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Piracy Movies The Courts Your Rights Online

Uwe Boll, Other Filmmakers Sue Thousands of Movie Pirates 284

linzeal writes "Directors whose films have done poorly at the box office are increasingly being solicited by high-powered law firms to file lawsuits with offers of settlement. This practice, which the EFF has been calling extortive and 'mafia-like', has resulted in courts starting to rule in favor of the consumer, and in some cases throwing out the lawsuits. This is all fine and dandy, however, when you are considered the world's worst director and you largely finance films through your own holding company. At that point, the rhetoric and ridicule gets ratcheted up rather quickly."
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Uwe Boll, Other Filmmakers Sue Thousands of Movie Pirates

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  • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:31PM (#32572076) Homepage Journal

    Are they seriously trying to convince me that someone would want to pirate Uwe Boll's movies?

    • by aquila.solo ( 1231830 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:34PM (#32572096)
      Maybe they're being sued for bad taste?
      • by DeadDecoy ( 877617 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:06PM (#32572482)
        Haven't they been punished enough for watching an Uwe Boll film?
      • I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit that I quite enjoyed Rampage. Boll's bad cinematography actually makes the movie work in a way I didn't expect.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JackieBrown ( 987087 )

          I know this is blasphemy, but I really enjoyed House of the Dead. I got exactly what I wanted from that movie (killing zombies and not the emo-zobmies or Aesop zombies that George Romero's latest movies have been subjecting us to - diary of the dead and island of the dead come to mind.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by kimvette ( 919543 )

          I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit that I quite enjoyed Rampage. Boll's bad cinematography actually makes the movie work in a way I didn't expect.

          Can you post a link to a torrent? ;)

    • I agree, I mean in order for them to take you to court they need (apparently) a picture of your IP downloading the file. If they get caught fabricating these lists then it'll be lights-out for this blackmail system.
    • In Soviet Russia, filmgoers damage Uwe Boll!

    • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:38PM (#32572170)

      There are plenty of people who are into light to severe masochism out there, easily in the thousands.

      It's a gateway really. You watch Uwe Boll movies, and maybe Street Fighter, and tell yourself "It's so bad, its funny!" Eventually though, the crappulence gets boring, you move to harder stuff, like the Mortal Kombat movie (not the new proof of concept one). Before you know it, you're living in a gutter, offering sexual favors for a copy of the Star Wars Holiday special.

      I applaud Herr Boll for trying to clean up the streets and atone for his past actions.

      • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:11PM (#32572530) Homepage Journal

        Which Mortal Kombat movie? The first one was awesome. They had a pretty skilled fight choreographer who clearly had some actual MA experience.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_Kombat_(film) [wikipedia.org]

        Even claims it is among the best VG->Movie films ever.

      • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:05PM (#32573080) Homepage Journal

        There are plenty of people who are into light to severe masochism out there, easily in the thousands.

        I don't think it's masochism. Sometimes I just want to watch a laughably bad movie. I don't know why, I just do. When I was a kid, I used to love those Saturday afternoon kung fu movies on our local independent station. I didn't just go to see Battlefield Earth, I actually paid good money to see it in a theater. Not even as a matinee. To this day, I'll often watch whatever crapbomb is on Syfy on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. If you think Uwe Boll is bad, try watching Atomic Twister sometime.

        I dunno, it's just fun to sit there and watch a movie thinking, "Whoa, that's three miles past bad." It's also fun to talk about them with my friends. "Oh yeah? You thought that was bad? Let me tell you what I saw last Saturday!"

        By the way, I don't know why you lumped Mortal Kombat with those types of movies. Did it win an Oscar? Hell no, but it was still actually kind of neat and exciting to watch. It actually had some redeeming qualities to it. The fight scene with Subzero was awesome. I thought Linden Ashby's (Johnny Cage) fight with Goro was cool, too. The start of it was hilarious. Anyway, there's a difference between mindless fun action and just plain bad. It was Mortal Kombat. What exactly were you expecting?

