FBI Warnings

Posted in Things at 5:13 pm by bsdman

You know what grinds my gears? It’s the FBI warnings that appear at the beginning of movies I watch. I go out and buy a new movie. I stick said movie into my DVD player. I hit play. On the screen I end up seeing 3 or 4 warnings telling me I can’t make copies of this movie I own. You know what the worst part is? It’s that I can’t fast forward (skip) past these warnings. Actually I thought of another worst part: the warning appears in English AND at least one other language. WTF. I don’t care about interpol!

It’s like the MPAA/FBI (authorities, if you will) think that I’m either a thief or stupid. Either way I don’t like it.

That’s why I make fair-use backups of my DVD’s. Sure, I already own them, but I want to be able to bring a case full of DVD’s over to a friend’s house and not worry if one of them gets scratched/lost/broken. That and I like to be able to edit out all those crazy warnings.

Here’s some of the warnings I get:

My “fair-use” ends up removing everything except the movie itself. No animated menus to wait for. No warnings. No “unable to forward past something”. Just my nice relaxing paid for movie. Fuck you MPAA.

And that’s what grinds my gears.


  1. Matt said,

    April 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    That’s hilarious. I was just google imaging searching one of those fbi warnings, and found this post. I agree.

  2. Erich said,

    April 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Funny stuff. I was searching for an image for an FBI warning too for a project im doing on illegal file sharing. so far from what i can tell what you are doing isnt illegal. as long as you dont give one of those cds to your friend your fine.

  3. grace b said,

    October 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    hey lol seems like alot of peopel have projects like that i was makeing and ad with a warning found this you are so right and btw hope you dont get arested for backmouthing the Big G’s lol to many laws there like parents jezz all though i love mine but they really grind my gears 🙂

  4. Movie Serpent said,

    February 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Even though I produce movies I can agree a bit. If friends are gathering and having a beer (for example) I don’t see the harm in making a copy to protect the investment…

    You can get cheap new release rentals at: http://www.sorotv.info – The DVD’s can be purchased as well and you are welcome to make a backup copy. Just use discretion and don’t try to market them as to generate income.


  5. Rob said,

    May 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    The FBI warnings are there to protect copyright owners from the illegal copying and distribution of copyright protected material. The warning serves as a reminder that you have been informed. Under consumer protection law you do have the right to make a backup copy of the dvd you purchased for your own use. You can do that with music cd’s too. However you do not nor should you start making copies for everyone else. Think of it this way. If you produced a film or piece of music and that was your living would you like it if everyone downloaded it for free instead of paying you something for you hard work producing the content? Or even better yet everyone asked you for a free copy of your work. For the sake of publicity you might give away some yet at some point your going to want people to purchase it.

    You can absolutely make a backup copy of the movie your purchased however your ownership ends at the physical dvd not the movie so making copies for everybody else is not your right. Is the FBI going to knock on your door if you make a copy for your friend or significant other? Probably not. However if you decide to go into the blackmarket business you should probably count your days.

    Another problem I see today is that we have a whole generation that thinks they should be able to download everything off the internet for free. So artists in all fields of discipline cannot make a decent living for there efforts. I don’t know about you but I think artists deserve something for their work.

    So you can dislike the warnings yet they are there for a reason. Nuff said.

  6. Media Guy said,

    November 18, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Well, grind away, but get your facts straight. When you go out and buy a DVD of a movie, you don’t own the movie. All you own is the piece of plastic of the DVD and it wrappings. You don’t even own the content. So, when you make your “fair use” copy of the movie, keep it to yourself. Because, if you give it to someone else, or sell it in a yard sale, you’re outside the law. It is for your private use only. And that original you bought, if you lend it to your church for one of their movie nights, that is a public use of the DVD and is forbidden by the license agreement under which you bought it. You don’t own the rights to use the movie just any way your heart desires. That is part of the law that keeps order in this country.

    Of course, if you never create anything worthy of public exposure and worth protecting by copyright, then the copyright laws don’t do much for you but hem you in. But without those laws protecting the hard work of the people who do create that stuff, there would be a lot less of it for you to steal. There are intrepid individualists who will create whether they can earn anything off of it or not, but most of moviemaking is an industry, and industry is about making a buck. And government protects industry first, because people mass around industries for supply and demand. So, as Rob said, when the people who own the content of the DVD force you to see the FBI warning on the screen, they can say you were told. What you do after that is on your own head.

  7. bsdman said,

    March 29, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Wow, I just realized that I haven’t posted anything here in a while. Maybe things stopped bothering me. Maybe I went outside and enjoyed myself a bit over the past two years. In either case…

    I’m not sure where I wrote “hey, I make ‘backup’ copies of DVDs and give them away” or “I sell the ‘backup’ copies of DVDs I make”. In fact, I re-read everything I had previously written, and I’m still unable to find those two phrases.

    I think my biggest gripe about the FBI warnings on movies is that we are unable to fast forward past them. Think about other media – is there an unskippable track 1 FBI warning message on every CD? Take that one further: since most music purchases are single songs now, should we incorporate an FBI warning in the beginning of each track?

    Or how about a book? Those have the copyright information somewhere in the beginning few pages – yet we can choose to pass over that section of a book and start reading the actual story. Otherwise HOW WILL WE EVER KNOW IT’S WRONG TO STEAL THESE ITEMS? OH THE HUMANITY!

    Rob is pretty much saying “this is the way it is because people think they deserve things for free, so deal with it.” I’m not sure anyone actually can grasp this concept: stealing and copyright infringement are two different things. Are they both wrong? Yes, but to equate them as the same thing shows me your total ignorance to the laws (assuming US of A here).

    We’re only buying a piece of plastic? I can see it now:
    Media guy: Hey, I just bought this movie and it appears as though there’s nothing on it
    MPAA: that’s our new sales strategy – put blank DVDs in a case and sell them to you
    Media guy: well that’s a damn good strategy. Can I buy another copy?

    Obviously that could never happen – I mean, they forgot the FBI warning previews.

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