Thank You

      27 Comments on Thank You

When I wrote about my frustrations with our crooked distributors, my intention was to explain why it enrages me when goofballs attempt to distribute Fat Head for free on YouTube, not to beg for DVD sales.  Nonetheless, we received a record number of orders this weekend.  I suspect some of you have already seen the film on Netflix or Hulu, but decided to order a DVD as a show of support.  So for that, thank you all very much.

To my readers in the U.S., happy Labor Day.  To everyone else, happy Monday.

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27 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. Mike T

    Same holiday up here in crooked Canada :). Will be ordering the DVD as soon as I get my new cc. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Anna

    I was disturbed to say the least when I read your post on the trials of making your movie and not seeing a penny from it. You have done an invaluable service to the public at large by exposing the facts about the dietary b***t we have been led to believe. All I can say is, I hope that getting the message out there is some kind of consolation for the poor way you have been treated by your collaborators and distributors.

    It is. I receive quite a few “you changed my life” emails (I’ll post some later this week), and the satisfaction from those vastly outweighs my frustration with crooked distributors.

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  3. Paul B.

    Tom, long time reader (about a year); I’ve never commented until now.

    Saw Fat Head last summer on Netflix… probably watched it a full 5 times there! I’ve looked at the page store to purchase the movie (even before your post on the thieves), and all I see is the international version of the movie. I’m not overly tech-smart, but I think that US dvd players don’t recognize the international coding on dvds. Yes? No? Or by international version is it coded for all countries? Or am I somehow overlooking the US dvd?

    A year later, thanks for your movie. It helped me focus some of my thoughts and confusion on nutrition, and motivated me to do some research on my own.

    We should probably rename that. It plays everywhere. When Morningstar was still in existence and we still believed they’d pay us, we sold their version in the U.S. and the so-called international version elsewhere. Now we just sell the international version because Morningstar is no more.

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  4. Aviv

    I too ordered all DVDs, and the cool t-shirt “wheat is murder” to support, even though I saw it online before.
    I just love your blog and thinks you make a great job, nothing like making people laugh while teaching them important things like health.
    Keep it up buddy.

    Aviv

    Thank you, Aviv.

    Reply
  5. Dave M

    Tom, are you familiar with the website reddit.com? If you’re not, they have a section of their website called Ask Me Anything (AMA) which is just what it sounds like. They often have celebrities do an AMA, usually as part of some sort of promotion for a new project, but they’ll answer questions about anything. A few months ago Morgan Spurlock did an AMA for a new movie he is working on and people kept asking him about Super Size Me and whether he had ever seen your movie, and what he thought about the points you made. He never answered any of the questions other than to say he’d never seen Fat Head. I bet if you did an AMA about Fat Head and your current homesteading lifestyle there’d be a lot of interest in it and it’s a great way to expose millions of potential new customers to your film.

    I’m a pretty active Reddit user and could answer questions about the site if you have any.

    I read some of his replies after people alerted me to them. Seems to me he kind of side-stepped the tough questions. I don’t know how people end up being guests on Reddit, but sure, I’d done one.

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  6. Casey

    You rock.

    It’s labour day in Canada too

    Shows what I know. I didn’t you had Labor Day up there. Of course, you spell it wrong, eh?

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  7. Christian

    Not only did I buy “Fat Head” when it came out on DVD in February 2009 and have watched it a half dozen times, bonus interviews and all, but when I am too lazy to pop the disc in, will watch it on Netflix. Tom, I am doing my part!!

    Cheers from another “Canuck” celebrating Labour Day as well….:)

    Thank you.

    Reply
  8. ZeeDante

    Once Fathead hits the open market, and is purchased by someone, you no longer own that particular copy of your work. Hence, you no longer have any right to tell someone else what they can and cannot do with their property, period. I understand you are upset, I understand that you put a lot of hard work, blood sweat and tears into your work, however, facts are facts. If someone busted into your home and took a handful of hard copy DVD’s of the film, that is stealing. Someone uploading the film to their computer and putting it on Youtube is not stealing, it is sharing, hence, file-sharing, the term. File-sharing is under no circumstance stealing.

