More anti-piracy warnings coming to DVDs and Blu-Rays

There’s something so wonderfully silly about the anti-piracy warnings that appear when you start up a DVD or Blu-Ray disc. After you’ve just paid through the nose for a movie or box-set on disc, common sense surely suggests that you’re precisely the wrong person to whom an anti-piracy message needs to be directed; it’s every bit as ridiculous as, for example, a supermarket employing someone to shout at you to not steal food from the store as you’re calmly carrying the groceries that you’ve just purchased to your car.

But these messages aren’t going away any time soon, and while most of us have learned to just tune them out, the US Government is now rolling out new warnings that it hopes will hammer the message home more convincingly to people who already know better. Ars Technica reports that there are two new notices – “one to warn, and one to educate” – and six major movie studios are already deploying them on their latest releases.

The first new warning notice features the familiar FBI seal, along with the new addition of Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, atop a reminder that “criminal copyright infringement…is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000”.

The second warning features the logo for the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, and proclaims that “piracy is not a victimless crime”, and implores you to consider the plight of the struggling multibillion dollar movie studios, production companies and music labels, by visiting a website that will tell you “how digital theft harms the economy”.

Here’s the really good news: the two messages will be shown back-to-back, last for ten seconds each, and you won’t be able to skip through them. They’ll appear as soon as you hit play to start the main movie or TV show, rather than when you insert the disc or around the previews.

Director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement, John Morton says that “law enforcement must continue to expand how it combats criminal activity; public awareness and education are a critical part of that effort”.

Images via Ars Technica

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