15 Years Of Anti-Piracy Commercials…

from the and-how's-that-worked-for-you... dept

John was the first of a few to send in a collection of 15 years worth of “anti-piracy commercials” that run at the beginning of films, put in place by the movie industry, who has only just realized that perhaps they should offer up a more positive message to customers who just paid good money to watch a movie, rather than accusing them all of being criminals. Most of these commercials are so over the top as to be hilarious. “The pirates are out to get you. Don’t let them brand you with their mark. Piracy funds organized crime… piracy funds terrorism… and will destroy… your future enjoyment.”

It makes you wonder if the folks making these commercials actually thought they’d be effective.

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Comments on “15 Years Of Anti-Piracy Commercials…”

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Shawn says:


“It makes you wonder if the folks making these commercials actually thought they’d be effective.”

My guess is the folks making those commercials just cared about getting paid. There is no way to really track its effectiveness (its also not in alot of peoples interests to admit any reduction in piracy – so even if they did have a positive effect most of the industry lobby groups would be loath to admit it). So if I had been contracted to make these commercials, I wouldnt have worried much about thier effectiveness . . . actually reducing piracy I dont believe was really the point.

Danny says:

Re: Re:

My guess is that (if Mike did mean the funders) the ones funding the commercials did so knowing that they were just spending a relatively small amount of money in their efforts to justify their existence. They want off the wall and extreme sounding ads because they make the “epidemic of piracy” sound worse than it is when it turn “proves” that the movie studios need help infighting piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Indeed not. But my car also doesn’t force me to hear a 2-minute lecture on the evils of car theft before I can drive anywhere every time I turn the key, either. If it did, I’d get rid of it and find a car that didn’t automatically treat me like a criminal.

I particularly liked one of the MPAA’s anti-counterfeiting campaigns from a few years ago, wherein they tried to discourage people from buying counterfeit DVDs. Their list of warning signs included suspiciously low prices, no FBI/Interpol warning, no region coding, and no CSS. I laughed hard when I first saw that.

Normal Harold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What if I could easily make a copy of every car I saw on the street and the owners had no problem with me making a copy of their car, but I was violating a copyright by doing so?

Would I push the button and copy the car? Or how much would I be willing to pay for the copy? If I could go to a dealer and pay a nominal price for the copy with a warranty (of course, who needs a warranty when you could just get a free new copy if anything happened to your original copy) I probably would.

Would I pay FULL PRICE for a simple button-push copy of a car that didn’t cost the company anything to produce? No.

Car companies pour huge amounts of money into automobile design, engineering and production. They make that money back by the SMALL profit they get from each sale (at least, in theory they make it back, some of them seem to be having a hard time doing so, but you don’t see them SUING THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR NOT PAYING ENOUGH).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Their list of warning signs included suspiciously low prices, no FBI/Interpol warning, no region coding, and no CSS. I laughed hard when I first saw that..

LOL, it’s like they are advertising for the pirated version. All the stuff you want, with none of the stuff you hate!

I once read an article where the RIAA guy pointed out that a compilation CD with all the songs you love was likely pirated. Honestly, do they ever think about selling what customers want?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Anti-Piracy Commercials

somewhat littoral minded answer:

because you’re in the same region, and thus get exactly the same product, complete with bafflingly illogical silliness such as this 🙂

NZ gets the Australian warnings useually, for DVDs, being in the same region. for console games we typically get the EU warnings though [and so does Australia, i believe]

while for computer software we get the standard DRM crap and American type legal garbage.

toll free number’s probably because people are used to Free calls for anything important. use an 0900 [caller pays, and can be set up to pay the person they’re calling per minute too] number instead of an 0800 and watch as absolutely no one ever rings it. [explains why so many games have 0900 numbers for their help and customer service lines, come to think of it. ]

the world is an extremely illogical place, when it comes right down to it. though only where humans interact with it. hehe.

chris (profile) says:


i haven’t seen an anti-piracy ad or fbi warning in at least a couple of years. yet another reason that ripz from BT are better products.

one of my favorite TV shows, “the IT crowd” (which i steal from the internet because it’s not on TV in the states where i live) has one of the best mockeries of piracy ads i have ever seen:

neil says:

if they actually want you to call in and report the “theft”, why don’t they have one toll free universal call center?
cause i’m not going to remember that many numbers.

hm but maybe if they switch to having you pay for the movie theaters with your cell phone they could send you a text message of the numbers so you could easily save them for speed dial.

RD says:

Let's try to phrase that sentiment a little more..

For Valkor:

Dear Weird Harold,

I refute you sir. Your assertions that copying digital media is equatable to theft are disingenuous at best, and outright falsehood at worst. Despite repeated attempts to disabuse you of this notion, you continue on this path of misinformation and intentional misunderstanding of not only the law, but of economic and market forces at work in a capitalist society.

Your arguments have been destroyed, and you have been revealed repeatedly for the corporate lap-dog shill that you are. You, sir, have no credibility.

I daresay the crew of the American cargo ship in Somalia would have a rather different and pointed take on your view of what constitutes “piracy.” I daresay they would find it highly insulting that you would equate their experience at gunpoint and under threat of death to that of a teenager sharing his music on the internet. And also considering that piracy has a specific definition under the law, one which, as has been pointed out to you ad infinitum, is different from copyright infringement. Infringement is not theft, as no one is deprived of the originating item, absent the moral issue which is a different argument.

Having said all of that, I would sincerely ask you to fornicate yourself in the orifice of your choice most urgently. Preferably with a terminal result.

Thank you for your time.


Anonymous Coward says:

Federation Against Copyright Theft…


Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but I was not aware that a copyright was something that could be stolen….

Also, does anyone else find it strange that there should be an organization against piracy with the name of FACT?
It seems that all those types of organizations do is distort facts in order to have their way with legislators votes.
Perhaps a more fitting name would be LIES.
But I suppose thinking up an acronym for that would be more difficult than for FACT….

RD says:

No no, you dont get it

“I once read an article where the RIAA guy pointed out that a compilation CD with all the songs you love was likely pirated. Honestly, do they ever think about selling what customers want?”

Oh my lord what planet do YOU live on?

No no ,listen, let me explain how this works. According to Weird Harold and his industry pals, you are to PAY for what THEY want to sell you. Repeatedly. And if it has DRM, doesnt work, dies after a few months, well, you dont OWN it anyway, so the industry owes you NOTHING for your purchase. In fact, if it were possible, WH and his industry buddies would just charge you and not even ALLOW you to view or enjoy what you purchased.

You see, this idea of consumer choice is, to put it kindly, naive and short sighted. The INDUSTRY is all that matters, their BILLIONS are all that matters, the legacy business model is ALL THAT MATTERS. The consumer is, really, just an irritating annoyance that gets in the way of the BUSINESS, and thats all that really matters. Consumers dont. Their choices dont. Their rights sure as HELL dont.

Anonymous Coward says:


When you’re at the theater, and they drop these lame propaganda films on you, scream out “Shut up, I just paid $12 to get in here!!”

Seriously. You may be amazed at the reaction you get from the audience. Most people agree (but don’t swear, it doesn’t help the argument.)

Somebody needs to shout out and let the theatre operators know to STFU, and don’t treat US like thieves when we just paid 13 bucks for popcorn and a coke.

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