NBC stole my shows

I’m a Law & Order fan. The original Law & Order not an asterix Law & Order.

Chapter 1

It’s a hard life. A couple of years ago I started buying the DVDs from Amazon starting with Season 1. I bought from affiliates at good prices and I was fine with used versions if listed in good condition. I would buy one, watch all the episodes, and the buy the next one. I purchased seasons 1 thru 4 and when I went to get season 5, it wasn’t there. It didn’t exist. Neither did season 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, or 13. But I could buy season 14 and beyond.

Chapter 2

I implemented a reverse chronology strategy and started watching new L&Os downloaded (with DRM) from iTunes at $1.99 an episode. I watched all of Season 17 (2006 and 2007) and then started on Season 16. (Within the season, I did watch them in the correct order.) As of today, I’ve watched through the Feb. 8, 2006 episode: Magnet. Haven’t watched any for a short while and decided to download one tonight. NBC has disappeared from iTunes. I remember now when this happened and the buzz about Hulu.

Chapter 3

I finally found Season 16 online at Amazon for $1.99 per download just like iTunes. It’s in their “unboxed” area. Unfortunately, it only runs on Windows and I use a Mac. I do have Parallels running with XP but I’m not going to take the time to download the Amazon player. I know it won’t work the first time around.

Amazon wins tonight however as I did order Law & Order Season 5 (released since I was last looking) along with The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt.

Epilogue

There are no Season 16 downloads compatible with the Mac. There are no legal Season 16 downloads compatible with the Mac. I know places out there I can find illegal, free, encrypted versions where the nice pirates even removed the commercials. Of course I would never do that! (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

It’s really quite remarkable. I want to pay to watch a Law & Order episode tonight. I don’t have a problem with paying. Take my money, please!

This whole phenomenon is an indictment of the US entertainment industry which truly does resemble a dinosaur with a small brain. Rather than limiting my choices and trying to create intellectual property management schemes to squeeze more nickels and dimes from consumers, can’t they see that most of us would be happy for reasonable prices, good service, and “plug-and-play” functionality. The business model for this is naked as a jaybird and running down the street screaming.

The industry behavior encourages piracy. It’s that simple.

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