To The YouTube Thieves …

      146 Comments on To The YouTube Thieves …

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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146 thoughts on “To The YouTube Thieves …

  1. Lisa

    That’s a shame about the movie being “stolen” for the web. I’ve watched Fathead from Netflix, hopefully others will watch the movie either through a service such as Netflix or from purchasing the DVD. I hope you can stop the thefts. I found your film really helpful and was so glad you wrote and produced it.

    Reply
  2. tom scott

    I’m not being a smart-ass, flippant or anything but what is the difference if I watched it on Youtube (I haven’t) or on Hulu (I have.)
    Is there a royalty for a click thru on Hulu?

    Yes, Hulu pays for each viewing.

    Reply
  3. Eduardo K.

    Sorry to be the one to tell you, but your movie has been avaliable to download via torrent for ever. I loved it and as soon as I can get an international credit card to pay for it will gladly buy several copies of it to give away as compensation.

    I hope you can regain control of you rights. Sadly you have learnt the hard way how crooked most of the movie distributors are and why they are a dying form of life.

    Yeah, I knew it would end up on the torrent sites.

    Doesn’t your card work with PayPal?

    Reply
  4. Justin McCullough

    You actually make money on it being on Netflix? If so, can you somehow tell them to put it back up so I can watch it more? Also, I just NOW saw the “Wheat is murder” tshirt, totally saving my bills for that!

    As far as I know, it’s still available on Netflix Instant play. A co-worker at my programming job told me this week that Fat Head popped up on their Netflix menu as a recommended pick. His son was thrilled because he’s met me a few times.

    Netflix pays for the rights to show a film, yes.

    Reply
  5. Ailu

    You didn’t make anything from the 2 DVDs I bought off Amazon? Had I known that, I would have bought them elsewhere, such as your site. Very sorry you went through all of this. Had no idea how much corruption there is in the DVD distribution business. 🙁

    If your DVDs have the Morningstar label, we didn’t get paid for them.

    Reply
  6. Audra

    You are so right and Im sorry someone is stealing your work. Its hard enough to get the education you worked so hard to produce! We need more of your work and people like you to do more…..but get paid for it! Please keep going. I tell everyone to watch Fat Head…. and now that I know I will always purchase from your site directly! From one programmer, artist and lowcarber to another….thank you. 🙂

    We learned our lesson. Now we largely distribute it ourselves.

    Reply
  7. Nick S

    Welcome to the dirty, dirty world of film production. “Den of thieves” characterizes the majority of the industry. Faking losses to avoid paying content creators is as old as film.

    Yup. Now I know why businessman are routinely portrayed as evil in Hollywood productions. In Hollywood, a lot of them are evil.

    Reply
  8. Kim

    Well, damn. I bought a few of those from Amazon. 🙁

    I appreciate your support anyway. The popularity of the film is what convinced Gravitas to take it on. Fat Head was the first film they ever distributed from an unknown rookie filmmaker.

    Reply
  9. Suzie_B

    So, what happened to the days where your word or handshake was all it took for honest deals? i was stupid when I opened a small business, I expected people were basically honest and would keep their word. It was not long before I found out that if I let them have credit that I would never see my money from a big portion of them. Oddly, some of the poorest people had the most integrity. People rip you off at every turn – even just ordinary folks – the new American Way (A learned behavior from the banksters). You have every right to be angry. I’m sorry, I bought your DVD used from Amazon, but I did get a T-shirt from your website.

    I was stupid too. Our international (ahem) distributor sent a one-page deal memo that included a paragraph saying it would be in effect until we signed a long-form contract. They never sent that contract, which was the one I planned to have a lawyer examine. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the “temporary” deal memo is still in effect three years later. I should have insisted the deal memo would only be in effect for 90 days.

    Reply
  10. Steve Parker, M.D.

    But didn’t you hear Obama say, “You didn’t build that…” You greedy capitalist!

    I’m sorry you got screwed by unscrupulous companies.

    Most people who’ve never built anything or run a company don’t know how expensive and risky it is.

    -Steve

    Yes, I had some good teachers in school and someone else built the office I rented when I made Fat Head and the roads I drove to get there, so I’m pretty sure that means the government actually made the film.

