Customer Disservice: Walk The Line

Walk The Line MovieI recently watched Walk the Line, the movie about Johnny Cash and his relationship with June Carter Cash. I really enjoyed the movie and I thought that both Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon did an excellant job in their roles.

The dissatisfaction that I have comes not from the movie at all. Instead, it comes from the fact that someone (presumably at Fox) decided that what the movie needed was to start with a commercial accusing its customers of being thieves. Furthermore, because this message is so important, it is necessary to make sure that the viewer cannot jump from the commercial to the DVD menu. No, instead, the viewer must watch the entire commercial in which they are accused of being a thief.

It’s bad enough that we have to put up with the stupid FBI message at the beginning of every movie. Does anyone actually believe that this stupid message from the FBI, telling you all of the possible penalties if you violate copyright law, has ever prevented a single instance of a copyright violation?

Who first came up with the idea that the best thing for movie companies to do is to treat all of their customers as if they were criminals? Is this any different from a store posting someone at the front door that accosts any customer who walks in and warns them that they have to pay for the merchandise they are getting?

I am pretty sure that most people have a pretty good idea that it is illegal to copy a DVD and sell it. I am also pretty sure that the little PSA at the beginning of the movie is going to do nothing to stop thieves who are stealing the movies and instead, will act only to irritate and create a less pleasurable viewing experience for the lawful majority of the viewers.