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Don’t Copy That Floppy is an anti-piracy public service announcement created by the Software Publishers Association (SPA). The video features an original rap song about the negative consequences of software piracy, starring American attorney and actor M.E Hart as MC Double Def DP. Though originally distributed on video cassettes and mailed to schools, once the video reached YouTube in 2005, its outdated style of 1980s educational rap song made it a popular target for parodies and remixes.
The video was produced by the Educational Section Anti-Piracy Committee (SPSA) and the Copyright Protection Fund in 1992 as a public service announcement to be shown in schools. The music video begins with two students Jenny and Corey playing a game in their library, and when Jenny has to leave, Corey says he will copy it so they can play at home. As Corey puts a blank disk into his computer, the Disk Protector, MC Double Def DP appears on the screen and begins to rap about how copyright infringement harms the video game and computer industries, causing games to be delayed or not even make it to production. After hearing the industry’s perspective from the staff of America Online and the Software Publishers Association, the teenagers conclude they will instead buy the game they were playing.
Before the video was uploaded online, it was mentioned by the New York Times and the San Francisco Gate in 1996 in news articles about the alarming trend of digital piracy, as well as incorporated into a National Science Foundation workshop on Ethics and Computing in 2000. It was made available online for download as early as April 17th, 2003, when the internet culture blog NinjaCulture published a nostalgic synopsis of the clip, breaking down the scenes for those who had never seen it.
On May 26th, 2004, the first YTMND site using material from Don’t Copy That Floppy was created. Two months later, on July 24th, 2004, another download link for the video was shared on the GeekNewz forum, along with the lyrics to the song.
The video was uploaded to YouTube for the first time on July 15th, 2005, but this upload has only received 9939 views as of July 2012. That year, it was also uploaded to Google Video. Between 2006 and 2008, the video was shared on a wide array of internet humor sites and geek culture blogs including Laughing Squid, Joystiq, CollegeHumor, RetroThing, Retroist and LiveLeak. In 2009, a digitally remastered version was uploaded to YouTube by the Software and Information Industry Association, which formed after the SPA merged with the Information Industry Association (IIA) in 1999.
As of July 2012, there are approximately 491 results for “don’t copy that floppy” on YouTube, including duplicate uploads as well as remixes and parodies.
Don’t Copy That Floppy 2
In August 2009, the Software and Information Industry Association put together a sequel music video to address new technologies and issues that have emerged since the release of the first video. The release of the sequel was covered by numerous websites in the tech blogosphere, including TechCrunch, TechDirt, BoingBoing, Joystiq, the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Beast, though it generally received bad reviews for claiming that downloading music or programs will have one’s whole family arrested and get a person immediately thrown into prison, in similar vein of another anti-piracy PSA campaign called “You Wouldn’t Steal a Car”.
Wall Street Journal – ‘Don’t Copy That Floppy’ Dusts Itself Off for the ’00s