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Music Piracy Documentary Released As Torrent 142

Posted by kdawson
from the eating-the-dogfood dept.
goodbye_kitty writes "The producers of a new documentary film analyzing global music piracy have decided to 'put their money where their mouth is' by releasing the film as a free Xvid download (hosted by the Pirate Bay, as one would expect). The film explores the blurred line between 'fair use' and piracy, and includes interviews with DJ Danger Mouse (creator of the now infamous 'grey album'), Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons), the lads from the Pirate Bay, and even some guy from the MPAA. Here is a link to the torrent."
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Music Piracy Documentary Released As Torrent

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  • by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:26AM (#20085731)
    Are you sure it wasn't simply the case that they're out of money and/or nobody will distribute the documentary for them?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:36AM (#20085865)

      Are you sure it wasn't simply the case that they're out of money and/or nobody will distribute the documentary for them?

      Or maybe they're just clever and realise they can get lots of free publicity on sites like /. by releasing the programme as a torrent. Don't think we'll ever know, but you're reading this article aren't you?

      Unfortunately am in Canada and Bittorrent has been banned [torrentfreak.com] by the Internet Police [rogers.com] over here, so we're not allowed to download files.

      • by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:43AM (#20085969) Journal
        You can download just fine on Rogers. I sure do. Just be sure to use the "Encrypt Traffic" option on Azureus, and set yourself up with a non-standard port. Check out the Azureus Wiki on NAT Problems [azureuswiki.com] on how to do this. I suggest using a port like 25522 or something like that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          In case you didn't know, Rogers shapes all encrypted traffic (see http://www.azureuswiki.com/index.php/Bad_ISPs#Cana da [azureuswiki.com]), which includes anything from SSH to torrents. In fact, the only way to download this movie at a reasonable rate through Rogers is to disable Encrypt Traffic (and possibly some other settings, depending on your config). Then it'll go just fine and fast. However, if you plan on downloading anything remotely illegal looking (i.e. OS iso's, video games, ripped movies) they'll send you a nice
        • They do seem to still be able to limit upstream bandwidth, I only get 30-50 kbps now.

          And their method of accomplishing that are becoming more draconian, they seem to be hitting both ports and encrypted data.

          It used to be that you only needed to encrypt the data itself, now you need to encrypt the headers, it's going to get worse before it gets better too :(
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ajs (35943)

        Unfortunately am in Canada and Bittorrent has been banned [torrentfreak.com] by the Internet Police [rogers.com] over here, so we're not allowed to download files.

        Wow. That's totally freaking insane!

        Next time I download an OS via BT, I'll think of you... I'm really sorry, man.

        That said, I'm a little surprised and disappointed at Slashdot's reaction to this documentary. Someone does a documentary about file sharing, puts it up on BT and we attack them for it... sad. I would have thought we'd be glad to see that someone is finally starting to smell the new media. Do they want their documentary seen? Of course, they do, but if this works out, you know there will be tho

        • Next time I download an OS via BT, I'll think of you... I'm really sorry, man.
          Don't feel that sorry. It's not true. I'm on Rogers and I use Azureus with encryption. I get 300KB/s torrent downloads just fine. They recently bumped up speeds for free from 4Mb to 6Mb so I'm sure the potential Bittorrent speeds are much faster than I get. I'm just at the mercy of whoever's uploading.
          • Yeah I'm using Robers too except I'm paying for the extreme package (mostly for higher upload speeds) and my download speed has also been bumped except everytime I run a speed test I'm lucky to get 500k. I'm a few days away from calling and cancelling if they can't even deliver 1Mb when I'm paying for 8.
            • There's probably something with the cables on your street or in your house/apartment. I had the same problem when I lived with my parents. Just ask them to come check out the lines. They should be able to fix it for free and give you a refund on as many months as you complain about.
              • Thanks, I've been meaning to check the connections in the house because my gf mentioned even the cable signal is "noisy" so you're probably right.
                • Just a heads up - one time our cable connection got "noisy" as well. This ended up being due to some road construction work that was done right near our house. Rogers had to dig a huge deep hole in our front yard to fix it. It only took about 3 days, they didn't charge us anything, and they replaced the grass. Still it was a real nuisance and eyesore.
        • Someone does a documentary about file sharing, puts it up on BT and we attack them for it... sad. I would have thought we'd be glad to see that someone is finally starting to smell the new media.

