Iranian Filmmaker Banned From Filmmaking... Makes Documentary Via His iPhone About His Plight

from the necessity-is-the-mother... dept

A little over a year ago, I asked how long it would be until we had a full, professional quality feature film filmed entirely with smartphones. This one doesn't completely qualify, but it is quite interesting. Ross Pruden points our attention to the story of This Is Not A Film, the documentary from widely respected Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. The story behind this film is pretty crazy. Basically, Panahi was arrested and given a six-year sentence in prison, while also being barred from making films for 20 years. While he appealed the sentence, he was apparently able to remain in his Tehran apartment under house arrest... and decided to document his life as he dealt with this situation by filming it, often using iPhones to capture scenes (though not entirely). The film has been shown at various film festivals, but is hitting US theaters starting February 29th, and the trailer recently came out:
Apparently the film itself was smuggled out of Iran to Cannes by putting it on a USB key, and then baking that USB key into a cake that was shipped out of the country. In all the news coverage of this film, I haven't seen anything about how the Iranian government reacted to this film, which they must know about by now.

Either way, there's something of a statement being made here about the power of smartphone cameras these days. It really was just a few years ago that the idea of mixing cameras with phones was widely panned as a dumb idea. And now they're helping internationally renowned filmmakers who are being censored and persecuted to keep making their art. It also says something about the need for some creators to keep making their art, no matter what the challenges to doing so. That's really amazing.

Also, it starts to lead you down the path to rethinking questions about censorship and free speech limitations. Obviously, banning someone from making a film is a form of censorship and an infringement on free speech rights. And, of course, Iran does not have a particularly good reputation on free speech issues. But technology changes things. When "making a film" is as easy as clicking a button on the phone you carry at all times, it changes the equation. "Making a film" is no longer "making a film." It's just something you and anyone else can do at any time. When that happens, the very concept of banning someone from making a film... just seems silly.


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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 9:05pm

    One day Mike, you will come to understand that it isn't technology that makes a film, but rather a story that needs telling. Iphone or panavision camera, it comes to the same thing. Being amazed or intrigued by the method used to make a film is to miss it's point entirely.

    "making a film" is your term. Telling a story is the actual one. You may never actually understand it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

      Re:

      ""making a film" is your term"

      Yeah cause I never heard that term before.

      Also I am sure Battlefield Earth was a story that needed telling.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Read Mike's words carefully:

        ""Making a film" is no longer "making a film." It's just something you and anyone else can do at any time. When that happens, the very concept of banning someone from making a film... just seems silly."

        Making a film is just a term. Would you be "making a film" if you used only digital camcorders and a digital player? It's just a frigging term. It's story telling, nothing more and nothing less. Technology isn't important.

         

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          Richard (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 2:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Making a film is just a term. Would you be "making a film" if you used only digital camcorders and a digital player? It's just a frigging term. It's story telling, nothing more and nothing less. Technology isn't important.

          Miss the point, claim that the story is wrong, then make the exact same point that the story is making and claim it for yourself!

          Of course it's true NOW that the technology doen't matter - but a few years ago it certainly DID. Things have changed and that is the point.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 6:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I am not "making the same point". Mike is caught up in a a technical lala land, all impressed by the first "iphone" movie, whatever. It is nearly meaningless in the whole deal.

            If the story wasn't compelling, if the content of the "film" wasn't worth watching, it wouldn't matter. A good story, told in a good way works out regardless of the methods used to achieve it.

            Moreover, it explains why many of the so called "new business model" type films usually fail. They don't have a compelling story, or they are not told in a compelling way. They could use the very best cameras, the very best technology, and fail on the level of a story worth seeing.

            So when Mike goes all gaga because someone made a movie on an Iphone, you know that he truly missed the point.

             

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              Kaden (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The amount of effort you put into being willfully obtuse for the sole purpose of steering the dialog towards whatever point you're attempting to make is truly impressive.

               

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              PaulT (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do you get a lot of tornados where you live? The amount of twisting you do can't be healthy...

              "It is nearly meaningless in the whole deal."

              Then, please, regale us with tales of how this story would have been achieve using a standard camera.

              "Moreover, it explains why many of the so called "new business model" type films usually fail. "

              Would you like to cite examples?

              "So when Mike goes all gaga because someone made a movie on an Iphone, you know that he truly missed the point."

              You wouldn't notice the real point if someone here stuck your nose in it.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 9:04am

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

                "Then, please, regale us with tales of how this story would have been achieve using a standard camera."

                You are still stuck on technology. All the technology in the world and a shitty story makes for a shitty "film".

                Mike is all wrapped up in the technology, but it is meaningless. Would the story be any better or any worse if he filmed it with a Nokia phone or maybe a kids toy video camera?

                The technology is pointless - the content is what makes it worthwhile.

                 

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                  Donnicton, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 9:16am

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

                  Actually, I'm pretty sure that technology played a pretty damn big factor in this guy's story getting out of Iran.

                   

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                  Hephaestus (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

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

                  "The technology is pointless - the content is what makes it worthwhile."

                  You are quite correct the technology is pointless. Where would you be without it? ... Oh yeah no movies or TV.

                  The drivel that is coming out of Hollywood at this point is worthless, and has been for a very long time. You could very easily put me, nina (p), and tim (DH) in a room and end up with an adventure that is dark and light and very CGI.

                   

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                  PaulT (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 11:57pm

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

                  I know you have a sociopathic obsession with attacking artists and independents if they're doing anything Mike agrees with, but this is pathetic even by your standards. Honestly, aren't you one of the people who keep insisting that $100 million movies are all that matters? Have you *seen* the stories for those films?

                  First of all, the story here IS the technology. This person was banned from making films. There's little likelihood he would have been allowed access to standard filmmaking equipment due to this. Nobody was going to be able to smuggle a RED camera or a 35mm setup into his home. They could, however, smuggle a smartphone.

