Hurt Locker Producer Says That Criticizing His Plan To Sue Fans Means You're A Moron And A Thief

from the reality-check dept

Robert Ring was the first of a bunch of you to send in this gem. You may recall the reports that the producers of the Oscar-winning movie Hurt Locker were supposedly gearing up to sue tens of thousands of fans for unauthorized file trading of the movie. Even if you're against infringing on copyrights, it's not hard to see why this is a strategy doomed to backfire massively. A Boing Boing reader found the email from Hurt Locker producer, Nicolas Chartier, who already has something of a reputation for... well... aggressive emailing, and received quite a response.

First, the polite email the reader sent to Chartier, expressing why he thinks the legal strategy is a mistake:
Dear Mr. Chartier,

I have recently become aware of Voltage Pictures' intention to sue thousands of people who are suspected of having used BitTorrent to download films produced by your company.

I wish to register my disagreement with these tactics, and would like you to know that as a result of these actions I am boycotting your films. The majority of the people you are suing were not seeking to make money from their downloads, and will be financially devastated by a lawsuit or settlement. While it is completely understandable that Voltage Pictures wishes to defend its intellectual property, this is an inhumane way of doing so.

Until Voltage Pictures publicly states that it will not pursue lawsuits for downloading its films, I will not view, rent or buy any films produced wholly or in part by your company. I will urge my friends and family to take the same actions. I do not wish for the money I spend on entertainment to be used against otherwise good people.

Thank you for your time.
And now for Chartier's response:
Hi Nicholas, please feel free to leave your house open every time you go out and please tell your family to do so, please invite people in the streets to come in and take things from you, not to make money out of it by reselling it but just to use it for themselves and help themselves. If you think it's normal they take my work for free, I'm sure you will give away all your furniture and possessions and your family will do the same. I can also send you my bank account information since apparently you work for free and your family too so since you have so much money you should give it away... I actually like to pay my employees, my family, my bank for their work and like to get paid for my work. I'm glad you're a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference. Until then, keep being stupid, you're doing that very well. And please do not download, rent, or pay for my movies, I actually like smart and more important HONEST people to watch my films.

best regards,

Nicolas Chartier
Voltage Pictures, LLC
Wow. Note that the original letter to Chartier did not, in any way, defend the practice of downloading the film. It just noted that suing everyone did not seem like a proportional response. And, for that, Chartier calls him a moron and a thief and wishes his whole family ends up in jail. I guess when you have someone like that in charge, it's no wonder that they think filing tens of thousands of lawsuits against fans is a sensible position. Perhaps somewhere along the line someone will sit Chartier down and explain to him the difference between disagreeing with a strategy and promoting infringement. At that time, perhaps they can also explain to him the difference between theft and infringement. Now I can understand why even folks at the MPAA have been rapidly distancing themselves from Chartier and this particular campaign, making it clear to pretty much everyone that they do not support his strategy for dealing with unauthorized sharing of his movie.

Update: In the meantime, I had almost forgotten that the producers of the movie, including Voltage Pictures, are being sued by a soldier, who claims that the movie was actually "his" story. Now, as we wrote when that story came out, the claim seems ridiculous, but if you run his claim through the same argument that Chartier makes above, it makes you wonder if by Chartier's own bizarre logic, he really should pay that soldier. After all, he took that soldier's "story" for free, and that soldier likes to get paid for his work too, I'm sure.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    Boycott.

    I plan to boycott this film to the point of removing it from my Netflix queue. Instead, I'll purchase a $500M film instead.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Also he should either get some anger management, or a course in public discourse. Or perhaps both.

     

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    NAMELESS ONE, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    what is hurt locker

    haha
    no really
    he can't even create bad press to gt more advertising

    talk to madonna man

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 9:20am

    Yikes...

    Did anyone else read John Grisham's Rainmaker? This is a real life version of the "Stupid Letter" from that book.

    Does he not realize how widespread this thing is about to become?

     

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    cc (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 9:21am

    Amusingly but not surprisingly, the film has started gathering negative reviews on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/32rnxqn

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Let's face it, Chartier is a nut. When was the last time a movie producer was refused entry into the Oscar ceremony? Especially considering his movie won during that ceremony. He's obviously not gaining any friends in Hollywood. He's not gaining any friends among his "fans." You know you're in trouble when your only friends are lawyers.

     

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    Joel (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    All over...

    This letter is all over the web and the consensus is the same...boycott anything and everything by this guy.

     

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    TPBGirl, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:26am

    Isn't he a hypocrite! The produces STOLE the story from a US Soldier! Lawsuits started BEFORE the Awards show to. the seargent is the one who coined the term "Hurt Locker".

    lol I will send my money to the US SOldier :)

    http://thresq.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/03/did-hurt-locker-producers-breach-an-agreement-with -the-us-military.html

    this website also has a link to the actual complaint. This would make a great follow up story to this email story. lol
    "Pot meet Kettle" keeps coming to mind ;)

     

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      Hulser (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:07am

      Re:

      The produces STOLE the story from a US Soldier!

      Of course you meant "INFRINGED", right? /s

       

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        cc (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:10am

        Re: Re:

        No, "stole" is the right word in this context. They didn't just copy his story, they never gave any credit where it was due -- they plagiarised.

         

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          crade (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In that case wouldn't plagiarised be the right word? :)

           

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          Hulser (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, "stole" is the right word in this context.

          It may seem like pedantic nitpicking, but there really is a good reason to distinguish between theft, infringement, and plagiarism. You can't blame someone who isn't up on all of the topics generally discussed on TD to not know that, from a legal perspective, theft is not the same thing as infringement or plagiarism. But when there is a material difference between each act and the legal and moral ramifications of each, it's quite helpful to use the right term when discussing the topics. So, "stole" really isn't the right word in this context. As crade pointed out, if you mean plagiarize, then say plagiarize.

           

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            Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You can't blame someone who isn't up on all of the topics generally discussed on TD to not know that, from a legal perspective, theft is not the same thing as infringement or plagiarism.

            Yes, I can. And I think we all can, since we're blaming this idiot director for his analogy of fail.

             

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              Hulser (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, I can. And I think we all can, since we're blaming this idiot director for his analogy of fail.

              Fair enough. Change "who isn't up on" to "who isn't up on or shouldn't be up on" and I think the statement is accurate. My point was that you can't blame a layperson for not knowing these distinctions. But yes, I think you obviously can blame someone who should know better i.e. one of the producers of a Hollywood blockbuster.

               

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            Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "TD to not know that, from a legal perspective, theft is not the same thing as infringement or plagiarism."

            The legal perspective:

            US Supreme Court Justice Breyer: "Deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft."

            If we are going to argue what meaning words hold in a legal context, than the legal perspective of the law makers is the most relevant definition available. In this case, unlawful copying is a form of theft, regardless of popular internet opinion.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The legal perspective:

              US Supreme Court Justice Breyer: "Deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft."


              Or... let's go with US Supreme Court Justice Blackmun:

              "Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple "goods, wares, [or] merchandise," interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud."

              And if we're playing the legal game, it's worth noting that your quote comes from a concurring opinion, but not the official majority ruling, whereas my quote does come from a majority ruling.

              If we are going to argue what meaning words hold in a legal context, than the legal perspective of the law makers is the most relevant definition available.

              And yes, Blackmun's trumps Breyer's. Thanks for bringing it up though.

               

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                Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "And if we're playing the legal game, it's worth noting that your quote comes from a concurring opinion, but not the official majority ruling, whereas my quote does come from a majority ruling."

                As the only relevant definition of theft is the legal one, yeah... we're playing the legal game. And it's worth noting that the quote I posted is from this century... yours comes from a time before downloading.

                So no... Blackmun does not automatically trump Breyer.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  old ruling

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    that was suppose to be... old ruling < new opinion?

                     

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                      Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I'll take the precedent that directly deals with the modern technology rather than an outdated one based on old tech written in a previous century. Of course, which precedent to follow is up to the courts. I'm not saying that Blackmun's ruling is automatically invalid. Just that it does automatically trump Breyer's concurring opinion.

                       

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                  Vic, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Don't even start about that document called the Constitution! It is SO OLD! The whole thing must be out of date by now! 8^)

                   

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                    Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    And if time did not change perspective or expose flaws in the earlier legal approach, we would never have needed to make modern amendments to said legal document.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Kind of like how copyright infringement isn't the be all and end all as far as rights go, huh?

                       

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                  Niall (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 4:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  By that argument, any recent ruling automatically trumps any before it - which wrecks the whole idea of precedent - and rather invalidates the Constitution if any judge happens to disagree with it.

                   

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                    Memyself, May 20th, 2010 @ 10:22am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "By that argument, any recent ruling automatically trumps any before it - which wrecks the whole idea of precedent - and rather invalidates the Constitution if any judge happens to disagree with it."

                    That is very slippery slope of you. Just because an argument can be made that a legal opinion in the fast changing world of technology can have more validity if it is actually dealing with the specific topic under discussion (as is the case here) does not mean each and every modern ruling automatically trumps any ruling before it.

                    In this instance, the Breyer opinion is the one dealing specifically with the current topic. The Blackmun ruling was made during a very different era on a related topic. And I never said the Blackmun ruling was automatically invalid either. I'm not the one who introduced the idea that the position of one Justice of the Supreme Court must hold more value than another Justice of the Supreme Court. That was Mike, trying to argue that Blackmun automatically invalidated Breyer.

                    Breyer's opinion has merit and deals with technology from a considerably more modern perspective. Yeah... that last bit IS important. Would you really want a ruling made in relation to the horse and buggy industry to be the definitive letter of the law when it comes to modern cars? So much so that it trumps the modern legal opinions?

                     

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              Hulser (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft."

              In this case, unlawful copying is a form of theft, regardless of popular internet opinion.

              Non sequiter much?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The full quote "And deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 2319 (criminal copyright infringement); §1961(1)(B) (copyright infringement can be a predicate act under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act); §1956(c)(7)(D) (money laundering includes the receipt of proceeds from copyright infringement)." refers to crimes a little more hefty then civil copyright infringement. The last time I looked downloading a copy of a movie was not quite the same thing as racketeering or money laundering.

               

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                Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The full quote is in direct reference to unlawful copying through file sharing networks.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Where does it say that?

                   

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                    Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The quote is from Breyer's concurring opinion on the MGM vs Grokster case. The entire context is about file sharing and unlawful copying.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:52pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I thought the MGM vs Grokster case was about liability for inducing copyright infringement.

                       

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                        Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Yes. Via file-sharing and unlawful copying.

                         

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                          Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 2:37pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Nobody who is being sued could possibly be guilty of inducing infringement, so Grokster does not apply.

                           

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                            Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Like I said below, I was addressing the general topic of theft and copying. Not the specific instance listed in the original article.

                             

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                              Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Yes. A difference between theft and copying. They are not the same thing. Shcoking.

                               

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                                Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                And we're back to this:

                                The legal perspective:

                                US Supreme Court Justice Breyer: "Deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft.

                                 

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                                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the owner of simple "goods, wares, [or] merchandise," interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud."

                                   

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                                    Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 8:41pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    And we're back to this again: The quote I present is from the current century. The one you post is not.

                                     

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                                      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      Guess how many hundreds of millions of people infringed on copyright last century? Compare that number to this century. See a difference?

                                       

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                                      Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:24pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      And we're back to this again: The quote I present is from the current century. The one you post is not.


                                      I had no idea that Supreme Court majority rulings had a statute of limitations. Can you cite the law (apparently from this century) where that is said? Thanks!

                                      Also, if we're only paying attention to the law this century, then I guess the Copyright Act of '76 no longer applies? What about the Constitution? Does that get a pass, despite being two plus centuries old? Please, educate us on your interpretation of the law...

                                       

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                                        Memyself, May 20th, 2010 @ 10:32am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                        "I had no idea that Supreme Court majority rulings had a statute of limitations. Can you cite the law (apparently from this century) where that is said? Thanks!

                                        Also, if we're only paying attention to the law this century, then I guess the Copyright Act of '76 no longer applies? What about the Constitution? Does that get a pass, despite being two plus centuries old? Please, educate us on your interpretation of the law..."


                                        As you plummet down this slippery slope, all you do is expose your inability to debate.

                                        Just because an argument can be made that a legal opinion in the fast changing world of technology can have more validity if it is actually dealing with the specific topic under discussion (as is the case here) does not mean each and every modern legal opinion automatically trumps any ruling before it.

                                        In this instance, the Breyer opinion is the one dealing specifically with the current topic. The Blackmun ruling was made during a very different era on a related topic. And I never said the Blackmun ruling was automatically invalid either. I'm not the one who introduced the idea that the position of one Justice of the Supreme Court must hold more value than another Justice of the Supreme Court. That was you, trying to argue that Blackmun automatically invalidated Breyer. Yes, one is a ruling and one is a concurring opinion. Of course, that does not change the fact that we have a digital era friendly Justice of the Supreme Court directly equating unlawful copying and theft.

                                        Breyer's opinion has merit and deals with technology from a considerably more modern perspective. Yeah... that last bit IS important. Would you really want a ruling made in relation to the horse and buggy industry to be the definitive letter of the law when it comes to modern cars? So much so that it automatically trumps the modern legal opinions?

                                        Breyer's position is relevant to here and now. That's just the way it is. Pretending that my argument that Breyer's modern position holds weight because it IS modern somehwo means that all old laws should be dismissed is a pathetic slippery slope style of argument. Try to deal with what IS being said rather than contorting the discussion.

                                        Thanks!

                                         

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              Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Breyer

              We've already argued about Breyer's opinion, so I won't do it again now.

              But I'd like to point out the full context:
              And deliberate unlawful copying is no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 2319 (criminal copyright infringement); §1961(1)(B) (copyright infringement can be a predicate act under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act); §1956(c)(7)(D) (money laundering includes the receipt of proceeds from copyright infringement).

              Most of the laws that he cited refer to the production of infringing material for profit. The only time non-commercial infringement can be criminal is if the dollar value was over $1000, and if you distribute the material. (That law did not exist before 1997, by the way.)

              That does not apply to any of the people being sued.

               

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                Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Breyer

                Let's take a look:

                (1) In general.— Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—

                (A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

                (B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

                (C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.


                As I see it, the relevant clause there is B. And under that clause distribution is not a requirement. Reproduction alone qualifies.

                But you're right, it does not apply in this instance. I was addressing the topic in the general sense rather than the specific.

                 

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                  Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Breyer

                  under that clause distribution is not a requirement. Reproduction alone qualifies.

                  It seems to me that reproduction alone would qualify as fair use under the Sony ruling. If you don't distribute it to anyone else, it's hard to imagine how it would not be for personal use only.

                  ...But we both agree that the people being sued by Chartier are not guilty of anything criminal, and that's good enough for me.

                   

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    If I'm such a moron then why isn't the internet making fun of me?

     

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    Tony, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Missed Opportunity

    Hi,

    I've been enjoying your columns for months now. I think you missed an opportunity here though.

    I don't think the producers response was out of line given the argument (or lack thereof) provider by the person who e-mailed. That e-mail basically stated that you shouldn't sue because it will hurt, and I don't want to pay for your movies....which is a really weak argument and means nothing to the producer.

    The person e-mailing missed an opportunity to communicate to the producer exactly why he was downloading an not purchasing it. Was it because he didn't want to be stuck to his Blu-Ray player and wanted to enjoy it on any of his devices, or some other convenience factor? Or just wanted it earlier and would buy later?

    Given this persons lack of an argument, I am not surprised the producer responded in this fashion. And that's too bad as this person had the producers attention and actually could have communicated some key feedback.

    As you are well aware, the reasons for downloading vary tremendously and not all are bad or evil.

    Thanks again for the great column.

     

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      Phillip Vector (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 9:43am

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      Where exactly do you see him saying he was downloading it or refusing to pay for it (except when he said he was boycotting the persons work)?

      He gave no argument for or against downloading the movie.

       

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      Ryan, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:45am

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      Tony, your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired.

      The letter is not asking Chartier not to sue him; he is not being sued, nor does he have any apprehension that he will be.

      Nor does the letter give any indication that he downloads movies for free; in fact, it suggests exactly the opposite ("I do not wish for the money I spend on entertainment to be used against otherwise good people.")

      It merely expresses his stance that he will not financially support a man who proposes to maliciously and indiscriminately sue thousands of people that are causing no harm.

      Yet, for that he got a reply that, as mentioned, calls him a moron, thief, and wishes him harm. You seem to have misread the original letter in the same manner that Chartier did, although your tone is at least much less hostile.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

        Freedom of speech allows one to say whatever they want. However, it is a weak argument to say that you do not want your money to be spent prosecuting "otherwise good people". You tax dollars are spent everyday supporting the prosecution of "otherwise good people" for doing things that are simply illegal (e.g., speeding, littering, etc.). Your entertainment dollars have always been spent to police illegal activities (e.g., bootleg copies, non-compensated viewings, etc.). The medium has changed but the laws still apply. There is no defense for illegally downloading a movie -- stealing bread from a grocery store because you are homeless I can understand -- but your life will not end if you have to pay for a DVD.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

          I don't want to pay for a DVD. I want to pay for a digital download. Where can I purchase, to own, a digital copy of The Hurt Locker?

           

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          jjmsan (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

          Taxes are not voluntary. Purchasing a DVD is so he can not purchase it for whatever he wants. Yes there is a defense for illegally downloading a DVD, because it is not illegal until determined by a court of law. Your use of the term is along the lines of Have you stopped beating your wife answeryes or no please.

           

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      Free Capitalist (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:00am

      Re: Missed Point

      What makes you think the person who wrote the e-mail downloaded his film illegally?

      The issue is not about the moral ills of downloading infringing content. The issue here is the moral and legal sewer being created by people like Chartier in response to the illegal downloads.

      Everyone has a right to be an asshole, but shouldn't the public push back when someone takes a personal agenda and tries to tie up our courts with vindictive lawsuits clearly bent on social-engineering?

      I thought that was supposed to be illegal...

      By the way, the film sucks. There is no truth, and his characters are pinups tacked to a canvas of moral self-importance created sans experience --- yes... Hollywood.

       

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      Hulser (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:04am

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      I don't think the producers response was out of line given the argument (or lack thereof) provider by the person who e-mailed. That e-mail basically stated that you shouldn't sue because it will hurt, and I don't want to pay for your movies....which is a really weak argument and means nothing to the producer.

      I agree that the original letter writer didn't present much of an argument, however the reason that there is such an uproar is for the simple reason that the producer's response was very much out of line. Ad hominem attacks and blatant misunderstanding of the law (i.e. theft v. infringement) isn't a very effective way to address a boycot.

      The person e-mailing missed an opportunity to communicate to the producer exactly why he was downloading an not purchasing it.

      I couldn't agree more here. Instead of pointing valid reasons why people download copyrighted material in spite of it being illegal or why the strategy would be bad (albeit legal), the letter writer just came off as having a sense of entitlement.

       

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        crade (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:10am

        Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

        The letter writer isn't downloading anything. They are boycotting the movie, not downloading it. The only sense of entitlement writer is the entitlement to boycott the movie and not watch it.

         

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          Hulser (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

          The letter writer isn't downloading anything. They are boycotting the movie, not downloading it.

          I didn't say or imply the letter writer was downloading copyrighted material illegally, so I'm not sure how your statements are relevant.

          The only sense of entitlement writer is the entitlement to boycott the movie and not watch it.

          I personally think that the letter writer comes of as having a sense of entitlement because he doesn't do a good job at explaining why it's "inhumane" to sue infringers. I actually agree that the kinds of fines that would be imposed on someone if they would be found guilty of infringement are wildly disproportionate from the crime. But none of that comes across in the letter. Without any supporting statements in his argument, the average reader is most likely going to just assume that this person is the stereotypical user of BitTorrent who wants something for nothing rather than someone who would otherwise purchase the material if not for DRM, artificial release windows, not having to drive to the Blockbuster, not having to skip through 15 minutes of FBI warnings and trailers and all of the other myriad legitimate reasons why people resort to illegal downloads.

           

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            crade (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

            "I didn't say or imply the letter writer was downloading copyrighted material illegally, so I'm not sure how your statements are relevant."

            Sorry for some reason I failed reading comprehension and read:
            "why people download copyrighted material "
            as
            "why he downloaded copyrighted material "

             

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        jjmsan (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re: Missed Opportunity

        The writer did not download the video. He is entitled to support or not support people with his purchases as he wants.

         

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      Alex, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      As far as I can see, the initial letter did not say that they had downloaded the movie, as I read it, they seemed to understand the desire to protect Voltage Pictures' IP...
      "While it is completely understandable that Voltage Pictures wishes to defend its intellectual property [..]"
      The initial letter just wished to express his dissatisfaction regarding the pursuit of lawsuits. I will agree though that it was a missed opportunity to explain why not to go the path of lawsuits, but given the overreaction shown in the response, I don't think it would have done any good anyways.