          They put it on BT because their target auditory uses BT, not because they are "smelling new media".

      • by gsslay (807818)
        Alleged throttling and shaping != banning
      • by Da_Weasel (458921)
        Oddly enough when I clicked on the link for the torrent download, my torrent application generated the following message box: "Torrent Task Exist!"

        ---------
        Created time: 2007.07.11 11:19:34
        Finish time: 2007.07.11 14:29:53
        ---------

        Apparently I downloaded this last month and it was so great that I forgot to even watch it.
      • use uTorrent 1.6 and enable the encryption so you cannot be throttled!
      • by beav007 (746004)

        but you're reading this article aren't you?
        You must be new here. You'd be lucky if he/she(/it?) read the entire summary...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      I really wonder about that. A lot of movies don't get a distributorship, it's a basic fact of the industry, even more so with indie films.

      Anyways, "blurring the line between fair use and piracy" is a red flag to me. I really won't agree with an argument that somehow fair use can be blurred to the extend that distributing entire works (entire songs, entire albums, entire movies, entire TV episodes) to potentially millions of people is somehow fair use. Fair use has usually been interpreted as short clippi
      • by kebes (861706) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @10:10AM (#20086367) Journal
        Well of course the "blurred line" won't appear when you counterpoint two extremes: short clips on the one hand (clearly fair use) versus distributing full copies to millions of people on the other hand (clearly copyright infringement, according to current laws).

        However, your implication that there is no "blurred line" isn't fair. The example given in the summary is DJ Danger Mouse, who mixed two different works to create something totally original. The music labels said that this was "clearly infringement" whereas many artists and fans said this work was novel and original, and clearly something that should be allowed under fair use (whether or not it actually is fair use is for courts to decide, I suppose, but the arguments regarding copyright are not so much about what the law is, but rather what it should be). This is one case where there is disagreement about how to interpret the actions, hence a "blurred line."

        Lawrence Lessig (in his books, blog entries, talks, etc.) provides many other examples of activities which straddle this line (e.g. a film-maker begin told to pay thousands of dollars because a Simpsons clip was playing in the background of one of the scenes in a documentary). Sometimes they are legal yet still legally persecuted by the big-labels. Sometimes they are illegal yet many people feel they are legitimate personal uses, or important creative uses. These fringe cases are very interesting.

        Now, I have not watched the documentary under discussion, so I can't say whether they tackle these fringe cases in a thoughtful way. However, I can honestly say that there is a dangerous blurred line between what you are allowed to do according to "fair use" and what you are going to get in trouble for doing according to "copyright law." The fact that this line is so ill-defined is what leads to all the questionable lawsuits against artists and end-users... and to a chilling effect in the production of creative works (which Lessig worries about constantly).
        • The example given in the summary is DJ Danger Mouse, who mixed two different works to create something totally original.
          Which sounds to me just like blurring the blur.
        • by daigu (111684)
          Great post. Thought I'd also point out that I think Lessig has moved on to a bigger problem [lessig.org].
      • IANAL, but it doesn't seem to me that the concept of fair use was well-defined in the first place (and therefore has never been anything but blurry). Certainly there have been decisions by courts that some particular use is fair, but it does not necessarily follow that all other uses are unfair and punishable. My understanding is that even a conservative legal attempt to define "fair use" would be a bit like trying to define "self defense". It's not a cut-and-dry issue, but rather one that has to be inte

        • My understanding is that even a conservative legal attempt to define "fair use" would be a bit like trying to define "self defense". It's not a cut-and-dry issue, but rather one that has to be interpreted a bit on a case-by-case basis.

