It was too good to be true, of course. A notorious online pirate movie site Movie2k.to went offline last week, but now, less than a week later appears to have been reborn as Movie4k.to. Along with links to thousands of pirated movies the site offered this explanation as to its public mission and its dubious role as protector of a “free” internet:
Nobody should have the power to suppress somebody just because of money!
This site is the result of the need of many Human Beings. Everyone wants Movie2k.to/Movie4k.to back.
We, the Citizens, have to make clear that a “copyright infringement” cannot be compared to a violent crime. How come bootlegger get five years of jail time while child abuser are free on a 22-month probation? That is because money is way more important than an [sic] unique human life.
You cannot suppress the will of the People! One website goes, the next day five new appear. Did not the time come to overthink your marketing concepts and accept the new media?
So: FU Hollywood, FU GVU, FU Anti-piracy and FU Police. But we love Obama!
Thank You to all supporting us! Let’s not give up and fight for our internet freedom! #Movie4k
If fighting for “internet freedom” means hosting a site that rips off filmmakers of all stripes, indie or otherwise, and making money stealing the work of others, then I suppose Movie4k is justified in its swaggering grandiosity. Freedom to steal should not be construed, as it so often is, with freedom of speech. At least the movie4k folks seem to be admitting that the site is in the business of “copyright infringement” as they defiantly give the filmmakers the proverbial finger.
The reasons for move from the Movie2k.to to the Movie4k.to domain remain vague, but it doesn’t seem to have been a move that was voluntary. Hopefully the copy-cat site’s presence as an online emporium of theft (and illicit profit) will be short-lived.
Below is a graphic showing just a random sampling of indie film titles found on the site. These films, produced by independent filmmakers, are the type that don’t often have theatrical releases and depend entirely on back-end revenue to recoup production costs. The links to pirated downloads and streams offered on sites like Movie4k.to make it that much harder for indie filmmakers like these to finance their next film. For consumers this pirate site may offer the lure of “free” access to movies, but at what cost? How many new films won’t be made because ripping off the work of others is so easy? Be careful what you wish for…
If you want to find a site where you can watch your favorite films and support the filmmakers go here.
Update: Turns out that movie4k.to may have ripped off the original pirate site and we may have a case of online pirates eating their own. That’s some just desserts!