Simon Nickerson: Coding Blog

Software development and mathematics

“Operation currently prohibited by disk” considered harmful

Our DVD player will frequently show a little banner on the TV screen when you press a button. The banner reads:

Operation currently prohibited by disk

Prohibited. By a disk.

What business is it for a DVD to say that I can’t fast forward through their idiotic and patronising piracy warnings and disclaimers?

The worst offender I’ve seen for a while is Disney (with the DVD for the otherwise excellent film Up) who are very keen for me to watch trailers for about a dozen other films before they are prepared to show me the main menu.

This is a classic example of Lawrence Lessig’s idea of code as law, but it seems to me that preventing navigation just because you want to preach about piracy is treating your paying customers with total contempt. Just stop it please.

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