 8:54 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Blargh.

The sick thing is that someone, somewhere, is telling people in authority that this is the greatest thing of all time.

As someone who has a dvd collection that runs in the hundreds, I made the decision that I want to move toward digital copies. The primary factor is that I want more convenience toward enjoying my movies, and not, as this move pushes, less of it.

That or they can send me some giant media center which I can load my movies in like a juke box and connect it to my tv. I'll accept that in lieu of dropping the disk.
posted by Atreides at 8:58 AM on May 10, 2012


These are the same people who simultaneously believe that:

(a) piracy of DRM-locked media is such a huge problem that it threatens to destroy the industry

and

(b) media must continue to be DRM-locked as a way to prevent piracy

I don't think they understand cause and effect.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always assumed there was some sort of law that forced the hardware manufacturers to abide; or maybe some codec/DVD licensing thing?

As an optical disc replicator, my view is that this is patent-compliance driven. Patents held by Philips, LG, Pioneer, and Sony, and currently administered by One-Red LLC.
posted by achrise at 9:07 AM on May 10, 2012


Not enough young people have seen it in the first place

Good point; I bet today's kids don't even realize that winners don't use drugs. For shame, FBI!
posted by Hoopo at 9:14 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


As an optical disc replicator, my view is that this is patent-compliance driven. Patents held by Philips, LG, Pioneer, and Sony, and currently administered by One-Red LLC.

Very much so, it's why Chinese no-names get away with ignoring it.
posted by jaduncan at 9:17 AM on May 10, 2012


I don't even understand how this idea isn't laughed out of the room the first time it's mentioned.

"Guys, I have a great idea, to prevent piracy we should include a warning on all our movies!"

"Sir, don't pirated movies not include the warning?"

"Let me start over..."
posted by odinsdream at 9:18 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Antipiracy: You're doing it wrong.
posted by symbioid at 9:23 AM on May 10, 2012


Is there anything more infuriating than the little "function not available" thing when you're trying to skip something on a DVD?

The icon that appears ought to be a middle finger.
posted by kurumi at 9:24 AM on May 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


echo target: "They have to know this only punishes the people who actually did the right thing and paid for the damn disc. I can only assume they think it'll work like the jelly donut in Full Metal Jacket, but I haven't seen that working out so far."

That scene should also be unskippable.
posted by symbioid at 9:29 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


this old flowchart
That flowchart is actually still grossly biased against the pirated versions. Hard drive prices are down to around ten cents for a DVD-quality movie file, fifty cents for Bluray-quality, so it's no longer even worth burning a ripped file to optical disk. Just keep your whole movie library on hard drives, and you can replace the "[find and] insert disk" step with a couple mouse clicks at a media PC.

Conversely, the non-pirated versions flowchart omitted the "find disk" step, the annoying "stop movie, remove and clean disk carefully when the player starts hiccuping" step, and the awful "curse when you realize that's a scratched part, not just a smudge" step.
One possible solution for honest people: Buy the DVD then download the torrent.
Still technically illegal (in most jurisdictions IIRC, IANAL, etc), could theoretically get you in trouble, and even the honesty is questionable if you're uploading more than downloading and thereby helping enable infringement by people who didn't buy the DVD first.

My solution is to buy the disc and then rip it myself. The people who let me download the ripping software are probably now DMCA violators (although as non-Americans, they probably don't care) but only redistribution of copy protection removal tools is banned; just using them and doing the format-shifting myself is still legal.
posted by roystgnr at 9:45 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


We've got a fairly large and diverse community here, it isn't entirely improbable that someone is privy in some way to the rationale behind such decisions and could relay it here.

I've not found any interviews where industry execs answer the question of why they think their policy will work.

Anyone have any insight at all?
posted by sotonohito at 9:48 AM on May 10, 2012


Also, threats clearly aren't working. They need to move on to invoking other strong emotions.

Emphatic: 'No wind, O majestic nose,
Can give THEE cold!--save when the mistral blows!'
Dramatic: 'When it bleeds, what a Red Sea!'
Admiring: 'Sign for a perfumery!'
Lyric: 'Is this a conch? ... a Triton you?'
Simple: 'When is the monument on view?'
Rustic: 'That thing a nose? Marry-come-up!
'Tis a dwarf pumpkin, or a prize turnip!'
posted by shakespeherian at 9:51 AM on May 10, 2012


This is the exact reason why I pirate. Why should I be inconvenienced any further stupid message?

Besides, buying movies further propegates funding for the MPAA and I wish movies would go in the direction of Louis C.K. model of paying a flat fee for a high quality download.