                  "Would the story be any better or any worse if he filmed it with a Nokia phone or maybe a kids toy video camera? "

                  So, smartphones are OK if he's referring to the Nokia brand instead of the Apple brand? You may have missed the point, as ever. No, if the image quality is the same and the unit size made the film equally possible, the type of unit used doesn't matter.

                  Unless you can meet my challenge above, the technology is the story. This is what makes it so interesting - even under extreme conditions, a person can make a movie with what's in their pocket, regardless of the manufacturer. You don't have to convince corporations to give you millions of dollars to tell your story. I'm sorry that these companies you constantly defend are being shoved further out of the picture, but if you don't like it, don't watch the movies. I will.

                  "The technology is pointless - the content is what makes it worthwhile."

                  Which is why I'd rather watch this smartphone movie than a number of the bloated, poorly made, hideously expensive blockbusters you keep defending as if they're all that matters.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 2:18am

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

                    "This person was banned from making films. There's little likelihood he would have been allowed access to standard filmmaking equipment due to this"

                    So if you are banned from driving, you are not allowed to own a car ?? I dont think so.. clearly you do..

                    If you are banned from driving, you can own any number of cars, you simply are not allowed to drive them on the road.

                    If you are banned from making movies, you are banned from making movies, not baned from owning a camera, just banned from using that camera to make a movie.

                    If you own a movie camera but are banned from making movies you might decide to sell your camera as you have no use for it, just as if you are banned from driving, you might consider selling your car. But you DO NOT HAVE TOO..

                     

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                      PaulT (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 2:38am

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

                      "So if you are banned from driving, you are not allowed to own a car ?? I dont think so.. clearly you do.. "

                      I don't live in Iran, nor was I using the car for actions that offended the state enough to threaten me with imprisonment for merely expressing my freedom of speech.

                      "If you are banned from making movies, you are banned from making movies, not baned from owning a camera, just banned from using that camera to make a movie."

                      Out of curiosity, do you have a cite for the Iranian law that states that you can keep access to filmmaking equipment? In Western countries it's possible to be banned from using certain types of technology, so I don't see how Iran would be more enlightened in this case.

                       

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                        Mekhong Kurt (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 5:58am

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

                        Good point about perhaps Iranian law does indeed have a provision similar to ours banning individuals from having access to specified technologies for a court-imposed period of time. I thought of that angle, too.

                         

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 12:01am

        Re: Re:

        Also I am sure Battlefield Earth was a story that needed telling.

        Well, it was the only way for Scientologists to counter the release of OTIII to the general public and have it sound less wacko and bat-shit crazy than it is. It wasn't a bad story -- just not one you could create a good religion around.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

      Re:

      did you actually read the article? I dont think you did.

      I think you just speed read it to find a keyword you could argue about like a nitwit.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

        Re: Re:

        I read the article very carefully. The story is sad, and points out that no matter how much Mike rattles on about "censorship", that we in fact live in an incredible open and free society.

        I just think it's incredibly funny that, faced with this sad story, that he is more impressed with a minor technical sideline than anything else. Making a film isn't about film. Never has been, never will be. The method is the "shiny object" the magician uses to get you to look away from the real trick. If you pay attention to it (as Mike clearly has) you miss the real action.

        Did you read the whole story? Or were you just here for a quick insult?

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 12:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "read the article very carefully. The story is sad, and points out that no matter how much Mike rattles on about "censorship", that we in fact live in an incredible open and free society."

          Then you didn't read the article. It's about an Iranian who has been CENSORED, forbidden from making his movies. Or did you edit that part out from your brain?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 1:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Of course he edited that part out from his brain; it's not censorship, it's business as usual.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 6:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Damn, I need to type slower, because you cannot read.

            YES, I understand that the Iranian in CENSORED. I also understand that, regardless of the laws of the US, we line in "an incredible open and free society", as I said before. No matter how much he goes on and on about censorship in the US, once you see real censorship (this Iranian) you can understand why the other side on most of Mike's arguments are laughing at him.

            Sometimes you have to go past the edges of the story Mike is spoon feeding you to see where he has truly made a mockery of himself.

             

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              PaulT (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wow you really do have to do desperate things to attack Mike here, don't you. You've managed to twist a story about an Iranian using new technology to overcome censorship of his art and personal persecution into something vaguely about the US.

              Sometimes, try addressing the actual story in front of you, not whatever you think Mike is guilty of in a parallel universe.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:23am

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

                If they bothered to take an art history class, they would see the effect technology has on the arts.

                But that would mean learning something new.

                 

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The story is sad, and points out that no matter how much Mike rattles on about "censorship", that we in fact live in an incredible open and free society."

          Christ you are am moron, aren't you? Yes, YOU live in a free and open society. The IRANIAN who made the film being discussed does not, which is why he was censored. He was jailed and blocked from making films, which is exactly what the film is documenting. Are you really this stupid?

          "Did you read the whole story?"

          You clearly didn't.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I've come to the conclusion that you're delusional.

           

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          Suja (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did you read the whole story? Or were you just here for a quick insult?

           

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          How do you know we are not censored?, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          YOU would never know that what you see and hear is censored:

          AP omits sign had Osama w/Bush on puppet strings
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r823xx71uc
          http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/09/nyt.climber/?i ref=mpstoryview

          BBC CENSORS Benazir Bhutto AFTER HER DEATH
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rctRdq4rB30

          Censorship is much more than pure denial. A detail here, an omission there.

          And as with SOPA just no coverage at all.

           

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      PaulT (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:16am

      Re:

      "One day Mike, you will come to understand that it isn't technology that makes a film, but rather a story that needs telling."

      I think he does, which is why he champions methods and business models that don't depend on a profiteering middleman blocking the making or distributions of those films.

      A shame you have to misrepresent people's positions in order to justify typing your idiocy.