       

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      chris (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      The person e-mailing missed an opportunity to communicate to the producer exactly why he was downloading an not purchasing it. Was it because he didn't want to be stuck to his Blu-Ray player and wanted to enjoy it on any of his devices, or some other convenience factor? Or just wanted it earlier and would buy later?

      dude said he will not "view, rent or buy any films produced wholly or in part by your company." as in he won't watch it regardless of how it was obtained.

      and the letter writer didn't say he was going to download it. chartier and others just assumed that he did. that's the point. guys like chartier treat everyone like thieves.

       

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      Malfeasant, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

      Re: Missed Opportunity

      you jumped to the same conclusion the producer did- you assumer the emailer has downloaded the movie for some reason- he never said he did, and nothing in the email suggests he might have.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    Let's rephrase!

    "Hey man, you're going to ruin a bunch of people that didn't hurt you."

    "You fucking theif, die in a fire!"

     

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    Freedom, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Emotional - Wow!

    It is very obvious that he is basing his response to the torrent downloads on emotion and not logic. Always a bad mix for any business decision - after all, it's just business.

    At the end of the day, you deal with the market as it is and not how you want it to be. In some ways, you can relate this to marriage - it may not be perfect, but in the end the good outweighs the bad (or at least that is the hope). That is how I look at the digital market - there are parts the content producers don't like, but like in any situation you find a way to minimize those parts and focus on the parts you do like. What you don't do is beat your spouse for the parts you don't like!

    I wish the original letter to him had more of an argument and explanation of the core issues. It is obvious from the response the the producer doesn't understand the difference between theft/stealing and copyright infringement.

    Freedom

     

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    crade (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    What is the point in writing such a response? The response letter's only purpose seems to be venting frustrations. He sounds like a spoiled 10 year old.

     

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    Dave, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    I'll boycott to that

    I have a purchased copy of the Hurt Locker in my living room right now, borrowed from my parents. I don't particularly care to see it now. I too will be encouraging I know not to support him or his company in any way shape or form. This is all thanks to his juvenile reaction which annoys me far greater than his idiotic corporate tactics.

     

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      Anonymous Poster, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:27am

      Re: I'll boycott to that

      "I have a purchased copy of the Hurt Locker [...] I don't particularly care to see it now."

      Ditto on both counts.

       

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      Brian (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:03am

      Re: I'll boycott to that

      I'll be boycotting the film as well. I don't like to download, rent, or pay for movies produced by morons.

       

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    DeeJay, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:33am

    One thing that sticks out to me in the response. The whole leaving your house open analogy is completely irrelevant. If you leave your house open and let people take stuff, that stuff is gone. You're not getting it back. If you download a film, the production company still has the film.

     

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      senshikaze (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

      Re:

      shhhh! if the producer figures out you used logic, he may sue you too!

       

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 1:06am

      Re:

      well, he just admitted that he 'left his house open' by letting it be distributed on bittorrent networks. If he were to make an insurance case about it, he'd have no leg to stand on, as clearly he didn't try hard enough to keep it locked up, in essence he left the keys in the door and is now crying because he got robbed.

      At least that's according to his analogy.

       

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    Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    TAM?

    I think we just learned the secret identity of The Anti-Mike.

     

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      Ima Fish (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:57am

      Re: TAM?

      That's fricken hilarious!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:59am

      Re: TAM?

      It's possible. There are several TAM-like personae that appear now and then in the threads. The original TAM's responses were generally not this ... aggressively toned. While he would throw out the occasional insult it was typically only after being insulted himself. There is a TAM-style AC that uses all lowercase and would post comments in a more exasperated tone (my personal favorite TAM persona). I imagine he let out a mighty "GAAH!" every time a techdirt article crossed his news feed by the tone of his comments. The third TAM-style AC that I've seen is the most likely match. His tone is of a similar nature: aggressive and abusive.

       

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    McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    You're Missing a Point...

    Those of you in the Self-Entitlement-Pile-on-Gang are missing a couple of major points here.

    Chartier doesn't care what bloggers or commenters call the illegal act in question - the bottom line is it's money out of his pocket. To him that feels like theft, regardless of what label you use. Changing the label doesn't put the money back in his pocket.

    I note that ALL of you ignored the point he made about paying his employees and paying his creditors. How convenient. I'm sure it's easier on your self-entitled consciences to think of pirating digital media as a victimless crime. It isn't. What if the money he lost was going to be donated to cancer research? Or what if it was going to support a homeless shelter? We have no idea if either of these are the case (and it's none of our business), but the point is that you shouldn't treat this kind of crime as mere 0s and 1s moving across the Internet. You have no idea of the possible impact.

    This guy is the victim of a crime. There is no question that this producer lost millions of dollars because of willful infringement. The email he received implies that he should just 'let it go'. That's nonsense. For once we have a real live case of a victim of what normally is argued in the generic on this site, and the majority just pile on the victim simply because he feels wronged. Wow. Nice. I'd hate to be a victim of assault in your towns. You'd probably all say "C'mon, boys will be boys and you'll heal."

     

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:56am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      ...the bottom line is it's money out of his pocket.

      How so?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:00am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      Infringement isn't a crime, in this context. Civil vs Criminal.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:04am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      Chartier doesn't care what bloggers or commenters call the illegal act in question - the bottom line is it's money out of his pocket.

      Please explain. Where did that money go? What money is missing?

      To him that feels like theft, regardless of what label you use. Changing the label doesn't put the money back in his pocket.

      Can you point to where in the law "feels like theft" is theft? Thanks.

      I note that ALL of you ignored the point he made about paying his employees and paying his creditors.

      McBeese, I need to pay my employees and creditors as well. And you know what I do? I focus on building a smart business model that gives people a reason to buy.

      I still don't understand why some people get this point so confused. Just because you need to pay people, it doesn't mean you're entitled to a business model or it makes it a smart move to sue 10s of theousands of people just because they *choose* not to follow your choice of a business model.

      I'm sure it's easier on your self-entitled consciences to think of pirating digital media as a victimless crime. It isn't. What if the money he lost was going to be donated to cancer research?

      Ok. Since we're dealing in moronic hypotheticals, let's flip that around. What if all the people who downloaded the film used the money that they *didn't* spend on the film to donate to cancer research?

      Of course that's ridiculous, but so is yours claim.

      We have no idea if either of these are the case (and it's none of our business), but the point is that you shouldn't treat this kind of crime as mere 0s and 1s moving across the Internet. You have no idea of the possible impact.

      Again, flip that around. You have no idea of the possible impact either.

      This guy is the victim of a crime

      No. It's likely that he has a civil complaint against some people. Not a criminal one.

      There is no question that this producer lost millions of dollars because of willful infringement.

      Actually, that is very much in question. Again, we've discussed multiple times the evidence that many people use downloads as a way to test movies. Are there some people who saw it in an unauthorized fashion and would have paid for it otherwise? Certainly. Can you determine the actual impact? As you, yourself claimed, "you have no idea of the possible impact." So why is it that you immediately claim you DO know the impact? Funny that.

      The email he received implies that he should just 'let it go'.

      No, the email asks him to consider the actual *business* and *moral* consequences of his actions. It suggests he should defend his IP, not "let it go," but says that the "sue everyone strategy" is disproportional and likely to backfire.

      For once we have a real live case of a victim of what normally is argued in the generic on this site, and the majority just pile on the victim simply because he feels wronged.

      Again, it's hard to express how incredibly wrong you are in one simple sentenc. You assume victimhood for a guy who just WON A FREAKIN' OSCAR and who can basically write his own check for his next few movies since his name is everywhere. Some victim.

       

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

        Damn, I'm impressed. It took you less than fifteen minutes to say what it took me almost half an hour to say... :P

         

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        McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:49am

        Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

        Chartier doesn't care what bloggers or commenters call the illegal act in question - the bottom line is it's money out of his pocket.

        Please explain. Where did that money go? What money is missing?

        The money is lost sales. Greater than zero, less than the equivalent of the total number of illegal copies. I think we've all agreed on that principle before. In this case, because the illegal copies became available 5 months before the movie's public release, it's likely that the lost sales are greater than the normal case.

        To him that feels like theft, regardless of what label you use. Changing the label doesn't put the money back in his pocket.

        Can you point to where in the law "feels like theft" is theft? Thanks.

        That's not the point. My point is that the guy is a victim. He feels like he was robbed because he was robbed of legitimate sales of his product. That's a human reaction. Refer to the previous point if you don't understand what I mean by robbed.

        I note that ALL of you ignored the point he made about paying his employees and paying his creditors.

        McBeese, I need to pay my employees and creditors as well. And you know what I do? I focus on building a smart business model that gives people a reason to buy.

        I still don't understand why some people get this point so confused. Just because you need to pay people, it doesn't mean you're entitled to a business model or it makes it a smart move to sue 10s of theousands of people just because they *choose* not to follow your choice of a business model.

        If people disagree with the guys business model, they have the right to not buy his product. They do not have the right to arbitrarily break the law, no matter what they might think of that law.

        I'm sure it's easier on your self-entitled consciences to think of pirating digital media as a victimless crime. It isn't. What if the money he lost was going to be donated to cancer research?

        Ok. Since we're dealing in moronic hypotheticals, let's flip that around. What if all the people who downloaded the film used the money that they *didn't* spend on the film to donate to cancer research?

        Of course that's ridiculous, but so is yours claim.

        I'm betting that people who break the law by taking stuff without paying for it aren't big contributors to anything other than their own well-being. Robin Hood was just a story, Mike. Your disagreement with my perspective makes me a moron now? Nice.

        We have no idea if either of these are the case (and it's none of our business), but the point is that you shouldn't treat this kind of crime as mere 0s and 1s moving across the Internet. You have no idea of the possible impact.

        Again, flip that around. You have no idea of the possible impact either.

        This guy is the victim of a crime

        No. It's likely that he has a civil complaint against some people. Not a criminal one.

        No, there was a crime and he is the victim. How that crime is pursued is what you're referring to. At this point it's a civil action but that doesn't preclude the appropriate law enforcement agencies deciding to investigate it at any time also.

        There is no question that this producer lost millions of dollars because of willful infringement.

        Actually, that is very much in question. Again, we've discussed multiple times the evidence that many people use downloads as a way to test movies. Are there some people who saw it in an unauthorized fashion and would have paid for it otherwise? Certainly. Can you determine the actual impact? As you, yourself claimed, "you have no idea of the possible impact." So why is it that you immediately claim you DO know the impact? Funny that.

        I'm saying that the amount of loss is somewhere between zero and the total amount of illegal copies, closer towards the zero end of the scale than the total end of the scale. In this particular case, as with the Wolverine case, I believe the loss is greater than the norm because the illegal copies became available well before the release of the movie. Based on the scale of the revenue, even a few percentage points equates to millions of dollars. I think my assumption is more reasonable than the idea that the impact is questionable because people were simply 'testing' the movie, but then again I'M the moron, right?

        The email he received implies that he should just 'let it go'.

        No, the email asks him to consider the actual *business* and *moral* consequences of his actions. It suggests he should defend his IP, not "let it go," but says that the "sue everyone strategy" is disproportional and likely to backfire.

        No, the original email doesn't suggest that Chartier should defend his IP, it states that it is understandable that he would wish to do so. Also, the email offers no alternate suggestions on how to go about defending the IP.

        For once we have a real live case of a victim of what normally is argued in the generic on this site, and the majority just pile on the victim simply because he feels wronged.

        Again, it's hard to express how incredibly wrong you are in one simple sentenc. You assume victimhood for a guy who just WON A FREAKIN' OSCAR and who can basically write his own check for his next few movies since his name is everywhere. Some victim.

        Yes, he is a victim. The fact that he won an Oscar means that the amount of money he lost to piracy has gone up, not down. Sure, the amount of realized income from the movie has also gone up because of the Oscar, and his future prospects are also likely looking better, but does that give people the right to decide for him that 'he's doing ok' and break the law?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          Copyright infringer: LAWBREAKER!

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          "I'm betting that people who break the law by taking stuff without paying for it aren't big contributors to anything other than their own well-being. Robin Hood was just a story, Mike. Your disagreement with my perspective makes me a moron now? Nice."

          No, but your insistence on irrelevant ad hominem might.

           

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          Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          he money is lost sales. Greater than zero, less than the equivalent of the total number of illegal copies.

          The money made from promotion due to filesharing, is also greater than zero, less than the number of "illegal" copies.

          Nobody can know which is the greater number in this case. But by ruining the lives of thousands of defendants, without solid evidence he was ever harmed, he's certainly creating a lot of bad will among consumers - and that most definitely has a negative dollar value.

          because the illegal copies became available 5 months before the movie's public release, it's likely that the lost sales are greater than the normal case.

          Actually, it means the opposite. How can a download compete with a product, when there is no product? For those that downloaded The Hurt Locker before its release date, there was literally no option to buy it. No sales were affected, because no sales were even possible.

          He feels like he was robbed because he was robbed of legitimate sales of his product.

          More accurate statement: He feels like he was robbed because he feels like he was robbed of legitimate sales of his product.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          The money is lost sales. Greater than zero, less than the equivalent of the total number of illegal copies. I think we've all agreed on that principle before. In this case, because the illegal copies became available 5 months before the movie's public release, it's likely that the lost sales are greater than the normal case.

          Ok. Point me to where "lost sales" shows up on the income statement?

          More to the point, if "lost sales" is a crime, then Chartier should sue himself. Because of this decision to sue people, I won't buy or rent the movie. So he created a "lost sale" himself. According to your logic, he just *criminally* wronged himself.

          And that's the problem with the ridiculous claim that "lost sales" is somehow illegal. It's not. Every day there are lost sales all of the place. I was going to get pizza for lunch at the pizza show on the corner, but saw that the sandwich shop next door was having a special. So I got that special. That special caused the pizza shop to lose a sale.

          According to you, that's illegal and a crime.

          It's not. Lost sales is a business model issue. It means *you* failed to capture a sale. That's not taking money out of your pocket, it's a failure of the producer to actually run a business.

          That's not the point. My point is that the guy is a victim. He feels like he was robbed because he was robbed of legitimate sales of his product. That's a human reaction. Refer to the previous point if you don't understand what I mean by robbed.

          Uh, no, it's EXACTLY the point you were making. You said that it's legitimate for him to claim he was robbed because he feels like he was robbed. So I asked you to back that statement up and now you're saying it doesn't matter?

          You know who else probably feels like a victim? The folks who are now facing huge lawsuits because they wanted to watch a movie. By your logic, each of them should have the right to sue Chartier.

          If people disagree with the guys business model, they have the right to not buy his product. They do not have the right to arbitrarily break the law, no matter what they might think of that law.

          Nor has anyone argued otherwise. You have, yet again, set up a total strawman. No one said that the downloaders/uploaders didn't break the law. We're just questioning the wisdom of (a) the lawsuit and (b) the email attacking a guy for questioning the wisdom of the lawsuit.

          I'm betting that people who break the law by taking stuff without paying for it aren't big contributors to anything other than their own well-being. Robin Hood was just a story, Mike. Your disagreement with my perspective makes me a moron now? Nice.

          First, I didn't call you a moron. I called your hypotehtical moronic. Because it was. And I find it amusing that you ignored my equally moronic hypothetical which proves how ridiculous your hypothetical was.

          As for your claim that they're not contributors to anything, how do you know that? You were the one insisting that you couldn't know, and now suddenly you can? Fascinating. But wrong. Studies have shown, repeatedly, that those who download also spend the most on content. So, the evidence we do have suggests you're wrong. But, since you don't seem to want to deal in evidence, but think it's okay to wish people go to jail because someone "feels" wronged, well, I don't know what to tell you.

          No, there was a crime and he is the victim. How that crime is pursued is what you're referring to. At this point it's a civil action but that doesn't preclude the appropriate law enforcement agencies deciding to investigate it at any time also.

          You keep insisting that despite the fact that it is not true. Not only do you make up moronic hypotheticals, you are now making up facts. It's difficult to take you seriously when you do that. While it is true that there is such a thing as criminal copyright infringement, that is not what is being discussed here at all, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous. The plan to sue tens of thousands of downloaders has nothing to do with criminal activity, and you still haven't shown how the guy is a victim other than that you think he "feels" victimized.

          I'm saying that the amount of loss is somewhere between zero and the total amount of illegal copies, closer towards the zero end of the scale than the total end of the scale. In this particular case, as with the Wolverine case, I believe the loss is greater than the norm because the illegal copies became available well before the release of the movie. Based on the scale of the revenue, even a few percentage points equates to millions of dollars. I think my assumption is more reasonable than the idea that the impact is questionable because people were simply 'testing' the movie, but then again I'M the moron, right?

          Again, McBeese, I never called you a moron. But, once again, you do seem to play fast and loose with both logic and the facts. The evidence on Wolverine actually suggested that the leak HELPED the movie by acting as advertising. When compared to similar movies that got MUCH BETTER REVIEWS, Wolverine brought in a lot more money.

          And, the simple fact is that this guy is now set for life. He won an Oscar. If he can't parlay that into huge new deals, he's got bigger problems in life.

          No, the original email doesn't suggest that Chartier should defend his IP, it states that it is understandable that he would wish to do so. Also, the email offers no alternate suggestions on how to go about defending the IP.


          So that makes it okay to write what he did in the email?

          Yes, he is a victim. The fact that he won an Oscar means that the amount of money he lost to piracy has gone up, not down.

          Wow. I give up. You cannot be reasoned with. You actually think this guy is worse off because he won an Oscar? Yikes.

          What business do you work in? Is there a way I can short it?

          Sure, the amount of realized income from the movie has also gone up because of the Oscar, and his future prospects are also likely looking better, but does that give people the right to decide for him that 'he's doing ok' and break the law?

          Massive stramwan alert. No one said it was okay for people to break the law. Why do you keep throwing that out there?

          You seem to argue with emotion and backwards logic. You claim "no one can know" stuff, but then claim to know it. You claim that civil infringement is criminal. You claim that "feels like theft" is the same as theft. And you claim that "lost sales" are criminal. You are incredibly misinformed and it is difficult to take you seriously.

          I would suggest that if you wish to continue a reasonable debate that you go back, check some of your assumptions, remove the ridiculous appeals to emotions, and stop setting up bogus strawmen everytime you are caught in a logical fallacy. Otherwise, there is no point in discussing this with you any further.

           

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            identicon
            McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

            Ok. Point me to where "lost sales" shows up on the income statement?

            Lost sales is an intangible that would be included in the delta between forecast sales and actual sales. It's classified as an intangible because it's impossible to calculate precisely, much like 'goodwill' on the balance sheet. The inability to calculate it precisely doesn't make it not real. A travel company that offered holiday packages to Iceland likely saw a downturn in business due to the Volcano, but some of those tourists would have cancelled anyway, so there is no line on the income statement that says Volcano impact, even though there was obviously a very real impact.

            More to the point, if "lost sales" is a crime, then Chartier should sue himself. Because of this decision to sue people, I won't buy or rent the movie. So he created a "lost sale" himself. According to your logic, he just *criminally* wronged himself.

            No don't be silly. It isn't a crime to be a good or a bad businessman. My logic is that copyright infringement is illegal, the impact is non-zero in terms of lost sales, and this guy is the victim of the illegal act. Some argue that the increase in sales due to increased exposure more than makes up for the loss in sales due to infringement, but I disagree, at least in this specific case. Is that clear enough?

            And that's the problem with the ridiculous claim that "lost sales" is somehow illegal. It's not. Every day there are lost sales all of the place. I was going to get pizza for lunch at the pizza show on the corner, but saw that the sandwich shop next door was having a special. So I got that special. That special caused the pizza shop to lose a sale.

            According to you, that's illegal and a crime.

            It's not. Lost sales is a business model issue. It means *you* failed to capture a sale. That's not taking money out of your pocket, it's a failure of the producer to actually run a business.


            The lost sales I refer to in this case is the impact of the illegal act of copyright infringement. That's not a business model. There can be many reasons for lost sales. I already gave you the volcano example. Competition is another, as in your sandwich example.

            That's not the point. My point is that the guy is a victim. He feels like he was robbed because he was robbed of legitimate sales of his product. That's a human reaction. Refer to the previous point if you don't understand what I mean by robbed.

            Uh, no, it's EXACTLY the point you were making. You said that it's legitimate for him to claim he was robbed because he feels like he was robbed. So I asked you to back that statement up and now you're saying it doesn't matter?


            No, I'm saying it's legitimate for him to feel like he was robbed, because he was robbed. That's entirely different.

            You know who else probably feels like a victim? The folks who are now facing huge lawsuits because they wanted to watch a movie. By your logic, each of them should have the right to sue Chartier.

            No, by my logic they are potentially facing the consequences of their own illegal actions. Nobody forced them to break the law, they did so willingly.

            If people disagree with the guys business model, they have the right to not buy his product. They do not have the right to arbitrarily break the law, no matter what they might think of that law.

            Nor has anyone argued otherwise. You have, yet again, set up a total strawman. No one said that the downloaders/uploaders didn't break the law. We're just questioning the wisdom of (a) the lawsuit and (b) the email attacking a guy for questioning the wisdom of the lawsuit.


            The reason it's relevant is because I'm arguing, in the context of the email, that Chartier is a victim, hence part of the reason for his emotional reaction, in my opinion. During that argument, many people have suggested that he is not a victim, which is indeed 'arguing otherwise'.

