Do anti-piracy ads work? ‘You Wouldn’t Steal a Movie’ Ad Led to More Piracy


Remember those anti-piracy ads from the early 2000s? Those who played before a movie you bought on DVD and said in big caps, “You wouldn’t steal a movie.

Well, it turns out the ad campaign may have led to more piracy.

According to a new study by The information society.

The famous, and perhaps somewhat dramatic, a d said, “You wouldn’t steal a car, you wouldn’t steal a purse, you wouldn’t steal a television, you wouldn’t steal a movie. Downloading pirated movies is stealing, stealing is illegal. PIRACY. IT’S A CRIME.

Comparing the illegal downloading of a movie to things like stealing a car, the arguments against piracy become diluted, according to IFLScience.

“The most striking example could be the (very) famous awareness video ‘You wouldn’t steal a car’ shown in cinemas and on DVD around the world in the 2000s”, wrote Gilles Grolleau and Luc Meunier, the study authors. IFLScience. “He compared downloading a movie to various forms of theft, including reasonably relevant forms (stealing a DVD from a store) and somewhat absurd ones (stealing purses, televisions, cars), that diluted the message.”

Anti-piracy ads can also lead people to believe that piracy is socially acceptable because the ads imply that many people are pirating movies, Grolleau and Meunier claim.

The authors cited an experiment which found that putting up anti-theft signs in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park “inadvertently increased the rate of theft”, with many visitors stealing pieces of petrified wood.

Informing people that many people are hacking “is counterproductive and encourages hacking,” the authors wrote.

So while the “You Wouldn’t Steal a Car” ad was certainly memorable, it may have had the opposite effect.


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