    Prove to me that you are losing sales to Youtube uploads of the film and you have an argument, just understand that you will have to prove that the person watching the film, in the absence of their Youtube viewing would purchase the film. I would never pay money to watch The Possession. If someone sent me a link to watch The Possession, I might check it out. Thus, The Possession is losing no money as they would not have my ticket sale regardless.

    My, it is truly amazing to see how people can rationalize theft. This is a perfect example of the phenomenon described in the book “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)” … people prefer to view themselves as good, so they can convince themselves that anything they’ve done is good or at least not bad. I like to “share” other people’s intellectual property with my friends without compensation, and I KNOW I’m a good person, so I’ll latch onto some dumbass theory about how only physical objects can be owned to avoid viewing myself as a thief.

    Yes, according to both common law and common sense, people who upload Fat Head are stealing. When you buy a DVD, you legally own a DVD. You don’t legally own any distribution rights to the film contained on the DVD. When you buy a DVD, you buy it with a copyright notice on the DVD box, on the DVD disc itself, and on the first screen of the playback. In other words, you bought that DVD with conditions attached. One of those conditions is that you will not duplicate the contents. That’s a contract, same as when you click the “I agree to these terms” button when you load software. If you don’t like the terms, don’t buy the DVD. You don’t get to just decide you’re going to ignore the terms of the agreement.

    According to your theory of property, the person who invests $100,000 and untold hours to make a film has no more rights over the distribution of it than the first jackass who buys a DVD for $16.95 and decides to upload it or make a thousand copies and sell them on eBay. According to your theory, people who produce physical objects have property rights, but people who produce books or films or songs only have property rights for the copies they DON’T sell — in other words, they only maintain rights to their works if they don’t attempt exploit the economic value of what they produce. Try to get paid for years of work, and you instantly lose your property rights.

    This would mean that any advertiser can use any Beatles song on any commercial without permission or compensation because the surviving Beatles only own their physical copies of their songs; any manufacturer of any product can put George Clooney’s picture on the box because George Clooney only owns his copy of his face; anyone can make an eBook of the latest Stephen King novel and distribute it at will the day it’s released because Stephen King only owns the copy he typed himself; any knockoff drug company can clone a drug that required a billion dollars to develop the day the first bottle of pills hits the market because the company that developed the drug only owns the pills they produced, etc.

    That’s beyond stupid. So is the argument that if you watch something you wouldn’t have paid to watch, it’s okay. If I sneak onto a private golf course and play 18 holes, it’s a violation of property rights even if I wouldn’t have paid to join the golf club and therefore I didn’t cost them any membership fees. If I sneak into a movie theater to watch a movie I wouldn’t have paid to see, it’s still legally theft of services.

    If I produce a film and it’s sold on a DVD, the product isn’t the DVD. The product is the film. The DVD is merely the delivery system for the product. If you just want a DVD, you can buy one at Staples for $1. The reason people buy a $16.95 Fat Head DVD is that they want the actual product — the film.

    I don’t have to prove that people who watch the film on YouTube would have otherwise purchased the film. All I have to prove is that I own the copyright and anyone who uploads the film has violated my copyright. Other people’s speculations that free viewings on YouTube will have no effect on sales or perhaps even boost them are immaterial. It’s not their decision to make on my behalf. A film only has economic value because of distribution. If the creator doesn’t control distribution, he doesn’t control the economic value of his work. That’s why we have copyrights and that’s why they’re legitimate, no matter how much the “it should all be free!” goofballs rationalize their “sharing.”

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  9. Beklet

    What is Labour Day?

