Do Piracy Warnings Actually Encourage Piracy?

The US government is ramping up those irritating anti-piracy warnings on DVDs, now forcing viewers to watch two unskippable warnings every time they watch a movie they have actually paid good money for. Australia hasn’t gone as far down that path yet, but commercial DVDs often do still feature one warning you can’t fast-forward through. The question is: are those warnings actually counter-productive?

As observers everywhere have been pointing out, those warnings seem pretty pointless. They won’t appear on pirate DVDs or in torrents. Instead, they often serve to alienate honest customers, making a product that they were perfectly willing to pay for less engaging.

Claims that “education” is vital seem hollow in this context; after all, these aren’t the people who are contemplating piracy. But being forced to wait 30 seconds to watch their favourite movie could make an illegal rip much more appealing. What do you think?

DVDs and Blu-rays will now carry two unskippable government warnings [Ars Technica]


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