You Wouldn't Steal a Car

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"You Wouldn't Steal a Car" is the first sentence of a public service announcement which is part of the 2000s anti copyright infringement campaign "Piracy. It's a crime." It was created by the Federation Against Copyright Theft and the Motion Picture Association in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore in July 2004,[1][2] and appeared in theaters and on many commercial DVDs internationally and in the States sold from 2004 up until 2007, as either an unskippable or skippable clip before a film is shown. Although being produced by the MPA, the only home video distributors in the United States that included this PSA on their DVDs were Paramount Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment, Goodtimes Entertainment at taken from DinoTopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone The Movie on DVD. (distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment from 2005 until 2006 and later 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment from 2006 onwards), and select films released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

It shows a man committing theft of various objects, and compares these crimes with the unauthorized duplication and distribution of copyrighted materials, such as films.[3][4] Despite claims of the music for the advert having been used without permission, the organizers of the campaign claimed otherwise.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The advertisement has been parodied in Internet memes, including those using the phrase "You wouldn't download a car."[6][7] The IT Crowd episode "Moss and the German" spoofed this advertisement near the start of the episode.[8]

The Greens-European Free Alliance, in association with Rafilm, released their own version of the film to oppose the media industry and government views on existing copyright laws, as well as to educate the public on alternative views about intellectual property.[9][10]

In an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, entitled "The DVD", Darwin conveys the information to Gumball after announcing that he was going to download a movie called Alligators on a Train.

The Juice Media produced a controversial parody of this video for Australia Day in January 2017. The video compared the celebration of Australia Day, which marks the arrival of the First Fleet, to a number of infamous events in history. The events depicted include Nazis' "Final Solution", dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the September 11 attacks.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Be HIP at the Movies". Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. July 27, 2004. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Finlo Rohrer (June 18, 2009). "Getting inside a downloader's head". BBC. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Sophia Harris (March 28, 2017). "Netflix's anti-piracy team aims to make stealing content uncool - Business - CBC News". Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Poon, Christopher. "'You wouldn't steal a car,' but I'd download one | Dot Comrade | Pique Newsmagazine | Whistler, CANADA". Pique Newsmagazine. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Sorry, the "You Wouldn't Steal a Car" Anti-Piracy Ad Wasn't "Pirated"". Torrentfreak. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  6. ^ "DRM for furniture: You wouldn't download a chair". March 5, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Piracy, It's a Crime". Know Your Meme. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "The IT Crowd - Series 2 - Episode 3: Piracy warning". YouTube. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  9. ^ "I wouldn't steal". The Greens-European Free Alliance. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "I wouldn't steal <video>". The Greens-European Free Alliance. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  11. ^ thejuicemedia (January 24, 2017), Australia Day (Piracy parody), retrieved June 17, 2018
  12. ^ "This Video Compares Australian Settlement To 9/11, Hiroshima And The Holocaust". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 17, 2018.

External links[edit]