That's so noble to copy movies to help the hearing impaired. Up to know I thought it had something to do with money.
That is incredibly tacky. You guys should see what Edgar Wright thinks. he's all the internets and easy to reach.
Just so you know, most of the pirated copies don't have subtitles, and almost none have the special features. I'm actually cool with them removing them from rental copies. If it was a movie worth watching the features and commentaries, you should be buying the thing.

Also, you have to remember that Netflix is free to buy retail copies of the movies and rent them. Red Box used to do this. Netflix and Redbox are signing deals with the studios to get these rental copies FOR LESS than a retail copy.

Removing closed captions might get you into trouble with the ADA, and my guess is that they didn't actually mean to do that.
The detail here, if you don't know, Paul, is that people like Netflix strike deals with the movie studios to buy movies at a discount--hence, "rental" copies. In fact, it's perfectly legal (as was decided in a case with Blockbuster as the defendant, if I remember right) under what's called the "first sale doctrine" for the owner of a movie to rent it out, even if it's a "retail" copy.

So what's really going on here is Netflix getting in bed with the movie studios to encourage you to buy the full version. Personally, I'm OK with that--the only thing I usually want is the feature film, and so this just lowers Netflix's costs.

The place you should be really worried is what happens when everything is streaming, where there is no first sale doctrine and Netflix can get fucked by the movie studios.
My last netflix movie had four plus minutes of previews that I couldn't skip playing it in Windows Media Player. After finding that out and having it start over trying to skip it, I opened it in VLC and was able to to right to the main menu. If shit like that keeps happening I'll happily pirate the movie instead, I can download most faster than netflix mail delivery anyway since they have so few decent movies on the watch instantly feature.
I've seen pirated movies with the anti-piracy message at the start. Always a hoot.
Not having special features on a DVD isnt the reason why people pirate them. People will pirate just to avoid paying money to rent it, or they'll pirate it because its available 2-3 months before the release.

Netflix was forced to delay the release of new DVD movies for a month, so that the studios can make money releasing them as they normaly do, but charge 30$ as a PPV fee.

I personally took my entire retail DVD collection (300+ movies) and ripped them all to a single hard drive. So 4 DVD racks, consolidated into a 3.5" drive. No bonus features, just the movie.
That's why I patronize local small businesses like Scarecrow, which has superior selection of the full versions (including usually any available deluxe box-set versions) so that I don't have this problem, and I don't enable massive blood-sucking companies like Netflix.
Captain Wiggette,

My problem with Scarecrow is that they never stock enough blu-rays. They have one or two copies of each title max, and it takes a long time to get lucky enough to get anything I want. Blu-Ray and streaming are the only reasons I'm a netflix customer. I haven't gotten a DVD from Netflix yet (ok, I did get some DVD's when it first launched in 1997).
ehh. I think netflix is pretty awesome. Definitely wouldn't call it blood sucking. unlimited movies for a low fee. Not to mention no late fees...
Special features - I don't ever watch these anyways.
Ok so maybe you don't write like an illiterate person, but you write like a 6 year old. Jesus.

I've never seen that black w/white text message, Paul. I've noted the lack of special features on a movie and just assumed that the disk was a cheapie version produced for the rental market, and/or that a director's cut/special edition is out there somewhere.
If you pirate movies, you're a thief. I hope the FBI catches up with you.
@3 - Yes! I'll give odds that blocking the subtitle functions, etc, is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (damn near everything is a violation of the ÅDA). This is actually a big deal since the ADA is a federal civil rights law. That's a big fat class action lawsuit waiting for some blood sucking attorney.
I rent movies all the time specifically so I *dont* have to buy them. If however I see a message like this on a rental disc, I'll have the original DVD iso file downloaded and mounted in VLC so fast that my popcorn won't even be cold.
I just watched Scott Pilgrim last night and saw that message when I tried to access the blooper reel (my favorite extra for anything). Very disappointing. The movie I recommend though! Very smart, funny.
I hope the FBI has better things to do than bust Paul Constant for pirating "Up."
@13: Good luck. I'M BEHIND SEVEN PROXIES!!!
You're all squares, man. SQUARES. L7!
I remember having to shell out 750$ in deposits (500$ for Laster Disc Player, 150$ for movie) just to rent Canibal Holocaust, which the rental alone was only 3$.

Scarecrow is great for old out of print movies, for everything else, theres Netflix.
@18 I'm behind 7 boxxys.
@8: How's that Scarecrow streaming service working out for you?
Ahem. Broadway Video (around the corner from the Broadway Market QFC) has "Scott Pilgrim" on DVD with the extras. In fact, I ran up a late charge because I had to watch the film two more times, one extra for each of the two commentary tracks.
@23: Let me know when Netflix begins streaming Blu-ray quality HD, or DVD-quality SD.

