Don't Copy That Floppy



Don't Copy That Floppy was an anti-software piracy ad campaign run by the Software Publishers Association (SPA) beginning in 1992, and has recently become a viral hit due to the advent of sites such as Google Video and YouTube. The film has been compared with the 1936 film Reefer Madness due to its tone and effectiveness.

The video for the campaign, starring M.E. Hart as "MC Double Def DP", was filmed at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C. and produced by cooperation between the SPA, the Educational Section Anti-Piracy Committee, and the Copyright Protection Fund, in association with Vilardi Films, Ltd.

Two teenagers, Jenny (played by Marja Allen) and Corey (played by Jimmy Todd), are playing a game on a classroom computer. Corey is exuberantly pushing keys to show the viewer that he is heavily immersed in the game action; Jenny is beating him. Frustrated, he asks for a rematch, but she has an upcoming class and must leave. He decides he will copy the game so that he can play it at home. Upon inserting his blank floppy disk into the Apple Macintosh LC a video pops up on the computer. This video is of a rapper named MC Double Def DP the "Disk Protector". The DP's role is instructional and his method of lecture is a hip-hop style song and dance.

The point of the video is the message that software piracy will cause the computer and video game industry to lose profit, resulting in halted production of further computer games. (The games the video chooses as examples — The Oregon Trail, Tetris and the Where is Carmen Sandiego? series — were widely copied, but also among the most successful and bestselling games of the late-1980s to mid-1990s.)

The rap video portion is interspersed with interviews of artists, writers, programmers and a lawyer. These people are the staff responsible for design of an early version of the game Neverwinter Nights (then an America Online MMORPG) and allows them to explain the issue in greater detail:

* Craig Dykstra – America Online – Manager Developer Support
* Dave Butler – America Online – Director Platform Software Development
* Janet Hunter – America Online – Senior Systems Analyst
* Ilene Rosenthal – Software Publishers Association – Attorney.

They explain how games are made, indicating that creating a game can involve 20 to 30 people integrating the various parts, and working on documentation, technical support, and marketing. The point they try to raise is that if sales are low, the authors may decide that the game is unpopular and stop making it.

At the end of the video the DP fades away, leaving the children to decide for themselves whether they will copy the floppy – they decide against it. Corey, who has some money left over from his summer job, decides that he will buy the game. Jenny agrees and notes that Corey's game will come with a manual.

Some claim there are two frames at 1:09 where the MC is wearing his jacket but no pants, and his naked rear end is clearly visible. However, upon closer inspection, the two frames of the video (one of which is shown), actually show the left hand of the MC and not the proposed rear end.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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