I tend to be in an infinite loop at the moment, which is somewhat contradictory, but considering the current state of my head I could probably say anything and think it sounds correct. The loop however is the 3-4 days per week I spend in Canberra picking up cold and flu, then the 3-4 days back in Sydney that I spend recovering, so that I’m just well enough to head back to Canberra again, ad inifinitum.
Anyway, in such frustrating moments, when you feel that you have no weekend, just sick recovery time, you tend to watch a lot of moronic television or DVDs. I watched an elephant dump on a hidden video camera the other night, on some wildlife documentary. Man did I laugh, that’s the level I’ve descended to.
So I happened to catch Ali G The Movie on DVD. His recent series in the U.S. was hysterical, so I assumed the film would be somewhere near as good. Unfortunately not. However it was not the later 86 minutes that annoyed me, it was first minute that really pissed me off.
Not during the DVD load, but only once you select “Play” from the menu, does a 3 minutes mini-doco on piracy appear on the screen, and all the remote controls are disabled, so you have no choice but to watch it before the actual main feature begins. And the commentary over the top of this minute of what looks like a devilish blacksmith, working in the dark trying to heat up then cool down a bunch of branding irons, was this drivel (my highlighting):
The pirates are out to get you. Don’t let them brand you with their mark. Piracy funds organised crime and will destroy our film and video industry. Piracy costs jobs and will destroy our music and publishing industry. Piracy funds terrorism and will destroy our development and your future enjoyment. Don’t touch the hot stuff. Cool is copyright. Copyright is a matter of fact. Don’t let the pirates burn a hole in your pocket.
All that this crap incited me to do was take a copy of the rented DVD before I returned it, regardless of my dislike for the film in the first place, and regardless of the glistening Macrovision logo which flashes up after the credits.
So let us analyse this wonderous anti-piracy spiel shall we.
The pirates are out to get you.
Right, first cab off the rank, the pirates are out to get us. Are they really? And how are they supposed to do that? By selling us copies that are cheaper? Boy, that is really going to get me.
Don’t let them brand you with their mark.
Their mark? What mark would that be? A rather feeble attempt at a metaphor for receiving stolen goods perhaps? OK, fair enough.
Piracy funds organised crime and will destroy our film and video industry.
Organised crime? Are we talking about individuals taking a backup copy of a DVD they own? Or the next door neighbours taking a copy of a rental DVD for later use? Or are we talking about the small time DVD ripper down at the local markets selling copied DVDs? Perhaps we’re talking about the chain DVD rental stores like Blockbuster, who lock their franchisees into long 3 year contracts and then tell them what five or six DVDs they’re allowed to rent out, which is ultimately dictated by the deals they’ve struck with the motion picture companies. Or maybe we’re talking about the large publishing houses, who over the last 50 years have retroactively diluted the right to copy into a million dollar industry based on a flawed interpretation of rights.
Piracy costs jobs and will destroy our music and publishing industry.
Well, that depends upon the business model that these industries choose to base themselves upon. The flawed copyright exploitation model invented by them 50 years ago, in which case of course I can understand their concern, if I had such a gravy train, I’d never want to give it up either.
Piracy funds terrorism
Funnier even than the film itself, here it is again for comedic impact:
Piracy funds terrorism
What a crock of condescending rubbish. Although, the last time I saw Osama Bin Laden, he was down at the local Glebe markets, trying to sell me a copy of Mike Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
Don’t touch the hot stuff. Cool is copyright.
Gee, the marketers have been working overtime on this one. What better way to make copyright sound cool and hip.
Don’t let the pirates burn a hole in your pocket.
Nice contradiction. Piracy lowers prices, both of pirated goods and the real thing. This is what has happened in the music industry, and will happen in the film industry. This won’t dilute the pot of cash being spent and won’t send the studios broke. In much the same way as technology has facilitated the piracy of films, likewise technology has lowered the cost of film production, it just isn’t being passed on to the consumers. And as for the high salaries garnered by actors and technical people alike, time to get back to reality.
So, Universal Pictures, ironically started by actors almost 80 years ago, and sponsors of this ridiculous anti-piracy message, get with the times, and get a better marketing firm, because the one you’re using now is pretty clueless.