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Author Topic: Encouraging Piracy - Piracy as a Tool for Promotion  (Read 2663 times)


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Encouraging Piracy - Piracy as a Tool for Promotion
« on: June 18, 2011, 10:39 PM »
Someone pointed me to this video:

At about 1:07:00 (and 1:52:30) the fellow in there takes a break to encourage people to go to the web site, buy a copy of the DVD, and COPY it to give to friends and family! HE ENCOURAGES PIRACY OF HIS VIDEO!

If I recall properly, the film "Sicko" hit the Internet with the tag "Steal this movie":


Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong there.

Still, Michael Moore had this to say:

When asked about the leak, Moore said, "I'm just happy that people get to see my movies. I'm not a big supporter of the copyright laws in this country...I don't understand bands or filmmakers...who oppose sharing, having their work being shared by people, because it only increases your fanbase."

For revenues, Sicko did very well:

The film is currently ranked the fourth highest grossing documentary of all time...


The recent "Go the F**k to Sleep" episode seems to support that piracy can be used as a tool to increase revenue.

There are a few films that have been aired for free on the Internet that I've subsequently gone out and bought (quite a few actually - 4 times that I can remember off the top of my head). I don't know, but it just seems to me that when a film puts itself out there, and then asks for my support, I'm very willing to reciprocate their good will. They've taken a step of faith and demonstrated their good will towards their potential customers, and I appreciate that. Too many companies/corporations/organizations show nothing but contempt for their audience/customers.

I just had a mini-rant about that exact issue:

Melbourne Public Transportation: Contempt for Customers

I don't think that will go away either. Apple is a shining example of how a company can have nothing but contempt for their customers and succeed wildly. So in that environment, the potential for people to show good will/faith up front is never going to disappear, and it seems to me like that can work very well to increase popularity and/or revenues.

Now, flat out, that's basically the "donation" model applied to films. Film and software are very different markets and behave differently, so the general failure of the donation model in software doesn't mean that it can't work for films.

But whether it's "donation" or "piracy" is really only a matter of the original author labeling it.

In any event, submitted for your (dis)approval...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 11:23 PM by Renegade »


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Re: Encouraging Piracy - Piracy as a Tool for Promotion
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 03:34 AM »
I remember reading about an indie movie called The Man From Earth that was pretty obscure. The producer was pretty happy when it hit the torrent sites because after that point it became pretty popular. Well, I found the link, so I'll let him tell you:

My name is Eric D. Wilkinson and I am the producer of a small independent film called “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth”.

I am sending you this email after realizing that our website has had nearly 23,000 hits in the last 12 days, much of it coming from your website. In addition, our trailer, both on the site and other sites like YouTube, MySpace and AOL has been watched nearly 20,000 times AND what’s most impressive is our ranking on IMDb went from being the 11,235th most popular movie, to the 5th most popular movie in 2 weeks (we are also the #1 independent film on IMDb & the #1 science fiction film on IMDb). How did this all happen? Two words: Torrent / File Sharing sites (well, four words and a slash).

He goes on to say:

What you guys have done here is nothing short of amazing. In the future, I will not complain about file sharing. YOU HAVE HELPED PUT THIS LITTLE MOVIE ON THE MAP!!!! When I make my next picture, I just may upload the movie on the net myself!


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Re: Encouraging Piracy - Piracy as a Tool for Promotion
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 04:47 AM »

That doesn't come as much of a surprise. The producers of most political propaganda films (be they official or from "special interest" groups) are more interested in their polemic being seen than they are in making a buck from their audiences.

I also don't know how it works in the rest of the world, but in the USA there's enough "foundation money" available to fund almost any political message - as long as it doesn't get attributed back to whoever is paying for it. So saying "steal a copy" of any thing like this is usually a ploy. Because in most cases, it has been paid for by somebody already.

I think a far better example would be something like Fiona Apples's Extraordinary Machine album. There's conflicting stories about what happened. But the gist of it is Ms. Apple put together some music for her new release, and her record company decided to sit on it because it was 'too different' from the musical image they were promoting for her. When the release date went into limbo, several studio tracks were mysteriously "leaked' onto the internet. This in turn created a groundswell of interest and support, from not only her regular fanbase, but new listeners as well. And the rest is history. Extraordinary Machine was finally "officially" released and went on to sell over half a million copies.

Interestingly, the record industry only considers this a mild success because her previous (far more predictable IMO) album sold 2.7 million copies.

Guess the record industry has that "glass is half-empty" mindset. :-\