Michael Moore's Lawyers Think They Can Limit BitTorrent To Just US And Canada

from the the-internet-doesn't-have-borders dept

It's always amusing when people seem to think that geographic borders actually apply to the internet. We recently wrote about Michael Moore's plan to freely distribute his latest movie online, which supported Moore's earlier statements saying the greater the number of people who see his movies (for free or not), the better off he is. However, when the movie was finally released online, and users were told to share it, some were reasonably surprised that Moore said it should only be shared in the US and Canada. Of course, once people are distributing it online, national borders are somewhat meaningless. And it seems next to impossible to figure out a way to ask people to share the movie, distributing it via torrent sites... but say that it should only be shared within the US and Canada.

However, it appears that Michael Moore's lawyers are now trying to do the impossible. Michael Geist points us to a website that received a DMCA takedown notice for sharing the movie outside the US and Canada. In fact, the lawyers were confused, and the website they sent the takedown to was merely a DNS service, not the webhost, but it appears the lawyers will continue the rather ridiculous task of trying to take down any torrents of the movie outside the US or Canada.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:24pm

    I must disagree, Mike. The more people who see his movies, the more people realize how ridiculous (and royally irrelevant) he is, so they won't go see his next movie, paid for or not.

     

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    The Exorcist, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:30pm

    And for their next trick

    They will repeal the law of gravity, and make the sun rise in the west, and then set in the north.

     

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    Dave, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:06pm

    Nice. I saw there were 2 comments and was curious how many would badmouth Moore. Keep up the trolling AC. It's always refreshing.

     

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      Greg, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      You think it's trolls that bad mouth Michael Moore? Those who say he's irrelevant and ridiculous are the mainstream. Michael Moore is the fringe kook that no one really wants to hear from. Truth is, he's giving away his movies online as no one in their right minds would pay to see his crap.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:46am

      Re:

      @Dave:

      As soon as he doesn't talk out of his ass people will take him more seriously. Most of the time he's talking for the sake of talking.

      Sicko was an exception.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, Sicko wasn't an exception either.

        If you look closely enough at the film, you'll see he makes invalid comparisons and uses time shifting of events to suggest correlation where none actually exists in that film as well.

        It just so happens the medical/insurance industry is so screwed up that the actual facts made the hyperbole seem a trivial issue to the overall theme of the film.

         

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    confused, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:12pm

    What is their point exactly? Why bother try to stop distribution beyond North America? Am I missing something here?

     

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      Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      Why? I guess he found out that people in other countries don't agree with his bleeding heart liberal idealism that bends towards communism. If someone is not of the same belief as him then he does not want to have anything to do with them.

       

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    Joe, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:12pm

    And the DMCA applies outside America?

     

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    fat Tony, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:21pm

    wat?

    Moore's earlier statements saying the greater the number of people who see his movies (for free or not), the better off he is.

    it should only be shared within the US and Canada.

    WAT?

    What exactly is that?
    Tops 500 million people...if every man, woman, and child saw it in North America...
    I think maybe...India...no wait, China...or better yet, THE WORLD might maybe have some of those "people" that he could show his biased, possibly unsubstantiated, fact filled movie to.

    Hell, I am surprised a lawyer could make heads or tails of that request.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:49pm

    hahaha michael moore what a joke...

     

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    ThePeopleGeek, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 11:57pm

    M Moore

    Any publicity is good publicity. Clever publicity move again sir. It seems to be your strong suit. Making films and honesty do not come a close 2nd or 3rd.

     

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    illegalprelude, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:24am

    If MM is a Joke....then

    If Michael Moore is a joke....then that makes George Bush a what?...

    Anyways, im curious if this is something really Michael Moore is believing in or his movie distributor

     

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      Ajax 4Hire, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:34am

      Re: If MM is a Joke....then

      President of the United States.

      100 years ago,
      the 26th President from 1901-1909 is Theodore Roosevelt.
      Does anyone know who D. W. Griffith is?

      100 years from now,
      the 43rd President from 2001-2009 is George W. Bush.
      Does anyone know who is M. Moore?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:12am

        Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

        100 years from now,
        Which president bankrupt the former USA from 2001-2009?

        美国总统布什 (Actually, not sure They will keep that in history).

        It will probably be easier to find a copy of M.Moore's work.

