Feeds

Double Jeopardy for kids caught in Pepsi Apple promo

Superbowl Shame

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Four children bullied by the Recording Industry Association of America will re-enact their shame for tens of millions of TV viewers today, at the behest of two giant American corporations: Apple Computer and Pepsi Cola Inc.

Instead of using actors to dramatize their shame, the RIAA, Apple and Pepsi have forced the children themselves to conform with the copyright regime, and to look suitably browbeaten as a series of captions reads: INCRIMINATED … ACCUSED … BUSTED … CHARGED.

Is this a medieval costume drama? A low-budget dramatization of some era of America's dark and troubled past, as recorded by Hawthorne, when public humiliations were commonplace? Or is it some strange and sadistic imported Japanese game show - the kind where people assent to be filmed eating worms ?

No, it's a home-grown artifact which will be broadcast at great expense across the nation during the annual US Superbowl sport event today. The advertisement features four victims of the RIAA's legal jihad wearing the Scarlet Letter of their own shame for the benefit of the TV cameras - and quite disgustingly, the RIAA insisted that the agency couldn't hire stand-in actors to replay the script, asking that the 'perpetrators' play themselves : a move which is likely to be remembered as one of the greatest public relations disasters in history.

But let’s bear with it. This shameful advertisement - which apparently cost Pepsi (and not Apple, we're relieved to report) as much as $2 million, was entirely home grown, and has a very moral payload. The broadcast encourages children to buy as much teeth-rotting Pepsi soda as they can in the hope of finding a token that allows them to a free, DRM-infected piece of music.

Lucky them!

Ironies abound, as you might imagine. Where shall we start?

Well Apple Computer isn't the only party that wants to exploit abused children, on this most of American of Sundays. MoveOn made a submission, also featuring children, but found itself rejected because it was deemed to represent a 'special interest group'. We're not sure what vacuum these arbiters of public taste live in. But with three of the four constituents of the entertainment industry - consumers, device manufacturers and artists - eager to discuss fairer compensation models, it's hard to see any other conclusion than that the RIAA is a very, very special interest group indeed.

There's more. Suburban pub-rock 'punks' Green Day recorded a version of I Fought The Law And The Law Won for the occasion, to provide a soundtrack for the pigopolist lobby group.

And how reputations crumble.

Twenty years ago, let's not forget, Apple used a Superbowl TV intermission to introduce its iconographic Macintosh computer with the image of an athlete smashing Big Brother. The easy-to-use computer proved to be a liberating tool for personal creativity and with Adobe's Postscript and Aldus' software, created the desktop publishing industry. Now the same Apple is endeavoring to reduce personal freedoms by ushering in a regime where the recording industry enforces copyright with Big Brother's iron fist.

The exercise will be lost on the children of Apple founder Steve Jobs, however. He wisely doesn't allow his kids to watch TV, or drink sickly sodas, advocating Odwalla's excellent fruit juices instead. Do as he does, not as he says, we suggest.

For more coherent models - which make nonsense of such corporate child-abuse - we suggest you check out the mathematics here. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.