An alert reader sent me an email today informing me that Fat Head was on YouTube – again.  I believe that’s somewhere around a dozen times I’ve had to notify YouTube to take it down.  I run searches for it now and then, but somehow missed this one.  It had been online since May.

If anyone reading this has uploaded Fat Head or is considering it, let me point out a couple of things:

First off, it isn’t your film.  It’s mine.  Uploading it so others can watch it for free is stealing my work, period.  I realize some of the younger folks out there have grown up believing it’s somehow okay to share anything digital with a few thousand of your closest friends, but it isn’t.  It’s theft, pure and simple.

The latest bozo to upload the film even put FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY in the description.  As opposed to what, bozo?  Commercial purposes?  Naw, you wouldn’t want anyone to use my work for commercial purposes… that would be stealing.  Idiot.

Secondly, despite what some goofballs commenting in cyberspace believe, I didn’t receive funding from McDonald’s or anyone else.  I worked long hours as a programmer and financed the film myself.  By the time I paid for post production, animations, music, news footage, insurance, digital masters, etc., I had invested more than $100,000 in this project.  A good chunk of that was borrowed, and I carried the debt with interest for two years — not exactly what I had expected, since we had two distributors waving optimistic sales figures in front us when I signed with them.

As some of you may know from reading the comments, our original DVD distributor went bankrupt last year and never paid us what they owed.  It was rather a lot.  For some reason, the accounting department continued sending us quarterly reports until the company went belly-up.  Very nice of them … when you screw over an independent filmmaker, you want to put an exact dollar figure on it.

The money they collected was supposed to go in account with my name on it, but obviously they used the proceeds from Fat Head (their top seller) to fund their day-to-day operations while they were mismanaging themselves into failure.  Apparently they thought they’d catch up at some point, but never did.  I appreciate all of you who bought copies from Amazon and other vendors when the film came out, but we never saw a dime from those sales.

Meanwhile, our international (ahem) distributor has turned out to be a den of thieves.  Despite the many TV airings overseas early on, they kept claiming large and mysterious losses on their reports.  Oddly, those supposed losses increased by $24,000 last year, despite no new sales and no apparent effort on their part to make any sales.  I guess they must be paying horrendous rent somewhere to store a half-dozen digital master tapes.

For reasons I can’t figure out, they refuse to relinquish the rights.  Given the supposed large and growing losses, you’d think they’d want to dump the film before it sinks the whole company, but nope … they won’t let it go.  They’ve also refused to send me an accounting of what expenditures produced the mysterious losses.  They’re in Canada, I’m in the U.S., and (as I found out after spending $7,000 in legal fees) there’s pretty much nothing I can do to them unless I want to pony up another $25,000 or more to sue them in Canada.

(Perhaps someday I’ll post a couple of emails I exchanged with the den of thieves to elaborate.  When we were still engaged in legal maneuvers, my attorney said that would be a very bad idea.  Now I don’t much give a @#$%.)

Get the picture?  I produced a popular film, financed it myself, worked ungodly hours to finish it, and then two distributors used it to either fund their failing enterprises or line their own pockets while claiming bogus losses.  That’s why we started selling our own DVD version through the blog.  Our first DVD sale through the blog was also our first income from the film.  We never saw a check from a distributor until Gravitas (an honest distributor) released Fat Head on Hulu and Netflix.

The last thing I need after paying interest on much of the production cost for two years is for a bunch of bozos to give Fat Head away for free online.  If you want to see the film, buy a DVD or watch it on Hulu.  If you think other people will benefit from watching it, buy DVDs for them.

If you upload my film, you’re not stealing from some millionaire producer.  If I’d made a million dollars on the film, I wouldn’t still be working as a programmer.  And frankly, even if I had made a million dollars on Fat Head, point number one would still apply:  it isn’t yours.  Don’t be a thief.

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73 Responses to “To The YouTube Thieves …”
  1. SnowDog says:

    Have you seen this Youtube version?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evcNPfZlrZs

    No need to respond with the link, but it’s still running.

    That’s the Gravitas version.

  2. SnowDog says:

    Rothbard believes in intellectual property.

