Are you joking? Microsoft bravely parodies anti-piracy ads in latest video

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120404/11245618370/microsoft-releases-utterly-bizarre-confusing-anti-piracy-video.shtmlPiracy is a serious business and corporations want to make it quite clear that they consider copyright infringement theft, and it should stop.

After years of watching the same anti-piracy ad on DVDs (you know the one: “You wouldn’t steal a handbag” and so on) someone at Microsoft’s advertising division decided the best way to get the message through to people was by parodying it and other, similar ads.

Microsoft’s 2-minute advert is cleverly titled “Piracy Lurks Everywhere,” but instead of concentrating on movie piracy, it relocates to the office, where apparently lots of piracy takes place too. Instead of being too literal in its portrayal of “crime,” it takes the David Lynch route and shows evil pirates blending in with your desk and hiding inside your photocopier.

We know what you’re thinking, is the photocopier the new tool of the trade for pirates? It is when you lump identity theft into piracy! How about the guys hiding on your desk? They’re waiting for the women in your office — Microsoft only shows women doing stupid things on a computer — to buy a dodgy copy of Microsoft Office or break an external hard drive.

See? Funny!

Except it’s not funny. The ad you see below is linked to Microsoft’s www.howtotell.com domain, where you can find all sorts of information on whether the item you’re planning to buy is genuine or not.

The site, although simply designed, contains actual advice some may find helpful. The bewildering video does nothing of the sort, and is equally as guilty of blurring the issue of copyright infringement as that infernal anti-piracy ad found on DVDs.

By this we must deduce that “Piracy Lurks Everywhere” isn’t a parody video after all, except leaving aside the absence of a laughter track, it’s not all that different to the IT Crowd’s classic take on anti-piracy ads.

Strangely, the IT Crowd’s version is more effective at getting the message across than Microsoft’s.

Smart Home

Cops go after porch pirates with dummy Amazon boxes and GPS trackers

Amazon is helping police in Jersey City to catch thieves who steal delivered packages from outside people's homes. Within just minutes of the operation's launch this week, cops nabbed their first porch pirate.

Snooze soundly anywhere you lay your head with the best sleeping bags

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.