As we all know, The Dark Knight is tearing through box-office records like a lightsaber through some Skywalker limb, but what you’re not so aware of is that all of this success is completely thanks to the MPAA and their anti-piracy mission.
OK, well, not really, but they are doing their part for the greater good! Fine organization those MPAA peoples.
It’s no big secret that piracy is a huge thing out there. People from all over — like Seinfeld‘s Kramer, for instance — slip into an early showing of a film, set up a video camera, and a few hours later it’s available to the world in all its shaky, blurry, off-center, muffled, horrid glory.
While everyone is aware of this, measures are taken to cut it down as often as possible, according in an article in the LA Times. Warner Bros. took many steps to protect its own interest (understandably) by sending out the film in multiple parts so it couldn’t be stolen as a whole, checking in randomly at theaters, and using night-vision to spot camcorders. As the studio behind TDK, you can understand their efforts.
What’s a little more questionable is what the MPAA is actually doing.
If you’re not aware, the Motion Picture Association of America has begun a campaign to stop piracy and they stop at nothing to do so, including using “gumshoe tactics and technology” following suspected criminals around, like one poor sap who was busted at a 9:40am showing of TDK in Missouri, recording from the back of the theater with a cloak as cover. His house was then searched by police, who found a whole lot of DVDs also suspected of piracy. Naughty. The case when then passed off to the surely ecstatic FBI.
North American director of anti-piracy for the MPAA Michael Robinson said:
This wasn’t necessarily one of our most covert operations. The investigators in the theater looked like G-men from central casting, wearing MPAA letters emblazoned on their shirts. It was kind of brazen on this guy’s part. Maybe he thought all the MPAA did was rate the movies.
Hmm, that’s kinda what I thought they did. Apparently now they’re starting their own division of authority, kinda like the XFL, but with cops instead of football!
This is just one more step toward the MPAA’s eventual takeover of the world. Something must be done, because before we know it, it will be just like V for Vendetta, you watch!
Plain and simply, yes, piracy is a problem, but using The Dark Knight as an example of these steps towards stopping it is a bad thing to do. This movie just made over $400 million worldwide in ten frakkin’ days — I don’t think you catching some dude in Missouri made that happen.