Obama's Gift To British Prime Minister Rendered Useless By DRM

by Volker Weber

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was recently given a gift of 25 DVDs of classic American movies by US President Barack Obama. When Brown sat down to watch one of them, he found he couldn't -- because Obama had given him Region 1 DVDs, unplayable in Brown's Region 2 DVD player. The pointless DRM didn't stop any piracy, it prevented an absolutely reasonable use of legitimately purchased content.

DVD Region encoding has nothing to do with piracy. It is a way to extort more money.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

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[via Hanno]


Brown brought timeless treasures that were very meaningful and well thought out as a gift to Obama, like a first edition auto biography of Winston Churchill and the commissioning papers to the HMS Resolute, which his desk is made from.

Obama had the class to send someone to walmart to get him some DVD's, an embarrassment! We should treat our closest ally better than that! Also told him to take back the bust of Churchill that was given to us after 911, Brown suggested we keep it and could put it in a museum or something, he said no just take it back.

And no i do not think DRM is good, but i understand why they try to implement it.

Mark Hughes, 2009-03-20

i understand why they try to implement it

Now I am curious. What benefit do I have as a customer, if I cannot play a legitimate DVD on a legitimate player?

Volker Weber, 2009-03-20

Is there a video of the exchange of gifts I wonder? I'd love to see if he managed to appear impressed as he received his DVD boxset. He should have a t-shirt
"I met the leader of the world's richest country and all I got was this lousy boxset!"

Jake Howlett, 2009-03-20

I met the leader of the world's richest second richest third richest most recently converted socialist country and all I got was this lousy boxset!

Sorry, couldn't resist...

Mike McPoyle, 2009-03-20

@ Volker - yes, DRM is bad for the customer. I don't understand the logic of Zone 1, 2, etc... either

@ Mark - yes, Obama is bad for the United States. He is truly an embarrassment, and worse still an incompetent leader.

@ Jake - yeah, we'd all like to see that posted on youtube. Oh, and please accept my apology on behalf of the American people for the idiotic behavior of our president.

Brad Hair, 2009-03-20

Interesting that here in New Zealand, almost all set top players are region free out of the box (the same can't be said for computer DVD drives OR gaming consoles however). I've been told the reason is because region protection is illegal in this country. I've never found anything to back that story up.

Volkers right -- the logic is entirely about extorting more money.

Colin Williams, 2009-03-20

The mind boggles. Brad, I’m intrigued as to how you can judge Obama’s competency as a leader, seeing as he was just inaugurated in January of this year.

Ben Poole, 2009-03-21

Your right it is stupid, i was thonking it might make it harder for asia to export porated disks, but they can probably write the for whatever region they want.

There are a large number of americans who are sending an apolgy to the britsh emmbassy.

Funny enough people are also sending tea bags in envelopes to washington.

Mark hughes, 2009-03-21

Ben, you must not forget, that the other half wanted a different president, and they are being fed a lot of nonsense lately.

Volker Weber, 2009-03-21

I'm a bad person. I'm REALLY looking forward to the moment when the homophobic radical right realizes what it means to 'teabag' someone. *snicker*

On the topic, yes, DRM is bad for everyone.

And I'd love to know what the Obama administration was thinking of when they picked out the 'gift' because I'm sure there's an entertaining story involved...

Rob McDonagh, 2009-03-21

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