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Reposted from my blog because I am aware that leaving it there is akin to putting it in a sock under the bed in terms of how many people are likely to read it. Relevent to some of our previous discussions about citing your sources.

On my visit to London Today I bought a couple of cheap animated Batman videos. Inside one of them was a postcard-sized advert warning me against DVD piracy. Now I don't support or condone piracy but something struck me about this bit of propaganda. It states boldly "90%* of all pre-release pirate DVDs are filmed from the back of a cinema with a camcorder". Now leaving aside the question how they can possibly know this, there is the question of that little asterisk by the quoted figure. At the bottom of the page it says. *Source:FACT: The federation against copyright theft.

Who produced this document? Glad you asked. The Federation Against Copyright Theft, of course. So they quote a doubtful figure and then cite themselves as the source. I've long been annoyed by the pointless and misleading adverts that used to appear at the start of videos and now appear in an unskippable form at the start of many DVDs and get shown before movies in cinemas, but this method of quoting statistics is sheer duplicity. You can take my word for it, a massive 94.6% of people agree with me.*

*Source Bob Hale Invented-On-The-Spot Statistics Limited.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
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Several years ago, one national film-making company (whose name I can't recall - Sony?) admitted that the great reviews given to their movies were in fact total fabrications. The reviewers were employees of their PR firm who wrote glowing tributes to hack films, in small newspapers and magazines subsidized by the company. Then the company used the fake reviews in advertising as if they were completely independent notices. Of course, company executives were SHOCKED, simply SHOCKED, that such shenanigans had occurred.
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When the Prohibition of alcoholic beverages was repealed, Harry Anslinger needed a strategy for keeping himself employed. He collected horror stories about the effects of marijuana, published magazine articles, then referred to his own articles as the source of Truth. And now, five or six decades later, the Reefer Madness continues.
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