          yes, it needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis, by the courts... not by corporations, not by lobbyists, not by useless technologies, not by ISPs, not by site operators, not by high priced legal goon squads and not by trade groups.

          the problem is that you can use the

      • by tubapro12 (896596)
        Exactly, we (Americans) must preserve the few fair use rights we have remaining. Further confusing the ignorants by blurring piracy and fair use definitely will not help and I'm sure many are aware the MPAA and RIAA would be glad to see fair use rights gone.
    • Not many people pay to see propaganda documentaries to begin with, and file sharing is such an exciting topic...War in Iraq, National Health-care Crisis, File Sharing...
  • Pay time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ciryon (218518) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:28AM (#20085755) Journal
    I wonder who's paying the producers salaries.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      It's at least partially funded by Denmark's national broadcasting corporation. It was produced and aired here more than three months ago, so part of the salaries are paid by the Danish television license fee payers (not including myself).

      They ask [goodcopybadcopy.net] for donations though.

    • Disney did Pirates, the film does not contain green characters like shrek and so failed the multiplex cinema test.

      await the directors cut

    • Their parents? At least, until they graduate...
  • Why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Todd Fisher (680265) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:31AM (#20085787) Homepage
    Why would I get this off the web for free when I can pay for it at a store?
  • Oldddd (Score:5, Informative)

    by zeridon (846747) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:38AM (#20085895) Homepage
    That's way too old.
    It has been circulating around for about a year or so ...
    It appeared shortly after the movie Steal This Film [stealthisfilm.com]
  • by samuel4242 (630369) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:41AM (#20085933)
    I wish I could be optimistic for their bank account, but here's what will probably happen: the file sharing crowd will download it, watch it with a few beers, nod in constant agreement, curse the Man, and then raise a beer in a toast to the coolness of the producers. Perhaps a few will even contribute to the tip jar. But the jar won't fill up enough to pay for the time put into the project. And the producers sure won't make enough money to support themselves or a family so they can do such a cool thing again. Oh well.
    • by Yonatanz (798506) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @09:50AM (#20086049) Homepage
      Also, the producers' work will be viewed by thousands of people, and probably reviewed by tens of professionals and might reach production company managers, who may hire them for their next movie...

      If you are unknown, then this can be the perfect entrance to the industry. But you have to be good so that your free product is at least somewhat impressive.
      • It's always refreshing to find someone posting one's exact thoughts and sentiments.

        This is certainly an opportunity for the creators, here. This world of today is so concerned with cash that we seem to forget the value of things which do not produce cash.

        Really, those like the FSF, Creative Commons and the EFF should in fact be sponsoring these kind of productions. That would then be genuine revenue for the creators.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shark72 (702619)

        "Also, the producers' work will be viewed by thousands of people, and probably reviewed by tens of professionals and might reach production company managers, who may hire them for their next movie..."

        Ah yes, the "design my website for free" argument.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by samuel4242 (630369)
        Also, the producers' work will be viewed by thousands of people, and probably reviewed by tens of professionals and might reach production company managers, who may hire them for their next movie...

        I hate to be negative, but I can't see some producer saying, "Gosh, these radical dudes really did a great job undermining the reason why I'm able to get million dollar paychecks. I think I'll hire them to do my next movie. And I'll pay them millions even though they have argued that file sharers shouldn't ha
      • Also, the producers' work will be viewed by thousands of people, and probably reviewed by tens of professionals and might reach production company managers, who may hire them for their next movie...

        My guess is that the folks in Hollywood are much more likely to see crowdsourcing and Creative Commons as a way to get cheap material. They'll pat this guy on the head, give him $1000 to set up some stick-it-to-the-man website, and then collect the results into a movie that's then released to theaters. The t
    • by lilomar (1072448)
      Why does their bank account have to be the bottom line?
      Why couldn't they maybe, just maybe, want this to be free, be willing to put this documentary out there so that anyone can see it for free, even at a (monetary) loss to them? What is wrong with contributing to the public good without focusing on what you are going to get in return?

