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(UK people) Virgin Media drops Sky One

tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Games and Technology
As of midnight last night Virgin Media (which was formed from the amalgamation of NTL and Telewest) have taken the decision not to pay Sky the increased asking price for their channels (Sky One, Sky Sports News, Sky News)

This means Lost, Battlestar Galactica, 24, Dresden Files, Simpsons, Nip Tuck, Rescue Me, and a variety of other shows will all cut off in mid season.

In the UK at least I am aware of no legal way to obtain these shows online, iTunes for example does not offer TV downloads to your PC in the UK.

Many people (like myself) will find ourselves in a bit of a crisis, since when VM took over telewest at the beginning of the year they hugely raised all the package prices for people outside a 12 month contract (their argument was that the package we used to have no longer existed, and so they were rebilling on an item by item basis). When you called they would gladly set your prices back to a reasnoble level. However what they didnt tell you is that doing this was in their eyes equivalent to signing a new 12 month contract. So when you call to quit, they wont let you, so I cant quit and join Sky.

So now we are possibly locked in to a now useless TV package, which doesnt offer the 2 main channels which are my reasons for getting cable TV in the first place. Is anyone else pissed off by this? Has anyone had any luck getting virgin media to release them from their contract on the grounds that this is an unreasnonable change in the service provided on their part?

Its true that BSkyB (who make sky One) do wield an abnormal amount of control in the UK TV industry however I view it like this. If I order a pizza with sausage on it from a pizza company, and pay in advance, and after this the sausage making guy doubles his prices the pizza company can't then deliver me a pizza with mushrooms on the grounds that it is the same. I would want my money back, and although I might be angry with the sausage maker its not my business how much it costs the pizza company to make my pizza after I have ordered and paid for it.

This is exactly the same. Ive ordered a TV package from VM with Sky One, and the Sky One manufacturer has raised the price in the middle of my contract. This may be a cruel move on BSkyBs part, but its not my business how much VM has to pay to fulfill my order. Ive already signed up.

For all you americans be thankful you live in a country where the cable/satellite providers are not the same as the channel content creators!

"That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
tbloxham on
«13

Posts

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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    tbloxham wrote: »
    For all you americans be thankful you live in a country where the cable/satellite providers are not the same as the channel content creators!

    My God no. Given the choice of American TV, which is about 30% adverts (in my experiance) and having the BBC, i would take the BBC any day.

    For things like Lost/24

    DVD boxsets?

    LewieP on
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    MumblyfishMumblyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    My God no. Given the choice of American TV, which is about 30% adverts (in my experiance) and having the BBC, i would take the BBC any day.
    Quite. While I do sincerely believe that British television as a whole has gone down the shitter (just take a glance at Channel 4's appalling "comedy" output, and compare it to the cracking friday nights they put on in the late 90s, or try watching BBC3 for an hour) at least we have four television channels and seven radio stations (not counting regional variants), some of which are often very good, mercifully free of advert breaks and sponsorship deals.

    The only worthwhile programmes on the non-BBC channels are the big American dramas, such as House, Battlestar Galactica and Deadwood, because Britain is lucky to get one or two decent dramas a year (three cheers for Life on Mars). And as you said...
    LewieP wrote: »
    For things like Lost/24

    DVD boxsets?
    Well, okay, you were close. The correct answer is: Internet.

    Mumblyfish on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Mumblyfish wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    For things like Lost/24

    DVD boxsets?
    Well, okay, you were close. The correct answer is: Internet.

    ah, but -
    tbloxham wrote: »
    In the UK at least I am aware of no legal way to obtain these shows online, iTunes for example does not offer TV downloads to your PC in the UK.

    also my uni networks blocks all torrents, legal or otherwise, and the youtube-like streaming sites are such poor quality..

    LewieP on
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    bongibongi regular
    edited March 2007
    mumblyfish, you're forgetting that peep show is on channel 4 and it's amazing

    bongi on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    bongi wrote: »
    mumblyfish, you're forgetting that peep show is on channel 4 and it's amazing

    LewieP on
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    ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Is it getting a fourth series though?

    ben0207 on
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    MumblyfishMumblyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    bongi wrote: »
    mumblyfish, you're forgetting that peep show is on channel 4 and it's amazing
    Okay, it is incredibly bloody good. But that's one programme with a mere six-episode run, and the third series finished in December 2005. That hardly justifies Channel 4's continued existence.

    Mumblyfish on
  • Options
    malerikmalerik Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    yes indeed I believe the answer is thusly:

    Freeview.

