Is changing the aspect ratio of your projector illegal?

17 10 2009


You know how sometimes you turn on the TV, and it’s still on 16:9 mode, but you’re just watching the news? And the people are all kinda squashed, but you don’t feel like picking the remote up and hitting the picture mode button? Yes? So, sir, you are confessing that you willfully modified the original copyrighted image, without the consent of the creator. It’s a good thing you weren’t running a for-profit business or I might have to charge you. Move along now, and don’t let me catch you again.

Seriously, that appears to be the case according to the manual for a projector, which warns against using the aspect ratio button if using the projector in any commercial circumstances. After all, if the original content is 4:3 and you show it in 16:9, you are technically modifying the work. There is some kind of logic there, but it’s kind of like a warning on a mask that it may be illegal to use this mask during a bank robbery. Technically they’re correct, but that’s not really the point.

I don’t want to get into a discussion of the definition of fair use, since that’s not really the issue here. I’m not even sure what the issue really is. All I know is that when you’ve got a warning to this effect, something’s gone seriously wrong somewhere along the line.

via [boing boing]




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