Logic’s Last Stand

March 7, 2009

DRM is Obnoxiously Stupid

Filed under: Computers, Freeware, Movies, Philosophy — Tags: , , , — Zurahn @ 9:06 pm

As you should already know, I spend a creepy amount of time on the computer; consequently, my monitor is of much better quality than my television. So after I had recently ordered and received a copy of The Dark Knight on DVD, I decided instead to watch it on my computer.

Another point you should realise is that I run Linux, which isn’t necessarily a friend of the movie industry. Lastly, you must be aware that DVDs contain Digital Rights Management software.

There is a library available in Linux called libcss2 that allows playback of movies with copy-protection. However, The Dark Knight happened to have revamped its encryption and decided to just curl up in a ball and say “nu-uh!” to the person who just legally purchased the film.

Whatever intended purpose there was to this, it was clearly an empty obscene gesture to those who just wanted to watch the movie, because the disc obviously contains the movie, and that being said, it’s not going to be difficult to watch it anyway.

mplayer -sb 2500000 dvd:// -alang en

And it plays just fine. A single command line function to essentially skip the copy-protection.

Instead of trying to stop people from using the items that your customers have purchased, perhaps spend a little more time understanding that by doing so that makes simply downloading the movie a better product.

July 6, 2008

Top Twenty Favourite Movies

Filed under: Movies — Tags: , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 3:59 am

For the past couple years, I’ve come across a surpring number of movies that I’ve thought very highly of, some of which make this list. This list is that of my 20 favourite movies.

20 – It Could Happen to You
The “true” story of a New York policeman who in lieu of a tip offers half the winnings of a lottery ticket — that turns out to be a four million dollar winner. The movie stars Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda in heartwarming performances. The only downside is the unusual tendency to cheer in favour of adultery. Oh well.

19 – Groundhog Day
The perennial Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day is about what happens when crusty TV weatherman Phil Connors gets stuck in the hell that is Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day in a daily infinite loop, waking up each morning at the start of the same day. The build-up of anger to desperation to personal growth, Groundhog Day manages to be both hilarious and hopeful.

18 – Borat
So, so wrong and yet so so right, Borat is the politically incorrect comedy based on the Sasha Cohen character Borat, an anti-semitic Khazaki reporter as he travels the United States learning about its culture. Crude, crass and offensive, it has only one goal in mind, and that is to make the audience laugh.

17 – The Simpsons Movie
Everyone knew it was coming, and everyone feared that is was coming. TV to movie failures are all too common to the moviegoing public, so to see The Simpsons go to the big screen had fans holding their breath. The all-star cast of writers as found in the longest end credits I’ve ever seen, pulled off a classic. Everything that made The Simpsons a classic show shown through, from crass behaviour in an animated setting, to the emotional reality of family life. We couldn’t have asked for more.

16 – Monty Python & The Holy Grail
Arguably the most quotable movie of all-time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is as about Monty Python as a human can handle per second. From brazen mockery of special effects to… well, brazen mockery of everything actually. Silly in ways that Family Guy can only dream, if you don’t like it, then your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

15 – The Terminator
Have you ever met someone who didn’t like The Terminator? It just may be impossible. A sci-fi film that is uncomparable to any other, The Terminator is by all definitions a classic. It captured the dystopian robot future like none other and pushed it as far as it could go. Real intensity in an unreal world, there’s just nothing else like it.

14 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Probably not the position of most, but I preferred the second. More action, more intensity. The setting of one Terminator versus another kept the fearful escape of the original, but made it so that it wasn’t a constant chase scene and more cat-and-mouse. Oh, and try to pack in more action, I dare you. And no, Terminator 3 isn’t next or anywhere to be seen on this list — twenty most hated movies, maybe.

13 – Top Gun
Gung-ho American propaganda aside, Top Gun was my first ever “favourite movie” so you could call this a sentimental placement. The fun interaction of the war games with the interpersonal tension gives Top Gun a unique feel.

12 – Grave of the Fireflies
Sometimes it’s hard to define favourite, because it can be difficult to define entertainment. Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies is just the reason why. The film, despite being animation, is a woefully realistic portrayal of Japan during World War II, in which teen boy Seita and his young sister are left homeless after their mother is killed in a firebombing. The fight against time is a heartbreaking struggle that stands as one of the strongest anti-war messages.

