Movie Boss Says Piracy is Going Out of Fashion

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While discussing a softer approach to anti-piracy PSAs in the UK, the president of Universal Pictures noted that campaigning needs to evolve and carry an "appropriate message" for today. Noting that piracy is going out of fashion, he says that ISPs will be held accountable - like those who run brothels and drug houses.

The movie industry’s new approach to delivering the anti-piracy message in the UK seems notably more subtle than in previous attempts and is much less up-front in dealing with the issue of piracy directly. Instead of attempting to insult would-be pirates, it looks to instill a sense of responsibility in the viewer, reminding him or her that handing over their hard earned money ensures Hollywood can make quality movies. In order to prove it, they show what the 1975 classic ‘Jaws’ would’ve looked like, had it been starved of money at the hands of pirates.

New Anti-Piracy campaign

In a recent interview, Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Pictures International said, “Your campaigning needs to evolve over time and have an appropriate message for today,” while denying that previous more-flashy campaigns had failed to deter piracy.

So is this a new, more sensitive approach from a movie industry looking to make friends rather than enemies? In part, yes. The movie industry does want to appear nicer to the public, after all they aren’t likely to be the main targets in the next phase in the war on piracy. That unenviable position is reserved for the ISPs – and it’s back to the old style when Cunningham speaks of them.

“If you or I owned a house in which prostitution was taking place, or where drug dealing was happening, we’d be responsible,” he said, implying that the ISPs are making money from serious crime while doing nothing about stopping it. Cunningham seems oblivious to the fact that if he plans to make a partner out of ISPs, you don’t start the relationship by referring to them in public as some sort of digital pimp.

But perhaps his most curious comment is that he feels that society is turning against piracy, viewing it as something going out of vogue. “Research shows us that most people now find it unfashionable – there’s been a gradual change in attitudes,” he said.

Quick – someone tell the Wolverine downloaders…


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