For many years now, we have been warned of the evils of digital piracy through irritating adverts. “You wouldn’t steal a handbag,” the copyright warnings claim. If I would, I doubt I’d be typing this or watching the fucking adverts in the first place. I’d be in prison being shown what guy-love truly is…
The things that really annoys me about the adverts are that they are on dvds that you have spent your money on. This could be the only dvd you get in about a month or more. And you are subjected to reasons why you shouldn’t pirate and why you should support the industry legally. In other words, exactly what you’re doing! It makes it a little easier to bear if you think of the advert as essentially saying ‘keep up the good work!’. Although that message would be better received if it wasn’t playing horrible music louder than the dvd itself.
The other thing is that they put time and man-hours into meetings and hiring people to make the adverts. These people needed paying, you know. Where’d the money come from? It certainly didn’t come from piracy, I can tell you that much. If I’m right, they’ve got money from previous dvd sales and put it into making adverts to tell people to keep doing exactly what they were doing in the first place! It’s like breaking into somebody else’s house, yelling at them really loudly (“YOU’RE DOING FINE! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!”) and departing while telling them to keep on living.
And the other types of anti-piracy advert are no less annoying. Take, for example, the one with the guy with a brander. You know the one, “Don’t let the pirates brand you with their mark.” This one is not as bad, as it’s found at the end of certain dvds rather than the beginning, but it still bears talking about.
The advert says ‘piracy funds organised crime’. That is sort of fair enough, except organised crime doesn’t require a lot of money to keep it going. And they don’t do it through selling hooky dvds. It also claims that ‘piracy funds terrorism’. Okay, fair enough. Wait, WHAT?! You are seriously suggesting that piracy funds terrorism? As in, acts of terror frequently taking the form of mass catastrophes and deliberately perpetrated to terrify?! Show me the statistics that say Bin Laden funded 9/11 by selling illegal copies of Shrek! This blatant attempt to play to post 9/11 paranoia disgusts me!
The overall message (other than ‘piracy is bad’, obviously) is “Don’t let the pirates brand you with their mark.” That would be okay after the terrorism claim, but I’m pretty sure it’s trying to associate branding with digital piracy (ahh, you see? Piracy, like those “Yarrrr!” kind of pirates!). And as far as I can tell, pirates never actually made it a point to brand people. And it wouldn’t be seen as a mark of your support of piracy, it would tell the viewer that you got on the bad side of some pirates.
The advert that is the main focus of this blog post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmZm8vNHBSU&feature=related (incidentally, after the girl cancels the download, she gets her bag and goes somewhere. Where, to get a life? Download rehab?!)
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the ‘branding aids terrorism’ one, so here’s a Futurama parody of the above advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWPfcEOr2Yg&feature=PlayList&p=9452EC2C7AC0D34B&index=7