Producer Thanks Pirates For Stealing His Film

Eric Wilkinson, the producer of the independent film "The Man from Earth", wrote an email to RLSlog in which he thanks them for the free promotion they gave him. "In the future, I will not complain about file sharing" he wrote, "when I make my next picture, I just may upload the movie on the net myself!" All the attention for his film was boosted by a positive review on RLSlog, a weblog that reviews some of the new releases on BitTorrent. It turns out that a lot of people who downloaded the movie off BitTorrent liked the movie, as they started to write positive reviews on Amazon, IMDB and other websites. Wilkinson was pleasantly surprised by all the attention. He explained in his email to RLSlog that the people who illegally downloaded his film actually helped to promote it.

View: Full Story @ TorrentFreak

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I understand the arguments about "if everybody downloaded movies via torrent clients or other P2P apps then there'd be no profits," and I can agree that it is worth some concern. However, I must also note that it is pure speculation since not everybody downloads them via torrent clients or other P2P apps.

That is where the FUD comes in. Fear of poor profits; uncertainty of whether profits would actually plummet; and doubt that file sharing could really help profits.

Regarding the FUD, I only have one thing to say: while it is a cause for concern, I must submit that many do indeed purchase movies that were illegally downloaded and watched. While I haven't downloaded movies, I have downloaded an album that a friend recommended. Guess what? I liked the music. Guess what I did because of my interest in the downloaded music I heard? I bought the actual album. Do I still have the MP3s that I downloaded? No, but I do have my own MP3 backups in the case that the album happens to stop working one day (scratches, gouges, poor/improper cleaning, etc.) After all, I bought the album, so I do legally have some rights to that specific bit of music. However, I know that if I shared it with or sold it to another individual I would violate copyright law, so I don't share my music via P2P applications or direct person-to-person exchanges/sales or any other method such as teleportation.

Something tells me that such an idea as movies distributed via P2P would be a great move. Netflix is a paid service, and subscribers can download movies directly to their computer now. If my backups are in violation, wouldn't the Netflix download service also be? Or perhaps Netflix pays for more than just rights to the movie... Bribery? If my backups of music are illegal, then I really must wonder...

Hey, yeah! If everyone downloaded ripped copies of all their music and DVD movies, then everyone should be very thankful at having great word of mouth and no sales!

In other news, Eric Wilkinson was found dead today, the only clue is a MPAA business card left behind at the crime scene. lol :suspicious:

this will be till he gets famous and make some money, then he will turn in another whining ala Prince (looking?) screaming for money. It happend before, will happend again, and again.

See this -is- one of the most interesting and *#$&ed up scenario in our society to date.

Intellectual properties and talents are priceless, technically. Their worthinesses are, however, measured in our world, by how much profit they can be turned into and/or how much recognition they're able get. Let's say, Microsoft Windows and Mariah Carey's voice are worth as much the dollars and cents they're able to generate from product sales, no more or no less. Another example would be Linux, all it wants is recognition and public support. Basically, this theory stands as long as we don't count misinformation and misleading of marketing/publicizing, cultural/social influences or propaganda, or sometimes simply idiocy and ignorance of the audience.

Such publicizing/marketing is most often required, at a cost, to achieve the ultimate goal of most which's to turn the talents/intellectual properties into gold. Then comes Internet, the P2P sector, in particular. Millions of audience acessible at minimal cost. The difference between "The Man from Earth" and "Spiderman 3" is nobody cares about the former unless it's free and I believe even that it has to be less than a certain size for most to deem it worthy, where what the ladder would expect to see more of those $28.95 Blu-ray discs flying off the shelves if there weren't 20GB's of H.264's for free all over the places.

There's an equillibrium in everything. Independent film-makers and garage bands will change their faces once they pass the point or become hits and big names will, too, when they fall below the point or hit the bottom.

You get the idea. Vicious cycle, this is. So don't take any side's words too seriously.

Well geez, positive word of mouth from people who downloaded it, helping to get the product more exposure... who would have though? Heh.

I have been saying this for years.

Would Adobe be as big as they are now if their products were ever pirated? I really doubt it. A lot of people wouldn't have gone into web/graphic design, thus in the long run a lot of people wouldn't even be aware of adobe let alone buying their software... which is why I never hear of Adobe making a huge public stink over people downloading their stuff!