    Think I did originally watch it on Youtube (We didn’t have Netflix in the UK at the time), then we bought the DVD,, which we watched twice while on holiday (cos we know how to live – didn’t convert our bread munching veggie friends though)
    We left the copy round a friends, but he’s scared to watch it because he realises everything he knows will be proven to be wrong, and his Mrs will have no more excuse to feed him on nasty cheap bread and noodles while she eats all the nice meat and veg as part of her ‘Slimming World’ diet…..Oh I’m such a bad friend….

    We’re going round there at the weekend, armed with beer and chicken wings, and will make him watch. It will be beautiful…

    Labor Day is a national holiday intended to honor people who work for a living.

    Reply
  10. Rose

    You deserve money for your efforts & I also hope that you can get libraries to have this on their shelves, as libraries often have “Suersize Me”, “Forks over knifes”, etc. I’m going to see if my local library will order your dvd.

    Thank you. Libraries are starting to order the film now that Passion River Films is promoting it to them.

    Reply
  11. Cliff

    Did you ever think that maybe one of the reasons you are getting the sales is because it has received large viewership penetration with help from the “goofballs” posting it on youtube. You might not want to insult your hardcore fans if you want to go viral.

    That’s not their decision to make. If I think it’s to my benefit to put the whole film online for free, I’ll make that choice. If my neighbor makes end-tables and I take a few from his garage and give them away because I sincerely believe this will get people talking about his beautiful end-tables and ultimately lead to more sales, I’ve still taken his property without his permission and it’s still theft, no matter how noble my intentions.

    I’ve put plenty of clips online for free viewing to draw people to the film. Gravitas put the entire film on YouTube with a few ads, which generates income for the film. Hulu and Netflix also prompt people to buy their own copies of the DVD.

    Most people who watch pirated versions probably don’t even know where to go to buy a copy.

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  12. Kathy

    Hi Tom — I watched your legit version on YouTube over the weekend. Your wife is absolutely stunning! (of course your daughters are cute too!)

    When you went into your bedroom and asked her to comment, and she said “Are you a moron?” that’s when I knew how she captured your heart!

    Thank you, Kathy. Chareva captured my heart the day I met her in an acting class, but I didn’t work up the nerve to ask her for a date until a year later. We ended up on the same work assignment in an office (both as temps), but the company had nothing for us to do. So we spent two days talking. That, combined with pressure from my female co-workers, convinced me. Fifteen years and two awesome daughters later, I’m eternally grateful for that work assignment.

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  13. Bullinachinashop

    I purchased a copy of your film on iTunes. Did you get any of that or does that all go to the crooked distributor? How exactly does an outsider to the US suppot you and not this distributor when purchasing this movie?

    You did support us, thanks. Gravitas is our distributor on iTunes and they send checks.

    Were you able to access it via iTunes outside the U.S.? I was under the impression our iTunes release was U.S. only because the den of thieves blocked it elsewhere. If you search for Fat Head on iTunes outside the U.S., does it say Gravitas somewhere on the results screen?

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  14. Ruth

    To those who say that the increased sales come from illegal copies on internet sites: Not my purchase. A while ago, I purchased 2 copies of Fat Head from amazon to share the message And to pay Tom back for the good he has done in producing the DVD. No illegal copy was watched before I made my purchase. (Kinda sounds like “No animals were killed in the production….” but I digress.)

    This weekend’s purchase of other DVDs was to be sure that Tom saw some reward for his hard work.

    Tom, Fat Head has touched many in my family, especially those who thought I was a little nutso for being low carb.

    Ya done good, Tom. This weekend’s purchase was so that you could see some of the fruit of your labor in cold, hard, cash. The added bonus of being able to watch the other lectures just sweetens the deal for me.

    Thank you, Ruth. A lot of people ordered DVDs this weekend, sometimes more than one, and I really appreciate the show of support.

