It’s not every day that you see a Hollywood director holding up a “Free Peter Sunde” sign, but Lexi Alexander is on a mission.
With her support for the Pirate Bay founder who’s currently locked up in a Swedish prison, Alexander hopes to reach out to the “other side” with whom she shares a common goal.
Alexander is not a fan of the anti-piracy crusade the MPAA and other groups are waging against file-sharers. The massive losses that are claimed due to piracy are “bullshit” according to her. In fact, she believes that piracy may do more good than harm.
“I get a little upset when I hear how hard my industry jumps into action, sparing neither time, manpower or resources, as soon as someone even hints at potential loss to the crown estate,” Alexander notes.
“Piracy has NOT been proven to hurt box-office numbers, on the contrary, several studies say it may have boosted the bottom line,” she adds.
In recent years the movie industry has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into expensive anti-piracy measures, nearly all of which are counterproductive according to Alexander.
For example, as a German living in Hollywood she can’t watch German news online due to geographical restrictions and the same is true for U.S. shows when she’s visiting Germany. But thanks to the pirates, Hollywood director can easily bypass these restrictions.
“But guess what, for every IP block, DRM and who-knows-what security feature Hollywood spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on, some piracy kid will undo it for free and within a couple of minutes.”
“And this is my favorite part: I am 100% certain that the hacking of entertainment industry’s security features provides better entertainment for these kids than the entertainment we’re trying to prevent them from stealing. Let that sink in for a second, then try not to bust up laughing.”
In a recent interview with Daily Record, Alexander describes criminalization of file sharing as “pathetic.” It is mostly an issue that keeps Hollywood’s “Fat Cats” busy, but not so much independent filmmakers.
“The people who complain most about piracy in Hollywood are Fat Cats who did little to deserve their wealth or position. I doubt you’ll find many people on the anti-piracy train amongst film crews or indie filmmakers, unless they’re being paid a retainer,” she says.
Contrary to what the MPAA and others may lead the public to believe, Alexander says that piracy is rather common among filmmakers. She herself admits to downloading films when there are no legal options available.
“I download stuff myself, so do many of my colleagues here in Hollywood. Usually we do it only when we can’t find something on mainstream streaming services,” Alexander says.
The movie director uses pirate sites to grab movies that are relevant for an upcoming meeting for example, something which has saved her on a few occasions.
“I cannot tell you how often my ass was saved by some torrent site in those situations. And I assume that 99% of my Hollywood filmmaker colleagues or their poor assistants have found themselves on a piracy site for just that reason (if they deny it, they’re lying. The end.)”
Despite her own piracy habits, Alexander doesn’t endorse the existing piracy status quo. In a blog post on her own site she notes that many of the people running pirate sites are just as motivated by greed as the people in Hollywood.
The movie director considered reaching out to Kim Dotcom but concluded that his luxurious lifestyle makes him just like the Hollywood elite. The Pirate Bay team was second on the list, but this was scrapped after learning about historical connections with right-winger Carl Lundström.
The movie director is nonetheless reaching out to all pirates with good intentions who put art and talent before the dollar signs. An “Occupy Hollywood movement,” as she describes it, and calling for Peter Sunde’s release, is her way to reach out to those who support this cause.
So will the real pirates please stand up?