       

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      Suja (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 4:39am

      Re:

      no shit films are about telling stories, i haven't seen a single thing on this whole site saying otherwise, the fuck are you even talking about?

       

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      Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 6:18am

      Re:

      One day Mike, you will come to understand that it isn't technology that makes a film, but rather a story that needs telling.

      I'm surprised Mr. Panahi decided to make this film at all since pirates have take away nearly all incentive to make movies. I guess he figured he'd make just enough to justify the costs involved.

      In the future, once pirates have had their way with the entertainment industry, all you freetards will no longer get to enjoy these type of movies. Since the only reason anyone tells a story is for wads of cash. Right?

       

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      abc gum, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:39am

      Re:

      "... you will come to understand that it isn't technology that makes a film, but rather a story that needs telling. ... "making a film" is your term. Telling a story is the actual one. You may never actually understand it."

      There is big difference between "telling a story" and creating a documentary. Your attempts to muddy this distinction are feeble at best.

      There is a reason libraries separate fiction from other material, the movie cartel expends little effort making this distinction. Even when a movie is claimed to be based upon actual occurrences, there is plenty of artistic license being applied.

       

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      Andrew F (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 9:12am

      Re:

      There are certain stories that are difficult to tell without a visual medium like film.

      Mike's point is that technology is making it cheaper to tell those stories. He's excited because that means more people can tell more stories.

      Also, you're a self-righteous ass. You may never actually understand that.

       

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      Ryan Diederich, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      To assume that you know what the point of a film is is to miss the point entirely.

      It takes a special person to tell a story

       

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      Trerro, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      I'm not sure if people are trolling or just plain missing the point here... maybe a bit of both. It's not "ZOMG I can record video with my smartphone!", it's that EVERYONE can. We're switching from a world where movies required a multimillion dollar Hollywood effort and were off limits to those who didn't have the money and connections to do it, to a world where anyone with artistic drive to do it WILL find the tools to pull it off.

      Does anyone remember when "publishing an article" was something only a very limited number of people could do? Does anyone even think twice about throwing one up on the web now? Same thing.

      Does this change the fact that you need actual content (a good story, insightful commentary, whatever) for what you produce to not suck? Of course not. What it DOES change is that the fact that those who have a good idea now have the technology to make it happen WITHOUT getting it butchered by Hollywood, the newspaper biz, etc. That is indeed exciting, and it will change the world just as the internet has.

      The awesome side effect of all this new tech is also that information suppression is becoming absolutely impossible, and that's giving common citizens just about everywhere power that they've never before held. It's solving the problem of censorship by quite simply removing the possibility of doing it. This too is awesome to see.

      Last but not least, might I point out that you're reading a blog named Techdirt? One might expect such a blog to cover tech, and the dirt (scandals, political BS, people clinging to obsolete models, etc) that surrounds its advancement. It's kinda in the title. :P

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 10:40pm

    if he wanted to make a film, he could, he could have done so for his own use, but no, he wants others to see it, that isn't making art for arts sake, he wants to somehow profit from it, next he should get put in jail for life or executed, most likely what Iran will do

     

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      Suja (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      he could have done so for his own use, but no, he wants others to see it

      if you wanted to make petty comments, you could, you could have kept your petty comments to yourself, but no, you wanted others to read it, and so you posted it here, next you should get put in jail for life or executed

       

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        Suja (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 7:06am

        Re: Re:

        i mean, really, what's the point of art if no one else ever gets to see it? for the vast majority of artists it defeats a great deal of purpose

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 11:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          no. It doesn't

           

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            Kaden (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 11:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're not an artist, are you?

             

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            Killercool (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To most artists, the point of their art is to share something with other people. It can be a feeling, a picture, a state of mind, or even a story.

            If they do that job well enough, then they get paid.

            That's why the "starving artist" doesn't just flip burgers. Flipping burgers doesn't get their art to people.

             

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            John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes it does. Art is a means of communication. It is a method of relating certain intangibles such as emotion to other human beings. Art which is unrevealed to any but the artists is not, in fact art at all as no communication has taken place.

             

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    mike allen (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 12:49am

    Most probably be jailed for 20 years in Iran. They tend to put only women who are raped to death. I wish him well, what he has done is to challenge the government and in that country he is bound to lose.

     

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    blakey, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 2:58am

    am i missing something?

    this is a story about how governments make daft rulings trying to censor people not realising that technology has routed round them.
    its yet another story of how censorship does not work. hurrah!

     

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    Michael, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Wow, impressive

    He documented his house arrest using his phone, then transferred it onto USB and smuggled it out via cake.

    Anyway, just for fun, substitute 'Jafar' for 'American citizen' and 'Iran' for 'MPAA'. The similarities are astounding.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 5:54am

    Perhaps one of the points being made is that "we", and not "he", live in an open and free society, though not as open and free as many here believe should be the case.

    This is in my view merely a counter to many comments made by commenters on this site that the US in not the "evil empire" they would have others believe.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    How long before Iran bans smartphones? Or at least phones with a recording device?

     

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    DB, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Perspective

    Sort of puts all the griping about limits to free music downloading in perspective. This is what a real limit on free speech looks like.

     

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      Rich Kulawiec, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 11:17am

      Re: Perspective

      The perspective that it should generate is that the technological means that would stop this film are exactly the same as those which would stop file-sharing...and vice-versa.

      You cannot stop people from creating and copying bits unless you stop them from creating and copying ALL bits.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

      Re: Perspective

      Can you please define a "real" limit on free speech? Let's use an example that's actually happened: I want a friend to listen to a song because I think it contains a powerful message on a topic we're discussing and expresses it far better than I can. They can't download it legally to hear what I mean because a dying petulant business has hijacked the legal system. My ability to get the idea in my head into my friend's head is restricted. Is the restriction on transmission of my ideas somehow less "real" than this Iranian's?