    From ‘The Ethics of Liberty’, page 123:

    “Violation of (common law) copyright is an equivalent violation of
    contract and theft of property. For suppose that Brown builds a better
    mousetrap and sells it widely, but stamps each mousetrap “copyright
    Mr. Brown.” What he is then doing is selling not the entire property right
    in each mousetrap, but- the right to do anything with the mousetrap except
    to sell it or an identical copy to someone else. The right to sell the~rown
    mousetrap is retained in perpetuity by Brown. Hence, for a mousetrap
    buyer, Green, to go ahead and sell identical mousetraps is a violation of
    his contract and of the property right of Brown, and therefore prosecutable
    as theft. Hence, our theory of property rights includes the inviolability
    of contractual copyright. ”

    “A common objection runs as follows: all right, it would be criminal
    for Green to produce and sell the Brown mousetrap; but suppose that
    someone else, Black, who had not made a contract with Brown, happens
    to see Green’s mousetrap and then goes ahead and produces and sells
    the replica? Why should he be prosecuted? The answer is that, as in the
    case of our critique of negotiable instruments, no one can acquire a greater
    property title in something than has already been given away or sold.
    Green did not own the total property right in his mousetrap, in accordance
    with his contract with Brown-but only all rights except to sell it or a
    replica. But,therefore Black’s title in the mousetrap, the ownership of the
    ideas in Black’s head, can be no greater than Green’s, and therefore he
    too would be a violator of Brown’s property even though he himself had
    not made the actual contract.”

  3. hausfrau says:

    ahhh yes, I do love the spoiled entitlement mentality of my generation on down. It’s the same mentality that runs up credit debt because “I deserve this”. Even if these thieves disagree with your interpretation of property rights, the least they can do is respectfully agree to disagree by not pirating your property anymore. Clearly you don’t think they are doing you any favors.

    I think for some, they’ve spent years helping themselves to free digital downloads of other people’s work, then they went out and found a theory of intellectual property rights (or lack thereof) that tells them it’s okay. The alternative would be to admit to being a thief.

  4. Steve V. says:

    I would be wary of advocating govt enforcement of patents and IP. While I completely agree that on an ethical/justice level it’s the author’s due to decide how that IP can be distributed and for how much etc… And that good people would avoid pirating IP instead of making excuses, I’m not sure the solution for authors is to look to govt enforcement.

    When you argue for govt enforcement you open up a can of worms. Like anything the govt does they’ve made a complete mess of IP and patent protection. No doubt you have some feeling for how ridiculous software patents are and how they’ve accomplished the opposite of what they’re supposed to. (foster innovation) Likewise I suspect strongly that the extraordinary cost of producing a new drug is largely thanks to govt and some form of collusion with large pharma to create monopolies and destroy any kind of true market. Don’t forget that historically patents of monopoly were granted by kings. Today we call that regulation and put a nice face on it, but it boils down to the same thing.

    I’m not sure what the solution actually is for IP creators (myself as well) but I do think that the govt being involved hasn’t been a help to me. I’ve yet to see them do anything to protect anything I’ve ever made. Everything I’ve ever created is mass pirated. They’ve done nothing for me. This is, in my mind, a separate issue from whether or not it’s ethical to steal IP. I’d almost rather pirates steal and then shamefacedly admit that they tried to save a few bucks than try to to argue from principal that they haven’t done anything wrong. But govt enforcement. I’m not too impressed with that either. The pirates are bad guys… so are the enforcers.. so are the film distributors. If the distributors and enforcers weren’t as awful as they are I think it would be harder for piracy advocates to make their case.

    I don’t see how software patents have stifled innovation. There’s a lot of great software out there that’s open-source.

    Government enforcement of intellectual property rights may need improving, but then again so does government enforcement of laws against burglary and car theft. That doesn’t mean we should abandon laws against theft. There have been many cases of individual inventors winning lawsuits against companies who stole their designs. Without being able to file a suit in court, they wouldn’t have stood a chance. And I’m certainly not buying PaleoGuy’s argument that having their intellectual property used without compensation would give them the economic incentive to produce better, cheaper products.

