Instead Of Hiring Film Crew To Make PSA About Out Of Work Film Crews, ICE Just Reruns Someone Else's Video

from the wow. dept

Well, this is just bizarre. You may recall that late last year, NBC Universal worked with New York City to create a silly “anti-piracy” propaganda video that was not even close to accurate. It amusingly claimed that there is “no such thing as a free movie,” while using YouTube, a free video platform… for free. We were left scratching our heads, a few weeks back, when pointing out that Homeland Security’s ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) was now using the same video on its YouTube account — stripped of all references to New York City.

Well, as part of World Intellectual Property Day, ICE has flat out lied and is pretending that this video is a “new” PSA that it’s put together, and which it will now be placing on the domains it illegally forfeits, without any sort of adversarial hearing.

Shouldn’t we be just a bit concerned that Homeland Security’s ICE group is placing a video, financed by NBC Universal, which makes blatantly false statements concerning copyright law and the impact of copyright infringement, on domains that it has seized illegally? Even worse, the press, who should know better, are simply parroting the claims from ICE that this is a new PSA from ICE. It’s not. It’s from NY City at the urging of NBC Universal. It’s also not accurate.

Of course, what would be funny, if it weren’t so sad, is that ICE’s John Morton thinks that this video will “educate the general public about the real consequence of IP theft.” That’s doubtful. As has been explained over and over again — including in the recent SSRC report — the issue is not education at all, but better business models. This kind of propaganda is simply laughable and its insulting that Morton thinks the American public is so stupid as to be fooled by false statements about intellectual property.

In the meantime, though, can we point out the serious irony here: ICE and the feds are apparently too freaking cheap to pay for the creation of their own anti-piracy PSA about putting video crew people out of work. Yes, ICE could have hired a nice film crew, like the one in the video that will be put out of work due to “piracy.” But, instead, it just used a video that was already made… meaning it didn’t actually help put anyone to work. The film crew that the Stop Piracy in NYC site originally highlighted as being at risk due to piracy… are they getting any money from ICE?

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: nbc universal

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Instead Of Hiring Film Crew To Make PSA About Out Of Work Film Crews, ICE Just Reruns Someone Else's Video”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

It's worse!

They’re linking to the PSA on domain names they’ve alleged were engaging in trademark infringement and counterfeiting like And they don’t just link there, they force your browser to play it after 10 seconds. This is meant to confuse the public even more and make them think that copyright laws and trademark laws are one in the same. What a joke!

ICE claims 65 domain names have been “administratively forfeited”. Doesn’t that mean they didn’t have a warrant for them? I was wondering when the press would get copies of the warrants on a majority of the sites that were seized, but it’s looking like ICE didn’t even see a judge to seize several of them.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

That PLA (Public Lying Announcement) is disgustingly good. I learned that rich white guys are assholes and young attractive black women are good people. Also, sound technician are old depressed women. I’m assuming their employers must be treating them poorly!

Somebody needs to re-dub the video with different dialog. I would do it but it’s not my area of expertise.

Anonymous Coward says:

I like how ICE keeps toting the number of “hits” the seized domains have received since their seizure.

How many of the 45 million “hits” they claim do you think are from the extreme amount of press these illegal seizures have generated?

John Morton, you’ll be out of a job soon. Eventually some of these cases will go to court and this new bizarre, illegal way of using tax payers money will be forced to stop.

B's Opinion Only (profile) says:

I work in the film business. It has been growing every year and continues to make record profits, just as is has since: people got televisions in their homes, got VCR’s, got cable, got Video on Demand, and since they got the Internet.

I encourage everyone to go to the Youtube video in the link, and FLAG it as inappropriate. I chose “Inappropriate because it is mass advertising” but feel free to choose your own reason for Youtube to take it down.

It is a shame they have disabled comments for the video, because it could have become an interesting discussion of due process and freedom of speech.

ts says:

“its insulting that Morton thinks the American public is so stupid as to be fooled by false statements about intellectual property.”

I think you’re giving the American public too much credit. I would say 90% of the public doesn’t care about IP law, so they’ll believe anything they hear.. if they even pay enough attention to hear anything. The other 10% that cares are people that benefit from the current system… leaving a minority of the minority who actually get it. And 99% of them are frequent visitors to this site. =p

Chris says:

Welcome to our world!

Welcome to the world where government agencies spread lies and the mainstream media doesn’t even point out the obvious lies!

This is what gun owners have been going through for decades, courtesy of the ATF and smaller agencies.

Government is not a smart animal. If, however, it is successful in a tactic against one group of citizens it will seek to employ the same tactic against another. Government successfully demonized law-abiding gun owners for decades, building restriction after restriction upon their rights. A right recognized, not granted, by the Second Ammendment.

To paraphrase: First they came for the gun owners, but I didn’t speak out because I didn’t own guns.

Now they are coming for you. Who is there to help YOU?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...