Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot


The Commons

About digital rights, environmentalism, etc.

August 3, 2003

While attending the mindless but enjoyable American Wedding, I was forced to sit through the latest round of anti-piracy propaganda from the MPAA. It's an ad featuring a bushy-bearded veteran set designer explaining how his career gets hurt by movie piracy. You can watch the load of bollocks here (I know, the interface confused me too).

This was just offensive on all sorts of levels. I almost got up, threw my Junior Mints at the screen and walked out of the theatre right there. It's one thing to have to watch all that advertising before a film, but another to be lectured to by some unionized set jockey. What the hell does he care about piracy? He's been working on feature films since The Big Chill--I'd say his position is pretty secure. And it's not like his wage is going to change because the Studios make a little less (or more) money. He's in a frickin' union! Has the MPAA been living in a cave for the past five years? Have they not watched the RIAA screw up this issue? Apparently all the MPAA has learned is to antagonize its customers. Tomorrow I'm writing to Canada's film distributors and the manager at the Granville cinema to explain the load of crap they're foisting on their customers.

It's notable that the MPAA has not used movie stars to caution viewers, the way the RIAA did. In truth, it's the stars who have more to lose. After all, if the studios have less money, then they're only going to pay Harrison Ford 15 million instead of 20 for his next movie. That's a serious pay cut.

By the way, on the MPAA's fear-mongering respectcopyrights.org, they offer their explanation of copyright. It's striking that (despite the fact they quote the relavent part of the constitution), they don't mention that copyright is only to be applied for 'limited times.'

Slashdot discusses this subject...that's what reminded me of the fiasco.

11:39:18 PM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies The Commons