            I'm betting that people who break the law by taking stuff without paying for it aren't big contributors to anything other than their own well-being. Robin Hood was just a story, Mike. Your disagreement with my perspective makes me a moron now? Nice.

            First, I didn't call you a moron. I called your hypotehtical moronic. Because it was. And I find it amusing that you ignored my equally moronic hypothetical which proves how ridiculous your hypothetical was.

            As for your claim that they're not contributors to anything, how do you know that? You were the one insisting that you couldn't know, and now suddenly you can? Fascinating. But wrong. Studies have shown, repeatedly, that those who download also spend the most on content. So, the evidence we do have suggests you're wrong. But, since you don't seem to want to deal in evidence, but think it's okay to wish people go to jail because someone "feels" wronged, well, I don't know what to tell you.


            So you're saying that people who infringe are also more likely to buy content (spend money on themselves)? I won't argue the point. I don't think there are any studies on whether or not content infringers are more or less likely to give to charities, so no point in debating it. I made that emotional statement because I feel it's unlikely that the self-entitled who feel that it's ok to take something that they have no right to are less likely to respect others in general. I could be wrong.

            As for jail, no I don't think it's ok for someone to go to jail because the victim feels wronged, nor did I say that. I do think it's ok for people to suffer appropriate consequences if they choose to break the law. Unfortunately, the law is struggling to figure out what 'appropriate' is in these cases and is getting it wrong, in my opinion. Of course, there wouldn't be a problem and nobody would get burned if they would just not break the law. I also think it's ok for the victim to feel like he was wronged and react that way, because he was wronged.

            No, there was a crime and he is the victim. How that crime is pursued is what you're referring to. At this point it's a civil action but that doesn't preclude the appropriate law enforcement agencies deciding to investigate it at any time also.

            You keep insisting that despite the fact that it is not true. Not only do you make up moronic hypotheticals, you are now making up facts. It's difficult to take you seriously when you do that. While it is true that there is such a thing as criminal copyright infringement, that is not what is being discussed here at all, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous. The plan to sue tens of thousands of downloaders has nothing to do with criminal activity, and you still haven't shown how the guy is a victim other than that you think he "feels" victimized.


            What exactly do you think is not true about my statement that there is a crime and a victim, and that in addition to the civil suits, law enforcement agencies can choose to investigate at any time?

            Many people copied the movie illegally. That's a crime, or whatever synonym you wish to use.

            Chartier lost sales due to illegal infringement acticvities. He lost real money, even though we can't say exactly how much. That makes him the victim, unless you assert that not one single person would have purchased the movie if it weren't available illegally for free. Do you assert that Mike?

            I'm saying that the amount of loss is somewhere between zero and the total amount of illegal copies, closer towards the zero end of the scale than the total end of the scale. In this particular case, as with the Wolverine case, I believe the loss is greater than the norm because the illegal copies became available well before the release of the movie. Based on the scale of the revenue, even a few percentage points equates to millions of dollars. I think my assumption is more reasonable than the idea that the impact is questionable because people were simply 'testing' the movie, but then again I'M the moron, right?

            Again, McBeese, I never called you a moron. But, once again, you do seem to play fast and loose with both logic and the facts. The evidence on Wolverine actually suggested that the leak HELPED the movie by acting as advertising. When compared to similar movies that got MUCH BETTER REVIEWS, Wolverine brought in a lot more money.

            And, the simple fact is that this guy is now set for life. He won an Oscar. If he can't parlay that into huge new deals, he's got bigger problems in life.


            Reviews are often box office. Case in point: Hannah Montana.

            The Oscar is irrelevant to this whole discussion. What if he didn't win any accolades - would that make things different for you?

            No, the original email doesn't suggest that Chartier should defend his IP, it states that it is understandable that he would wish to do so. Also, the email offers no alternate suggestions on how to go about defending the IP.


            So that makes it okay to write what he did in the email?


            It makes it at least understandable, as he is the victim of major copyright infringement. I believe his vitriol was aimed at the collective group of self-entitled copyright infringers who are raising a generation of amoral people who will think that it's 'ok' to break the law if it's easy to do so.

            Yes, he is a victim. The fact that he won an Oscar means that the amount of money he lost to piracy has gone up, not down.

            Wow. I give up. You cannot be reasoned with. You actually think this guy is worse off because he won an Oscar? Yikes.

            What business do you work in? Is there a way I can short it?


            No, that's not what I said. I said he lost more to piracy than he otherwise would have, not that he was worse off on a net basis, and you knew that because that's exactly what I said in my next point. With so many illegal copies of the movie available, there is no doubt that the amount of illegal sharing of this movie went up after he won the Oscar, which was my point... and you knew that.

            Sure, the amount of realized income from the movie has also gone up because of the Oscar, and his future prospects are also likely looking better, but does that give people the right to decide for him that 'he's doing ok' and break the law?

            Massive stramwan alert. No one said it was okay for people to break the law. Why do you keep throwing that out there?


            Because I feel that you keep saying that the sales Chartier lost to infringement were not legitimate and because you keep resisting my point that the guy is the victim of a significant crime.

            You seem to argue with emotion and backwards logic. You claim "no one can know" stuff, but then claim to know it. You claim that civil infringement is criminal. You claim that "feels like theft" is the same as theft. And you claim that "lost sales" are criminal. You are incredibly misinformed and it is difficult to take you seriously.

            I would suggest that if you wish to continue a reasonable debate that you go back, check some of your assumptions, remove the ridiculous appeals to emotions, and stop setting up bogus strawmen everytime you are caught in a logical fallacy. Otherwise, there is no point in discussing this with you any further.


            This is B.S. I suggest YOU go back and read what each of us wrote today and see if you feel good about your contribution. More than ever, you tried to twist my points into something that you knew was not intended. The issues discussed in this blog are real and they need dialog. If a visitor can't post seriously without having the host flame the comments or try to manipulate the points into something not intended, the blog will become a haven for like-minded sycophants and trolls, and the meaningful dialog will go somewhere else.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

              Lost sales is an intangible that would be included in the delta between forecast sales and actual sales.

              I asked you where it is on the income statement. Now I need to ask you where "forecast sales" is on the income statement.

              You've now made two claims that are not in line with reality. There is no such thing as "lost sales" and it appears nowhere on the income statement. There is also no such thing on an income statement known as "forecast sales."

              And, seriously, if the delta between "forecast sales" and "actual sales" represents "lost sales" that I can feel victimized over and allows me to lash out at people, well, knock me over: my "forecast sales" for this quarter is a billion dollars. When I don't get it, who do I get to blame?

              I pick McBeese.

              It's classified as an intangible because it's impossible to calculate precisely, much like 'goodwill' on the balance sheet.

              We're talking sales (income statement), not goodwill (balance sheet). You don't make up stuff on the income statement (well... if you do it legally).

              A travel company that offered holiday packages to Iceland likely saw a downturn in business due to the Volcano, but some of those tourists would have cancelled anyway, so there is no line on the income statement that says Volcano impact, even though there was obviously a very real impact.

              Yes, and that's a downturn due to market conditions and in inability to capitalize on those market conditions. It is not being "victimized." Same thing here. There are no losses. There is only the market conditions.

              No don't be silly. It isn't a crime to be a good or a bad businessman.

              Indeed. But it is ridiculous when you blame the fact that you're a bad business man on someone else, and then demand legal satisfaction for your own bad business skills.

              My logic is that copyright infringement is illegal, the impact is non-zero in terms of lost sales, and this guy is the victim of the illegal act. Some argue that the increase in sales due to increased exposure more than makes up for the loss in sales due to infringement, but I disagree, at least in this specific case. Is that clear enough?

              But you were just saying that it could not be known what the impact was. And, considering examples we've seen of movie makers embracing file sharing and using it to increase their revenue, the evidence suggests the problem is NOT in that he's a victim, but in his failure to recognize the most profitable business model.

              The lost sales I refer to in this case is the impact of the illegal act of copyright infringement. That's not a business model. There can be many reasons for lost sales. I already gave you the volcano example. Competition is another, as in your sandwich example.

              Right. Yet, now you're claiming that lost sales are illegal in one scenario, but not in another? You really can't have it both ways. You claim that "lost sales" is the problem here, but then you admit that lost sales are just a market factor. So... lost sales are a problem only when you don't like their impact? I'll have to look for the "McBeese clause" explanation in the next set of econ texts I review...

              No, I'm saying it's legitimate for him to feel like he was robbed, because he was robbed. That's entirely different.


              Except, he was not robbed, so that's the issue. And, sure, he has every right to feel robbed. You have every right to your feelings. But to then accuse others of being thieves for expressing their opinion...? Sorry, that is not at all justifed.

              No, by my logic they are potentially facing the consequences of their own illegal actions. Nobody forced them to break the law, they did so willingly.

              And nobody forced Chartier to make a really, really bad business decision. He did so willingly, and now he faces the consequences.

              The reason it's relevant is because I'm arguing, in the context of the email, that Chartier is a victim, hence part of the reason for his emotional reaction, in my opinion. During that argument, many people have suggested that he is not a victim, which is indeed 'arguing otherwise'.

              No, in the context of this discussion, you clearly argued that people were saying they had a right to "arbitrarily break the law." But that's not what people were arguing. They were arguing that his decision was a mistake.

              And, yes, as part of that, it is quite reasonable to argue that he is, in no way, a "victim."

              So you're saying that people who infringe are also more likely to buy content (spend money on themselves)?

              That's what a long list of studies have said. If you have evidence to refute them, then please present it.

              I feel it's unlikely that the self-entitled who feel that it's ok to take something that they have no right to are less likely to respect others in general. I could be wrong.

              I see. But you *do* feel that the self-entitled who feel that it's ok to demand the gov't prop up his obsolete business model, and that it's ok to sue tens of thousands of people who wanted to watch his movie, is more likely to "respect others in general"? Just curious.

              As for jail, no I don't think it's ok for someone to go to jail because the victim feels wronged, nor did I say that

              You said Chartier was justified in what he said in his email. Now you're saying that's not okay? Please clarify.

              I do think it's ok for people to suffer appropriate consequences if they choose to break the law.

              Yes. We agree. Do you also think it's ok for people to point out gross disproportionality in the impact of breaking the law from the punishment? Because that's all that happened here, and you seem to be saying that's not okay, and that that somehow "victimized" Chartier.

              Of course, there wouldn't be a problem and nobody would get burned if they would just not break the law.

              As I'm reading currently in the excellent book "Property Outlaws" people said the exact same thing about the civil rights movement in the '60s. They insisted that they were better off not breaking the law to make their point. After all, they "wouldn't get burned" that way. Or maybe lynched.

              I also think it's ok for the victim to feel like he was wronged and react that way, because he was wronged.

              So do you think that those who get sued by Chartier can also respond similarly to him?

              What exactly do you think is not true about my statement that there is a crime and a victim, and that in addition to the civil suits, law enforcement agencies can choose to investigate at any time?

              They can only choose to investigate if there is evidence of criminal infringement. And no one has even come close to alleging that. But, more to the point, neither Chartier nor the lawsuits seem to be alleging that. Yet you do?

              There is no evidence of criminal infringement here, so the fact that you keep bringing it up is quite strange. Just admit you overstepped in your initial claim.

              Many people copied the movie illegally. That's a crime, or whatever synonym you wish to use.


              No, it's a civil issue. Words matter.

              Chartier lost sales due to illegal infringement acticvities.

              Potentially. He also potentially gained sales. Earlier in this thread, a guy by the name of McBeese said it was impossible to tell. You should listen to him.

              He lost real money

              This is simply untrue. To lose money you have to have had it first. He lost no money. He *may* have failed to capture sales he could have obtained in the absence of file sharing. But, just as likely, he gained many sales from the fact that his film won an Oscar. To argue that the net result of a single action that makes someone MASSIVELY better off means they were "victimized" because they could have been even more massively better off, seems... odd.

              That makes him the victim, unless you assert that not one single person would have purchased the movie if it weren't available illegally for free. Do you assert that Mike?


              Of course I don't assert that. But your logic fails again. That statement has nothing to do with whether or not he's a victim. By your moronic logic (and yes, I'm calling the logic moronic, not you -- and I do so because it is moronic), everyone is a victim. Sitting here wasting my time talking to you, I may have "lost a sale" I could have made by doing something productive and talking to customers.

              You have no victimized me. Where do I send the bill and my angry email about how your kids deserve jail time?

              Reviews are often box office. Case in point: Hannah Montana.


              Uh, you just proved my point. Wolverine got terrible reviews, and did awesomely at the box office. In fact, it did *better* than Star Trek and Harry Potter -- both of which had very similar characteristics, in being the latest entry in a popular franchise. The difference is that Wolverine got terrible reviews, and the other two movies did not.

              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0408527579.shtml

              The only major difference? Wolverine got leaked.

              It makes it at least understandable, as he is the victim of major copyright infringement. I believe his vitriol was aimed at the collective group of self-entitled copyright infringers who are raising a generation of amoral people who will think that it's 'ok' to break the law if it's easy to do so.

              Yes, that darn civil rights movement. They never should have broken the law.

              No, that's not what I said. I said he lost more to piracy than he otherwise would have, not that he was worse off on a net basis, and you knew that because that's exactly what I said in my next point. With so many illegal copies of the movie available, there is no doubt that the amount of illegal sharing of this movie went up after he won the Oscar, which was my point... and you knew that.

              Yes, I just couldn't believe anyone could make an argument that ridiculous. So, let me get this straight: Let's say you make $100k per year, and pay $30k in taxes. Now, if you win $10 million, and the IRS takes $3 million of that, you've now become a "victim" of the IRS, because they're taking so much more from you, even though, net net, you're way up? Is that your argument? That, when we compare the two situations, you making $100k makes you less of a victim than you getting that $10 million? Fascinating world you live in.

              Because I feel that you keep saying that the sales Chartier lost to infringement were not legitimate and because you keep resisting my point that the guy is the victim of a significant crime.

              I am saying that there is no such thing as lost sales. You are setting up a mythical thing because your actual point makes no sense. He was not a victim. He failed to capitalize on the situation. You should know better than to throw around victimhood on people who failed to deal with what the market gave them.

              I suggest YOU go back and read what each of us wrote today and see if you feel good about your contribution.

              Yes, I see nothing to regret in my statements, which were logical and accurate. I cannot say the same for yours.

              More than ever, you tried to twist my points into something that you knew was not intended.

              Not so. Demonstrating the very basic logical fallacies in your arguments is not twisting your points. It's proving you wrong.

              If a visitor can't post seriously without having the host flame the comments or try to manipulate the points into something not intended, the blog will become a haven for like-minded sycophants and trolls, and the meaningful dialog will go somewhere else.

              I'm sorry. It is not a flame to accurately tell you when you are wrong. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but I would suggest again, that you take the time to carefully review what you wrote, review the facts, and see if you still feel the same way.

               

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                identicon
                Mcbeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                I'll make this as short as I can...

                Lost sales is an intangible that would be included in the delta between forecast sales and actual sales.

                I asked you where it is on the income statement. Now I need to ask you where "forecast sales" is on the income statement.

                You've now made two claims that are not in line with reality. There is no such thing as "lost sales" and it appears nowhere on the income statement. There is also no such thing on an income statement known as "forecast sales."


                It's in the business plan. Every effective company has one. It's included with the financials, including the Income Statement, to measure success against targets. You know when companies report their quarterly or annual results and they present actuals versus targets? I'm surprised this is new to you.

                And, seriously, if the delta between "forecast sales" and "actual sales" represents "lost sales" that I can feel victimized over and allows me to lash out at people, well, knock me over: my "forecast sales" for this quarter is a billion dollars. When I don't get it, who do I get to blame?

                I pick McBeese.


                It all depends, doesn't it? If your forecast sales for this quarter was a billion dollars and you missed it because you executed poorly, you blame yourself, as everyone else will. If you miss the target because people arbitrarily decide to take something for free that you're selling, I imagine you'd want to lash out, just like Chartier. If I put your site in some new kind of iframe that you couldn't break out of and hijacked all your visits and ad revenue, you'd probably lash out at me.

                It's classified as an intangible because it's impossible to calculate precisely, much like 'goodwill' on the balance sheet.

                We're talking sales (income statement), not goodwill (balance sheet). You don't make up stuff on the income statement (well... if you do it legally).


                I'm talking about both because both are relevant. You don't make up stuff on the balance sheet either, but the concept of intangible is an accepted concept in accounting and is used where appropriate. Have you really never been on an analysts call when companies report revenue and earnings forecasts against targets and explain the variance, some tangible and some intangible? Seriously?

                A travel company that offered holiday packages to Iceland likely saw a downturn in business due to the Volcano, but some of those tourists would have cancelled anyway, so there is no line on the income statement that says Volcano impact, even though there was obviously a very real impact.

                Yes, and that's a downturn due to market conditions and in inability to capitalize on those market conditions. It is not being "victimized." Same thing here. There are no losses. There is only the market conditions.


                Yes, exactly. A downturn in market conditions is one form of intangible impact on a company's top line. So is copyright infringement. So is political instability in a market. The causes are many, the impact is real in terms of dollars.

                No don't be silly. It isn't a crime to be a good or a bad businessman.

                Indeed. But it is ridiculous when you blame the fact that you're a bad business man on someone else, and then demand legal satisfaction for your own bad business skills.


                How does other people's disregard for the law automatically make you a bad businessman? How do shoplifters make a store owner a bad business operator? Is the shoplifter wrong to prosecute the shoplifter? Is the content owner wrong to prosecute the copyright infringer? I think not.

                My logic is that copyright infringement is illegal, the impact is non-zero in terms of lost sales, and this guy is the victim of the illegal act. Some argue that the increase in sales due to increased exposure more than makes up for the loss in sales due to infringement, but I disagree, at least in this specific case. Is that clear enough?

                But you were just saying that it could not be known what the impact was. And, considering examples we've seen of movie makers embracing file sharing and using it to increase their revenue, the evidence suggests the problem is NOT in that he's a victim, but in his failure to recognize the most profitable business model.


                No, I was stating that the impact could not be stated precisely, but that there was a very significant and real impact, as is the case with other business intangibles. If movie producers decide to embrace file sharing, I think that's forward-looking and the right strategy. But it's their call. They have the right to keep their heads up their asses. If people arbitrarily decide to take a movie that they have no right to, they are acting illegally and they should be prepared to face the consequences.

                The lost sales I refer to in this case is the impact of the illegal act of copyright infringement. That's not a business model. There can be many reasons for lost sales. I already gave you the volcano example. Competition is another, as in your sandwich example.

                Right. Yet, now you're claiming that lost sales are illegal in one scenario, but not in another? You really can't have it both ways. You claim that "lost sales" is the problem here, but then you admit that lost sales are just a market factor. So... lost sales are a problem only when you don't like their impact? I'll have to look for the "McBeese clause" explanation in the next set of econ texts I review...


                Yes, there are many possible contributors to lost sales, including infringement. Market conditions, competition, pricing, etc.. Why can you not grasp this common concept? I highly recommend that you dial into an analysts call and listen to the discussions around revenue forecasts versus actuals.

                No, I'm saying it's legitimate for him to feel like he was robbed, because he was robbed. That's entirely different.


                Except, he was not robbed, so that's the issue. And, sure, he has every right to feel robbed. You have every right to your feelings. But to then accuse others of being thieves for expressing their opinion...? Sorry, that is not at all justifed.


                Yes, I think he was robbed because he was deprived of income as a consequence of file sharing. I guess we'll never agree on this one.

                No, by my logic they are potentially facing the consequences of their own illegal actions. Nobody forced them to break the law, they did so willingly.

                And nobody forced Chartier to make a really, really bad business decision. He did so willingly, and now he faces the consequences.


                Bad business decisions are not illegal (usually), file sharing is. And how do you know it's a bad business decision? How do you know that the MPAA isn't cutting him a tremendous deal to drive this seemingly straightforward landmark case through the courts? It could have a huge impact if hundreds or thousands of uploaders are punished, and that's got to be worth something.

                The reason it's relevant is because I'm arguing, in the context of the email, that Chartier is a victim, hence part of the reason for his emotional reaction, in my opinion. During that argument, many people have suggested that he is not a victim, which is indeed 'arguing otherwise'.

                No, in the context of this discussion, you clearly argued that people were saying they had a right to "arbitrarily break the law." But that's not what people were arguing. They were arguing that his decision was a mistake.

                And, yes, as part of that, it is quite reasonable to argue that he is, in no way, a "victim."


                People in this thread have been arguing everything. Just about the only thing I haven't seen is creationism vs evolution. I'm sure it's coming up.


                I feel it's unlikely that the self-entitled who feel that it's ok to take something that they have no right to are less likely to respect others in general. I could be wrong.

                I see. But you *do* feel that the self-entitled who feel that it's ok to demand the gov't prop up his obsolete business model, and that it's ok to sue tens of thousands of people who wanted to watch his movie, is more likely to "respect others in general"? Just curious.


