Anti-piracy ads on DVDs

I have remarked about this before, but those anti-piracy ads that are on legitimate store-board DVDs in Australia are intrusive and annoying. They are also inconsistent. They are on some DVDs and not others. So what do you think: would you expect to see them on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Mr Men? And before you answer, here is clue: the ads are directed clearly at teenagers.

Well of course they are on Mr Men and not Buffy. So my kids have to spend a couple of minutes being educated that there is such a thing as downloading movies rather than buying them at a store. Good one, content providers.

The bigger issue is this: when I buy a DVD, I do not expect them to have ads. There are no warnings that they have ads. Nothing of the sort. This lack of transparency seems to me to be misleading consumers. Surely, the government or ACCC could step in to see that people are buying something they paid for. I have no objection on priniciple to there being ads, I just expect people to know before they watch something whether it will be there or not.

4 thoughts on “Anti-piracy ads on DVDs”

  1. Interestingly enough the ABC DVDs which we play for our kids always advertise other ABC shows you can buy. I have no problem with that … but it seems ironic that a free to air TV station that prides itself in not having commercial advertising would lock its DVDs so you can’t skip past them but must subject your kids to 2-3 minutes of advertising before they can watch the show.

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  2. We also observe that if you download an illegal copy, you don’t see the ad. If you go out and buy the DVD as the company wants you to, they punish you with a loud, tedious ad. WFD.

    Also, your blog is throwing a fascinating wobbly — your admins probably need to reboot Windows.

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  3. It’s worth noting that many movie viewers on computers can skip past these annoyances (I use xine, vlc and mplayer on my linux machines), but many standalone dvd players cannot, with the “this button won’t work now” icon appearing on your TV screen when you try and skip past the title or to the root menu.

    This suggests that a considerate DVD-player manufacturer could do something about it. Maybe they could have “this dvd player will respect your wishes and go to the root menu quickly”.

    What I find particularly annoying about these ads are that they are typically very loud compared to the movies on the DVD: not great when the littlies in the next room have just gone to sleep!

    Personally, I’d reckon “fair use” provisions would probably allow you to make a backup copy without the junk.

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  4. I find the ads annoying and also hate the fact that you can’t skip past them. Interestingly, a DVD my son got for Christmas has a couple of ads for other movies which you can skip past – however when I did skip past them my 3 year old complained that he wanted to watch them.

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