11 – Lean on Me
Sometimes you need a feelgood story, and Lean on Me is one of the best. Joe Clark takes over East Side High, a school overrun with violence and drug abuse as he and the faculty make a desperate attempt to get the school up to minimum educational standards in order to avoid having it taken over by the state. This “true” story is a definite pick-me-up.

10 – Contact
Alien lifeforms in science fiction are almost always portrayed as the negative cause of a dystopian future. Contact does an immaculate job at highlighting the search and contact of life without being overly dramatic or going cliché.

9 – Collateral
Collateral is the gritty Michael Mann film about a hitman and his cabbie hostage and what happens throughout the night. Starring Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise and Jada Pinkett Smith in excellent performances, the seeming chemistry between them is almost unmatched.

8 – The Fugitive
Based on the 60’s TV drama, The Fugitive is about the hunt for Fugitive Richard Kimble as he desperately attempts to prove his innocence and find the “one-armed man.” Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones take the lead roles in the unusual circumstanced movie that has you cheering against a good guy.

7 – Hot Fuzz
I didn’t particularly care for the 2004 film from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Shaun of the Dead, but Hot Fuzz definitely won me over on the duo. About a dedicated by-the-book police office Nicholas Angel who gets transferred from London to the small town Sandford for making the rest of the service look bad, it’s a fine balance of hilarious, mystery and action.

6 – The Shawshank Redemption
Notorious Oscar-snub The Shawshank Redemption is a favourite of many. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman star in a movie about Andy Dufresne, a man wrongly imprisoned for the murder of his wife and his transition into prison life. It’s hard to describe what it is, as The Shawshank Dedemption simply is.

5 – Princess Mononoke
Another from Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke is a masterpiece of character. A struggle based on economics and class, Princess Mononoke manages to almost entirely avoid the need for a battle of good versus evil, only a fight for peace and understanding in a heated debate of economic standing. This is another incredible example of the ability of realistic power of animated film.

4 – The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
When you bring the second most-read fictional book in the world (after the Bible) to the big screen, you had better do it justice. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings did that and so much more. The entire world was fully realized and the characters perfectly cast, from Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf to Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn and everyone inbetween. The Fellowship of the Ring brought everything to life.

3 – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
As enjoyable as The Shire was in Fellowship of the Ring, things get more interesting as the plot continues into murky territory. Growing tension between sides and war begins. The moments before the battle of Helm’s Deep is iconic, as is the entire film.

2 – The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
The further the story goes in The Lord of the Rings, the more complicated they become. It was at one time seemingly impossible to pull off not only the special effects for a live-action rendition of the books, but the sheer manpower. Return of the King was an incredible finish to an incredible trilogy of Middle-Earth.

1 – Spirited Away
There’s something about movies that gives off a feeling unique to the medium. A deep sense of upliftment and caring, which in Spirited Away is far and beyond all others. Another from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away is the story of ten year-old Chihiro as she is lost the spirit world as she attempts to save her parents. Another instance where it really isn’t a matter of good versus evil, the sheer unblemished innocense of a girl makes all the difference in the greed filled world.

March 25, 2008

Piracy – Morality and Rationale – Part 5

Filed under: Computers, Movies, Philosophy, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 4:15 am

“If we don’t get a chance to ask the question, then we really haven’t taken the opportunity that I think the Internet offers. And I think you risk closing off some new possibilities by holding onto an old rule, and the old rule was: Any copy other than the one delivered by the producer is illegitimate–it is pirate. And, in fact, the practice has often been that culture is shared, that we make mixed tapes and we show movies to each other and we make it part of our own lives. That’s in fact been the vitality of pop culture. And so we’d be denying the fact that pop culture, while in some way is owned by its producers, the very reason why it matters is it’s owned by the people who consume it.”
-Tarleton Gillespie, assistant professor, Department of Communication, Cornell University

This is a quote from a recent BBC podcast series about piracy. This is a fundamental reason why, perhaps not why it has begun, but why it will never stop, and why it is so hard to convince people of it being so wrong. The rules aren’t clear because you can’t make them clear, and if you can’t make them clear, you can’t get people to agree with enforcing them. Another issue brought up in the podcast was in reference to books, which is an excellent case-study. How often are books pirated? People sell used books for pennies, people share books, there are public libraries, and nobody seems to read anymore. And yet, through all of that, there is a seemingly endless stream of literature. Why? That’s up to interpretation. The podcast mentioned a drop in price wiping out pirated copies, but I would suggest the product is properly placed in the market. Packaging, quality control and pricing meet the place where it is more reasonable to purchase books you want than to get lesser copies through lesser means for lesser cost. But the option exists, and in fact, helps the market.

