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.
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