RE: "Moore on filesharing of F9/11"

From: Tabish Hasan <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 15:55:34 -0700

Interesting article....I guess we can always refer to these Michael Moore quotes if he has a big problem about Sicko leaking :) j/k




Sunday, July 4, 2004

Moore on filesharing of F9/11: No prob


Michael Moore was quoted in the Sunday Herald today as welcoming the free copying and distribution of his film on the 'Net for noncommercial use.


    The activist, author and director told the Sunday Herald that, as long as pirated copies of his film were not being sold, he had no problem with it being downloaded. "I don't agree with the copyright laws and I don't have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they're not trying to make a profit off my labour. I would oppose that," he said. "I do well enough already and I made this film because I want the world, to change. The more people who see it the better, so I'm happy this is happening."


Significant words, to be sure, but reading these comments -- made after the film's unprecedented big bang opening -- how amazing it would be for a director of Moore's stature to release work under a Creative Commons license, or to make comments of that nature before the movie comes out? That's not likely any time soon, for a variety of business reasons. As BoingBoing reader Alex Strasheim writes, "I don't think [Moore's comments about filesharing were] so much an endorsement of piracy as it was him saying that he's not losing much sleep over it."


Quentin Tarantino made similar "laissez-faire" comments about unauthorized copying and distribution of Kill Bill v.2 a few weeks ago. All of this is interesting stuff, but it points to how confused we are as a society about the economic and cultural role of filesharing. Some say it's all too convenient for high-profile filmmakers to give P2P the thumbs up as an afterthought, when their work has already performed well at box office. Others argue that Moore has a sort of ethical obligation to support the free distribution of F9/11, because some of the under-reported facts it contains "belong" to the American people.


But laws that make filesharing punishable by fines or imprisonment don't take into account whether or not a given film had great box office numbers, or contained information that was of social significance. Anti-P2P laws exist already. More of them, with broader enforcement resources and heavier penalties, are on the way. Isn't saying that we're sort of okay with noncommercial P2P filesharing some of the time, but not others, like being a little bit pregnant?


The position of Lions Gate Films, F9/11's distributor, isn't vague. Some of Moore's detractors have been posting copies of the film and Bittorrent pointers online. In response, Lions Gate Films Releasing president Tom Ortenberg told CNN:


    "I think it's deplorable what enemies of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' are doing. We are currently looking into our legal options. We are not going to tolerate anybody trying to infringe on (this film's release)."


Link (Thanks, Boris, and Jean-Luc)


Update: An American BoingBoing reader who's a military man in Afghanistan (requesting anonymity) writes, "Every other week here in Kabul, a bazaar is held on our base where local products are sold. Some of those "local products" are pirated movies. I just thought you'd like to know that Fahrenheit 9/11 was the big seller here this Friday."


Update 2: BoingBoing reader J. Greely asks whether or not Moore's comments could disqualify this film from Oscars consideration, based on this section of the 2003 Academy Awards rules (2004 rules aren't yet online). IANAL, but I think this language means that the Academy intends to bar films "officially" released online by the film's maker or distributor, and has nothing to do with online distribution initiated by the public -- whether or not the filmmaker condones it. Snip:


    3. No television or internet transmission shall occur at any time prior to, or within the six months following, the first day of the qualifying run or the festival win. Any documentary which is transmitted anywhere in the world in any version as a television or internet program within that period will automatically be disqualified from award eligibility.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Hui
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 8:17 AM
To: Torrents_team; Jonathan Lee; Rick Moreno; qateam
Subject: FW: Piracy - this is a real problem



Hey guys,


Just want to know if we're posting anything on here..




-----Original Message-----

From: "Rothman, Lew" <>


Sent: 6/15/07 8:03 AM

Subject: Fw: Piracy - this is a real problem



Lew Rothman

SVP and Chief Technical Officer


THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY 345 Hudson Street. 13th Floor.

New York, NY 10014 USA

T 646.862.3431 C 646.289.2209 eFax 917.368.6980


sent from my blackberry



-----Original Message-----

From: Noble, Ethan

To: Hurwitz, Peter; Levinson Rothman, Sarah; Rothman, Lew; Faber, Gary; Madden, Larry

CC: Weinstein, Dani; Finmann Serlen, Sara; Cloutier, Julie; Feingold, Emily

Sent: Fri Jun 15 10:41:28 2007

Subject: Re: Piracy - this is a real problem


This is AdAgeıs main story today and they talk about having

the film so I did a quick search and there are a couple of copies of the

film on there right now. MAYBE and HOPEFULLY those are our guyıs 'fake'

versions, but we should be all over this site right now as AdAge will hurt

us. They get really good traffic and they are syndicated across all the

site/blog aggregators.



On 6/15/07 10:33 AM, "Hurwitz, Peter" <> wrote:


> No article please resend


> -----Original Message-----

> From: Levinson Rothman, Sarah

> Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 10:31 AM

> To: Hurwitz, Peter; Rothman, Lew; Faber, Gary; Noble, Ethan; Madden,

> Larry

> Cc: Weinstein, Dani; Finmann Serlen, Sara; Cloutier, Julie; Feingold,

> Emily

> Subject: Piracy - this is a real pr
Received on Fri Sep 14 2007 - 10:55:50 BST

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