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

      Re: Perspective

      Who's griping about limits to free music downloading? We're griping about a tiny but powerful cabal of known criminals enacting legislation that makes us a less free and open society. It has nothing to do with getting stuff for free.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 8:14am

      Re: Perspective

      Of course, some of us already know this, which is why we fight the fight of free speech....so some greedy moron doesn't come in and try to turn us into THAT.

       

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    Kaden (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    It's worth noting that the cake is the middleman between the film maker and the audience; it will be claiming all ensuing revenue until the costs of batter, icing and oven time are fully recouped.

     

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    Mekhong Kurt (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Anonymous Coward's Comments

    Anonymous Coward, I've seen quite a few of your comments here and there and enjoyed reading them, even when we don't precisely line up in terms of point of view.

    Here, however, I have no idea why you made your original criticism, nor what impels you to keep defending it when it has been pretty well shot down in flames. Consider the following response fro @Donnicton:

    **********************

    Donnicton, Feb 11th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Actually, I'm pretty sure that technology played a pretty damn big factor in this guy's story getting out of Iran.

    **********************

    I would take that observation a level higher, considering that this article is, after all, in techdirt.com. That is, had the Iranian made his film using traditional Hollywood-style equipment somehow, technologically speaking, this wouldn't be a story. Had that happened, the story would have been focused not on the technology itself, but on the question of how in the hell he managed to use such bulky equipment despite his being banned from making films, period. But he didn't. He used a smart phone. Smuggled the film out on a thumb drive concealed in a cake. (I bet the Iranian authorities are x-raying the dickens out of cakes exiting the country NOW!)

    And *that's* what makes the tech part of the story.

    Yes, there would have been a story regardless of the technology, and in this case, one worth telling in whatever fashion possible, including plain old typing it out to read. Or writing it in a journal by hand. After all, Iran is very much at the top of the news these days, and while nuclear issues dominant at this particular moment, it has and continues to offer other important stories.

    Remember Neda Soltan, the lady shot to death in Teheran in 2009? In her case, technology *was* part of the film -- it wouldn't have been possible *without* a smart phone -- who would have died before a regular film crew could have set up. Further, the shakiness, blurriness, uneven focus and lighting give the short film a gripping atmosphere created BY the very technology in the hands of an ordinary -- i.e., not trained in making films -- person.

    @Anonymous Coward, in this case, I part ways with you. Especially given that your criticism descends, at times, to near the level of spurious ad hominem attacks on Mike. I don't know Mike, so I have no idea if he's a great guy or nit, but that doesn't matter: he's a tech journalist, and as best as I can tell, he has brought us a newsworthy incident to consider.

    This one's a real head-scratcher, A.C. . . .

     

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    darryl, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 2:03am

    Is Iran a state of the US now ?

    wow, since when was Iran anexed under US law and the US constitution ?

    Here we go again, with mansick trying to apply US laws and sensibilities on a national stage.

    Quess what mansick !!! Iran is NOT a part of the US !!!!

    US law and the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION does not apply outside the US.

    Only a moron would put forward an argument as hopelessly weak as this crap, "Oh dear Iran is not playing by US laws !!"..

    This is also as usual a complete misrepresentation of what censorship is. You really simply do not have a freaking clue do you mansick !!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 2:07am

    "professional quality feature film filmed entirely with smartphones.

    oxymoron

    "is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms."

    "professional", "Quality" and "filmed on smartphones, are contradictory terms.

    So how long will it take to happen, depends on how long you think infinity is equal too.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 2:55am

      Re:

      There was a time when digital was rejected by most in the industry for quality reasons, where sound was considered a gimmick, where full-length CGI animation was unviable, and where no serious film fan would have considered watching a movie anywhere other than a cinema.

      Times change, and if you reject the entire technology simply because *right now* you might not get the desired results, you're going to be on the wrong side of history if and when things catch up. Sure, there's problems, and there will be hacks creating bad movies. But, in an industry where many legendary names simply picked up a camera at the cost of a few hundred grand to create their movies, I don't see why having the equipment resting in your pocket can be a bad thing, unless you're the kind of moron who thinks that glossy $200 million movies are all that matters.

      Also, ponder this: what constitutes "professional" in this context? The Iranian above and Chan Wook-Park are both professional filmmakers who have filmed on smartphones. Do they suddenly lose their professional status because of the equipment they use? If not, then why does the medium matter?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 6:18pm

        Re: Re:

        there is a difference between technical quality and production quality, or quality of content.

        In the olden days, movie quality was terrible, no sound, no colour, bad timing (everyone went fast or slow depending on the projectionest), poor quality images.

        But what was created with those basic and low quality techniques was very high, and very popular. (IN THEIR TIME).

        If you tried to watch one now you would hate it, we dont accept going backwards in terms of technical quality, quality itself is an indication of the state of the art (referring to the technical quality that is).

        production quality is a different matter, if you filmed 'Star Wars' on old black and white, no sound, flickering movie stock of the 1930's it would NOT be a quality movie.

        You need both quality of content, AND quality of production, it functions as a logical AND gate, both inputs have to be positive for the output to be positive.

        Any negative gives a negative.

        Technical quality has to be good (1)
        prodction/content quality has to be good (1)

        either one (I/P) is bad (0), then the output will be bad (0).

        why would you go to the effort, expense and time to create quality content, then piss that away by recording with non-quality equipment.

        Until smartphones are able to produce movie theatre quality sound and images, then you get a zero on an input to your AND gate, meaning the result will be logic low (bad)..

         

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          Kaden (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You state opinions as fact. It really undermines your attempts at logic.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            no, I state facts as facts, reality as facts, mansick is the opinion man.

            btw: what do you think from what I have said is not factual ?

            you're welcome to stand by your statement, you know !!! with some facts of your own.

            you state your opinion and nothing else..

            at least I have a logical argument, what have you contributed ? SFA...