Netflix streaming looks and sounds like garbage.
@3-" If it was a movie worth watching the features and commentaries, you should be buying the thing."

Why? There are very few DVD extras I've seen that I care to watch more than once. Hell, even the Bladerunner Final Cut extras, which offered great insight into one of my favorite movies of all time, I only watched once.

This is another nail in the coffin movie rentals, and it's really dumb and annoying to the end user.
@9: I rarely have much of a problem with this except for maybe the first week or so of popular new releases. Most of the Criterion BDs I'm usually renting are pretty available, and I usually have plenty of choices of new releases I want to see.

Sometimes I do find myself going to Reckless Video a ways up the road though, it seems their rental customers are less tech-equipped, so BDs of new releases there are almost always available.

Scarecrow is never going to be competition for Netflix. But what they DO offer is a much better selection, and a staff who actually give a fuck about movies. Netflix is, essentially a faceless corporate entity that sees movies as product.

The money Netflix makes doesn't go into supporting the local film community, it goes toward licensing agreements with the kind of people who think that art is a dirty word, and that the quality of a movie is determined entirely by the box office receipts.

Scarecrow gives back to the local film community - they sponsor SIFF and other film events. When Scarecrow finally closes their doors it will be a sad day for film in Seattle.
Apparently since everybody visits eBaums now I think rules 1 & 2 don't exist anymore.
I just wish Scarecrow gave as much of a fuck about their customers as they do about their movies. Really my only complaint. I know the endless barrage must be miserable, but would it really be THAT un-hip to be friendly once in a while? Maybe just like one customer per day? :/
I don't see anything wrong with making rental versions of DVDs that don't have special features, as long as that information is shown when you decide to rent it (e.g., on the box, or on the info page if you're choosing rentals online).

Removing captions IS bad, since it seems like picking on disabled people. At the very least, though, it should be clearly labelled ahead of time so you know what you're getting.
arbeck @ 3: The fact that most pirated versions don't have subtitles or extras kinda negates the supposed reason to remove extras from rental disks. So why not include them on rentals?
I strongly suspect it's merely an attempt to make you buy the product. But then why do they include anti-pirate propaganda on bought disks, ffs? That's a frigging turnoff, especially when you can't skip it /rage
You get what you pay for.

If people pirate films or refuse to pay more than $10/month to watch everything under the sun, what you'll get is a bunch of underpaid people who don't give two shits about your movie watching experience.

When you want a good steak you don't go to McDonald's or dig through the garbage looking for whatever resembles meat.

If some people are fine with that though, so be it.
What are you guys talking about? I haven't seen an anti-piracy PSA in years.
I wrote my English 102 paper on this. If you treat your customers like criminals, the criminals are no longer criminals, everyone is. If I'm going to be a criminal regardless, why should I give these criminals any money? It's so funny that you write, "renting a movie was totally legal", because actually, the movie studios don't even see you as someone renting a physical disk. They see you as a consumer, who has a demand for entertainment, entertainment that only they can provide, for which they will gladly LICENSE you a watching of the movie. That license could be a rental, or retail, or a theater, but regardless of how you buy their product, the information contained remains theirs, and any viewing they didn't strictly authorize through any of their retail outlets, like buying the DVD and showing it to your friends, is still considered criminal activity, even if the federal government won't throw them a bone. There's a really great quote, the old head of MPAA said, "the VCR is to movies as the boston strangler is to a woman home alone", they actually thought that people playing movies to their friends would destroy their business, 1 license = 1 viewer to them.

On the closed captioning being removed, I hope both someone from Netflix and Disney, whoever signed that deal, be put in jail. The Americans With Disabilities act is incredibly clear that purchased media must have captions if available. It might be a stretch, but I think if we got the EFF lawyers on it we could clear that part up in a heartbeat. The reason they do this is so that renters can't copy the entire disk, it backfires when we all realize, barely any stolen copies that lands on the internet come from rentals, so really, this is just a kick in the pants.
@20. Haha, I did the same thing at scarecrow to watch Cannibal Holocaust! Funny, that.

Of course now it's available online:…
Hey, thanks for holding forth in Uni approved speak for the billionth fucking time on why I pirate.

lol journalism. get a fucking job you dickweed. Plant something. Do something useful you fucking self important loud talker.

Are we people really defending removing subtitles from rental copies? I don't care how pro-corporate/pro-copyright you are, it still seems a.) fucked up and b.) an obvious ADA issue. Subtitles are really important for the hearing-impaired, non-native speakers, and (less importantly) people who date people who talk during movies.

Removing DVD extras is another matter entirely.
Redbox did the exact same thing on Scott Pilgrim and another movie (Paranormal Activity, maybe?).
@38 - awesome point. My mom is a non-native speaker who talks during movies. We both end up needing the subtitles :-)

I personally love to watch the DVD extras which is why I love that my local video store (Family Video) gets full copies.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.