Abuse of Power is a parody of the MPAA’s anti-piracy videos that consumers are forced to watch at the beginnings of DVDs and in movie theaters. This video was released anonymously and copyright-free onto the Internet in summer 2006 and has received more than one million views and inspired numerous related parodies.
Underlying the parodic goals of the video are a number of serious issues. The tools and networks of the digital age offer great potential for participation, sharing and creativity, but media conglomeration and expanding copyright protections threaten our ability to speak using those tools. We need to educate ourselves about copyright law and resist the efforts of organizations like the MPAA and RIAA to curtail the rights of media consumers. The conventional wisdom is that things will only change when there is movement on three fronts: law, technology and popular practice – we hope this video will encourage others to become more active as users, creators and remixers of existing media.
Abuse of Power screened at the Pacific Film Archive and is included on the Piracy in the Pacific DVD ROM (2006)