  5. Steve V. says:

    “Government enforcement of intellectual property rights may need improving, but then again so does government enforcement of laws against burglary and car theft. That doesn’t mean we should abandon laws against theft”

    It’s a tough issue, and I’m not sure what the answer is, but I think that if you advocate govt IP enforcement you fall a little into the trap of implicitly advocating some of the bad stuff they do that falls under the umbrella of patent/IP protection. My post was trying to say that, it’s dangerous to defend some govt program, even if it’s merely flawed and not wholly wrong. That’s playing into the wrong game. It’s like advocating utility instead of ethics wrt redistribution. It’s a trap! I prefer to defend the ethics of supporting someone’s right to their IP and how it’s used. It’s a much cleaner argument is all. I don’t begrudge someone using the system as it exists to try and protect their IP though. I also don’t buy PaleoGuy’s argument. A lot of these excuses to pirate are just that. Flimsy arguments people make to justify doing what they want instead of doing what they should know is right. The govt and bad distributors just give them a whole lot of ammo to make those arguments.

    You’d have to tell me what you mean by the bad stuff that falls under the umbrella of patent/IP protection. The only example that comes to mind is Monsanto suing farmers after Monsanto seeds blew onto their land and started growing. Courts definitely got that one backwards. The farmers should been able to sue Monsanto for polluting their land with GMO seeds.

  6. Steve says:

    Tom – here’s a thought experiment. What ideas in your movies are actually yours? What research did you did you conduct? Why is it okay for you to sell the ideas of these scientists? What right do you have to distribute these ideas? You may have bought the papers or paid for the journals but really all you did was take others’ ideas and repackage them. How does that not violate their intellectual property?

    [It isn't possible -- nor should it be -- to receive intellectual-property protection for ideas or facts. But we can receive intellectual-property protection for the particular execution of an idea or a particular presentation of facts. If I have an idea for a flying car, I can't claim it's mine alone and prevent others from producing one. But if I come up with a specific technology for a flying car, I can protect that. If I realize that Morgan Spurlock's numbers don't add up, I can't copyright that knowledge and prevent others from presenting it. But I can protect my specific presentation of that knowledge. That's the difference.]

    Also, maybe you shouldn’t have made a movie. Maybe you should have just started a blog, which costs almost nothing to start. Build up credibility and you could sell advertising, get speaking engagements, etc. Mike Shedlock seems to have done exatly that in the financial world.

    [I don't believe the tendency of some people to steal my work means I shouldn't produce the work. It means they should stop stealing it.]

    The problem you and many others are having is that the cost to distribute content has fallen to virtually zero. When you are in the business of ideas how do you compete when the cost to distribute has become zero?

    [You apply for copyright protection to prevent others from distributing your work without paying you.]

    The only way that my business has found is to create highly specialized content and be an expert. Experts (not necessarily of the trained variety) are needed now more than ever to wade through the ever increasing volumes of information to find what is truly important. The expert is needed to provide linkages and connections of information that others can’t see. But to make money doing this you need to do it repeatedly and become a trusted source of this content.

    [That is exactly what I'm doing.]

    Money will come not come from the work itself but from advertising and other side avenues. Having thought a fair amount about this and watched how other publishers handle these issues, I think it’s the most likely way to make money going forward. As a publisher, I think it is a waste of time and money chasing down every single violation of copyright protection. With today’s technology there is just no way to prevent it. Put that money into something new.

    [Money should come from the work itself. It's a strange world we're in now, agreed. If you produce a digital product, people assume it's okay to make copies without paying for them. If you take advertising, other people say you're no longer credible because you take advertising -- ask Jimmy Moore about that one.]

    We produce magazines/websites for manufacturing. There is a group out there that takes the articles from our website and repackages them into an email newsletter (along with articles from other companies). We decided we were better off not stopping them. It sends more people to our websites. It exposes our content to an even broader audience. Our brand (the trusted expert) becomes more recognized. When you someone wants to find something new out, will they go to that e-newsletter or to our website. Probably our website because the depth of information is greater, the cross-referencing of information that allows them to learn something else than what they were originally looking for, etc.

    [I'm glad that business model works for you. But again, that doesn't mean other people should decide they're going to force that model on me by stealing my work. They're thieves and I'll continue to label them as thieves.]

  7. Stephan Kinsella says:

    Actually, it’s not “stealing” at all, much less “period.” It is possibly copyright infringement, but it is not stealing. Stealing means you take something from someone and deprive them of it–e.g. if I steal your bicycle, you … can’t use it any more. If I copy your movie, you still have your copy. In fact, copyright law is illegitimate. There is nothing wrong with copying information, competition, emulation, learning. This is called “the free market.” If you don’t want people to have access to the information pattern of your movie, don’t make it public.

