The FBI warning has been around almost as long as home video. I think the only VHS tapes I have that don’t start with it are the Fox titles that were licensed to Magnetic Video Corp back in the dawn of time (Fox later bought the company and turned it into Fox Home Video when they realized there was something to this).
Why are they there? Lawyers like them, and think that the threats actually do something other than make people mash the fast forward button. When DVD came about, they found out they could make these screens unskippable, the lawyers rejoiced, and the masses went and made a sandwich.
Now new screens have been produced that contain both FBI and Homeland Security badges, as well as a screen informing you of how to find out how piracy hurts people. Unskippable, and both will waste 10 seconds of your life on every major studio disc startup.
Look guys. This isn’t working. The FBI laughed at me when I actually asked them if these screens meant anything legally, and all they’re doing is pissing off legitimate paying customers.
Tell you what, and this can go for “Load fresh trailers from the Internet” and everything else studios want to front load. You already love to drop cookies on our Blu-ray players, so after we watch these warnings a couple of times (say ten), let us click an “I acknowledge forever,” and no more discs load this crap from then on. You can even tie it to those BD-Live accounts that we painstakingly wasted our time making.
The people who are going to rip the disc have already removed these trailers, they will never see them, and it’s time that lawyers figured out that shrinkwrap EULAs are nigh-unenforceable, and start finding ways to profit, at least in analytics, off of people’s annoyances. A great example is Adobe Photoshop: No one on the street is dropping $600 for the thing, but they will pay you $60 for the book, and then if when they use it at their job, the boss will drop $600 for it. In the end, the guy “paid” for his copy, and Adobe gets another trained Photoshop user into the workforce.
How many people would pay $20 to skip all trailers and ads automatically for the rest of time? Now there’s another great use for UltraViolet. Register the digital copy, the Blu just plays. Not only does this give the studio data, but it also provides an additional benefit to legitimate owners and those who purchase their copy new. The best thing anyone fighting piracy can do is to remove the excuses, and “I want to skip trailers” is one I hear mighty often.
I of course, expect none of this to be listened to, and the clueless suits continue to blunder their way forward, wondering why sales of physical media are on the decline.