Week 3 – Essential Reading and Viewing

Steal This Film Part I and Part II

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This film documents the story of how the famous torrent site PirateBay came about. Initially created to share mainstream software but now used to quickly send large films of digitised porn, film and music.

I think in this day and age, corporations need to accept that society will always steal and share on the internet. The filmmakers of this film themselves used PIrateBay to share this film and it was very successful. It essentially cost them nothing to to distribute this film, breaking down several economic and social barriers.

This film was excellent in showing how vulnerable record labels and filmmakers are against file sharing but how much they are supported by the law. I feel larger corporations need to stop trying to prohibit their property from being shared on the internet. File sharing will not hurt them as much as it hurts smaller filmmakers and artists.

A recent example is the Avengers film. A torrent was leaked before the film was out in cinemas and million people had downloaded this torrent. There were worries that the film was going to lose ticket sales because of this and guess what happened? Avengers broke box office records. Why? Because a bad quality torrent of the whole film was not going to stop people from wanting a cinema experience. They can’t even say that they lost a million unit of ticket sales since not necessarily did the million people who downloaded the torrent did not go to the cinemas to pay and watch Avengers as well.

Going back to my other point about smaller filmmakers and artists. They are most vulnerable to file sharing as they’re not making blockbuster hits that will make money in theatres regardless. So the question is what do they do? Like I said, they need to accept people will share their films for free but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They may not be making money but they’re still getting the views. The producers to Steal This Film offered this film for free on PirateBay and only asked for voluntary donations and it worked. Radiohead also did this with their album and it worked. This goes to show their will be people always willing to pay despite the option to consume it for free.

In conclusion, this film was excellent at showing why people use file sharing sites and how it effects large and smaller film producers and artists.

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