From an LA Times article headed "Independent Filmmakers Feel the Squeeze of Piracy", the producer and director of a movie called "A Gangland Love Story" isn't amused by current audience trends:
Since its DVD release in July, audiences have embraced it: More than 60,000 viewers have watched the movie on the Internet, giving the independent filmmaker a coveted public following.And it's not just aspiring fringe types:
Unfortunately, winning an audience has come at a steep price. The viewers of Carter's film watched if from pirate movie sites and never paid for it. Carter figures the unauthorized viewing has cost him as much as $100,000 in lost revenue, dashing hope that he'll ever see a profit.
"It feels like someone is walking into your house and stealing your furniture," said Carter, 38. "The big studios can absorb it, but guys like me, we're not millionaires. We're fighting like crazy for every dollar, every nickel, every penny just to survive in this marketplace."
The most high-profile case involves "The Hurt Locker," which won six Oscars but earned only $16.4million at the box office in the U.S. and Canada, an unusually low gross for a best-picture winner. Some blamed the effects of online piracy — the movie was available on the Web months before its arrival in theaters. Voltage Pictures, the film's producer, obtained IP addresses for 5,000 people it claims shared the film illegally. Voltage is now suing them, following a similarly controversial tactic used by the Recording Industry Assn. of America several years ago in an effort to fight the piracy of music.
"More people downloaded the movie for free than actually paid for it," said Thomas Dunlap, who has filed copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of more than a dozen indie filmmakers and distributors, including Voltage and Maverick Entertainment Group, the company that distributed Carter's movie.
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