An open letter to the people who design DVD and Blu-ray menus

Dear designer of DVD menus,

We appreciate that you'd probably like to get to the point of this letter but first we need to remind you of who wrote it and who owns the copyright. Just bear with us a moment while we show you our logo and play some music. It's a bit long winded and you've almost certainly seen it before but it's important to our brand.

Before we get to the point as promised, perhaps you'd be interested in some other letters that may or may not bear any resemblance to this letter? We'll show you them anyway, just in case. No, don't skip to the end of this sentence, we're not going to allow you to do that. You might think this letter is for you, but we still own it.

Before we proceed any further, we'd like to talk to you for a moment about copyright and piracy. Again, you're not allowed to skip this. Even if you could, you'd be pretty tired of skipping sentences by now, wouldn't you? Might as well just sit back and read it again. Anyway, copyright and piracy. If you're the kind of person who'd copy a letter like this, we're pretty sure we can get you to stop by making you feel guilty about it, because presumably deep down you're actually a decent human being with morals and whatnot. That makes perfect sense to us. Are you feeling bad yet? You should.

Now before we get to the actual content of the letter, we're going to present you with a series of options accompanied by fragments of the letter, just to inform you of the key points ahead of time. You may not want to see those key points yet, but we'd rather eliminate any tension or suspense you might experience during the reading of this letter by showing you things that could give away details of it ahead of time. Also if you wait too long to consider these options, we're just going to start without you anyway.

If you have chosen one of the options that isn't to simply read this letter from the beginning, we'd like to make getting to those options as time consuming and irritating as possible. Not the first time, of course. The first time you'll be really impressed with how we do it. There'll be whizzy stuff of all kinds that took teams of creative writers months to produce. We don't care that the second time you go there the magic will be gone but you'll still have to read through it all again before getting to what you actually wanted. We don't think that far ahead.

Finally, just in case you weren't paying attention the first time, once you've finished this letter we'd like you to read some more copyright information. It'll be in a tiny font and you won't get enough time to read it, but we'll still make you read it in seventeen different languages even though we made you choose a language right at the start. Again, we won't let you skip any of it.

We hope you've enjoyed reading this letter and that you'll read it again soon, despite the obvious hurdles you'll have to go through.

Yours sincerely,

Everyone on the planet who has ever bought a DVD or Blu-ray and watched it more than once


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