    We can quibble over the difference between “stealing” and “copyright infringement,” but it’s still illegal and should be. I don’t agree that copyright law is illegitimate. The free market is based on property rights, not on violations of them. And yes, there is something very wrong with distributing someone else’s work without compensation. By your reasoning, no one should ever publish a book, release a film, put a song on a CD, invent a new and unique product, etc., unless he’s willing to have any jackass who doesn’t believe in intellectual property rights start mass-producing it and giving it away.

    I can decide to make the film “public” on outlets that pay me for it — Hulu, Netflix, etc. Others don’t get to decide that they’re entitled to make it public on outlets that don’t pay me for it. I sold the product of my capital investment and my labor with conditions attached: The film is sold with a clear and unambiguous copyright notice that specifically prohibits duplication or public showings without permission. Anyone who buys a copy is agreeing to the terms of that notice when they make the purchase. They don’t get to just willy-nilly decide they can ignore the terms of the agreement they don’t like. If they don’t like the terms, they don’t have to make the purchase. People who sign up for Hulu or Netflix also agree to terms specifically prohibiting duplication. If they don’t like the terms, they don’t have to watch films on Hulu or Netflix.

    To repeat the quote SnowDog found from Murray Rothbard:

    From ‘The Ethics of Liberty’, page 123:

    “Violation of (common law) copyright is an equivalent violation of
    contract and theft of property. For suppose that Brown builds a better
    mousetrap and sells it widely, but stamps each mousetrap “copyright
    Mr. Brown.” What he is then doing is selling not the entire property right
    in each mousetrap, but- the right to do anything with the mousetrap except
    to sell it or an identical copy to someone else. The right to sell the~rown
    mousetrap is retained in perpetuity by Brown. Hence, for a mousetrap
    buyer, Green, to go ahead and sell identical mousetraps is a violation of
    his contract and of the property right of Brown, and therefore prosecutable
    as theft. Hence, our theory of property rights includes the inviolability
    of contractual copyright. ”

    “A common objection runs as follows: all right, it would be criminal
    for Green to produce and sell the Brown mousetrap; but suppose that
    someone else, Black, who had not made a contract with Brown, happens
    to see Green’s mousetrap and then goes ahead and produces and sells
    the replica? Why should he be prosecuted? The answer is that, as in the
    case of our critique of negotiable instruments, no one can acquire a greater
    property title in something than has already been given away or sold.
    Green did not own the total property right in his mousetrap, in accordance
    with his contract with Brown-but only all rights except to sell it or a
    replica. But,therefore Black’s title in the mousetrap, the ownership of the
    ideas in Black’s head, can be no greater than Green’s, and therefore he
    too would be a violator of Brown’s property even though he himself had
    not made the actual contract.”

    Prosecutable as theft …. hear, hear.

  8. Cody Hall says:

    Tom,

    Attempting to compete with “free” online by employing State force (i.e. “copyright”) is a dying paradigm.

    Therefore, I would like to provide you some extremely helpful advise in the form of 2 short talks by Michael Masnick (of TechDirt.com):

    “Michael Masnick The Trent Reznor case study”
    http://youtu.be/Njuo1puB1lg

    “Mike Masnick: A Totally Positive Look at the State of the Industry”
    http://youtu.be/_pubVZSbaz0

    Especially in the second talk/video, Tom, I can’t recommend enough that you fully understand the idea put forth by Mike Masnick in your online marketing of your content…to be:

    “More Open….More Human….and More Awesome.”

    [If you would like to succeed in the future paradigm, I highly recommend that you not call your fans "bozos" and "idiots"...as that is definitly not "more awesome"]

    I’ll give them a look … I’ll also continue to label people who tell me I have no property rights to my own film as idiots — especially anyone who tries to tell me that if others give away the film I spent $100,000 and hundreds of hours to produce, this will merely foster the usual economic incentives of competition, thus encouraging me to produce better and cheaper products. That particular comment reminded me of one of the best bits of dialog from “A Fish Called Wanda”:

    “Stop calling me an ape. Apes don’t read philosophy.”
    “Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

    I don’t consider people who believe it’s okay to give away my work without my permission “fans.” Real fans would respect my wishes and my property rights.

