Michael Moore Embraces Free Distribution Of Latest Movie

from the and-another-one dept

No matter what you think of controversial film maker Michael Moore (and I'll admit that I'm not a fan -- I think he's entertaining, but plays way too loose with the facts, even on issues where I might agree with him), over the years this been this odd compulsion by pro-copyright folks to pigeonhole Moore as being against anyone sharing his films online -- despite the fact he's clearly stated he has no problem with people file sharing his movies if it means more people see them. Yet, as we've pointed out, others have claimed that Moore's worst "nightmare" came true when one of his movies was leaked online, despite the fact that the leak helped get it more attention (just as Moore wanted) making the movie quite profitable. Then there was the "legal group" that used one of Moore's films as an example of filmmakers hurt by file sharing -- again ignoring Moore's stated appreciation of fans sharing his movies.

Well, now he's making his stance even clearer. He's releasing his latest movie for free online, though, oddly it will only be officially available that way for three weeks (though, I'm sure by then it will be widely available in unauthorized forms as well). As of right now, it's a little unclear if the movie will be available for actual download or just streaming, though the website for the movie itself, called Slacker Uprising says that it will be a download. I think he's being a bit disingenuous in claiming that he's not planning to profit from the release, as he's also offering a DVD for sale, which will likely do quite well. Either way, perhaps now folks will stop using the leaks of his movies as evidence that he's against free distribution of his movies.


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    M is for moron, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    no one wants to pay for it...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    He recognized

    As an "alternative" and early "underground" journalist/publisher, Moore has long recognized that "selling a copy" is not the only way to pay the rent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Just because he is not "Planning to profit" does not mean that he is not hoping to, or working out a long-tail method of over all profit.

     

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    Liam, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    yep

    you don't have to plan to make a profit, even if you do make a profit.

     

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    TonyJ, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:18am

    He is just desperate

    Only fools believe his tripe...he is desperate for attention and praise. He is a marginal character that looks for any avenue to become relevant.

     

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      mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:08am

      Re: He is just desperate

      Though my sentiment of Moore is akin to that of Mike's, I'm going to argue that he is slightly better than "marginal". He has tons of media attention, nationally distributed films, is the ire of many a politician, etc. When he speaks, people listen (whether they do/should agree with him is a different matter). That's hardly "marginal".

       

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      DCX2, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:56am

      Re: He is just desperate

      This is an example of an ad-hominem attack; rather than disproving any of Moore's arguments, you simply resort to name calling. It is not an effective technique for debate among serious adults.

       

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        Sailor Ripley, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: He is just desperate

        I absolutely agree with your statement, ad-hominem attacks are not an effective technique for debate among serious adults...

        and I'm sure the 27 serious adults left do not use that kind of argument amongst themselves...

         

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    peter barcia, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    michael moore

    just report the story --no editorizing-- "iam not a fan"

     

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      mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:09am

      Re: michael moore

      Why? Has techdirt morphed into some kind of journalism site when I wasn't paying attention?

       

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      ehrichweiss, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

      Re: michael moore

      I find it refreshing when someone can say they are not a fan but respect someone for some other attribute they hold. This shows more maturity and integrity than dismissing someone entirely because you don't like ONE thing about them.

      For example, I'm not a fan of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails(that's actually stating it lightly) BUT I respect him for his ability to embrace new technology and shun the music industry's dogma.

       

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      Mike (profile), Sep 5th, 2008 @ 2:05pm

      Re: michael moore

      just report the story --no editorizing

      Heh. All we do is editorialize. This is an opinion and analysis site.

       

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    neil, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:32am

    ha maybe it only available for 3 weeks to prevent the slackers from seeing it.

     

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    TexasTommy, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    I this blog sponsored by the RNC?

     

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      mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      If one disagrees with Michael Moore, then they are automatically aligned with the RNC??? Hmmm, that kinds of raged thinking is what I expect from the ultra-pundits. Are you Rush Limbaugh? Lou Dobbs? Billy O'?

       

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    Robyn, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    I worked at Blockbuster when Sicko came out. I think it's in the 3.99 bin now... nobody rented it, we had to keep a crate in the back with extra copies for shelfspace. I think we still have a few hundred. I haven't sold ANY during my shifts.

    He'd have to give it away for free... nobody wants to buy it!

     

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      mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      I can't speak for the content of the movie (haven't seen it myself yet), but I'd argue that the subject matter is a good part of the reason people didn't see it.