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  15. LXV

    This turned out waaaaaaaaaaay longer than I intended. It’s not an excuse or a justification, but I thought I might show why an otherwise straight up ethical person (me) chooses to pirate something instead of pay for it.
    ———

    I will admit to dabbling in using the internet to pirate a few things. I’m probably representative of most people who feel “entitled” to movies and tv shows. And therefore encourage people like the YouTube uploader that kicked this whole thing off. For me, it is purely a matter of convenience. Let’s take HBO’s Game of Thrones as a recent example because it is EVERYTHING that is wrong with modern entertainment distribution.

    I just want to watch the show. I would be happy to pay to watch the show, but I could swear that HBO wants me to get a pirated copy. Here’s why:
    1. I can’t get HBO unless I get a basic cable subscription first. I can’t justify a six month contract with our cable company financially
    2. HBO’s internet service, HBOgo, is only available to folks who have cable subscriptions. See above.
    3. HBO does not stream through Netflix, Hulu, or Youtube.

    Okay, fair enough, whatever. That’s their prerogative and as a company they’ve decided it’s what makes sense for their financial books. But then it starts getting ridiculous.

    4. Waiting nearly a whole calendar year for the show to become available for purchase.
    5. The first set of blu-rays are busted.
    5a. Amazon gets us our replacement discs in three days.
    6. The replacement set is incompatible with our (Sony) blu-ray player unless we first disconnect it from the internet and fiddle with options that are four menus deep.
    7. DRM out the wazoo. My husband and I are nerds and movie junkies. We have probably close to a thousand discs (with season box sets for numerous shows) and we would like to be able to put everything on few hard drives for easy access and search. But that’s not really possible without some software that the MPAA really doesn’t want you to have.
    8. That stupid “The FBI will throw you in jail if you pirate this” warning on the blu-rays which is unskippable and shows up in four languages. At this point I start twitching because if I *had* pirated the show I would have had it nine months ago, in the format I wanted, and wouldn’t be subjected to finger-wagging every four episodes.

    Meanwhile the box set of cartoons I got from Best Buy is missing a disc and they’re accusing me of stealing it; the Avengers box set we’ve ordered is being held up; and a ridiculous number of MST3K episodes are just plain unavailable. Why won’t “they” let me give them money? I don’t want to jump through hoops for my entertainment and it’s really aggravating when pirating something is easier than paying for it.

    Now obviously NONE of this is the case with FatHead. It’s readily accessible in multiple channels. And I do try to be an ethical pirate. If I download it, I make sure I somehow *monetarily* compensate the creative team involved, usually by buying a copy of what I downloaded. This is especially important to me if it’s an independent artist.

    Anyway, there’s the thesis of the ethical pirate. *Shrug*

    I feel your frustration with HBO. There are shows I’ve heard good things about on premium channels I don’t subscribe to, and if they made those shows available on a commercial service somewhere, I’d watch them.

    I received some emails a couple of years from people living overseas who confessed to downloading Fat Head from torrent sites because they had no way to legally view it — because the den of thieves pretending to be our international distributor never made it available, despite my urging them to do so. (I heard from those people because they wanted to make a donation to say thanks.) I don’t like that Fat Head was being downloaded from torrents, but I understood why in that case someone would choose to download it.

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  16. The Older Brother

    Fat Head just got an excellent writeup on the Laissez Faire Bookstore website. 🙂

    Unfortunately, the proprietor then had a p.s. referencing comments on one of his earlier posts where he’d argued against patents. Seems strange he apparently isn’t very familiar with Rothbard’s work either!?! 🙁

    Cheers

    I didn’t see it there. Obviously I’m looking in the wrong place.

    Reply
  17. Osama Magdi Elmageid

    I’m sorry to hear about the unscrupulous actions taken against you by the distributor. Your film is excellent nonetheless, and I’m glad it has gotten the boost in sales in spite of distributor’s unprofessional attitude. You deserve more support than what you are getting for the good science that was presented in the film. It helped me view nutrition through a better perspective. I have to thank you for that.

    Unscrupulous people will keep coming at you. No one except you can really protect you at the end of the day. More regulations would not have helped in that regard. Keep your Bible (or any sustainable spiritual principle) and your freedom close at heart as these they cannot take away unless you consent. Keep up the good work as it is appreciated.