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:42PM (#32573788) Homepage

          That is what it really is all about. Making money out of the first few weeks of really bad movies. Churn out a crap movie and then spend more on advertising the movie than you spent making the movie, select the few isolated best scenes for the preview (even by accident these can occur), pay off the reviewers and generate a profit. No different to the model for the majority of the music industry.

          Streaming kills this revenue stream, everyone learns exactly how bad the movie is and are no longer sucked in by deceitful advertising and disingenuous reviews, so they don't spend their money on a ticket finding out the truly annoying way how much the quality of movies differed from the lies put forward by the advertising.

          So they sueing everyone the streamed the first 10 to 15 minutes and decided not to waste their time and money on a cinema ticket is the only way for them to generate a profit and continue in their degenerate couch castings ways (believe it or not BJ in limos and abusing teenagers with delusions of future movie stardom and major motivators in their business choice, more than the profit).

          So sick liars, doing sick things so that they can continue in their sick ways, now that's just plain sick. All brought to you by lawyers who created and exploit a corrupted legal system, that can specifically victimise the poor.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          What exactly were you expecting?

          Shakespeare being recited in Latin, while the other persons head was being beaten in? Blood splatters everywhere...with a touch of humanism.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by discord5 ( 798235 )

          If you think Uwe Boll is bad, try watching Atomic Twister sometime.

          I dare you to find worse than Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter [imdb.com]. It has a kung-fu second coming of Jesus, a priest with a punk hairdo riding a vespa, and a newspaper headline reading "Critical shortage of lesbians". Other than that the movie has no redeemable qualities whatsoever, and the fact that video and audio aren't synchronized very well gets on your nerves pretty fast doesn't help either.

          Having said that, if you like bad horror movies a good laugh is Bad Taste [imdb.com] by Peter Jackson, but you probably already hav

    • by aevan ( 903814 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:52PM (#32572350)
      I misread it as Uwe Boll being sued BY thousands of movie pirates, demanding time and bandwidth back. Shouldn't be hard to prove watching the movie was damaging.
    • by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:09PM (#32572506) Homepage

      Are they seriously trying to convince me that someone would want to pirate Uwe Boll's movies?

      I sure as Hell wouldn't *PAY* for a copy...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'll pirate one for $100! (No, Mr. Boll, you give $100, then I'll pirate it!)

    • The real news in TFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @05:20AM (#32575734)

      The real news (and injustice) in TFA is this:

      His production company, Boll KG, exploits a German tax loophole, so even when he films an English-language movie in Canada ... his financiers get a fat write-off from the German government.

      So German taxpayers are funding Uwe Boll's movies? Shouldn't we petition Germany to stop that crime against humanity?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

        Don’t worry. There is a reason Boll stopped making “movies”: They finally closed the loophole.

        He’s basically done now. Perhaps that’s why he’s now trying it this way.

  • Sue Me! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:35PM (#32572106) Homepage Journal

    You'd have to sue me to download this guys stuff.

    Now we have "You pirated my movie!" trolls.

    Can we get back to dealing with real criminals?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:36PM (#32572126)

    None of these people are proven to be pirates. Uwe Boll claims they are. But that doesn't mean you get to report that they are. The headline should be "Uwe Boll, Other Flimmakers Sue Thousands of People".

    Slashdot could be sued for this headline.

    • by Itninja ( 937614 )
      Or they could just end the summary with a question mark. Been working for TV news for some time. They can say just about anything, as long as it posed a question. For example, if a news show said "Michael Moore downloaded child porn." they would get tagged for slander pretty quick. But making it "Michael Moore downloaded child porn?" gets a free pass.
    • by Landshark17 ( 807664 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:14PM (#32574018)
      "None of these people are proven to be pirates. Uwe Boll claims they are."