                I didn't say anything about the government propping up Chartier's business model, which I think is flawed (that doesn't mean I don't think he has a right to his business model under current laws). Yes, I think it's ok for him to sue anyone who illegally obtained something that he's selling and has the rights to. I don't care if it's movies or apples.

                As for jail, no I don't think it's ok for someone to go to jail because the victim feels wronged, nor did I say that

                You said Chartier was justified in what he said in his email. Now you're saying that's not okay? Please clarify.


                I understand his perspective in his email. I'm not supportive of jail or the over-the-top financial rulings that have come out of the courts, but I do think something is needed beyond a slap on the wrist.


                I also think it's ok for the victim to feel like he was wronged and react that way, because he was wronged.

                So do you think that those who get sued by Chartier can also respond similarly to him?


                Sure, if he infringes on their legal rights and/or property, have at him.

                What exactly do you think is not true about my statement that there is a crime and a victim, and that in addition to the civil suits, law enforcement agencies can choose to investigate at any time?

                They can only choose to investigate if there is evidence of criminal infringement. And no one has even come close to alleging that. But, more to the point, neither Chartier nor the lawsuits seem to be alleging that. Yet you do?

                There is no evidence of criminal infringement here, so the fact that you keep bringing it up is quite strange. Just admit you overstepped in your initial claim.


                I didn't overstep anything. I simply stated the current facts and what is possible moving forward. Who knows what Chartier's lawyers are going to find in the data being provided to them. If they find evidence of a wholesale bootleg operation, this case could easily escalate.


                Many people copied the movie illegally. That's a crime, or whatever synonym you wish to use.


                No, it's a civil issue. Words matter.

                To me, Illegal acts are crimes. I'm not a lawyer and I don't care what you want to call it. Words do matter. Some people use words for expression, and some people hide behind them.


                Chartier lost sales due to illegal infringement acticvities.

                Potentially. He also potentially gained sales. Earlier in this thread, a guy by the name of McBeese said it was impossible to tell. You should listen to him.

                My most fundamental point is that it is up to the content owners to choose their business model and succeed or fail accordingly. It is not up content consumers to choose an alternate business model by breaking the law.

                He lost real money

                This is simply untrue. To lose money you have to have had it first. He lost no money. He *may* have failed to capture sales he could have obtained in the absence of file sharing. But, just as likely, he gained many sales from the fact that his film won an Oscar. To argue that the net result of a single action that makes someone MASSIVELY better off means they were "victimized" because they could have been even more massively better off, seems... odd.

                The Oscar has nothing to do with this. He didn't win an Oscar because of anything to do with illegal file-sharing. The people who get to nominate and vote on Oscars are neither pirates nor consumers. They are sent a review copy of each film and are not influenced by bootleggers.

                That makes him the victim, unless you assert that not one single person would have purchased the movie if it weren't available illegally for free. Do you assert that Mike?


                Of course I don't assert that. But your logic fails again. That statement has nothing to do with whether or not he's a victim. By your moronic logic (and yes, I'm calling the logic moronic, not you -- and I do so because it is moronic), everyone is a victim. Sitting here wasting my time talking to you, I may have "lost a sale" I could have made by doing something productive and talking to customers.

                You have no victimized me. Where do I send the bill and my angry email about how your kids deserve jail time?


                You chose to engage with me today. Our debate may have hurt your page views, but I suspect it helped them. Regardless, it was your decision. That's my fundamental principle in all this. Chartier didn't decide to have people illegally bootleg his movie.


                This country is about freedom and free enterprise. Chartier does nothing more significant than make movies for our entertainment. If we like them, we can buy them. If we don't, we can pass them by and purchase someone else's movies that we like better. If business model change, Chartier can adapt or fail. It's up to HIM. WE don't get to decide on an individual basis that we're going to take that product HE made but arbitrarily decide to not pay for it because we think we deserve to have it for free. That is not the American way. I don't care what label the courts use, I call it illegal, immoral, and STEALING.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                  I call it civil disobedience. Copyright lasts way too long.

                   

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                    McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                    Umm... I agree with you that copyright lasts too long... but in this case the copyright was violated months before the movie was even released. A copyright that lasted even one year would have made a big difference for this movie, in my opinion.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      But that's why I illegally downloaded The Hurt Locker. It was an act of civil disobedience.

                       

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                  It's in the business plan. Every effective company has one.

                  Again, we're talking about losses. There are only two places where you designate any kind of losses. The income statement and (sorta) the cash flow statement. The "business plan" is a made up document that has nothing to do with the financial statements a company has.

                  I'm still trying to figure out where these losses appear in the actual financial statements.

                  It's included with the financials, including the Income Statement, to measure success against targets.

                  The business plan is? I'm sorry, but this is also wrong. When you file your financial statements they are you income statement, your balance sheet and you cash flow statement. The business plan is a made up internal document. It has nothing to do with a company's financials.

                  I'm still trying to figure out where these "losses" are.

                  You know when companies report their quarterly or annual results and they present actuals versus targets? I'm surprised this is new to you.

                  Wow. I'm guessing you're not in finance. First of all, some companies give guidance, but in many cases those "targets" are actually set by analysts. Either way, they do not appear in the income statement.

                  But, most importantly, at no point *EVER* has any company ever claimed that the difference between analyst targets and its own results are "losses." Because any financial analyst would bust a gut laughing at them.

                  If you miss targets, it's because YOU SCREWED UP, and that's why you stock gets punished for it. It's not because you were "a victim."

                  It all depends, doesn't it? If your forecast sales for this quarter was a billion dollars and you missed it because you executed poorly, you blame yourself, as everyone else will. If you miss the target because people arbitrarily decide to take something for free that you're selling, I imagine you'd want to lash out, just like Chartier

                  Why don't we just cut to the chase and combine the two: If you're in a business where all those people HAVE THE OPTION to "arbitrarily take something for free that you're selling," then it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to have a BETTER BUSINESS MODEL.

                  That's the whole freaking point.

                  I can't see any point in discussing this any more. Your sense of entitlement is stunning. You believe that Chartier has a fundamental right to a bad business model, and the fact that technology has changed the market makes him a victim? That's disgusting.

                  You are creating a fake victim from someone who chooses not to adapt to the market. I can't understand people like you.

                  I'm talking about both because both are relevant. You don't make up stuff on the balance sheet either, but the concept of intangible is an accepted concept in accounting and is used where appropriate.

                  No. Again, you're not in finance, right? We were talking about a specific claim that you made: that "lost sales" are real. But there is NO SUCH THING as lost sales. They don't exist.

                  Goodwill is on a balance sheet for a reason: because it explains the "gap" between assets and liabilities + equity. It's what's there to *balance* things out. Just because it's intangible doesn't mean that every moronic intangible that you make up in McBeese fantasy land becomes real.

                  Again, point me to where lost sales shows up on the income statement or please stop this inane line of arguing.

                  Have you really never been on an analysts call when companies report revenue and earnings forecasts against targets and explain the variance, some tangible and some intangible? Seriously?

                  Again, that is something entirely different, and has nothing to do with "losses."

                  Yes, exactly. A downturn in market conditions is one form of intangible impact on a company's top line. So is copyright infringement. So is political instability in a market. The causes are many, the impact is real in terms of dollars.


                  But changes in the market ARE NOT LOSSES. And every time you call them losses you are absolving a company of making bad business decisions.

                  How does other people's disregard for the law automatically make you a bad businessman?

                  It's called understanding market conditions. Chartier is not doing that and in doing so, is making his own business perform worse.

                  How do shoplifters make a store owner a bad business operator? Is the shoplifter wrong to prosecute the shoplifter? Is the content owner wrong to prosecute the copyright infringer? I think not.

                  Ok. Let's actually make moronic hypoethicals line up again. Let's say that I create a machine that automatically makes McBeeseNuggets for free. And I set it up outside of your McBeese stand. Now you have competition. Your response is to not compete. It's not to change your business model. It's to hire someone to stand across the street, take a picture of everyone walking by my machine, and then run them through a photo filter and sue them all, telling them that they need to pay $1,000 or you'll take them to court.

                  You say that's reasonable?

                  No, I was stating that the impact could not be stated precisely, but that there was a very significant and real impact, as is the case with other business intangibles. If movie producers decide to embrace file sharing, I think that's forward-looking and the right strategy. But it's their call. They have the right to keep their heads up their asses

                  Yes, they have that right. But if they keep their heads up their asses, AND then file an incredibly stupid lawsuit, people have the right to point out what a moronic lawsuit it is.

                  Yes, there are many possible contributors to lost sales, including infringement. Market conditions, competition, pricing, etc.. Why can you not grasp this common concept? I highly recommend that you dial into an analysts call and listen to the discussions around revenue forecasts versus actuals.

                  If you point me to where they discuss "lost sales," I'll do exactly that. I listen to tons of analyst calls, McBeese, and no one discusses lost sales. Any CFO would get fired.

                  Yes, I think he was robbed because he was deprived of income as a consequence of file sharing. I guess we'll never agree on this one.

                  You're correct that we will never agree because you are wrong.

                  Bad business decisions are not illegal (usually), file sharing is.

                  We're going around in circles here. Yes, some forms of file sharing are illegal. But how does suing tens of thousands of people who watched his movie help his business? In any way?

                  How do you know that the MPAA isn't cutting him a tremendous deal to drive this seemingly straightforward landmark case through the courts? It could have a huge impact if hundreds or thousands of uploaders are punished, and that's got to be worth something.

                  Wow. Really? Okay, first of all, we've already seen this game play out in many places and it has never helped out.

                  And I know the MPAA is not going anywhere near Chartier because they actually have watched what happened with the RIAA's lawsuit campaign and know how stupid it is. I honestly can't believe that you didn't know about the RIAA's attempt to do this in the past.

                  I didn't say anything about the government propping up Chartier's business model, which I think is flawed (that doesn't mean I don't think he has a right to his business model under current laws).

                  Sure you did. You keep insisting that him suing -- using a law that grants him a gov't monopoly to protect his business model -- is the right thing for him to do. That's the gov't propping up his business model.

                  Sure, if he infringes on their legal rights and/or property, have at him.


                  Threatening tens of thousands of people, demanding they pay him money to avoid being taken to court is normally called extortion.

                  I didn't overstep anything. I simply stated the current facts and what is possible moving forward. Who knows what Chartier's lawyers are going to find in the data being provided to them. If they find evidence of a wholesale bootleg operation, this case could easily escalate.

                  Now you're back to just making stuff up again.

                  To me, Illegal acts are crimes. I'm not a lawyer and I don't care what you want to call it. Words do matter.

                  Ok. So words matter, but you're going to use the wrong ones to exaggerate and mislead, because you're McBeese?

                  Fascinating.

                  My most fundamental point is that it is up to the content owners to choose their business model and succeed or fail accordingly.

                  Sure. But that doesn't mean you get to sue when you fail.

                  It is not up content consumers to choose an alternate business model by breaking the law.

                  It is up to the consumers to choose how they get their content. And they chose a way that Chartier didn't like.

                  The Oscar has nothing to do with this

                  Wow. You keep changing your story. Just a few comments ago you claimed that the Oscar made him a bigger victim. I proved how ridiculous that was, and now you want to take the Oscar out of it?

                  I give up, McBeese. You have no logic and no consistency in your argument.

                  I will not reply further. Good luck in life.

                   

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                    McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                    Nor will I comment further or participate in this blog any more. I came here for intellectual discourse and there isn't any.

                    You're a deflector, Mike. You have some really good themes but you don't have the ability to meaningfully engage and you avoid serious debate when you duck behind semantics and legal definitions. You say that words matter but you use them to obscure the real points, not to generate passion. By doing this, I think (yes, just my opinion) you frustrate and drive away the high value contributors.

                    This is a place for you and our online sycophants. Nobody else is welcome.

                    To all you self-entitled file sharers, I hope you get some correspondence from Chartier soon. I think he's going to hurt himself, but he's doing all the other content owners a favor. Karma can be a bitch people, get ready for it.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      I'm a content owner and he's not doing me any favors. Remember when the RIAA sued tens of thousands of people? How well did that work out for them?

                       

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                      PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 12:54am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      Ah, the classic "I lost this argument so I'm going to try and insult everybody who agrees with actual facts". Love it, especially this part:

                      "To all you self-entitled file sharers"

                      Yeah, that's what we are. Not people boycotting a movie because of the behaviour of one of the producers. Not people pointing out what moronic and self-defeating efforts the lawsuits are. Not people pointing out the very real fact that the traditional business models are doomed to failure if they don't adapt to the realities of a digital world. We have to be "pirates", right?

                      So typical of the morons who work in the entertainment industry.

                      "Karma can be a bitch people, get ready for it."

                      Yeah, I can't wait for the industry to change to serve its customers' needs rather than try to prop up an outdated and unworkable business model either. A shame that "karma" has to step in and ruin a few peoples' livelihoods while I'm waiting for that to happen, but they're bringing it upon themselves.

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 2:28am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      "Karma can be a bitch people, get ready for it."

                      You mean the MPAA/RIAA/BSA will be completely sued out of existence because of the unjust IP laws they pushed for?

                      Oh happy day!

                       

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                      techflaws.org (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 2:42am

                      karma is a bitch? YMMD!

                      Nor will I comment further or participate in this blog any more.

                      Now that was easy. Good riddance!

                      I came here for intellectual discourse and there isn't any.

                      Definitely none that you could provide.

                       

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                      GrimmleGrammle, May 20th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      Man, McBeese, I'm surprised you actually tried to argue as long as you did. Mike kicked the ass out of every single point you made. I can't believe you are faulting him for "hiding behind semantics and legal definitions"... isn't that like faulting someone for hiding behind fact and truth? If I may take the liberty of summing up Mike's debate into a simple nugget, it would be this: Yes, illegal file-sharing is illegal, but it will happen regardless. The responsibility lies on the movie producer to either take advantage of this, or curb its impact. He did not factor that into the way he did business, so these "lost sales" aren't stolen dollars, they are missed opportunities. Now he is trying to account for his lack of foresight by going on the aggressive and further hurting his business with extremely bad PR. He took a bad thing and made it worse, and for that he is a bad business-man.

                       

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

                  You're Missing logic, but keep trying

                  "That is not the American way. I don't care what label the courts use, I call it illegal, immoral, and STEALING."

                  What? The America way was founded on stealing. If you don't believe me ask the Native Americans.

                  Your inability to understand the other side is very telling about your critical thinking. I am not sure if you are debating this ad nausea, but it sure looks that way. Maybe we need to give you a nickname if you keep it up. How about McCheesy?

                   

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              Marcel de Jong (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 1:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

              Lost sales is an intangible that would be included in the delta between forecast sales and actual sales.
              I set up a pizzeria, and I forecast a thousand pizzas sold each week.
              But suddenly there is a competitor on the block who makes the same pizzas but offers them for free, and because of that I only sell about 500... should I start suing the 500 people who went to the competing pizzeria and thus didn't buy my pizzas?
              Or should I start competing with the other pizzeria, by offering a better pizza, or more amenities to sweeten the deal of my pizzas?

               

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              techflaws.org (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 2:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

              If a visitor can't post seriously without having the host flame the comments or try to manipulate the points into something not intended, the blog will become a haven for like-minded sycophants and trolls, and the meaningful dialog will go somewhere else.

              What's it to you considering

               

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          cc (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          "The money is lost sales. Greater than zero, less than the equivalent of the total number of illegal copies. I think we've all agreed on that principle before. In this case, because the illegal copies became available 5 months before the movie's public release, it's likely that the lost sales are greater than the normal case."

          Do you have any reason to believe that the illegal downloads didn't actually lead to MORE sales instead of less? Any proof either way?

          "If people disagree with the guys business model, they have the right to not buy his product. They do not have the right to arbitrarily break the law, no matter what they might think of that law."

          This civil disobedience can lead to the laws being changed, which is the lesson to take home. For instance, if women hadn't taken to the streets and demanded their rights, they'd still be subjugated by men.

          "I'm betting that people who break the law by taking stuff without paying for it aren't big contributors to anything other than their own well-being. Robin Hood was just a story, Mike. Your disagreement with my perspective makes me a moron now? Nice."

          And a draconian copyrights system is supposed to exist for the common good? Mass litigation is a selfless act?

          "I'm saying that the amount of loss is somewhere between zero and the total amount of illegal copies, closer towards the zero end of the scale than the total end of the scale. In this particular case, as with the Wolverine case, I believe the loss is greater than the norm because the illegal copies became available well before the release of the movie. Based on the scale of the revenue, even a few percentage points equates to millions of dollars. I think my assumption is more reasonable than the idea that the impact is questionable because people were simply 'testing' the movie, but then again I'M the moron, right?"

          Or perhaps both movies sucked and that's why they made no money? Yes, despite all the hype, they did suck quite badly. And again, you make the same assertions but show no proof that piracy led to more or less revenue.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          "does that give people the right to decide for him that 'he's doing ok' and break the law?"

          Of course not, and nobody is suggesting otherwise. People are only suggesting that the guy is a bit unhinged, and is engaging in a disproportionate response to infringement. It's possible to simultaneously believe that infringement is wrong and that the producer is a nutjob, at least on this topic. At least, I personally believe both. (He could, of course, have defended his position without the rant, and in so doing avoid looking like a nutjob.)

          I, too, will not give a dime to anything that might benefit this producer. I do not wish to help fund his egregious actions -- even when those actions are against others who have done wrong (and who I likewise don't fund.)

           

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          BearGriz72 (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 8:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          Logic Fail!

           

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          hxa, May 20th, 2010 @ 10:13am

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          "Lost sales"? No.

          If you want to understand this, you must address a single, big fact that underlies it all, and which you have completely avoided. It is not a normal market, it is a monopoly market.

          It is not a 'loss' of 'sales', it is a weakening of monopoly privilege. The whole sense of 'loss' comes purely from assuming the position of monopoly. Without that your argument is groundless. For this 'loss' to mean anything valid or worthy of attention, requires proving the legitimacy of the monopoly.

           

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        Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

        "Again, it's hard to express how incredibly wrong you are in one simple sentenc. You assume victimhood for a guy who just WON A FREAKIN' OSCAR and who can basically write his own check for his next few movies since his name is everywhere."

        How exactly does success mitigate being victimized. I'm not saying this guy was or wasn't... but his work being honored or him successful or wealthy has nothing to do with whether or not he has been victimized.

        "Some victim."

        You're just coming off petty here. Petty and definitively wrong.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          How exactly does success mitigate being victimized. I'm not saying this guy was or wasn't... but his work being honored or him successful or wealthy has nothing to do with whether or not he has been victimized.

          I'm questioning the claim that he is a victim and that he's sustained any real "losses" because all of the evidence suggests otherwise. The only way he sustained a "loss" is in his own failure to capitalize on what's been handed to him.

          The reason so many people downloaded the film is the same reason he actually made a ton of money off the film: because it won an Oscar. For the life of me, I can't figure out how you can claim that's being victimized.

          You're just coming off petty here. Petty and definitively wrong.


          Please present the proof that I am "definitely" wrong. Petty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm curious if you consider my response more petty than suggesting that someone who thinks you've made a bad business decision means their kids should be put in jail.

           

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            Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

            "I'm questioning the claim that he is a victim and that he's sustained any real "losses" because all of the evidence suggests otherwise. The only way he sustained a "loss" is in his own failure to capitalize on what's been handed to him."

            Let's be clear... I'm not saying the guy is a victim or has sustained losses. But success does not omit the possibility of being victimized. If I own a restaurant that is hugely successful and someone skips out without paying the tab, I'm still the victim. Even if my restaurant is making millions a month and is being honored with awards. Your statement seemed to casually dismiss the definition of this person being a victim simply because he is successful. That's simply not how it works.

            The reason so many people downloaded the film is the same reason he actually made a ton of money off the film: because it won an Oscar. For the life of me, I can't figure out how you can claim that's being victimized."

            Where did I claim the man was being victimized? Let's take a look at what i actually did say:

            Me(in regards to Chartier being a victim): "I'm not saying this guy was or wasn't"

            That's pretty cut and dried, don't you think?

            "Please present the proof that I am "definitely" wrong."

            Like I said, success does not eliminate the possibility of being victimized. It just does not work that way. If you had said " this guy isn't a victim because you can't prove a crime was committed against him, I would not have said anything. But you held his success up as proof he was not victimized. that isn't how it works.

            "Petty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm curious if you consider my response more petty than suggesting that someone who thinks you've made a bad business decision means their kids should be put in jail."

            Did I say that? Does the guy being an outrageous ass make it okay for you to be petty?

            Did I defend Nicolas Chartier's behavior?

            No?

            Okay then. So why are you requesting a comparison between your behavior and his as if I had? Just because I take issue with your attitude does not mean I condone his, and I see no reason for you to connect the two arguments.

             

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              cc (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

              Your original post made no sense -- as in, it was very badly expressed. But it was just a strawman on fire, was it not?

              What stood out is you saying that this guy was and wasn't not was victimised maybe not yes.

              Well, understand this: there is no evidence to suggest that this guy lost money from piracy, but there's plenty of evidence that he made millions and won an oscar. Proven success trumps imaginary victimisation.

