How else do you propose I "prove" I own the original, defective disk as seen in the photos above?
I suppose I could have borrowed a friends defective disk and photographed his - but then of course HE would still be entitled to a replacement. Maybe you think maybe the two disks in the pictures are not the same? If the disk from the second photo isn't the same disk as the one in the top photo, why would I need to get ANOTHER copy of a movie I already possess? Besides, they would be able to detect this deception when I return the damaged disk to them -- and they already have my true name and address so it wouldn't be in my best interest to intentionally defraud a major multi-national corporation over such a low-cost item.
Their return policy may be "standard" ... but that doesn't justify the fact that it is obsolete and extremely unfair to the consumer, and runs contrary to their legal actions against "fair use" copies for back up purposes.
I could have made a back-up copy of this disk the day I bought it, or archived it to some other digital format (a computer hard drive) which would have prevented me from being without the content now that the disk has (prematurely) degraded beyond a point of no recovery. But political actions taken by WB, their parent companies, and trade organizations had made any such personal backing up illegal.
Since they don't want to allow the consumer to protect himself from content loss due to either (a) hyperactive children or other mis-use, (b) mechanical damage caused by ailing hardware, or (c) manufacturer defect -- one would assume they would be morally responsible for replacing such disk (especially those damaged due to manufacturing defect) at their own expense.
It would be a simple enough policy to implement. You call, write, email them and report a disk that needs replacement - and they send you the replacement in a low cost returnable mailer (similar to what is used to ship & return on-line rentals). If they want, you return the bad disk back to them in the same packaging.
They've already admitted the cost they incur are in the creation of the content - and not on the medium it is delivered on. You've all seen that there is only negligible price difference between movies or music purchase on acutal disks versus those purchased in purely digital form.
Media companies see illicit online downloads as a major threat not because they are loosing any "physical product" -- but because they are loosing their "intellectual content". More specifically, they are loosing the potential licensing fees of the purely digital "intellection content". They dislike peer to peer because such trades online do not generate any such fee income for said media companies.
My theory is, if you buy a physical product - and it is defective, than it is common law that you have a resonable amount of time to get a no cost exchange for a brand new product. If later on down the road it fails due to a previously undetected manufacturing defect, you man have less options, because most physical products are intended to be used, and thus worn, and the depreciation must be accounted for. Most purely physical objects like this have clearly stated return policies. Not all physical objects, even those of great value, must be sent "back" (i.e. across the country at user expense) before a replacement is dispatched. For example, the computer I am typing this on (a Dell XPS 600 valued at about $2000) was recieved by me in a damaged condition. Dell quickly expedited construction of a replacement; added priority overnight shipping to the replacement when it was completed, and soon I had a working computer like the one I had paid for. They even issued a credit to my charge card for my inconvenience. That's good customer service. In any high volume manufacturing industry - mistakes WILL occur. The measure of a company is how they respond to those mistakes.
The 2nd part of my theory also applies. When you buy a DVD movie, what you are acutally buying is about 5% physical product (includes the disk, packaging, shipping & stocking costs) and 95% "intellectual content".
It is the "intellectual content" that is of concern to Media Company. It's still perfectly legal to resell my physical product - but I certainly cannot do a THING with my "intellectual property" - with regards to transfering it to other devices or sharing it online. Kindof like software, right? This is such a big issue with software, that you never even BUY software anymore! You only buy a LICENSE to use the software.
Looking at it this way - I've paid a LICENSE FEE to watch my DVD video's "intellectual content". I am now no longer able to do this. If they won't let me copy it from someone else, download it easily from the internet, or aquire it through a peer to peer service (all of which take much less than "4 to six weeks") - than they ought to send me another copy of my "intellectual content" on the "physical product" disk THEY TOLD US would last a "LIFETIME" with proper reasonable care (i.e. at least 70 years).
Okay, now I rant a little off topic:
The whole LICENSE FEE for DVD's would be really nice. How about a PERPETUAL LICENSE for any DVD Title you purchse, that will allow you free upgrades to any future re-releases of the same content in the inevitable new format.
My example? STAR WARS, Episodes 4,5,6. I bought them on VHS. Then I bought them on WIDESCREEN VHS. (I never managed to waste money on the Beta versions, or multiple pre-laser disk or laser-disk versions). Then I bought what I was told by GEORGE LUCAS would be the First and LAST EVER DVD RELEASE of those episodes - unfortunately for us, they didn't include the orginal theatrical editions of the movies we'd grown to love (as many multithreaded titles of the day had done - i.e. Terminator 2 SE; The Abyss SE; Aliens SE). Just the hacked and corrupted Lucasified versions. God, he was a horrible director!! Dammit, we wanted the "HAN SHOOTS FIRST!" versions.
But I bought them anyway, cause it was his way, or the highway.
Now they a releasing the HAN SHOOTS FIRST originals again. On DVD. At like $30 a movie. SHOULD WE HAVE TO PAY another $90 for movies we already bought (several, maybe dozens) times already? Don't we already own the LICENSE? I mean, sure, if it was on HD. If it gave more detail. Or anything new at all. But this is the same damn DVD detail we bought before. And we only bought it because you said you weren't gonna release this, George! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!