TorrentFreak mentions an incredibly relevant speech by Paulo Coelho (author of best-selling The Alchemist).

Coelho understood the potential of getting his books to more people and took the brilliant step of pirating his own books.

It makes perfect sense if you consider that one of the biggest obstacles facing artists of all kinds is actually getting the attention of potential fans. If people never hear your music or read your books then you never have a chance to be noticed or appreciated. You have to reach them first.

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TorrentFreak has an interesting piece about how independent filmmakers are reaching incredible numbers of fans through alternative distribution channels. The Man from Earth is a great example. It has become one of the most popular downloads over the last few months (the film “went from the being the 11,235th most popular movie on IMDB to being the 5th most popular one” after being ripped and uploaded). This quote from the producer of the film says it all:

“Our independent movie had next to no advertising budget and very little going for it until somebody ripped one of the DVD screeners and put the movie online for all to download. After that happened, people were watching it and started posting mostly all positive reviews on IMDb, Amazon and other places. Most of the feedback from everyone who has downloaded “The Man From Earth” has been overwhelmingly positive. People like our movie and are talking about it, all thanks to piracy on the net!”

They are also accepting donations on their site because they recognise that the film is already out there. It’s the perfect model. Make something really good and let as many people see it as possible. You will benefit – although maybe indirectly and in a different way from the old idea of selling individual products. The Man From Earth might have languished on a shelf, waiting for random shoppers to be distracted from mainstream movies long enough to take a chance. Instead, it has been seen by thousands in a short time, and it continues to remain popular. The fans have even taken on the task of distributing and marketing the film, keeping it available and recommending it to friends. The main thing for the creators to worry about was to make something worth watching in the first place. And they certainly did that.