      Healthcare is a hard sell politically because everyone eventually needs it, hate it when they are faced with it, but most of their lives they don't think about it at all.

      When a critical system is infrequently used, it is hard to get people all worked up about fixing it. Repairing a road or fighting a war can get far more political sway mainly because they are immediate and/or giving daily reminders of the issue at hand.

       

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        nipseyrussell, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re:

        oops, i didnt "reply to" robyn's post, so look further down the page for more details, but people DID see it and it WASNT a tough sell. they saw it more than any other documentary ever except 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and 'march of the penguins' to be exact.

         

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        CVPunk, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:59am

        Re: Re:

        WTF?? Are you seriously trying to say that Healthcare is not that big of an issue because it is "infrequently" used??
        You are kidding right? I work at a medical billing office that employs about 600 people that do billing just for ER Doctor's and I can tell you for a fact that it if a VERY FREQUENTLY used system.

         

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          mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I didn't say that it isn't important or a big issue. I said it is a hard issue to sell politically.

          The fact that you work at a hub in a system that is infrequently used by millions of people doesn't prove anything. Your hub may be extremely busy, but that doesn't mean that it is something the average person deals with frequently.

          To the average person, what is more urgent in their eyes is the pothole in the middle of their street.

           

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            CVPunk, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 11:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "The fact that you work at a hub in a system that is infrequently used by millions of people doesn't prove anything."
            Except for the fact that it is NOT an infrequently used system. If you are talking about one, singular individual than, yes. But you are talking about the health care system, not a single person. If the system is used by millions daily, that is not infrequent.

             

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              mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 11:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              My point exactly is that to a SINGLE PERSON, who has a SINGLE VOTE, it is an system infrequently used BY THEM.

              Whereas the pothole, they run over that each and every day at least twice.

              To get that single person to concentrate on an issue that doesn't directly affect them is a Very Difficult Problem.

              It is trivial to sell them on fixing the pothole.

              My statement is not about whether healthcare is important (it IS), but that to the average individual it isn't urgent (it ISN'T).

              So as a politician, which fight do you take such that you wind up in power? This is the reality of politics, it has nothing to do with the reality of healthcare other than to state that it is a tough political fight.

              Do you disagree that healthcare is a tough political fight?

              Do you disagree that the average voting person doesn't interact with the healthcare system very frequently?

               

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      pene, Sep 27th, 2009 @ 12:54am

      Re:

      who the heck wants to pay for crap that has been too high priced since the beginning of "control" time. we need to get back to the barter system...let's get the s**t back to were we started from. Live and let live. ....Guess what, you can make all the money you want...you can't take it with you...and we really don't give a crap who you were while you were alive...if you didn't give a crap about the people that made you "who you think you are"...good luck MFer's

       

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    @peter barcia, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:53am

    the website is called techdirt, there is always "editorizing" this isn't cnn.com

     

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      Isaac K (profile), Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:57am

      Re:

      which also contains its own significant amount of 'editorizing' as well.
      Completely factual reporting is nearly impossible to find - that's why multiple newspapers provide nearly identical stories - each has a different perspective that makes them appeal to tailored audiences.

       

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    Steve, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Michael Moore Movie

    It isn't suprising that he would want to freely give away the oddly compiled load of crap he calls movies. It's like the signs that say "free dirt, you haul away".

     

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    Dave Keys, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:10am

    Michael Moore Movie

    Michael's motive is always, in part, politics. He likely considers this a good campaign piece.

     

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    nipseyrussell, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Oh, robyn, that taste in your mouth is sour grapes, baby, let it go! "Nobody wants to buy" or rent sicko??? Really? The movie grossed almost $25MM. How does that rank? 3rd highest grossing documentary EVER. Who beat it? that penguin movie and a documentary by a guy named moore. wonder if they are related. in fact , this moore fellow seems to have 3 of the top 5 slots and his sales on those three movies is more than that of the other 7 top tens combined. Spread your spin elsewhere, here we call it BS.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:22am

    I have an idea, let's all condemn the man for trying to make a living. Is it really that shocking that someone who makes movies would try to make money off of them? That's the point of working - to support yourself. It doesn't matter if there are people that do not like his movies, because some people do, and that is enough to put some spending cash in his wallet. Think about the place you work at for a moment. Does everyone in the world do business with your company? I would guess not. I would even go as far as saying that there are probably people who absolutely hate the company you work for. But does that stop you from going to work everyday? Nope, because it's all about the money.

