Come See How Excited Everyone Is For The Latest UK Educational 'Don't Pirate' Campaign

from the sooooooo-excited dept

If you drop the search term “educational campaign” into the Techdirt search field, it’s crazy how many story links pop up. When it comes to educating the public, particularly the youth, about how super-important copyright is and how goddamned terrible pirating is, the effort appears to have been going on for forty years or so. Given how every indication from our pro-copyright friends and the entertainment industries have been of the “sky is falling” variety, I would have thought that there would be some acknowledgment that the whole educational campaign thing didn’t work. Or maybe that the lesson plan sucked. Some kind of recognition of failure.

If that’s the case, you sure wouldn’t know it hearing how pants-crappingly excited everyone over in the UK is for yet another round of educational nonsense coming from the entertainment industry.

The education programme will target 16-24 year-olds, their parents, those responsible for household internet connections, as well as others who influence young people’s attitudes to accessing content. To capture the attention of these audiences, public relations firm Weber Shandwick will lead an integrated consumer, corporate and social PR campaign, with activities scheduled to start later this summer. Creative Content UK is working with Atomic London on advertising creative. Media planning and buying will be directed by ZenithOptimedia.

The campaign is part of the Creative Content UK initiative, a ground-breaking partnership between content creators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), together with an education campaign part-funded by the government, aimed at helping reduce online copyright infringement.

In other words, the public is footing part of the bill for letting the entertainment industries and ISPs tell them how great their products are and how horrible the bill-footing public is because piracy exists. And it will come from such organic methods like hiring PR and advertising firms. How could this possibly fail?

Well, probably the same way that the RIAA’s educational campaign failed. And the one that was done in Sweden failed. And the USPTO’s educational campaigns, too. They fail because they’re almost universally inaccurate and misleading propaganda hits that fail to connect with children far too savvy to fall for scare-tactics. Meanwhile, innovation stalls because the entertainment industry is busy reaping failure with the K-12 crowd.

But, still, that excitement.

Janis Thomas, Education Project Manager, Creative Content UK, said: “We are delighted to have three highly-experienced agencies on board to help us create disruptive and engaging multi-media campaigns that will connect with the aspirations of young people. This behaviour change initiative is vital to the success of the sector and will ensure that we can continue innovating and taking risks on new artists and ideas. We aim to inspire individuals to make a personal commitment to the future of the UK creative industries and to the creation of music, film, games and other entertainment, which they love so much.”

You just have to beat the buzzwords off with a stick, don’t you? Kids aren’t going to fall for this crap any more than they fell for the over-the-top anti-marijuana videos they showed my parents. But, hey, keep beating that dead horse if you want. Just keep it down; some of us are innovating over here.

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Comments on “Come See How Excited Everyone Is For The Latest UK Educational 'Don't Pirate' Campaign”

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TheResidentSkeptic says:

Actually, this will work..

I hope they truly push “We aim to inspire individuals to make a personal commitment to the future of the UK creative industries and to the creation of music, film, games and other entertainment, which they love so much.”.

The result will not be what they expect; but it will work incredibly well. All these folks will be inspired to go out and do it ON THEIR OWN WITHOUT THE MIDDLEMEN.

And it will be hilarious to watch it happen.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

That was my first thought. Perhaps someone should tell them that the disruption already took place, and a major reason why these problems exist is because the industries they’re working for haven’t caught up yet. But, hey, every conversation they’re having tells them that their industries have been disrupted so that must be the buzzword to use!

Andrew (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The one it’s parodying (you wouldn’t download a car etc.) was also a UK creation, for the ‘Industry trust for IP awareness’. They also had fun things like faked up “actual footage from cams” (with authentic vcr tracking lines, and actual copied MST3K-esque viewers). It is what actually got me started in the field with (we did manage to get one MEP to admit to basically spouting whatever was put in front of her when we pointed out her speech required time-travel, and also got the head of the British Video Assosciation [UK MPAA] to basically discredit the MPAA’s famed LEK study when their own figures were significantly different.)

At least they didn’t keep the other half of that campaign going though – “knock-off Nigel” ( – yikes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Intentionally thick or just a bad reading day?

Not quite sure what your comment is aimed at but I’ll cover the 2 likely suspects.

1) Europe did not vote for the fallout of the american housing market. Nor did they as a whole or even a majority vote on any of the current situations (ie it’s pretty much only the Germans and the Greeks who have a say in current goings on.)

2) This initiative is only partially funded by the elected government, mostly its from your *AA suspects.

So yeah not really any citizens fault.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think that post was at least partly sarcasm. There’s always a tendancy on this forum that any time a US Congress-critter does something stupid, we get a bunch of “you voted them in, you deal with it” posts. Nevermind that the critter in question was “voted” in on maybe 40% of the 10% of people who voted, and was the “best” of several truly terrible choices on the ballot.

So I think this was just someone capitalizing on chance to use that on some Euro-folks for a change as often as it tends to be used on US.

Anonymous Coward says:

We spend our entire lives teaching children to share – only to tell them it’s bad to do it when it comes to music and movies….

It’s cool though, we will just continue to waste untold billions of dollars desperately holding on to archaic business models to lock all that creativity back up and make sure the people responsible for it barely see any profits. Good job team! Glad we got 3 ‘successful’ marketing teams in on this one.

Dr Evil says:

let'em be

meh… let the AA’s continue doing what they are doing.. it gives us fun stuff to talk about. I don’t personally associate with stupid people and companies, but I do like reading about their antics. note that I have discussed file sharing with my children and expressed that once there is one or more convenient, easy to use, fairly priced, non-streaming / DRM free alternative to free (shudder) , then I fully expect them to pay for their downloads. They all indicated that the ONLY reason they acquired content the way they did was because they could not acquire and use it their way. bright sprouts! and the reason for my belief that we will win one day.


Mark Wing (user link) says:

It’s exactly like DARE. They start believing their own BS and the hyperbole just spirals out of control. But by that time they are all in, and it’s so ludicrous that they are achieving the opposite intended effect.

To where eventually the kids just politely nod to their fuckwittery. “Turn my parents in for smoking a joint, uh huh.” “Downloading a movie supports terrorism, uh huh.” and they call it a success because everyone is half-nodding. They’re trying to brainwash the kids but kids are not stupid. This kind of awesome education campaign just makes them more apathetic than they already are.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

I grew up to learn that most of what I was taught in school was propaganda...

…and often blatant lies.

Learning the truth behind such matters and feeling wittingly betrayed by my respective authorities (parents, teachers, administrators, businesses) is something that’s defined much of my attitude as an adult.

I’m a single (and probably singular) example but the 90s and aughts kids are becoming even more cynical sooner than I did. If what they want is another generation of cynics that expect big government and big media and big corporations to just lie at them…well, they seem to be on the right track.

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