Internet piracy: what’s a filmmaker to do?

Techcrunch has a fascinating interview with Tom Lowe, who responded to discovering his film being pirated with a polite request rather than with legal action:

Network cablesTC: What do you feel about piracy in general? Do you see it as a hindrance to art?

Tom: I just see piracy as a reality. I don’t really see it as good or bad. Artists need to accept that this is reality now, and adapt their business models around reality…

TC: Are you angry at the Internet?

Tom: Only when it’s slow. Of course not. My entire film “TimeScapes” was born of the Internet. I met the film’s producer and financial backer over the Internet. In fact, having only ever chatted on email a few times, he sent me $100,000 and a $50,000 Red MX digital cinema camera from New Zealand. It would be at least a year later that I actually met him in California.

TC: As a filmmaker, how has piracy helped you? Hurt you?

Tom: I don’t think it’s possible for me to say yet. What if some kid downloads my film, and his father turns out to be head of distribution at the Discovery Channel or something? Who knows.

TC: If you were to sit down with a pirate right now, what would you tell him or her? How would you explain your position?

Tom: I can just look in the mirror and have that conversation. This will piss off some of my friends who are artists, but I download movies and music. Usually, if I like something, I will get on Amazon and send a copy to a friend or a girlfriend, or a family member. Do I always do that 100% of the time? No. But I do try to make a point of it.

Read the full interview with Tom Lowe here.