Monday, 16 February 2009

You wouldn't steal a car....

You wouldn't steal a handbag...

Um, no.
You wouldn't steal a mobile phone...

No thanks, I've got a perfectly good one myself.
You wouldn’t steal a DVD.

Not from a shop, no.

On bittorrent or newsgroups however - hell yes.

However, why the fuck is this advert shown at the beginning of legitimate, shop-bought DVDs? Is that not just a fucking slap in the face? And you can't even skip the ad! (Well, I can, but most hardware DVD players won't). It makes me even less inclined to buy it as the DVD rip you download doesn't have the fucking thing.

How on earth this Public Information Film (I refuse to call it an advert, it's not selling you anything) can attempt to equate downloading a film to stealing someone's fucking handbag, for fuck's sake, I shall never know.

The reason this and other anti-piracy films really get to me is that they work on the deeply flawed assumption that if you couldn't download the film you would have bought it. This just isn't true - before filesharing really took off (but DVDs still existed) I bought them, occasionally, but not unless I really wanted it. Now I can download all sorts of shit and not care if it turns out to be a pile of wank. I can also download TV shows that are not shown in this country but not available on DVD. Many people I know will download films but still buy original DVDs because they like having it in the box on their shelf. Personally I see no difference between that and having a downloaded collection of original VOBs on my hard disk, but that's the difference between us.

I have now firmly come to the conclusion that the MPAA are a bunch of fucking cunts who never saw the online p2p revolution coming and have realised there's fuck-all they can do about it apart from make these ridiculous films. Well, fuck them. I have a 20MB Virgin connection for a reason.


SaltedSlug said...

I'm a big fan of the scary satanic blacksmith in those. Oh, and the pointless (and no doubt bollocks) allusion to funding terrorism, that's a good one too.

Bristol Dave said...

No doubt? It's just complete bollocks. As if Al Quaeda fund their weapons from tables of ripped off DVDs at car boot sales. Well, maybe the Finsbury Park Mosque crowd do...

Deadbeat Dad said...

Sure, the anti-piracy spiel is fucking irritating when you've stumped up for a legit copy (not all DVDs foist it on you, mind); but downloading is still theft, whichever way you try to slice it.

On Saturday, I picked up three DVDs from FOPP at the bottom of Park St: Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder; Mutiny on The Bounty (the Trevor Howard/Marlon Brando version); and John Woo's Hard Boiled. Total cost? Eight measly quid. Okay, so the latter turned out to be a complete turkey (an impulse buy -- I should have checked some reviews first), but FOPP do have a no-quibble returns policy if it bothers you that much (myself, I'll donate it to a charity shop).

Don't be such a cheapskate.

Deadbeat Dad said...

P.S. Love the video link.

Bristol Dave said...

but downloading is still theft, whichever way you try to slice it

So is copying CDs - but how many houses in the UK do you think have copied CDs in them? Christ, even my dad does it, and he'd be kept awake at night by a parking ticket.

So is, for that matter, recording shows off the TV on DVD or VHS and keeping them for more than 24 hours. (Well, not exactly "theft", but it comes under the same copyright law).

Yes, technically downloading is theft, but in my eyes it's a bit of a grey area because it's hard to prove that the film company have actually lost anything. As I said in my post, this is all based on a flawed assumption that if you couldn't download it, you would have bought it on DVD, which as I said just isn't true. There's no way I would have shelled out for most of the stuff I've downloaded and watched if I couldn't download it.

What about people who download Lost episodes before they are shown in the UK? Is that theft? Again, technically I guess it is, but have the TV Channel or Show's production company actually "lost" (no pun intended) anything?

There are people who will download a film and then if they like it, buy the DVD. I personally can't see the point once I've got the film downloaded. I don't think it's cheapskate, but what's the point in spending £8 on DVDs when I can download them for the princely sum of fuck all?

For the film industry to say they are losing out and film quality is suffering, I say bollocks. Cinema attendence is still as high as it always was, and if they are losing money through lower DVD sales - fucking tough. They should have seen this coming and thought of a way round it. The record companies have with iTunes, which is ridiculously popular. In my experience, less and less music is shared on filesharing networks because you can buy it legitimately so cheaply anyway.

And trying to equate downloading films with stealing someone's handbag or car is just fucking offensive. It's such a tenuous fucking link (because, "technically" it's theft) and in my opinion the advert never should have been allowed. If I could make a copy of all the cash in your wallet (ignoring technicalities like serial numbers for a moment) would you feel like you'd been robbed?

it's either banned or compulsory said...

I download several movies a week, midnight - 6am so my internet provider does not give a toss.
If I like the film ( usually acceptable quality at around 700MB ) I'll often buy the DVD from Amazon there and then. If I don't, well they shouldn't be pimping crap to me in the first place.