to cigarettesThanks to Doc, I came across Mark Pilgrimâ€™s post on A History of DVD Copy Protection. I have always found DVD Region Coding to be laughable, almost tantamount to fraud, so I loved the article. Read it and decide for yourself.
What I particularly enjoyed was how Mark moved from DVDs to cigarettes:
On a side note, this turn of phrase reminds me of a similar one told of the Liggett Group, formerly known as Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, the company that formerly manufactured Chesterfields, which I formerly smoked, before selling the brand to Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris. In fact, the last time I smoked Chesterfields was right around the time the brand was sold to Philip Morris. At one point, I had a pack of Liggett-branded Chesterfields that bore the history-making label, â€œSmoking is addictive.â€ Then the brand was sold to Philip Morris, and suddenly Chesterfields were no longer addictive. Or if they were, their packaging no longer admitted it. ;-)
All of which is a roundabout way of quoting an article I once read about Liggett â€” or rather paraphrasing, since I have long since lost track of the original in the infinite sands of time and bookmarks â€” which stated that Liggett had managed to lose an enormous amount of money, despite the overwhelming business advantage of having an addictive product.
The analogy to copy protection, if indeed there is an analogy to be made, is left as an exercise for the reader.
Well, I followed Markâ€™s advice and did his reader exercise. And what I found was instructive (at least for me).
Let us assume that both cigarettes as well as DVDs are addictive products.
Let us also assume, for the sake of argument, that Smoking Kills labels on cigarettes are broadly analogous to Copy Protection on DVDs (whether in Region Coding form, RCE form or vanilla copy protection. Analogous because both devices serve to protect.
The analogy breaks from then on. Protect whom? At least in the cigarette case I can see the consumer being protected. But in the DVD case thereâ€™s no way of understanding just how the customer is protected.
Thereâ€™s also the question about the agency that requires the protection to be implemented. In one case it is a regulator of sorts, in the other it is â€œself-governingâ€.
But it doesnâ€™t matter. It all comes back at the end, just like Mark says.
Someone with an addictive product manages somehow to achieve two aims:
- make no money
- damage the customer
You know how I think. (b) will always lead to (a). Itâ€™s just a matter of time.