             

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          One thing you should learn is that your personal opinion is irrelevant when trying to assert facts.

          For example, here, you seem to be trying to say that no movie is quality or "professional" unless it contains both high quality production and high quality technical quality.

          That's simply not true. I can think of a high number of popular, influential, even game-changing films that have not had technically high production values. Examples that spring to mind include The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Pi, Clerks, El Mariachi, Slacker and Eraserhead. On a technical level, especially image quality, these are hardly stunning, but are they unprofessional or unsuccessful? No.

          Again, the fact that people use a smartphone camera is irrelevant to the quality of the end result. However, the camera may make filming possible in ways that were not previously achievable or affordable. This is not a bad thing.

          "if you filmed 'Star Wars' on old black and white, no sound, flickering movie stock of the 1930's it would NOT be a quality movie."

          So, to you, all B&W, silent movies and movies from the 1930s are crap? I beg to differ, as would most film fans.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Oh, and I should add, there's a silent, black-and-white film made in the style of the 1920s that's currently up for TEN Oscars, including best picture.

            Sorry if reality doesn't agree with your sheltered opinion.

             

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    Jessica (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

    I am working on the distribution of THIS IS NOT A FILM in the US. We are currently booking theatrical and non theatrical shows around the country from New York to Nashville. I have worked in indie films for 25 years and have a special interest in classic and silent films. Mr. Panahi like any other filmmaker needs to eat (not to mention legal bills and high bail) as do those of us working to get his film out there for people to see for real, to be reviewed, written about and discussed. I get a little tired of everyone thinking stealing films is just a way to stick it to Warner Bros & Sony. Independent film is in fact being hit far worse. We don't have a 20 million opening weekend for a cushion. It is not about "greed" or outmoded "models" Netflix is $8.00 if you wait a few months but pirates cannot even be bothered to settle for that. It also not about the term of copyright as 99% of stuff being ripped off is made within the last 28 years ( the first term of copyright). The stealing of older films is actually even more destructive as it kills any ability to make and distribute high quality versions. Companies like Criterion, Kino and Milestone will put out far fewer older films and only a trickle of silents ( my favorites) because they cannot make back what they spend.

    As for THIS IS NOT A FILM. It was partly shot on an iPhone and partly on HDCAM and Mr. Panahi is not the director because that would violate his sentence, his colleague Mojtaba Mirtahmasb shot the film and was later jailed for it ( he is out on bail but facing a stiff prison sentence).

    I wonder how all of you would feel if your work was routinely stolen, you could not make a living and people told you that you had no right to be expect to be paid for what you did, it should be enough that anyone wanted to steal it.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

      Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

      I am genuinely confused by your comments here. You seem to be under the impression that the consensus on this site is that artists do not deserve to make money and that it's OK to pirate stuff.

      This impression is completely wrong. The main thrust of the arguments here is to figure out the best way for artists to get paid. Aside from a small percentage of commenters, nobody here advocates piracy at all.

      What we are saying is that the current way that the major labels is addressing piracy is harmful to artists and to society at large and will not be effective. We are trying to explain what would be an effective way to address the issue without causing so much collateral damage.

      In other words, we want to see artists make money. By the bushel, if at all possible.

       

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        jessica (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

        Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

        Sorry this is the first time I have been on the site, but as a practical matter there really is no way do deal with piracy without going after the pirates who are (mostly)outside the US. Please let me know what would be effective against the vast numbers of people who do just want to get anything on the internet for free. I have one friend whose company deals exclusively in rare mostly silent films restored by archives and digitized and scored. One day he found every film in his collection available for downloading from a Russian Pirate site ( which to add insult to injury claimed they were legal and they definately were not). It is very possible he will simply go out of business and films like the ones he made available will remain unrestored and unavailable. There just is now "model" for dealing with films in particular when they are widely stolen other than to go directly after the pirates. I am not naive enough to believe it would go away but it would make a dent which is the margin many indies need to survive.
        However if you can think of another way to dent overseas piracy I am all ears.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

          I did forget to add one thing in my reply to you above: if you had targeted your comments at a pro-piracy site, I would agree with most of what you said.

          My advice to you is to look through past postings on this site. There are two things here:

          the first is to properly define the nature of the problem. The main problem is not people who just want things for free -- those people are lost in terms of revenue. You will never see a dime from them, even if it were possible to completely eliminate piracy.

          Once we have the problem well-defined, the rest comes together much more easily. To combat piracy, you have to fulfill the need that piracy is currently fulfilling. There are myriad ways of doing this, and there is no single "silver bullet" that applies to every situation. Reading through past posts on this topic will provide quite a lot of insight, though.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

          indies, by the way, are in a much better position with regard to addressing piracy than the big labels are. The indies already typically have a strong base of followers. The big labels do not.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

          On reading my reply, I realized that it was vaguer than necessary. Let me put forth my take on the problem:

          The piracy problem is not one of people wanting stuff for free. A pirated copy does not equal a lost sale. People who pirate because they don't want to pay are people who won't pay under any circumstances.

          Most people pirate because doing so gives them the product in a way that meets their needs far better than the official version does. You might be surprised how many people buy movies, and also pirate the same movies, because the pirated copy is a better product.

          This has a lot to do with convenience: pirated copies can be viewed on any device, anywhere, anytime. There are no region codes, there is no forced viewing of commercials or anti-piracy warnings. The consumer can truly view the movie in the way that best fits them.

          Also, a big part is availability. In a lot of cases, the only way to get a movie in a usable form without going through a lot of pain is to pirate it.

          If movie producers came up with a way to meet just those needs alone, the rate of piracy would plummet. Netflix demonstrates this pretty well, but it is not perfect. Netflix is still inconvenient because of DRM, but it makes up for it by being cheap. If Netflix did better at meeting the nonmonetary needs, it could double -- or more -- its rates and be more popular than ever.