               

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                Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                Understand this: Success does not eliminate the possibility of victimization. Claiming otherwise is false.

                What stood out is you saying that this guy was and wasn't not was victimised maybe not yes.

                I guess if English is a second language to you... sure. But the reality is that I did not say that. At all. Ever.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                  Hmm... I'm not hearing you deny that you are throwing around strawmen, just that you think you are a master of the English language.

                   

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                    Memyself, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                    Strawmen accusations are a dime a dozen, and hardly worth refuting. Tell you what, why don't you point out exactly what aspect of my post to Mike was a strawman and why it was a strawman. Specifically. Then we'll talk.

                    As to the rest: Interestingly enough, I never claimed to be a master of the English language. I simply implied that "cc" had a poor grasp on said language, as evidenced by the blatantly false "quote" they applied to me. You know... the one that made no sense grammatically and in no way represented anything I actually said?

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

            to be a victim doesnt require some sort of direct monetary loss. you after all push the intangible benefits of wide free distribution, aka piracy. can you not accept the idea that there are intangible losses that comes with that same sort of distribution? it seems a little odd that you only ever see the benefits and never seem to notice the downsides.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

        "...they *choose* not to follow your choice of a business model."

        More correctly, "...they *choose* not to follow the law."

        BTW, while not good manners, I see far worse than "moron" and "stupid" used here on a daily basis.

         

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      Free Capitalist (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:12am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      I note that ALL of you ignored the point he made about paying his employees and paying his creditors.


      Non sequitur usually is ignored around here.

      The relevant point is that the individual was calling his lawsuit campaign immoral for obvious reasons, not that he should be able to infringe at will.

      Speaking like a lawyer, shouldn't you know that only the largest, most "in" corporations can get away with a campaign of social-engineering through civil action?


      Who decided to wake Chartier up from a drunken stupor and tell him about the Internet anyway?

       

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:23am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      I have to pay my employees and creditors. Pay me now or I'll sue you.

      Oh, you won't? Help! Police! Feels like theft!

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:28am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      ...the bottom line is it's money out of his pocket.

      Actual money did not come out of his pocket with each download. So, no, the bottom line is not that money came out of his pocket.

      To him that feels like theft...

      Yes, it probably does feel that way, but that doesn't mean that it is that way.

      Changing the label doesn't put the money back in his pocket.

      Yes, it can't put money back into his pocket, because money wasn't taken out. Literally. The amount of money in his physical pocket or bank account doesn't go up or down with each download. Please understand that.

      I note that ALL of you ignored the point he made about paying his employees and paying his creditors.

      Well, personally, I didn't think it was a very good point. If he wants money to pay those folks and maybe a bit to live off of, then he might want to avoid pissing off the people he expects to get money from. Also, he probably wouldn't tell people not to purchase his film.

      He said that he only wants smart and honest people to pay for his film. So, really, he's stated that he doesn't want money from the people who illegally procured his film, since they're dishonest by his definition.

      What if the money he lost was going to be donated to cancer research? Or what if it was going to support a homeless shelter?

      It doesn't matter where the money is going. And tossing in emotion is specious.

      ...you shouldn't treat this kind of crime as mere 0s and 1s moving across the Internet.

      This kind of crime does involve mere 0s and 1s moving across the Internet. So it would be very illogical to treat it as though it didn't involve that. I have heard the argument that we should treat digital property like physical property and it just doesn't fly. If I take your couch, you have no couch. If I copy your file, you still have your file.

      That being said, it is a crime. Nobody said that it isn't a crime, and the crime itself isn't even being debated here. We said that it wasn't smart to sue thousands of potential customers on scant evidence, and then we said that his response wasn't proportional to the original letter. The actual crime isn't even being discussed here.

      You have no idea of the possible impact.

      Yeah, that's the thing. No one does. So how can you say things like 'millions of dollars' and 'money out of his pocket' when you have no idea of what the actual impact was?

      There is no question that this producer lost millions of dollars because of willful infringement.

      Yes, there is absolutely a question. First, there is no proof that everyone who downloaded the movie would have given him money if the download were not available. Next, there is no proof that everyone who downloaded the movie did not also pay to see the film, purchase the DVD, or both.

      ...the majority just pile on the victim simply because he feels wronged.

      We didn't pile on him because he felt wronged. We piled on him because he wrote a horrible letter, in which he wished children into jail and made idiotic analogies.

      If he had written back and said, 'I think your point of view sucks. If you feel that way, then don't buy my movie. That's fine. You know, I feel like I've put a ton of work into this thing, and everyone is just out there taking it without paying for it. That sucks, and I'm doing what I can to be recompensed for their illegal downloads.', then we wouldn't 'pile on him' for it. We probably wouldn't even be discussing it.

      For once we have a real live case of a victim of what normally is argued in the generic on this site...

      This kind of things happens very frequently, and real cases are frequently discussed on this site. Where have you been?

      I'd hate to be a victim of assault in your towns. You'd probably all say "C'mon, boys will be boys and you'll heal."

      Nothing in any of these comments can logically lead to that idea. That's about the fourth time that you've tried to inject an illogical emotional argument into this discussion.

       

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        McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:56am

        Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

        "Actual money did not come out of his pocket with each download. So, no, the bottom line is not that money came out of his pocket."

        Lost sales is a real loss of real money. It's difficult to assess the precise amount of the loss because the amount of units that would have been purchased is far less than the amount of units that were obtained from illegal copying. However, the loss is significantly greater than zero and the difficulty in identifying the exact amount does not mean there was no loss. Even a moron like me can understand that concept.

         

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          ...the amount of units that would have been purchased is far less than the amount of units that were obtained from illegal copying...

          There is no proof that everyone who downloaded the movie would have given him money if the download were not available.

          In addition, there is no proof that everyone who downloaded the movie did not also pay to see the film, purchase the DVD, or both.

          Even a moron like you should be able to understand that concept.

           

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            Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

            Let me amend that:

            There is no proof that anyone who downloaded the movie would have given him money if the download were not available.

             

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              McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

              "There is no proof that anyone who downloaded the movie would have given him money if the download were not available."

              True, but there is more evidence to indicate that some of these people might have purchased the movie than there is evidence to indicate that they would not have done so. To get an illegal copy, you have to take action to search for it and download it. I understand your point about proof, but assuming that NONE of these people who took the trouble to do so would have purchased the movie if it were not available for free is illogical, in my opinion. Is that what you believe?

               

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                DocMenach (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                True, but there is more evidence to indicate that some of these people might have purchased the movie than there is evidence to indicate that they would not have done so.

                Please cite some of this supposed evidence. You haven't done so yet. You just keep saying things Like "...I think my assumption is more reasonable..." without actually offering any proof.

                I understand your point about proof, but assuming that NONE of these people who took the trouble to do so would have purchased the movie if it were not available for free is illogical, in my opinion.

                No one was saying that. They were saying that you are only looking at one side of it, and you are assigning a completely arbitrary value to these supposed "lost sales". There very well may have been many people who became aware of and ended up paying for the movie because of the availability of unauthorized copies. But, again there is very little actual data, and obtaining such data would be quite difficult.

                I also love that sentence. You say that you understand the need for proof, but that your opinion relieves you of the need to present any proof.

                 

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                  McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                  "and you are assigning a completely arbitrary value to these supposed "lost sales"

                  The arbitrary value I assigned is "greater than zero" and based on the number of illegal copies, the timing when they became available, and overall popularity of the movie, I suggested that the amount was in the 'millions.' If you think this reasoning is flawed or you have a better estimate that you want to share, I'm wide open to reading it.

                   

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                    DocMenach (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                    The arbitrary value I assigned is "greater than zero" and based on the number of illegal copies, the timing when they became available, and overall popularity of the movie, I suggested that the amount was in the 'millions.' If you think this reasoning is flawed or you have a better estimate that you want to share, I'm wide open to reading it.

                    Yes, I find your reasoning to be quite flawed for the following reasons:

                    First off, you make an assumption that some percentage of those who downloaded it illegally would have paid for it otherwise. That could be a couple percent, a couple tenths of a percent, or a couple thousandths of a percent, or even less. You don't state what percentage you are using or how you obtained that percentage, besides just pulling out of the air based only on your opinion.

                    Secondly, you assign some dollar amount that this unknown percentage of people would have paid if it wasn't available as an unauthorized download. It might have been $10, it might have been $5 from the bargain bin, or they might have bought a used copy (which does not result in any additional income for the producer). You don't state the amount you are using and you don't state the logic that you used to arrive at that number, besides just pulling it out of the air based only on your opinion.

                    So you take three pieces of information (Number of unauthorized Downloads, % of downloaders who would have paid, Amount they would have paid) to arrive at your "multi-million dollar" figure. This would be a fine calculation if those three pieces of information were true, but they are not. Only one of the figures (Number of downloads) has real data associated with it. The other two figures you completely pulled out of the air based on your opinion.

                     

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                      McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      That is my opinion, yes. I didn't share exact percentages used because it doesn't matter when the end result is at the granularity level of thousands / millions / 10s of millions / etc.

                      So what is your number? Do you think it was zero? Do you think it was a hundred million? Tell us what you think and why. Otherwise, aren't you really just noise without an opinion?

                       

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                    btrussell (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                    I don't buy anything anymore before I have seen it or heard it. Then I decide. I have been "robbed" by the **AAs' long enough. $20 for one song is too rich for my blood.

                    eg. Saw a portion of The Boondock Saints on TV one night. Looked interesting so I rented it the next day so I could watch all of it. Then I copied it because I liked it. Then I bought it the first time I found it for sale. I also plan on buying the second one when I find it. Only thing is, I refuse to support the **AAs' at all anymore. So I will buy a used copy.

                     

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                    Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 5:40pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                    The arbitrary value I assigned is "greater than zero" and based on the number of illegal copies, the timing when they became available, and overall popularity of the movie, I suggested that the amount was in the 'millions.' If you think this reasoning is flawed or you have a better estimate that you want to share, I'm wide open to reading it.

                    I could not find any information on how many people are supposed to have downloaded "The Hurt Locker." The number of people being sued is over ten thousand, and if every single one of those people bought a copy (or an additional copy) at retail price, the figure wouldn't have reached a quarter million dollars.

                    But this assumes that only the people getting sued downloaded the film, and that each was a lost sale. Obviously neither assumption is true. Let's take a more realistic approach.

                    I couldn't find any figures for how much "The Hurt Locker" was downloaded, so we'll have to estimate it. The most downloaded movie of 2009 was "Star Trek" at 11 million copies. The number of "Star Trek" DVD's sold was 6,665,888. So, let's guestimate that the ratio of downloads-to-DVD's is around 1.65. "The Hurt Locker" sold 1,589,158 DVD's, so we'll assume that 2.6 million people downloaded "The Hurt Locker."

                    How many of those would have bought the DVD, but didn't (the "substitution rate")? My guess is about 1%, but that's only my own guess. The highest number I've seen is 10%, which applies to the EU, not the US. But we'll use it anyway, just to make you happy. That means 260,000 lost sales at most.

                    But the promotional value of filesharing can offset this, by creating a market for sales. The newest figure I've found is from Piracy or promotion? by Smith and Telang, which puts the increase at about 9.3%. That means 241,800 sales gained due to filesharing.

                    Using these numbers, The Hurt Locker lost sales on 18,200 DVD's. Assuming the full retail price of $21.50 (Amazon.com), that means that the most that The Hurt Locker could have lost is $391,300. And that's in sales, not profits.

                    That's a far cry from the "millions" that you pulled out of thin air. We're both guessing, but at least my guess is based on reasonable numbers instead of wishful thinking.

                    How much of that potential money do you think will be eaten up by unrecoupable legal fees from all these lawsuits? How much of those sales will be lost to the current boycott?

                     

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                      McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                      "That means 260,000 lost sales at most."

                      260,000 = millions of $. We agree. My napkin number was less, so we'll use your number. I used 8% and my numbers for downloads came from an HD Nation Podcast.

                      Gains are a separate discussion and we don't need to debate it here. I think file sharing can have huge benefits and will be a core component of future business models. But it's up to the owners to choose to use it, not individuals. You can't justify illegal activity by taking the position that "I did it for good". That's not how America works. It's also B.S.

                      Thanks for actually posting data. Most don't.

                       

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                        Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                        260,000 = millions of $. We agree.

                        Only if you can't read.
                        Gains are a separate discussion and we don't need to debate it here.

                        Without figuring in gains, you can't figure out losses.
                        it's up to the owners to choose to use it

                        Those gains happen automatically, without the owners doing anything. If the owners choose to capitalize on filesharing, then the gains can only increase.

                        But you know all this. You're choosing to deliberately ignore it, because it destroys your argument. That's a desperate move, my friend. If you need to think you've "won" this discussion, go ahead. Everyone else will know you're wrong, but hey, you obviously don't care about that.

                         

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                Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 6:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

                Where is this evidence? The studies I've seen show that the biggest downloaders are also the biggest purchasers, which indicates the opposite of what you state.

                Assuming that none of these people who illegally downloaded this film would have purchased this movie is illogical. I agree with you there. In addition, assuming that none of the people who illegally downloaded this film did not also purchase the film and/or see the movie in theaters is equally illogical.

                There are many reasons why someone might purchase the film, and illegally download it. Some people see it in theaters, and then want to watch it again during the window before release on DVD. Some people may have used the download to preview the movie, and then purchased it. Some people may already own the physical DVD, but want a digital copy to watch on hardware without a DVD player, such as a netbook.

                So, not every download is a lost sale, and a lost sale is not money from a pocket... Hehe, I've written a longer reply above, and I hope you read it, because we're really not very far off in our stances.

                 

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          jjmsan (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          If lost sales is the loss of real money can a business claim it on their tax form? You do not loose money if you do not make a sale. Not making money is not the same as losing it.

           

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            McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

            Not making money is not the same as losing it."

            Unless it is lost due to illegal activity perpetrated against your person or company. Not being able to precisely say how much was lost does not make it an imaginary loss. Do you think the loss that the travel companies incurred when people decided not to visit Iceland after the volcano erupted are imaginary because the travel companies did not make a sale? You can't account for them precisely, but they are real nonetheless.

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: You're Missing a Point...

          "Lost sales is a real loss of real money."

          But what has been lost, at best, is potential sales, not actual sales. And loss of potential revenue is not a real loss of real money. Nobody's income has dropped, nor have bank accounts decreased.

          What if real sales were actually higher in the aggregate because of piracy? There's plenty of evidence of such an effect, although it's just as hard to prove as the reverse. Such is the problem with treating loss of potential revenue with loss of actual revenue.

           

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      Richard (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:59am

      Re: You're Missing a Point...

      The email he received implies that he should just 'let it go'. That's nonsense.

      No - it is really good advice. If he persists in his current attitude he will end up doing himself immense psychological damage. Given the extreme attitude revealed by his email it may well be enough to damage his physical health too.

      On the other hand studies have shown the psychological and health benefits of giving stuff away!

       

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    sehlat (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Been There, Done That

    A few years ago, I had an interesting email exchange with a "gentleman" who, up until the exchange, had been one of my favorite science fiction writers.

    He: "The police should have the power to search everyone's hard drive over the net and delete anything they deem suspicious. Anyone who objects to this is a thief or thief wannabe."

    Me: "I object to that, and aren't you being a little harsh to someone who has bought every book you've ever written?"

    He: "Big deal. All the royalties I've gotten from you wouldn't take me to dinner at my favorite restaurant."

    I've done two things about that last response:

    1. All my copies of his books, including signed copies of "The Forge" etc. promptly became "pulp fiction."

    2. I have neither bought, nor been able to bring myself to read anything he's written since then, not even by the library route.

    I think I can safely take the same route with anything Chartier's put his greasy little paws to.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:04am

      Re: Been There, Done That

      Wow, what an amazing jerk...

      Care to share his name, so that I don't accidentally happen to consider one of his books for reading?

       

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      McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:08am

      Re: Been There, Done That

      "I think I can safely take the same route with anything Chartier's put his greasy little paws to."

      Why do you think of Chartier as the bad guy here? He's the victim of a multi-million dollar crime and you don't even afford him the latitude to feel wronged? Victim's aren't allowed to express emotion?

      We can all argue business models all we want, but according to the laws of our land, this guy is a victim of a major crime. He runs a business that puts food on the table for many people based on those laws. When the laws change or when people choose to not buy his product, he'll need to change his business. In the meantime, he has every right to insist that the laws in place to protect his business be enforced.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        Remember that one time you understood the basic definitions of words you include in your rants?

        Yeah, me neither.

         

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        Victim a major crime? You mean, like pedophilia?

         

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        DocMenach (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        Why do you think of Chartier as the bad guy here? He's the victim of a multi-million dollar crime and you don't even afford him the latitude to feel wronged?

        Multi-million dollar crime? Do you have any proof of that? You are simply making that up. You don't any sort of proof of how much (if any) economic damage he experienced due to people downloading his movie. How do you know that he wouldn't have made less if people weren't downloading it and spreading word of mount about it?

        We can all argue business models all we want, but according to the laws of our land, this guy is a victim of a major crime.

        Major Crime? I consider Major crime to be things like Murder, Rape, Serious Corporate Negligence resulting in Death(BP). Copyright infringement is very far from what I would call a Major Crime.

        He runs a business that puts food on the table for many people based on those laws.

        Again, this line of argument is completely irrelevant. I'm sure makers of Horse Carriages were running a business that was putting food on the table, but as times changed those people had to change in order to keep putting food on the table.

        When the laws change or when people choose to not buy his product, he'll need to change his business. In the meantime, he has every right to insist that the laws in place to protect his business be enforced.

        And the public has every right to protest and violate laws that are unjust, and were put into place at the behest of the large corporate interests.

         

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          McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

          I'll sleep much better at night knowing that you get to decide what constitutes a major crime and that loss of millions of dollars in revenue doesn't count.

          By the way, if you think it's less than millions of dollars, tell me how much you think it is and why.

           

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            DocMenach (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

            By the way, if you think it's less than millions of dollars, tell me how much you think it is and why.

            You've said that you think it is millions, but you haven't said why. You simply pulled that number out of thin air, so I'll just respond the exact same way you do:

            I think that he made millions of extra dollars due to the free publicity from the unauthorized downloads. If you think additional income due to the publicity is less than this, please state how much and why.

            (See how I flipped that around.)

             

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              McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

              You've said that you think it is millions, but you haven't said why. You simply pulled that number out of thin air, so I'll just respond the exact same way you do:

              I think that he made millions of extra dollars due to the free publicity from the unauthorized downloads. If you think additional income due to the publicity is less than this, please state how much and why.


              No, I've been a bit more specific than that. I say millions of dollars based on the number of copies downloaded, the availability of those downloads during the movie's sweet spot, and the overall take of the movie. It's a napkin-type calculation but I think it's reasonable. If you've got a better suggestion, let's hear it.

              As for your contention that an illegal act committed against the owner of this movie generated more business for him somehow justifies the illegal act, I'm fed up with this amoral logic.

              Consider this extreme true-story example to illustrate my point: A young woman is severely beaten, sexually assaulted, and left for dead in a major metropolitan park. She eventually recovers. She writes a book about the ordeal and her recovery. She goes on the Oprah Winfrey show and the book turns into a best seller. She makes a LOT of money. Using your logic, you could say she has lost nothing and is now in fact significantly ahead of where she started. Do you now say "the crime committed against her is ok because she came out ahead"? This is an extreme example but the principles are the same. If you try to draw a line between the extremes, who draws it? When is it ok for people to arbitrarily decide to take something that they have no right to using the justification that "I'm really helping by increasing exposure"?

              (See how I flipped that back.)

               

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                DocMenach (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:52pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                Since you apparently completely missed my last post where I specifically stated my problems with your calculation I will simply copy and paste it again for you:

                First off, you make an assumption that some percentage of those who downloaded it illegally would have paid for it otherwise. That could be a couple percent, a couple tenths of a percent, or a couple thousandths of a percent, or even less. You don't state what percentage you are using or how you obtained that percentage, besides just pulling out of the air based only on your opinion.

                Secondly, you assign some dollar amount that this unknown percentage of people would have paid if it wasn't available as an unauthorized download. It might have been $10, it might have been $5 from the bargain bin, or they might have bought a used copy (which does not result in any additional income for the producer). You don't state the amount you are using and you don't state the logic that you used to arrive at that number, besides just pulling it out of the air based only on your opinion.

                So you take three pieces of information (Number of unauthorized Downloads, % of downloaders who would have paid, Amount they would have paid) to arrive at your "multi-million dollar" figure. This would be a fine calculation if those three pieces of information were true, but they are not. Only one of the figures (Number of downloads) has real data associated with it. The other two figures you completely pulled out of the air based on your opinion.


                If it is a simple "Napkin-type" calculation, then could you please show us the formula and figures you used to arrive at your result?

                 

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                  McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                  "If it is a simple "Napkin-type" calculation, then could you please show us the formula and figures you used to arrive at your result?"

                  Sure, right after you post your napkin version. If you want to engage, let's do it, but you have to contribute too, otherwise you're just "noise without an opinion", aka, troll.

