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Producer Mark Boal reportedly stole the likeness of the main character in the "The Hurt Locker" and plot elements from a U.S. soldier during his deployment as a Playboy reporter in Iraq. Now he's suing thousands of filesharers for supposedly "stealing".
The "Hurt Locker" saga reeks of a bit of hypocrisy

They denied him his livelihood and now he's taking them to court hoping to extract sweet revenge.  What sounds like a Hollywood drama, is actually a true Hollywood story -- that of makers of the film "The Hurt Locker".  They are preparing suits against thousands of filesharers across the country, claiming that the filesharers intentionally stole their work and owe millions in lost royalties.

Except the wronged "heroes" of this act are no angelic Clark Kent or Steve Rogers themselves, according to reports.  In fact, according to Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, who served in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D.) stationed in Iraq, they are the thieves.

Producer and screenwriter Mark Boal, a former Playboy reporter, may have lost a cut of the untold millions to piracy, but he gained a hefty cut of the millions in box office revenue and initial sales which the Oscar-nominated picture raked in.  Boal claimed it was a fictional account based on the knowledge he gained while stationed in Iraq.

But Sgt. Sarver, whose unit Boal was stationed with in Baghdad in 2004, claims that Boal ripped off his likeness and accounts from incidents involving him.  He says that the character played by Jeremy Renner looked and acted like him and even went through common events, but the overall portrayal was that he was a "messed up soldier" -- a portrayal that has since cast a negative light on him.

Sgt. Sarver is suing Boal, the Director Kathryn Bigelow, Playboy, and the film's distributors for damages.  He accuses them of misappropriation of name and likeness, invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress, fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

That's right.  If the charges are to be believed, creators of "The Hurt Locker" stole the concept and main character's likeness from real world events for their own personal gain.  And now they're suing filesharers who made the poor decision of committing copyright infringement (stealing, in non-legal speak).

Perhaps Boal is innocent and Sgt. Sarver is just an attention seeker, or greedy faker.  However, this is a man who served our country in one of the most bloody deployments in recent U.S. history, so it seems only fair to take his claims seriously.

And it seems only fair to reevaluate the fairness of Boal's quest against filesharers.  Nicolas Chartier, President of Voltage Pictures, commented to one filesharer, "I'm glad you're a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference. Until then, keep being stupid, you're doing that very well."

But if the plot of the movie was indeed stolen, is it really just for them to go after those who steal it online?  There's aphorisms that could be applied both ways.  On the one hand "two wrongs don't make a right."  But on the other, "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

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By tkeoki on 5/19/2010 5:32:57 PM , Rating: 2

You recently stated in an email response:

"And please do not download, rent, or pay for my movies, I actually like smart and more important HONEST people to watch my films."

Did you watch your own movie? Because there's quite a bit of evidence accumulating that you don't fit in the 'smart' category.

First, it's a common misconception, but smart people know that assault is not the same as battery, and likewise, stealing is not the same as pirating.

Second, a smart person would think a little more before wishing harm on someone's kids and family. You do know there might be sufficient information in your email for a case of libel (free tip: libel is often confused with slander, but they're different). Do you have factual knowledge that this individual's family and kids are thieves?

"I'm glad you're a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail one day for stealing so maybe they can be taught the difference."

Third, a smart person wouldn't send out emails soliciting Oscar votes for your movie. (Also, not sure this fits with your honest category either).

Anyway, I hope one day you'll qualify to watch your own movie, but...Until then, "keep being stupid, you're doing that very well."

RE: Smart?
By the goat on 5/20/10, Rating: -1
RE: Smart?
By Paj on 5/21/2010 11:24:56 AM , Rating: 5
A smart person would also recognise the presence of quotation marks, and their role in denoting parts of text that are in fact quotes.

RE: Smart?
By dflynchimp on 5/26/2010 11:09:52 PM , Rating: 1
and thus was born the html Nazi.

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