          Anyway, this only brushes the surface of the issue. Please do look through the past posts on this site. Also, look at the real research done into piracy, the reasons people do it, and what effect various approaches have made. Ignore the MPAA and big-label-backed studies, though, or at least pay close attention to their methodology. They tend to outright lie and misrepresent.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:37am

        Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

        This impression is completely wrong. The main thrust of the arguments here is to figure out the best way for artists to get paid. Aside from a small percentage of commenters, nobody here advocates piracy at all.


        REALLY !!!! are you reading the same masnick dribble as I have been reading ?

        So your just trying to figure out the best way for artists to make money.

        and your not an artist, what bone do you have in that fight ?

        Explain why you think you know better than the artists how best to make money from their work ?

        You know, the actual people who DO have a bone in this fight..

        Qui Bono, why are you doing what you are doing what is your payoff ? (as Dr Phil would say) ?

        Lets face reality here, this site and the other like it are using the 'intelligent design' wedge tactic to discuise their real motive.

        The Qui Bono (who benifits) you say you are "for the artists" getting paid, (they allready are), but lets face facts here, the real reason you are here and arguing for the Masnick mantra is for your own personal gains.

        You even have two conflicting arguments, you dont agree with the existing laws regarding copyright, you claim your rights to violate those laws, and at the same time you are arguing FOR reforms on laws that you refuse to obey in the first place.

        If you are unable to abile by the existing laws, you want the laws changed to make your illegal activity legal.

        Contrary to Masnicks claims piracy does damage, the small film make as well as the big film companies, and also your claims that "you are just trying to figure out ways for artists to make more money", you allready know the answer to that problem, but as it goes agaist your true basic desire to steal content, you reject that.

        The system as it stands now does work, piracy of content DOES DAMAGE, that is equally clear.

        Just as clear is your desire to change the laws to allow you to more easily conduct your 'activities' with some moral justification for what you do.

        You disregard the artists, you disregard the supporters of those articts, (record companies, studio's) you disregard everyone who actaully has a stake in the argument, and you do so because you want a stake in it, or you want your freebee, or the right to take things that are not rightly yours to take.

        If you really wanted to help artists, you would listen to them and find out their concerns.

        When that happens here on TD, they appear to receive NO support, and you are certainly unwilling to listen to their very real concerns.

        Well done Jessica, at least you gave it a try, all the best for your efforts, I hope that despite the pirates and their damage you are a great success...

        It is clear you'll never be a success because of their 'efforts' to 'help' you..

        Darryl

         

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:23am

          Re: Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

          "REALLY !!!! are you reading the same masnick dribble as I have been reading ?"

          No, we read the one that exists in the real world. The strawman fantasy you're constructed to attack only exists in your head.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:02am

          Re: Re: Re: It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

          "and your not an artist, what bone do you have in that fight ?"

          I do create IP, but it's not art. That's beside the point, however. My bone in this fight is that the major content companies are engaging in an assault on culture and freedom against everybody, whether or not they're artists or IP creators. If making them stop involves showing them a better way, that seems the preferable path to engaging in outright war.

          "The Qui Bono (who benifits) you say you are "for the artists" getting paid, (they allready are), but lets face facts here, the real reason you are here and arguing for the Masnick mantra is for your own personal gains."

          Indeed, yes! My personal gain is the retention of my rights.

          "You even have two conflicting arguments, you dont agree with the existing laws regarding copyright, you claim your rights to violate those laws, and at the same time you are arguing FOR reforms on laws that you refuse to obey in the first place."

          I'm not claiming any rights to violate any laws. I don't know what you're talking about.

          "If you are unable to abile by the existing laws, you want the laws changed to make your illegal activity legal."

          And here is where you've completely departed from anything like reality.

           

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    Jessica (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    It actually does cost money to make and distribute any film

    I am working on the distribution of THIS IS NOT A FILM in the US. We are currently booking theatrical and non theatrical shows around the country from New York to Nashville. I have worked in indie films for 25 years and have a special interest in classic and silent films. Mr. Panahi like any other filmmaker needs to eat (not to mention legal bills and high bail) as do those of us working to get his film out there for people to see for real, to be reviewed, written about and discussed. I get a little tired of everyone thinking stealing films is just a way to stick it to Warner Bros & Sony. Independent film is in fact being hit far worse. We don't have a 20 million opening weekend for a cushion. It is not about "greed" or outmoded "models" Netflix is $8.00 if you wait a few months but pirates cannot even be bothered to settle for that. It also not about the term of copyright as 99% of stuff being ripped off is made within the last 28 years ( the first term of copyright). The stealing of older films is actually even more destructive as it kills any ability to make and distribute high quality versions. Companies like Criterion, Kino and Milestone will put out far fewer older films and only a trickle of silents ( my favorites) because they cannot make back what they spend.

    As for THIS IS NOT A FILM. It was partly shot on an iPhone and partly on HDCAM and Mr. Panahi is not the director because that would violate his sentence, his colleague Mojtaba Mirtahmasb shot the film and was later jailed for it ( he is out on bail but facing a stiff prison sentence).

    I wonder how all of you would feel if your work was routinely stolen, you could not make a living and people told you that you had no right to be expect to be paid for what you did, it should be enough that anyone wanted to steal it.

     

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    Jessica (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    sorry about the double post

    Can not figure out how to delete it

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    Sadly Indies are in far worse position

    We do not have lawyers and as a practical matter can not even take basic measures to protect our material. I hear the argument about "You are not losing revenue because those people stealing where never your customers", all the time" sounds nice but it is not true. Indie companies have seen their DVD,Netflix, streaming sales plummet while watching the number of illegal views skyrocket. So what happened to all our dedicated fans who would never steal a film? I see it first hand on a daily basis like my friend whose entire small business is at risk to do one Russian pirate site.

