Anyone who watched The Simpsons Movie will have noticed Bart in the intro chalking his famous blackboard with the words “I will not illegally download this movie”. Matt Groening seems to appreciate the comedy anti-piracy message as his latest movie, ‘Futurama: Bender’s Game‘, also includes some mockery of file-sharers or, on closer inspection, possibly some encouragement. Whatever the intention, it is pretty funny.
The movie, the third in the Futurama series and due for release in a few days time, has already leaked to BitTorrent. This is nothing new, but hidden away in the DVD extras is a parody of the infamous movie industry anti-piracy ad, which was previously parodied by the IT Crowd.
Entitled ‘Downloading Often Is Terrible’ or D.O. I.T for short, the animated advert follows the familiar “You wouldn’t steal…” structure, but with more unusual content. Whatever the ad suggests that Bender wouldn’t steal or do, is followed up by Bender doing just that, starting with “You wouldn’t steal a spaceship”, which of course, Bender would, along with lots of other amusing things.
Although Bender is stealing physical objects in his 2D animated world, lots of people disagree with the use of the word ‘steal’ to describe the act of copyright infringement. Australian lawyer Brendan Scott certainly doesn’t believe it. When someone downloads movies or music illegally, they make a copy, he argues. The original is still there, and legally speaking nothing is stolen. Scott concludes: “To use the infringement-as-stealing meme demonstrates something of a lack of respect for language and consequently a lack of respect for the people to whom you are speaking.”
But maybe Bender himself provides the truth. The copyright lobbies often paint the fight against piracy as a “matter of life and death” so it seems fitting to utilize the phrase to illustrate the chasm between stealing and copying. Having watched the clip and noted the final stolen item produced from Bender’s chest, I immediately thought about where that came from, the state of the gentleman in question, and where I could find him for a chat.
Because if anyone in the world knows the difference between copying and stealing, it’s got to be him. Or Lucy Liu’s milliner. Enjoy the clip.
If you go back 3 months on YouTube, it appears that even this parody got leaked ahead of time. Cammed too, you couldn’t make it up.