You Wouldn't Steal a Car
You Wouldn't Steal a Car is the first sentence of a public service announcement (PSA) which is part of an anti-piracy campaign “Piracy. It's a crime.” The PSA was created by Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in cooperation with Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) in 2004 and appeared on many commercial DVDs as an unskippable warning before a movie. It shows a man stealing various things, and its message is that these crimes are comparable with downloading or buying a pirated film.
In the starting, the viewer can see:
- a teenager girl, who is going to download a movie illegally onto her computer, or
- a group whose members are going to select a pirated movie from the supply of an illegal street shopkeeper.
After that, the sentence “YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A CAR” appears on the screen (the common name of the PSA comes from here), and after that a man getting into a vehicle is visible. On the next scene, the viewer can read the text “YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A HANDBAG” and see the same man taking a purse which is hanging from the back of a chair.
The content of the following pictures can be one of these:
- the words “YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A TELEVISION” and the negative character taking over a TV from a window, or
- the sentence “YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A MOBILE PHONE” and a hand getting one from a table.
The next scene contains the text “YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A MOVIE” and the man who is hiding a DVD under his leather jacket.
For a few seconds, the viewer can see the previous crimes in reverse. After that, these words can be visible depanding on the starting:
- “DOWNLOADING”/“PIRATED”/“FILMS”/“IS STEALING” (if the downloading girl was acting in the beginning), or
- “MOVIE”/“PIRACY”/“IS STEALING” (if the illegal street shop was in the starting).
In the next pictures, the viewer can see the girl or the group and the text “STEALING”/“IS AGAINST”/“THE LAW”. Finally,
- the girl cancels the download and leaving the room, or
- the group refuses pirated DVDs,
the sentences “PIRACY. IT'S A CRIME.” appear, and the sound of a closing door is audible.
Origin of the soundtrack
In 2006, Dutch anti-piracy foundation Brein asked Melchior Rietveldt, a composer to write a song for a PSA which only would be used on a local film festival. However, in 2007 Rietveldt bought a genuine Harry Potter DVD and recognized his music in "You Wouldn't Steal a Car" advertisement used without his permission. He went to make a complaint to a music royalty agency, Buma/Stemra which paid a €15.000 compensation and promised to give a list about applications of his music, but they did not do later.
In 2011, the agency sent another 10.000 euros and a director, Jochem Gerrits offered to buy the soundtrack for one million euros, but asked for the third of the price. Rietveldt refused the offer.
- "Be HIP at the Movies". Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. 27 July 2004. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Finlo Rohrer (18 June 2009). "Getting inside a downloader's head". BBC. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Sophia Harris (2017-03-28). "Netflix's anti-piracy team aims to make stealing content uncool - Business - CBC News". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- Poon, Christopher. "'You wouldn't steal a car,' but I'd download one | Dot Comrade | Pique Newsmagazine | Whistler, CANADA". Pique Newsmagazine. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- "Anti-Piracy Group Caught Pirating Song For Anti-Piracy Ad... Corruption Scandal Erupts In Response". Techdirt. 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- Kruszelnicki, Karl S. (2013-01-29). "Anti-pirating ad music stolen › Dr Karl's Great Moments In Science (ABC Science)". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- Solon, Olivia (2012-07-18). "Rights group fined for not paying artist royalties on anti-piracy ad | WIRED UK". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-06.