by Tara McPherson — University of Southern California
February 01, 2007 – 04:00
Rent a movie lately and get stuck watching the MPAA’s anti-piracy video? You know, the one with the jazzy editing that begins “You wouldn’t steal a car?” and goes on to remind you that buying or downloading ‘pirated’ media is illegal? It’s pretty hard to miss: it’s been plastered on to the front of hundreds of thousands of DVDs and you can’t skip through it.
But perhaps you’re one of the lucky few who have popped in a DVD and come across the pitch-perfect parody by the folks at youwouldnt.net? In this spot-on send up, images culled from the nightly news reframe the debate, asking who the real pirates are. Rip-and-burn guerilla activists have cleverly substituted this homegrown version on select rentals, returning them to stores around the country. The affiliated website breaks down the issues at hand, insisting that grassroots, bottom-up media can make a difference in the world by protecting the commons and creating a space for alternative voices. It also provides a toolkit for creating and distributing new parodies that seems perfect for classroom use. Happy remixing!
(Here’s the clip in .mov form)
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