Dec. 10th, 2010

Logic Fail

Dec. 10th, 2010 11:25 am
kingandy: (Default)

The Family Guy "Season Eight*" DVDs start with an anti-piracy advert that is, to me, more annoying than "You Wouldn't Steal a Car", and falls prey to the same logical fallacies**.

It depicts a happy group of friends sitting down to watch a legally-purchased DVD together. See how wise and attractive they are! They're having a really good time together, and all have massive cocks. This is contrasted with a lonely, greasy, desaturated nerd, sitting in his cold studio lighting and waiting to download the same movie illegally. The fool! Had he bought the same movie from a shop he would be watching it now, he would have friends and be well-endowed. Instead he has no choice but to sit watching the screen as the movie downloads.

This is, of course, fanciful nonsense that serves no purpose. Anyone who actually knows how to download a movie will be perfectly aware that you are free to do anything you please while your diligent computer slave is downloading things. But the part that bugs me most is the false comparison: you can't compare slipping the disk in to downloading the movie.

Downloading the movie is equivalent to going to the shops, ordering online or downloading legally (via Netflix, Xbox Live, iPlayer or whatever). As noted, downloading is clearly preferable to the physical alternatives.

Slipping the disk in, on the other hand, is comparable to firing up the downloaded movie on your burned disk, storage device or DLNA server. And you know what? The downloader will be the one who is quickly served his desired entertainment to enjoy with his family and friends. It's the guys with the shop-bought DVD who have to sit around and wait. Because they're forced to sit through trailer after trailer, and unskippable public service announcements about how if they'd bought this movie legally they'd be watching the movie right now. which is, of course, an inherent lie.

I don't believe I've downloaded any movies for myself that haven't been either unavailable to buy or already owned (eg on VHS), but really, it feels very much like they're trying to tell me that I should.

* Not actually Season 8 of the TV show, it's actually episodes from (I think) seasons 6 and 7. For some reason this irritates me intensely. Not so much that they're releasing random (if sequential) chunks of episodes, just that they label them "seasons" when they patently aren't. Presumably this is because it's the terminology they think the public expects, but it's still a lie.
** Haha! Phallus-y.

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