A New White House anti-piracy campaign, which enlists the widely recognized McGruff the Crime Dog, has so far been met with ridicule.
The campaign (mostly focused on digital piracy) was announced on Tuesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, White House Intellectual Property Enforcement coordinator Victoria Espinel, National Crime Prevention Council CEO Ann Harkins and others.
Holder claimed piracy:
- devastate individual lives and legitimate businesses
- destroy jobs
- suppress innovation
- jeopardize the health and safety of consumers
- fund dangerous and violent criminal enterprises and organized crime networks
- undermine our nation's financial stability and prosperity
Not to be outdone, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) claims piracy:
- costs the U.S. economy tens of billions of dollars each year
- deprives people of their livelihoods
- discourages criminal activities by gangs and organized crime groups
- sometimes results in serious illness or injury
Holder said the U.S. government is fighting back vigorously against piracy. He bragged that he and his colleagues' efforts have already shut down 350 Web sites to date that violated piracy laws.
Holder said the U.S. government also wanted to enlist the vigilance of the American people.
As such, he and his colleagues are launching a campaign on TV, radio, and the Internet to raise awareness about the dangers of buying counterfeit goods and seriousness of intellectual property theft.
Below is a campaign video hosted on the YouTube page of NCPC, the self-professed home of McGruff the Crime Dog.
It shows two people purchasing a DVD on the street for only a few dollar and links the purchase to criminal activities, job loss, child labor and even violence.
The government, however, may not be getting through to netizens. The online response to the video so far has been overwhelmingly negative and mocking.
Below are some of the comments:
WHY WONT ANYONE THINK OF? THE CHILDREN!!!
I apologise that me downloading The Best of Bob Dylan sent a small African child? to a forced labour camp.
Pirate that DVD online and you won't even have to? pay a few dollars. Saving jobs and lives never felt so great!
Your tax money is used to? make these videos. it's only a few dollars!
Piracy is the only way to avoid funding companies that lobby to censor the internet and stifle freedom of speech. I'd? be more worried about how your taxes are legally spent maiming children in wars of aggression.
I was under the impression that the? drug trade was more traditionally funded by the sale of drugs. Shows what I know.
Nate Anderson of ars technica called the video the Reefer Madness for the digital age. Reefer Madness is a propaganda film from the 1930s that wildly exaggerated the dangers of marijuana.