         

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          Greg, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:24am

          Re: Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

          You're obviously a moron. The "former USA?" So you think the United States is going to fail? Yep, this makes you a moron.

          Presidents don't spend money. Congress does.
          Who's the majority part? Democrats, most of whom are liberals.

          Both parties spend way too much, but liberals go above and beyond.

           

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            Paul, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

            Amen to that. And this latest "Bail Out Plan" that is trying to be past, is being headed up mainly by the Left.

             

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        Andrew, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

        D.W. Griffith was a visionary filmmaker. Unfortunately, his masterpiece of film craft was an overt glorification of the KKK and the racism of antebellum South.

        Not sure how you compare that to Michael Moore.

         

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          Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

          Michael Moore has said on camera that he does not listen to anything that republicans have to say. He ignores what they are saying. How then can he possible provide any kind of an informed commentary on any political subject? The guy is running around pointing his finger are problems and not looking at the cause of the problem. I would venture to say that his antics are not helping to solve any of the problems he is screaming about.

          In his 'film' sicko, he is claiming that the US health care system is the worst in the world. If the health care system is so terrible then why are so many Canadians coming to the US to get health care instead of depending on the government run heath care system in Canada. According to Michael Moore, the US health care system is the worst.

          On the same note, why do so many people come to the US for health care instead of other countries that Moore has rated higher on his list? Seems a bit odd that someone can make these claims but refuses to look at the other side of the proverbial coin.

          As far as Michael Moore being compared with the KKK, this is how you can rightly compare him with the KKK. The KKK hates blacks, foreigners, Jews and everyone else that is not a "white American". Michael Moore does not consider any point of view that is not his own of that of the bleeding heart liberals. All others are ignored or criticized without even being considered. He is one sided and refuses to even acknowledge the fact that the democrats could be wrong on an issue. That is how you compare Michael Moore and the KKK.

          I would even go so far as saying that Michael Moore is like the Nazi party. He only wants people to hear ONE side of the issue (you can't call it an argument if you are not given both sides of the issue). It is either his way or no way. Once again, he has stated that he is "genetically unable to" consider anything associated with the republicans.

          I personally relegate his 'works' into the science fiction category or even more appropriately, the 'schlock' movies.

           

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        Truthbringer, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

        "100 years ago,
        the 26th President from 1901-1909 is Theodore Roosevelt.
        Does anyone know who D. W. Griffith is?"

        Yeah T.R. was a hero of the rough riders and founder of the Bull Moose party intent on reigning in "Wall Street Speculators". D.W. Griffith was among the first "real directors" in film and is credited with making the first "real" motion pitcure "Birth of a Nation".



        "100 years from now,
        the 43rd President from 2001-2009 is George W. Bush.
        Does anyone know who is M. Moore?"


        Yeah George Bush was that cowardly, coke-snorting, draft dodger who used family money, political connections and the easy exploitation of less sophisticated fundamentalist Christians to become the man who most Americans now consider the worst president the United States has ever endured. His legend of wrongheaded ideological decisions, lies, cover-ups, corruption, abuses, malfeasance and open distain for the Constitution will surely live on in infamy for as long as our country exists. Hopefully his legend will at least last longer than the damage he has so carelessly and clearly inflicted on our nation. Oh yeah and Michael Moore was an obese, disheveled guy who made funny movies that embarrassed rich people.

         

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          Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: If MM is a Joke....then

          If you feel this way about Bush, just wait and see what happens to the US should Obama make it into office! Read up on communism and what you have to do to stay in good graces with the state. If Obama gets into office then that is what is going to happen to this country, we will become a communist nation after a while. He already stated one of the fundamental principles of communism in one of his speeches, you know the one. It was when he said that we need a more equal distribution of wealth in the US and we need a strong government hand to help bring about that change. Yeah, like I want the government to get any bigger than it already is.

          The change that we need in this country is to get rid of a lot of the government, get more people to think for themselves and to get more people to be accountable for their own decisions.

          Billary tried to introduce communism into the US with their health care plan and the American people saw through the plan and it got shot down. Now Obama is trying a different route toward the same goal. He wants to get more government control over people by hailing it as "positive change". I'm sorry, I just don't want to deal with a government that will hold me as a suspect without any reason. (Check out the lates news about China and Skype).

           

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    Scott Lithgow, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:44am

    Cost of all this

    What gets me is these rich guys set the lawyers on the small innocent guys. Much money that can not be afforded is spent and then they say sorry and go away meanwhile the have just bankrupted someone who was just quietly going about their daily business.

    That sucks

     

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    Ppitstop, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:46am

    Far too serious

    Michael Moore has been taking him self far too seriously for years and crime is that we do too.

    We should just ignore him & hope he goes away.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 1:31am

    It's interesting how political viewpoints can cloud peoples' judgements when looking at even simple facts.

    Look at this thread, for example. The title of the article refers to Michael Moore's lawyers, while the linked articles refer to actions taken by his film distributors - apart from earlier statements about how he wants as many as possible to see the movie, I don't see any action taken by Moore himself. Rather, it's distributors and lawyers who seem to be still living in the 90s - a sadly common occurrence in the entertainment industry.

    Yet, the response by many on this thread? To directly and personally attack Moore, often for things unrelated to these actions. Not his lawyers or distributors - who will very often take action against Moore's wishes if they believe it's in their best interests.

    If you view the political landscape to be black & white, us vs them, as many Americans sadly seem to, it's a shame that you undermine your own causes by being so childish. Moore is a moviemaker who creates documentaries that are openly one-sided and intended to get subjects not normally discussed at the time out in the open. He's egotistical and sometimes undermines his own agenda by ignoring counterpoints and leaning too far on hyperbole, but he often has some very good points. Unlike those who try to attack Moore and make themselves look foolish in response.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:55am

      Re:

      Michael? Is that you?

       

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      hegemon13, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:13am

      Re:

      Hmmm, so we should respect Michael Moore for "making one-sided arguments...and leaning too far on hyperbole." But, if we argue against him, we are foolish? So, it is respectable for him to make baseless arguments and accusations against others. But, if we point that out and argue against him, we're fools. A bit hypocritical, eh?

      Michael Moore is the Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh for liberals. That is, he spouts garbage, claims it's gospel truth, and his followers think he is next to God. In reality, he is really just the film equivalent of a shock jock like Savage and Limbaugh, and none of those lying, hateful extremists solve anything. You can't expose the truth by lying, even though that's what you claim Moore does.

      It is a sad state of the nation when differing political ideas create not discussion and progress, but bigotry and hate. Guys like Moore lead the charge down that destructive spiral.

       

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        Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Personally to say that Michael Moore is like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh is an insult to Savage and Limbaugh. At least these two will talk about the other side of an argument. With Michael Moore he won't even acknowledge the other side of an issue if it has to do with the republicans!

        Michael Moore needs to go to another country and try making a film about that country's way of doing things. He should start off in the middle east or China. I'll be happy to contribute money for a one-way ticket for him to leave the US to one of these places.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Oct 9th, 2008 @ 4:13am

        Re: Re:

        "So, it is respectable for him to make baseless arguments and accusations against others. But, if we point that out and argue against him, we're fools."

        That's not what I said, and I think you know it. The thing is, Moore often has some very good points and important arguments, whether or not you actually agree with them. Yet the people who attack Moore often don't attack the views themselves, but rather the man. I rarely see a discussion on one of Moore's films, or a discussion where the films are mentioned, where someone attacks Moore's waistline or makes some blanket assumption of "liberals". As someone who considers himself socially liberal, but not a socialist, hippy or idealist, it always dismays me to see people reject opposing arguments just because the man is "liberal".

        That's the kind of discussion you should be avoiding, and if the only response to his arguments people can come up with are weak attacks on his character or appearance while avoiding the issues, you imply that the issues are in fact correct. The only thing that should matter in these discussions are the facts. Attack those, and state why they don't support Moore's conclusions.

        "You can't expose the truth by lying, even though that's what you claim Moore does."

        You can if the lie contains some measure of truth. To give an example: Sicko is a very one-sided movie that ignores some of the benefits of the US healthcare system while ignoring the very real problems that exist in the socialised healthcare systems he examines.

        However, the deeper truths (many Americans - insured or not - are either refused adequate healthcare or bankrupted in ways that *cannot happen* in other systems, the US healthcare system is deeply flawed and biased towards the rich and/or corporations, co-pays are often ridiculous and unmanageable and that affects the standard of preventative medicine, etc.) are very clearly presented.

        Most importantly, Moore's film actually got people talking about the US healthcare system. Compared to the daily rants of the radio/TV shock jocks you mentioned, Moore's films are blips on the radar. They surface occasionally, with a very strong message that needs to be discussed. Whether you like the presentation or not, the subjects (healthcare, gun control, terrorism, the competency of the sitting US president, etc.) are very important for people to talk about. If it takes Moore's approach to encourage discussion, so be it.

        Or, you can attack Moore or be like the idiots above and below who seems to think that any positive comment on Moore has to be from the man himself. Nobody believes Moore is perfect, few believe that his approach is absolutely correct, but we should be discussing these issues with or without him.

         

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    simon, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 1:51am

    to keep-it local on the internet

    is not impossible, but, if he wants to use P2P network, impossible...

    Set-up a web page, stream-it from there, pay up broadband and keep-it close, for a free distribution form, (P2P like, forget-it...) it goes world-wide whatever he wants...

    just my 2cents on the side

     

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    shanoboy (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:15am

    limit to the US & Canada! Ha!

    All my favorite bit torrent trackers are in Europe!

     

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    Limp, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:26am

    If you view the political landscape to be black & white, us vs them, as many Americans sadly seem to, it's a shame that you undermine your own causes by being so childish. Moore is a moviemaker who creates documentaries that are openly one-sided and intended to get subjects not normally discussed at the time out in the open. He's egotistical and sometimes undermines his own agenda by ignoring counterpoints and leaning too far on hyperbole, but he often has some very good points. Unlike those who try to attack Moore and make themselves look foolish in response.
    You must be one of them....

     

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    TPBer, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:07am

    @#5

    "And the DMCA applies outside America?"

    I don't think it works really well anywhere.

     

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    Keith Jolie, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:26am

    I think it's a waste to try and restrict it to CDN and US, but whatever...

    It's easy to take pot-shots at Michael Moore - he sets himself up as a big target, but for whatever reason, the download is being offered to residents of the US and Canada for free. I'm pretty sure that trying to sue people who don't respect that request isn't the best use of resources...but whatever... (on the website to get the file you just have to check a box that says you live in the US or Canada...so it's not very strictly monitored)

    Michael Moore is definitely on the fringe, but without people on that outer edge, questioning our current understanding of things and questioning the current way of doing things, our perspective and vision can get more and more narrow over time.

    Womens rights, emancipation, child labour, and a host of other issues were all at one time "fringe" issues, taken up as causes by people that were dismissed much like Michael Moore is often dismissed.

    I think it would be pretty hard to say that "Bowling for Columbine" hasn't had at least some impact on the general public opinion regarding the issues presented. Even if it has only been to stir discussion (which I think is really his goal)

     

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      Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:56pm

      Re: I think it's a waste to try and restrict it to CDN and US, but whatever...

      I would love to see films that are 'on the edge' of an issue. But what Michael Moore is doing is not that. He is taking the facts and distorting them to fit his story. It's like the SNL skit where a report is interviewing a politician and asks if they said (something) like, "I.....hate.....the.....******......people."

      Michael Moore alters the truth in way that makes it fit his story even if his story is not true. That is not journalism or documentary film making. What he is doing is just fiction at best (and even that is a stretch).

       

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    KJ, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:44am

    email from MM

    This is what the email from MM looks like when you request the video... Looks like I have permission to use it anywhere I like...doesn't say anything about the US or Canada.

    Thanks for signing up to download Slacker Uprising. It is available for free as a gift from me to all of you. And you have my permission to share it or show it in any way you see fit.

    Watch it all: http://slackeruprising.com/download/location.php?utm_medium=download&utm_source=32058568

    At that link, there are five ways you can watch it free and without advertising:

    1. blip.tv is providing streaming right from slackeruprising.com, free of commercials and advertising.
    2. Amazon Video on Demand is providing a higher resolution version of the above stream for people with lots of bandwidth.
    3. iTunes makes it easy for you to download "Slacker Uprising" on your iTunes, iPod, or Apple TV, and view it there or transmit it to your television. This way, the film can be portable as well as for home viewing.
    4. Hypernia is providing bandwidth and servers to host MPEG4 and DivX versions of "Slacker Uprising" online, so you can burn a DVD or download the film to watch on your computer, XBOX, or PS3.
    5. Lycos is providing free streaming of the film and an on-demand version.

    Stream it, download it, burn it now. It's the first time a major feature-length film is being released for free on the internet. You can be part of this historic moment by logging on now!

    Enjoy!!

