Every year we hear about how bad piracy is for the entertainment industry. This has been a longstanding argument that is part of a debate that will probably go on forever, despite statistics that have often showed that piracy helps more than it hurts.
In any case, 2014’s batch of moviemakers includes at least a couple examples of supporters straight from the film industry.
The crew behind “Leviathan”, a Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominated film, which works as a modern retelling of the Book of Job, have said that they won’t be seeking legal recourse against those who pirated their movie.
When the Russian filmmakers announced they wouldn’t be looking to sue anyone, fellow producers and countryman, Slava Smirnov, launched site to help ensure they wouldn’t go without funds. Smirnov’s site is accepting donations from all over the world that will then be forwarded to the team behind “Leviathan.”
This is especially important for the film because it hasn’t even hit theaters in Russia yet. Having it on file sharing sites could potentially hurt profits, but this site may come to the rescue. Keep in mind, too, that Smirnov and “Leviathan” producer Alexander Rodnyansky have never actually met. Also interesting is that Rodnyansky won’t be accepting the proceeds, but instead turning them over to “Giving Life” a cancer charity for children.
“Leviathan” isn’t the only example of this type of thing either. Three weeks before his movie, “Midnight Son”, was set to come out on DVD, producer Matt Compton heard it had leaked online.
Instead of getting angry and attempting legal action, Compton visited the then popular the Pirate Bay and posted a note. He introduced himself and asked those who enjoyed the film to please purchase the DVD or just donate directly to the movie’s PayPal account.
As has become typical on the Internet, there were a few nasty comments and rude replies. However, Compton says he was surprised by how many people actually responded positively, even joining the discussion. Fortunately, a number also pre-ordered the DVD or donated.
This isn’t to say that any of those involved in making the film are happy with the situation. They do seem to recognize, though, that it does have several positive effects (e.g. word of mouth increased interest) and that there’s little that can be done about the world of file-sharing.
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