      Capitalists. Yech.
    • ... the file sharing crowd will download it, watch it with a few beers, nod in constant agreement, curse the Man, and then raise a beer in a toast to the coolness of the producers. Perhaps a few will even contribute to the tip jar. But the jar won't fill up ...

      That's precisely the story of the teams who made the Half Life mods CounterStrike and Portal. They were noticed by Valve Software and hired. Even if they weren't they'd have a heck of a portfolio for their next job interview.

  • infamous == bad (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    the word infamous means famous in a disgraceful way. it's a bad thing. you're not using it right.
    • whoa there.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by newr00tic (471568)

      the word infamous means famous in a disgraceful way. it's a bad thing. you're not using it right.

      That depends on whether you consider fame to be a good thing or not.

      (Infamity ftw)

    • by iainl (136759)
      Dangermouse's Grey album, like all mashups that haven't had their rights negotiated with the original artists' legal representatives are illegal.

      Once upon a time, breaking the law was thought of as vaguely 'bad' and 'disgraceful', so the term sounds fine to me.
      • by plague3106 (71849)
        Dangermouse's Grey album, like all mashups that haven't had their rights negotiated with the original artists' legal representatives are illegal.

        Well, thank you for your ruling your honor.

        Once upon a time, breaking the law was thought of as vaguely 'bad' and 'disgraceful', so the term sounds fine to me.

        And then we were flooded with stupid laws, laws that most people don't want, and laws that were just downright immoral to enforce.

        Saying that breaking a law (like the "blacks in back" from the 60s) is always
        • by Husgaard (858362)

          Saying that breaking a law (like the "blacks in back" from the 60s) is always bad or disgraceful is just plain stupid. We should not follow laws just because they are there, they need to reflect our beliefs and protect our freedom.

          Any good law has to follow community standards. If too many people think we have to follow a law just because it has been passed, or if the law criminalizes a lot of people, we risk ending up with the nazi regime that came because too many germans thought "ordnung muss sein" and were worried about "terrorists" in the thirties.

          Of course this argument can also be abused by people intending to break a law they do not personally think is good. This is not what I mean to say here, but we should all be caref

      • by Daychilde (744181)
        And I bet you NEVER exceed the speed limit by even 1 mph, right? You stinky law breaker!

        (and if, in fact, you don't, I bet there's SOME law somewhere you break... most people do...)
  • good copy bad copy is a very well produced movie.
    it also has interviews from some of the key players in this copyright fight.

    now i want to find some techno brega music!
    • Ill 2. that, they brought up some interesting stuff. Well worth watching.
      • by chartreuse (16508)
        I'll 3 that. Two things in particular: As a documentary, it does a great job of presenting the ideas and people involved, pro and con, in their social context (instead of just as talking heads spewing debate points), and it's got major segments set outside of North America and Europe, showing the global side of the copyright crisis that's rarely considered.

        I'm used to documentaries that just rehash issues and facts that would be well-known to someone interested in the subject, with a little bit of entertai
  • they partnered with the FBI and getting this movie will put spyware on your machine and inform the MPAA and RIAA...

    seriously tho. All I want to know on the subject i've already read here and other sites. People most comfortable with downloading movies using torrents have better movies to get and I would guess aren't that interested. Only thing I would even be remotely interested in is some of the qoutes from the mpaa guy just to see one individual's scewed opinions, but I'd rather have it in text format.
    • I'd rather it be in the style of Moore's "documentaries". Sure it's not the truth but it's damn entertaining!
  • I don't have a bit torrent client. Is it on youtube yet?
  • Maybe its time to admit that as much as we want everything to be free (software, music, movies) it just doesn't work on a large scale. Sure, us slashdot geeks can download copyrighted content all we want, but it DOES have a negative financial impact on the producers of that content. How big is that impact? I don't know - maybe marginal, maybe significant. I'm sure a lot of people justify this by reasoning that the only people losing money are rich overpaid content producers. But I'm not sure if that though
    • by lilomar (1072448)

      it DOES have a negative financial impact on the producers of that content.

