This is part 1 of Big Fat Thieves, discussing copyright violations on the internet. You can read part 2 here.
Tom Naughton made a popular documentary, and that’s where his problems started.
Fat Head is a pseudo-rebuttal to the nutrition-based/fear-mongering Morgan Spurlock film Supersize Me. The last half of the film goes on to discuss what the data from multiple clinical studies actually show us (and it contradicts almost all of Supersize Me’s implications). Tom also spends a good deal of time being transparent about his own successful personal dietary journey. The film has been eye-opening for a large number of people who discovered it freely on Hulu or Netflix and has garnered its own loyal community over at the Fat Head blog. This has become a pretty standard internet niche success story, now and it is where the power of social media really helps bring good content to the forefront. You should go watch it.
Where the story derails is when Tom wrote a clearly frustrated post about having to play YouTube whack-a-mole with people who are posting unauthorized copies of Fat Head onto the site. He lamented the incredulousness of those who were stealing from him and gave them a blog lashing along with some questionable metaphors.
Turns out that, unbeknownst to Tom, the official Fat Head distributor actually had also legally uploaded the video to YouTube, so all of the unauthorized copies should have been actually generating revenue for Naughton anyway. All of those unauthorized nuggets should actually have been generating revenue for him.
Yeah, but ad revenue is a pittance compared to retail, right? Naughton says he made $0 from film’s physical media distributors, which of course are the linchpins of commerce. What’s that? They never paid? They mysteriously went out of business? That can’t be common, though (it is).
Some of the commenters on Naughton’s blog were right, though. As bad as it is, this still isn’t thievery. And the amount of work and money you put into making a movie should be tempered with the fact that many people are looking at movie making as trivial now, because the tools are within their grasp. That has to be a part of your equation, and either make it very convenient to give you money for your work, or make your work completely scarce.Source: fathead-movie.com