Movie Talk

Scared or annoyed? More DVD anti-piracy warnings

Here is a DVD extra you may not have hoped for: New, additional warning labels deterring you from reproducing your otherwise legally obtained movie.

Because when it comes to waiting for your movie to start, there's nothing like watching a warning screen... and then another new warning screen after that!

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In a coordinated effort between Hollywood and the U.S. government, extra labels have been added -- and even an extra screen -- to the FBI warning we've all been seeing on DVDs since 2004, Wired reports. From Wired:

Added alongside the FBI's logo in the new version, however, is a Homeland Security Investigations "special agent" badge. That reflects the agency's new power, handed down in 2008, to seize web domains engaged in infringing activity under the same forfeiture laws used to seize property like houses, cars and boats allegedly tied to illegal activity such as drug running or gambling.

Since Homeland Security has gained the power to do so, it has seized more than 750 sites allegedly engaged in piracy.

In addition to the new Homeland Security badge is yet another, presumably unskippable, screen, courtesy of the National Intellectual Property Center, that further warns "Piracy is not a victimless crime."

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The new trifecta of badges, however, rarely appear in digital movie downloads -- the very format that is more regularly pirated, Wired writer David Kravets deftly points out.

In another eye-crossing twist in this story, Kravets attributes the lack of warnings on digital downloads to the fact that the warnings themselves are copyrighted.

These new anti-piracy warnings are now being included in new home-release DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Don't say I didn't warn you.  (Yes, I went there.)