I Am Not a Pirate
You wouldn't put a guy in a trenchcoat at every box office and video store counter, accusing every customer automatically of trying to shortchange the cashier.
So why do you put ads at the beginning of every DVD--ads we can't skip by pressing "Menu," as we can with previews--reminding us that video piracy is a crime?
I know that illegal video downloads are a crime. So you have told me 849,000 times. I would never think of doing an illegal video download--and not just because my computer literacy is on a level with Samuel Johnson's. I want the actors and directors and writers and cinematographers and gaffers and best boys to receive just recompense for their labors. (The fact that Julia Roberts makes more in a week's shooting than I will in a lifetime is irrelevant. No one's going to plunk down $9.50 to see ME in "Pretty Woman.") I realize that every time someone sees a movie without paying, it eats into the profits that allow future movies to get made. Furthermore, because I am a technological dinosaur, I actually like going to Borders or Barnes & Noble or Best Buy, looking at all the DVDs in their shiny boxes, browsing through them, making the hard decision whether I will go home that day with "It Happened One Night" or "Escape from New York" or "Au Hasard Balthasar." (Julia Roberts, of course, could go home with all three, but I told you I don't make as much money as she does.)
So why do you constantly have to chide and rebuke me about pirating your intellectual property? If you think I look like Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow or Errol Flynn as Captain Blood, I'm flattered, but it's a case of mistaken identity. The guy you want to reach with your ads is fingering his pocket protector with one hand as he presses the "Enter" button on a download of "Spider-Man 3" with the other. Only you're not reaching him. Because he's not watching your DVDs.