I'm posting this from the a thread in the Battlefield Earth subforum, with two additions. First of all, if you want to help with this, post on the torrent page a link to the donate page, and explain why it's not cool to pirate them. Don't be condescending, it won't work. Try to appeal to the fan side of the people who post these.
Secondly, I found a new "rationale" for piracy today. I won't get a credit card and i don't trust paypal, therefore I HAVE to pirate these, and I repost them for people in the same predicament as me. Impressive. The thing is, despite trying to reach out to people, providing email addresses and remaining calm, we have yet to receive a single email from someone on a site. They prefer to talk the talk I guess. Here's my post from before:
What I've observed most thru looking at Porno sites is that no matter what, people will think of some justification for what they are doing.
Among what I've seen:
-This gets them more exposure, we're actually increasing sales
-17 years ago, MST3K put a message saying "keep circulating the tapes" in the credits, so this is OK
-People will get these anyway from somewhere else, so who cares if they're here.
-I do these for people who bought them so they don't have to synch them up themselves
-RiffTrax is stealing artwork from George Lucas, so that legitimizes me stealing from them. (Note: Also not true. Everything we do falls under fair use. and, as an important distinction, if we were to find out that we are doing something that is considered legally questionable, not that we are, we would cease doing it, as we obey the law.
-I will buy the riff as soon as this finishes downloading, so if it gets taken off before hand, whoever reports it is costing them money. (note: My favorite. Just imposing your own morality on a situation and pretending like that's the way things go. "I'm going to shoot this dog if I throw this ball up in the air and it hits the ground. [throws ball, it comes back down and hits ground]. Well I'm shooting the dog, but its not my fault, gravity made me do it."
I think that most people who download stuff for free are aware of the legality of what they are doing. They may be morally detached from it, but they know its wrong. If you have to convince someone that illegally downloading something is illegal, it is not someone that you can really hope to convince of anything.
The anonymity of the internet permits people to act like complete dipshits with no consequences. If you were to meet the pirate bay commenters face to face, they would not tell you that you suck and that it is their right to distribute your work for free and that you should thank them for increasing awareness to your product. Also, as an interesting note, when we posted an email address and said we would answer any questions people had for us regarding our "image theft" or other issues, we did not get a single email. When they are just trolling a message board, it doesn't really impact anything, but its when they post the products that it starts to get intolerable.
The most important thing you can do is just put a face behind the issue, which I think we're able to do. We are a tiny company, we discuss these issues all the time, and we've come to the conclusion, that no, it is not "valuable free advertising" to have a 19 Trax Porno posted on demonoid for anyone to download. I don't know why anyone who is interested in RiffTrax would think that is fun or helpful to do such a thing, unless they so desperately crave the attention or ratio boost that it provides But the donate page seems to be a successful way to reach out to people, so if you ever want to post a link to that if you see something like this out there, please feel free to do so.
Could talk myself in circles about this all day long. It's complicated, and it's not going away, so I'll shut up for now.