Template:Infobox Film Template:Infobox Film

Template:Distinguish Steal This Film is a film series documenting the movement against intellectual property produced by The League of Noble Peers and released via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol.

Two parts have been released so far, and it has been reported that a third part is in production, slated for 2008/9 cinema distribution in the US. BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow called it 'an amazing, funny, enraging and inspiring documentary series'. [1].

Part One Edit

Part One, shot in Sweden and released in August 2006 combines accounts from prominent players in the Swedish piracy culture (The Pirate Bay, Piratbyrån, and the Pirate Party) with found material, propaganda-like slogans and Vox Pops.

It includes interviews with Pirate Bay members Fredrik Neij (tiamo), Gottfrid Svartholm (anakata) and Peter Sunde (brokep) that were later re-used by agreement in the documentary film Good Copy Bad Copy, as well as with Piratbyrån members Rasmus Fleischer (rsms), Johan (krignell) and Sara Andersson (fraux).

The film [2]is notable for its critical analysis of an alleged regulatory capture[3] attempt performed by the Hollywood film lobby to leverage economic sanctions by the United States government on Sweden through the WTO. Alleged aims included the application of pressure to Swedish police into conducting a search and seizure against Swedish law for the purpose of disrupting The Pirate Bay's BitTorrent tracker.

The Guardian Newspaper called it 'at heart a traditionally-structured "talking heads" documentary' with 'amusing stylings' from film-makers who 'practice what they preach.'[4]. Screened at the British Film Institute and numerous independent international events, Steal This Film One was a talking point in 2007's British Documentary Film Festival.[5]. In January 2008 it was featured on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, in a discussion piece which explored the implications of P2P for traditional media.

Found material in Steal This Film includes the music of Can, tracks "Thief" and "She Brings the Rain"; clips from other documentary interviews with industry and governmental officials; several industry anti-piracy promotionals; logos from several major Hollywood studios, and sequences from The Day After Tomorrow, The Matrix, Zabriskie Point, and They Live. The use of these short clips is believed to constitute fair use.

Part Two Edit

Part Two of Steal This Film [6] (sometimes subtitled 'The Dissolving Fortress') was produced during 2007. It premiered (in a preliminary version) at the "The Oil of the 21st Century - Perspectives on Intellectual Property" conference in Berlin, Germany, November 2007.[7].

Thematically, part Two examines the technological and cultural aspects of the copyright wars, and the cultural and economic implications of the internet. It includes an exploration of Mark Getty's infamous statement that 'intellectual property is the oil of the 21st century'. Part two draws parallels between the impact of the printing press and the internet in terms of making information accessible beyond a privileged group or "controllers". The argument is made that the decentralised nature of the internet makes the enforcement of conventional copyright impossible. Adding to this the internet turns consumers into producers, by way of consumer generated content, leading to the sharing, mashup and creation of content motivated not by financial gains. This has fundamental implications for market based media companies. The documentary asks "How will society change" and states "This is the Future - And it has nothing to do with your bank balance".

It was selected for the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival [8], South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, [9] and the Singapore International Film Festival [10]. It was also shown during the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam [11] where Director Jamie King was a panelist and speaker presenting a rumoured Alternative Compensation project by The League of Noble Peers. Steal This Film has most recently been nominated for the Ars Electronica 2008 Digital Communities prize.[12].


A cam version leaked soon after the preliminary premiere ion Berlin.[13] Part Two had its 'conventional' (ie, projected rather than viewed online) premiere at the openly-organised artistic seminar [14] in Stockholm 2007. Despite the principles of the seminar itself (all aspects of which were organised via open wiki in a year long process), the involvement of Piratbyran caused controversy with the funders of the seminar, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, who refused to allow Piratbyran's logo on the seminar marketing materials alongside its own. The seminar initiators' solution was to add a black sticker dot over the logo, which was easily peeled off. Another condition given by the Committee was that an anti-piracy spokesperson be present to balance the debate.

The documentary was officially released on filesharing networks on December 28, 2007 and, according to the filmmakers, [15] downloaded 150,000 times in the first three days of distribution. Pirate Bay encouraged the downloading of Steal This Film Two, announcing its release on its blog.[16] Steal This Film Two was also screened by the Pirate Cinema Copenhagen in January 2008.[17] The documentary can also be downloaded on the official Steal This Film website.[3]

The League of Noble Peers asks for donations and more than US$5000 has been received as of January 5 2008. [18]


Like Part One, Part Two is in English. However, unlike Part One, which only had subtitles in English, Part Two has subtitles in many languages due to great interest in the documentary by volunteer translators. The film has subtitles in Croatian, Danish, French, Finnish, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Financing Edit

As well as funding from BritDoc, the Steal This Film series continues to utilise a loose version of the Street Performer Protocol, collecting voluntary donations via a PayPal account, from the website. The filmmakers report that roughly one in a thousand viewers are donating, mostly in the range USD 15-40.

Credits Edit

Steal This Film One and Two are credited as 'conceived, directed, and produced' by The League of Noble Peers. Where Part One contains no personal attribution (possibly due to potential issues with copyright infringement)Template:Fact part Two has full credits.

The League of Noble Peers are now working on a cinema release of Steal This Film.

See alsoEdit


  1. Steal This Film - early review
  2. Steal This Film (Part 1)
  3. Documentary Film Video: Listing for Steal This Film
  4. Steal This Film, read this article
  5. Britdoc 07 - Talking Sessions
  6. Steal This Film (Part 2)
  7. Oil of the 21st century
  8. Sheffield DocFest
  9. South By Southwest
  10. 21st Singapore International Film Festival
  11. Homepage Nederland’s | International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2007
  12. [1]Prix Ars Electronica 2008
  13. STF-II_CAM.avi - The Pirate Bay
  14. [2]Who Makes And Owns Your Work?
  15. 'The Future Doesn't Care About The Bank Balance'
  18. Template:Cite web

External links Edit

fr:Steal This Film it:Steal This Film nl:Steal This Film pl:Steal This Film sv:Steal This Film zh:幹走電影

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