Update: 4/9/2011: Yes, I used the word "Gaul" instead of "Gall" as I consider the behavior I describe below rather Parisian :).
In 2007 I made a film called Flatland. I spent two years in a freakin' basement making the thing, by myself.
Of course there were writers like Tom Whalen and composer Mark Slater to help see me through it, as well as the voice actors. And valuable help that was. But unfortunately I could only afford one animator: me. I was the one eating Ramen noodles, destroying my hands and arms with repetitive stress injuries and carpal tunnel syndome. I so wore out my "mouse arm" by the end that, in order to finish the film in time, I had to use a weird home-made contraption consisting of a goddamn bungee cord to lift my arm up to the mouse.
A few months after I started selling the film on DVD through Amazon, I discovered that people from a certain pirating website were downloading my film. Rather than get angry about it, I asked them if they would give back by voting for it on IMDB and Amazon. They did. They even helped out with some translations into other languages. They recommended the film to their friends who had the money to actually buy the film on DVD.
They were thieves, but they were cool and at least recognized that they had something of an obligation to the hard work I and my friends put forward to make Flatland. It would've been nice for them to have bought the film, but I do believe that they helped drive sales of the film when it was released, and I am thankful for that.
Then this morning I wake to discover that my entire film was posted on youTube. Without my permission. It also was posted incorrectly, with lousy cropping and even worse editing.
I was planning on posting Flatland myself on youTube in the near future and making some revenue off the advertising. So this instance of thievery was an entirely different matter than the previously cool one.
So I sent a message to the thief's account, asking him to remove it, because it was mine.
The person responded thusly:
Did you make the film?
I never claimed having made it.
My channel is educative, I do not profit from it.
If you are the maker and are so offended by my having posting it, I will comply with your request.
An alternative would give you the credits, It's up to you...
LET ME KNOW.
Before I could respond to his first message, he took down the videos (which was good) then sent me another message (not so good):
Re: Please take down Flatland
NO WORRIES - I have removed your precious creation.
If I were making any money from it OR if I had claimed having made it, I could have understood your position... BUT that was not the case.
Anyhow... I hope you are happy that less people will find about your creation....
You may rest in peace - victorious - with your selfish position.
Have a happy life
Thank you for taking down my work.
Neither I nor my work belong to the collective. I can be as selfish as I want with my work. You could have at least apologized for having stolen my work.
Now fuck off, you worthless collectivist piece of shit.
Update: 4/9/2011: Someone wondered if the thief had given me credits. In the youTube "about" text yes, there was some mention of me and the others who worked on the film. But credit isn't what it's about. I plan on posting Flatland to youTube soon and make advertising money off it. So he was directly stealing as opposed to "promoting" my film or "giving" back like the earlier example I mentioned from the "pirate" site. He also didn't give any links to the website or Amazon where the film is sold - which might have made things slightly better in my mind, but not by much.
contact ladd @ filmladd dot com