BOSTON (TheStreet) -- It's natural to feel sorrow for an entertainment industry beset by pirates, a communications company struggling to make a buck in a rapidly changing world and the steadfast U.S. Postal Service, making do with fewer and fewer workers, offices and hours. That is, until you come up against a moronic policy that makes your sorrow seem less natural and more like natural selection.
Here are three dumb blunders showing how industries make it easy for us to hate them:
What I want: "Marvel's The Avengers" on DVD with bonus features and a digital copy I can watch on my laptop.
The problem: Disney (DIS) says these treats aren't for low-rent scum such as myself that never moved up to Blu-ray. The company released six versions of the movie Sept. 25, but three were Blu-ray only from Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT), and the only complete package puts bonus features (including deleted scenes and the short movie "Item 47") on a Blu-ray disc I can't watch.
The company's solution: "Blu-ray discs give us the ability to add more content with the best viewing quality. Additional bonus can also be found on the digital downloads (iTunes, for example) if he doesn't have a Blu-ray player," Disney said through a public-relations firm. So a $49.99 set would have given me a DVD of the movie and a digital copy but no bonus materials, and the bonus features don't sell on their own at iTunes -- and "Item 47" can't be found at iTunes at all. Or I can buy a two-disc set for $39.99 that has the bonus features but not a digital copy, which is $19.99 at iTunes in high-def or $14.99 in standard. So because I don't have a Blu-ray player, Disney makes me pay either $54.98 or $59.98.My solution: Wait a while and buy a new copy of the two-disc set for as low as $14.39 or a used copy for as low as $10 and use free DVD ripping software such as MakeMKV to create my own digital copy. Free and easy, in fact. The result: The entertainment industry hates pirates, so why encourage piracy? They also turn paying customers into digital freebooters with such tactics as letting digital-copy codes expire even if they've never been used.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV