The latest issue of the Donald Duck magazine in The Netherlands features Donald and his nephews as music pirates and (who else) Uncle Scrooge as the big boss of a record label threatening with fines. Has the anti-piracy lobby infiltrated the Donald Duck magazine?
The short comic presents the Dutch youngsters with a short lesson in copyright. Huey, Dewey and Lewey don’t have money for the latest “Jan Goudsmid” album, so they decide to download it (presumably with BitTorrent). They argue that they can always buy it later when they have the money. When the nephews tell this to Donald he realizes that he can make a lot of money from this by copying and selling CDs on the street.
Huey, Dewey and Lewey are shocked by Donald’s plan, and tell him it’s not fair because the CD is copyrighted. “If nobody buys CDs anymore, the record labels and artists will become beggars,” they add. Donald doesn’t listen of course and tries to make 100 copies of a CD he bought. In the end Donald’s plan is stopped by Uncle Scrooge, who warns Donald that he will have to pay a huge sum of money if he doesn’t stop the pirating (yes, it’s all about money).
… ain’t that a great message Disney is sending to the Dutch youngsters?
Several Dutch websites suspected that the anti-piracy organization BREIN was somehow behind this propagandists comic. However, the Donald Duck magazine denied the involvement of BREIN, or any other organization. Thom Roep, the head editor of the Donald Duck magazine, further apologized for the preaching tone used in the story, especially when the nephews were talking about copyright. He explained that they decided to run this story because it is a nice illustration how Huey, Dewey and Lewey outsmart their uncle once again.
It’s certainly smart to download music if you don’t have the money to buy a CD. The nephews were smart enough not to become commercial pirates, they just did it for personal use, which is not that bad according to the comic (downloading music is not illegal in the Netherlands). If BREIN really was involved, I think the nephews wouldn’t have downloaded the CD at all, they would lose their “merit patch in respecting copyright” if they did.
On top of this, I don’t think any anti-piracy organization would make Scrooge the boss of a music label, even though they know it is a pretty accurate comparison. Here is a link to the comic in Dutch.