The Government Is Adding a Second Anti-Piracy Warning Screen to DVDs and Blu-rays

The Government Is Adding a Second Anti-Piracy Warning Screen to DVDs and Blu-rays

May 09, 2012

We are all no doubt familiar with the FBI anti-piracy warning that greets us any time we pop in a DVD or Blu-ray. (If you're not, the FBI would like to talk to whoever has been selling you your DVDs.) That unskippable 'unauthorized reproduction, 5 years in prison, $250,000 fine' screen has been the bane of many honest film fans. Those of us who actually buy our movies have been wasting away precious seconds staring at the ineffectual message, while those who pirate their movies have been able to press play and go straight to the main feature.

So what's being done to combat the convenience of piracy? A second anti-piracy screening is being added. Duh. First rule in government spending: Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?

The familiar FBI warning is now being co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, which is apparently no longer just responsible for keeping citizens safe from terrorists, but also Hollywood's profits safe from penny pinchers. The language of the warning is the same, but now a DHS Special Agent badge has been added next to the FBI's. But the fun doesn't stop there.

The National Intellectual Property Center also wants to slow down your epic journey to watch the movie you've legally purchased, so now the new FBI/DHS warning screening will be followed by a second screen that says "Piracy is not a victimless crime," right below an intimidating emblem of a bald eagle attacking.

And as if those two screens weren't comically ineffectual enough, it turns out that all three of these government logos are copyrighted, which means they and their respective warnings can only be used by the following authorized MPAA members: Disney, Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Brothers. Apparently protecting the IP rights of an indie film isn't nearly as important as making sure no one steals from a Hollywood production.

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