                   

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                  McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                  You also need to comment on my example. It's not just about the money, it's about right and wrong.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                    Copyright infringement is not immoral.

                     

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                      McCheesey, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:41pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                      Yes, intentional breaking of a law is immoral according to the standards of the society that supports the law. Ignoring or not recognizing the law is amoral.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 3:14am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                        I didn't know the Underground Railroad was immoral?

                         

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                Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 6:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                A young woman is severely beaten, sexually assaulted, and left for dead in a major metropolitan park.

                Wow, really? You're comparing copyright infringement with violent rape? How very sensitive and appropriate.

                But, to answer your question: if Chartier didn't lose any money, then he wasn't a victim of anything. That's the only reason copyright infringement is "illegal" in the first place.

                If we really must make a rape analogy, here's a more accurate one. A woman claims, without any evidence, that she was raped by a hundred guys in ski masks. She then demands that the police line up every male in the city, with their wangs hanging out, so that she can identify them.

                What, you don't want to drop your pants? Obviously you're a rapist.

                See how I flipped that back? ...Now, let's never flip it this way again.

                 

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                  McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                  @Karl - the concepts of right and wrong are the same in any crime, even though the extremes are different. People such as yourself seem to have convenient perceptions of right and wrong so I used a real-life extreme example to make a point.

                  Nevertheless, your crude example is not well thought through and flawed (no surprise). In the case in question in this thread, the victim has provided the equivalent of the DNA evidence (the digital footprint of the movie) and the doctors (the ISPs) are providing medical records to help find matches. If you were an uploader of this movie, I think you should expect some unwanted correspondence in the not-too-distant future.

                   

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                    Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                    the concepts of right and wrong are the same in any crime, even though the extremes are different.

                    Yeah, because it's morally right to ruin the lives of thousands of people, whose only "crime" was seeing a movie for free. I can see that you don't have "convenient perceptions of right and wrong."
                    your crude example is not well thought through and flawed (no surprise).

                    No, you just didn't get the point.

                    The only reason infringement is a crime is because (in theory) it takes money away from the copyright holder. If the copyright holder did not lose money, then infringement is not a crime.

                    And why should it be? If you're not taking something away from someone else, where is the harm? Why, in fact, is that not a good thing?

                    Before you answer "it does take something away" - it's your argument that it should be criminal even if it does not.

                    If you were an uploader of this movie

                    I wasn't. (Haven't seen it, in fact.) But they're not just suing uploaders. They're not going after the people who put the .torrent files on Pirate Bay, or whatever. They're going after everyone who used torrent software to get the movie.

                    Yes, I know that you seed a file as you're downloading it, so technically you're an "uploader" as well. But if this doesn't go against the letter of the law, it certainly goes against its spirit.

                     

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                      McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                      @Karl - you're the winner - you get my last post on this site because you engage with data and thought, which I respect, even though I think you're really off the mark this post.

                      "Yeah, because it's morally right to ruin the lives of thousands of people, whose only "crime" was seeing a movie for free. I can see that you don't have "convenient perceptions of right and wrong.""

                      No, the crime of these people was to acquire it illegally. It had nothing to do with them viewing it. They could just as easily chosen to buy it in DVD format or in digital format from Amazon or iTunes. Don't paint the thousands people who willfully broke the law as innocent victims. It ain't so. They took something they knew didn't belong to them because they were sure they wouldn't get caught. Karma is coming.

                      "The only reason infringement is a crime is because (in theory) it takes money away from the copyright holder. If the copyright holder did not lose money, then infringement is not a crime.

                      And why should it be? If you're not taking something away from someone else, where is the harm? Why, in fact, is that not a good thing?

                      Before you answer "it does take something away" - it's your argument that it should be criminal even if it does not."


                      Infringement is against the law. There are no conditions in the law that state "unless the content owner comes out ahead." The law is required because it protects American businesses. Without copyright law, the American content businesses would be decimated by bootleg operations in China and other countries flooding the market with counterfeit copies. No quality movie would get financing because there would be no return on the investment. Is that what you want? Do you want Bollywood quality movies here?

                      The problem with the thinking that it's ok if you aren't taking something away from someone else is in the details. It's far too subjective. Who gets to decide if the content owner is benefitting? How do you measure it? When do you make that call? The reason we have the laws we do is to avoid these unmanageable ambiguities.

                      The uploaders are in for a day of reckoning.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:15pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                        No they aren't.

                         

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                        Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                        Okay, one final salvo.
                        Infringement is against the law. There are no conditions in the law that state "unless the content owner comes out ahead."

                        The law imposes exactly those conditions. There is a specific dollar amount of tangible losses required for non-commercial infringement to be considered criminal (and, again, non-commercial infringement was legal before 1997). If that is not met, then it is purely a civil case. You can only sue for damages (losses) in a civil case - so, no damages, no settlement, and no law is broken.

                        The law is unambiguous on this point: no losses, no crime.

                        This is why labels and studios do as you did above: maximize the (theoretical) losses from filesharing, and completely disregard any financial benefits from it. If they did not do this, nothing that filesharers did would be against the law.

                        Cases like this are obviously not about the financial "damage" done to the copyright holders. They are about shutting down competition to their business models, no matter how bad those models are, no matter how much damage this does to civil liberties or freedom of expression.

                        The fact that Chartier will lose a lot of money on these lawsuits, yet will sue anyway, is evidence that I'm right.

                         

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            DocMenach (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

            I'll sleep much better at night knowing that you get to decide what constitutes a major crime and that loss of millions of dollars in revenue doesn't count.

            If there actually was a real loss of millions it might be a crime. But this situation isn't even a real loss. You are basing your loss estimate on nothing but opinion.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        I think the 'bad guy' impressions are coming from him lashing out at the reader who sent him the email. Lets say a man is robbed on the street (this being an actual criminal offense and not just a civil one) by a man wearing a blue hat. If he then turns around and presses charges against everyone wearing a blue hat because they may or may not have robbed him then it's understandable that people would look at him as a bit overly aggressive. By lashing out at a critic and saying "I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day" then people will view him as less of a victim and more as an aggressor.

        This does not take into account all the innocent, blue hat people who are now victims because of false charges being levied against them. Does his suffering weigh more then theirs?

         

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          McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

          But how does this analogy apply? Chartier is being provided with data from the ISPs so he'll KNOW exactly who infringed. There won't be any innocent blue hat people with charges levied against them.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

            He'll know exactly what IP address was used with no idea who was on the computer. Although I'll give you my blue hat analogy is a bit flawed in that respect. I guess I am interested in your take on the possibility of suing the wrong people based on addresses alone and if their suffering is less important then his suffering?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

              Rich people are always more important than poor people, otherwise, why would he be suing poor people?

               

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              McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

              The person who signs up to the terms of service for that IP address agrees to be responsible for how it's used. It's in the fine print that nobody reads. This person will either be accountable or will provide the identity of the person who is accountable. Either way, no innocent parties.

              "I guess I am interested in your take on the possibility of suing the wrong people based on addresses alone and if their suffering is less important then his suffering?"

              Chartier's suffering was inflicted upon him by people who chose to break the law. Those who are caught in his net will be subjected to the consequences of actions they willingly undertook. I think there is a big difference.

               

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                PaulT (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 1:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

                "Either way, no innocent parties."

                Erm, bullshit. I can think of several ways in which innocent parties can be involved. There have been numerous cases in the past where people who don't even own computers have been sued by the RIAA, and people accused of using Windows-only software on their Mac. There have been cases where the ISP forgot to account for timezone differences in their logs and fingered innocent parties. A router with WEP encryption can be easily hacked without the knowledge of the owner, who may be under the impression that he's secure.

                "Chartier's suffering was inflicted upon him by people who chose to break the law."

                His "suffering" is self-inflicted. At best, he's simply failed to meet the demand for his movie that the Oscar win has generated (want a digital copy for a reasonable price that plays on every device you own? The studios don't provide that, pirates do). At worst, his actions here are losing money from any movie he produces in the future simply by having his name on them.

                 

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        He's not the bad guy because people illegally downloaded his film.

        He's the bad guy because he wrote a horrible letter in response to a polite one.

        He didn't just 'express emotion'; he told someone who didn't illegally download his movie that he wished his children would be put into jail. You think that's okay?

        If he had written back and said, 'I think your point of view sucks. If you feel that way, then don't buy my movie. That's fine. You know, I feel like I've put a ton of work into this thing, and everyone is just out there taking it without paying for it. That sucks, and I'm doing what I can to be recompensed for their illegal downloads.', then we wouldn't be here discussing his response. If we were, we would be saying that it was a reasonable emotional response.

        Further, no one's said that he doesn't have the right to sue. Of course, he has the right to sue.

        That doesn't make it smart, and it doesn't obligate us to call it smart.

         

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        Todd, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        Victim's what?

         

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        JD (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        [i]Why do you think of Chartier as the bad guy here? He's the victim of a multi-million dollar crime and you don't even afford him the latitude to feel wronged? Victim's aren't allowed to express emotion? [/i] No, he is not the victim of a multi-million dollar crime. He is (possibly) the victim of an infringement which, per chapter 5 of the U.S. Copyright Law is a matter for civil court - not criminal court - to decide and determine remedy for. Regardless though, while he may feel wronged, verbally attacking someone for politely disagreeing with him is juvenile and - for a public figure - a really bad PR move.

         

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        Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        He's the victim of a multi-million dollar crime

        He's not the victim of a multi-million dollar anything.

        If every one of those downloads was stopped, he would not make a penny more. People wouldn't start buying the DVD's; they just wouldn't see the film at all.

        Many of those that would have paid for the movie will not now. Not just because the promotional value of filesharing is now lost, but because of the consumer boycotts that are currently underway.

        The blanket lawsuits will probably result in a few wins but a lot of losses. The money from the wins probably won't cover the expenses of the losses, and most people who he won against won't have the money to pay anyway.

        So: he'll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees, ruin the lives of thousands of defendants (win or lose), and in the end he'll have lost more sales than he ever could have gained.

        The man is a "victim" of nobody but himself.

         

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          McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

          "If every one of those downloads was stopped, he would not make a penny more. People wouldn't start buying the DVD's; they just wouldn't see the film at all."

          And you know this how? Because you say so? Because this movie is unlike every other movie ever made and released on DVD? C'mon, fill us in.

           

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        btrussell (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        Not sure how those laws affect him 70 years after he is dead.
        How about 5 years for copyright?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

          How about 5 years for copyright?


          How about 5 years for physical property?

          If you disagree then you're obviously just a property-hoarding greedmonger who wants to rest on his laurels before finally passing on all your government enforced property rights (ie monopoly rights) to your undeserving brood so that they too may rest on their laurels and continue this cycle for life plus INFINITE years.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

            How about one year for real property? Each year I receive a bill, and if I do not pay it my property will be taken and sold at auction.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Been There, Done That

            Intellectual property is nothing like physical property.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:51am

        Re: Re: Been There, Done That

        'Victim of a major crime'

        WTF???

        You're falling into the trap of assuming that every download is a lost sale.

        I have lost track of the amount of content that I have downloaded but never watched, listened to, played or kept.

        If I do, and it's worth the money (I wait until the cost=value IMHO) then I'll buy it. Otherwise I won't and, in many cases, I wouldn't have *ever* bought it because, whilst it's nice to have, it's not essential.

        I spend more money on media now than I ever did before I started downloading. In many cases I have downloaded copies of games which didn't quite work properly but left me wanting more so I've then gone and bought the official product (and acutally found that the reason it didn't work was cos the game's too buggy - 'Building & Co' anyone?)

        The problem is that the perceived value of a digital product is less than a physical product. I've been paying for plastic discs of one format or another for 30 years now and at every introduction of a new format I've been astonished by the greed of the industries that believe that old content in a new package should be stupidly expensive. Now we don't need the plastic, there is no excuse for high pricing levels but companies *still* persist in trying to shove a physical price for a digital product down my throat.

        So, you want to reduce file sharing? Good products, good cusomter experience, sensible and logical pricing and efficient distribution.

        Victim of a major crime, my arse

         

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    Carl, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    talk about a very expensive case of projection! Projection is when someone gets very upset and emotional accusing others of doing something (ie stealing his work) when it is really a subconcious reaction of guilt for doing that same thing (ie. stealing from the soldier).

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Hollywood has no originality left

    this is why they need ACTA so they can keep remaking the same flms and tv over and over and over again

    V - the latest garbage out
    if not for lisa being half naked it would not be watchable
    and im tired a good guy fbi and govt in shows oh i dunno like hte politician saving the stargate peoplke in SGU?

    most likely 99% a politicians would drop the kids run for there lives to safety, and fbi and cops are not the role models aka
    the Vancouver police knocking on some guys door beating him to an inch of his life , OH were sorry wrong guy.

    OR seizing peoples property without any just cause
    cbc article on "alleged drug dealing helicopter to be auctioned"

    planet of the apes
    clash of the titans all the remakes sucked
    SUCKED i tell ya.
    feels like friday the 13th part 1zillion

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    he just guaranteed me infringing it!!!

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:28am

      Re:

      Eh, too much effort for too little harm. If I download the movie, hell, if everyone here downloads the move, it does no damage to him. Now, If I boycott (no buying, downloading, or even talking about) this movie and all others by him, then he's doomed to obscurity, and that's far more damaging then piracy.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        This is a valid point. People who are only now going to infringe out of protest do not actually hurt them because they did not lose money from the infringement. Boycotting, or other forms of financial protest, are much more effective. Mr. Chartier will label you a "thief" either way though.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:27am

    Black Kettle

    The belief that it is wrong to punish people for illegally downloading a movie is no different than believing it is wrong to punish people for shoplifting. Just because you take something for your own personal use does not make theft of property an acceptable action. Look, if you shoplift a DVD from Walmart or Blockbuster and get caught, you can (and should) pay a pretty hefty fine and you could very well end up in jail. When you read those little signs that say "Shoplifters will be prosecuted" and believe that the stores have the right to do so, how could you believe any differently when BiTorrent users are doing almost the exact same thing?

    Was Mr. Chartier overly critical and judgemental? Maybe. Should he be allowed to prosecute people who steal his merchandise? Definitely. Can you criticize him for being overly zealous in protecting his rights? Freedom of speech says it's OK. Are you a stupid moron for doing so? Probably.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:31am

      Re: Black Kettle

      difference between theft and infringement.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re: Black Kettle

        Theft has a moral heft to it, while copyright infringement leads to questions like, what is copyright, why do we have copyright, why does copyright last so long, isn't theft in the bible, is copyright infringement in the bible, was there a time when copyright didn't exist, etc.

         

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

          Yes, it does. And it should.

           

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          Free Capitalist (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

          Theft has a moral heft to it, while copyright infringement leads to questions like, what is copyright, why do we have copyright, why does copyright last so long, isn't theft in the bible, is copyright infringement in the bible, was there a time when copyright didn't exist, etc.


          Oh that makes sense then. Calling the Kettle a Kettle does not fit the Moral Panic campaign you're trying to get going because the sheep aren't hearing "Baaaa aaad".

          Your share of modern tyranny is all you are asking for.

          At least I now understand where you're coming from.

           

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:32am

      Re: Black Kettle

      Funny, since shoplifting takes things away from a store, while copying doesn't take anything away from anyone.

      It just means that the "copier" himself is not paying for the movie, which was his choice all along anyway.

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:43am

      Re: Black Kettle

      Did you read the post? It's not about the downloads and his lawsuit. It's about his crazy response to a polite letter.

      No one has stated that it's okay to illegally download films.

      No one has stated that he shouldn't be allowed to sue people that he believes illegally downloaded his films.

      We have stated that it's dumb to sue potential customers (and probably real ones) and that he responded to a polite letter from someone who did not illegally download his film in a crazy, overblown manner.

      Are you a stupid moron who barely makes sense? Probably.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:49am

        Re: Re: Black Kettle

        sorry, going to disagree. these people were never 'potential customers'

        but isn't that the argument? no one lost money because they were never going to purchase anyway.

        movies are an interesting commodity because i would guess off of my experience that MOST people watch a movie once? twice? maybe three times in their lives.

        (talking us into paying $30 for a dvd was a great gig, no?)

        so (sorry if i go astray) this is more and more why theatre sales are important (i think).

        the problem is hollywood themselves. there is SO MUCH CONTENT out there for free, via TV and cable that they are AMAZED when we want the remainder for free.

        i think there is a point in there. oh and netflix streaming still good, DRM still bad.

         

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          Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

          sorry, going to disagree. these people were never 'potential customers'

          Many people have bought DVD's after downloading torrents of the movie.

          And even if they have not, viewing the movie could still lead to other purchases (movie posters, merchandise, tickets to the next film, whatever).

          So, yes, these people are all potential customers. Potential customers that would not have existed were it not for filesharing.

          netflix streaming still good, DRM still bad.

          In case you didn't know: Netflix uses Silverlight. Silverlight contains DRM. Try sending a Netflix movie to an "unauthorized" hi-def output and you'll find that out.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

            [Many people have bought DVD's after downloading torrents of the movie.]

            Speculative reasoning at best. We all know it will be out on HBO/Showtime/etc. in 6-12 months so why not wait till then instead of pursuing something that is "by definition" illegal activity? Media revenues are almost like perishable goods, you can charge more when it's fresh than when it's not. You can't blame the movie industry for wanting to actually pay all the bills can you? It does cost money to make and produce a movie and the money has to come from somewhere (and advertisements will not cover the cost regardless of what you may think).

             

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              Karl (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

              Speculative reasoning at best. [followed by a paragraph full of speculative reasoning]

              Many studies have shown that people who fileshare are more likely to purchase media than people who do not. It's hardly speculative.

              You seem to think I'm saying people shouldn't get paid. I'm not. I'm saying that they're going to be paid less if they sue infringers.

              And not just because "infringers" are potential customers. The backlash of ill will against the producer has a significant dollar value. Also, it's likely that the legal fees from these lawsuits will never be recouped.

              You can believe what you want about the immorality of filesharing. But no matter how you slice it, this is a disastrous business decision.

               

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                McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

                "Many studies have shown that people who fileshare are more likely to purchase media than people who do not. It's hardly speculative."

                Yes, but those same studies say that when it comes to movies, most of the media that the file sharer purchases is NOT what the file sharer has already downloaded. It's not like with music where you might download a track to sample a band then look for additional tracks to purchase.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:30pm

                  Black Kettle and McCheesey strikes again

                  Maybe we can warp you back to the 80's and you can go around and help sue everyone who used to share cassette tapes.

                  Or maybe you can go after all those infringer's using VHS to tape their favorite shows.

                  I can see it now, MCheesey goes after DVR users because they skip the commercials and thus steal profits from advertising firms.

                  This is tantamount to what your saying. Why not go after the little guy? Because it is moronic.

                  Keep your social engineering bullshit away from my fellow Americans. We will decide as a people what is illegal and what is not. We have made this decision already through our actions.

                  You can either live with it or join the elitist's in trying to further control our freedom. Don't for a second think your supporting the people though, you don't deserve to count yourself as one of us McCheesey.

                   

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                    McCheesey, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:07pm

                    Re: Black Kettle and McCheesey strikes again

                    "Keep your social engineering bullshit away from my fellow Americans. We will decide as a people what is illegal and what is not. We have made this decision already through our actions.

                    You can either live with it or join the elitist's in trying to further control our freedom. Don't for a second think your supporting the people though, you don't deserve to count yourself as one of us McCheesey"


                    The majority of Americans think that file sharing is illegal and should be punished appropriately. The majority of Americans don't care about the difference between the words 'infringing' and 'stealing' - they know theft when they see it. The majority of Americans are ok with the current laws. The majority of Americans recognize you for what you are and want nothing to do with you.

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

            i am fully aware of how netflix works, it was more a re-interation from a previous conversation on TD.

            oh and technically Silverlight does not contain DRM, like Flash, it is added in... but the point from that conversation was about how the DRM worked and what was expected from it (in this case it was about downloading a movie vs streaming it). the point from that thread was that DRM is bad, but Netflix (mostly) does it right.

            didn't know about unauthorized outputs... i have a roku box and the thing is worth its weight in gold. friend used it for years with his plasma TV as a mirror of his monitor. also, you can use a PS3, Wii, XBox, iPad, and soon just about anything with a screen.

            so yeah, DRM bad, netflix streaming, good.

             

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

          ...these people were never 'potential customers'...

          Why not? Some studies have concluded that the same people who pirate media are the biggest spenders on media.

          I rarely pirate anything (I have actually never been to a torrent site, and don't have the right codecs to view torrented files, anyway) but I've watched several pirated House episodes this season since they've let a seven-year-old with ADHD schedule new episodes.

          I'm still going to buy this season as soon as it comes out on DVD, just as I have with every other season. :)

           

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            John D (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

            ...these people were never 'potential customers'...

            Why not? Some studies have concluded that the same people who pirate media are the biggest spenders on media.

            That makes them "customers", not "potential customers".