Yes people should be paid for work, but by the time the movie is online to torrent, the workers have been paid and the greedy studio investors gain the vast majority of the funds afterwards. Fuck em I say, and I will only support indie films at this point in terms of payment, and only if I dont have to deal with region codes, drm, and nonsense like nonskipping shit like this.
posted by handbanana at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2012


I thought unskippable warnings and previews were a sign that you should make pizza before the movie. From scratch. I mean, milking the cow and making cheese from scratch. After that, you might get to the DVD menu.
posted by desjardins at 10:00 AM on May 10, 2012


If you wanted to license CSS, you had to agree to follow certain aspects of the DVD spec (including region coding and restrictions on playback) as gospel.

I have a region-free DVD player that automatically skips to the top menu of every DVD... the firmware's hacked though. I wish my blu-ray player did that... oh well, rip and burn, or rip and stream.
posted by Huck500 at 10:32 AM on May 10, 2012


Imagine if books did this! You sit down in your favourite chair with a nice juicy new Iain Banks and open it up... er, you try and open it. The cover won't come open because it's sealed shut. So you have to feel around for the tab that will pull off the "don't read in the store" protection wrapper. Okay! That's done. So you open it up and then you start reading... er, no you don't, first you have to flip through a half dozen pages of ads for other books, which are glued down, so you have to carefully peel them up one by one. Then you can start reading! Er, no, because there's another half dozen pages of publisher promos, also stuck down. Then? No, then there's a chapter of contents that you have to carefully read so you can find out the actual starting page because it isn't the one at the beginning. Then you have to page through the book to find the start. Then you can read! No. Because the page the TOC referred you to is a garish page telling you not to xerox the book for your buddies, and you have to do a math problem to find the real starting page number. Can you read now? NO YOU CANNOT because the actual text of the book is printed alternating in faint blue ink on white and black on dark red to protect against xeroxing and GOD DAMN if it isn't just too fucking hard to read so you throw the book you paid for across the room, go to The Pirate Bay and type iain banks and select (x) books and hit search and then sort by activity descending and THERE IT IS, someone has OCRd it into an ePUB file with no ads, no warnings and any font at any size you want, and you launch the magnet file, wait 30 seconds, put the file it on your ebook reader and THEN you read it, bob's your uncle.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:49 AM on May 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


I always thought that Rhino's standard FBI warning should've become industry standard. When I pop in old MST tapes I actually look forward to seeing it again. (Love those little glasses!)
posted by Monster_Zero at 11:01 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you wanted to license CSS, you had to agree to follow certain aspects of the DVD spec (including region coding and restrictions on playback) as gospel.

Right: manufacturers don't do it because they want to, they do it because they have to. And because the DVD (and BD-ROM) specs were carefully designed to enable it.

Although I'm surprised that there aren't nudge-nudge-wink-wink hacks for re-enabling the Next button, like there often are for disabling region coding. ("Just press this combination of buttons on the remote -- why no, somebody discovered our debug menu, WE CERTAINLY NEVER INTENDED for THAT to happen.")
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:08 AM on May 10, 2012


Who watches a movie 4-5 times these days? I'm not just talking about my own life -- in my bachelor days, sure, that might've been possible, but now I have a wife and a 2-year-old -- but all of us, with the advent of netflix and hulu, have so many flipping options to watch -- I still have to get around to seeing The Wire an

STOP POSTING IMMEDIATELY AND GO WATCH THE WIRE

priorities, man!
posted by FatherDagon at 11:18 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I gave up on blu rays, at least through Netflix or Redbox, after they started putting unskippable ad after unskippable ad. The last blu ray I got from Netflix I didn't even watch, because I got so disgusted after the 4th trailer I pulled the disc out, returned it, and unsubscribed from blu rays.

The movie studios may hate pirates, but they hate their paying customers even more.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:58 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guaranteeing only pirates will actually buy the one copy of a Bluray.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:00 PM on May 10, 2012


This is a huge win for Apple.
posted by mazola at 12:09 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is all quoting a friend, it was not me:

Writing third party software for DVD and BD players:

Needed developer access to do our work. Manufacturers send developer versions of the hardware; black boxes with noisy fans and bad remotes.

Other manufacturers send us retail versions with custom firmware.

One time [one of the big name brands] did not want to pay to Fedex 6 of their device models for a hot fix. They say we go buy retail versions at Best Buy, they overnight a USB memory stick with special firmware and uploading instructions. We get developer access and the ability to skipping warnings and previews, playing all regions, own the box.

There is source code in the .Trash folder in USB stick.

That USB stick is pirate booty better than gold. Reams of paperwork to sign to get to the room where the devices are, after the fix everything is destroyed in a shredder. I weep.

