For many years now people across the world have been treated to various informative public service announcements telling us to not record movies as we watch them in the theater. I recall once even being told that cinema piracy helps fund terrorism.

However, in Japan the NO MORE Eiga Dorobo (No More Movie Thief) campaign has transcended its original aim of copyright protection and has become a pop-culture phenomenon in its own right. The main characters Camera Otoko (Camera Man) or Patrol Lamp Otoko (Cherry Man) must have achieved their aim, as filming movies with bulky tape-loaded camcorders has seen a significant decline in recent years.

Now, having succeeded in their mission, it’s time for these guys to cash-in on their own popularity by selling little versions of themselves through Bandai’s online shopping site.

The original spots featured Camera Otoko and Patrol Lamp Otoko doing an interpretive popping routing symbolizing the illegal recording of motion pictures while the narrator explains the penalties involved and asks law-abiding citizens to narc… I mean report such people to the proper authorities.

Indeed, copyright infringement has never been more fun! I’m actually half-convinced Camera Otoko is that dude who won America’s Got Talent last year. These characters have inspired numerous pieces of cosplay and illustration works.

Image: Twitter – pipixvi

Image: Niconico Seiga – 191 Karasu

Even the fujoshi (girls into homoromantic fiction) got in on the craze.

Image: Niconico Seiga – Sanrinsha @ Motomi Wa Tarou

The new NO MORE Eiga Dorobo character toys are about 5cm tall and come with elastic straps to affix to your movie camera. They each also have a tag attached with various phrases reminding you not to use said movie camera for clandestine taping. In total there are four figures to be sold.

Camera Otoko Dancing

Camera Otoko Recording

Camera Otoko Running Away

Patrol Lamp Otoko Apprehending

There’s also a secret pose that will only be revealed upon delivery of the set which includes all poses and a pack of soda flavored gum. All this and more could be yours for 3,024 yen ($29). As an added bonus, the Camera Otoko Running Away and Patrol Lamp Otoko Apprehending figures can lock together for a massive double strap figurine.

You can pre-order a set from the Bandai Premium website and they are scheduled to be sent out by April. You better act fast as quantities are limited. Wait too long and there will be…

Image: Niconico Seiga – K-Suwabe

Source: Bandai Premium, Netlab, Naver Matome (Japanese)
Videos: YouTube – orenoyui, eigakanorg, AntiSoftwarePirates

Although he came close to the level of NO MORE, America’s MC Disk Protecta, the pioneer of popping copyright promotion, sadly never had figures released.