    Get freeview box, save moneys.

    use said moneys to buy dvd box sets.

    then sell dvd box sets after purchase to buy MORE dvd box sets.

    revel in the convenience of being able to watch your tv shows when you want.

    Or poney up the dough and get sky.

    the choice....IS YOURS!

    malerik on
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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I have the standard virgin cable package and I'm not overly concerned. Sky One was nice to flick on to now and then but I don't watch a lot of TV.

    Can't you downgrade to the free tv package (you just pay for phone line renatl) and take up Sky? Or do you need a BT Line to get Sky (I wouldn't have thought so).

    With regards to getting out of the contract:

    "Some services (for example, television channels that form part of our television services) are supplied by other organisations. As a result, we may, due to matters outside our reasonable control or for commercial or contractual reasons, change all or any programming, programming services, channel allocations and channels, or cancel, postpone or alter the details of any advertised Pay-Per-View or programmes on demand or interactive services without notice. We will give you reasonable notice of any withdrawals and changes where it is possible to do so. You will be entitled to end this agreement if the changes are significant, as described in paragraph J3. "

    You could potentially argue that the changes to you are significant and escape the contract that way. Just quote the terms on: http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/legal/oncable/terms.html

    and double check the terms that you signed to.

    :: Edited :: also, with regard to your torrent problem. Do you have access to ports:

    119, 23, 25, 80, 3128, 7000, 8000 or 9000

    As they would provide a potential non-torrent related access to said tv shows.

    Mr_Grinch on
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    GiganticusGiganticus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    tbloxham wrote: »
    As of midnight last night Virgin Media (which was formed from the amalgamation of NTL and Telewest) have taken the decision not to pay Sky the increased asking price for their channels (Sky One, Sky Sports News, Sky News)

    This means Lost, Battlestar Galactica, 24, Dresden Files, Simpsons, Nip Tuck, Rescue Me, and a variety of other shows will all cut off in mid season.

    In the UK at least I am aware of no legal way to obtain these shows online, iTunes for example does not offer TV downloads to your PC in the UK.

    Many people (like myself) will find ourselves in a bit of a crisis, since when VM took over telewest at the beginning of the year they hugely raised all the package prices for people outside a 12 month contract (their argument was that the package we used to have no longer existed, and so they were rebilling on an item by item basis). When you called they would gladly set your prices back to a reasnoble level. However what they didnt tell you is that doing this was in their eyes equivalent to signing a new 12 month contract. So when you call to quit, they wont let you, so I cant quit and join Sky.

    So now we are possibly locked in to a now useless TV package, which doesnt offer the 2 main channels which are my reasons for getting cable TV in the first place. Is anyone else pissed off by this? Has anyone had any luck getting virgin media to release them from their contract on the grounds that this is an unreasnonable change in the service provided on their part?

    Its true that BSkyB (who make sky One) do wield an abnormal amount of control in the UK TV industry however I view it like this. If I order a pizza with sausage on it from a pizza company, and pay in advance, and after this the sausage making guy doubles his prices the pizza company can't then deliver me a pizza with mushrooms on the grounds that it is the same. I would want my money back, and although I might be angry with the sausage maker its not my business how much it costs the pizza company to make my pizza after I have ordered and paid for it.

    This is exactly the same. Ive ordered a TV package from VM with Sky One, and the Sky One manufacturer has raised the price in the middle of my contract. This may be a cruel move on BSkyBs part, but its not my business how much VM has to pay to fulfill my order. Ive already signed up.

    For all you americans be thankful you live in a country where the cable/satellite providers are not the same as the channel content creators!

    Dear tbloxham.

    I expect to get an infraction for this, but fuck it.

    I would like to remind you that Virgin/Telewest/ntl also offer extremely cheap broadband that you probably already have with unlimited downloads. Also this includes access to a very fast USENET server with a few days retention. I would recommend that you torrent or leech your TV from now on. If Sky want to be cunts about charging for their advertisement based channel (ie. it makes a profit if they were to charge Virgin nothing), then be a cunt back.