  9. shums says:

    I am so glad that I saw the film on Netflix. I have actually watched it on Netflix several times and it has a permanent place on my instant queue.

    I had no idea that you went through all this with Fat Head. If I was wealthy enough I would love to write you a check to make up for all your losses. You certainly deserve it and I believe in the film that much. I have steered several people I know into low carb and I always tell them to start with your film just like I did. Let me just say this. Thank you for making Fat Head. Thank you thank you. I hope you will someday make a Fat Head 2. Wow would that be cool!

    I’m working (slowly) on a book that will also have a companion DVD. This time I’ll be much smarter about distribution.

  10. Richard says:

    I’ve been wondering so with netflix/hulu do they pey you per viewing or some sort of flat monthly?

    Just curiosity.

    Netflix pays quarterly for the rights to keep the film in their lineup. So when people watch on Netflix, they’re encouraging Netflix to renew the rights. Hulu pays per viewing.

  11. PJ says:

    Tom, I’m a bit disheartened by the prevailing attitude in the comments that what is being done “isn’t stealing”. Have we so morally degraded that we no longer understand the concept of theft? Each example given here as to why it is not “technically stealing” sounds like the rationalizations of children.

    (Turn the tables and we’ll see how many of them will start calling it theft of the product of THEIR blood, sweat and tears!)

    I’m not sure it’s the prevailing attitude, but yes, it’s disheartening and it sounds very much like the rationalization of a child. People steal, they don’t want to view themselves as thieves, so they convince themselves it’s not theft.

    I’ll change my opinion of these goofballs when one of them invests $100,000 (much it borrowed) and countless hours into making a film, then announces that he or she doesn’t believe in intellectual property rights and encourages others to copy it and pass it around for free.

  12. Lionel says:

    I get it, you put a lot of money and effort into something with the expectation of a higher return. You made assumptions about how this would work, as well as assumptions about different people’s understandings of the legitimacy of the intellectual property concept actually were. Your brilliance and effort notwithstanding, you were wrong.

    I don’t think you are going to change their minds about this by just calling it childish. There is a lot of deep scholarship (see Stephan Kinsella especially) about why they believe intellectual property is an invalid concept. You can disagree with it of course.

    All that you have left then is to realize your expectations were wrong. Moral or immoral, legal or illegal, the fact of this “thievery” being the way of things from now cannot be ignored. If your business model cannot handle that (let alone take great advantage of it, as is very possible), you will continue to waste time, money and effort on bad investments.

    PS. Love your work. Saw Fathead on YouTube, I’ll try and find if you have a Paypal donations page.

    I know it’s a reality, and I’ll be taking that into account next time. But I still vehemently disagree with people who tell me only physical property can be owned and I don’t own the bits on their computers, so it’s okay for them to upload the bits that happen to be an exact copy of Fat Head, etc.

    If I informed Mr. Kinsella’s bank that he doesn’t believe in property rights except for the physical objects a person owns and they decided to reward me for that information by transferring several thousand dollars from his bank account to mine, that would, according to Mr. Kinsella’s theories, be just fine and dandy. After all, there was no physical property stolen and he can only own the rights to physical property, not a pattern of information. The bits of data constituting his bank account are on the bank’s computers, which they own, so they can do anything they want with those bits, including manipulating them to transfer money out of his account into mine. He could protest that the transfer violated his agreement with the bank, but of course when people upload Fat Head from a DVD, they are also violating the agreement under which they bought the DVD.

    There’s a DONATE button at the top of the right sidebar.

  13. Lionel says:

    PS. Stephan Kinsella may not be able to say he spent x hours and y dollars on producing a work, and is then announcing that he doesn’t believe in the legitimacy of intellectually property as a self consistent concept so is letting anyone and everyone make copies and distribute as they see fit. It’s actually worse – his day job is as a patent attorney. If people start accepting his argument, he loses his livelihood.

    With this as a background, I highly recommend anyone that is even a little bit curious about his case to check out his articles and books. I was as set against “piracy” intellectually and morally as anyone before. His arguments (taking Rothbard to task as well) are well made, enough to all but convert me. I now make a lot more donations, previously I never did.

