Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 by David Chen
U.S. Copyright Group’s plans to sue people for downloading films via Bittorrent has not gone as smoothly as planned. Progress on some of its initial lawsuits has been stymied by Time Warner Cable, and other cable companies might also cause problems. But as of this writing, it is still planning on moving forward with a new round of lawsuits for people who illegally watched The Hurt Locker. These latter lawsuits are backed by Voltage Pictures, the company that financed the film.
Now, a recent e-mail by Voltage producer and president Nicolas Chartier reveals what he really thinks about the lawsuits. Specifically, if you disagree with Voltage’s tactics, you’re a moron, and he hopes your family and your kids end up in jail for stealing.
Chartier first stepped into the national spotlight a few months ago when some ill-advised e-mails he sent to industry insiders caused him to be banned from the Oscar ceremony. According to an e-mail exchange published by Boing Boing, we now know that those e-mails were not an anomaly.
It all began when one of Boing Boing’s readers, Nicholas, sent Chartier an e-mail, criticizing him for the lawsuits and promising to boycott his films. The e-mail read, in part:
I wish to register my disagreement with these tactics, and would like you to know that as a result of these actions I am boycotting your films. The majority of the people you are suing were not seeking to make money from their downloads, and will be financially devastated by a lawsuit or settlement. While it is completely understandable that Voltage Pictures wishes to defend its intellectual property, this is an inhumane way of doing so. Until Voltage Pictures publicly states that it will not pursue lawsuits for downloading its films, I will not view, rent or buy any films produced wholly or in part by your company.
Even if you disagree with Nicholas’ point of view, it’s a reasonable and polite e-mail. Unsurprisingly, Chartier doesn’t know or understand the concept of a proportional response. Here’s part of his e-mail:
Hi Nicholas, please feel free to leave your house open every time you go out and please tell your family to do so, please invite people in the streets to come in and take things from you, not to make money out of it by reselling it but just to use it for themselves and help themselves. If you think it’s normal they take my work for free, I’m sure you will give away all your furniture and possessions and your family will do the same. I can also send you my bank account information since apparently you work for free and your family too so since you have so much money you should give it away… I actually like to pay my employees, my family, my bank for their work and like to get paid for my work.
Already pretty sarcastic, but whatever. The guy feels entitled to make money off his work. But then it starts to get real towards the end. Chartier writes:
I’m glad you’re a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference. Until then, keep being stupid, you’re doing that very well. And please do not download, rent, or pay for my movies, I actually like smart and more important HONEST people to watch my films.
“Keep being stupid” and “please do not download, rent or pay for my movies” because only “smart” and “honest” people should watch his films? I guess if you disagree with the lawsuits, you shouldn’t be allowed to watch classics like Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines or Call of the Wild 3D.
Check out Boing Boing for the full exchange.