May 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM ET
Fans of being treated like copyright violators will enjoy new measures being taken to protect movies from piracy. There will now be two ten-second warnings before your movie starts, and no, you can't skip them.
It seems that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has decided that existing pre-roll customer intimidation is not sufficiently aggressive. So they've added their own logo next to the familiar FBI one on the warning screen, and created an additional warning that will appear before the first:
"Piracy is not a victimless crime," and an eagle clutching a banner reading "Protection is our trademark." Ironically, their catch phrase does not itself appear to be trademarked.
As the parent companies of msnbc.com make much of their money through the benefit of video and software copyright, we understand the necessity of protecting content. But as the case has been for the last 20 years or so, these warnings will only be shown to paying customers, almost none of whom would have any clue on how to go about duplicating a Blu-ray disc. Pirates, on the other hand, will be able to watch the same movie without previews, FBI and ICE warnings, on any device they want, in any region of the world.
"Public awareness and education" are apparently the goals of this campaign. It's very unlikely that the public is unaware of piracy, though if any more unskippable warnings get added to their movies, they may decide that it's time to learn more.
Devin Coldewey is acontributing writer for msnbc.com. His personal website iscoldewey.cc.