      Uwe Boll also claims to be a film-maker, so I think it's clear we should take anything he says with a grain of salt.
  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:37PM (#32572142) Homepage

    These ludicrous lawsuits are already in jeopardy, as the judge has ruled they have to prove a valid legal reason to roll up all these John/Jane Does in one lawsuit [arstechnica.com]. Rightfully so. I have no problem with them suing these people, but trying to roll them up into single lawsuits so that their filing costs and complexity remain low is abuse of the justice system.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      The point in question is "Rule 20, which Judge Collyer referenced in her order, plaintiffs may only join defendants in a lawsuit if:

      * They assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and
      * Any question of law or fact common to all plaintiffs will arise in the action."

      I'm just glad they haven't needed Rule 30 yet.

      • I'm just glad they haven't needed Rule 30 yet.

        Rule 30? I'd be more concerned with Rule 34.

        Have you seen some of these judges? I definitely don't want to see them sans robes.

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          Yeah, Rule 34 was what I was going for. Guess it got crossed in my mind with Wolfram's Rule 30. I fail.

    • I have no problem with them suing downloaders for the $19.95 they would have spent if they had bought the movie, perhaps even $59.85 with treble damages. Anything more than that is extortion, not actual damages. Uploading, that is a different story.
  • I had not heard of any of this latest batch of lawsuits being thrown out. Where's the link to that story?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Pojut ( 1027544 )

      You already responded to a post where I put up a link, but just in case others miss it and are curious, Ars had the story a few days ago [arstechnica.com].

      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        I don't think any of these cases have actually been thrown out yet, so perhaps the poster should have used the future tense.

      • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

        For clarification, that story is about the possibility of them being thrown out and required to be refiled as individual lawsuits. Not quite the same as thrown out, full stop...but still.

  • I hereby declare that on July 1st through July 4th we will celebrate the Independence of these United States by having a four day hunting season on trial lawyers. No bag limit! We do need certain rules to ensure fair chase:
    1. No hunting within 200 feet of an Ambulance.
    2. No standing on a corner yelling "Free Scotch".
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by BCW2 ( 168187 )
      Trail lawyers are the ones pushing all of these suits to get richer. How is that off topic?
      This whole lawsuit crazy society is the product of lawyer greed and people wanting something for nothing.
      • by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @06:55PM (#32572378) Journal
        Hunting Rules

        1. Any person with a valid State hunting license may harvest attorneys.

        2. Taking of attorneys with traps or dead falls is permitted. The use of currency as bait is prohibited.

        3. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited. If accidentally struck, remove dead attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.

        4. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.

        5. It shall be unlawful to shout “whiplash”, “ambulance”, or “free Perrier” for the purpose of trapping attorneys.

        6. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 100 yards of BMW dealerships.

        7. It shall be unlawful to use cocaine, young boys, $100 bills, prostitutes, or vehicle accidents to attract attorneys.

        8. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 200 yards of courtrooms, law libraries, health spas, gay bars, ambulances, or hospitals.

        9. If an attorney is elected to government office, it shall be a felony to hunt, trap, or possess it.

        10. Stuffed or mounted attorneys must have a state health department inspection for AIDS, rabies, and vermin.

        11. It shall be illegal for a hunter to disguise himself as a reporter, drug dealer, pimp, female legal clerk, sheep, accident victim, bookie, or tax accountant for the purpose of hunting attorneys.
  • He's preparing for an impending class-action lawsuit by film-goers. I know the first time I saw a Uwe Boll "film" I was told I paid to see a movie and not the disastrous pile of shit that it was.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:12PM (#32572544) Homepage Journal
    Shouldn't Boll be PAYING people to download his films? What Ed Wood have done?
  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Monday June 14, 2010 @07:20PM (#32572626)
    From Uwe Boll's wikipedia entry (this is priceless): "Another reviewer wrote that Alone in the Dark was "so poorly built, so horribly acted and so sloppily stitched together that it's not even at the straight-to-DVD level."[16] For example, in one scene a character who was "killed" can visibly be seen getting up as the actor prematurely made the move to get off the set."
  • Maybe Ewe should take another route, one that was quite successful the last time he did it.

    "I think he's a jerk. This might be PR but I don't want to keep getting punched in the head." Jeff Sneider, 2006

    If they don't agree with you, beat the shit out of them.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann