The Hollywood Reporter is scolding actor Ashton Kutcher and Hollywood studio Lionsgate
for a weak promotion for their new movie, Killers
. Apparently, Kutcher has been going around telling everyone that he likes the movie so much he's going to "pirate" the film and put it online. First he tweeted the following
I'd like 2 invite U to the premiere of Killers. June 1 I'm going live 2 the web & Pirating the 1st 10 min of Killers from the premiere
From there, he apparently went on The Ellen DeGeneres show and said something similar
"I love it. I like the movie so much I'm going to show it online, on the web, I'm going to pirate the first 13 minutes of the movie."
Since then he's made a number of similar statements in his Twitter feed, suggesting that he's going to broadcast those 13 minutes straight from the theater at the premier. Of course, as THR points out, this is all a publicity stunt by Lionsgate, previewing the first 13 minutes of a film -- something that a bunch of films have done in the past, especially when a studio doesn't think the film will get very good reviews. THR's chiding is silly, complaining about how calling this "piracy" is some sort of insult to people in the movie industry:
Probably not so awesome for anyone who works in the worldwide antipiracy community. Or the people who have been laid off recently from the studio home video divisions because sales have plummeted in part due to rampant online theft.
As if the film wouldn't find its way online otherwise? As if the problem has something to do with this more efficient distribution system, rather than an inability of the industry to adapt.
However, what I found really telling about the whole thing isn't the "poor choice of words," but how the industry appears to have this total double standard on the issue. One day it will claim that camcording a movie is absolutely destroying the industry
, and that tough new laws are needed to put people in jail... and the next day it will play up the fact that its going to bogusly pretend to "camcord" one of its own movies and release it (or, the first few minutes of it) online. Like Viacom insisting that YouTube is destroying its business, while surreptitiously
trying to upload its own videos in a way that looked "pirated," the industry says one thing and does another all the time.