You may remember the glories of Michael Palin’s travels such as “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Pole to Pole” and “Full Circle.” Michael Palin is one of my heroes; not like a sandwich, but a person I admire. Usually, after he filmed his adventures A&E would run them after the BBC played them in Britain. However, Sahara played without any fanfare and without encore presentations and Himalaya did not play at all. Worse still, the BBC decided to put all of his adventures on DVD…but only release them with region 2 encoding.
For the technounsavvy, the region encoding on DVDs is a total farce. When audio CDs came out, the big wigs at the big companies figured out that people were bootlegging the CDs and passing them around the world. So when it came time to market DVDs these wigs that are big, decided to start “encoding” DVDs for different parts of the world so that only a DVD properly encoded would play on your DVD player. Other than the encoding all DVDs are identical. This way they can cut down on the bootlegging and keep it regionalized. Long story short, I still couldn’t see my Precious Palin because my DVD player will not play DVDs encoded for Europe. Bastards.
Upset with the situation and being the big believer I am in writing the powers that be (i.e. the wigs that are big), I wrote to the BBC. I wrote to A&E. I wrote to Congress. All answers were the same – tough titties. BBC had no plans to release the DVDs in America; A&E had no plans to air the series; Congress said they had better things to tend to. For once I agreed with Congress, but otherwise – Bastards.
And so I have been force to take less than legal measures to obtain my forbidden fruit. I went to eBay, found someone who was making bootlegs and bought me the videos. Now (after too much introduction) here is the point of The Dude’s story. Before I bought I checked out the feedback for the seller. Mostly positive feedback except for the occasional Red Dot. But what I perplexed me was that all the negative feedback were things like “Duped DVDs! Don’t buy!” and “These were bootlegs and I want my money back.” Of course they are bootlegs! If you expected them to not be bootlegs you deserve to get some negative feedback yourself. “Don’t sell to this dude. He is a total moron. Did he think that I went out and quickly made a distribution deal with BBC so I could personally sell these clearly unavailable DVDs in America, but do to my lack of marketing skills the only place I am selling these legit DVDs is on eBay?” IDIOTS!