The latest measures introduced in America by the FBI to combat movie piracy are (according to this site, who I have no reason not to believe) adding unskippable warnings on DVDs and Blu-Rays. There’s no point analysing this move, because it’s obviously insane. To attempt to understand this lunacy is to risk succumbing to it.
What we need right now are sane solutions to the movie piracy problem. Thanks to the Internet, stealing films is no longer a pastime strictly for feral teenagers and desperate drug addicts. Statistics that I cannot and will not verify suggest that one in three people is in a constant state of illegal downloading. In fact, some of you are probably swiping a film from the comfort of your living room as you read this. Pack it in, you dirty bird.
It’s always my opinion that the FBI could use my help. That’s why I’m always writing to them to tell them who I think is responsible in high profile murder cases (you guys would not believe what I’ve guessed some of Hollywood’s elite are up to). Here, I offer the only sane solutions to stopping movie piracy, unsolicited and barely considered.
This new attempt to let people know about the damage caused by piracy is misplaced, because the only ones seeing it will be people engaging in the exact opposite of piracy. Getting a message to movie pirates is tricky, but not impossible.
What I’m suggesting is that every 15 minutes in a film everyone stops acting, the explosions stop kabooming and the bullets take a rest in midair. One of the cast members turns to the camera and tells the audience about how movie piracy has affected their life. Whether it’s loss of income, trouble financing a sequel or just slower Internet speed when piggybacking off their neighbour’s wi-fi.
Eventually, movie pirates will develop a conscience. Well, that or lose interest in cinema entirely. I mean, it would ruin it. I know that in theory it would likely just cause people to download old films, but unfortunately, in the name of preventing piracy, I’ve ruined those, too. Any film ever made will, every 15 minutes, feature a clip of me screaming “Please don’t ever download films illegally!” for 90 seconds. Ideally, we’ll insert it into every YouTube video a couple of times, too.
I’m not sure how that will help, but my gut tells me we should do it anyway. And from experience I know that the FBI are always interested in hearing about my gut.
Unique download codes for content that people actually want
I understand that some films already come with a download code which gives you access to interviews where the film’s stars attempt to sell you a film you’ve already watched and some trailers for cinematic tat that no one cares about. What I’m suggesting is that we take this idea of giving people something extra for their money, but that we actually follow through on it with something that isn’t dreadful.
Specifically, my idea is this – you pay to see a film from a legitimate source, you get a code. That code can be redeemed for an online strip-show from the cast member of your choice. Of course, this is an idea with a built in problem, but a problem which I have solved.
No one knows better than me that society frowns upon a pervert. The fact is, no one is interested in all of the times you didn’t launch a saucy vigilante campaign as the superhero Sex-Man. So, rather than having to face the public scorn of admitting that you’re going to redeem the code, you get to indignantly throw the code away. However, a second copy of the code gets emailed to you by an account with a conspicuous name. Something like ‘Downloadcodes@nothingrudeaboutthis.com
This is a wonderful way to do the moral thing by supporting the film industry and to do the immoral thing by being a disgraceful sexual degenerate.
Burn down the Internet
Pirates are cool. Of course the kids are all downloading films if it makes them a pirate. Ever since Johnny Depp took to waltzing across our screens as Captain Jack Sparrow everyone has secretly wanted to be Peg-Leg Bill or Walk-The-Plank Pete. What better way to do that than to sit in your computer chair downloading?
Make downloading films sound awful and people will stop. Here are some alternative terms for ‘pirating films’.
‘The court finds you guilty of….’
Being a knobhead.
Pansy-stealing like a big girl who hasn’t got the nerve to shoplift.
Digital film molestation.
Sympathising with Jeremy Kyle.
Tinkering with Travolta.
A punishment that fits the crime
Giving a $4 billion fine and a 300 year jail sentence might seem like a fair response to stealing a film to you if you’re the sort of person who spends most of the day shrieking in order to drown out the voices of the dead. To a regular person, though, it seems a little over-the-top. By fining people an amount of money that is detached from reality, the threat of being punished doesn’t seem real.
What, am I supposed to be worried that the government are going to take my half a million dollars away? I’m no private investigator (it seems like every attempt I’ve ever made to follow Kat Dennings has only added to the minimum distance I have to keep away from her at all times), but even I could work out fairly quickly that someone like me doesn’t have that kind of money. I mean, I have four different Pot Noodle stains on my shirt and only one of them is fresh.
What we need, then, is a punishment that people can comprehend. The first thing that came to my mind was a decent clubbing. People hate being clubbed.
Alternatively, how about public humiliation? We catch people who are downloading films (using technology?), then, when we have enough of them, they have to act out the film to a rowdy bar crowd. This should at least see a dramatic drop in the number of people downloading shock films just to see what the fuss is about. Just how curious are you about The Human Centipede or the uncut version of A Serbian Film? Because, with this rule, you’re going to need to be really, really curious.
Public performance leads me nicely onto the next possible solution.
Make plays less boring
In music industry, they attempted to combat losses to piracy by adding zeros to the end of concert ticket prices, because you simply can’t replicate the experience of a live event.
Did it work? No.
Should the film industry try it anyway? Absolutely.
Will it work? Almost certainly not.
We need a live action deterrent to stealing films. Theatrical cinema screenings simply aren’t cutting it. No one wants to pay £12 to see a film in a poorly maintained building with sticky floors and screens that smell like jalapeno peppers, teenage grinding and popcorn farts. Plays, on the other hand, could hold the key because, from what I’ve been told, theatres are really nice. People wear suits to them and they’re not even being tried for anything.
You can’t download a play. Many of you won’t know that because it’s never really been worth trying. Plays are all stuffy period dramas about the difficulties of having an affair in an aristocracy. However, if film studios were to make new plays about things that people actually find interesting, they might be able to beat the pirates.
While it’s not my place to say how they should change plays, I think it goes without saying that more guns, explosions, slow motion and people in fat suits are required. The ball is in your court, Hollywood. It’s up to you to tennis it into some kind of profit.
Give the guys behind Epic Movie money
For every film you illegally download, the team behind Epic Movie will be given one dollar towards the budget of their next film. If they makes it to $250m, they get to remake Jaws.