The UK-based Federation Against Copyright Theft is running ads in UK newsmags that warn:
BEAT THE CON MEN
To ensure your complete enjoyment, don't be persuarded to buy fake DVDs -- especially pre-release copies. Pirate DVDs are a rip-off, with poor sound and picture quality. Even if the packaging looks convincing, you will probably be disappointed with the contents. Avoid being conned by con men. You can report any suspicious activity in confidence to the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) on 0845 6034567. Copyright is a matter of FACT.
This ad makes the fairly hilarious and very hysterical assertion that people who buy pre-release DVDs at fun-faires or out of the trunks of suspicious cars are somehow being duped into buying less than they expect; that purchasers of bootleg DVDs assume they're getting crystal-clear sound and picture and are, in fact, patsies of these sinister con artists who dupe them left and right. It's my suspicion that the FACTs are quite different -- that most customers of DVD bootleggers know exactly
what they can expect when they buy a fake DVD off a blanket on a side-street. And they buy them anyway.
When I was in Hong Kong's Temple Street night market, I found stalls selling bootleg VCDs of current release movies for less than a (US) dollar; alongside the stalls were permanent storefronts selling the licensed VCDs (months behind the theatrical release) for about US$8. The life-cycle of the movies there appears to be: buy the bootleg, check to see if it's worth seeing in the theatre. See the good movies, buy the licensed discs. So long as the studios make movies people want to see, the bootlegs merely serve as advertisements for cinema tickets and licensed discs.
It's all well and good for FACT to pursue its goals of convincing Britons to buy licensed discs instead of bootlegs, but this ad is pretty intellectually dishonest.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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