Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This Is Bullshit

So a few days ago I bought a DVD of Space Jam.  When it arrived I noticed that it was a single disc in the box that said "Disc 1" on it, basically meaning that at some point in time there was a multi-disc special edition and they're just being lazy with the single disc edition.

I don't really care about special features that much, so that's not the focus of this post.

The focus of this post is the autorun shenanigans present on the DVD.

Now, I'm no idiot.  I know that the big film studios do shit like this to fuck over unknowing computer users and punish them for making an honest purchase.  Whenever I put any commercial DVD or CD in my DVD drive, I hold Shift while putting it in, which in Windows at least prevents autorun from happening.  I'm rather relieved to say that the vast majority of my DVD collection is untainted by autorun shenanigans, yet at the same time I still hold Shift when putting anything into my DVD drive.

Space Jam on the other hand has a bundled player, called the InterActual Player.  Excuse me, what?  First off, I don't know what InterActual Player is, so therefore I don't trust it.  A quick Google search turns up all kinds of juicy tidbits about how the company that makes it disrespects your privacy and tracks everything you've ever played in it.  It claims to offer some sort of "interactive features" to "supplement" the DVD-watching process while you watch it.  I don't care really, I'm just here for the movie.

The important thing to note is that an autorun program can do whatever it wants to your computer, even before displaying any kind of user interface or installer or whatnot.  It's very possible for these things to fuck up the driver for your DVD drive and prevent you from using its full range of features, which these days most definitely includes writing to writable media.  Uninstalling the player gives no guarantee of it un-fucking your DVD driver, and thus you're left with a less-than-functional DVD drive just because you had the gall to legally purchase a movie on DVD.

You'd think with the MPAA getting their panties in a bunch about the internet and trying to DRM the internet away, that they'd realize all they're doing is punishing legitimate consumers.  People who intend to pirate movies can very easily get around these token methods of DRM.  After all, these things have to play back on DVD players, right?  Well, yes.  Yes they do.  Therefore, the content has to be accessible without it, and the program they're installing is just to try and fuck with your computer.  Also, as I mentioned above, bypassing the autorun in Windows is retardedly simple.  From there, you can enlist the help of a DVD-ripping program to strip out the nasties and leave you with only what you want: the movie you legally purchased.

Also, you know what else is bullshit?  I started up Space Jam in Media Player Classic Homecinema, and it takes 35 seconds to play this stupid animation flying through space before it finally gets to the main menu with a static image of Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan.  Attempting to navigate to the menu just restarts the animation.  Just show me the main menu, bitch.

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