      How do you know?

      You have to factor in the fact that seeing a movie/listening to a song is advertisement for that work and for the creators of that work. I don't know if this is going to be enough to counter the loss from the people who download the work instead of buying it (not all "pirates" are in this category, but I digress), but it does need to be considered.

      If you have evidence (a study, statistics) that there is a negative impact, I would be very interested to see it. (Any study done by the MPAA

      • by Goog500 (697810)
        I certainly don't have any studies - and I doubt it's very feasible to do a real, independent study on this. I mean how can you accurately measure the viral marketing benefit of watching a downloaded movie? I only say this based on my intuition and personal experiences. And I've come to believe this more strongly lately. Not because my views have changed - but because my personal experiences have. I go to college, and I've definitely noticed an increase in piracy among students. Specifically in new forms o
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lilomar (1072448)

          I doubt it's very feasible to do a real, independent study on this.

          I tend to agree with you on this.
          But it doesn't [washingtonpost.com] stop [com.com] people [harvard.edu] from [princeton.edu] trying [unc.edu].
          (The last two are PDFs)

          I never said that it outweighed, or even matched the lost revenue, I said it might which means you can't say for sure that piracy has a negative impact.
          I tend to believe that piracy doesn't have a negative impact though because of an interesting observation that I read somewhere. (but I can't for the life of me remember where, could have been a /. post)

          There are 3 types of pirates:

          1. People who would have b
          • But more importantly, someone PLEASE needs to gather up the Recording Ass. of America and Motion Picture Ass. of America folks, and drill this into their skulls.

            I don't think anyone has a good answer on the exact impact, but it's definitely not the ultimate-extreme-badness the aforementions Ass.'s claim; and it's clearly not 100% badness-free, as a lot of the geeks (m'self included) try and claim...

            It's got some positive and negative side effects...

            But the market is changing, whether anyone likes it or not.
          • by Goog500 (697810)
            I think the most important thing about what I'm saying here is the trend. I've noticed over the last year, and continue to notice, a dramatic increase in the amount and types of piracy by my peers. I think any college student (at least at my school) would agree with this assessment. It is actually getting easier and more common to pirate copyrighted materials - music, movies, tv, even books. If this trend continues, piracy will move more and more towards having a significant negative financial impact. In f
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kingrames (858416)
      That's not true and it's never been true.

      If i want to buy and view the movie "300" but a friend comes over with a movie of his and we watch that instead, I am no less inclined to eventually purchase and watch the movie 300. If he made me spend money to watch his movie, then I would be less inclined.

      Even if the movie in question WAS 300, I'd still be willing to go and purchase it if I decided it was worth my money, and a lot of movies are.

      The argument you're implying is that getting something for free makes
      • by swillden (191260) *

        The reason these guys hunt down and victimize kids and college students is because they can write off their legal expenses as a cost of doing business and hopefully slip into a lower tax bracket, cheating the American people out of tax money.

        That makes no sense. They have to have some reason other than saving a little tax money, because they have to spend more than what they'll save. The tax savings may partially offset the legal expenses, reducing somewhat the risk of litigation, but they don't even eliminate all of the litigation expenses much less produce a net gain.

        • by Kingrames (858416)
          They also get a lot of perks from Congress by pointing their fingers and saying "see? our profits are down, so you're losing money too."
      • If i want to buy and view the movie "300" but a friend comes over with a movie of his and we watch that instead, I am no less inclined to eventually purchase and watch the movie 300.

        Unless, of course, in watching it with your friend, you realize you don't like it.

        For high quality content, a "free preview" won't hurt the sales. For low quality content, it will.
  • Grey Album was better!
  • by Floritard (1058660) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @11:46AM (#20088109)

    Here is a link to the torrent.
    Fuck that. Where my NZB file yo?
    • Rule number 1: we do not talk about the USENET.

      Rule number 2: we do not talk about the USENET.