    Again I am also tired of hearing we need a new "model" or there is something not being fulfilled. The films are available in theaters, on line in DVD etc but yet they are mostly being stolen by people who want them for nothing. How much lower than $8.00 a month for Netflix can you go? ( and FYI Netflix has vastly cut back on indie films in part because of piracy). It is not like films have been replaced by a new & better product of say email over fax, or answering machine over answering service, the films are the same, people just do not want to pay for them and there is no new model for theft.
    I appreciate that you and most here are not supporting piracy but the reality is that it is killing the film business especially classic and indie films and the dirty little secret is that we agree with the MPAA etc on most of the piracy issue.

     

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      jessica (profile), Feb 12th, 2012 @ 4:29pm

      Re: Sadly Indies are in far worse position

      Sorry I do not know why that last comment came out anonymous but I assume you realize it was me.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 12:44am

      Re: Sadly Indies are in far worse position

      Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou, for going to this effort to tell it how it is.

      If you read the majority of the posts here, it is all about a 'new model', but little detail of why a new model is required.

      There is also an impression that artists are being forced to engage a production company or studio to promote, distribute and protect their work.

      As you have very clearly explained, that is not the case, no one is forced to sign with Universal Studio's or any other company, they do so because they have negiotiated risk and profit ratio's and signed an agreement.

      If you do not like the deal, you do not sign the contract.

      They propose a 'new model' here, but not what that model actualy is, it contains no substance.

      Therefore there is no way to guage if any new system is either 1) required or
      2) better that the existing system.

      again, all the best... and good luck (or is that, break a leg)..

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:13am

      Re: Sadly Indies are in far worse position

      I think the predominant position here is basic: that piracy exists, and that the methods of combating it up to now are doing more harm than good for everybody involved.

      That is not to say that piracy is good, desirable, or harmless. Merely that it is a factor that must be dealt with. This is a problem of shifting economics and marketplaces, and it is inherently a problem of business model. The old model cannot tolerate piracy, and this will kill it. That's why the solutions discussed invariably discuss new business models.

      The industry has, understandably, been trying as hard as it can to avoid changing business practices. Instead, it has been engaging in legislation that allows it to remain the same, but as a side-effect does great harm to society and freedom.

      In my view, if it really is a choice between content producers damaging society or content producers going out of business, then going out of business is far preferable.

      However, I don't think that's the choice.

       

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    jessica (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Sorry I can not resist responding to the absurd claim that the technical and artistic quality of films is somehow much better than say the 20s. Among serious film buffs 1927 is considered the peek year of films. They reached their height in artistic brilliance before being set back by sound. I am not saying many great films where not made after, but silent films are extraordinary and while largely unoticed they have been hit very badly by piracy. A few years ago with the combination of the two most hated pieces of copyright legislation ( The GATT treaty) and the Sonny Bono copyright extension, led to an absolute paradise in the quality and quantity of silent films made available on VHS, DVD,broadcast etc. European archives opened their vaults because they could now recoup at least some of the costs of restorations, studios, especially Warner Bros made their vast silent film libraries available. Criterion, Kino, Milestone and others put out wonderful collections of often rare silent films. In the last few years and increasing at alarming speed, this is drying up because piracy had made it impossible to even come close to covering costs especially for the small companies. I did support GATT because European countries had lost copyright for decades in the US leading to a whole lot of horrid looking washed out classics, I felt the Sonny Bono law was wrong but in the law of unintended consequences it did not lead to fewer films being available (at least in decent copies) but more. Sorry for all the "inside baseball" details but silent films are on average far better than the techno crap released today and they had a flowering moment thanks in large part to dreaded copyright laws.

    I work on this stuff on a daily basis and when you see film buffs desperately trying to make important films available from silent to THIS IS NOT A FILM, it is depressing when so many people (and trust me I do not mean here) think it is fine to just steal them and claim they have done no harm because after all they were not going to pay anyway.

     

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    Jessica (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    New Business Models?

    Sorry but this is the one that kills me. THERE IS NO MODEL FOR THEFT. People do not care. They will not even spend $8.00 a month on Netflix. Small companies in particular have tried every method to get their work out and be paid something for it but it is not working and shutting down pirate sites in Russia & China does not upset me. The irony is of course the big enablers are Google, Yahoo etc. I go to a site offering links to illegal downloads and of course it is FILLED with Google ads and even Netflix. The great myth is that evil rights holders bought politicians for SOPA when in fact google spent 30 million far more than studios combined to defeat it.
    I know there are no perfect solutions but as someone who has their work stolen every minute, I have no problem trying to shut down pirate sites particularly those outside the US. I know it is a game of whack a mole but you would be surprised how many people who download pirate material get discouraged by an extra click or two.

    It is NOT a choice between a "free" internet and evil rights holders. The ability to download a copy of the new Batman film is not essential to free speech or a free internet. Pirates can be taken down without impinging on
    any legitimate rights.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:17am

      Re: New Business Models?

      It's a shame that this point can be discussed so widely and so clearly, yet morons like yourself still pretend that theft is involved and anyone who disagrees with the MPAA must be thieves.

      It's getting tiresome. Grow up, and address the points actually being made, please.

       

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        jessica, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: New Business Models?

        When you illegally download a copyrighted film it IS theft. There is no other word. If I steal your car do you have another word? I think the MPAA has done a horrible job explaining things and has often overeached on copyright issues (for years they insisted that taking clips from DVDS was illegal for classroom use) but that does not make them wrong here. It sounds so nice to say it is not really "theft" but free speech or sticking it to some evil corporation but it is theft pure and simple. How to deal with it properly one can argue, but downloading a copyrighted film is stealing and both filmmakers and people who work with them are getting hurt badly.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: New Business Models?

          "It sounds so nice to say it is not really "theft" but free speech"

          Nobody is saying any such thing. This is a pure strawman.

          I'm rather disappointed, jessica. You started off sounding like you were interested in a serious, informed debate, and I was taking you seriously.

