The FBI Drain on American Productivity

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David Weinberger:

"The FBI warning on videotapes displays for approximately 30 seconds. Assume that you can fast forward over it so that it only takes ten seconds. Since the FBI warning is unnecessary to honest citizens and is ineffective in thwarting thieves, that means that last year the FBI stole 4,266,444 hours from American citizens. Assuming an average (don’t ask which type of average) salary of $50,000 in the US, that means the FBI stole $106,661,111.11 in lost productivity just from videotape viewers. Since DVDs prevent you from fast forwarding over the warnings, the total is 6,399,666. hours, worth $159,991,650.00."

Divx copies don’t have FBI warnings, making once again the street copy a better product than the original. This kind of lecturing by state agencies, embedded in products that customers buy, is obnoxiously patronizing.

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