Do You Copy? Piracy on the Digital Seas | Documentary Idea

by Bill Horst-Kotter
(Rochester, NY)

Hello my name is Bill and I am an IT professional for over 20 years, member and officer of a local hackerspace called Interlock Rochester (, technology enthusiast, have my own video podcast called The Radical Geek ( and have a strong interest in civil rights with technology especially media, computers and Internet.

Being a video podcaster, I do have experience shooting mini-documentaries and this project is to be my first foray into longer form documentary film.

Do You Copy?: Piracy on the Digital Seas is a documentary about Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the effect that it has on consumers and content creators with the technology to prevent "illegal" copying of digital media.

DRM is a pressing issue with civil rights and technology that isn’t being talked about.

The film will start with the history of piracy from pre-digital forms and how computer and digital technology has affected the industry from copying on floppy disc and CDs to peer to peer file sharing. Then discuss the technology from software and rootkits in the media (digital audio, video games, computer software, DVDs, eBooks, and streaming services) to hardware that has firmware embedded on the devices (mp3 players, DVD/Blu-Ray players, eBook readers, and smartphones), how it works, and the legal issues and legislation.

Then talk to the players from both the Pro (RIAA, MPAA, recording companies, movie studios, software publishers and eBook publishers), and Con (FSF, EFF, Pirate Bay, etc.) side of the issue.

This documentary will look into the economics of DRM and DRM-Free media with probing insight into the decision making process and the consequences on the industry and the public.

I also want to give the viewing audience some information that they can use to protect themselves. Leaving it to the end for people to have a discussion about this issue after the screening of the movie.

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Mar 02, 2015
That might be the angle
by: Bill Horst-Kotter

I have been kicking around that angle as well. It is still in the early planning stages, so that might where I start.

Mar 01, 2015
individual stories
by: Desktop Documentaries

Thanks Bill. Great idea. One suggestion for your documentary is to find the "small story" of that one person who has been impacted by DRM. Perhaps someone who was hurt because of their content being copied illegally (perhaps that's you!). Find the most compelling story you can and start the documentary with them and then work out from there to the big picture. What do you think?

You are the right one in the right place to make this happen. Onward!

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