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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Another view on copyrights

Tommy Wirkola is the director of ‘Kill Bill’ parody, ‘Kill Buljo‘, which has been one of this years most discussed Norwegian movies.

Having started as a joke and despite its feeble $163,700 budget, its been a success, and has so far pulled in 90,000 domestic admissions and 62,000 DVD sales in 26 territories.

Inevitably, ‘Kill Buljo’ was available for download from file-sharing networks around 6 weeks before the DVD was due its commercial release.

However, in a interview with Thomas Talseth of VG Nett, director Wirkola reveals that he’s not concerned about people downloading the movie and feels that they probably wouldn’t have bought it anyway, which is quite an unusual stance for someone in the movie industry.

This article is in part, direct translation of the original Norwegian interview. Many thanks to Håvard and RayJoha.

Wirkola believes it is an honor to have people download your movie and reveals he is a BitTorrent user himself, downloading TV-shows such as ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘South Park’. He explains why:

“I download lots of TV-shows, I’ll admit that. But it’s also about them already having been aired on TV, and have kinda been accessible for free already. I also think it’s stupid to have to wait for six or seven months to get to watch a TV-show that’s already been aired in the USA.”

Despite the pro-sharing stance of Kill Buljo’s director, the distributor of the movie CCV and their lawyer (uh oh, here he is again) Espen Tøndel, are going on the offensive against BitTorrent users. This week they sent a letter to the Norwegian police wishing to press charges against 14 individuals it accuses of sharing ‘Kill Buljo’ on The Pirate Bay BitTorrent tracker.

Director Tommy Wirkola doesn’t think that downloading causes any problems, on the contrary, he believes the opposite is true:

“I understand that CCV is pressing charges, and feel the need to protect their movie. But it’s flattering that people are making copies of the movie and releasing it on the internet. Besides, all movies today are released onto the web. It would have been worse if no one wanted to share the movie.”

“The artist in you feels some pride?” asks Thomas Talseth, the interviewer.

“Yes, you can say that” admits Wirkola. “I love watching movies in the cinema, in large theatres, and I don’t like the bad quality you often find on the versions floating around online. But I have no moral position on this.”

Lawyer Espen Tøndel, representing both CCV and Norwegian Videogramforening (they distribute all films in Norway), disapproves of Wirkola’s downloading habit:

“No, he shouldn’t be doing that” Tøndel tells VG adding that there’s no difference in downloading TV-shows or motion picture movies: “The laws on copyright have not introduced any way to make a difference between this kind of material, independently of what sequence the TV-show has been aired around the globe.”

Tøndel is making quite a noise around Norway at the moment. It’s a shame he doesn’t listen to people like Wirkola and Eric Wilkinson - he might learn something.

enigmax
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