  14. BB says:

    I don’t know how much she spent to make her film Sita Sings the Blues, but she spent at least $70,000 on music rights and many hours of her own time, and Nina Paley gives her work away for free, and it seems to work for her. See http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=25448

    It seems to me the question to ask yourself when making a creative work is whether you want people to see it and be influenced by it or whether the main goal is to limit its availability and still not be assured of making a profit.

    I’m glad that’s working for her. Since Fat Head is available for free viewings on Hulu and YouTube (the Gravitas licensed version), I don’t think I need a dozen YouTube versions that don’t generate revenue to promote it.

  15. Andrew Fischer says:

    Obviously you deserve to retain all rights to, and derive income from, your fine film. You didn’t make it “for your health,” so to speak, and I sympathize with you over those crooked distributors.

    Other areas aren’t so clear-cut, IMHO. Requiring restaurants to pay a fee each time they play songs as background music seems wrong to me, since no one came there to hear music. Similarly, if a community group has a movie night and people screen their purchased DVDs, I see no reason why royalties should be paid to the producers.

    The above might be an interesting gray area for you. Suppose I bought your DVD and held a “Food Movies” night at my condo’s clubhouse. Twenty people attended and I charged them all $2 to see your movie and enjoy some refreshments. Should I have to pay you anything?

    For better or worse, the Digital/Internet Age has made everyone a copyright violator. I was surprised decades ago when the most ethical people I knew were routinely copying rented VHS tapes. Today, practically every entertainment fan-site has a slew of unauthorized photos. YouTube makes it easy to find and (with free online software) extract a personal copy of almost any song you want. Technology has an up and a down side….

    Interesting that you mentioned background music. In my job at BMI, I sit near the licensing people who call bars and restaurants to inform them they need a license for background music, karoake, etc. Often the bar owners protest that they aren’t using the music to make money, in which case the licensing people reply that in that case, they can choose not to play the music.

    Technically, yes, if you hold a public viewing of Fat Head you’re supposed to either buy a public-performance license or get my permission. Several people familiar with the requirement have even emailed to ask permission for a public showing, and I’ve always said yes.

    As far as everyone doing it, I believe that’s partly because they know the odds of being caught are next to nothing.

  16. John says:

    A day late to the party… when I saw Kinsella post here, I settled back in my chair, hoping for a discussion. (Like Kinsella — hell, BECAUSE of Kinsella — I don’t believe in intellectual property.) Alas, Kinsella never returned.

    I know you’re libertarian-leaning, Tom: have you taken a look at Kinsella’s body of work on IP? Just curious. I’m a big Rothbard fan, but intellectual property is one of the very, very few places where I disagree with him.

    Nonetheless, I know you’d like to be compensated for your great work. A DVD is on my list… and if it’s possible to wear out a streamed video, well, I could be putting both Netflix’s and Hulu’s Fat Head in jeopardy…

    I read one of his essays someone else linked in a comment. I don’t buy his arguments. I also found it rather odd that he’s a patent attorney. I can’t imagine he tells his patent clients that he doesn’t believe in intellectual property and won’t protect their patents.

  17. John says:

    That said, even as an opponent of the concept of intellectual property, I disapprove of the people you’re referring to as thieves, ESPECIALLY with free-to-the-viewer avenues available to watch the film. (Seriously, I’ve watched the movie on Netflix and Hulu several times each.) Even without copyright law, I’d cheer Youtube for standing up and saying, “If the creator of a video clip objects to it being posted on our system by an unauthorized user, we will enforce OUR property rights in our system, and remove it.”

    It may sound paradoxical… but I don’t believe it is.

    It’s not paradoxical. YouTube should be able to control its own content. They are actually quite prompt about taking down a video if you fill out an online form claiming infringement.

    As I’ve replied to a couple of people, even if you don’t believe in intellectual property rights, we all believe in legal agreements. When you buy a DVD with a copyright notice that specifically prohibits duplication, that’s a legal agreement. Anyone who doesn’t like entering into that agreement can decline the purchase.

  18. James says:

    Hey! I stumbled on Fathead on Netflix. You turned everything I ever learned about nutrition since Jr. High School! (What got me was how saturated fat is not a solid in the body like it is in your cold drain.) I bought a copy and sent it to my parents who have diabeties. They are of the generation of taking their doctor’s word as Gospel. I have no great weight loss to report except the weight of lies my family was carrying. Things seem to work better and I’m not so bogged down, but I’m not strictly following it. Thank you!

