Netflix Has Narcos Actors Threaten To Shoot The Families Of French People For Pirating The Show

from the bullets-for-you dept

First, let's all just take a moment to drink in that headline above. 2017, people: it's a weird time to be alive. In any case, you likely have heard of Netflix's hit original show, Narcos. The show follows the exploits of Pablo Escobar's drug organization and was once the subject of Escobar's brother demanding a billion dollars from Netflix over the portrayal. Netflix, of course, was the disruptive new streaming service for movies and television that has since decided to go the route of copyright protectionist now that it is producing its own original content. It's a strange look for a company that exploded on a model of convenience over piracy, raking in tons of legit dollars by simply being an option better than or comparable to pirating films and television. Rather than continuing to compete in that arena, the company has begun to go the way of Big Content, firing off all kinds of DMCA notices.

And now threatening to shoot people and their families for pirating Netflix content? Well, not really, of course. I'm sure the folks at Netflix thought it would be funny to have actors from Narcos do so in character in France. But watch the video Netflix put out for yourself.

If you cannot see the video, the TorrentFreak link above has a nice summary of it.

“Hey you, yes you, do you think you’re smart? Do you think we didn’t see you Googling ‘Narcos season 3 download’? Don’t be a fool. Narcos is a business,” Pepe begins.

“If you want your entertainment. If you want your show. You’re gonna pay the Cali Cartel, ‘hijo de puta’,” Pacho adds, using the strong language one expects from a cartel leader.

“Do you think we’re like Hadopi? Do you think we’re going to send you a nice and polite letter first? Please, sir / madam, could you please not illegally download Narcos? We don’t do courtesy letters.”

“There is no please, no por favor, no s’il vous plait,” Pepe adds.

“There’s bullets for you, your family, and all the people you send to watch Narcos on all those shitty websites full of questionable pop-ups,” Gilberto says.

“You know where to find us. Don’t mess around ‘hijo de puta’,” his brother adds.

It's just uncomfortable. Nobody is mistaking Netflix actors for actual hitmen, but it's worth putting this sort of thing in the context of the past decade, in which people really have had their lives ruined in retribution for copyright infringement. The threat letters from copyright trolls really do go out across Europe, looking for all the world like the legal arm of some extortion ring or mob organization. Threats to out people for their pornography of choice really have happened. Within that landscape, to joke around about shooting those who pirate a television show misses the mark on humor entirely, and coming from a company like Netflix it's downright creepy.


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:16am

    Say it with me class...

    Power causes a form of brain damage.

    Who ever green-lighted this is an idiot.
    The insanity of the copyright wars in Europe are not helped with this we'll kill your family thing.

    Imagine if they had the actors saying, we know you like Narcos and Netflix is only X Euros a month... and thats cheaper than getting your computer fixed from sketchy websites.
    Don't make us be like those other assholes sending you threats via the mail, we'd rather focus on making our shows even better. We want to treat you like customers should be treated, not like those other companies who want to turn you over and shake to make sure they got every penny.

    If you respect us, we'll respect you with the best shows.

    But then that makes to much sense so GEMA would claim it sounds like a song & they need to get paid...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:26pm

      Re:

      > Power causes a form of brain damage.

      No. All power does is remove the normal social inhibitions that keep people in line. It insulates the powerful from consequences.

      Power does not corrupt, it reveals.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 10:24pm

        Everyone has antisocial thoughts.

        ...But we check our behavior due to social consequences.

        If power removes that check, it's a corruption, turning us into more primitive an animal than even our fellow mammals.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:34am

    Well

    In America these days, laws are optional. Immigration laws go completely unenforced all over the land. So I'll just consider copyright law optional.

    If no one follows the rules for one thing, why should anyone follow the rules for anything....

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 11:41am

      Re: Well

      You think immigration is the worst transgression?

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re: Well

        > You think immigration is the worst transgression?

        So as long as a law isn't addressing "the worst transgression", it's okay to ignore it?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Well

          Proportionality is key to any system of justice. The laws against illegal immigration are themselves reasonably proportionate: Illegal entry is a misdemeanor with max penalty of $250 and/or max 6 months in prison. Overstaying a visa (which is how 66% of recent illegal immigrants arrived in the country) isn't even criminal.

          The problem is with all the triggered people who think being an illegal immigrant is a crime on par with robbery, rape or murder.

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 10:26pm

            Proportionate laws

            Have you been tracking the methods of ICE and CPB? They've arranged it so that the ride is far, far worse than the rap.

            Sometimes deadly worse.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 12:31pm

      Re: Well

      Agree. America is a mess, but don't be ranting on immigrants you fool, immigrants are not your enemy. People just like you. your only enemy is your elite who keeps feeding you bullshit, lies and fear but anyway keep raking in all the money. You don't want the jobs many immigrants are doing. Nobody is stealing no jobs and no opportunities from no one. If anything blame your own american companies for hiring all those immigrants to save a buck in work force.

