A man from the depths of Omaha, Nebraska, has recently been entangled in a long standing battle against the Motion Picture Association of America. William C. Delhoytes, a 39 year old former independent film director, and writer, was charged by the MPAA outfit for distributing his material via the BitTorrent Protocol online, which the Sundance Film Festival, with direct funding from Universal Studios, claimed to have rights to.
The irony of this case, is that Mr. Delhoytes, had written, directed, selected the cast, and financed the films from his own internet fortune selling camera accessories. Universal, which allowed 3 of the 4 films he has produced, to be showcased at the Sundance Film Festival, claimed that they somehow had a stake in his films, which in fact is a total lie.
They simply claimed that because they were to showcase his films at their annual event, that they were entitled to earnings from Mr. Delhoytes possible future releases into the open market. You see, most indie films which are showcased, are sent offers from major studios if their feature gains mass attention and rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, and typically, most "small time" directors allow the major companies to help them and take on contractual obligations mainly for financial reasons, and to open their designs to a wider variety of consumers.
Mr. Delhoytes, although accepting the invitation to the festival, rejected all party's offers to mass produce, release, or distribute his works. He in fact, if anything, had declined any deal or negotiation that was sent his way, and decided he would remain as his own entity. Sadly, he was charged with a contractual breaching, and once he broke his films into the file sharing world, the Universal case was then backed by the MPAA.
However, in Mr. Delhoytes' defense, many other independent filmmakers testified on his behalf, and the case was thrown out during the first week of testimony. Mr. Delhoytes, had received harassment calls, visits to his home from what he stated were "hired slander propagators from Universal", and even said that when he went to his former affiliates within the industry for his normal production equipment, he was denied due to undisclosed reasons.
So a man who was dedicated to the community and the independent realm, was ruined in reputation by not only his refusal to commit to any contractual obligation from the Hollywood behemoths, and multimedia corporations. This is consider by law as libel, slander, and defamation of character. His chances of pursuing his day to day operations on a normal basis with the fair chances he once had, were totally diminished by the powers such as the MPAA which worked behind the scenes to destroy him and his reputation.
He had stated he received messages from Gayle Osterberg, spokesperson from the MPAA's Anti-Piracy legion, in which said to him, "You'll never work in this town again. Do you have any idea what we can do to you? Your whole life will change after we have washed our hands of you." All of which is a direct threat to his well being as an entrepreneur and film maker. These alleged messages, and the pressures which were alleged to have been imposed on him, has made him decide to take the MPAA's Anti-Piracy group to the courtrooms, where he intends to sue them for defamation of character, a serious violation of the law, and seek damages for slander of his person and the alleged losses he has incurred due to this.
The case, which had it's first hearing only days ago, is expected to be sent in front of the Supreme Court of California, and he's being backed now with a massive amount of online supporters, and independent artists and film makers, all of which have claimed this is not the first time this has happened to someone from within the industry media profession. His strong backing, and line up of presumed to be testifying witnesses and affiliates, are sure to make this battle interesting.
Yet many are left asking, what is it which motivated the destruction of the reputation of Mr. Delhoytes? Is it the fact that he refused negotiations from the massive monopolized media corporations, or is it the fact that he chose to distribute his brainchild via the BitTorrent Protocol, or is it both? He claims that the MPAA decided to wage war with him because "they knew I was onto something, that the benefits of peer to peer file sharing, could greatly increase the popularity of those who are unknown film makers or artists, and that my actions would directly compete and reduce the interest in the major Hollywood film companies, all of which pay for the MPAA to operate", and his statements, seem to make more sense than any other possible reason.
So now if you use the BitTorrent Protocol to legally distribute your materials, and you are not related or tied in with the major Hollywood or media industries, you are not only villainized in their eyes, but you are professionally victimized? What kind of world do we live in, where if you do not succumb to the demands of those in charge, that you are attempted to be made into a criminal, or your livelihood is threatened? That is not freedom, that is oppression.
The case is slated to be held in front a California courtroom in which Mr. Delhoytes said he did not intend to sue for a cash sum, but under California laws he has to, but also part of his lawsuit is for the direct shutdown of the MPAA Anti-Piracy sect, stating that they hold an unfair and oppressive advantage over anyone whom they challenge, as in his own words, "How can any normal man, woman, or business, take on someone who has tens of millions of dollars in a courtroom, whom can afford a group of ten attorneys or more, and can influence public opinion with unjust propaganda?", and I couldn't have said it better myself.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, Mr. Delhoytes is in fact a very successful man, a millionaire, of whom is self made. He states that for normal production costs of his movies, due to longstanding relations from the companies he purchases gear, props, and production needs from, he would spend nearly $500,000 to $1.25 Million on, and since they cut off or presumably threatened his affiliates, that he had to rely on totally new business partners, which nearly tripled his costs for the films.
His fourth film, which was refused to be shown at the latest Sundance Festival, he claimed would have normally ran him around $1 Million dollars, and now due the his lack of ties with the new companies, he spent over $3 Million on, because of the increased costs of dealing with the new business. Sadly, Mr. Delhoytes has no choice now but to resort to these new businesses, and as a direct result, is forced to spend more.
This case breaks grounds, as it's the MPAA that allegedly broke the law, and is being taken to court not only for money, but to entirely shut down the Anti Piracy sect of the MPAA. We can only hope that Mr. Delhoytes is successful in his case, and the tyranny that the MPAA and the industry itself imposes over independents, would come to a sudden end. Good luck to you, Mr. Delhoytes, and we welcome you to release your films here on ET if you feel the urge to distribute them again via the BitTorrent Protocol.
October 19th, 2009Posted by: Date:
Monday, October 19th, 2009
|posted by (2009-10-19 11:30:32)|
|Cool read ob , wonder if will get his movies here just dont let dubbers encode em lol. Jokin aside this man could be left with nothing at all so my hat goes of to MrDelhoytes....|
|Yeah but dont you think if the MPAA gets shut down they'll just come up with another Anti-group?? I hope Mr. Delhoytes WINS an wins big! That'd be great to see on the six o'clock news|
|posted by (2009-10-19 15:23:58)|
|Great read Obs, The good news is even if Mr.Delhoytes looses(which I hope of course he doesn't), the heavy handed and harsh tactics of the MPAA will be showcased to the world. People that are against us now because the MPAA says its wrong, might just open there minds up a bit and start to see both sides of the story. Nobody likes to be pushed up against a wall and they did that to Mr.Delhoytes.|
|As long as the Governments receive the huge Taxes from the media Lap dogs then the Mpaa will use your elected members as Dollar puppets.|
|"Mpaa will use elected members as Dollar puppets." You arent kidding.|
Again great Read OBS, and so honestly brutal. Seems like some ones seriously got there hands full with this case and i hope in the end he wins proving that the MPAA is just a Monopolizer.
|great article...submitted to digg|