The Company Helping Movie Studios Sue You for Illegal Downloading Has Been Using Images Without Permission
As you may already know, Voltage Pictures, the company responsible for the movie The Hurt Locker, (as well as a million movies you’ve never heard of) is currently in court, attempting to get an Ontario-based internet service provider to release the names associated with over 1000 IP addresses that they claim belong to people who illegally downloaded their copyrighted material.
These IP addresses were gathered by an extraordinarily douchey company called Canipre, the only antipiracy enforcement firm currently offering services in Canada.
Canipre, as a company, offers to track down people who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from record companies and film studios. According to their website, they have issued more than 3,500,000 takedown notices, and their work has led to multimillion dollar damages awards, injunctions, seizure of assets, and even incarceration.
But it’s not like Canipre is doing this just to get rich. In a recent interview, Canipre’s managing director Barry Logan explained that it’s about much more than just money—he’s hoping to teach the Canadian public a moral lesson:
”[We want to] change social attitudes toward downloading. Many people know it is illegal but they continue to do it… Our collective goal is not to sue everybody… but to change the sense of entitlement that people have, regarding Internet-based theft of property.”
Here is a screenshot of the front page of the Canipre website as it appeared when I visited it this morning.
I contacted Steve and asked if they had sought permission to use the picture. Steve said, “No. In no way have I authorized or licensed this image to anyone in any way.”
So, just to be clear: Canipre has written “they all know it’s wrong and they’re still doing it.” Referring to copyright theft. On top of an image that they are using without the permission of the copyright holder. On their official website.
Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like Jennifer Lawrence? No? Me either. Even if someone doesn’t know who she is, you can just show them that clip of her after the Oscars, or that one of her getting freaked out by Jack Nicholson, and they will become an instant lifelong megafan.
But in the interest of presenting a fair and balanced argument, I decided to try and find some people who hate her. And who hates more shit than members of hate groups? They have the word “hate” right there in their description.
I called up a few to see what their feelings were on J-Lawr.
NATIONAL SOCIALIST FREEDOM MOVEMENT
Who are they?
A US-based “white civil rights group” (that’s a fancy way of saying “racists”).
What do they think of Jennifer Lawrence?
VICE: I was wondering if you could tell me your organization’s thoughts on Jennifer Lawrence? Edward McBride, National Socialist Freedom Movement: Jennifer Lawrence? I don’t know anything about her. Why?
You know who she is, right? She just won best actress for Silver Linings Playbook? She was in Hunger Games? No, sorry. I don’t really pay attention to that nonsense.
Oh. Well what kind of stuff are you into? Basically, you know, defending the rights of white people everywhere.
Jennifer Lawrence is white. OK.
So you guys would defend her? If something were to happen to her.
Well, a while ago she won an award at the Golden Globes, and when she went to get it, she said this thing about Meryl Streep, which was just a reference to First Wives Club, but a lot of people misunderstood and thought she was dissing Meryl. A bunch of people were angry. There was this huge Twitter backlash. Uh-huh.
Is that something you guys would have defended her against? No.
What kind of stuff would you defend her against, then? A variety of different things. Say, for example, she was the victim of a flash mob.
Eugh. I hate flash mobs. Yeah, basically where a group of nig-nogs are looking for any excuse to attack whites.
Oh. I think maybe your definition of “flash mob” is different from mine… Are there any actresses you do like? Nope.
For an unreleased, unseen film with a tiny budget,The Canyons has attracted an enormous amount of publicity. It’s reportedly a sex-filled noir-ish melodrama set in LA, but that’s about all we know, since it hasn’t come out yet—in fact, it hasn’t even been shown at any festivals. Sundance rejected it, and South by Southwest not only rejected it, a “festival insider” told the Hollywood Reporter that the film had “an ugliness and a deadness to it.” Ouch. I haven’t seen it. You haven’t seen it. So why has so much been written about it?
Well for one thing, The Canyons was directed by the legendary Paul Schrader, who wrote Taxi Driver, co-wroteRaging Bull, and directed movies like American Gigolo and Affliciton, both of which he also wrote. The film also garnered headlines for being written by iconic American Psycho and Less than Zero author Bret Easton Ellis, known more recently as one of the most cantankerous bastards on Twitter. And Ellis took great pains to make sure the film featured pornographic movie star James Deen in his first “mainstream” (for lack of a better word) role.
