Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
We were one of the first people to report last week that Michael Moore’s Sicko had been leaked to the internet. We debated for over an hour to post the information as it could do more bad than good. But the more we looked into the situation, the more weight the story had. This was the second film distributed by Lionsgate this month to get “leaked” online. And Michael Moore has made previous comments saying he was okay with people pirating his movies. Those two facts made the story too good not to post, so we went for it. Within 24 hours we received an e-mail from an organization hired by The Weinstein Co asking us to remove the story. The e-mail read:
This content must be removed asap per request of the copyright owner The Weinstein Company.Â Let me know when it has been removed. Appreciate you speedy response on this matter.
Of course, our posting featured no copyright infringements. We did not link to any copyrighted material, nor did we even mention where the film could be found. Yet The Weinstein Co immediately told us that we were breaking the law. After informing the company of the aforementioned information, they apologized. Some people would probably think that the company was trying to strong arm us and possibly smaller blogs and news sources into removing their stories. Most people would probably be scared and remove the content.
One thing is for sure, The Weinstein Co is scared, and they should be. They are going up against Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille and Live Free or Die Hard, and everyone who wants to see the film has already downloaded it. Don’t get me wrong, I saw the film last week in Sacramento with Michael in attendance. I personally think it’s the BEST movie of the year so far. It’s an incredible film that deserves to be seen, and deserves to make money. It’s the kind of movie which invokes a conversation afterwards, and is a prime example of the type of film that should be seen on the big screen with your friends.
But Weinstein is doing everything they can to prevent the Titanic like disaster that this leak has turned into. Last I heard, the Company hired a firm to upload fake copies of the movie to all the torrent sites. This is a tactic that has been used by the music companies. The idea is to make downloading a specific album, song, or movie so difficult that someone will give up. And now Weinstein tells the New York Post that they are collecting downloaders information:
“I hired Kroll Securities, and we started flooding the zone,” Weinstein crowed to us. “We created lots of phony sites, and people had to input their private information to gain access to ‘SiCKO.’ We are turning over all the information to the police and prosecutors and are stopping Internet piracy.”
First of all, anyone who is stupid to enter their information in to watch a pirated movie deserves to get caught. And I would think that most people would be too smart to fall for this trick. Does The Weinstein Co really believe this is how they will prevent piracy? If so, I think they need to think harder, much harderCool Posts From Around the Web: