Michael Moore’s “Sicko” – Diagnosis: PWNED

Michael Moore’s new attack-umentary on the American health care system, Sicko, seems to be having viral problems of its own. A mysterious source has uploaded the entire movie to the web, and as a result, it is now freely available for (unauthorized) download by anyone with an Internet connection. Ad Age has the story:

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.)

Now, I’m not saying you should definitely download the movie and watch it for free. I am definitely not encouraging all of our readers to board the pirate ship to Sicko-ville and view the film without putting any money in Michael Moore’s pockets. I’m just saying that if you have a non-traditional approach to intellectual property rights, you could go to, say, here and do so. If you really wanted to.