WaPo’s Rob Pegoraro argues that attempts by DVD manufactures to stop the proliferation of DeCSS, a program designed to get around anti-copying features on DVDs, is counterproductive. He argues that it is not only a losing battle to try to stop piracy, which he thinks a small problem anyway, but that such programs are actually useful because they allow those who buy DVDs to use them as they wish and show the industry what they’re doing wrong. Most notably, the ability to bypass that idiotic FBI warning, commercials, and region-specific viewing restrictions all have legitimate uses.

While I support the industry in its attempts to safeguard its intellectual property, I do find the current packaging of DVDs annoying. I buy a reasonably large number of these (I have 8o-odd in my collection) and am annoyed by having to spend 15 minutes getting past the shrinkwrap, security tape, and other junk put on there to prevent theft. Then, one has to wait around for the FBI warning and commercials before getting to the menu on many DVDs. And, quite often, they get rather carried away with the menu and one has to wait for an idiotic animated display to load. Me, I just want the damned thing to load to the menu–no animation, please–and allow me to skip directly to the opening scene of the movie.

Perhaps the industry could simply produce two versions of the DVD: one, with all this crap on it, for the rental market and another for those who buy a copy for personal use?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.