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    That’s a shame about the movie being “stolen” for the web. I’ve watched Fathead from Netflix, hopefully others will watch the movie either through a service such as Netflix or from purchasing the DVD. I hope you can stop the thefts. I found your film really helpful and was so glad you wrote and produced it.

    Reply
  12. tom scott

    I’m not being a smart-ass, flippant or anything but what is the difference if I watched it on Youtube (I haven’t) or on Hulu (I have.)
    Is there a royalty for a click thru on Hulu?

    Yes, Hulu pays for each viewing.

    Reply
  13. Eduardo K.

    Sorry to be the one to tell you, but your movie has been avaliable to download via torrent for ever. I loved it and as soon as I can get an international credit card to pay for it will gladly buy several copies of it to give away as compensation.

    I hope you can regain control of you rights. Sadly you have learnt the hard way how crooked most of the movie distributors are and why they are a dying form of life.

    Yeah, I knew it would end up on the torrent sites.

    Doesn’t your card work with PayPal?

    Reply
  14. Justin McCullough

    You actually make money on it being on Netflix? If so, can you somehow tell them to put it back up so I can watch it more? Also, I just NOW saw the “Wheat is murder” tshirt, totally saving my bills for that!

    As far as I know, it’s still available on Netflix Instant play. A co-worker at my programming job told me this week that Fat Head popped up on their Netflix menu as a recommended pick. His son was thrilled because he’s met me a few times.

    Netflix pays for the rights to show a film, yes.

    Reply
  15. Ailu

    You didn’t make anything from the 2 DVDs I bought off Amazon? Had I known that, I would have bought them elsewhere, such as your site. Very sorry you went through all of this. Had no idea how much corruption there is in the DVD distribution business. 🙁

    If your DVDs have the Morningstar label, we didn’t get paid for them.

    Reply
  16. Audra

    You are so right and Im sorry someone is stealing your work. Its hard enough to get the education you worked so hard to produce! We need more of your work and people like you to do more…..but get paid for it! Please keep going. I tell everyone to watch Fat Head…. and now that I know I will always purchase from your site directly! From one programmer, artist and lowcarber to another….thank you. 🙂

    We learned our lesson. Now we largely distribute it ourselves.

    Reply
  17. Tom Welsh

    Sorry to hear about the persistent stealing of your film, Tom. For what it’s worth, I recently bought a copy from you, and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. (Although we were a bit mystified because when we got it started, we found ourselves somehow watching all the interviews in the belief that they were the film!)

    Although piracy is annoying and frustrating, I hope you won’t let it get you down too much. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent without taking measures that would be even worse – such as restrictive DRM built in to everything, including all computers.

    I work in the book publishing industry, and we have come to feel that piracy is one of those unpleasant facts of life, like mosqitoes or seasickness. There is a silver lining, though: it seems likely that people who take advantage of free copies would often not pay for a legitimate copy, whereas people who buy would often do so even if someone offered them a free copy.

    Many of us (I hope) think that your film, and the important facts and ideas in it, are worth far more than the fairly modest price you charge for it. (And that’s emphatically NOT because we are millionaires and don’t bother to count costs). It is a very good summary of many of the facts about low-carb eating, and funny to boot. We still chortle from time to time when one of us quotes, in the requisite sinister tones, “Follow the money!”

    It doesn’t get me down. We learned our lessons and moved on. We have a new DVD distributor now, but the contract allows me to simply stop sending them DVDs and go elsewhere if I don’t like what they’re doing.

    Reply
  18. Nick S

    Welcome to the dirty, dirty world of film production. “Den of thieves” characterizes the majority of the industry. Faking losses to avoid paying content creators is as old as film.

    Yup. Now I know why businessman are routinely portrayed as evil in Hollywood productions. In Hollywood, a lot of them are evil.

    Reply
  19. Kim

    Well, damn. I bought a few of those from Amazon. 🙁

    I appreciate your support anyway. The popularity of the film is what convinced Gravitas to take it on. Fat Head was the first film they ever distributed from an unknown rookie filmmaker.

    Reply
  20. Suzie_B

    So, what happened to the days where your word or handshake was all it took for honest deals? i was stupid when I opened a small business, I expected people were basically honest and would keep their word. It was not long before I found out that if I let them have credit that I would never see my money from a big portion of them. Oddly, some of the poorest people had the most integrity. People rip you off at every turn – even just ordinary folks – the new American Way (A learned behavior from the banksters). You have every right to be angry. I’m sorry, I bought your DVD used from Amazon, but I did get a T-shirt from your website.

