Movie Director Asks Downloaders Not to Steal His Movie

By: Chris Richardson - April 13, 2011

Perhaps Canadian movie director Jason Eisener has the right approach to dealing with movie pirates: Instead of relying on the ham-handed approach of the MPAA to police various bittorrent sites, perhaps the creators should address these downloaders directly.

Eisener, who directed the upcoming Hobo With A Shotgun, an independent movie done in the grindhouse style, did just that by creating an account at the Pirate Bay in order to address those who were downloading his movie. Actually, “address” is the wrong word. Eisener pleaded with them, asking them not download his movie, and he did so in the comments section of the movie’s download page:

Hobo With a Shotgun
Image courtesy of the official site

Please don’t steal my movie. I never stole anything from you guys. The writer and the producers and myself, put our pay checks back into this film, so we could make it happen. If your gonna steal it, at least come to my home and try to steal it from here.

This, as expected, set off a firestorm of responses, many of which doubted the legitimacy of Eisener’s comment. Then there were those who defended their actions with comments like the following (the mistakes have been left intact):

You say that where stealing your film, but if your apart of the Movie and Entertainment business aren’t you constantly stealing from us with your over priced CD’s,DVD’s, Theatre ticket prices, PPV movies and all the film merchandise you sell with every movie that’s produced… If Charlie Sheen got 1.8 million dollars for every episode of Two and a Half Men, then your industry must have money to fuc***g burn. there’s certainly no recession or credit crunch in the Entertainment business.


if it wasn´t for a place like here i never would have stumbled over it anyways.
you should be thankful for the promotion.
if it´s any good i will give the movie a good rank at imdb or rt for you and your guys rep. if it´s as good as you think i will buy the dvd, promise.

The discussion goes on for nine pages.

Other members indicated The Pirate Bay actually helped them discover the film and that it would help with promotion. While the accuracy of that particular sentiment is open for debate — it’s hard to consider bittorrent sites as tools for promotion, but then again, maybe it’s time to change that approach — that didn’t stop Eisener from expressing confidence towards those replies:

I’m new to this, this is my first film. I hope you guys are right, and that you spread the word, and hopefully pick the film up when it comes out.

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but if these members admit to downloading a bootleg copy of Hobo’s theatrical release, odds are if they are presented with an option of buying the Blu-Ray DVD for $30 or download a rip of it, they would go for the download.

According to Eisener, Hobo With a Shotgun is already available in Video On Demand and iTunes formats, and it’s (limited) theatrical release is scheduled for May 6th.

While it’s not always easy to defend the act of pirating the intellectual property of others, perhaps this final perspective makes it a little easier to understand:

You wouldn’t go to a clothing store and buy a shirt if you didn’t know if it would fit; I wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, and I feel exactly the same way about movies. If you produce a piece of garbage and you waste my time, then that is all the payment you will get. If however, it ‘fits me’ and I like it, then I’ll buy it to support and have it to watch when I want to again.

With that in mind, perhaps a movie test drive web site is just what we need. Studios could release 10 minutes or so, as opposed to a slickly-edited two minute trailer, and give the would-be consumers a little more to go on.

It’s obviously time for a fresh approach when it comes to marketing and releasing movies because the current one is outdated. Discussions like the above from Pirate Bay indicates as much.

Chris Richardson

About the Author

Chris RichardsonChris writes about the Internet, in all of its unpredictable glory. You can find him on Google+, Twitter, and, of course WebProNews.

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  • صحيفة ينبع

    ينبع اليوم, صحيفة ينبع الاولي

    • SorenJ

      Arabic spamming…

  • Kyle

    Oh please. We go into restaurants all the type and consume a meal. We go into theaters and watch plays. This expectation that we should be able to “try out” everything we consume is ridiculous. There’s plenty of information available to consumers in the form of reviews for restaurants, plays and MOVIES. If they are to lazy to do their research as to whether they will like something, then they are outta luck.

    Producing products, tangible and intangible, has a cost. If we choose not to compensate creators for said cost, don’t be surprised when the diversity of choice is impacted. Sure, if you want to watch a bunch of Hollywood Blockbuster or Youtube cell phone videos, you’ll likely be ok. But if your enjoy more niche films, independently produced, you’ll eventually find the choices lacking.

    The folks on Pirate Bay should study their economics. They know nothing about manufacturing or consumption when they prattle on with their specious arguments. They are engaged in theft and that’s about all one can really say.

  • Terri

    Eisener is in for a sad surprise I’m afraid. It only costs a couple bucks to watch a movie on iTunes but these pirates prefer to buy their cappuccinos instead. Hard to compete with “free.” They can spout that crap about torrents being a good promotional vehicle but that’s nonsense. Total bull-pucky. They twist into pretzels to justify their theft but in the end, their arguments look to be a bowl of soggy, wet noodles.

  • jd

    Mr. Richardson, please — the world has enough meak apologists for this kind of crappy behaviour, including the pirates themselves. We don’t need to better understand why pirates do what they do — they do it because they can and they don’t care who gets hurt.

    The more analysts and journalists buy the free culture line about “trying it out before we buy it” and “free promotion,” the more the rest of us are encouraged to throw up our hands and say the days of professional creation are over.

    People invested real money into that film. If someone wants to watch more than the trailer, they should pay for it, and we should all demand that they do so. Enough already with the hypocritical rationalizations for bad behaviour.

  • Peter

    Disgraceful and ignorant. For some people legal action is the only thing that works apparently.