That’s Professor Chaos from South Park which appears on Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom. The reason the image is leading this post is because it’s Viacom’s intellectual property, vicariously, anyway, and after watching their propaganda video supporting SOPA, I’m hoping you have the same reaction as the Professor does.
First, the laughable video:
Oddly enough, Viacom didn’t post this on YouTube. It was apparently ripped from this page — notice the “anti-piracy” in the URL — and that’s another reason I’m using it: To show how ridiculous their position really is. Notice they haven’t requested that YouTube pull this format of their sob story, even though it’s been up on YouTube for two days. Good thing it wasn’t a 30-second clip of South Park, otherwise it would’ve been gone already.
Apparently, the good people who made this video aren’t trying to monetize it, so it’s OK for YouTube to have it. Ah, hypocrisy at its finest.
As for the video itself, as TechDirt so eloquently pointed out, it’s essentially a “support SOPA or Spongebob dies” approach, and it stinks of hyperbole and a “woe is our company because there’s no SOPA to protect it” approach. Don’t forget about the “we need more of your money, therefore, SOPA is right” approach, either, because it’s definitely available in the video.
It should be noted that Viacom’s view on piracy is not in dispute here. If you get caught downloading a movie you haven’t paid for, you should have to pay the consequences. The problem is, SOPA is not the way to go about it because it gives entirely too much power to the entertainment industry, which has been the major sticking point against SOPA all along.
Ironically enough, Viacom’s quarterly financial report has also been released, and after watching their sob story video, you’d think the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. Yeah, about that. A quick look at the document’s title reveals a much different outlook than the one the video presents:
VIACOM REPORTS DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH FOR FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR FISCAL 2011
But, but… didn’t the video essentially plead for people to keep consuming Viacom’s products in such a manner that the money keeps on flowing in, saving the entire Viacom staff from certain doom? So is this more hypocrisy or just an outright lie? Furthermore, when does Viacom get held to the fire for refusing to adapt the technology available? Or, as TechDirt put it:
Nowhere do they talk about making use of what the internet provides to build bigger audiences, to promote better, and to better monetize. Because that’s the kind of stuff that Viacom just doesn’t do. It just begs others to cover up for its own business failures.
It should be noted that full episodes of VH1’s amazing lineup of reality programs are available at the VH1 website, but you wouldn’t know that if you visited Viacom. If you want to actually combat episodic piracy, why not go out of your way to promote the fact these very same episodes are available for free on the website of a property you own instead of making videos that further turn public opinion against you?
Nowhere on Viacom’s site is that knowledge gained. In fact, it was Google that let me know these episodes are available, but yet, it’s a lack of SOPA that causes people to download Viacom’s IP and not a lack promotion? That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.