    I was stupid too. Our international (ahem) distributor sent a one-page deal memo that included a paragraph saying it would be in effect until we signed a long-form contract. They never sent that contract, which was the one I planned to have a lawyer examine. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the “temporary” deal memo is still in effect three years later. I should have insisted the deal memo would only be in effect for 90 days.

    Reply
  21. Steve Parker, M.D.

    But didn’t you hear Obama say, “You didn’t build that…” You greedy capitalist!

    I’m sorry you got screwed by unscrupulous companies.

    Most people who’ve never built anything or run a company don’t know how expensive and risky it is.

    -Steve

    Yes, I had some good teachers in school and someone else built the office I rented when I made Fat Head and the roads I drove to get there, so I’m pretty sure that means the government actually made the film.

    Reply
  22. norpan

    Of course you can ask people nicely not to spread your movie, but to call them thieves is simply not correct. I sympathize with your anger about not getting your share but the simple fact is that copying stuff is not the same as stealing stuff.

    Copyright is a restriction of peaceful sharing of information and is enforced by violence. As such, copyright laws are not moral. If you support copyright, you support the initiation of force against peaceful people. You cannot both support copyright and the non-aggression principle. It’s simply not logically possible to be both for and against the initiation of force against peaceful people.

    To say that the computer bits in question is your property has no basis in reality. If the bits reside on my computer, they are not your property, they are my property. There can only be one owner of the atoms that comprise the data, and that owner does not magically change because the bits are arranged in a different order. To say otherwise is to demolish the whole concept of natural property.

    Your rant against your distribution partners is certainly justified, since you had a contract. Did you have a contract with the people uploading your video to youtube?

    I know that you are a libertarian so you should at least be familiar with the concept of property and of not using violence to get what you want.

    To conclude, I think many people are put off by this aggressive tone. I certainly was. In fact, I think that the majority of readers of this blog are not copying your work without paying. I bought your DVD, so I hope that you will get some of that money from the criminals who cheated you.

    I mean this in a constructive and sincere way, since I know that we share a lot of common views on morality and peacefulness.

    Yes, copying and distributing a work you don’t own is theft. It doesn’t have to be physical property for a crime to be committed; that’s why there are legal definitions of intellectual property.

    Enforcing copyright laws is no more immoral than enforcing laws against any other kind of theft. As a libertarian, I have no problem with government initiating force to prevent a violation of property rights. Libertarians take property rights very seriously.

    Reply
  23. Tom Welsh

    Sorry to hear about the persistent stealing of your film, Tom. For what it’s worth, I recently bought a copy from you, and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. (Although we were a bit mystified because when we got it started, we found ourselves somehow watching all the interviews in the belief that they were the film!)

    Although piracy is annoying and frustrating, I hope you won’t let it get you down too much. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent without taking measures that would be even worse – such as restrictive DRM built in to everything, including all computers.

    I work in the book publishing industry, and we have come to feel that piracy is one of those unpleasant facts of life, like mosqitoes or seasickness. There is a silver lining, though: it seems likely that people who take advantage of free copies would often not pay for a legitimate copy, whereas people who buy would often do so even if someone offered them a free copy.

    Many of us (I hope) think that your film, and the important facts and ideas in it, are worth far more than the fairly modest price you charge for it. (And that’s emphatically NOT because we are millionaires and don’t bother to count costs). It is a very good summary of many of the facts about low-carb eating, and funny to boot. We still chortle from time to time when one of us quotes, in the requisite sinister tones, “Follow the money!”

    It doesn’t get me down. We learned our lessons and moved on. We have a new DVD distributor now, but the contract allows me to simply stop sending them DVDs and go elsewhere if I don’t like what they’re doing.

    Reply
  24. Tomas

    First thing: I bought your movie on DVD from your blog and I’m totally on your side. I wish you great profit on this (otherwise there won’t be sequel :-).

    The main argument used for rationalizing stealing I hear is that “they” (authors/producers/distributors) are stupid dinos and unable to offer quick purchase of the content, world-wide and at reasonable price. This really applies to non-US countries. I’d like to buy your movie from iTunes, but it is not available (Czech.rep). We have not Netflix, we cannot purchase movies from Amazon.
    To get Fat Head or In Search of Perfect Human Diet, I had to wait weeks and pay extra money. Sadly: It really looks from outside world that distribution an sales of movies sucks. Do anybody expect some teenager (often they don’t own credit card) will wait like me if YouTube or PirateBay is soooo fast.

