11 April 2007 @ 22:15 in Life
I bought the third series of Peep Show the other day to watch in anticipation of series four starting on Channel 4 tomorrow; it's one of the best things to hit British TV screens in the last decade, and we were really looking forward to watching fresh episodes. Its stars, David Mitchell and Robert Webb, also play the characters of Mac and PC in Apple's recent advertising campaigns.
When we fed the DVD to our Mac mini – which acts as our central media server – it spat it back out again, claiming that the anti-piracy features of the disc meant it wouldn't play back. Sure enough, on tiny print on the case, it stated that the disc probably wouldn't play on a PC, Mac or Xbox. Now, I acknowledge that DRM and other systems aren't inherently Bad – usually just clumsily implemented – but the implication that because I'm watching a DVD on a computer I'm a pirate really rankles; it's like having to sit through that bloody 'you wouldn't steal a car' nonsense at the start of many commercial DVDs. It can't be skipped, and just makes me resentful: I've just spent fifteen quid on this disc of plastic and metal – and all the intellectual property it contains, I know – and you're telling me 'piracy is a crime'; it's difficult to escape the innuendo that I'm considering piracy.
As if it wasn't ironic enough that one of Mitchell & Webb's own DVDs will play on neither Mac or PC, the final glorious insult is that it the anti-piracy feature, which prevents me from watching the DVD, doesn't actually prevent anyone from pirating it.
One last, tangentially-related thing: if you pop on over to pcpro.co.uk/links/152podcast, you'll hear me arguing against PC Pro's deputy editor David Fearon's assertion that PCs are better than Macs.