          Your last few comments, however, are filled with so much inaccuracy, continued ad hom attacks, strawmen, ignoring points made, and the usual lies that the copyright maximalists spew that I now no longer believe you were ever serious.

          That's sad.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 12:33am

          Re: Re: Re: New Business Models?

          "When you illegally download a copyrighted film it IS theft. There is no other word."

          No, there is a word for it. It's "infringement". Learn the difference.

          "I think the MPAA has done a horrible job explaining things"

          Yes, because they spread lies and misdirection, like the above. It's sad that you have bought into the lies wholesale, but try to research the decade's worth of explanations here as to both what the problem is and how to properly combat it, before you try to spread your propaganda nonsense.

          "both filmmakers and people who work with them are getting hurt badly."

          Another MPAA lie.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2012 @ 4:48am

          Re: Re: Re: New Business Models?

          Then why is it called copyright and copyright infringement? Why aren't people downloading accused of theft instead of copyright infringement?

          You're out of your element "jessica".

           

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      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

      Re: New Business Models?

      "The irony is of course the big enablers are Google, Yahoo etc."

      Patently false.

      "The great myth is that evil rights holders bought politicians for SOPA when in fact google spent 30 million far more than studios combined to defeat it."

      Also patently false. In fact, Google wasn't making an issue of this much at all until they were shamed into it.

      "The ability to download a copy of the new Batman film is not essential to free speech or a free internet."

      Absolutely true. However, all of the means to stop it that have any chance of being even a little effective do indeed impede free speech and a free internet.

      "Pirates can be taken down without impinging on any legitimate rights."

      Really? Then please, show us how. I'm very serious. If someone could come up with a solution like this, opposition to it would melt away.

       

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    Jessica (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 6:50am

    Copyright , google etc.

    Hmm people who steal certain things are accused of "robbery" or "larceny" not "theft" so people who steal films are accused of "copyright infringment" It IS theft to those of who work in film. I have to laugh at the idea google et al are not the main force behind this. They did spend 30 million to fight it.I recently checked several illegal download sites and surprise they were filled with GOOGLE ads. I don't even want to get into youtube where pirates are now literally claiming someone pulled down a trailer to entice someone to link to illegal download site. Google is by far the biggest enabler of piracy and they are well aware of how much they make on it and will do what it takes to protect it.

    The amount of misinformation was staggering starting with the basic claim that SOPA allowed US sites to be shut down (in fact they already can be) and then mysteriously the words "Foreign infringing site" which is the key phrase in the act literally disappeared from most "discussions" (sorry I was not on this site when I presume it was discussed). How does the key phrase in a controversial law disappear? I was pretty stunned by that one.

    Like I have said, you can argue if it is practical or possible to stop pirates, my view is you can put a dent in them which is what the business needs to survive. I don't think anyone here is directly involved with filmmaking or distributing. You are the ones throwing around ridiculous stuff like new delivery models. Short of streaming the films for free and offering a BONUS for watching them there is absulutely nothing the film community can do "improve" the delivery model. The people illegally downloading movies do not want to pay.

    Please tell me how it is a "lie" that this hurts the film community? I live it every day. If whatever product you made
    where suddenly being stolen and given away for free you really think it would not effect your business?

    If I seem a tad angry it is because I see the reality of it so it is not an academic discussion.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 7:13am

      Re: Copyright , google etc.

      "Hmm people who steal certain things are accused of "robbery" or "larceny" not "theft" so people who steal films are accused of "copyright infringment""

      Yes, because they're different crimes with different levels of consequence. Theft requires depriving the owner access to something. Infringement does not do this. Stop lying about your opponents and maybe you'll learn something.

      "It IS theft to those of who work in film."

      No it's not.

      " I have to laugh at the idea google et al are not the main force behind this."

      I have to laugh at the blatant bullshit you appear to have bought into. I can guarantee that my objections to these laws and others for the last decade had nothing to do with Google, but idiots such as yourself will pretend otherwise.

      "my view is you can put a dent in them which is what the business needs to survive"

      Yes you can. You can do this by offering the product people wish to buy. You offer it without regional restrictions, DRM and other things that make them less valuable than a pirated copy. You offer them at a reasonable price, and don't try to rape people repeatedly for content they've already bought. You offer a full choice of formats, and allow people to access at the time, place and method that's best for them, not what you decide is most profitable this week.

      "Short of streaming the films for free and offering a BONUS for watching them there is absulutely nothing the film community can do "improve" the delivery model."

      Another lie. Regional restrictions, format windowing, time limits even on legitimate legal copies, DRM. Removing any one of these would improve the experience for consumers, and also open up new markets you currently refuse to service. Look outside of your own sandbox for a moment - very few countries have anything like the choice available to Americans, and it's by your own choice that you refuse their money.

      "Please tell me how it is a "lie" that this hurts the film community?"

      Based on domestic theatrical gross alone, the last few years have been the highest grossing in history. More films are being made than ever before, and more are being distributed. people have more options of what to watch, and will often pay multiple times to do so. If "piracy" truly hurt the industry as you say it does, wouldn't the reverse be true?

      "If I seem a tad angry it is because I see the reality of it so it is not an academic discussion."

      No, you've bought into a fiction and ignore the actual opinions of real people. You ignore your own customers in favour of trying to bleed from them what you used to get before you became irrelevant through your own actions. It's not academic, it's just a pathetic way to do business.

       

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    Laroquod (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    Saw this film at TIFF

    Completely aside from the political ramifications of the circumstances under which it was produced, This Is Not a Film is a deep rumination on what it means to even make a film. It's one of the best, if not the the best film I saw at the Toronto Film Festival last year.

    I believe that people who think of this film as something to watch in order to support Iranian dissidents are doing it a disservice. This would be a brilliant film regardless of its sociopolitical context.

     

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