VICE: Before working on The Canyons, you two had another project on deck, a shark thriller. I am a sucker for shark movies—even shitty ones—so a Bret Easton Ellis-penned shark flick sounds like a dream. Braxton Pope: It was called Bait, and it was a revenge movie about a disaffected kid, a sociopath who endures a kind of humiliation on the beach and through a series of events, and in a very cunning way, he ends up on this charter boat with the kids who humiliated him. They’re in the open water and he pulls up the ladder and prevents them from coming back on the boat, and he chums the water. It was a Lionsgate movie and there was a Spanish financier. We were very close to shooting it, then the finances imploded at the last minute. It was an exercise in total frustration and wasted time. That’s what sparked the idea to create something that we could self-finance.
Bret Easton Ellis: Part of the reason we made TheCanyons was the frustration of working for a studio like Lionsgate and trying to get the shark movie made and having that fall through. Everyone from Ed Burns to the Polish brothers are rethinking the model these days.
Is that what Paul Schrader meant when he said, in the Times article, “The American market is just tapped out”? Pope: The types of movie Schrader was known for in the 70s and 80s wouldn’t get financed by the studios. Dramas or character pieces—those movies are nearly extinct at the studio level today. There’s been a transition toward spectacle movies with budgets of $100-million-plus, Michael Bay and superhero movies, heavy CG movies. Lionsgate is looking for big franchise properties that will generate huge revenue, mass-market films. And typically the movies I put together tend to be smaller, with filmmakers like Schrader, or Gaspar Noé.
Ah, the Academy Awards! The four-hour event when the actresses, actors, directors, and producers who create the most popular artistic medium in the world are finally given their due. It’s a time for everyone to gather around their television sets and bask in a night of song, dance, jokes, emotion, and a celebration of films. Haha, just kidding! Like all major events where anyone talks for more than half an hour, it was a chance for people to get extremely angry about what others were saying and doing. Here is an incomplete list of the events that happened during the Oscars that people took offense to. (Some of these are serious things that you should get upset about and some are just some bullshit that you shouldn’t even think about; I’ll trust you to decided which are which.)
Robin Roberts not having hair because she has a rare blood disorder.
Lena Dunham (I don’t know if Lena Dunham was even at the Oscars, but it’s a safe bet that someone, somewhere, is always getting offended by Lena Dunham, and someone else is offended that that person is offended.)
Sometime in 1987 the talk amongst the lunch tables at my junior high school was, “Who is the cool new-wave chick inStar Trek: The Next Generation?” At the time we had a lot of interesting women to look up to in music, but this one was living in a future where a woman could be the head of security on a starship. The character was named Tasha Yar, and her backstory was even more inspiring. She was an orphan who had to scavenge for the bare necessities of life, escaped rape gangs, overcame a drug addiction, and through her bravery and determination made her way into a high-profile job aboard the Starship Enterprise. For a bunch of teenage girls facing an uncertain future ourselves, she was the ultimate heroine. Until she was killed by Armus, a malevolent life form made from the byproduct of human negativity and evil. Tragically, our heroine had becomea memory contained in a hologram.
But Denise Crosby, the actor who made Tasha Yar legendary, lives on and continues to appear in films and on television as heroines in all sorts of universes. I met her recently at a Star Trek convention, where I saw her walking down the hallway with a small group of admirers. My opening line was one of pure fandom: “You’re awesome!” Surprisingly, we hit it off like old friends, discovering we grew up in the same neighborhood and had a deep affection for anything Fiorucci. As we spoke, the fandom subsided, and I became very much inspired by her legacy. A month later I found myself in her backyard discussing her career over coffee and cookies.
VICE: Being the granddaughter of Bing Crosby and the daughter of Dennis, you were born into the entertainment industry. Was there ever a time when you thought you would not go into showbiz? Denise: Absolutely. In my youth I had that rebel spirit in me that didn’t want to do anything people assumed I would do. Instead I would purposefully go out and do the opposite. I moved away from home and out of Los Angeles as soon as I could. I loved journalism and wanted to be like Christiane Amanpour or Diane Sawyer. I knew I wanted to be on camera, but I wanted to do investigative reporting or work in the field, so I studied journalism and drama at a college in Santa Cruz. On a fluke I auditioned and got the part in the spring production of the school play, which put me in touch with a part of myself that I enjoyed but wasn’t ready to embrace. I took a year off and bummed around the world, scored a few modeling jobs in London and Paris. Eventually I came back home to my parents’ place in Los Angeles, and it was there that I was contacted by a casting agent who had seen some pictures of me in Playboy.
I’ve seen the Playboy photographs! They are incredible. I don’t think I have ever seen a Playboy model with a punk-rock hairstyle! It’s true, and no one has looked like that since. What happened was I originally did some test shots with a photographer who had me dressed up like Little Bo Peep. I had ruffles and bows and I thought to myself, This is a mistake—this is not me, and I never want to be this. On an off day I went down to Vidal Sassoon on Rodeo Drive and said, “Cut all of my hair off.” I had shoulder length hair at the time, so the stylist said, “Are you sure?” And I said, “Just give me a short, short cut. Buzz it off.”
