I learned yesterday that the lawyers representing Michael Moore issued takedown notices to torrent sites hosting his new film “Slacker Uprising” which we talked about on the show last week.
There seemed to be a confused “WTF?”that circulated around the web as to why someone who is releasing a film for free via download would complain if it was being spread via torrent. I know he does plan on eventually selling a DVD that will probably contain 12 hours of Moore leading his revivalist sessions at Tallahassee JUCO and the like, but why the big legal fuss? I think I’ve figured it out.
The currency that Moore is getting from the free web download is an email list. He’s created a product that will draw a certain demographic that he can now reach any time he wants. Most people who “buy” into the marketing platform of a free download are probably fans that will not begrudge such an intrusion, which has become regular since I downloaded the film. This is the reason, however, that torrent sites are problematic: no email address required. I appreciate the effort to galvanize and work the system, but seriously, if you’re going to make something free, then free it is. If you want to tell people that the cost is their email and regular missives from Moore, that’s fine too… lawyers don’t seem too conducive to a “slacker uprising” though.