    P.S.: Hey Google, you have infinite number of servers, you can recognize faces, you can recognize voice. Don’t tell me, you can’t detect commercial content.

    That’s one of the reasons I’m furious with our international (ahem) distributor. I practically begged them to release Fat Head on iTunes overseas and they replied with a bunch of gobbledygook about how it couldn’t be done. Meanwhile, Gravitas would put it on iTunes overseas tomorrow if they had the rights.

    Reply
  25. Dennis

    Wow, that is awful. Thank god for independent publishing. I saw it on Netflix first and bought a copy for my mom. I also saw a version on YouTube recently (maybe the same one you found?) and I didn’t think anything of it, but from now on, I’ll report them to you one way or another.

    I’d appreciate that. At least it’s quick process to get the videos removed from YouTube.

    Reply
  26. Angie

    I watched your movie last weekend on Netflix and found it entertaining and inspiring. I’ve recommended it to several friends. Oh, and I’ve changed what I eat.

    I guess the thieves know quality.

    I would say I’m honored to be targeted for theft, but …

    Reply
  27. Cristian

    I love your movie, I watched it with my kids … and thanks.
    Sorry to hear you are not doing better financially, I hope the money comes “… follow the money…” (ok, that’s really all I have for something clever to say here…)

    Reply
  28. Steven

    Can anyone “prove” that they “own” anything? If you think so, how?

    Well, I think my copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office constitutes proof, yes.

    Reply
  29. Firebird

    I have two screenplays that are in development. This is great food for thought, as if the film industry has ever been anything but honest (and I HAVE had a screenplay ripped off…see the movie “Youngblood”).

    Distributors are kind of like lawyers … 99% of them give the rest a bad name.

    Reply
  30. norpan

    Of course you can ask people nicely not to spread your movie, but to call them thieves is simply not correct. I sympathize with your anger about not getting your share but the simple fact is that copying stuff is not the same as stealing stuff.

    Copyright is a restriction of peaceful sharing of information and is enforced by violence. As such, copyright laws are not moral. If you support copyright, you support the initiation of force against peaceful people. You cannot both support copyright and the non-aggression principle. It’s simply not logically possible to be both for and against the initiation of force against peaceful people.

    To say that the computer bits in question is your property has no basis in reality. If the bits reside on my computer, they are not your property, they are my property. There can only be one owner of the atoms that comprise the data, and that owner does not magically change because the bits are arranged in a different order. To say otherwise is to demolish the whole concept of natural property.

    Your rant against your distribution partners is certainly justified, since you had a contract. Did you have a contract with the people uploading your video to youtube?

    I know that you are a libertarian so you should at least be familiar with the concept of property and of not using violence to get what you want.

    To conclude, I think many people are put off by this aggressive tone. I certainly was. In fact, I think that the majority of readers of this blog are not copying your work without paying. I bought your DVD, so I hope that you will get some of that money from the criminals who cheated you.

    I mean this in a constructive and sincere way, since I know that we share a lot of common views on morality and peacefulness.

    Yes, copying and distributing a work you don’t own is theft. It doesn’t have to be physical property for a crime to be committed; that’s why there are legal definitions of intellectual property.

    Enforcing copyright laws is no more immoral than enforcing laws against any other kind of theft. As a libertarian, I have no problem with government initiating force to prevent a violation of property rights. Libertarians take property rights very seriously.

    Reply
  31. Jolly

    One word: iTunes.

    70% of the sticker price, stuffed into whatever account you designate. No production materials, no manufacturing. Very very low upfront costs ( $100? ) No muss, no fuss. I’d buy it tomorrow for $20 if available. I avoid DVDs, and so do most of my friends.

    It is on iTunes now, at least in the U.S.:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/fat-head-youve-been-fed-load/id476528098

    The den of thieves in Canada never made it available on iTunes overseas, but are preventing Gravitas from doing so. I’m working on a solution to that.

