Stealing has been rebranded as Sharing

Copyright is dead. I accept it. We live in a digital age where any form of online media can be download in a few minutes. It seems like a force of nature that you can’t question. The sky is blue because it’s blue. You never wonder why the sky is blue. Everyone just accepts it and that’s it. Digital Copyright will always be a few steps behind everyone’s ability to copy, paste and download digital media. When we used to buy things, the things we bought came in a box. It was an object that you had to pay money for. Now that digital media no longer comes in a package, it is much easier for people to think it is something that you don’t have to pay for. In someways it is a generational issue. If you are over thirty you are more likely to have a blue ray or DVD collection. You might even still buy CD’s. When you buy a movie you are interested in having a box and owning an object. There are generations of people who have never had a collection of CD’s or DVDs. It’s much easier for you to disassociated value with a movie or album if it only exists in digital form. Years ago the music industry went though the growing pains of digital locks and legal actions against illegal downloads. Eventually everyone basically gave up on digital locks and legal action because it meant that the content producers were suing the consumers of their products. Surprisingly that didn’t go over so well. The movie industry is now going through the same revolution. Early this year, the Producers of the Oscar-winning film “The Hurt Locker” filed copyright lawsuits against people who illegally shared the movie on peer-to-peer networks. It seems that no one in the Movie Industry was watching what happened in Music digital file sharing over the last decade. Digital file sharing and any type of illegal downloading is stealing. As a filmmaker it is hard to accept that anyone can just download a film that took you several years of your life to finish. Especially when you really haven’t made much money for it yet. I did few searches and two of the films I’ve made in the last few years can be download illegally on a few different file sharing networks. A film I made last year called ‘A Day in the Life’ has a distributor and it is for sale: If you can download the film for free, then who’s going to pay for it? At the same time, I accept that this is way the world works. After a few days of being upset, I now consider it to be part of the marketing process for the films I make. In the music industry full albums seem to always be put online just weeks before the official release date. Is this due to the demand for the new product or is it a good way to market the release of your new album? Eminem’s ‘Recovery’ album was leaked to the internet two weeks before it’s release date. Drake’s new album was leaked online, just before it’s release. Coincidence? I’ve tracked back my “leaks” to some small international festivals. You never really know what film festivals do with the film screeners you send them. I’m not saying any specific film festival did something wrong but one of them must of lost track of some films and then whoever “found” those films, puts them online. I don’t think I’m in a position where I should leak my new film ‘Measuring Tape Girl’ to the Internet. Eventually I can see major film studios leaking blockbuster online a few days before the film is released, for marketing purposes, just as the music industry is doing now. The huge difference is that I’m not Eminem or Drake or a major film studio. I make tiny Canadian short films that are considered successful if you can come close to breaking even. These short films are forms of marketing and having them show up online in file sharing sites is a sign that the marketing is working. It still does not feel right. I accept it and will call it marketing. As a small Canadian Filmmaker you juggle with bankruptcy after most productions until you see a return on your investment. It is very difficult to make any money on any form of digital media when everyone can just share it with each other and not pay. We are sharing movies, music and digital media with our friends. Sharing has become a new political correct term that makes everyone believe stealing digital media is okay. There are generations of people stealing digital media and there are generations of people to come who will never consider peer to peer sharing of digital files to be stealing. Stealing has been re-branded as sharing. All we can do is adapt and continue to make films. All we can do is accept simple truths. The sky is blue because light tend to bend towards the blue spectrum as it travels through water vapor in the sky. We steal movies, music and digital media because we don’t consider to be stealing.