If testimonials from below-the-line laborers, assertions by government officials that it supports terrorism, and the threat of six-figure lawsuits haven’t done the trick, the MPAA last week unleashed a new rhetorical weapon to scare Americans off from piracy.
The trade org put out a press release comparing bootleg DVDs to … crystal meth.
Headlined “Pirated discs, DVDs becoming ‘the new drug on the street,’ ” release based its assertion on a second-hand quote by an MPAA investigator and the fact that some arrested pirates have a history of drug-charge convictions .
Once the release made its way onto the Web, comparison of stolen intellectual property to illegal substances that destroy people’s minds and bodies drew howls of protest on the ‘Net (where, to be fair, MPAA anti-piracy tactics are often met with disdain.)
Techie blog BoingBoing labeled the release “hyperbolicious.”
“The MPAA has lost their mind,” said another blogger.
One found the claim so preposterous he thought it must be part of a complex scheme:
“I was at first hesitant to post about this since it could be a hoax… Perhaps the leaked e-mail is a marketing ploy to gauge people’s reactions to this line of attack on piracy.”
Given the reaction, perhaps the MPAA should nix any press release comparing the bootleg DVD business to nuclear weapons dealing.