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The internet has expanded in ways that the Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act never wanted. People all over the globe can find music, books, movies and television shows on the web for free while producers are trying to gain a large profit from audiences purchasing their promotional products, tickets, and content. For this reason, pirating is against the law in many states in the U.S. However, when Pixels developers tried to prevent people from pirating their most recent film, they banned their own trailer.
Colombia Pictures has been working with Adam Sandler, Paul Blart, and the rest of their gang to bring another children’s movie into theaters while trying to avoid illegal downloading and sharing. However, things got a little out of hand when the company banned its own trailer that it posted on Vimeo, as well as Patrick Jean’s short film that inspired the movie’s creation. Unrelated indie art and film content were also taken down, such as the Non-Government Organization, NeMe, which is a non-profit Independent Museum of Contemporary Art. The producers’ DMCA notice also targeted individuals who created projects that indirectly contain the new film’s extremely original title, and a music video for a band named The Pixels. At least YouTube has rescued the picture from its backfired scheme – the site still has many related videos posted, including its inspiration from 2006. The $5,000 independent short film has blossomed into a full-length movie, starring actors such as Peter Dinklage, which cost $88 million to create.
Lucky for them, Pixels is still playing in theaters and has made a profit of $132 million so far. Only half of that is from the United States’ audiences. Although, the too-spontaneous action for enforcement will probably stop the hard-working creators of the artistic displays, college graduation projects, and music videos from giving the movie a chance, along with their fans, some may now want revenge and legitimately pirate the film. Independent creators, though, have never banned their own trailers or material, as far as the fans know.
In the everyday world, it never matters how much authorities try to fight what goes on against their restrictions. When Pirate Bay was ordered to be taken down, users from all over that vast website have grown new servers from all of its pieces. There are also workaround methods and loopholes that are often found to get past the laws and rules. There definitely is strength in numbers as well – Torrent Freak found that “the top pirated TV shows are downloaded several million times a week,” and pirated media is viewed millions of times a day. Guards have been appearing for years trying to stop the internet from limitless access, and ideas have often shifted to new laws and prices of the reproduced content being lowered. Cloud websites, especially, make all of the clones untraceable and many forms are floating on the web without anyone’s knowledge.
Intangible media, like the movie Pixels, soon will not be the only items being illegally reproduced. 3-D printers are starting to conceptually capture people’s interest, and could lead to the reproduction of many different forms of real-life objects. Right now, their level of technology is recognized for creating figures made of plastic, ceramics, wood, and metal.
People who are watching the film instead of reading this article are missing its producers real comedy gold being exposed off the screen. Their latest ironic fumble is surely something to laugh at if Pixels does not appeal to everyone’s sense of humor. Any of its would-have-been pirates were not even shooting for revenge when the producers mistakenly said that they plagiarize themselves, and now future productions will try harder to capture real fake media. In the meantime, illegal sharers and downloaders can appreciate movies like Pixels when they stumble racing through the legal obstacle course to stop them.
By Jarick Roaderick
CinemaBlend: Pixels Accidentally Files Copyright Claim against Its Own Trailer, Forcing Its Removal
Social News Daily: “Pixels” Copyright Take Down Indie Flicks and Its Own Trailer
Torrent Freak: Anti-Piracy Group Hits Indie Creators For Using the Word “Pixels”
New York Times: Internet Pirates Will Always Win
Photo Courtesy of Luis Alveart’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License