    Reply
  32. Elwin Ransom

    Sorry to hear about this, Tom. I know it must be more than a bit frustrating. When I first heard of your film, I headed to Hulu. I thought it was fantastic that I could watch the whole documentary with just a few 30 second commercials. I then ordered the DVD from Amazon. (Sorry about that – I hadn’t found your site yet.)

    Anyway, six months later I’m a healthier man for having watched it. (My original intent for going low-carb was to rid myself of GERD and the meds that didn’t help that nightmare anyway.)
    I considered it a great bonus that I ended up losing over 30 pounds, and have never felt this good since my 20’s.
    And yes, you get the ‘bragging rights’ on both of those.
    If it hadn’t been for Fat Head, I’d still be popping Prilosec, washing them down with Alka Seltzer – and having to guess whether I’d remembered to tie my shoes this morning…

    Amazon isn’t supposed to be selling any Morningstar-labeled DVDs, since Morningstar went bankrupt without paying us. I guess I’ll have to remind Amazon of that.

    Reply
  33. Tomas

    First thing: I bought your movie on DVD from your blog and I’m totally on your side. I wish you great profit on this (otherwise there won’t be sequel :-).

    The main argument used for rationalizing stealing I hear is that “they” (authors/producers/distributors) are stupid dinos and unable to offer quick purchase of the content, world-wide and at reasonable price. This really applies to non-US countries. I’d like to buy your movie from iTunes, but it is not available (Czech.rep). We have not Netflix, we cannot purchase movies from Amazon.
    To get Fat Head or In Search of Perfect Human Diet, I had to wait weeks and pay extra money. Sadly: It really looks from outside world that distribution an sales of movies sucks. Do anybody expect some teenager (often they don’t own credit card) will wait like me if YouTube or PirateBay is soooo fast.

    P.S.: Hey Google, you have infinite number of servers, you can recognize faces, you can recognize voice. Don’t tell me, you can’t detect commercial content.

    That’s one of the reasons I’m furious with our international (ahem) distributor. I practically begged them to release Fat Head on iTunes overseas and they replied with a bunch of gobbledygook about how it couldn’t be done. Meanwhile, Gravitas would put it on iTunes overseas tomorrow if they had the rights.

    Reply
  34. Leta

    This is something I cannot wrap my head around. Fat Head is available, for free, in good quality, on Hulu. You get paid from that. Everybody wins! Who needs it on YouTube in a zillion parts? Just… why?

    Beats me.

    Reply
  35. Dennis

    Wow, that is awful. Thank god for independent publishing. I saw it on Netflix first and bought a copy for my mom. I also saw a version on YouTube recently (maybe the same one you found?) and I didn’t think anything of it, but from now on, I’ll report them to you one way or another.

    I’d appreciate that. At least it’s quick process to get the videos removed from YouTube.

    Reply
  36. Angie

    I watched your movie last weekend on Netflix and found it entertaining and inspiring. I’ve recommended it to several friends. Oh, and I’ve changed what I eat.

    I guess the thieves know quality.

    I would say I’m honored to be targeted for theft, but …

    Reply
  37. SabreCat

    Hmm. The folks uploading these videos to YouTube are your biggest fans. They saw your film, thought, “holy crap, this is important. More people need to see this,” and used YouTube to spread the message.

    Have you considered reaching out to these people instead of playing DMCA whack-a-mole? If their YouTube channels linked to fathead-movie.com, for instance, that’d provide a clear avenue for people to see the content, then come here and buy merch, DVDs, etc. Free advertising! Then you’d be gaining sales, and building goodwill with fans, rather than demonizing fans and customers as “thieves” and trying to prevent people from hearing what you have to say.

    I’ve put enough content on YouTube, including bits from the film, to draw people to our site. People who upload the entire film aren’t giving anyone a reason to buy a copy.

    Reply
  38. SabreCat

    The reasons to buy copies come from you, not the film. People buy because they like you and want to support you. If they just want to watch the film, they can and will–you’re never going to stamp out every unauthorized source (thus “whack-a-mole”). Reaching out gives people more reasons to like you and want to support you; shutting things down and ranting at people turns customers off and encourages them to spend their time and money elsewhere.

    I’ve made my speeches online available for free, I’ve posted several informative videos on YouTube, I write a lot of blog posts without expecting to get paid for them — I don’t even accept advertising. I give away enough of my efforts. I don’t care if asking YouTube to take down an illegally uploaded version of a copyrighted work makes people mad. I don’t care if people who want to watch a pirated version film online instead of buying a DVD or watching on a commercial site get mad about it either. They’re not customers. Customers are people who pay you.

