DVD Etiquette

(This is an open letter to everyone who has ever rented a DVD.)

Dear fellow DVD renter,

Hi there! I am also a DVD renter myself. I have enjoyed many DVDs over the past few years, but I have noticed a few recurring problems with the DVDs I have rented that are easily solved. You too can make your fellow DVD renter’s life many times happier in the following circumstances if you follow a few simple instructions. It’s only polite to:

If you’ve gotten a fingerprint on the disc, it’s no big deal. Just breathe on the disc and wipe it off with a tissue or light cloth. Heck, if you get it wet or sticky, it’s probably no big deal. Just make sure the surface is nice and clean and shiny and it’ll be fine.

If you’ve scratched the disc so that a portion of it is unreadable, simply inform the organisation from which you rented the disc and pay up. They’re not that expensive, and it’s the honest and honorable thing to do. It’s possible that some discs are made with defects in them, so it’s not neccesarily your fault. But sometimes it is. So just fess up and cough up the dough. It’ll make everyone’s life easier. And next time, just be more careful. If it’s your DVD player that’s doing it somehow, fix it or get a new one, moron!

If you’ve scratched a DVD disc rendering a portion of it unreadable and you haven’t even reported it so that the disc stays in circulation and causes problems for other DVDs users, you have stolen money from them. (Okay, if you scratched a library disc it’s a little different, but you should still pay up.) You haven’t stolen it from “a faceless corporation” like when you pirate commercial mp3s, you’ve stolen it from Joe Sixpack who might very well be making minimum wage and can’t afford things like Comcast Digital Cable or even a Pentium IV. You very well may have done it to many different people depending on the popularity of that DVD and the institution it’s being rented from, especially if it’s something like Netflix or Blockbuster Online. Decent, hardworking people. Please send me your name and address so we can make an appointment to meet. I will then chain you to a table and remove your internal organs one at a time with a grapefruit spoon and a nail file. With one less DVD-scratching bastard in circulation, the global average quality of all DVDs will then improve, making the world a happier and more culturally enriched place.

[bit deleted] Man I was cranky when I wrote that. And besides, she probably doesn’t read my weblog anyway. I still don’t have a replacement copy of The Incredibles… Ah well…

Now that you all know a little DVD Etiquette, I wish you a happy DVD-watching experience.

Matthew Mather

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