This Operation Is Not Available

dsc_0002I love my DVD player. I know I’ll also love my Blu-ray player, in spite of the so-so upconversion of many of my favorite DVDs.

But there is one thing that I hate about either format, and it’s the fact that I cannot skip through certain sections of any DVD or Blu-ray disc. You know what I’m talking about: The anti-piracy page that says I’ll be tossed in jail for copying the movie for my peeps. (I know that.) The page that tells me how the commentary tracks do not express the opinions or beliefs of the studio releasing the movie. (Duh.) Or the appearance of a studio’s animated logo outside of the feature presentation, which has to be viewed every time, all the way through. (I know them all by heart.) I’ve even encountered a few discs where I can’t skip through the previews!

I’m not sure why I have to be tortured with these things every time I watch a DVD. They’re my players and my discs. I paid for them. I know these things are there for legal reasons. Fine. Just don’t waste my time with them. Legal obligations have been fulfilled by their simple inclusion on the discs. That’s all that should matter. And those 30 to 60 seconds of my life wasted with each movie add up, like my irritation.

What’s creepier is the idea that someday someone will devise a way to keep people from fast-forwarding through the commercials during programs they recorded on their TiVo.

Corporations exert enough control over our lives. They don’t need to have control over our remotes.


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3 Responses

  1. Gail

    “What’s creepier is the idea that someday someone will devise a way to keep people from fast-forwarding through the commercials during programs they recorded on their TiVo.”

    A thought that would evoke mass hysteria! And let us not forget the commercials on DVDs. It’s bad enough we need to see them in theaters, but on a DVD it is disgusting.

    Reply
  2. Click Lady

    And soon enough we’ll all have bar codes on our foreheads…
    I find the lack of trust irritating… why would I need to know any of that, I just want to watch the stupid thing. But, after I get over myself, I know that unfortunately, in this day & age of internet immediacy, artists are up against the protection of their intellectual property and they pay lawyers probably more than they would lose in revenue to protect their art. (How’s that for a run on sentence?)
    You’ve paid for the toy and the right to experience the creation. Not to copy and share it or financially benefit from it.
    So think about it Bryan…if you ever wrote a movie, or TV show and the only way to protect your living was to begin with a minute or two of annoying yet protective disclaimers…would you negotiate your way out of it? What if another magazine lifted one of your articles and claimed your work is public domain because they pay for their internet connection?
    I’d be interested to know…
    Yours Truly,
    Corporate Slave…

    Reply
    • bryanreesman

      I have no problem with copyright infringement warnings or commentary track disclaimers being put on DVDs. I have never bootlegged a DVD nor will I ever. But I don’t need to be forced to sit through those things every time I watch a disc. I should be allowed to skip through it if I choose. Blu-ray players in particular are notoriously slow to even load discs to begin with, and now at least one studio won’t even let you jump to the menu from the previews. You have to skip through each one, which is annoying. At least Blu-ray players have memory that knows if you have seen a disc before. That way once you’ve put a Blu-ray in, it could remember that you had and therefore allow you to skip through the warnings and disclaimers (and previews).
      As a writer I completely understand the need for protection of intellectual property. I will soon be posting something about my most quoted review ever. It has been reprinted across dozens upon dozens, possibly hundreds of websites over the last ten years, and I haven’t seen a dime for any of that. At least I have been credited every time. But it’s just one review. If it were part of a book I wrote, that would be another matter. I’d chase them down with legal measures.
      In the end, people know it’s wrong to bootleg, copy or appropriate another person’s work, and they should be punished accordingly. But the rest of us should not be punished with endless warnings because of their arrogance or stupidity.

      Reply

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