What exists now is an environment where everything is free. The Internet is the theory of communism as yet uncorrupted by power, and in a communist society, you can accept that you are all equal, or you can leave. You can’t keep hording things to yourself, and you most certainly will not be tolerated taking things away from everyone else.

When we look at piracy from a logical perception, there are instances where things can certainly get negative, and in a general sense, wrong. Someone did make this, and through their only means, released it as a commercial product. Without their effort, this product would not exist, yet someone is using it without permission.

The problem is the rarity of these instances among the vague strokes of licensing, a culture of sharing, and simple fair usage. Yet my evaluation means nothing. If there’s something to learn from the example of books, it’s that the issue forces change, regardless of authority. If your product is digital, you’re going to have to meet the public, which is on the whole rejecting that very market to which you appeal. So you can be like these digital pioneers,

CBC released it’s television series, “Canada’s Next Prime Minister” for free on bitTorrent

Radiohead released its latest album ahead of time, online, for free. Oh, and it released as the #1 album.

And of course, The Revolution Movie, which released in theatres asking the audience to pay afterwards, whatever they thought it was worth, if even nothing. Did I mention the average viewer paid more than the standard ticket fee?

I’ve given you the information, and some opinions in there, too, so you can make a fairly well informed decision. My last judgment? Well, while there are some dark spots, and you may want to avoid downloading music if you’re a college student, I wouldn’t worry too much about the morality of it all, because, in time, you simply won’t have to.

March 16, 2008

Piracy – Morality and Rationale – Part 4

Filed under: Computers — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 3:46 am

Having covered multimedia, it’s time to focus on an area of digital piracy that is strangely overlooked, which is software. Let’s look at the reasons for piracy, and see how software works out:

Obviously, if you download something without paying, it’s cheaper than if you paid. The problem here is that there’s a free version of practically everything, so if you download Nero 7 without a license instead of DeepBurner, well, you’re just not being efficient.

Actually obtaining software without a license is going to most likely be harder that going out and getting it yourself. It’s just not as big of a market, and the market is more splintered, so getting an unlicensed copy of a program can be quite difficult in most cases.

Reliability is most significant issue. If you’re going to spend money on a product, you want to be assured of its compatibility, which is almost impossible to do. This is where games factor in quite prominently, as they can be the most picky due to being among the most hardware intensive. Testing beforehand is more important on software than anywhere. If you can get a shareware version, that can be of benefit, but that’s not always available. Ultimately, pirated software is typically less reliable, but it’s also common enough that commercial software for whatever reason will completely fail to run.

Games are also most significant when it comes to DRM. Valve games, for example, require Steam in order to play your games, regardless of whether they were downloaded. Steam requires an Internet connection, and needs the Steam servers functional. All of things are pushing things much too far.

Software is difficult because of how expansive it is, and the case-by-case basis of the implications of downloading unlicensed versions. Typically, in all practicality, there should be a free version. Whether it’s OpenOffice for Microsoft Office, Paint.NET for Adobe Photoshop, IZArc for WinRAR, or even Ubuntu for Windows. While it’s not always perfect, there’s usually a good substitute.

Judgment: Medium-High objectionability. There may be the occasional instance that you need a license product to do something specific, or you can’t find something to buy anywhere, or whatever the issue. But for the most part, you should be able to find software for free. Games are a different beast, and I find the acts of Valve with Steam, and 2K Games with Bioshock utterly dispicable, there are cases of beautiful lack of intrusion, such as Ubisoft with my new copy of Chessmaster 11 (although there’s no demo available for it :(). I’d suggest console or boycott, but just use your best judgment here.

Part 5 will bring general conclusions to the issue of piracy.