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

              that may be a snarky response, but it makes sense.

              glad you liked house and bought it. most TV i can't watch again. some, like farscape or dr who i could watch all day. i do. (law and order addiction does not count)

              and yes, 'pirates' or whatever, may be the largest consumers of media. but! and here is the main issue, consumers of what media?

              if i download hurtlocker, and then go spend $100 on dvd's and best buy, but none of them are hurt locker, does it matter what i have 'consumed'?

              mainly playing devils advocate here. as both a content consumer and a content creator the great copyright debate rages in my head daily.

              the difference is that as a writer whose life does not depend on my writing i am at an advantage. i am not worried about paying anyone, not even myself.

              so would i mind if my stuff was makin' the rounds? hell no. i'd be extactic that it was popular. but again, i am not using it to feed faces. i have a 'real' job.

              but, i have also (for quite sometime now) decided to not participate in piracy, or whatever it is called. if a creator wants something to be free that is their choice, not mine.

              the problem is that as production costs rise the ability to give something away for free goes down. hence writing: easy free, avatar: not so much.

              does that in anyway make suing bittorrent users a smart thing to do? no. man is an idiot and is going to make a lot of noise and lose a lot of money.

              but for what? a movie that will be all over cable in four months? a movie that will be $5 in a bin in two years?

              which brings me to another tangent: if most pirates were patient, they wouldn't be pirates.

              anyway, this post almost makes sense. eat your wheaties (uh, that phrase probably trademarked, so don't say it out loud)

               

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              Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 6:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Black Kettle

              They're media customers, but there's no proof that they've already spent money on this movie, so they're still potential customers. :)

               

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        Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re: Black Kettle

        OK -- depending on your point of view and country of origin you may not consider copyright infringement to be theft of property. Technically in the USA it is copyright infringement. The BiTorrent downloaders did not obtain permission to do what they are doing. Does an incorrect classification of status make this any more correct (or legal) -- absolutely not.

        The writer actually said that he disagreed with "... Voltage Pictures' intention to sue thousands of people who are suspected of having used BitTorrent to download films produced by your company." I don't believe I'm the one that misread the article/letter.

        FWIW, the writer NEVER claimed that he did NOT illegally download the film either. You assume that he did not because he didn't say that he did. He didn't say that because it would probably guarantee prosecution and would be admissible in court as evidence of wrongdoing.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:44am

      Re: Black Kettle

      while i agree to a certain point, i feel obligated to point something else out.

      if i steal a cd from a store i get a fine, probably PBJ.

      if i post that cd on the internet i can get fined $100,000 or more.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Black Kettle

      Yawn. I wonder when the shills will get more original than the constant churn of "but copyright infringement is the same as theft!!!!!!!" failures.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 12:41pm

      Re: Black Kettle

      The belief that it is wrong to punish people for illegally downloading a movie is no different than believing it is wrong to punish people for shoplifting

      How so? In one case, something is removed from its rightful owner. In the other, nothing is removed, but the world has one more of the original, increasing the overall pie. One involves a loss, the other involves greater resources. From an economic standpoint, how can you argue they are the same?

      Just because you take something for your own personal use does not make theft of property an acceptable action.

      Again, no one said it was an "acceptable" action. In fact, everyone said the opposite. But that does not mean you treat two disparate actions as if they were the same.

      Look, if you shoplift a DVD from Walmart or Blockbuster and get caught, you can (and should) pay a pretty hefty fine and you could very well end up in jail.

      Actually, it's a pretty small fine.

      When you read those little signs that say "Shoplifters will be prosecuted" and believe that the stores have the right to do so, how could you believe any differently when BiTorrent users are doing almost the exact same thing?

      Because it's not the same thing at all. Not under the law and not in reality.

      Was Mr. Chartier overly critical and judgemental? Maybe. Should he be allowed to prosecute people who steal his merchandise? Definitely. Can you criticize him for being overly zealous in protecting his rights? Freedom of speech says it's OK. Are you a stupid moron for doing so? Probably.

      We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. Please check your facts, and perhaps your opinions will catch up to reality.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

      Re: Black Kettle

      If you shop at Wal Mart at all it should be called treason. Plain and Simple.

      If you want Jobs America... then dont buy Wal Mart!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    'After all, he took that soldier's "story" for free' - mike, that is a very presumptuous statement. people who take the movie for free are obviously taking the movie. it is not a settled fact that the soldier wrote the story, and in fact he may just be facing the simple fact that many soldiers have experienced the same thing he has while being deployed overseas. you are trying to equate a fact with an unsubstantiated claim, and that just isnt right.

    basically, i call bs, and a horrible reach that just shows what lengths you will go to be crappy with anyone who tries to enforce their rights. gotcha politics suck, but you go there anyway. are you a republican?

     

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    MRK, May 19th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Of course if the soldier whom the studio based the movie on were to write a book or make his own movie, he would certainly be sued by that same producer for copyright infringement as well.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    And please do not download, rent, or pay for my movies, I actually like smart and more important HONEST people to watch my films.

    So does that mean that he doesn't care if pirates don't pay him for his movies? I mean, by his definition, they're definitely dishonest... :P

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    It's okay I got the Chinese Version of Your Film and by Wal Mart's defining products it's okay to knock off whatever they want.... designers or products of the US have been being knocked off or infringed upon by many Chinese/ American Owned Companies.... So WELCOME TO THE PARTY!

     

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    Overcast (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Let's look at a hypothetical situational based on the type of response of - say police policy.. in an area.
    When it comes to speeders, there are - like file sharing a variety of situations.

    (And anyone who's even sped, parked illegally, etc - who's calling out file sharers is a hypocrite. You can't pick and choose what laws to follow)

    Let's say you are responsible for police policy in an area that's mostly a 'resort' type of area that makes most of it's income from tourism.

    *Option 1:*

    Now, if you have your police officers busting down everyone who's 5 MPH over the speed limit, throwing the book at them and giving out max fines - what do you think is going to happen to your 'tourism' business over time? How many of you are going to go back to a vacation spot if you got slammed with a 500.00 fine for a 5 MPH infraction?

    Now let's look at another possible 'action' police policy could dictate..

    *Option 2:*

    If the person speeding is going 20 MPH over the speed limit - that's quite reasonable to give a fine that will clearly 'remind' them, that excessive speed is not tolerated. But on a 5 MPH or 10 MPH infraction, the officer simply pulls you over and 'warns' you about speeding through the area.

    Which of the two policies will net the city/region more money?
    Perhaps option one will *at first* as they are getting some big short term cash for fines due to an intolerant policy.

    But in the long term, option 1 will make people think twice about going back to the area at all.

    It's a relevant analogy; as in this case and the case of file sharing; yes, laws are being broken.

    But there's a BIG difference between a 5 MPH infraction or downloading a couple movies as opposed to a 20 MPH infraction and burning DVDs in mass quantity to sell on the streets.

    So yeah - smack your customers around, or potential customers - but it's probably most accurate to say 'former customers'.

    And yes, they ARE IN FACT potential customers. I don't know one single person, that doesn't own some DVD's. Some more than others, some never download stuff others download a lot.

    So to sum it up, I'm guessing those who are ok with 'throwing the book' at someone who's downloaded a few movies are also ok with MAX fines for 5 MPH the speed limit, right?

     

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    Overcast (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    True, but there is more evidence to indicate that some of these people might have purchased the movie than there is evidence to indicate that they would not have done so.

    Historically - broadcast radio and TV would seemingly prove that argument wrong.

    I'd be curious - what evidence would compel an artist or company to put content on the radio or TV and then broadcast it for 'free' to people?

    Maybe there's some money changing going on between companies in the background, but the 'consumer' pays nothing for it.

     

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    Overcast (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Yes, I'm curious how many singers would still be popular if their music was never played on the radio for 'free' to consumers.

    Anyone want to 'guess' on that statistic? :)

     

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    Crazypreluderacer, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Sorry, but I agree with the producer of the film. He made a movie and he is in the business of making movies to get paid for his work. The guy who wrote him the letter is being retarded. No wonder the film producer was a little heated in his response and chose to use a little sarcasm in his response. Granted it does seem a little rediculous for hom to launch a massive lawsuit against downloaders, but that is his right. It's his film. Rent it or pay to buy orbit download it and you have nothing to worry about. Simple as that.

     

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    Malfeasant, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    an appropriate retort

     

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    Malfeasant, May 19th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    an appropriate retort take two

    damn enter key... anyway

    if my car, after being stolen, was still there in the same condition i left it in, i would let anyone steal it.

     

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    a-dub (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Come on people, this man is obviously losing a great deal of revenue due to illegal downloads of his film. He can't even afford to hire a PR rep to tell him his emails are freakin psycho!

    Thanks Mike...I will certainly boycott this film and anything else produced by him.

     

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    Tarliman (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    Movies to avoid

    Not only am I boycotting "Hurt Locker", I'm also avoiding the following: Diary of the Dead; Tangled; The Keeper; The Whistleblower; The Company You Keep; and By Virtue Fall. The letter written to Chartier expressed an opinion in polite terms, defended the action to be taken, and was an appropriate communication from a consumer to a producer. Chartier's response was arrogant, rude, boorish, and failed to directly address the concerns of the consumer. I certainly won't do business with a person or company that responds to a politely-worded complaint with a flame of that magnitude.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Moron? I know you are but what am I.

    This is just another attempt by Chartier to compensate for his feelings of inadequacy. He previously emailed Academy members criticizing their inclination towards big budget/big box office films like Avatar.

    Chartier has a desire to have his film held in the same regard as these films but deep down he knows that financially it does not measure up. His attack on piracy is another attempt to find a scapegoat to explain the lack of financial success of his film.

    This is even more important now that he can no longer blame lack of press/critical reception after the film took home six Oscars. Rather then accept the markets verdict on the worth of his film he tries to adjust the figure by erroneously factoring in piracy.

    The question remains if piracy is the main reason for his film's lack of financial success then why are films like Avatar which are subject to the same pressures of piracy still financially successful in both the Theater and DVD markets?

     

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    Bill Reid, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Inappropriate response

    I have no problem with content makers getting paid for their work. I do have a problem with the gross inequity of these lawsuits.

    The idea of a lawsuit is to recover damages when another party is wronged. That should mean that someone who illegally downloads a $15 DVD should owe them $15, plus any necessary court fees. Actually, they should owe a price comparable to a downloaded film through iTunes.

    Both sides are at fault - people trying to get the content without paying for it and content producers trying to get rich off someone else's misfortune. But I think the fault in the overall state of this debate is in the courts. If they'd throw out ridiculous damage claims, this situation would come down to earth.

     

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      McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

      Re: Inappropriate response

      "The idea of a lawsuit is to recover damages when another party is wronged. That should mean that someone who illegally downloads a $15 DVD should owe them $15, plus any necessary court fees. Actually, they should owe a price comparable to a downloaded film through iTunes."

      Generally, I think the MPAA is in agreement with you, except that they push for a fine on top of costs as a deterrent. Otherwise, there would be no deterrent - you could just bootleg whatever you wanted and pay the price if you ever got caught.

      However, the thing that makes the MPAA foam at the mouth is when you download that movie and then make it available to others, leading to thousands of copies.

      I imagine that the lawyers in this case are paying a lot more attention to uploads than downloads as they comb through the ISP records. If you're an uploader, now is the time to move to another country. I hear that Roman Polanski's flat in France might be coming on the market.

       

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        McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re: Inappropriate response

        By the way, for all you file-sharers who may be reading this: if the lawyers who are analyzing the information they're being provided with for this case find evidence of other illegal activity in that data, they're allowed to use it. Most of the ISPs in this case are not waiting for subpoenas and are not filtering the data (which would cost money), they're handing over huge amounts of relatively unfiltered data.

        Nice, eh?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

          FUD straight from McCheesey's mouth

          Did you actually reply to your own post? I beginning to think your the next TAM.

          My guess is your grasp of the law is well... infantile

           

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    ScottEllington, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Customer/Consumer

    Apart from my opinion that the film in question is a remarkably vapid character-profile that's in dire want of a story, Mr. Chartier's response to a potential customer's ultimatum provides exactly the opposite of a reason-to-buy the product. Thinking of customers as though we were consumers is an important part of the epidemic at the heart of this curious controversy. As a customer, I WANT to support the people who make stuff I like, even if the content creators receive only a miniscule portion of the asking price for my purchase...of a copy...and the only things being "consumed" are my time and attention while engaging with a copy of the product.

     

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    Peter, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    Just Reverse It...

    Dear Internet Criticizer,

    I have recently become aware of your intention to sue thousands of people who are suspected of having walked into your warehouse, and taken furniture which you made by hand.

    I wish to register my disagreement with these tactics, and would like you to know that as a result of these actions I am boycotting your furniture business. The majority of the people you are suing were not seeking to make money from their downloads, and will be financially devastated by a lawsuit or settlement. While it is completely understandable that your furniture business wishes to defend its property, this is an inhumane way of doing so.

    Until your furniture business publicly states that it will not pursue lawsuits for taking its furniture, I will not buy any furniture produced wholly or in part by your company. I will urge my friends and family to take the same actions. I do not wish for the money I spend on furniture to be used against otherwise good people.

    Thank you for your time.

    Okay... now for my points. Was he angry in his response? Yes. Perhaps he should have been more appropriate in the tone of his response. Was his response, or logic faulty?

    The typical argument that comes here is that intellectual property is not the same thing as actual property. Actual property costs materials to make. When you steal the actual property, you're stealing the materials.

    First of all, movies cost materials to make as well. When you blow shit up, you've got to replace it. It costs film. It costs truckloads of supplies. So when you download a movie, instead of stealing an actual DVD, it's not the value of that shitty 15 cent DVD you're stealing, it's the value of all those supplies made to produce the CONTENT on that DVD.

    Second, let's make this analogy. Say the furniture dude gets given all of his supplies for free. Let's say he's given all of the wood, and the only real cost that someone's stealing by taking the furniture is his time. Shouldn't a person's time have some value?

    Again, not saying there's not a point in the response being too angry, but what I am saying is that there's not a point in the guys response. And wouldn't you feel a bit angry if people were stealing boatloads of money from you every day, and then someone criticized you for trying to take the only step that could possibly convince people to stop doing it?

    (And if you disagree with this, I'd love to hear your response on why another tactic would work better - other than one that says "I want cheaper movies, so give it to me cheaper," cause, frankly, I want cheaper cars and houses, but shit costs what it costs.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Just Reverse It...

      "And wouldn't you feel a bit angry if people were stealing boatloads of money from you every day"

      Of course, but I don't think that's happening to this producer.

      "someone criticized you for trying to take the only step that could possibly convince people to stop doing it?"

      Actually, I criticize him for taking one of the steps which is guaranteed to reduce his income through decreasing the number of people willing to do business with him. His response is not going to convince anyone to stop doing it, and will alienate many who would otherwise have paid.

      As to alternatives, there are many, and many of them are discussed frequently on this site.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

      Re: Just Reverse It...

      If shit costs what it costs, then unless the sewage plant pays you every time you flush the toilet, Chartier's got nothing to be worked up over.

       

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    herodotus (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 6:56pm

    This has got to be one of the best Techdirt threads ever.

    I've consumed an entire bowl of popcorn while reading it, without even realizing how long it was taking.

    Classic stuff.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 8:19pm

    @McBeese

    I'm reasonably sure that we're mostly in agreement, and the parts where we're not involve logic and some nitpicking. I'm going to try and go back and see if I can better express what many of us are trying to say, in a way that makes more sense. Hopefully, you're still reading this...

    Okay, first, it seems like you think that we're supporting the people who illegally downloaded this film. You may not think that, but, either way, I want to be clear. We don’t support illegal downloading. So we're in agreement there. :)

    Okay, that being said, logically, copyright infringement is not theft. If I steal a couch from you, you no longer have a couch, but if I copy your movie, you still have a movie. That doesn't make it okay to copy your movie, but it does make it different than theft.

    Hopefully, you've understood that point, and you're still with me. I'm not saying that I think you magically agree, but that you can understand the point that I'm making. (Since you're not actually a moron.)

    Okay, next: I understand that this guy feels like he was robbed. He was not robbed, because being robbed involves physical property, but I understand that he feels that way. I agree that how he feels is important. So I think we're in agreement there as well...

    So, I think you've been using certain words that don't fit, logically, but do fit emotionally, and we keep running into a place where we don't agree when you use those words. So let's switch words.

    Let's use the word violated. This filmmaker feels violated. When those people illegally downloaded his film, his rights were violated, and that is both illegal and wrong. The word violated is both logically and emotionally correct, and hopefully, by using it, we can agree and move on.

    Okay, so far, we (hopefully) agree that, although different than theft, copyright infringement is still illegal and wrong. We agree that this director is a victim, and that he has been violated.

    Next, I want to state that I understand that he has a right to seek legal redress for those violations, and I agree that he is not only legally entitled to do so, but also morally entitled to do so.

    So now, we (hopefully) agree that, although different than theft, copyright infringement is still illegal and wrong. We agree that this director is a victim, and that he has been violated. We agree that he has a moral and legal entitlement to redress.

    Okay, next we have some disagreements about the money. I agree that there is no way to gauge the impact of those downloads.

    I believe that some people downloaded the movie, and never gave the film maker any money. Some of those people never would have, even if the download were not available. Some of them may have. So let's say that there are x many lost sales. That's a negative impact.

    I believe that some people downloaded the movie, and did give the film maker money, like theatre-goers and people who also purchased the DVD. Some of those people would not have purchased the DVD if the download were not available. Some of them may have. So let's say that there are y many found sales. That’s a positive impact.

    At the end of the day, there isn't any way to know, or even guess, whether the total impact of these downloads was positive or negative. The best you can do is to understand that, like the weather, you don’t have any control over this, and film makers should allow for that in their business plan, just as travel agents allow for the weather.

    To be clear, morally, he shouldn’t have to allow for that, but it’s not a perfect world. In the real world, department stores have to allow for shoplifting, travel agents have to allow for bad weather, and film makers have to allow for illegal downloads.

    So now, we (hopefully) agree that, although different than theft, copyright infringement is still illegal and wrong. We agree that this director is a victim, and that he has been violated. We agree that he has a moral and legal entitlement to redress and that it is likely that those downloads have a negative and positive impact on his finances, that should have been allowed for in his business plan.

    Okay, next, let’s address the idea of ‘lost sales’. Traditionally, a lost sale refers to profit that’s foregone because an order could not be fulfilled, for whatever reason. In this case, there were no orders. You know what that means? There were no lost sales.

    But I understand that you’re using an updated version of the term. In this case, you mean profit that’s foregone because people choose not to place an order, for whatever reason. That’s fine. We can go with your definition. :)

    I agree that some people who downloaded the movie may have purchased it, if the download were not available. Those people represent lost sales. Lost sales suck, from a business perspective. I understand that they matter and that the film maker is and should be concerned with minimizing lost sales, and maximizing actual orders.

    So now, we (hopefully) agree that, although different than theft, copyright infringement is still illegal and wrong. We agree that this director is a victim, and that he has been violated. We agree that he has a moral and legal entitlement to redress and that it is likely that those downloads have a negative and positive impact on his finances, that should have been allowed for in his business plan.
    We agree that lost sales are a cause for concern, and that it would be smart, from a business perspective, to minimize lost sales and to maximize actual orders.

    So now here comes the kicker, and where our largest difference occurs. This film maker has been put into the same unfortunate position as sales people everyone. He has to attempt to make money from asshole customers who have treated him badly and will continue to treat him badly. That sucks for him, just as it sucks for all salespeople everywhere.

    Unfortunately, he has to choose between redressing the violation, which makes moral sense, and maximizing orders, which makes financial sense. In a perfect world, he would be able to do both, but this is not a perfect world. (The choice is confused by the fact that moral redress has a financial component to it, but not so much as to be hard to understand, I think.)

    So now, we (hopefully) agree that, although different than theft, copyright infringement is still illegal and wrong. We agree that this director is a victim, and that he has been violated. We agree that he has a moral and legal entitlement to redress and that it is likely that those downloads have a negative and positive impact on his finances, that should have been allowed for in his business plan.
    We agree that lost sales are a cause for concern, and that it would be smart, from a business perspective, to minimize lost sales and to maximize actual orders. We should also agree that, realistically, he had to choose between maximum financial realization and moral redress.

    So the main difference between our stances is that you seem to think (just as he probably thought) that he could and should do both. Well, I agree that he should be able to both, but he can’t. Most of the posts here acknowledge that fact, and are criticizing his choice of seeking to redress the violations, rather than taking care of his creditors and employees.

    Do you see the point that I’m making? In this imperfect world, he had to choose between money and ego, and he chose ego. That seems really dumb to most of us and we’re criticizing him for it.

    The End. Whew.

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:14pm

    I Invoke the TechDirt "Lost Sale Rule"

    Quoting Myself from an earlier article
    "As far as the the whole fallacy of lost sale goes, that has been destroyed on so many levels I am beginning to think it is becoming the Techdirt equivalent of Godwin's Law, If you break it out you have already lost."
    McBeese You loose!