Ash said,
Would Adobe be as big as they are now if their products were ever pirated? I really doubt it. A lot of people wouldn't have gone into web/graphic design, thus in the long run a lot of people wouldn't even be aware of adobe let alone buying their software... which is why I never hear of Adobe making a huge public stink over people downloading their stuff!

agreed, macromedia products have a really simple code thing and there are loads of keygens, but they don't bother with making it secure because people download it, get a crack, like it, get trained in web animations and such, go and buy it, spread the word for others to do the same. Adobe know about the huge piracy but as most people will buy it, they dont care.
The opposite end is cubase, they have a secure dongle and loads of things for that program, not even a free trial and lets face it, they dont get many sales... you can see why, i wouldnt support a company that forces you to have a crumby usb protection drive that could go wrong for any number of reasons... and if it goes wrong, send it back to them while they fix it, well, if you need cubase to do your job, for the price of it: stuffed is really quite what you are

It's good to see when people can become a little less narrow minded.

It's always been pointed to that filesharing has actually aided sales of *good* products.

e.g, CD sales had been on a slow decline for a long time, then when kazaa etc arrived on the scene they began to steadily grow again, reaching their peak for many years at the same time sharing on kazaa reached it's peak. When RIAA started sueing and 'cracking down' on it, sharing fell and with it CD sales.

RIAA stated that sales were falling from the start, but they included CASSETTE TAPE sales in their figures. Really ridiculous.

Anyway, go go progression!

lol Cassettes. American gangster was out online before it hit theatesr and it did better money wise than predicted, so MP** is full of themselves. They want there cake and they want us to watch them eat it to.

Uh, were they illegally downloading it? It sounds like they more or less implicitly from this has the copyright owner's permission, and then it's all OK. It's always up to the copyright holder to deem whether copying protected material is illegal or not, not up to the DMCA or any such law.

And regardless what, they weren't stealing anything. One may "steal" profits (although it's still debated how much of an economic problem that kind of thing really is when you stop looking at calculations on a paper -- see also this article :-p), but not movies, games, apps, or any intellectual property like that. That's why copyright crimes aren't at all judged the same as theft. That's just real old media company "brainwashing" by trying to use strong words, never mind their accuracy.

Jugalator said,
One may "steal" profits, but not movies, games, apps, or any intellectual property like that.

Quote - The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary states:
To Steal: 1 a : to take and carry away feloniously and usually unobserved : take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully.

Synonyms PILFER, FILCH, PURLOIN, LIFT, PINCH, SNITCH, SWIPE, COP: these have in common the sense of to take another's possession without right, without his knowledge or observation. STEAL, the commonest and most general of the group, can refer to any act of taking without right although it suggests strongly a furtiveness or secrecy in the act.


You can spin this all you want, but everyone knows that when you take property – intellectual or otherwise – that the owner/creator has not given you permission to take, that's stealing. To say that copyright crimes aren't theft because they aren't “judged the same as theft” doesn't alter the fundamental fact that the copyright holder is being deprived of his property without compensation or permission – the very definition of stealing as stated above.

Copyright crimes may not be judged the same a theft, but they still fall into Justice Potter Steward's definition of something that cannot necessarily be specifically defined: “I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.”

I submit that everyone who is not trying to find an excuse for taking someone else's property can see this for what it is.

The thing is, that even though this would mean "the owners permission", that owner probably gave the distribution rights to one of those evil companies, and those are the ones that sue people.

"intellectual theft" would be when you steal an idea and profit from it. watching a movie "for free" shouldn't be typified as theft. "intellectual property" is different from all other things, because it isn't tangible and can be infinitely reproduced, which means you can be infinitely rich. You can steal gold, and whoever had the gold before, won't have it anymore. You can market an idea of another person, and now that person won't be able to benefit from it: you are taking something from that person.
But you can download a movie and you aren't taking anything from anyone. Especially if you weren't going to buy the movie anyway. Now everybody's trying to make it a moral thing because you are getting something other people pay for , which is fair.

Octol said,
To say that copyright crimes aren't theft because they aren't “judged the same as theft” doesn't alter the fundamental fact that the copyright holder is being deprived of his property without compensation or permission – the very definition of stealing as stated above.

Deprived eh? Hmm, so if I download a movie the copyright owner's master copy just vanishes? I never knew that....