     

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    nipseyrussell, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 9:23am

    my comment goes for steve as well. whether or not i or anyone agree with moore should be irrelevant (and i agree that mike should have left that out of the story), but you can stop saying that moore NEEDS to give his movies away for free. I'm not looking past the top grossing 100 documentaries list for the sales on his lesser movies, but he has 5 movies on this list and combined sales of $173MM. This is nothing compared to batman or titanic, but this probably makes him the most successful documenatarian ever in sales terms.

     

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    TexasTommy, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 10:01am

    "??? Hmmm, that kinds of raged thinking is what I expect from the ultra-pundits. Are you Rush Limbaugh? Lou Dobbs? Billy O'?"

    No, I guess I used to be "elitist", but now my label has been changed to "Angry Left". I kinda like angry left, more action-oriented, full of adventure.

    As to the Blockbuster guy's comment, in my, very, patriotic community, SICKO was one of most frequently rented Netflix offerings. Frankly, it was a pretty hilarious flick, especially the segment on boating the 9/11 injured to CUBA for medical treatment.

     

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      DS, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 11:20am

      Re: Cuba's Healthcare

      "Frankly, it was a pretty hilarious flick, especially the segment on boating the 9/11 injured to CUBA for medical treatment."

      So you enjoy when 9/11 'injured' were lied to to get them into the film? You enjoy when Moore shows you one of the top / exclusive hospitals while trying to pass it off as an average hospital?

       

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        mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

        So you are saying that the point that Moore was making about healthcare was lost on you?

         

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          DS, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 2:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

          That for socalized health care sound like a good thing, you must lie?

          Yep I got that clearly.

           

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          AJ, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 5:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

          Healthcare, like any other product or service, must be rationed. The way we ration our healthcare in our society is the use of money. Other countries try to use other ways to ration healthcare. The result? The important health services get pushed aside so every person can use this service for small, relatively unimportant procedures. Case in point--when Hillary's best friend from Canada needed breast cancer surgery, it would have taken her up to nine months to receive treatment in Canada as she has to wait in line so the system can be 'fair' to all. So, some bureaucrat is deciding that 'fairness' is more important that medical severity or necessity. This is typical for socialist countries. She was able to receive immediate treatment by flying to the US and paying for her procedure. That decision probably saved her life.

          Once you decide to use another means to ration a scarce commodity, you're at risk of unfair distribution of that commodity.

          AJ
          (boycottmcdonalds dot com)

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 6:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

            "Once you decide to use another means [besides money] to ration a scarce commodity, you're at risk of unfair distribution of that commodity."


            I hate to point this out, but using money to ration healthcare is obviously the most unfair way of all? What in the world does how much money someone has, have to do with thier need for treatment . . . nothing, its completely arbitrary (they are not related in any way).

             

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              AJ, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 6:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

              Ah, but that's where you lose a rational argument. 'Fairness' cannot be used to ration anything because some person must decide who can and who cannot receive treatment. Once you institute that plan, you now have a bureaucracy determining who does and who doesn't deserve healthcare. Do you really want those people who ran the Katrina relief deciding if you deserve to see your doctor today?

              If it were 'free' as you suggest and people can get any medical care at any time, who pays for it? Should anyone at any time be allowed to consume scarce resources without consequence? If so, do we stop producing products and services in this country so we can provide enough health care to meet the unlimited demand for free healthcare? People are going to overuse and undervalue what is free. You can't rely on people to forego free treatment so they can preserve its availability for others. They just aren't that nice. will you give up your place in line for your knee surgery so someone can have cancer treated?

              Using 'emotion' to distribute a scarce commodity such as health care is what is breaking the healthcare system. Of the millions that don't have healthcare insurance, something like 50% of them make more than $70,000 per year. They CHOOSE not to spend their money on insurance so they can purchase other things in life. And the biggest reason health care is so expensive is medicare which only pays 30 cents on the dollar of the cost of proving treatment. So, those who have are again paying for those who don't.

              I'd much rather have a society where we honor and respect free choice than one where we confiscate from those who produce to give to those who don't. Sorry. If you want the free health care, go line up in Canada. There's is so much better, right?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 8:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

                “Ah, but that's where you lose a rational argument. 'Fairness' cannot be used to ration anything . . . “

                But you’re the one who said to use anything OTHER THEN MONEY was unfair? So now at least you admit that rationing based on one’s ability to pay is not FAIR either.