      • Let it go, will ya? The "do not talk about usenet" trolls are about as bad as the "macs are gay" trolls. And here I am trolling about trolls.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    hosted by the Pirate Bay, as one would expect

    Technically TPB doesn't host movies, which is why they are still around.
    • by Husgaard (858362)

      Technically TPB doesn't host movies, which is why they are still around.

      Correct. This is hosted by people like me, who want to spread the good message in this documentary.

      I have been seeding this torrent since a few days after it appeared on TPB, and it is quite interesting to see the /. effect on a torrent. This torrent was quite popular just after it appeared on TPB, but - as seen for most torrents - the interest faded after a few weeks.

      But now, because of the /. effect, the torrent is more popular than ever. I don't remember ever having seen the maximum number of peer

  • Here [google.com] is the google video link.
  • I went and download the film using Bit Torrent. I felt very cutting edge doing this! I could feel my hipness level rising.

    I watched the first third of the film, then skipped around in the rest of the film. The first section of the film discussed an important copyright infringement case surrounding the use of samples. However, in spite of the clever editing employed, the movie didn't illuminate the issue very well. I was left wanting to understand more about the sample itself (which I couldn't hear well at a
    • by iuewen (1137183)
      I didn't see much bias slipping through the cracks in this documentary, perhaps you applied your own to what you were seeing? I just went back and watched the portion with the guys from The Pirate Bay again, and it seems to be only their opinions that are coming out. If you disagree with those opinions, then you are certainly entitled to that. The documentary was trying to explore the different stances and points of view pertaining to various recording medias and for that you need to see both sides.

      Notice h
      • by Shimmer (3036)
        I didn't say the movie was biased, I said that it was unpersuasive. It did little to illuminate the issues it raised.
        • Brian, please tell us know how we could have illuminated "the issues" better? I am puzzled you spent time downloading it if you had made up your mind in advance. What is with you Slashdotters? Last time I checked in here the karma sure was better. Henrik
          • by Shimmer (3036)
            What makes you think I made up my mind in advance? The reason I watched the film is because I've heard good arguments on both sides of the copyright debate and was hoping to learn something new that would help me decide one way or the other. I was unsatisfied in this regard. Not trying to be harsh, but the movie just seemed shallow to me.

            Sorry to disappoint you regarding your impression of "Slashdotters". At my age (40), I may be a bit older than the audience you are trying to reach.
            • I am not sure we are trying to reach a specific target audience, but yes, I do think there is a generational gap. The first crowd we screened it to (a couple of months prior to the release) was a bunch of immaterial rights researchers and scholars in Scandinavia. Maybe they were just being friendly with me, but they did say that watching Girl Talk work, peeking into the Tecno Brega scene plus the some of the sampling arguments were useful - and new - to them. One did say - but he was past 65 - that he found
    • but every time Jay-Z opened his mouth, I cringed. Hearing him sing/talk about N*ggers over the intro to While My Guitar Gently Weeps was nearly more than I could bear.
      They're not "niggers" but "niggas". There's a difference [wikipedia.org] [and a dozen cited sources].
      • by Shimmer (3036)
        Riiiight, that makes all the difference.

        Here's a quote from the very article you link to:

        There is conflicting popular opinion on whether there is any meaningful difference between nigga and nigger as a spoken term. Many people consider the terms to be equally pejorative.
  • I've seen the film, it talks about "The death knell for hip hip".

    If so, I'm all for it...

  • I went to mirror this and can't see anything on the website that indicates it has been released under a Creative Commons (or similar) license. The only thing on their site I can find is that they have "sold the film to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation", so I assume now that company owns the rights to the video.

    I assume that it is freely redistributable, given that it is a torrent, but it'd be nice if the authors could make this clear on the website. (It could be embedded in the video at the end or someth
    • It's Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 [creativecommons.org]". At the time the torrent was posted (the morning after Danish TV aired it) we weren't sure we could do this. It'll be in the next release. Danish TV only bought the right to air it.

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