Monday, October 24, 2005

Perverse Propaganda

Back in May, I noticed an interesting yet disturbing competition being held by Microsoft in the UK.

Well, the results are in.

I was so intrigued by this twisted contest that I had to run to a friend's house to view the videos (I have nothing on my free system that will play .wmv files). Not surprisingly, I was unable to find a film that had any balance or sensitivity behind it. There were several offensive and predictable ideas put forth in these 30-45 second shorts. For instance, the biased analogy of physical property with intellectual works was a common theme (see "Pitfalls of a Stone Age Inventor"). One film ("Stolen Love") equated the acquisition of extrinsic rewards created through copyright law with the acquisition of female companionship.

But in particular, I had a hearty guffaw at the film titled "Piracy Awareness" wherein the filmmaker proposes the extreme idea that if you obtain "pirated" software, you will create a world with "No Computers". A young teenage girl is seen placing both hands on her cheeks, bellowing in amazement, "NO COMPUTERS?!" The (il)logic then follows with the claim that there will be "No Films, No Music, No Games."

Young boys and girls, let this be a lesson to you!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I made one of those films... (it was the stone age one) and I would like to point out that, due to my moral position on copyright infringement (one that would counter the opinion you have put here, for sure) I decided to to make something which was purely about someone taking someone else's idea. I didn't want to get involved in the red tape of piracy. I was trying to find a site which hosted the video to link it, and found this. Seriously, you shouldn't be so bitter, things aren't always as they seem! Offensive and predictable was kind of the point.
Alex Clough


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