                “Once you institute that plan, you now have a bureaucracy determining who does and who doesn't deserve healthcare. Do you really want those people who ran the Katrina relief deciding if you deserve to see your doctor today?”

                You already have such a bureaucracy in American healthcare today. The only real difference is the insurance industry bureaucracy of today is profit motivated and run to the greatest benefit of a very small group of people (share holders). Where a government bureaucracy could ostensibly be run with no profit motive and for the benefit of all citizens. However, make no mistake there is still a gigantic bureaucracy in near total control of your care either way.

                 

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                  AJ, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 9:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

                  To which you have a choice (several actually). 1) switch insurance providers, 2) go without insurance and pay for your services, 3) do nothing, 4) move to Canada (just a few).

                  But at least you have choices. Under the government 'bureaucracy' (think FEMA, Corps of Engineers, Education Dept), you have NO choice.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 10:30am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

                    "To which you have a choice (several actually). 1) switch insurance providers, 2) go without insurance and pay for your services, 3) do nothing, 4) move to Canada (just a few).

                    But at least you have choices. Under the government 'bureaucracy' (think FEMA, Corps of Engineers, Education Dept), you have NO choice.
                    "

                    You would have the same or MORE choice with a greater socialization of care in the united states then you have now. Much like European countries, you are still free to purchase insurance, or not have insurence at all and pay out of your pocket. The only real difference is it shifts the major initial payor costs from Employers (who pay for the majority of healthcare now and who also say they can no longer compete in a global market becuase if its expense), to the Government.

                    Scare tactics aside, the healthcare industry in the United States is FAILING, seriously so. If you doubt that, I would urge you to talk to someone in a position of monitary responsibility in that field. The quality of care in the United States continues to drop (among the top in infant mortality and the top industrialized nation on earth in preventable deaths) and the costs contiue to increase (we already pay CONSIDERABLY more then anyone else on earth for healthcare yet we have among the shortest lifespans of any industrialized people?). The system as it is in the United States simply doesnt work very well. It will be drastically changed very soon simply out of necessity.

                     

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                      AJ, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 12:29pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

                      People are coming FROM Europe to get our health care here. Get your facts right. No socialist country has EVER succeeded. No socialist movement has ever provided a better society for its lower members than our free-market system. If you want the socialism so much, MOVE THERE. Live under it for a few years. Then speak with authority about how much better it is. Don't force me to pay for your health care because you want to spend your money on video games, beer and cigarettes.

                       

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                        Sailor Ripley, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 9:48am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cuba's Healthcare

                        just a side note, since you, based on whatever unintelligent criteria, name call all western European countries as "socialist", seems only fair everybody gets to call the US right-wing, selfish, help the rich, screw everyone else country?

                        Now, to the core of your comments:

                        No socialist movement has ever provided a better society for its lower members than our free-market system

                        This is such bs I have to ask: do you actually believe this yourself? If so, what the hell do you base that ridiculous notion on? Something you read? Something a (ideological) friend told you?
                        Because if the rest of the world agrees on one thing, it certainly is that your American free-market (and lobby and whatever else this glorious free-market system cultivates) system does not provide the best society for its lower members. Go visit The Netherlands, Belgium, France, any of the Scandanavian countries,... and see check out just how much worse [sarcastic] those "socialist movements" have made those countries when it comes to not only health care, but also unimportant things, like education, social security, etc...

                        Also, your Canada example is ridiculous. First off, do you always believe anything any politician says at face value? or only when it suits you?

                        The important health services get pushed aside so every person can use this service for small, relatively unimportant procedures.

                        it's always great when somebody, without any external help or goating, exposes their ignorance and bullshit, thank you.

                         

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    TexasTommy, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 10:01am

    "??? Hmmm, that kinds of raged thinking is what I expect from the ultra-pundits. Are you Rush Limbaugh? Lou Dobbs? Billy O'?"

    No, I guess I used to be "elitist", but now my label has been changed to "Angry Left". I kinda like angry left, more action-oriented, full of adventure.

    As to the Blockbuster guy's comment, in my, very, patriotic community, SICKO was one of most frequently rented Netflix offerings. Frankly, it was a pretty hilarious flick, especially the segment on boating the 9/11 injured to CUBA for medical treatment.