    Thank you, Osama.

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  18. Lizzy

    @ZeeDante
    Will make this simple for you

    COPYRIGHT = the right to copy something.

    you may own the DVD disk but you don’t own the copyright therefore you DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO COPY IT!

    Reply
  19. John Zacharias

    The best I can do Tom is be a dedicated fan. I tell everyone about your DVD. I post links to your site on fb. My wife told me about your film 2 years ago. I watched it on Netflix and it changed my life. (after tons of research on my own to make sure everything I saw was accurate) Sincerely thank you for continuing to write about what you do who you are and how you approach life.

    Thank you, John.

    Reply
  20. Bullinachinashop

    In defense to those who believe sharing can help increase sales, there is a grain of truth to the idea that offering free content will increase sales.

    For example, Joe Rogan offers a free 2 hour podcast once a week (at least) with no intention of making any other money than increasing sales at his comedy shows and it worked better than he ever imagined.

    However in your case the free content is this blog, not the movie. It’s very important that people learn the difference between what was supposed to be free and what wasn’t.

    Bingo. Ultimately, the purpose of giving away free stuff to draw a fan base is to SELL something.

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  21. Sally Myles

    To Dave M (and you, Tom) we’ve got a show here in the UK called The Wright Stuff, it gets 90 minutes daytime per weekday on one of our terrestrial channels and they’ve had Morgan Spurlock on. They seem to love him. I would LOVE you to go on that show and debunk his shizzle about McDonalds being the Devil Matthew Wright has the vox pop a lot of the time, we had a female tv presenter allege she’d been raped and he named the alleged rapist, despite him never being charged, his career was ruined. In fact, when Morgan Spurlock was on one time, I emailed the show and asked could they ask MS about his food log, as it was showing discrepancies in the amount of calories consumed. I got nowhere. we need you in the UK. We do. I live three hours from London otherwise I’d open my house to you, Chareva and the girls. I’d feed you Paleo stuff while you spread the word. My son came home today with a letter about school milk. My Mum said that he should have it as it’s semi skimmed and ‘as you get older semi skimmed is better for you’ she still doesn’t get it. I only feed him full fat organic for a reason. We need you on tv in this country. We need you. You say it like it is and we appreciate that here. We see our kids getting fatter and fatter (not my Anthony thanks to Fat Head) and needing school uniform in fat sizes. It’s wrong. It’s child abuse. I wish you’d come to the UK. I’ve got a very good friend who is a producer on the BBC news. If I could get the Beeb interested, would you consider a trip to Old London Town??? Spurlock is a charlatan, you could blow him out of the water.

    Thank you, Sally. If someone offers to bring me over for a TV appearance, I’m there. I’ve always wanted to see London.

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  22. smgj

    I’ve downloaded the film from “the internet”, watched it, and donated. I’d probably never watched (or paid for it) it without this opportunity. Out of respect to your view upon this I won’t be sharing it.
    And I enjoyed the film. 🙂

    Thank you. If everyone who downloaded it made a donation, I could probably retire soon.

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  23. Wilhelm

    Tom, I suspect there’s a connection between your interview with Lew Rockwell and your sales of “Fathead.” I ordered a DVD as a direct result of hearing your interview and I am sure many more did as well. Lew Rockwell has an enormous following.

    No doubt the interview helped. We saw a spike in sales after I explained our frustrations with our distributors but before the interview aired, then another spike after the interview, so I think it’s a combination.

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  24. TS81

    Thank you for Fathead, it was nothing new to me since I’m already low carb and very familiar with all this stuff but it was fun to watch. Very well done, kept my attention all the way through. I watched it as a torrent, I might buy the DVD later on but now just donated more than the DVD’s price just to keep you stocked with that unhealthy fat. Thanks again, keep up the good work!

    I appreciate that.

    Reply

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