ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

The Big Time —

Another important milestone:

The BBS Documentary is now available on Amazon.

The entry says that the DVD has Region 1 encoding; that’s not true, and I’ve sent in a correction. The DVDs have no Region 1 encoding.

Now, people who know of the BBS Documentary through this website and through the main BBS Documentary website might say “Well, that’s kind of odd; it costs more than on your website”. And here we get into the wierdness of selling through a big-name retailer like Amazon.

Basically, I make less money than I do selling the documentary myself. Significantly less. Yes, even selling the documentary for more on Amazon, I make less. But the balance of this is that it’s on friggin’ Amazon.

People like yourself who know of me and my project for years (and in some cases, years and years) have the score down already; you either bought it through my site or intend to buy it through my appearances at various conferences, or maybe you’re just going to download it when you have the chance. But this makes you one segment of the audience. Another segment is going to hear of this project by word of mouth, from the radio or from a message base or in a conversation at a bar or what have you. These people will, naturally, go home and either go to Google and look for “Documentary BBS” or something, or they’ll go to Amazon.

Other people put more trust in the Amazon brand name than a guy in the middle of who-knows-where. They’ll want the Amazon guarantee and refundability and whatever else they want from Amazon. So for those people, I have the DVDs for sale that way.

I don’t LOSE money selling through Amazon; I just make significantly less. But the trade-off is that I reach a lot more people this way. You see my issues. Also, no autographs through Amazon, for what that’s worth.

Note that Amazon doesn’t have some special “Jason Batch”, or anything; they’re waiting for my boxes just like you are, if you already ordered.

Oh, and I added it to my Wish List. That felt great.

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  1. Jack says:

    Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)

    Is that so? I’m in the UK here, my DVD player is region free so it doesn’t actually matter, but if this is true why did you region encode? is it a requirement? or are amazon lying to us?

  2. Jason Scott says:

    The BBS Documentary discs have no copy protection and no region encoding, and never did. Apparently this is Amazon’s default setting for DVDs (“they’re broken”). I have contacted them to insist they take that errored information down.

    I went out of my way to avoid a lot of the stupidities of the DVD format: no copy protection/encoding, no idiotic “don’t copy me” warning, no logo that you can’t forward out of. In fact, there’s nothing in them that “makes” you do anything. That was a big deal with me, and that’s the way they function.

  3. Jack says:

    Marvelous, I was sure Region Encoding didn’t sound like something you would do 🙂

  4. Jason Scott says:

    No, that would be pretty friggin’ stupid. Maybe if I was so ungabantically humongo I was in a situation that I was competing with myself on a worldwide scale, I could somehow convince myself (after some coke and rum and absinthe) that crippling my product so it could only be played on a small subset of available machines was a good idea. But I’m all out of rum, coke, absinthe and ungabantically humongo-ness.

    I have submitted a “from the publisher” paragraph to go onto the page, and in there it will be VERY clear “It’s region-free! Copy protection free! Creative Commons licensed!!” and so on, and I’m assuming the good folks like yourself who might browse the entry will go “Ah, THERE’s the real facts.” and make a judgement from there.

  5. Jason Scott says:

    Oh, and here’s the best part:


    Isn’t that great? People pay Macrovision money so that they can make their DVDs not work as well and theoretically stop “piracy”. What a bunch of Maroons.

  6. phil says:

    Lets not go into the PAL/NTSC encoding thing, please. All we really need to know is that many North American machines are so hard coded to NTSC that anything from outside region 1 is not considered a valid disk; they just plain don’t want to know about the rest of the world. (The rigmoral I *have* to go through making stuff playable for friends in the States doesn’t bear thinking about. My friends can send me anything though.)

    Fortunately for most of us out here in the “rest of the world”, NTSC is at worst a minor irritation.

  7. Jason Scott says:

    Phil: If there were an inexpensive way to do PAL as well as NTSC, make no mistake, I would do it. I just don’t know an easy way that won’t involve two completely separate runs of the documentary.

    Anonymous: Look, I did Chasing Amy when I was really out of funds.