March 13, 2008

The Classics

Filed under: Movies, Philosophy — Tags: , , , , — Zurahn @ 12:32 am

You could say I’ve had a history of not exactly embracing “the classics”, in games and more particularly in movies. Whether these be ones I consider among the most intolerable, such as Merry Poppins or Sound of Music, or overwrought stomach churners that are within the realm of watchable, but remain empty, such as Mystic River or the Wizard of Oz.

It’s not, though, a matter of concept, but execution that relies on moral messages that remain core in cheesy dialogue with utter shells of characters there only as a means to an end. It does not have to be this way, as I have found out.

While I have never thought much of Alice in Wonderland or Romeo and Juliet, I have found the utter brilliant executions of the similar premisces in the remarkable Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Where the former rely on little more than concept to make them of value, Miyazaki has done what to many had previously seemed impossible: a movie without good versus evil. Only situations already there, and characters that in your heart of hearts you want to succeed.

Spirited Away shows in every way the true meaning of selflessness and innocence of children. As wonderfully abstract and imaginative as the world is, more incredible is the simple acts of kindness in a dark situation manage to warm the soul in the most real of ways.

Similarly and just as effectively, the land in Princess Mononoke is fairytale, but the realization of its ideals are eloquently fulfilled as a beautiful thesis as to the necessary harmony of man and nature. It’s not a matter of abandonment industry, but an understanding of the ultimate equality of life and death that links us all.

In both, there also lies the love that cannot be, without stretching, whether romantic or otherwise, serves even as an example of its truest form.

The term classic may mean many things to many people. To me, this now means Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.

March 7, 2008

Piracy – Morality and Logic – Part 3

Filed under: Computers, Philosophy — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 8:58 am

Piracy – Morality and Logic – Part 1
Piracy – Morality and Logic – Part 2

In Part 2, I detailed the ambiguity regarding the licensing of digital media, citing the user’s difficulty in discerning what is legal. As per that vein, last week, Nine Inch Nails released its newest album on bitTorrent as well as available to listen on their site.

This is a particularly central tennet to the debate regarding music downloads, as their are more outlets to capture and distribute music than any other medium.

There are five key points to address when determining the ethical ramifications of downloading music on the Internet:
-Who released it, and what license
-Honus of knowledge
-Internet amnesty
-The industry
-The representatives

Who released it is very important, perhaps on an ethical level, more than with what license. The licenses are not written by the artists and are not really with the intent of protecting the artist, but rather the recording label. If the album is released freely by the artist, it is irrelevant ethically whether the “license” permits listening on an MP3 playing or using it in a personal video. Perhaps I’m speaking out of line, but I’d find it hard to imagine that anyone releasing their music would be the ones to impose those restrictions.

But in terms of license, the transferrence of license must be permitted in some way with all possessions, or else it’s not a possession at all, and you’re no longer buying, but leasing. Assuming that you are not leasing music, but purchasing, someone then must have purchased the song that is available on peer-to-peer, and must thereby by transferrable. It is the user’s right to give away HIS license to that song. This leads into the next section…

The honus of knowledge. Is the user then the one who should be required to determine whether a download available for free from wherever is in fact licensed as such? In terms of the analogy of someone giving away a song, would the user downloading be required then to assure that the user on the other end, who has just released his license, no longer listen to the song? Is it up to the user, if he does not know who a band is, to find out whether he would, would not or has released an album for free? If he is unable, is it then unethical to download? For most independents, this would be severely limiting, from a theoretical absolute position if everyone followed this rule.

The most convincing argument against the freedom of users to download based on the conception of presumed licensing is that the initiation of a download has the user copying the material, and not the licensee, as well as it being a copy, and not a transfer. However, this may become irrelevant once we address the question of whose law is it that one must follow? The residence of the user or that of the artist, if any at all? While one would naturally lean toward that of the user, it then must be asked how this protects the artist? If copyright protection is provided to protect the rights of the original creator, who then does it serve to ignore the laws by which that creator lives?

Even further on the law of the Internet, let’s try an example: An American artist records an album (and doesn’t release it freely on the Internet), then moves to Canada. A person in Canada and a different person in the United States downloads the same album. Do we apply the American law to both, Canadian to the Canadian, US to the US? American law cannot be applied to a Canadian if the act was perpetrated on Canadian soil (and vice-versa). Canadian law does not protect the artist in this case. Applying American law would be irreverent when the person in the same country as the artist is not subject to the same law. The only reasonable conclusion on the application of the law is that attempting to do so can only be considered an act of a party without the artist himself in mind, well intentioned or not.

