How Well Meaning Christians are Hurting Christian Filmmakers

I must admit, just a few months ago I never gave much thought to illegal downloads of music or movies. Then PROVIDENCE hit Fandango and AMC and the rest of the world discovered us. A quick online search showed up literally hundreds of listings to watch PROVIDENCE for free. We didn’t take it too seriously since we knew they didn’t actually have access to the movie and the sites were just leading to viruses or scams.

Then, thanks to  friends in other countries, we learned about bootleg videos and even worse, well meaning Christians who post entire movies on YouTube so that they can “bless” other Christians. And while this sounds good in theory, it is essentially stealing and is greatly harming the hard working filmmakers who spend their time and money creating those movies.

I didn’t write the following letter, but it explains what happens when good people unknowingly steal from others. I’ve been given permission to share freely, so you’re welcome to make this your own and use it as needed.

Watch This Movie For Free

 

Dear ___________,

We  have produced a number of faith-based films to enrich the lives of individuals such as yourself.  We have endeavored to promote Godly principles in our films so that the body of Christ may be edified.  It often takes months and years of our resources, time, money, energy, skills, etc.

As a result, people are blessed by the films and want to share our movies with others. We are truly grateful for that.  However, much too often well-meaning individuals such as yourself have crossed the line between enjoying the movie and sharing it with others, and actually taking what belongs to our company and wrongfully uploading it on social media ie Youtube etc.
 
So what’s the big deal with that?
1) You tube is a great avenue to share content.  But you should only upload a movie or content that you have produced.  The video you upload will then be a blessing to many.  It’s wrong in every aspect to take what isn’t yours and tell people, “Hey this is a great movie. Be blessed.”  If I were to come to your home and take an item of yours, is that a blessing to you and others?
2) From a legal standpoint, distributing a movie that you’ve acquired illegally, is theft and piracy. To make matters worse, to add a movie to a website esp Youtube, falls under the same category as Broadcasting. That’s the same as a TV or radio broadcast.  So not only have you now stolen from us, you’ve also broadcast our film without our consent to thousands.  
3) Each DVD sells for say $10-17. Multiply that the views you have on Youtube.  That’s OUR losses by YOUR actions.  That hasn’t even factored in all the other aspects of this case.
 a) The team has had to meet over this matter, and that’s a loss of our time which could otherwise be spent on better things.
b) The time it’s taken to write this note to YOU.
c) The effort on our part to communicate with YouTube’s legal dept about your misuse of our film.
d) The list goes on. I am not keen on going into all the details of the damages your misdemeanor has caused our company.
We as believers are required to abide by the law of the land.  It is not an option. Laws are put in place to help people.  Would you be happy to live in a lawless land? 

So, we ask that you immediately take ALL our movies and any illegal movie you have uploaded down from You Tube.

From a Biblical perspective please read:
Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal
Leviticus 19:11 You shall not deal falsely
The Bible says much about doing wrong to a believer:

Here’s some good reading: http://www.openbible.info/topics/stealing
While we do not wish to take action against you for the wrongs you have done, you have left us with next to no options and deliver this notice to you.  

We invite you to have an open discussion with us so that we can ascertain how to deal with your case.
Matt 18:15-17
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matt+18%3A15-17&version=AMP
Jer 22:13  English Standard Version
“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages,
However, please do not make excuses that you did not know it was illegal to upload the film to youtube
 as each movie bears the copyright notice:
“..Unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition is strictly prohibited.”
Please respond to this email so we know that you are taking action.

Watch This Movie For Free (1)

 

 

 

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