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re: Well

        > America is a mess, but don't be ranting on immigrants you
        > fool, immigrants are not your enemy.

        Agreed. But he's not talking about immigrants. He's talking about illegal aliens. And he's not claiming they're an enemy. He's talking about how it's just an unspoken assumption these days that we're supposed to completely ignore our own border control laws. And if we can ignore those laws, why can't we ignore other laws that are inconvenient for us?

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

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:19pm

      Re: Well

      > In America these days, laws are optional. Immigration
      > laws go completely unenforced all over the land. So I'll
      > just consider copyright law optional.

      You're just watching undocumented TV shows.

      Just like some people have undocumented firearms.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 4:39am

    I'm glad there is an authority on what is and isn't considered humorous.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 5:13am

    That was a bit harsh. I don't think anyone took this as anything but parody.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 5:15am

    So the MAFIAA is dropping the pretense that they're not like any other cartel?

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

  • icon
    TimK (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:00am

    Usually I agree with your analysis....

    But not this time. I thought it was a clever and humorous approach to addressing people illegally downloading a show on Netflix. I think you are overreacting to this.

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

    • icon
      aerinai (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:09am

      Re: Usually I agree with your analysis....

      While maybe slightly tone deaf, I'd expect people to take it as light hearted advertisement for the show. Reading between the lines I heard 'we aren't going to send you threatening letters, so please watch it on Netflix'

      This is a much better approach than the 'You wouldn't steal a car... copyright theft is a crime' crap that we were inundated with 5+ years ago.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:07am

      Re: Usually I agree with your analysis....

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

  • identicon
    DONT BE STUPID BE EDUCATED, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:01am

    well back to my games

    fuck hollywood

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:15am

    Just a though but...

    Maybe, just maybe, if the French Netflix catalogue was not 1/3 the size of the American one for the same price, the value proposition would be strong enough that people would not look to alternative to watch their content.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:58am

    Comme on Timothy, apply the usual techdirt rule of thumb on what people should feel threatened/offended about.

    This is clearly one of those "borderline stupid, but not threatening/offending, learn to take a joke" case. (Coming from a European)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:03am

    funny except for one thing

    As a Netflix subscriber, they really do know where you live....
    Not so funny now, is it?

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

    • icon
      MDT (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:21am

      Re: funny except for one thing

      Common Sense Fail

      If you are a subscriber, yes they have your address.

      However, if you are a subscriber, you are not pirating it because you are watching it on Netflix, so even if this were a real threat, which it isn't, they wouldn't know where you are.

      facepalm

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: funny except for one thing

        Except you might not have access to everything Netflix offers depending on where you live, making it perfectly reasonable to simultaneously be a Netflix subscriber and pirate of their content.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 1:19pm

      Re: funny except for one thing

      Can't you give Netflix a fake address?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:00pm

      Re: funny except for one thing

      That's one of the reasons I don't use it. There is no collection of private data for data mining/monetization with torrents.

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

  • icon
    MDT (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:19am

    Much ado about nothing

    This is really stretching. I'm no fan of the studios, but seriously? I sit through stuff like this at Alamo Drafthouse all the time.

    Heck, for Hardcore Henry, they made a profanity laced PSA that included physically assaulting a rude customer and dislocating his arm. I didn't take it as an actual threat, I took it as humor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVCkI5C_qNI&index=18&list=PLpX5OvrhWl9I59CYEx_ZtXnSmpBQEDbWe

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:03am

    So we went from "You wouldn't download a car" to "You WILL download a bullet".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:26am

    Can't say I agree with you this time, Tim. I think it's kind of clever in a way.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:53am

    Kind of like making bomb "jokes" in an airport?

    Not really clever or funny.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:13pm

      Re: Kind of like making bomb "jokes" in an airport?

      Wouldn't be a problem if America had not funded extremists groups then years later invade them when not useful anymore.

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

  • icon
    R.H. (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:56am

    Connecting with Fans?

    Well, murder is one way to connect with your fans ^_^

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

  • icon
    Pronounce (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 9:39am

    Netflix to Pablo Escobar's Brother

    "Instead of a billion dollars how about we hire you to stop people from stealing our material. We'll pay you in commissions?"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 10:58am

    Do you idiots comprehend how stupid you sound complaining about the fact that artists deserve their rights protected just like any other person?

    Seriously, what is your damage?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      "Seriously, what is your damage?"

      Look in a mirror

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:17pm

      Re:

      Yes, their rights. But there is no right to profit. That is called self entitlement, not a right. And my right to freely do with my time, my money and effort as I please, such as copying and sharing information? And my right to privacy?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 3:56pm

      Re:

      Yes, if they're not careful, the tech industry will get a horrible reputation and their con will cause a backlash.

      oh wait...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 8:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Two things:

        1) I do not know what horrible reputation or backlash your referring to (unless your referring to the one centered around Uber, which has nothing to do with this)

        2) Given you think the tech industry is purpertrating a "con", let's get some facts straight. It's only in the last two or so decades that copyright has gotten treated as extreme as it is now, and it's that which some (though not everyone, and certainly not Apple, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, etc) in the tech industry is rebelling against. Most of us complaining about over the top reactions to copyright infringement do not actually mind copyright existing (though there's an argument that it's unnecessary). As for why we tend to be based in the tech industry, perhaps that's because it's our tech which Big Media views as a threat (both in terms of copying and competition) and/or because we're more aware of the threat created by the DRM they push on us.

