Friday, June 15, 2007

Michael Moore's 'Sicko' Leaked Onto Web

Every Movie Marketer's Worst Nightmare Becomes Grim Reality for Weinstein Company

LOS ANGELES ( -- Michael Moore's new documentary "Sicko" has been pirated and is now widely available for download on peer-to-peer content sites like

Michael Moore's controversial 'Sicko' movie is now available for free online.

Canada stash
Last week, the Oscar winning director announced that he'd decided to stash a copy of "Sicko" in Canada, in case the Federal government decided to impound it over an apparently unauthorized trip to Cuba made during its filming. As it turns out, the hard part won't be getting the film released, but getting audiences to pay to see it now that its available for free.

If the breach is as wide as it appears -- and this reporter downloaded a copy and watched it late Thursday night with ease -- Moore, and his distributor, The Weinstein Company, have a every film maker's worst marketing nightmare on their hands -- how to persuade people to go to the theater to see a show that's available free on the Internet. (Officials at the Weinstein Company were unavailable for comment late Thursday evening.)

Al Gore steps in
Moore had recently hired Al Gore attorney David Boies, who has said he believes Moore is being unfairly harassed by the U.S. Treasury Dept. over his trip to Cuba because he'd criticized the current Administration in his penultimate documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11."

While it remains to be seen if that is simply Moore's famous showmanship and posturing, or actually true, what is clear is that the blogosphere isn't reacting to the leak with anything approaching apolitical neutrality: One pirate link encouraged potential downloaders to view the film online saying," Watch this free copy and keep $ out of that fat f-cks hands."

"Sicko's" general release date is June 29.