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international librarian of mystery

Monday, May 17, 2004

Cinema copyright warnings: a call to action

It seems UK cinemas are taking the threat of piracy pretty seriously, and have started adding a 'public announcement' service to the start of films to warn patrons that recording the film with recording equipment is illegal and that could you a) not do it, and b) dob in everyone you see who is doing it. This interruption to the film starting (after 30 minutes of ads) aggrieved Cory Doctorwow of the excellent boingboing site so much he's taken a stand...
Every time I see this, my blood boils. I just paid a fortune to see this movie, I've been subjected to 500 percent concession stand markup and half an hour of commercials and now you're going to give me a little lecture about how badly I'll get beaten up if I turn out to be a pirate, and ask me to snitch on my fellow moviegoers?

It's adding insult to injury, if you ask me. It's unforgivably rude.

So here's what I've started doing: whenever this warning is screened, I take a very obvious flash photo of it. I've done it twice now, and both times, I got a round of applause. You can do it too. If we all do it, if we all laugh and boo when this warning comes on, maybe the movie companies will get the picture.
Haven't seen a similar notice pop up on New Zealand screens yet, but, when it does, my digital camera will be ready and waiting.