        Given viewing copyright as a "right" for artists that should last forever minus a day is so recent I'd say that is the con. Heck it's not even the artist's right as it is now, or Stargate SG1 wouldn't have been made as it was and musicians wouldn't be sued for sounding too much like themselves.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:38pm

      Re:

      So you think copyright should be enforced with gunfire and bullets.

      Oh, right. You've been thinking that copyright infringement is worse than rape and murder for years. No wonder the instinctual reaction is, unsurprisingly, _not_ to think of this as a parody.

      Paul Hansmeier's motions just got rejected again. What a glorious development for copyright. I hope you've got an Indiegogo fund running for him...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 12:52pm

    I go with the "goat fucker" concept here....

    If you threaten to kill somebody to prove a larger point, you still threatened to kill somebody.

    ..... over copyright infringement.....

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

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      > If you threaten to kill somebody to prove a larger point,
      > you still threatened to kill somebody.

      But threats require intent for them to actually *be* threats, and since there was no intent to kill anyone here, no one actually threatened to kill anyone.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:40pm

        Intent is hard to prove or disprove.

        I think a lot of threats are made with the full intention to carry them out, if in a moment of outrage.

        The person may think better of it in a moment later, but it's still a threat made with intent.

        Regardless, when it happens here on line, it's considered poor form. And the police will use it to justify locking you up if they dislike you enough.

        For our sake, we just want consistency. If kids get locked up for quoting threatening rap lyrics on social media, then we should also take actors threatening to shoot pirates seriously, as we should take Trump's fire and fury comments.

        There shouldn't be privilege for politicians and media companies.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 7:14pm

        Re: Re:

        > But threats require intent for them to actually *be* threats, and since there was no intent to kill anyone here, no one actually threatened to kill anyone.

        I bet if you were to go around talking about planning to assassinate the president the secret service would want to have a talk with you, even if you didn't "intend" to actually do it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 12:55pm

    "shitty websites full of questionable pop-ups"

    I guess the copyright cartel has never heard of uBlock Origin and NoScript...

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Sep 2017 @ 1:53pm

    "Nobody is mistaking Netflix actors for actual hitmen"

    Maybe somebody intentionally should.

    Regardless there's the old argument: I'd have never gotten into Game of Thrones (the most recent season of which I purchased) without first pirating the crap out of it. And HBO knows that it is only through piracy that GoT is the cultural phenomenon it is.

    As for Narcos, I'm more than happy to not just ignore their show but actively avoid it on account of bad taste.

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

    • identicon
      Daydream, 15 Sep 2017 @ 2:18pm

      Re: "Nobody is mistaking Netflix actors for actual hitmen"

      I would. Mistake them for hitmen, I mean. If I got a link to that in an email or heard it over the phone then...yeah.

      On a side note, this is the first I've heard of Narcos. My first impression of it now is that it's a bad show that nobody bothers to buy, and the company producing it are psychopaths who ring up random people to threaten them.

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

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 15 Sep 2017 @ 3:07pm

    What childish crap from Netflix.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2017 @ 6:03pm

    Fucking corporate execs in their bubble thinking that their greedy, money-grubbing bullshit concerns are shared by anyone outside. It's not funny. It's at best lame.

    The free alternatives to are superior to Netflix in many ways. Stop with the empty threats and offer a better service and I might listen.

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

  • identicon
    DONT MAKE ME LAUGH, 16 Sep 2017 @ 5:56am

    will kill actors and directors for pain medcine

    see cbc.ca for reasons why, anyhow of course im kidding but its a nice thought aint it

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

  • icon
    Nico (profile), 18 Sep 2017 @ 3:46am

    I think it's funny

    It's targeted and not as annoying as a letter from a lawyer. Netflix is spending a pretty penny on producing the show, fair enough if they hope to see a return. I doubt it will turn downloaders into subscribers, but it's a message I wouldn't argue with.

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 18 Sep 2017 @ 5:44am

      Re: I think it's funny

      The thing is, threatening people doesn't make them subscribe. Providing them with a service they want at a price they can afford to easily use on the platform of their choice generally does the trick.

      Studios tend to mess things up with overpriced bundles, windowed releases, DRM, and forced adverts.

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

  • identicon
    michael, 18 Sep 2017 @ 1:15pm

    Not Escobar

    Okay, I'll be *that* guy ...

    The new season has nothing to do with Escobar. The Cali Cartel are the guys who took over after Escobar's death.

    So saying "the show follows the exploits of Pablo Escobar's drug organization" is only true of the first 2 seasons, not the current one.

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


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