50,000 internet users who downloaded the film "The Hurt Locker" will soon be in court, if the producers of the movie have any say in the matter. However, this crusade against piracy is not all that it seems.
The Oscar winning film grossed less than $13 million domestically. Officially, that makes it a bomb, no pun intended. It has been reported, however, that the film was downloaded more than 10 million times. That equals $75 million in revenue the film missed out on, according to a foul smelling report by a shady blogger with questionable math skills at Hollywood.com.
That guy told his own story, but for my readers I spare no expense. There is much, much more going on here. Things that the Hollywood elite don`t want you to know. Things that scare them and keep them up at night, if only they ever got out.
Like the fact that they have been going after soldiers for downloading. According to a declassified document from the United States Central Command, cease and desist notices have been sent out by the MPAA to our men and women in uniform for piracy related issues. The organization has also inquired the US Army about new efforts to stop them from buying pirated DVD`s at local Iraqi stores. Let`s not mention that is the only way for many of them to enjoy any of these movies while deployed overseas, as the MPAA offers no other alternative. Oh wait, too late, we already did.
We will get back to the soldiers later, one soldier in particular. First let`s analyze the 50,000 civilians (or are they?) that downloaded the movie to start with.
Since 2003, the RIAA has filed 30,000 suits against internet users for piracy related issues. This number of 50,000 is 20,000 more than that. See, Hollywood.com guy, I have my own math. Mine, however, is solid.
That means one movie will cause more lawsuits than have been previously recorded in all of history over illegal internet downloads. Or at least that is the plan.
Querying ISP`s to get all the IP addresses involved will be quite the chore. Time Warner, on it`s own, receives only 567 IP requests a month. Usually, those are from law enforcement and have to do with child abduction or terrorist activity. Although it has been reported that ISP`s are generally being cooperative in this latest lawsuit, at least one is holding out. Comcast, though expected to finally cave later this week, has so far not responded.
Now we come to the producer of the movie, one Mr. Nicholas Chartier. In a recent email to a detractor, he made some pretty harsh statements. Included was the following gem: "you`re a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference. Until then, keep being stupid..."
In the email, he alludes to the fact that people are stealing `his work`. Ah, here we have hypocrisy at its best. Art least according to Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, who served in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal stationed in Iraq.
He has a different story to tell, and a lawsuit of his own. He was stationed with Mark Boal, the screenwriter and formerly a writer for Playboy, in Iraq. One of the characters in the movie (The guy played by Jermey Renner) looked, acted, and even sounded like him. He claims he went through some of the same events in the movie and the character is based on him. Of course, he received no royalties. All he got was the insinuation in the movie that he was a `messed up soldier`.
He is now suing the screenwriter, Director Kathryn Bigelow, Playboy, and those who distributed the film, namely Mr. Nicholas Chartier. It appears Mr. Chartier believes stealing from him is wrong but taking from a true American hero is perfectly fine as long as it makes him just a bit richer.
If the Master Sgt. is to be believed, which I see no reason not to in this situation, the real thieves are those who made the movie. It appears it was all fun and games to Mr. Chartier when he was the bandit, but being on the other end has hurt his backside.
So now we, good readers, are left with a dilemma. Do we believe that the producers are fighting the good fight, or that there is no honor amongst thieves. I tend to believe the latter.
Thanks to all of my sources except the guy from Hollywood.com. He is a small, small man who takes pleasure in defending those who would steal from our soldiers who deserve more from the folks they are sworn to protect. As for this reporter, I would like to thank Master Sgt. Sarver for his service and wish him all the luck in the world with his lawsuit.
As always, comments on this story can be sent to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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