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How to make piracy appealing? More government warnings.

It seems the US government continues to miss the mark on piracy and have recently announced 2 new unskippable warnings which will be featured on DVDs & Blu-rays.

The new warnings while not only targeting the wrong people (e.g. those who have legitimately brought a copy of the DVD) but likely also pissing them off a treat as the new warnings will be back-to-back and each lasting 10 seconds, adding another 20 seconds delay between the content you have PAID for.

The first warning which threatens pirates with up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine:

The second warns consumers that “Piracy is not a victimless crime” and that digital “theft” harms the economy:

This has naturally angered many consumers who recognise the flaw in yet more piracy warnings on discs because they act only as a deterrent… to buying the disc. Not to piracy.

A comment I found on artechnica sums up the general feeling nicely:

“Here in Belgium, when I buy a DVD or bluray, I’m forced to watch the copyright notice from BAF & Brein, followed by the copyright notice from the filmdistributor, the age warning, the warning that opinions expressed in commentary are from the people themselves not the company, and the “you wouldn’t steal a car” commercial, and I start to regret buying the movie.

The pirate version is hassle free, starts immediately playing and can be played on my PC, Xbox or Smartphone. And I can have the pirated version weeks or sometimes months before the DVD goes on sale.

If they want to stop piracy, they should offer a superior product.”

It really frustrates me to see governments and law-enforcements getting the issue of piracy so wrong, especially with the recent high-court order to block the Pirate Bay.

These kinds of measures are completely ineffective and as with piracy warnings on DVD they only encourage users to turn to piracy because it’s easier. Why sit through 5 minutes of crappy trailers, unskippable PSAs and moronic piracy warnings when they can watch instantly online with no interruptions or delays…. or download the whole thing in half hour on torrent?

Piracy is easy, and convenient.  But the answer isn’t to try and make piracy less convenient, it’s to make legitimate paid for content as easy or better yet, easier!

I have both a Spotify and LOVEFiLM subscription at the moment, and they are both good but both have their problems, primarily that they don’t have all the content I want. Spotify has most songs, but not all so occasionally to get my musical kicks I need to track down the songs I want to hear on other services, YouTube or get it elsewhere. And LOVEFiLM? I’m cancelling because they simply don’t have nearly enough content to satisfy me. It’s also ridiculously hard to fine the content they *do* have. I can watch almost any TV show or movie I like within a minute thanks to hosted video services, obviously when watching House on PutLocker the company which made it gets nothing, if they licensed it to LOVEFiLM I’d watch, they’d get paid.

It seems in far too many cases copyright holders are far too greedy when it comes to their licensing agreements and it really is just shooting themselves in the foot.

I’ve said it to many people, but give me a service where I can get every song, every movie and every TV show and I’m there, and I’d happily pay handsomely for it. Until this can become a reality piracy will continue to be the easiest way to consume the content we all love.

1 Comment

  1. J D J D
    May 12, 2012    

    Amen brother.

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