Gather round the campfire, kids, and listen to another Fast Charlie horror story, with the primary villain being (who else?) Vertical Distribution.
It appears that Fast Charlie, which opened theatrically a month ago (12.8.23) and began on-demand streaming at the same time, is being pirated to death, at a considerable scale.
The piracy is happening, it appears, because Vertical apparently failed to aggressively enable the practice of torrent poisoning, which suppresses and/or blocks the sharing of torrent files by pirates.
As of three nights ago over 3000 “feeder” sites were offering pirated copies of Fast Charlie. The entire film, I’m told, can be downloaded within five to six minutes.
Serious distributors protect their films with appropriate measures. Not long ago Poor Things was being offered at dozens of torrent sites, I’m told, but torrent poisoning corrected this situation and now it’s all but nonexistent in the pirate realm.
It appears that Vertical has demonstrated an indifference to standard streaming distribution protocols, at least as far as guarding against piracy is concerned.
I’m told that Vertical sent unencrypted cinema DCPs to U.S. theatres, thereby allowing pirates to get a head start on illegal copies.
A MUSO report states that Fast Charlie is currently being illegally viewed around 28 thousand times daily, and 1.67 million pirate downloads have happened over the last 39 days.
Distributors start the ball rolling by sending files to legit streamers prior to a given release date.
Distributors also have to aggressively enable the practice of torrent poisoning, which suppresses and/or blocks the sharing of torrent files by pirates.
I know that pirating is a two-step, feed-and-eat process. “Seeders” are thieves who have the complete file and are sharing it with others. The health and speed of a torrent largely depends on the number of “seeders“, as more seeders typically mean faster and more reliable downloads.
The feeders or “leechers” are Average Joes downloading the file. Once a leecher has the complete file and begins to share with others, they transition into seeders.
For what it’s worth, HE has only streamed pirated films twice — Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in Manhattan and Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy.