Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burn on Demand From Major Studios: An Exercise in Cheap Assery

I've got to rant about this one before I forget to.

According to my husband, who still checks TV Shows on DVD (a site I refuse to give traffic to b/c of the conduct of one Gord Lacey toward me & you can see this post for details). Warner Bros has decided to put out their censored 11 cartoons and other titles on their Warner Archives burn on demand series.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, see this post about the Censored 11.

To sum up, a product that has been sought after for eons from collectors is coming out on the same format that you can get for free if you find it online & download from your own computer. Let me tell you why this is utter crap:

#1 They can afford to put this out on a proper format, silver disc & all.

We're not talking about some small indie company with limited financial resources. Burn on demand is perfectly acceptable for that company & anyone else who can't afford the fancy stuff.

#2 Price. When Viacom decided to do this burn on demand nonsense with their Nicktoons as Amazon exclusives, I noticed that the price for these little homemade do-dads was ungodly & would have been too much per season even if they weren't burn on demand.

#3 Questions of reliability. Countless reviewers buying these burn on demand titles have mentioned that the titles won't play in their players. What good is spending all this money on a burn on demand title put out by a studio worth at least millions when the product doesn't even work in your home? What if you had only 1 DVD player? You're just screwed now, aren't you?

And, it gets even better. The announcement my husband reads says the cartoons "might" be restored. Gee, I can find unrestored copies of these cartoons for free online, burn them on my own purple backed discs, maybe even create my own little logos & spend far less than the $30+ this major studio is probably charging for the product. One of the great things about the Golden Collection was that the cartoons were restored & the product was given what I felt was proper treatment.

Cost effectiveness or moral arguments against bootlegging aside, it's a slap in the face to the fans of a particular show when you have the money to do better & you cheap out on them. You may as well take out billboards proclaiming "We could care less about the fans. You'll take a censored product made on a teen's home PC and love it!"

Oh, and major studio? You've just encouraged those same people to buy bootlegs. People expect shoddiness from bootlegs but it's down right unacceptable from a major studio worth millions of dollars. You'd think some of these people would have a little more pride than to put out something so cruddy.

Lest we also dare to engage in the "it's a business" cheerleading, I have another piece of news for you: we're not talking about widgets! We're not talking about clothes, houses or other such things.

We're talking about art, a creative product. You wouldn't make a dime if people didn't like that creative product and feel an incentive to buy. There's also a societal obligation to preserve art. We wouldn't have many of the works we have today or the inspiration they provided to others if they hadn't been properly safeguarded. I remember being in classes & my teachers talking about literary works permanently lost to time b/c they weren't preserved properly. Do we as a society want that to happen with our movies, television shows and cartoons?

Yes, I know what the law says & so forth. Yes, I work in the industry but I don't support shoddiness or horrid behavior from major studios who apparently forgot about pride in your work & the artistic mission. I don't support obvious attempts to behave like the typical sleazy corporation & I don't buy a shitty product b/c that's what the studio put out & if I don't buy it they won't put out more of the same.

My stance is to take your censored television seasons & shove them where the sun don't shine. Be a dick to me and the public & I'll absolutely do what I can to thwart your ability to make a profit, especially if you make public statements supporting my view that you are an entitled dick that no one would mourn if I ran you over with my car. I despise sheeple who make that argument b/c it's horrid and also encourages bootlegging.

My husband also informed me about some proposed legislation that I am a little shocked major entertainment industry players support. If I remember correctly, it has to do with the blocking of web traffic and brings up interesting censorship issues. I'll elaborate if I remember or you can look it up for me & I'll announce it here since some of you should definitely know about it. * Go here for details. *

I'm disappointed in Warner Bros. since they've put out some really good stuff & should take pride in some of their TV on DVD products (Viacom as well, for that matter). Going to burn on demand just irks me if you can afford proper releases & I think if that trend continues, these studios will end up as the major record companies did when they tried to put copy protections on their product that gave people computer viruses. You're just building ill will & rage among consumers and honestly, I can't be sympathetic to anyone trying stuff like this. That's called "getting what's coming to you."

I'll tell you now I'm definitely no RIAA fan or friend to corporate dick moves. I can also spot a corporate dick move when I see one & have far more pride in what I do than to allow that under my watch. I'm all for turning your nose up & giving the finger to any company that tries to act like they're entitled to your hard earned buck even if they put out something that might as well be constructed from rubber bands & chewing gum. The people keep you in business; ignore them/piss them off/insert bad behavior here & you're just asking for problems.

You don't "ask" for shows to be released; a true consumer demands it!! A company not prostrating itself to consumer demand shouldn't be in business since it's lost the capitalist battle.

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