King of Copyright

I saw The King of Kong today, which I recommend, especially if you haven’t heard anything about it aside from this, as I suspect it is unduly affected by spoilers. Afterwards, go read about the disputed facts on the Wikipedia page.

At the beginning of the movie there was an ad about respecting copyright. Not the you wouldn’t STEAL a car one with the heavy handed soundtrack, but one in which burning discs is portrayed as equivalent to burning the local film industry, in the form of a Happy Feet poster. In one way this is quite effective: do you support setting fire to neotenous penguins? No, you don’t. In other ways it’s less effective, in that the Australian public is notoriously indifferent to the local film industry. It’s not clear that they can blame downloading for the death of the industry any more than blacksmiths could. Or sellers of cockroach flavoured icecream.

In any case, this was shortly followed by a trailer for Be Kind Rewind in which what is essentially fanvidding gets a sympathetic portrayal and The Man is evil (he always is). I figure there’s got to be more scope for hypocrisy here. You could do a sweet little romcom about a guy being busted for downloading awesome music of a little known band, regardless of the hundreds of dollars he has spent attending their every gig. He falls in love with a woman who is supposed to be his smart, hardnosed IP lawyer and yet somehow on screen is always a little flighty, clumsy and generally in need of the help of a good man. The band plays at their wedding, and the bootlegs are so popular that they break BitTorrent. The couple live in some well lit loft at the centre of a major city without any evidence of having their lifestyle funded by a serious inheritance and the band become billionaires through T-Shirt sales. And you put the penguin arsonist ad before it, of course.