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The expression "dead tree copy" is a slightly pejorative way of referring to a (physical) printed book, as opposed to an ebook.

I was wondering if there is a similar expression that could be applied to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and other physical media for music, movies or games.

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What makes you think it is pejorative? As far as I can tell it is simple descriptive: some times dead trees are advantageous, sometimes not. –  dmckee Dec 18 '11 at 3:37
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You mean digital copies vs CDs/DVDs/etc, where CDs/DVDs/etc would be the equivalent of the dead trees, right? You're not looking for CDs/DVDs/etc vs something older. The first answer made me wonder. –  ThinkingStiff Dec 18 '11 at 3:57
    
I added the phrase about ebooks to my question, hopefully that's clearer. –  twsaef Dec 18 '11 at 9:26
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Another idea: you could use "dead dinosaur copy" by analogy to "dead tree copy". (Discs are made of plastic which is made from petrochemicals which come from dinosaurs.)

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I like this neologism, even if I don't think it's strictly accurate. Oil and stuff comes from mostly plant matter doesn't it? –  twsaef Dec 18 '11 at 9:28
    
Yeah, I thought about that, but I figured the idea is pretty firmly ingrained out there. Call it poetic license. Or use "dead plankton copy" if want to be more accurate. –  ThePopMachine Dec 18 '11 at 14:19
    
Coal comes from plants, oil comes from animals (in general, exceptions on both sides). –  Optimal Cynic Dec 19 '11 at 10:07
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I always refer to CDs, DVDs, etc as physical media. But that's more plainly descriptive, and I'm not sure it's a good analog for dead tree copy. The term seems to be used fairly commonly to describe the "outdated physical form" concept:

The Decline and Fall of Physical Media Retailing: A Timeline

Are you finished with physical media?

Why I Already Miss Physical Media

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+1 I always say "physical copy" but I did not realize it was common usage. –  JeffSahol Dec 18 '11 at 4:08
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You could go for "hard copy". For something like a document, a soft copy is a digital file and a hard copy is one on paper (i.e. something that you can hold because it is "hard"). For music or a movie, I don't see any other interpretation of what a "hard copy" would mean other than a disc (although the nitpicky might object on the basis that a disc still stores digital files)

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For music, you could refer to having it "on vinyl", i.e. on a record, but many people would not consider that pejorative. If you specifically want to be demeaning about it, you might refer to the "8-track edition" of something; I don't know of anyone who considers the 8-track format decent.

For the other things (movies & games) there really isn't a "baseline" format like the 'dead-tree edition' of a printed book that's been around essentially forever; about the best you can do is refer to some specifically outdated format like LaserDisc.

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