'Sicko' clips on YouTube = entire film

Reel Blog   

As noted last week, Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko has been pirated and put on various p2p sites. Now it’s on YouTube.

The Hollywood Reporter reports today that the entire film is available in bite-sized chunks. This was news to the Weinstein Company, which seemed rather sanguine about the whole affair:

When sought for an official comment from Weinstein Co. late Sunday evening, a spokesperson was unaware that the entire film was on YouTube. A Lionsgate executive and a YouTube spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment at deadline.

The spokesperson issued a statement also given to other media outlets, saying that “[w]hile virtually every movie released these days faces a similar situation, ‘Sicko’ is more than just a movie, it is a call to action. We are responding aggressively to protect our film but from our research it is clear that people interested in the movement are excited to go to the theater so they can be part of the experience and fight to reform health care.”

How the leak of a version apparently taken from a DVD copy will affect the film’s theatrical boxoffice remains unclear. Moore’s anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” was widely bootlegged and available in a pirated version online around its June 2004 opening, but went on to earn $119 million at the domestic boxoffice.

We’ll see how they really feel about the issue in about two weeks.