The industry is created as a means of generating revenue, but offering a service to the public. The artists provide the service, the public pays for it, all is good. If either the customer doesn’t pay, or the service isn’t as advertised, then the system is broken. Also central to the entire idea of paying for a service is competition, and if there’s no competition, the reason to pay dissipates. We are seeing all three signs of a broken industry with music today. Your options for music (aside from our subject of downloads) if you do not own an iPod are CDs. This is a monopoly. Also referenced in Part 2 is the incredible limitations of modern license agreements, which is arguably not as advertised. This is no clearer than the Sony rootkit fiasco in which Sony music CDs automatically installed anti-piracy software without the user’s consent, and resulted in significant performance issues on the system — in lamens terms, it installed malware.

One last issue I’ll touch on is US specific — the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They’ve been on a massive anti-piracy legal crusade, primarily against college dorm students (which is a moronic idea legally given dorm students are on a SHARED network meaning it’s impossible to win if it makes it to court). While there’s a lot of rhetoric in the incessent web-flaming on the RIAA, there are unseemly practices, including one that single-handedly undermines their entire cause: They didn’t pay the artists.

Ok, that was the second-to-last thing. I’d be remisce not to mention that as a listener to a lot of Japanese music, it’s awfully difficult for me to acquire music through traditional means, and I most certainly would not have even heard any of it as such. I have actually looked on iTunes for the sake of seeing if I could find Hitomi Yaida or Younha, and did not have such luck. Importing costs $40 + shipping.

So my judgment? Well, when you have such significant international legal inconsistencies, tonnes of ways to get music that may or may not be properly licensed, and you’ve got companies pulling crap like this this and this, it’s a little hard to feeling as if you’re hurting the little guy by downloading some songs.

Judgment: No objectionability. That’s right, none. Do it, and may your conscience be clear. The industry’s a mess, and it’s not your job to clean it up — wait, sorry, it is. By not buying overpriced, malware infested, CDs that the record label gets 88% of the profits.

Part 4 investigates the seediness of downloading pirated software.

March 3, 2008

Piracy – Morality and Rationale – Part 2

Filed under: Computers, Philosophy — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 3:26 pm

A pretense that was not addressed in Part 1 of this series was that of the simple ambiguity of licensing. That is, what one is legally entitled to do with something for which he has paid. Most simply do not know, and presume it’s simply a matter of “If I bought it, I do what I want, but can’t give it to someone else.” In reality, things are extraordinarily complicated. I’ll also note that I am addressing simply downloading, and not distribution, which is murkier territory.

Firstly, legality depends on your country. A simple contrast is between the United States and Canada on the downloading of copywritten music. In the United States, it is in fact illegal to downloading copywritten materials (though prosecution and burden of proof is incredibly difficult), while in Canada downloading is permitted, as well as copying CDs (http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrksv/cipo/cp/copy_gd_protect-e.html).

But morality is not legality, and this only covers you insofar as you ethically agree with the law. So where do we draw that line? This is the second point: There is no line. Follow the example, even in the United States, whether something even qualifies as protected by copywrite. Keeping with the music trend, it is not uncommon for some or all of an album to now be released with full distribution rights for free on the Internet, as seen by Weird Al Yankovich (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5482774).

Where things really get confusing is with regard to streaming public video sites such as Youtube. It is even more common for record labels to release music videos on Youtube. In less time than it would take to search out the song on a peer-to-peer client, I could rip the audio from that Youtube video and have the music in MP3 form. Would that be copyright infringement? Should the downloader even have to be the one to figure it out?

The same concepts pertain to television, as seen by the many NBC clips released by NBC itself. Would a video uploaded by NBC be legal and moral, but if someone downloaded the NBC clip itself and uploaded it, would it be illegal and immoral? What if it’s the same clip, but TiVO’d?

The last item, most mind twisting, is that once downloaded, if presumed entirely legal to have been distributed, what license then is given? Personal viewing? Personal and public viewing? Distribution rights? Selling rights? There are no license agreements for most digital media. In the case of Youtube, the site itself attempts to dictate licensing, but its own Terms of Service remain ambiguous at best. For example, “You agree not to alter or modify any part of the website”. What does this mean? Technically I’m modifying their site by increasing or decreasing my browser text size or applying a custom stylesheet.

