I watched I, Robot last night. While the movie wasn’t all that bad, there were certain IP practices in the rental that annoyed me considerably. The first was an annoying commercial right at the start of the DVD (which can’t be forwarded) from FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft). This piece of propaganda asks viewers that they would not steal a car, but that downloading a movie is stealing. The problem is that it is not, it is infringement, which is different. The use of charged words is designed to equate the stealing of goods with the infringement of rights, which is not the same thing. Stealing a pie means that nobody else can use the pie. Downloading a song or a movie does not stop anybody else from watching or buying the movie. I also was annoyed by the sheer stupidity of placing this to rental copies. I am renting the DVD, so I am not likely to download the movie, am I?

The other annoying factor was the inclusion of endless commercials and previews. Wait a second, I just paid £3,50 to rent that DVD, why am I being subjected to viewing commercials and previews?

Then the movie starts, and it is filled with product placement, some of it is the most cringe-inducing placement that I have seen since Wayne’s World did such as good job of satirizing it. The worst offender is the use of a pair of sneakers (Black Converse All Stars) that are reffered to more than some plot elements. They are “Vintage 2004”, which makes this a blatant commercial, and then are talked about by at least three other characters. It is the most disgusting use of product placement that I have ever seen, and it makes other blatant product placement less noticeable, such as the disgusting Fed Ex robot and the lovely Audi car.

What I am getting at is that I felt that I had been subjected to so much advertising during this rental that I should have gotten it for free. As somebody else said, the movie should be renamed and called I, Converse.

Categories: Copyright


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