    Reply
  39. Jennifer Snow

    @norpan: by that same reasoning, if you don’t produce *physical objects*, you don’t deserve to be paid. So if you work in, say, a service industry, it’s *not stealing* for people to consume your service and then not pay you for it. After all, “time” is a non-physical thing.

    I’m going to go down to Harvard and demand my free education immediately. Not to mention I’ll stop tipping waiters ASAP.

    Non-physical things have value, and they take just as much effort to produce–not to mention the ENORMOUS intellectual effort it takes to reach a stage where you’re CAPABLE of producing intellectual value. It is one of the greatest aspects of true capitalism that it recognizes the ultimate wellspring of human values: ideas, and seeks to protect the originator’s right to their work.

    Anyway, I did watch Science for Smart People on Youtube, is that okay?

    Of course; I uploaded the speeches myself.

    Reply
  40. Cristian

    I love your movie, I watched it with my kids … and thanks.
    Sorry to hear you are not doing better financially, I hope the money comes “… follow the money…” (ok, that’s really all I have for something clever to say here…)

    Reply
  41. Steven

    Can anyone “prove” that they “own” anything? If you think so, how?

    Well, I think my copyright registration with the U.S. Copyright Office constitutes proof, yes.

    Reply
  42. gallier2

    You know that copyright laws were invented to protect the authors from the printers in the 18th century, didn’t you?

    The original crooked distributors?

    Reply
  43. Firebird

    I have two screenplays that are in development. This is great food for thought, as if the film industry has ever been anything but honest (and I HAVE had a screenplay ripped off…see the movie “Youngblood”).

    Distributors are kind of like lawyers … 99% of them give the rest a bad name.

    Reply
  44. Ej

    Hey, Tom! If someone wanted to play ‘Fat Head’ continuously all day today, which website would profit you more per view: Netflix or Hulu?

    All day? Well, in that case it would be Hulu. They pay per viewing. Netflix pays quarterly for rights to keep it in their catalog.

    Reply
  45. Jolly

    One word: iTunes.

    70% of the sticker price, stuffed into whatever account you designate. No production materials, no manufacturing. Very very low upfront costs ( $100? ) No muss, no fuss. I’d buy it tomorrow for $20 if available. I avoid DVDs, and so do most of my friends.

    It is on iTunes now, at least in the U.S.:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/fat-head-youve-been-fed-load/id476528098

    The den of thieves in Canada never made it available on iTunes overseas, but are preventing Gravitas from doing so. I’m working on a solution to that.

    Reply
  46. Mike G

    I also bought my copy from Amazon, unfortunately. I’ll buy two copies from your site: one for the other biology teacher at my school (he’s now no longer a vegetarian), and one for the health teacher who’s trying to shut me up…

    I have a feeling you won’t be intimidated into shutting up. Thanks for the support.

    Reply
  47. Elwin Ransom

    Sorry to hear about this, Tom. I know it must be more than a bit frustrating. When I first heard of your film, I headed to Hulu. I thought it was fantastic that I could watch the whole documentary with just a few 30 second commercials. I then ordered the DVD from Amazon. (Sorry about that – I hadn’t found your site yet.)

    Anyway, six months later I’m a healthier man for having watched it. (My original intent for going low-carb was to rid myself of GERD and the meds that didn’t help that nightmare anyway.)
    I considered it a great bonus that I ended up losing over 30 pounds, and have never felt this good since my 20’s.
    And yes, you get the ‘bragging rights’ on both of those.
    If it hadn’t been for Fat Head, I’d still be popping Prilosec, washing them down with Alka Seltzer – and having to guess whether I’d remembered to tie my shoes this morning…

    Amazon isn’t supposed to be selling any Morningstar-labeled DVDs, since Morningstar went bankrupt without paying us. I guess I’ll have to remind Amazon of that.

    Reply
  48. Mark Sundstrom

    It seems Amazon is still selling it. That’s where I bought my copy in Sept. 2009. I am sorry you never got the money from that sale. Fat Head has made a huge difference to me. I’m off to your Paypal link to make a donation. Thanks!
    –Mark

    Thank you.

    Reply

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