You will watch those…
You will watch those movie previews on your DVD, understand?

Since the advent of the VCR, and with the arrival of DVD players, those who want to get to the movie have been free to skip past the coming attractions.

The entertainment industry, however, is exerting pressure in Congress with the hope of making it impossible to skip past previews and advertisements at the opening of DVDs.

Legislative language that would have done just that — make it illegal for DVDs to allow fast-forwarding — was struck at the last minute from a copyright bill that passed the Senate late Nov. 20.

The legislation, however, is headed for an uncertain fate in the House, which could reconvene Dec. 6 and 7 to consider, among other things, stalled intelligence reform legislation.

Yup, 3 years from now, when the movies that those previews are for have themselves come and gone on DVD, you will still have to watch the trailers. You want a good example of “too much government”? There’s a good one.

The entertainment industry asserts that revenue from the advertisements and publicity from the previews is central to its business plans, while opponents note that millions of VCR owners have been fast-forwarding past ads and coming attractions for nearly two decades.

The issue grew out of the proposed Family Movie Act, introduced this year by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. The bill would have exploited technology developed by ClearPlay, Inc., allowing families to skip past explicit sex and violence on DVDs.

The film industry, however, balked, arguing that the use of such technology would compromise filmmakers’ intended product.

I’ve discussed ClearPlay before; a technology that you employ by your own choice and to your own standards. Yet the Directors Guild of America was suing them. Seems the DGA thought that the only way to see a movie was their way, and we should have no choice in the matter. From that we now get really picky and suggest that the only way to watch a movie is to ensure we see the advertising that comes with it. Pathetic.

This has nothing to do with artistic intent, and everything to do with money. The rest is smokescreen.

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