In 2004, a PSA from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Intellectual Property Office of Singapore reminded viewers that pirating movies was a crime.
Set to The Prodigy-esque heist music, it infamously compared downloading a film to stealing a car. It became a widely mocked meme…
… but likely failed to deter pirates
A new report from the ESSCA School of Management explores why such ads are often counterproductive, per TorrentFreak.
- Many don’t see it as theft. It’s called file sharing.
- Messaging is too extreme. It’s reasonable to compare downloading a movie to stealing a DVD — not to grand theft auto.
- They’re not relatable. People might be deterred by malware warnings, but an Indian PSA featuring Bollywood stars — who are worth up to 200k times the nation’s annual per capita income — failed to garner sympathy.
- Declaring piracy a widespread issue implies everyone’s doing it. So, why not you?
Additionally, PSAs often screen in movie theaters for a paying audience. Pirates just edit them out, per Vice.
Piracy PSAs aren’t alone
BTW: British series “The IT Crowd” did a gross-out parody of the anti-piracy ad.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less