On another device. The firmware and all the chips are the same. The only difference is jumper wires soldered to the board where the varnish had been scraped off.

End quote.

So yeah, it looks like the manufacturers are doing the minimum necessary to fulfill their contractual obligations. I wish some user friendly rouge engineer would leave some hidden clues on the circuit board on where to solder what to what.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, any recommendations for players that can skip this junk (maybe with a little hack)?

"The internet."

Unfortunately, buying discs and giving the distributors more money only reinforces this behaviour. It would be nice if public pressure forced them to change their ways, but it looks like they're determined to carry on until their business model bankrupts them.
posted by sneebler at 12:27 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, it's ILLEGAL to rips things off the Internet? Whew, thanks FBI for raising my awarenessness!
posted by Pathos Bill at 12:27 PM on May 10, 2012


Here they suggest pressing "Stop, Stop, then Play on many DVDs to skip right to the movie," or maybe Stop three times then play.

I remember years ago reading about software or hardware mods to certain models of DVD players to allow them to bypass the User Operation Prohibition (apparently also called Prohibited User Operation?). I suppose more technically-savvy people are just downloading content now, or watching discs on their computers, so there's less interest in that sort of thing.
posted by exogenous at 12:45 PM on May 10, 2012


Finally we will be free of the scourge of piracy.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:03 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doesn't VLC play BluRay these days?

Or, if you prefer, there are products like AnyDVD-HD.

"Cryptography is used so that a message from A can be read by B but not by C. With DRM, B and C are the same person." --Eustace Tilly

Like I said back in the Kindle thread, the DRM Emperor is looking a wee bit chilly this morning.
posted by sourcequench at 3:35 PM on May 10, 2012


Gee, I just can't understand why their business model is failing. Maybe if large needles came out of the video screen and jabbed the viewer's eyes more customers would buy the product. They should try that, too.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:46 PM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: They're paying for it, you eat it.
posted by buzzv at 5:26 PM on May 10, 2012


I work in home entertainment. Use of these new penalty warning videos is entirely voluntary. Nearly all of my clients do not and will not use them, or have their own equivalents produced in-house that their legal departments have deemed acceptable for ass-covering. A few of my clients keep them "skippable."

Copyright inheres from the moment of creation, thanks to the Berne Convetion. Any warning is immaterial; if you made it, and someone copies it without permission in the United States, the federal government can prosecute and sentence that someone up to that legal maximum. But the government has much more important things to spend that money on. Practically speaking, it falls to the copyright holder to punish violations.

Very, very few individuals are prosecuted for copyright violations (mass pirates are mostly overseas). The vast majority of individual copiers are sued by the studios and settle for much less than $250,000. They certainly don't go to federal prison. It's far easier for plaintiffs to win those civil settlements if they can point to a clear, unmistakable warning. But even that's not the real reason.

These public corporation media giants don't care about Internet outrage, or even suing John Q. Copier for $20,000—that's chump change compared to four years of an alphabet crime drama generating a billion dollars in revenue. They care far more about shareholders suing them, because that can drastically affect share price and officer compensation. So the REAL real reason is to keep up the appearance of due diligence in maximizing shareholder value by protecting the company's valuable intellectual property through legal means.

It's just ass-covering, and if you have to wait an extra minute... well, skidmarks happen.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:18 PM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


jaduncan writes "More honest message: 'If you can see this warning you should know Pirate Bay probably have a DVDRIP up.'"

And with a decent net connection you'd be watching the movie already.
posted by Mitheral at 9:49 PM on May 10, 2012


So the REAL real reason is to keep up the appearance of due diligence in maximizing shareholder value by protecting the company's valuable intellectual property through legal means.

This is the most idiotic rationale I can imagine. "I'm afraid of my shareholders, so I'll piss off my customer base and drive some of them away to keep them happy." Doesn't wash.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:07 PM on May 10, 2012


This is the most idiotic rationale I can imagine. "I'm afraid of my shareholders, so I'll piss off my customer base and drive some of them away to keep them happy."

Welcome to business.
posted by Jairus at 7:24 AM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Besides, buying movies further propegates funding for the MPAA and I wish movies would go in the direction of Louis C.K. model of paying a flat fee for a high quality download.

Huh. You mentioned C.K. and for a second, I thought there was going to be a link.
posted by Amanojaku at 9:20 AM on May 11, 2012


infinitewindow As mind bogglingly stupid as the logic chain you outlined is, I can easily see it appealing in a board room. Thanks.
posted by sotonohito at 5:28 AM on May 12, 2012


Just fyi, Lewis C.K. has started selling some old material online, probably a few anti-copyright types around here became fans with his last release.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:36 PM on May 13, 2012


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