    Giganticus on
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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Further to my last post, the additional part of the terms and conditions:

    "If:
    we and/or Virgin Media Payments increase our charges under this agreement;
    we make significant changes to the services so the services you are entitled to receive in return for the charges you pay are significantly altered or reduced; or
    we and/or Virgin Media Payments make significant changes to the terms and conditions of this agreement (including the other legal stuff),
    you may cancel those services affected without penalty by giving us at least 30 days' notice in writing. If you cancel any services in these circumstances, the increased charges will not apply to those services during the 30 day notice period and paragraph J2 will not apply if you cancel before the end of the minimum period. If you do not give us notice of cancellation within 30 days of any increase in charges or changes to the services or this agreement being notified to you or, if later, receipt of your first bill following such increase in charges, we and Virgin Media Payments will assume that you have accepted the increase in charges and the changes to the services and this agreement and you will no longer be able to cancel your services under this paragraph. "


    Personally I would say you would have no problem cancelling your service over this issue.

    (oh and I just noticed it wasn't the OP that had issues with torrents being blocked. Silly me)

    Mr_Grinch on
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Although i agree with everyone when they say the BBC is great, and certainly I wouldnt lose either BBC 1 or 2 for anything those channels are paid for by my license fee and are a totally seperate concern from this.

    As for option "Buy on DVD" the shows come out on DVD so late in the UK that it is totally impossible to avoid already knowing the plot by the time they are released. Also having a show on DVD takes away from the whole social aspect of getting your mates round to watch the new episode of lost/24 etc with a few beers and enjoying it together. If you have it on DVD you'll just watch them all back to back and miss out on half the fun.

    As to giganticus who advised that I just steal the content, perhaps you are comfortable with doing that, but I am not. If you can suggest a legal way to obtain the shows in the UK promptly then I would be glad to hear it. Also since Virgin Media have deliberately screwed me over by manufacturing this whole new 12 month contract thing I have limited sympathy for them. Its not my fault they sold all their channels to sky for 10 years at a bargain price and then were shocked when sky came back saying they wouldnt reciprocate. Sky in fact was behaving as a company is obliged to behave, maximising shareholder profit. VM should have negotiated the whole package as one deal and now I am stuck with their stupidity.

    And yes, you do need a BT line to take up sky, so you cannot have Virgin and Sky in the same house without paying BT to install an extra set of physical wires which is very expensive.

    tbloxham on
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    Further to my last post, the additional part of the terms and conditions:

    "If:
    we and/or Virgin Media Payments increase our charges under this agreement;
    we make significant changes to the services so the services you are entitled to receive in return for the charges you pay are significantly altered or reduced; or
    we and/or Virgin Media Payments make significant changes to the terms and conditions of this agreement (including the other legal stuff),
    you may cancel those services affected without penalty by giving us at least 30 days' notice in writing. If you cancel any services in these circumstances, the increased charges will not apply to those services during the 30 day notice period and paragraph J2 will not apply if you cancel before the end of the minimum period. If you do not give us notice of cancellation within 30 days of any increase in charges or changes to the services or this agreement being notified to you or, if later, receipt of your first bill following such increase in charges, we and Virgin Media Payments will assume that you have accepted the increase in charges and the changes to the services and this agreement and you will no longer be able to cancel your services under this paragraph. "


    Personally I would say you would have no problem cancelling your service over this issue.

    (oh and I just noticed it wasn't the OP that had issues with torrents being blocked. Silly me)

    I hope that Virgin Media are as reasnoble about it as they should be. Although with the number of people I expect will be jumping ship over this issue I doubt they will be.

    Thanks for the suggestions though :)

    tbloxham on
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    GiganticusGiganticus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    You have no reasonable or practical legal alternative. If Sky don't want Virgin customers to make their viewing figures more attractive for advertisers, then tough shit to them.

    The alternative is to report Virgin to a consumer watchdog, but you wont enjoy all the legal bullshit around that.

    Giganticus on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    importing DVDs is one way of getting them earlier, but that doesn't solve the social issue you raised (although I am able to do what you described with DVDs)

    LewieP on
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    CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Get Freeview and 'acquire' all these shows online like everyone else.

    All you really need is BBC and Channel 4 anyways. And possibly E4 and Film 4. Its all free so why not. Sky One is 90% bullshit anyways.

    Carnivore on
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    LuftwafflesLuftwaffles Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    There are some video streaming websites which stream shows at a vastly higher quality than Youtube. Stage6 and Veoh are some examples.

    You can check out this link for more options: http://www.tv-links.co.uk/

    Luftwaffles on
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    MumblyfishMumblyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Carnivore wrote: »
    Get Freeview and 'acquire' all these shows online like everyone else.
    Freeview will set you back ~£70 as a one-off fee, and allow you the freedom to pick whichever phone and Internet provider offers the lowest price. All Freeview requires is a strong aerial signel. If you're adamant on wanting to do things "legally", there's no option available to you at present. You have no choice but to wait out the rest of your contract with Virgin then switch to Sky for your television and BT for your phoneline.

