Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

The Interpol meeting I don’t care about

It must have been a grim day in Bern, Switzerland, in 1977 when representatives of law enforcement from all over the world gathered to discuss the scourge that was threatening the human race.

I’m sure that the cops, in their dress uniforms with their ribbons for photocopying prominently displayed and plenty of gold braid, were grim as they sat around the table. The situation was horrible, I am sure someone said, and something needed to be done.

The vote was taken. It was Sept. 8, 1977. And by unanimous consent, the officers of law enforcement from all over the world in the form of Interpol, made a decision to express their concern over the pirating of TV shows and movies by electronic means.

Seriously.

I hate to say this, but who really gives a flying f—k what a bunch of self-righteous doofuses said 35 years ago at a meeting? And why do I have to read about it every time I want to watch something on video?

Every time I try to watch an episode of “Breaking Bad” on Blu-Ray DVD, I have to see this announcement in both English and French. You see it before playing anything recorded on any means, and I have to say that for the past 35 years, the population of Earth has wasted years waiting for this message to go away so they could watch their tape, DVD or whatever.

People have been laughing at the threats directed at them regarding the penalties for copying not only prerecorded media but also broadcast TV shows since such technology became available in the home.

Starting in the late 1970s, when you bought a VCR or Betamax, you bought blank tapes and got a warning, sometimes in the form of a sheet in the box, that while you might be planning to record a show with the device – which was designed to be capable of doing so – technically, you were committing a crime and could be prosecuted.

Oh, there was a get-out. If you were recording for “personal” use and not inviting friends over to watch, that was OK.

Naturally, the efforts to control what people did with the technology were futile. I mean, I’ve heard that it’s technically even illegal to have a “Super Bowl” party because if you require everyone to bring food, the NFL has the right to have the cops bust in and take you to central booking. I remember reading that one church was planning a party, and the cops threatened to bust it up and arrest everyone.

It’s absurd to me that I have to waste my life reading these absurd notes about meetings that took place when I was a teenager.

Interpol, nobody cares about your concerns about pirating. Stay off my TV screen.

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March 26, 2013 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , , , ,

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