Ultimately, Terms of Service, licensing agreements and the like are anti-social means of dismissing all liability with complete disregard for consumer rights. On an ethical level, the entire premisce of 10 pages of legal jargon as a means for determining what you can or cannot do, which in the case of CDs, can restrict even listening to it on your iPod (

Trying to define ethics by the definition of the law and licensing agreements is clearly in poor judgment. Part 3 will address the music issue further.

February 24, 2008

Piracy – Morality and Rationale – Part 1

Filed under: Computers, Philosophy — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 8:08 am

Piracy is a big issue with the advent of the much clichéd Web 2.0. While there was for the longest time piracy related to computers, it seemed limited at first to computer software itself. Then it spread to music and videogames, then onto pretty much anything that could be digital.

Is it simply a matter of something being free? Is it convenience? A statement? More importantly, is it patently right or wrong? If I may be a little less than humble, I’d say in a description, you can summarize me into logical and ethical. Combine that with a serious dedication to computers, and I feel as though I’m in a good position to evaluate the ethical complications of piracy.

I’ll start with DVDs, that being, movie and television content sold as DVDs. Most are easily accessible off of bitTorrent. Let’s address the issues that lead to one choosing to download versus buy:
-It’s free
-There are no advertisements
-Can be done from home
-Easily transferrable

Saying it’s free is more complex than the notion of not paying. No price means no risk — is there something you want to see, but aren’t sure if it’s worth a purchase? Suddenly, you can see it without purchasing it. There’s also no risk of damaging the disc, or receiving a faulty disc. While this option theoretically exists on television, timing is frustrating unless you have one of those expensive and controversial TiVO recorders, and leads into the next section,

Similarly, we’ve been dragged through this idiotic HD format wars endlessly, and for what will cost the consumer approximately twice the cost of a normal DVD for slightly improved quality, the option is to those who download, immediately available the upgrade should the viewer wish.

There are no advertisements. Even in DVD movies, where you have paid to own the content, you still must endure several previews that the DVD really doesn’t want you skipping, along with the nice extended 3D animation of the producer’s logo, and obnoxious, spoiler-filled video footage that leads into and plays in the background of the main menu. DVDs have become obnoxious as a delivery system.

Nothing more than a computer, Internet connection and time is required to watch. No movie stores, no rental returns or late fees. Download-watch-delete. You could even stream in some cases, with no delay.

And related to computers, there’s little difficulty in transferring the contents of the DVD. What do I mean? Backups, alternative viewing means, portable players, making clips, whatever. You have full access to do as you wish.

There are means to get some of these things, such as NetFlix, but that may be limited by bandwidth, area, and simply what is offered. And still, does not provide full versatility.

If you’re under the age of 18 (varies by location), there is little to argue on the matter. In Ontario, at least, you cannot rent without a credit card. You cannot rent or buy movies in which you do not meet the age restriction. If you are, for example, 17, you would by the law that in the US so scorns upon downloading copywritten movies, you would not be allowed to buy or rent a movie rated R.

What is ultimately striking about the concept of downloads of DVDs is that there is a genuine advantage in all areas for the method that does not cost the consumer. Yes, the creator should retain rights to his content and be compensated; however, the means of distribution is clearly flawed and is hurting the ones who actually pay.

So far this will have come off as rather slanted. There are more methods for viewing what is available on DVD that simply the DVDs themselves, but evaluate those means, and there are complications. Telvision does not provide many methods for being selective in channels. You need to get a giant load of channels, which in the case of modern television, is a giant load of crap. It’s the equivalent of the obnoxious console bundles that require you to buy all the games the retailers know nobody wants, just to get the system. Nobody should support that kind of methodology. Remove that and suddenly you’re into PC options, which I will address in another part.

When one desires change, it must be shown in purchasing habits — however, there is little choice for the consumer in this regard. There are DVDs, and in that, DVDs are the same. DRM’s that prevent back-ups, and barring that, user-agreements that forebode viewing for anyone other than yourself, and certainly not on anything other than a DVD player, advertisements that cannot be skipped, and so forth. For most, it’s DVDs or torrents, and it seems as though torrents are making a serious claim.

Judgment: Low objectionability until the movie industry (and western governments) get their act together.

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