Don't Copy That Floppy!

Even before The Pirate Bay and BitTorrent, people have been copying software. And along with that activity came anti-piracy public service announcements.

Here are two of our favorite anti-piracy ads of yore:

Don't Copy That Floppy

Produced by the Software Publishers Association in 1992, the video campaign starred actor M.E. Hart as "MC Double Def DP" (That DP stands for "Disk Protector") who warned kids "don't copy that floppy." The campaign was distributed to its target audience by mailing VHS to schools.

[YouTube Clip]

What happened to some the people who starred in the clip? Craig Dykstra, the Neverwinter Nights game designer from AOL, was indicted for secretly taping nude teenager at his home. Marja Allen is an actress who stars in the Kimchi Chronicles (she's half Korean)

Don't Copy That Floppy 2

Seventeen years later, SPA's progeny, the Software and Information Industry Association, released the sequel: Don't Copy That Floppy 2, also starring M.E. Hart reprising the older and hipper cyberspace rapper (he's now "Digital Protector" because, well, floppy disk had become obsolete by then)

[YouTube Clip]

You'd be surprised to learn that M.E. Hart is now an attorney who's fluent in Russian. Whodathunk, huh? And yes, you did see dancing Klingons. Director M.J. Vilardi explains why:

"Klingons have a highly developed sense of personal honor; they would find common theft, such as software or movie piracy, quite offensive. Personal honor is a concept that should come up more often as people debate the issues surrounding intellectual property."

And that guy Jeremiah Mondello who got put in jail for software piracy? He racked up $300,000 in profit selling pirated software on eBay.

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Newest 4 Comments

How odd - I could swear that MS-DOS and Win 3.1 had it printed on the disk that it was ok to make copies for "Archival Purposes" and a number of game manufacturers I know for a fact recommended that one make a copy to play with and to keep the original disk someplace safe...
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