The next day I showed up to continue the photo shoot, and the photographer flipped out! He pulled me into the photo editor’s office to show her what I had done. They just thought Hefner would never go for it. But another photographer named Phillip Dixon was in the office and interrupted: “I like the way she looks, it’s very modern. Let me do some test shots.” So they gave him a chance, and it was the tests with Phillip that wound up going to print. Playboy is kind of what started my acting career. Thankfully I did it on my own terms, not Little Bo Peep with her boobs showing.
About a year ago I wrote a thing about how Johnny Depp just might be the lamest guy on Earth.
For some reason, a lot of people remember that post, and it’s frequently brought up to me by fucking geniuses who say things like “Uhhhh, so you think Johnny Depp is the lamest guy on Earth? What about Kim Jong-un? What about the Dark Knight shooter?”
OBVIOUSLY, I did not mean Johnny Depp is LITERALLY the worst person on Earth. Just because he wears dumb hats and is in shitty movies and is, generally, just an all-around unbearably smug turd, I know that doesn’t mean he is worse than a dictator or mass murderer. I am not retarded. CLEARLY, if we’re looking at and considering every single person in the entire world and being completely and totally literal, Steven Seagal comes out the worst.
Here are the most terrible things I can think of about him.
HE MAKES INSANE MUSIC
I often worry, when I embed videos on this site, that people reading it might not watch them because they’re at work or deaf or whatever, so just in case: this video is a dancehall song that Steven Seagal made, and it contains the following lyrics:
“Me want tha poonani”
“Nice itel breeze, we jammin’”
“That would be phat”
Also, his last album was called “Songs From the Crystal Cave,” which sounds like something they would play in Urban Outfitters.
HE’S A COMPULSIVE LIAR
Over the years, Steven has claimed that he:
- Helped train CIA operatives and did “special favors” for them (his ex wife says, “Not at all. He was never in the CIA.”)
- Is called in to help authenticate antique swords by auction houses as he is one of the world’s “foremost experts on swords” (again, lol)
- Was a student of the founder of Akido, Morihei Ueshiba (who died in 1968, meaning Steven would have had to have been a teenager living alone in Japan for that to have happened)
- Speaks four languages fluently (I’m unable to find any evidence of him speaking anything other than English made entirely of lies)
HE POOPED HIMSELF
In a 2002 profile in Vanity Fair, martial artist Gene LeBell claimed he choked out Steven during an Aikido exhibition, causing Seagal to poop in his pants. Steven denies it ever happened. But he also said he was a multilingual, Yakuza fighting, CIA assassin. So, ya know…
THESE ARE THINGS HE’S ACTUALLY SAID
- “I’m a very funny guy, if you’ll forgive me for saying so. When I did The Glimmer Man with Keenan Ivory Wayans, he and I were talking about who was funniest, and… I kicked his ass every day.” (source)
- “I was born very different, clairvoyant and a healer.” (source)
STANLEY KUBRICK WANTED A TASTE OF TERRY SOUTHERN’S LAMB-PIT
I love fucking Terry Southern. That came out wrong. I never fucked the writer, at least not proper fucked. But I have been fucking him intellectually, off and on, for a few decades now. By that I mean I’ve read his literary work: Flash and Filigree, Candy, The Magic Christian, and Blue Movie, on several occasions, going deeper each time. But no matter how deep I go, Southern’s satiric send-ups, lyrical lines, crazy characters, and demented dialogue always leave me hard. I never fully come to a satisfying climax. I’m always left with the feeling that I could go deeper. That I could explore more of the birth canal that is Terry Southern’s sardonic vision of America.
So, just the other day, after eating a few dozen oysters and taking some Ritalin, I read Lee Hill’s biography of that writer I love fucking so much called A Grand Guy. I mean that writer I fucking love so much. And, sure enough, it acted as the satisfying climax to the intellectual stimulation Southern’s writing induces. It’s the kind of stimulation that makes you hard for days, novel after novel, the kind that only a grand guy like Southern has the ability to induce.
He induces it through the TV quiz-show called What’s my Disease? In Flash and Filigree where a panel of semi-celebrities ask questions of a diseased contestant until they discover the undisclosed ailment and reveal it to an audience that then lets out “a great audible gasp of astonished horror,” before “bursting into applause.” He induces it through the beautiful and innocent title character in Candy when a hunchback buries his hump between her “legs as she hunched wildly, pulling open her little labias in an absurd effort to get it in her,” because, as she tells herself, “it means so much to him.” He induces it through the Dog Show scene in The Magic Christian where Guy Grand, the eccentric millionaire Southern wished he was but wasn’t because of the IRS, buys the three largest kennel clubs on the eastern seaboard so he can introduce in disguise a dog named Claw, not Claude, that wasn’t “a dog at all, but some kind of terrible black panther or dyed jaguar… so that before the day was out, he had not only brought chaos in to the formal proceedings, but had actually destroyed about half the ‘Best of Breed.’”