    Michael Moore
    MMFlint@aol.com
    MichaelMoore.com
    SlackerUprising.com

    P.S. Remember, we're doing something that's never been done, so I have no idea how it will all go! Don't give up if it seems to go slow (like with any streaming, give the downloading a head start before you hit play), and don't forget there are two places where you can actually download it to your hard drive and three ways to stream it. You can get to all of them at the link above.

    P.P.S. If you're not yet registered to vote, here's a good link: https://www.voteforchange.com/.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 9:14pm

      Re: email from MM

      Yeah, that is the email MM set out, minus the part you cut out about it being available only in US and Canada.

      LMAO.......

       

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    Amanda, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:09am

    Griffith and Moore

    The comparison between D.W. Griffith and Michael Moore is both were film makers who distorted facts and history to make a point with their films.

     

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      Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:41pm

      Re: Griffith and Moore

      Its like the tabloids and their stereo-typical story planning: pictures of people on one wall, action statements on a second wall, more words on the third wall. You throw a dart at each wall and connect the three messages.

      Example:
      Wall 1: A dart sticks in a picture of the Pope.
      Wall 2: A dart lands on "rumored to..."
      Wall 3: Dart lands on "be a spy."

      I can see Michael Moore using the same technique to gather his "facts".

       

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    CJ, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:15am

    I'm curious as to what he thought the first W in WWW stood for. Wamerica?

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 8:52am

    Overseas money

    Maybe they figure they can actually get people in the Middle East and France to pay for the America hating drivel his films portray.

     

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    Slacker, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 9:13am

    MM

    Why would anyone watch or share this crap with anyone, ANYWHERE???

     

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    nipseyrussell, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:36am

    Greg, Chuck.NEd, Slacker - once again in a michael moore thread we have people saying that no one wants to watch or pay for michale moore movies. you may disagree with him, fine, but why lie about him, too??? As i said last time, moore's last 3 movies are all in the top 5 grossing documentaries ever. So maybe he doesnt need to give his movies away for free, hmmm?

     

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      Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      What can I say, cheap sci-fi can sell!

      About the only way to get anything out of his movies is to watch one while downing a fifth of rot-gut, paint stripping whiskey!

       

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    Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Michael Moore's 'foreign policy'?

    I guess this goes to show what he really thinks of other nationalities. It is a shame that we can't limit him to not coming back INSIDE the US and Canadian borders. I would love to see what kind of political mocu-mentary he can make in other countries, countries that do not tolerate views and ideas that deviate from what the government dictates.

    I personally would be glad to contribute to a fund for a one-way airline ticket for Michael Moore. If we can get the money together I would love to send him to the middle east, to China or some other country that does not give its citizens the same freedoms we have here in the US.

     

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    Robert D, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Michael Moore's 'foreign policy'?

    I guess this goes to show what he really thinks of other nationalities. It is a shame that we can't limit him to not coming back INSIDE the US and Canadian borders. I would love to see what kind of political mocu-mentary he can make in other countries, countries that do not tolerate views and ideas that deviate from what the government dictates.

    I personally would be glad to contribute to a fund for a one-way airline ticket for Michael Moore. If we can get the money together I would love to send him to the middle east, to China or some other country that does not give its citizens the same freedoms we have here in the US.

     

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    nipseyrussell, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Robert D, i suggest you seek help. Nine rambling, idiotic posts in a half hour? I just love people like you who want to ship people out of the country....people who exercise what are pretty much considered the bedrock rights of America. Its like the people who think you should be arrested for burning the flag - you just miss the point by such a wide margin, its sad. Also, if obama wins, communism for america? really? come back to reality for a while. Then the icing on the cake for you: godwin's law. puh-thetic.

     

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    Charlie, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 1:40pm

    As someone from the future, I must regretably inform all of you that you are quite dead. Some more than others. Sorry. I hate to spoil the party.

     

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    slacker, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 2:46pm

    MM

    Michael Moore needs to be put on a short bus to South America. Also, it's no surprise that someone as stupid as M.Moore hired lawyers and distributors dumb enough to attempt something such as this. Enough retardation for everyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 9:11pm

    Keep fighting amongst yourselves you idiots. The fact is your pathetic country is number 42 when it comes to health care. You idiots have a higher infant mortality rate than Cuba! LMAO!!! Losers!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 9:16pm

    NUMBER 42!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!

     

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