Evergreen Movie Director on Evergreen Piracy Question

Here is an evergreen topic: does piracy really hurt legal sales?

Last week, film-maker legend Werner Herzog said at a film-festival in Switzerland that pirates have his blessing if they can’t find a legal source for his movies.

Gizmodo conveniently disregarded the second part and added the pirate’s old pet theory that piracy may help legal sales. To support this argument – which is not what Herzog said – Gizmodo cherrypicks two studies: one is the infamous Ecorys-study which was commissioned by the EU Commission (no pun) but buried – most likely not because of some inconvenient truth but for its inferior quality. More on that report here. The other, if you read it, recommends fighting piracy, at least pre-release. Pretty weak support, considering the heap of studies that come to the opposite conclusion.

But maybe that old argument is less interesting, because Werner Herzog is right of course. If he makes a film, it belongs to him and its for him to decide what happens with it. That decision is his and nobody else’s. Unless of course he chose to sell that right to somebody else (maybe in exchange for a production budget), in which case that right belongs to the buyer.

Werner Herzog also said the stupidity in social media is what scares him the most. Netopia concedes.