The Hunting of the Snark

16/07/2011

Why on earth would anyone want 6 1/2 movies?

The face of a boy with glasses and a scar on his forehead, rolling his eyes

ComPLETEly ridiculous

As the Harry Potter film franchise fires its final, phenomenal, fantastical shot, I am horrified at the new marketing depths I have just seen Warner Bros. stoop to.

In the supermarket, there is a DVD boxed set for sale of Harry Potter Years 1-7, Part 1.

Are you kidding me? It was bad enough that they produced boxed sets of every sub-series up to that point, although I would have supposed they were hoping they could trick people who weren’t familiar with the books into thinking, ‘Hmm… I’ll get films 1-6 now, then 7-12 when they release those,’ and so on. (Poor Daniel, Rupert and Emma.)

But just exactly how stupid do they think people are? If anyone is enough of a completionist to want a boxed set of the entire series, why, oh why, oh why would they get this product, only to have to get Part 2 all by its lonely self?

– The Snark

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19/03/2011

Disney’s unique perspective

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 10:42
Tags: , , ,

I wouldn’t be surprised to find a cute animated zebra head on my pillow after posting this, but I’m going to post it anyway.

Look around you and pick up any Disney product. Any DVD, book, licensed toy, key fob, poster, appliance, article of furniture etc. In much of the world, the nearest such object is probably within ten paces.

Now… Turn it around to look at the back, or the bottom, or open it up to look inside, wherever is the least visible—and squint very, very hard. You can always find a copyright notice. And it always looks like this:

© Disney

(Except smaller.)

There’s no date! I started noticing this trend a few years back, when all I wanted to do was find out when a particular movie had been made.

Time was, by neglecting to include a date—never mind refusing to do so—Disney would have been forfeiting their copyright in the US. My personal theory is that the Mouse is forever thumbing his round, black nose at the American system, in revenge for a massive copyright fail early in Walt’s career.

And as usual with Disney, there is the sense of a more sinister aspect lurking in the background, too. Copyright protection is supposed to be limited, particularly with regard to duration. The company is well-known for spearheading campaigns to extend the length of copyright, and it’s perfectly logical to expect them to keep trying that tactic indefinitely. Meanwhile, supposing they do not achieve perpetual ownership, how will you know if something is still protected or not if you don’t know when it was made?

Disney do not draw attention to this practice. They just do it.

(Actually, given viewing statistics, I would be surprised about the zebra head thing. Oh, well.)

The copyright symbol with added Mickey Mouse ears and infinity bowtie.

This superb image is in the public domain!

– The Snark

01/05/2010

Do it just like the banks

I got another call the other night from one of those companies charitably explaining to me that, as a result of recent UK government legislation, I may be entitled to a ‘debt relief order’. They, of course, have no vested interest in the proceedings at all. Presumably the government is happy to pick up the bill as they have done for bank after bank.

This particular marketer has phoned our house a lot. I think the recorded message starts: ‘This is a free public service announcement. Please, do not hang up.’ …yadda yadda, manna from heaven… ‘To hear how you can take advantage of this opportunity and write off up to 100% of your debts, then press “2” on your telephone keypad now.’

The bad grammar is the most offensive thing of all.

Okay, so they’ve had their little joke. Fair do’s. (Dos? Dooze?) Who knows what they tell people who actually try to take them up on it. Me, I just wanted to know who they were because now I am on the Telephone Preference Service register, and I was going to report them.*

So I pressed ‘2’, which did get me through to a real person, but when I asked her what company she was calling from, she hung up. Which. Is. Massively. Illegal.

I couldn’t get a callback number, either. Also illegal. Having done some searches, I’ve come up with a couple of close matches on whocallsme.com: 02031891150 or 02030601580. Anyone have any theories on who these clowns are? Male reader, posh voice, grammatically challenged?

‘Public service’, my dooze.

– The Snark

*There is now new information, but I need more details and it will have to wait until next week.

0203189115

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