Play a DVD movie and the first thing to appear is a warning about the illegality of any unauthorised reproduction you make from your copy. Does it sound rather innocuous? Well, to really put the fear of god into you, American Region 1 DVD discs state …..criminal copyright infringement is investigated by the FBI, and punishable by up to 5 years in a Federal prison and a fine of 250,000 dollars. It’s no good saying the fear of god can’t be put into you because you’re an atheist therefore you will make a copy, and if arrested you’ll plead the fifth amendment. This course of action only works when James Stewart does it in a movie. But, you have to do what you think is right, and no doubt get lots of support from people in all walks of life. Your courageous stand will give you something to reflect on, in a Federal prison. Cos that’s where you’ll be for the next 5 years…..god or no god.
Maybe what you should really reflect on is, that the film you copied for your grandma was one of the worst in the history of the cinema…JAWS 3. When that sinks into your brainbox….whatever you do don’t start screaming, so that the warders can hear……LET ME OUT IT’S THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE FILM THAT SHOULD BE IN HERE, NOT ME. Calm down and, as you’ve seen it done may times in the movies, plan to escape. Bogart and Cagney did it in those great gangster films; Each Dawn I Die, White Heat, The Big Shot…ok, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. When they failed they got shot, and when the scene was over, got up from the studio floor and went to the commissary for coffee.
Alright but this is for real. This time it will be real bullets, but the guards will only shoot at you if you attempt to scale the prison wall. Wait a moment – didn’t James Cagney make an escape hiding in a prison washing basket? That’s right he did….now what was the name of the movie? LOOK YOU STUPID NUMSKULL YOU’RE NOT PLAYING GUESS THE NAME OF THE MOVIE…….now go and find a washing basket to hide in……… hooray…he’s found one…..quick jump in……in a few moments you’ll know if you’ve made it…or not. Good, the basket’s been loaded on the lorry…..and it whizzes out the gate.
It’s very likely you’ll become famous as the man who emulated what Cagney did. They’ll be a ticker tape parade in New York; but not only that, as your limousine drives down Fifth Avenue, the crowds will be shouting (because they’ve heard of your imprisonment for copying JAWS 3) “make Georgie Porgie (for that is you) the star of JAWS 4”. Whatever you do…don’t shout back, you can’t act. That wasn’t a set-back for Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone. In any case, Jaws could out-act those two any day of the week. A word of warning…..you may be greeted by J Edgar Hoover when you arrive at New York Town Hall; his being a cross-dresser, he may very well turn up wearing a dress. Don’t mess with the creep; kiss him on the cheek then run back to the limo.
Very soon we will see you up there on the big screen in JAWS 4 doing battle with an inflatable ferocious rubber shark. And to think there is someone out there making a pirate copy for HIS grandma…and, who will no doubt be caught, just like you were, end up in Sing-Sing, make his escape probably in a washing basket, become a celebrity, and star in JAWS 5. For how much longer can this cycle continue? Paranoia will grip readers of the tabloids, with reports of sharks popping up in peoples bathtubs. Something tells me I’d better stop right now…before I see them popping up in my bowl of soup……
The blame for this paranoia should be laid fairly and squarely on the filmmakers for making absolute rubbish and quite happy to see some poor individual go to jail just for making a copy of cinematic junk to give to his grandma.
To misquote HAMLET…..there is something rotten in the state of Hollywood.