    Thank you for watching. I hope you parents pay attention.

  19. Audra says:

    I was wondering, could you update your film a bit, create a new copyright and then distribute *that* work? You wouldn’t be violating any distribution contracts then. And let me be clear. When I say “a bit” I don’t mean spending another 100k. Just enough to get a new copyright. I believe “new editions” a legally separate works.

    I wasn’t going to mention this until later, but you nailed it. We decided to do exactly that when the den of thieves stonewalled. I’m cutting about 7 minutes from Fat Head I no longer consider important (kids not walking to school, etc.) and will add a section at the end explaining how my diet and life have changed since 2009. I’ll register that as a new work.

  20. Christopher says:

    Hi Tom, sorry it’s been a while, but gotta tell you, I’ve been a little swamped. I have to say, I’m a little apalled by the youtube thing. I make videos all the time and half of them are taken down before they even get put up due to copyright. So why is the site not doing the same to the illegal copies of Fat Head? And all this arguing loosly reminds me of an argument me and a friend had a while back (like, fifth grade far back. I’m 18 now, so what does that tell you?). I don’t remember the exact details of the argument, but basically, it involved stealing of school materials (paint, lots of paper, markers) to make something for the school. I managed to talk the kid out of it, but basically, by his logic (and I actually used this as an example), you could take $100 of someone’s money and buy a $100 watch, and it would be ok if you meant to give said watch as a gift. His argument was that good intentions wipes clean the fact that you stole $100. And what’s worse, many in the class felt the same. This is the future of our country Tom. To quote Professor Farnsworth from Futurama ‘I don’t want to live on this planet anymore’

    As a hobby, I write Fanfiction. For those that don’t know what that is, it’s where you write a story based off another idea and characters from already created works. I’m not sure on the ethical or legal principles of that, because I publish my fan-written work on certain sites, but I put it lots of time and effort into writing them. Someone recently published a story remarkably similar to one I published (he assumed since it was on the internet, it was fair game for anyone to use) almost a year before, and believe it or not, a few people had the audacity to accuse me of stealing from HIM! I set them straight, but it sure didn’t feel very good to hear that people thought he was the originator and I a theif. It’s not a very good feeling. And it’s only a drop of water compared to the ocean that is your problem, so I can’t imagine how you must feel about all this. You have my support, and I salute you, fine sir, for doing your part to help the nation.

    Your loyal fan
    Christopher.

    Thank you, Christopher. I’m not blaming YouTube. It would take an army of video reviewers for them to spot everything that was copyrighted.

  21. Matt says:

    “(Turn the tables and we’ll see how many of them will start calling it theft of the product of THEIR blood, sweat and tears!)
    I’m not sure it’s the prevailing attitude, but yes, it’s disheartening and it sounds very much like the rationalization of a child. People steal, they don’t want to view themselves as thieves, so they convince themselves it’s not theft.
    I’ll change my opinion of these goofballs when one of them invests $100,000 (much it borrowed) and countless hours into making a film, then announces that he or she doesn’t believe in intellectual property rights and encourages others to copy it and pass it around for free.”

    I couldn’t have said it any better Tom, I would ask them if that is the “values” their parents raised them with.

  22. Ghost says:

    I hope my $9.99 iTunes purchase helps. I wanted something that I could take along with me.

    Definitely looking forward to more from you, and always happy to support you by actually buying your products.

    As a creator (Artist) I’d be furious if someone stole my content and tried to profit on it themselves. It’s shady.

    Keep up the awesome work, Tom! Thanks again!

    The iTunes purchase absolutely helps. Thank you.

  23. Mike says:

    Hi Tom

    Greetings from Australia. : )
    Thanks for making this great film.!
    Its $#@%$@ sad that you actually have to explain to some half wits why you should be allowed to legally protect your work..why you should be able to be paid..FOR YOUR WORK.. and the amount of debt incurred to produce YOUR WORK.
    Perhaps they all work for free..or give away work they made..oh..they dont..funny that.
    But they play dull games of sophistry and linguistics regarding you being ripped off..
    WTF..

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