    Even the cheapest televisions can be hooked up to a PC, so if you do decide to go the Internet route (go the Internet route), you can still gather your friends around to watch your favourite dramas, but without the ad breaks, and when the rest of the world gets to see it.

    There is also, of course, import DVDs. Cheaper than local releases, and you get them much sooner. Only downside is the reduced sellback cost if you can't get rid of them before the local release. But import DVDs are every bit as evil as simply downloading from the 'Net. Oh no!

    Mumblyfish on
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I understand that everyone elses answer to this problem is 'just steal the shows from the net' but Im not comfortable doing that.

    tbloxham on
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    GiganticusGiganticus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    tbloxham wrote: »
    I understand that everyone elses answer to this problem is 'just steal the shows from the net' but Im not comfortable doing that.
    You don't want to "steal" it? Fine. Pay a fuckload of cash that you should never have had to. Or take Virgin to court/watchdog. These are your two choices.

    Giganticus on
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    MumblyfishMumblyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Then the problem will persist.

    Sorry, but there's no reasonable "above board" solution other than taking this and riding out the rest of your contract.

    Mumblyfish on
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    Sunday_AssassinSunday_Assassin Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Mumblyfish wrote: »
    But import DVDs are every bit as evil as simply downloading from the 'Net. Oh no!

    Yeah... Gonna be disagreeing with you there.

    Sunday_Assassin on
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    CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The only solution is the move to america.

    Carnivore on
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    GiganticusGiganticus Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Mumblyfish wrote: »
    But import DVDs are every bit as evil as simply downloading from the 'Net. Oh no!

    Yeah... Gonna be disagreeing with you there.

    Evil? No.
    Illegal? Yes.

    tbloxham only seems to care about the legality of his actions so it's not really a choice.

    Giganticus on
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    MumblyfishMumblyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Mumblyfish wrote: »
    But import DVDs are every bit as evil as simply downloading from the 'Net. Oh no!
    Yeah... Gonna be disagreeing with you there.
    I didn't mean "Importing is actually evil."

    I meant "Importing is evil, according to DVD manufacturers. Because paying hand-over-fist for inferior product is great."

    Edit: Also, yes, I was stressing that it was illegal and thus not a great choice for tbloxham, if a perfectly sensible one.

    Mumblyfish on
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    Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    One way is to phone and get through to someone that actually knows their stuff. They're thoroughly expecting people to cancel so do it asap before they find a good excuse to stop you! I'd go with the following lines from their terms and conditions:

    Regarding TV Channels provided
    " You will be entitled to end this agreement if the changes are significant, as described in paragraph J3."

    with

    Paragraph J3 referenced above.
    "If:
    we and/or Virgin Media Payments increase our charges under this agreement;
    we make significant changes to the services so the services you are entitled to receive in return for the charges you pay are significantly altered or reduced; "

    And point out the channels you receive amount to nothing more significant than you get through a freeview box (may be more difficult to argue if you're not on the 'free' service) and the only reason you took their phone line was to get their television service.

    If you have a copy of the channel listing then you could say you signed up on the strength of these channels and the strongest (clearly as it's one of the first on the list) reason was for Sky One. You could argue that at the time you ordered it was clear NTL/Virgin were pushing this forward as a selling point.

    Argue that one of the selling points for cable was one they were advertising themselves (a quick search of the google cache gives):

    http://www.ntl.com/mediacentre/press/pdf/Free%20TV.pdf

    There they state themselves the programming they're going to air, that was Sept 06. The programming they advertised then is no longer available. And they were using it as a selling point.

    I doubt you'll have any problem getting out if you kick up a bit of a fuss, it IS a big change to their line up, Sky One is often why the majority of people sign up for Sky itself.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on.

    Mr_Grinch on
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Contact watchdog. I'm sure they'll be helpful and I would put good money on them doing a section on this.

    Leitner on
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    Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Giganticus wrote: »
    Evil? No.
    Illegal? Yes.

    tbloxham only seems to care about the legality of his actions so it's not really a choice.
    How do you suppose that purchasing a product advertised for sale, and using money to do so as required by the seller is somehow illegal?
    Not paying import duty on them would be, but no-one has suggested doing that yet...

    Seriously, which laws are preventing this please?

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    TaramoorTaramoor Storyteller Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Umm....

