No less an official than U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder rolled out yesterday’s new government-backed public relations war on piracy.
“In just a few moments, we’ll be unveiling a series of television, radio, and internet messages designed to help get the word out about the dangers of buying counterfeit goods, and the seriousness of intellectual property theft,” he said at the press conference.
Holder seemed proud of the new push to educate Americans about the perils of internet downloads and online prescriptions, and why not? His briefing on the plan probably made it all sound hip and informative. Then came the actual video. “Lurid” doesn’t begin to describe the one-minute spot, which begins with two teenagers looking at a pirated DVD on the street and then moves in whiplash-inducing fashion to drugs, gang violence, child labor, and thugs sitting around looking generally evil and counting their phat loot. The video does for “piracy” what “reefer madness” and “hairy palms” did for an older generation’s social ills.
As you watch the video below, remember: your tax dollars helped pay for this.
The whole campaign is run by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), the group responsible for McGruff the Crime Dog. McGruff, the “take a bite out of crime” super-sleuth, is recognized by 49 percent of younger adults and teens, says NCPC, which plans to make McGruff “a valuable asset in educating people about intellectual property theft.”