Ashton Kutcher, Lionsgate Play Up 'Pirating' Own Film As Part Of Promotion Stunt

from the double-standards dept

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.

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Companies: lionsgate

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Comments on “Ashton Kutcher, Lionsgate Play Up 'Pirating' Own Film As Part Of Promotion Stunt”

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Eugene (profile) says:

“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.”

Well I think part of that comes from the fact that “Hollywood” isn’t actually a single entity, or even a collection of like-minded people. It’s a collection of very random people whose job is to create something incredibly subjective. So when they’re portrayed as a single entity by, well, basically everyone (including themselves, often by those members who aren’t aware they’re part of the group or how the group works, though sometimes it’s a self-aware misrepresentation), then yeah, they look like they’re full of double-standards. Because they’re actually full of people who fundamentally disagree with each other, but are too passive-aggressive to ever admit it. :p

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: I have an Idea ....

“If that happened, it would be hilarious.”

Who cares if they get busted …

If the studios fail to press charges we ask why. One question does this require the studio to press charges or is this something one could walk into a grand jury as a private citizen and file?

If they declare it a publicity stunt we point this out to the guys on the YouTube side of the youtube viacom lawsuit. … every studio does the same thing viacom did, and you expect us to magically know whats infringing …

If someone else gets caught video taping this film in a theater, we point their lawyers to Ashton Kutcher, and Ellen DeGeneres. The two of them are fine with pirating the movie and posting it online. If they back out and dont post 10 and 13 minute respectively who cares … they put the thought in the head of the poor defenseless dweeb that did get caught.

That is the great thing about the media industries, so self defeating.

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