Even though Southern was indebted to the IRS for most of his life and, as a result, never got to pull off the pranks of The Magic Christian’s Guy Grand, who spends millions a year indulging in his hobby of making it ‘hot’ for the entire world, Southern did manage to make it hot for himself: his satisfying climactic biography, A Grand Guy, reads like some kind of biblical story of a literary action hero who jumps through decades and influences generations. Altering his mind with the likes of William Burroughs, he was one of the most head-bobbin’ Beats in Greenwich Village. As one of the original contributors to The Paris Review, both his writing and his crabs were alive and well in that postwar Paris literary scene of the 1950s. While at the center of London’s Swinging 60s, he hit the road with The Rolling Stones and, according to Tom Wolfe, invented what is now called New Journalism. Although Denis Hopper was too hopped-up to remember, Southern wrote the majority of Easy Rider and was responsible for the quality that came to be expected from American films in the 70s. Then, in the 80s, he wrote for Saturday Night Live when both the laughs and cocaine were still pure and powerful. Finally, just before his death at the beginning of the 90s, he lectured at several esteemed universities where I imagine he spread the last of his seeds like a fiend.
Beasts of the Southern Wild I forgot this movie came out this year. What a long, miserable year it was. Everyone I know seems to be beaten down—by jobs, relationships, the city. Once youthful spirits, we are now crawling into the grey husk of old age. Maybe we should visit the real-life equivalent of the Bathtub, wherever that is, get drunk with swamp people, and make stuff with our hands. That would save us.
And THAT is exactly the sort of bullshit attitude this movie preys on. Cities are so much better than swamps, and actual swamp people are not nice. If you’re looking to get away, and you live in New York, take the A train to the Aqueduct Race Track and Resorts World Casino and frolic with the aurochs (the old drunks) and packs of Chinese people. It’s a great time!
“Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” is a multi-million dollar museum and visitor center that the Citizens Commission on Human Rights set up in Los Angeles. CCHR is an organization cofounded by the Church of Scientology. The descision to keep their name out of CCHR’s title makes it less likely people will say “lol, shut up, Scientology” when they visit the museum.
When you enter the building signs instruct you not to take photos, and they take your bag away, so this post is gonna be picture-less. My original plan was to go in with a hidden camera and take covert photos, but I was told by our legal people that this would lead to the Church of Scientology literally suing me to death. Soz. But, if you’re interested, the museum looks like this inside.
Anyway, below are some things I learned about psychiatrists and psychologists at the museum that I totally didn’t realize before. Prepare to have your EYES OPENED.
THE DEATH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON
This is the first truth-bomb the museum unleashes on you. Did you know that Benjamin Rush (the first person to write a book on psychiatry in America) was the person who suggested they use blood-letting on George Washington, causing Washington to bleed to death?
According to the text on the exhibit, “The father of American psychology killed the father of the United States of America.” Not off to a great start there, psychology.
THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS
Under a giant photo of the exploding towers, text explains how evil psychiatrists were responsible for 9/11:
“Osama bin Laden and his terrorist group, al-Qaeda, perpetrated the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One of Bin Laden’s top aides is Egyptian psychiatrist Ayman al-Zawahiri, known as “Bin Laden’s brain.”
Wait, psychiatrists were responsible for 9/11? Why would they do such a thing?
“Within days of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, psychiatrists were predicting that as many as 30% of people affected initially by the attacks would develop ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ and demanded $3 billion in funding to deliver treatments. Antidepressant sales in New York soared immediately afterwards.”
Ohhhhhhhh, got it!
ALL OTHER TERRORISM
But it’s not just 9/11 these guys masterminded:
“Research into the engineers of terror atrocities show a dominance of psychiatric and psychological practicing and the typical tools of their trade: drugs and coercive methods.”
For instance, did you know that the Egyptian psychiatrist who was bros with bin Laden also once released a statement about the 7/7 bombings? Did you also know that there’s a psychiatrist somewhere in the Middle East who once said that suicide bombers considered their behavior to be normal? Or that the Unabomber came into contact with psychiatric professionals on SEVERAL occasions? Or that the leader of the cult that did the nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway was a psychiatrist? Or that kamikaze pilots often took amphetamines, a drug that is often prescribed BY PSYCHIATRISTS?