It’s not very often that Mrs. Dougherty’s sixth grade computer class comes back to haunt me. Aside from learning how to touch type (the most useful thing I was taught during the three years I spent in middle school), that class was a complete waste of time. Except the day we got to watch “Don’t Copy That Floppy.” If you ever had to take a computer class in high school or middle school between say 1993 and, well, now, odds are that you were subjected to this little gem put together by the Software Publishers Association (SPA). The video, which is readily available on YouTube if you haven’t seen it, is a ten minute long rap song versed by M.E. Hart a.k.a. “MC Double Def DP” (DP meaning “Disk Protector”) that essentially warns that copyright infringement will ruin peoples lives and literally destroy the computer age as we know it. Apocalyptic messages aside, this video is absolutely hilarious.
In case you couldn’t tell by the collapsing music industry, “Don’t Copy That Floppy” has surprisingly failed to make an impression on the youth of yesterday (so much for getting them when their young and impressionable). So seventeen years later, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA, formerly the SPA) has brought back MC Double Def DP and his anti-piracy jams to raise the proverbial awareness roof on illegal downloading and copyright infringement in the twenty-first century. And, oh my god, is this video beyond ridiculous. Apparently seventeen years ago, copying a floppy disc would only put people out of jobs and destroy technology; but today, you can also get arrested, spend time in federal prison, and have your mother attacked by a SWAT team while in she’s in pajamas and curlers. The rest of the video is more or less an embarrassment: there are dancing Klingons and a nonsensical reference to the game Doom, while the video itself looks like it was shot on the budget of a really, really cheap porno (green screens galore!). But the worst part—which is saying something—comes towards the end when three black inmates assault the recently convicted pirate with broomsticks in prison. Ah, racism.
It’s pretty useless to discuss the resounding failures of “Don’t Copy That 2″—the video pretty much speaks for itself. Although any attempts to curb internet piracy at this point are going to be completely futile: It’s simply much too rampant. With any luck though, groups like the SIIA, RIAA, and MPAA will keep making this horrific videos and continue to slowly implode. Or maybe they could try working out some legitimate compromises instead of simply suing anyone that gets in their way.
In the meantime, I’m gonna go download me that new Jay-Z album. You know, just because.