Picture this: a two year old boy is itching to watch Ice Age. He picks the DVD, puts it into the player himself, is just short of screaming to see the funny squirrel try to escape from the dueling glaciers (for the 89th time). The disc begins to play… a commercial. Then another one. Then another one. And another. And another.
By the time the fifth commercial is playing, the toddler is on the floor, wailing like a banshee and his dad is slumped in the corner, googly-eyed like a lunatic. By the time the movie actually begins, both are pools of saliva.
This scene plays out in houses around the world every day.
Media companies seem to think that it’s okay to get parents to pay for their advertising. Furthermore, they believe it’s okay for them to make every effort to subvert parents’ abilities to skip the commercials. I’m talking about those DVDs that play an endless barrage of previews for other DVDs (that are usually total crap) just prior to the main feature on the disc. The menu button, to skip ahead to the DVD menu, is generally disabled so you must sit through the commercials.
The media companies’ design is obvious. They know the kiddies will watch the movies upteen times and that by the time the kiddie hassles the mommy and daddy to buy the crappy movie for the 30th time, said parents will cave in like water torture victims in a river.
Forget DRM — Digital Rights Management. I support hackers stealing movies if it’ll get a disc into my hands that will be commercial free. After all, I paid for the friggin disc. If Disney or Dreamworks wants to lay these things on parents for free then, for sure, brutalize my psyche with commercials. But if I just laid $20 of hard-earned cash down for this item, I shouldn’t have to put up with it.
Yeah, I say forget DRM. Let’s try some DUR for a change. Digital User Respect would have the media companies understanding the real wants and needs of their customers, instead of us having to put up with the lunatic efforts of their lame-ass marketing departments. DUR would mean we could buy commercial free DVDs, or at least DVDS that would let us skip their attempts at toddler mind control with the push of one button.