    Lost, Heroes, and all the other shows that don't suck this season are available on ABC, NBC, and FOX.com almost immediately after airing. Can you not access ABC, NBC, and FOX.coms from the UK or something?

    Taramoor on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Taramoor wrote: »
    Umm....

    Lost, Heroes, and all the other shows that don't suck this season are available on ABC, NBC, and FOX.com almost immediately after airing. Can you not access ABC, NBC, and FOX.coms from the UK or something?

    iirc, I think they check your IP

    LewieP on
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    LaveLave regular
    edited March 2007
    Region restrictions are a way for a corperation to mass produce a product in the cheapest possible country whilst at the same time preventing you from purchasing that product from the cheapest possible country.

    You are doing nothing wrong by buying imported DVDs. Nothing.

    And you don't have to pay import duty if a product costs less than £17 (I would check that but its a two figure value). And even then - if they don't notice the package, and so fail to charge you - you have done nothing wrong.

    Also a freeview box can be got for £25 not £70.,

    Lave on
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    malerikmalerik Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I recently worked at argos

    freeview box can be grabbed for £15 if you know where to look.

    malerik on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    lidl sold a decent freeview box for £21 a few weeks ago.

    Imo, no one has any excuse for just having analogue terestrial these days.

    LewieP on
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    CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Is it illegal to use a proxy and watch the shows on NBC.com or whatever via streaming video?

    Carnivore on
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    LaveLave regular
    edited March 2007
    No, of course not.

    Man, I hate the way the networks have convinced loads of people that doing almost anything they don't want you too is illegal.

    Unless your downloading (and sharing the file) or buying a pirated copy then your pretty much not going to be doing anything illegal.

    Lave on
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Taramoor wrote: »
    Umm....

    Lost, Heroes, and all the other shows that don't suck this season are available on ABC, NBC, and FOX.com almost immediately after airing. Can you not access ABC, NBC, and FOX.coms from the UK or something?

    Unfortunately they do indeed check that you live in the US, I saw this a few weeks ago and thought it might be fun. However all that happens is that they let you watch the trailers and commercials, but then tell you you cant watch the show from your location.

    And I dont think importing DVDs is illegal (provided they cost less than £15 if I recall correctly, otherwise you have to pay import duty), its just a hassle to have to buy a multiregion DVD player(I use a 360 to play DVDs at the moment) and not as much fun as having one episode a week.

    My willpower isnt strong enough to wait a whole week between lost episodes if I have them all sitting there :)

    tbloxham on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    yeah, i'm not sure downloading shows from the internet will sit easy with the mods..
    That really, really sucks for Virgin customers, and i would be really surprised if there wasn't some sort of legal comeback. If they've promised you those channels as part of a package, i would've thought they're legally obliged to do so, or they're in breach of contract, right? I mean it's not like you can go "sorry chaps, i don't feel like paying you this month, you're just gonna have to sit this one out". I think Telewest cut off our broadband when i tried doing that (a DirectDebit mixup, woo!).

    But i'm someone who can't just sit and watch a single episode of a series, i need a few to keep me going, so i much prefer to get a box-set instead; eagerly awaiting Galactica season 3, and i will pick up Lost at some point, i'm sure.

    edit: play.com do Region 1 dvds, i've not checked if they do all the series' and stuff, but if that's what you're looking for, they might be worth checking.

    darleysam on
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    LanzLanz ...Za?Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Giganticus wrote: »
    Mumblyfish wrote: »
    But import DVDs are every bit as evil as simply downloading from the 'Net. Oh no!

    Yeah... Gonna be disagreeing with you there.

    Evil? No.
    Illegal? Yes.

    tbloxham only seems to care about the legality of his actions so it's not really a choice.

    wait, importing DVDs is illegal for UKers?

    What in the ever living shit?

    Lanz on
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    Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Lanz wrote: »
    wait, importing DVDs is illegal for UKers?

    What in the ever living shit?
    It's not. Some people are either highly confused or dirty, dirty liars...

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    LaveLave regular
    edited March 2007
    Lanz wrote: »
    Giganticus wrote: »
    Mumblyfish wrote: »
    But import DVDs are every bit as evil as simply downloading from the 'Net. Oh no!

    Yeah... Gonna be disagreeing with you there.

    Evil? No.
    Illegal? Yes.

    tbloxham only seems to care about the legality of his actions so it's not really a choice.

    wait, importing DVDs is illegal for UKers?

    What in the ever living shit?

    It's not! It's totally not!

    importing DVDs is fine! Absolutly fine.

    Lave on
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