The League of Noble Peers, dir. Steal This Film Part I. 2006. .avi format, 2009.
Steal this Film is a project conceived and executed by The League of Noble Peers, a mostly anonymous group of friends who "decided to make a film about file-sharing that *we* could recognise." Right now there are only two parts to the series (each part was said to take about two months to create, but Part III has yet to come out in the past year), each part is about forty minutes in length. Part I begins with the founders of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Karl Lundstrom, all of whom would be later found guilty at the Pirate Bay Trial in June of 2009. They comment on the raid and the subsequent events involving the US pressuring WTO sanctions against Sweden if the Swedish government did not take action in shutting down the site. The founders are embittered that Sweden could be manhandled by lobbyists from Hollywood (a commercial is shown in which Arnold Schwarzenneger and Jackie Chan villify piracy calling them "the bad guys"). After the raid, the MPAA sent out a press release saying that they had succeeded. Large words in white and all caps flash across the screen throughout the entire movie stating facts about file-sharing. The day after the much publicized raid, Pirate Bay membership doubled. Gottfrid Svartholm (who started the site on a server in Mexico), says that the MPAA, US and Swedish government had essentially, "shot themselves in the foot." Thus begins the second half of Part I which is mostly comprised of interviews of young Swedish people who all admit to and support file-sharing on the internet. Here is where the essential theme and agenda of The League of Noble Peers emerges: File-sharing cannot be stopped and society needs to be changed to conform to this. As Richard Dreyfus says in a brief cameo, "It is not about the law anymore. People will do what they want to do."
Part I of Steal this Film is mostly about the surge of support for copyright reform and the Pirate Party making it significant for my paper. Not only is the awareness of copyright bullying growing, it is transmogrifying into a debate about autonomy and democracy. More about democracy is presented in Part II.