It’s Emmy time… that’s the glorious time of year when members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences get inundated with DVDs of all the best TV shows (sitcoms and dramas), MOWs and miniseries that have aired on network, cable, and pay cable in the last year. (Fellow scribe Paul Guyot lists on his blog today some of the goodies we’ve already received).
The great thing about Emmy time is that you get to see all the stuff you missed during the season… the very best episodes of every show on the air…in beautiful DVD transfers with no commericals.
The bad news is… there are a LOT of shows on each season. HUNDREDS. Every year. Which raises the question: What the hell are you supposed to do with all those DVDs when you’re done?
Used to be you could donate them to your local library (for their collection, NOT for re-selling), give them to friends, tape over them (back in the days of VHS), or simply throw them out.
But you can’t do that any more. Things have become so Orwellian in the fight against piracy that all the DVDs (and the occasional VHS) are encoded with some digital marker that can be traced right back to you. Which means if you toss your DVDs, and your friendly trash man digs’em up and rips 1500o bootleg copies to sell on the streets, you could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars, drummed out of the ATAS, perhaps even go to prison, just for emptying your garbage.
This is a serious problem for us big-shot Hollywood Emmy voters. Those DVDs and tapes really stack up. So what’s the answer? An AMPTP exec recently joked that you should smash your DVDs with a sledgehammer and run your car over your tapes. Come to think of it…maybe he wasn’t joking.