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.
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.