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Saturday, January 22, 2011

A "righteous" hack: Hollywood

Over the years, it's gotten tougher and tougher to find CEOs with the guts to mix it up with the competition, to go head to head in an all-or-nothing battle for survival. Back in 2001, the investors in a unique "DVD hack" technology came to me for help. The company had figured out a way to let you filter various elements out of DVD movies, all without modifying the original movie media (which has since been ruled copyright violation by the courts). Their CEO was a scrappy guy named Bill Aho (now a partner at Sage Point Group) who was willing to take on Hollywood, Jack Valenti (who died in 2007) and the Directors Guild. Here's the Wall Street Journal ad I created and that ran in December 2001 for a great company called ClearPlay:

I love the tag line I coined for them: The Technology of Choice™. The Hollywood crowd went absolutely apoplectic over anyone who modified their final product. And they buried ClearPlay in lawsuits. While they were successful in putting the guys who modified movies out of business, they failed miserably with ClearPlay. In fact, Congress threatened to pass legislation specifically authorizing ClearPlay-like technologies. "The Technology of Choice" means families can choose to eliminate elements they find objectionalble, from profanity to gratuitous sex to several levels of graphic violence.

I remain a ClearPlay client to this day, which means I could have the grandkids over to watch Zombieland (a superbly entertaining movie that I've referenced before in this blog) without subjecting their young minds to all that profanity. Having spent my life in advertising, I know how easy it is to hardwire people's brains (see my posts on Infecting an alien architecture, part 1 and part 2, as well as The Perfect Virus principle #7, BLACK BOX PORTABILITY). And once they're hardwired, it's damn near impossible to rewire them. That's why ClearPlay's DVD hack is so important. Hook a young mind on porn, and that child will never EVER have a truly meaningful and loving marriage relationship. And those who don't think entertainment wires the brain and changes behavior are either ignorant, stupid, or malevolent.

The Technology of Choice! Now THAT'S a righteous hack. I strongly recommend ClearPlay to people who want to give their kids (and their own adult addictive behavior tendencies) a fighting chance at happiness in this life.

Too bad I couldn't get the CIA to run my anti-terrorism ad. As I understand Islam, if you bury a devout suicide murderer in a pig skin, he is unclean and cannot enter heaven, collect his 72 virgins, etc. Would it have made a difference? We'll never know how this might have "infected" the alien noggin. But it sure gets a laugh when I give speeches.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?