     

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    McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    @Rose - OMG - you've restored my faith in the ability to find intelligent discourse on the Internet, even if I disagree with a couple of your assertions and conclusions. I was doing my last checkin on this site forever when I saw your post. No way I could blow off the thought you put into that post without thanking you for it and providing you with my response. So no matter what you think about my reply, know that McCheesey holds you in high regard.

    Ok, here goes...

    I believe that you don't support illegal downloading as a means of acquiring new content, based on your previous posts. Maybe as a tool to move files around, but who cares about that? Not me. I do it too when necessary. I do believe that there are many commenters here who mistake the position that you (as a visible and opinionated poster) and Mike take on the need for new business models as implicit support for illegal file sharing. There are many regular commenters here who profess their illegal file sharing prowess with pride. But as I said, I don't think you are part of that crowd.

    I've agreed in the past that copyright infringement is not the same as theft, and I'll do it again now. However, I'll also say that the difference is mostly in semantics - the spirit of both illegal acts is the same - taking something that you don't have the right to take. You are correct that the impact of the acts is different from a material perspective, but the nature of the crimes is the same in my view. Do you agree? In any case, yes, we're agreed that infringement and theft are technically different, and neither are ok. I'm with you so far. :)

    I like violated. I think it likely better describes how Chartier felt when he wrote his infamous email. 'Violated' better captures the emotional aspect of his response. Violated implies a higher degree of 'helplessness' in my view. having said this, I do still think the guy was 'robbed', but let me explain before getting hung up on the word. Maybe you'll suggest a better word. Chartier was 'robbed' or 'deprived' of the opportunity to make a sale to interested parties who might have purchased his movie if a free copy were not made available to them. What word would you use for that? I don't think it's just a 'feeling' because I think the loss is real. Impossible to quantify with huge precision, but real and significant nonetheless. Again, I don't care if we use 'lost sales', 'stolen opportunity', or whatever. I'll let you pick the nomenclature.

    As far as found sales go, we're in agreement that the amount is greater than zero, just as certainly as the amount of lost sales is greater than zero. Where we might differ is in our acceptance of found sales as a valid coincidental compensation for illegal lost sales. I think a guy should be allowed to operate his business with the protection of the law, even if that means his obsolete business model and his associated actions cause him to fail. If a bank robber creates visibility for a bank and the bank's business increases as a result, I don't think the bank robber deserves any dispensation.

    I think we're 100% in agreement on your kicker. I think Chartier is a complete d-bag and he's alienating himself from his current and future customers. If he has any intangible 'goodwill' on his balance sheet, it must surely be heading towards zero at this point. I think that the old model of charging for content is dying and I think a new model is desperately needed. I think the studios and the MPAA are enemies of change and that will lead to their demise... and it won't take too long. HOWEVER, I'm against breaking the law and I respect the right of any individual or company to choose to fail through stupidity or naivety - that is the American way. I think this guy was violated and I think he has every right to use the law to strike back if that's what he wants to do. I also think he has a point that most people missed about the up and coming generation not understanding the difference between right and wrong based on the example set by their parents.

    @Rose - I thank you and respect you for your post. Nice job.

    Disclosure: I am not associated in any way with the MPAA, RIAA, or any other Nazi content organization, although I am involved in content-related businesses. I'm an American and I believe in the laws and VALUES that made this country what it is. Those who undermine those laws and values undermine this country, in my never humble opinion.

     

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      BearGriz72 (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

      Re:

      Thank You for an intelligent response BTW...

       

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        McBeese, May 19th, 2010 @ 10:52pm

        Re: Re:

        "Thank You for an intelligent response BTW..."

        You're welcome. Intelligent exchange is what makes the effort intellectually stimulating versus a colossal waste of time. Mike owes some of us a commission for the traffic we generated today. :)

         

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      Michael, May 20th, 2010 @ 4:17am

      Re:

      You have spent a lot of time arguing about infringement and theft. I think you see most of the difference, but I want to add another point to it.

      With theft of property, the victim is deprived of something. With infringement, the supply is increased so the item being procured by the new person did not get taken away from the original owner.

      This CAN cause harm to the original owner - particularly if they intended to sell access to the original. However, that is a huge difference and very important. It does not have to cause harm to the original owner. If they build a business model that does not depend on artificial scarcity of something that can be copied, infringement does not cause harm and is often good for the original owner because it becomes advertisement.

      Now, even if their business model does depend on the artificial scarcity, the infringement still has some benefit as advertisement. It may not net out in their favor, but to ignore the benefit is really doing your argument a dis-service.

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      Chartier was 'robbed' or 'deprived' of the opportunity to make a sale to interested parties who might have purchased his movie if a free copy were not made available to them.

      Ahh, another difference.

      Logically, a potential sale lost to an illegal act isn't any different than a potential sale lost to a legal act. Your sentence could apply equally to an illegal download of the film, and to watching a Netflix-owned copy at a someone else's home. (That's like a double loss, there, by the new definition.) Even the free copies given to award judges (and there were alot for this movie) were lost sales.

      In all of these cases, the film maker was deprived of the opportunity to make a sale to interested parties for that viewing. But remember that the watcher may have already given the film maker money at the theater, may have already purchased the DVD, or may follow up their viewing by purchasing the physical DVD.

      Regardless, I don't think that the original criminal act (the illegal download) makes the following act (potential lost sale) illegal. Further, lost sales, both award-related and download-related alike, should be accounted for in the business plan.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2010 @ 3:03am

      Re:

      Not a bad response to Rose there Mcbeese and I think most people will agree with much of what you just said but I have a few questions to pose to you.

      If I am to believe Rip, a remix manifesto! the USA had state sponsored copyright infringement in its infancy, so there is an instance of a country, of a society choosing to ignore copyright law when it suited them, THATS the American way =P. There are also as many people have previously stated people choosing not to abide by unjust laws. While I wouldn't compare the civil rights movement with the current mess of copyright law something does need to be done and perhaps mass abuse of it is the only way to force a change. The corrupt governments at the beck and call of these companies will never change the laws at our request, why is civil disobedience not an acceptable response?

      I find the music industries insistence on their view of copyright particularly galling, early musicians recorded 'stolen' music all the time and doesn't every busker commit the most obvious copyright infringement daily by directly profiting from the works of others. Surely that is a worse crime than downloading a few songs. Profiting off others has to be worse than personal use doesn’t it?

      At least we can all agree that Chartier is a douche and hopefully his silly tactics will see him fail along with all those that refuse to adopt a new business model for the new internet world we live in.

       

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    Otter, May 20th, 2010 @ 5:19am

    Sad, really

    The saddest part of this is his movie...well...blows. You know, if I had a posession that was a worthless piece of crap I don't think I'd be too unhappy if you stole it. If I had the money I'd buy every copy of this afront to soldiers everywhere and burn them.

    My 2 cents.

     

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    McC, May 20th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    I'll be sure to purchase The Hurt Locker to support the artists and technicians involved in its creation. People on this thread are upset because the producer (not the director, writer, actors, grips, editors, color correctors, film developers, etc) needs psychological help. People are also upset because they're getting something for free and they don't like the insinuation that what they're doing is wrong.

    Movies are experiences -- that's why people pay to see them. A lot of money is invested in creating and distributing these experiences. This puts a lot of people to work and entertains a lot more people.

    When someone illegally downloads a file -- regardless of whether it remains on the studio's hard drive -- they're getting the experience for nothing and not supporting the business model that puts artists and technicians to work. Worse, they support the mechanisms that distribute the experience freely and easily, further degrading the value of the original movie file.

    Should the intellectual property model be changed? Sure -- but to what? How can moviemakers (and musicians and writers) earn a living when their hard work is distributed freely? Lawsuits and tough talk aren't the answer. But neither is squawking about entitlements and freedom and individual liberties and how downloaders buy more content (i.e. cherry picking). If you don't pay the bills, then curb your attitude.

    Me? I'm going to take a crowbar to my wallet and support the people who are creating the kind of content I enjoy and want to see more of.

     

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

      Re:

      Worse, they support the mechanisms that distribute the experience freely and easily, further degrading the value of the original movie file.

      You're assuming that the people who commented downloaded the movie illegally. That's a big - and wrong - assumption. Some of them did, I'm sure, but I feel pretty safe in saying that most of us did not. Most of us are big media consumers and we consume music and movies in a variety of ways that cost us money. In other words, we pay the bills.

      Next, what you're saying could be applied to Netflix just as easily as illegal downloading. Film makers don't make as much money when people use Netflix as when people purchase individual DVDs. So they're getting the experience at a discount price. Are Netflix users morally wrong as well? Are they deserving of the insinuation that what they're doing is wrong?

      How about people who view films at the homes of their friends, as opposed to building their own collection? They're certainly not guilty of breaking any laws, but they're not paying the bills, either. Are they morally wrong as well? Are they deserving of the insinuation that what they're doing is wrong?

      How can moviemakers (and musicians and writers) earn a living when their hard work is distributed freely?

      Ask Nina Paley and all of the other artists who are doing just that. Also, feel free to read this blog more often. In essence, there are a million models that do just that.

      Remember, idea of the masses paying for art is a relatively new one in society. Yet art has been created as long as history has been recorded. How was it done before the idea of mass payments? The model that's dying now is a new one, and a failed one.

       

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        McC, May 20th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Thanks for the comment, Rose. I am new to the blog and am interested in these issues.

        You're right -- I assumed that some of the people who commented had illegally downloaded movies. I have no idea how many did or did not, but I'm confident that some did -- as you are, too. I was referencing people who were defending the right to illegally download someone's artistic work, and my point was that this act undermines the current business model for filmmaking (and music recording and novel writing). I won't do it because it screws over the artists and technicians who depend on sales revenues to pay their bills. They have to eat somehow and illegal downloading their work doesn't help them in any way whatsoever.

        Business models will change. They have to. And some artists are beginning to develop ways to be heard and seen and still earn a living. (At least that's what I'm told.) However, I don't think the answer is to defend an act that excludes the artist from his/her intended transaction.

        Nina Paley may be different, but she didn't produce The Hurt Locker. If she's earning a living through her work and I plagiarize it and make it easy for others to do the same, how can she continue? And under her distribution model, could she produce a feature film? (That is, beyond the scope of Paranormal Activity.)

        No, Netflix is not morally wrong.

        No, people viewing movies at someone else' house is not morally wrong.

        And no, it's not morally wrong to download a program for free even when the programmer asks for a donation to cover his/her costs. But I send a payment anyway. Because it's the right thing to do.

         

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Plagiarizing is different from copyright infringement, but both are okay by Nina. She encourages people to copy her, both by making derivative art and by digitally copying her work and giving it away. So do many other artists.

          I agree that supporting artists is a good thing to do, and I do it, too. But (getting away from the main topic) what do you do when there is no intended transaction?

          For instance, I'm a huge House MD fan. My whole family is. We've even purchased every season on DVD as soon as it was available (up to pre-ordering Season 6), and we rarely purchase physical media.

          Unfortunately for us, this season has been scheduled by a 7-year-old with ADHD and attempting to watch it has been a disaster.

          If you miss an ad-supported episode on television, you can watch it on Hulu (also ad-supported), but not until the next episode has been out for at least one day. This means that if you miss one episode on television, you can never catch up.

          On top of that, Hulu has no guaranteed date of availability, other than at least eight days after the episode has aired on television. Fox has forbidden Hulu from giving out any more information than that.

          You have an alternative. You can purchase the episode from Amazon Video On Demand at least three days after the episode has aired on television. Once again, there is no guaranteed date of availability and Fox has forbidden Amazon from telling you when it will be available to purchase, other than at least three days after the episode aired.

          Huh? This is their plan?

          Attempting to plan evenings to sit down and watch this with my family has been extremely hard to do, which probably sucks for the actors, writers, techs, and the network, all of whom would like to sell my eyes to advertisers.

          This last week, the season finale aired, and I missed it. It was the next day, and it wasn't available on Hulu, Amazon, or anywhere else. I would have gladly paid for it, but it wasn't available. You know what I did? I procured a pirated version.

          That doesn't mean that I'm not supporting the writers, the techs, the actors, or the network. In fact, I'm doing more than my share since I've paid for some episodes twice, both on DVD and on Amazon. But the fact remains that I illegally downloaded an episode.

          In this case, as is true in many cases, it was not morally wrong to do so. My ethics are perfectly in line there.

          Think about it. :)

           

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            McC, May 20th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Thanks, Rose. I, too, am a House fan and I, too, missed the season finale. I'm not putting you down, but I'm going to wait for it on normal avenues -- Hulu or Netflix.

            You're right -- one of the problems is that studios and networks are out of sync with their audiences. They're trying to conform the digital landscape to a 1960s model of film & TV distribution. And when the pieces don't fit together you get the occasional panic attack, as demonstrated by Hurt Locker's producer. (GrimmieGrammie had the most lucid comments on the stupidity of his behavior.)

            But I still won't use that to justify a wrongful act. Two things motivated me to join techdirt: First, some people seemed to be arguing that illegal downloads are not wrong but can be justified and expected. (That's a generalization, I know...) Second, people seemed really eager to boycott Hurt Locker because the producer acted like a dickhead.

            I won't boycott Hurt Locker because (a) it sounds like a cool movie and (b) I want to support the director (Kathryn Bigelow), writers, editors and crew that put it together.

            On the other hand, I will boycott torture porn and drunken pirate movies.

            And I'll check out Nina Paley. Sounds like a pioneer.

             

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              Rose M. Welch (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 9:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Normal isn't the same thing as wrong. :)

              Also, drunken pirates are cool.

               

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              Rose M. Welch (profile), May 21st, 2010 @ 7:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Also, all of the people you mentioned have already been paid for their work. The people that will be hurt by this boycott are the people who speculated that this film would make money (which it has) and financed it.

              I'm not saying that the financiers don't deserve money (They do!), but the financiers are going to take that money and use it to sue thousands of people, many of whom are likely to be innocent.

              You might not be conversant with the sad methods used to 'identify' downloaders, but they're not good. These methods have 'identified' plenty of innocent people, including grandmothers who don't own or know how to use computers, and printers. Yes, printers.

              I don't know about you, but my printer can barely print, much less download movies. :)

              The extortion letters have already starting arriving, demanding $3,000 or threatening to file suit. Many families will pay out of fear, as opposed to guilt, and many others will waste thousands of dollars seeking legal advice and fighting these suits. And for what? An $8 movie.

              I refuse to finance that, so I won't be purchasing (or otherwise watching) The Hurt Locker.

               

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            McC, May 20th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Thanks, Rose. I, too, am a House fan and I, too, missed the season finale. I'm not putting you down, but I'm going to wait for it on normal avenues -- Hulu or Netflix.

            You're right -- one of the problems is that studios and networks are out of sync with their audiences. They're trying to conform the digital landscape to a 1960s model of film & TV distribution. And when the pieces don't fit together you get the occasional panic attack, as demonstrated by Hurt Locker's producer. (GrimmieGrammie had the most lucid comments on the stupidity of his behavior.)

            But I still won't use that to justify a wrongful act. Two things motivated me to join techdirt: First, some people seemed to be arguing that illegal downloads are not wrong but can be justified and expected. (That's a generalization, I know...) Second, people seemed really eager to boycott Hurt Locker because the producer acted like a dickhead.

            I won't boycott Hurt Locker because (a) it sounds like a cool movie and (b) I want to support the director (Kathryn Bigelow), writers, editors and crew that put it together.

            On the other hand, I will boycott torture porn and drunken pirate movies.

            And I'll check out Nina Paley. Sounds like a pioneer.

             

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              Karl (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 9:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Hey now, I didn't know the House season finale had aired!

              You're worse than those people who spoiled that guy's suicide.

              Being a patient person, I will wait for it to come around on Hulu. But as I'm also a fan of the new Doctor Who, I understand your situation.

               

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          Karl (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 9:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Defending

          I know I'm beating a dead horse, but...

          I won't do it because it screws over the artists and technicians who depend on sales revenues to pay their bills. They have to eat somehow and illegal downloading their work doesn't help them in any way whatsoever.

          There is quite a bit of evidence that "illegal downloading" helps them. Many studies exist which find that people who download media also purchase more media (between two and ten times as much, depending upon region and time period). A recent study found that increasing filesharing also increased DVD sales by 9.3% - which is probably larger than the "substitution rate" (people who downloaded the movie who would have bought otherwise). Also consider that during the time when filesharing became rampant, box office profits have consistently increased, and there are almost twice as many Hollywood movies being made than there were ten years ago.

          "Stealing" is only one way to look at it. "Free promotion" is another.

          Despite this, the Hurt Locker producers believe they have the moral justification to ruin the lives of over ten thousand people, who did nothing ethically worse than sneak into a theater. Then insult anyone who expresses a negative opinion on it.

          These lawsuits will not make The Hurt Locker any money. If the RIAA lawsuits are any indication, they will lose millions of dollars, win or lose. The lawsuits will not result in greater DVD sales; likely, they will result in less, because of boycotts and general lack of good will among consumers. And if there were any possible gains to be made from filesharing, those will be lost as well. This is clearly not a campaign to recoup losses; it is a vicious attack on people who they feel have insulted them.

          I didn't download The Hurt Locker, and haven't seen it, and now I guess I never will. (Too bad, I heard it was good.)

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    I was going to watch this movie but not now. I will send the money to that soldier that is suing this idiot.

     

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    TPBGirl, May 21st, 2010 @ 1:11am

    One last thought on this for me...

    One last thought on this for me...

    Lets say "Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver" IS telling the truth and the makers of the Hurt Locker really did steal his story. If anything, then watch the movie for his sake. Apparently he did have a story to tell. And god knows the soldiers fight & bust there ass for hardly nothing. Pride & glory, fighting for your country though is priceless to them.

    I sure wish somebody could get an interview with "Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver" just to hear/read his view now on the twists & turns this case has taken with the Hurt Locker dramafest.

    Curious...would he want us to watch it just to hear his story? (remember, we are saying IF he is telling the truth)
    OR...would he want us to boycott the movie? And last, his thoughts on Bit Torrent and piracy. lol (Funny but not funny)

    Leading to this... TorrentFreak did a story last week...

    "MPAA Worries About Pirating U.S. Soldiers in Iraq"

    http://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-worries-about-pirating-u-s-soldiers-in-iraq-100515/

    Please take a good look at this, the picture/copy of the docmment and the arguements to Hollywood about being able to recieve american programing and or movies in foreign countries. This opens up a whole new can of worms all the way around.

    I am sorry that I never downloaded the movie. We are at war in real life so I hate war movies. But if I decide to download it, I would send my money to the Soldier. Just my opinion and I DO hate frivilous lawsuits but this one, I believe him. I think the evidence is overwhelming. And more than likely, he didnt realize he was telling his thoughts & story that would end up being an Award winning movie. lol Who would? I am sure hollywood has him with a ton of legal loopholes that will give them a WIN.

    Next time somebody who writes books, screenplays, etc, and shows interest in you or your life, protect yourself. YOU ask the questions and find out why and whats in it for YOU. Hell, get it in writing you own the rights to your own story or life! lol I guess all of us has had something crazy or horrible that has happened in our life that would make a great "Movie of the Week" ;)

    As for Chartier, you know he is kicking himself in the ass for that email he sent. Not very professional at all. Yep, typed with lots emotion, no coffee yet, or maybe he was just served with divorce papers? Having a bad day? lol

    ps... For people being sued and already notified over the "Hurt Locker", contact the "Electronic Frontier Foundation" (EFF)~~> "Looking for Lawyers to Fight Mass BitTorrent Lawsuit: Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) needs help defending"

    http://www.zeropaid.com/news/89186/eff-looking-for-lawyers-to-fight-mass-bittorrent-lawsuit/

    Oh well, I will be watching to see who gets sued, who sues who and who gets screwed ;)

     

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    DoS, May 21st, 2010 @ 8:23am

    What if

    How about someones' defence is " I thought I was downloading the trailer" . Now what....you can't prove that the person knew it was the movie.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2010 @ 9:20pm

    I watched the guy's in the seat next to me on a 6 hour flight last month copy on his laptop. He shared 1/2 a headphone with me till his battery ran out. The picture quality was pretty bad but the story sparked my interest enough to go out to Century Theater and watch the movie with 3 friends and my wife. That was like $50.00 for Mr. Chartier. That will fill your Ferrari with gas for a day.
    It was an OK movie. I just got pissed at the fact that the theater charges 6.00 for crap pop corn and my seat was sticky.

     

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    blackhair, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 3:32am

    my moronic act for the day

    was to go to the IMDB and give one-star ratings to all the films that belong to the companies are doing this. (Not that they were 8-or-9 star films to begin with.) I am not a pirate, nor have I seen any of the movies. UWE BOLL, watch out, all your movies are going to visit the one-star devil.

    Next up....amazon.com.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    I think when millionaires complain about not making enoght money and sue individuals who make minimum wage for all they know, that is as low as it gets!

     

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    willard madelsoner, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 11:27am

    they should be thankful for torrents

    because if it's a good film (like Avatar) the fans will generally "buy" a copy of something they love anyway ... it's like a free publicity machine for them .. i think this guy is just trying to reclaim his movie's financial losses by going after the fans ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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