     

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    Tom, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Financing Moore's next project

    Even though I've watch his more recent films online, I still buy the DVDs of all of Michael Moore's movies. Better video quality, bonus features, etc. I just see it as my way of financing his next project. He's probably the only director where I actually care if he makes another movie; thoughtful documentaries are a great alternative to the crap Hollywood churns out year after year.

     

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    Pope Ratzo, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 11:06am

    We can't believe Michael Moore because he's fat, and we can't attack Missy Palin because she's a "woman" and we can't say shit about McCain because he's a POW.

    It's kind of funny, but when you really fact check Michael Moore's movies, you'll find a lot more truth than you heard in any of the speeches from the Republican Convention this week.

    But did I mention that McCain is a POW? And that Michael Moore is fat?

    Bowling for Columbine was an extremely perceptive view of the US gun nut culture. Fahrenheit 9/11 was a very clear depiction of the Bush Administration and their use of the 9/11 attacks to gain political power and decimate the Constitution. Anybody who's been sick in the last 10 years can tell you that Sicko was right on the money.

    So, you don't like that Moore ambushed Charleton Heston? It made you squirm when Moore put some tough questions to GOP senators? Do you know why nobody ever fact checks the loony right-wing documentaries like "Expelled" or "Passion of the Christ"? Three guesses.

    One fact that's easy to check: Michael Moore has left several nice imprints of his big-ass sneakers on the backside of the GOP corporate shills, and he'll keep on doing it. He's the 21st century version of Tom Paine, who quite nicely exposed the ugliness and moral bankruptcy of King George, using pamphlets and essays that were also accused of being "imprecise".

     

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    Car Tracking, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 11:35am

    Isn't it a little dangerous to have free movies open to the public? I don't think it matters who produces or who is the lead actress/actor is in the film. If people see the word "free" on the internet, they will watch it. Also if they like the movie, why not watch it again online instead of buying it?

     

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      mobiGeek, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 12:49pm

      Re:

      Dangerous? No.

      A risky business move? Potentially. But as this site has stated many times before, there are many different ways to capitalize on free content. It looks like Michael Moore is trying one or more of those ways.

      The thing you have to ask yourself is what type of payoff Moore is after. I don't believe that his motive is financially driven. I suspect he is trying to get his message out to the masses, and leveraging free distribution of content will get him that payoff.

      If people like the movie enough, they likely will want to watch it in a better format (buy the DVD) and/or want extras (booklets with the DVD, t-shirts, movie transcripts, posters, etc...). On top of that, if the movie gets good reviews then people will flock to THEATRES in order to pay for the Theatre Experience.

      There are lots of ways he can "cash in" from giving his content away for free.

       

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    flyfish, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    re: Pope Ratzo

    Clearly a Moore coolaid drinker.

    Bowling is full of lies and distortions, his later works are worse as he became even less concerned with reality as his ego grew.

    It always amazes me when people who give every indication of being rational suddenly stand up for this fraud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Scott, Sep 6th, 2008 @ 6:04pm

    Is it just me or has no one noticed on that trailor that college students are still talking about Bush. Of course he's leaving, its his second term...

     

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    AJ, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 5:51am

    ...for what its worth...

    I have a very liberal-lefty type friend who LOVES Michael Moore. He, like many liberal-lefties, rents Moores movies from NetFlix and then copies them for free.

    AJ
    (boycottmcdonalds dot com)

     

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    Michael, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 12:52pm

    Oh sure. This makes total sense...

    I can see why this corpulent gas bag would want to let his movie be downloaded for free by whomever wants it - it's the only way he'll get a lot of people to view the piece of crap.

    This guy has long been exposed for the lying scumbag that most of knew he was to begin with.

    Whatever.

    Let him go ahead and do this, because after all, who really gives a s*** about this imbecilic dolt and his lie filled movies anyway, other than his core group of whiny, Anti-America/Anti-American, knee-jerk, bleeding-heart, uber liberals from the ultra-left wing scisim of the Democrat Party, who's collective stupidty is surpassed ONLY by their incredible and mind numbing intellectual dishonesty?

     

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    Gimpydwarf, Oct 18th, 2008 @ 8:36am

    Moore's Movies

    Why all the hate! Moore's movie's have drawn attention to issues that need attention. People need to be exposed to his P.O.V. As a free thinker, I always take anyone else's opinion with a grain of salt. Just because he made a movie, does not make his opinions fact. Don't be afraid. It's only one mans opinion. Take what is valid, and throw out the rest. Don't fear dialog.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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