Ricky Gervais: Don’t Pirate My Film, I Stand to Make Millions

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Ricky Gervais released a new anti-piracy PSA for his upcoming movie "David Brent: Life on the Road" today. As part of a copyright education campaign he asks people not to pirate his film, noting that while people might save a few bucks by pirating it, he stands to make millions.

Anti-piracy PSAs come in all shapes and sizes, but nearly all of them fail to appeal to the public they’re intended for.

Today, as part of the Industry Trust’s “Moments Worth Paying For” campaign, British comedian Ricky Gervais gives it a shot with a special anti-piracy message of his own.

The PSA is for his upcoming movie “David Brent: Life on the Road,” in which he brings the iconic character from The Office back to life. The movie premieres later this summer and Gervais hopes that pirates will go to see it in the cinema, instead of heading to a nearby torrent site.

“We’re basically asking you not to pirate movies. The quality is bad, and it’s a lot of people’s livelihoods,” Gervais says.

Pretty classic language for a PSA, but Gervais then adds another dimension.

“For example my new movie David Brent: Life On The Road. If it does well I stand to make millions. If you pirate it, sure, you’ll save a few quid. But millions…”

Of course, the entire PSA is tongue-in-cheek, but by using one of the classic pirate excuses combined with more traditional anti-piracy language, Gervais creates more food for discussion than more traditional PSAs.

The short video confuses both pirates and creators, and actually provides a starting ground for a decent discussion.

Amusingly, the Industry Trust stresses that Gervais himself wrote the anti-piracy message, as if they need an excuse. To compensate, they are quick to stress that piracy seriously hurts the UK movie industry.

“The Industry Trust handed artistic control of the trailer to Gervais, who tore up the rule book and took the trailer spectacularly off-message as only he can,” they write.

“While the trailer is a light-hearted take on piracy, the reality is that in 2015, the top 20 titles made up, a total of 41% of the total UK box office, meaning that a high percentage of films weren’t seen by a lot of people.”


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