Posted by: watchmancinema | June 21, 2011

Why “The Child” is Not Free

One of the most common questions directed towards Watchman Cinema is: “why don’t you make “The Child” available for free?” After all, posting it on youtube would reach a large audience. Wouldn’t it serve the cause of parental rights better to simply share “The Child” through every available medium at no cost?

We truly appreciate the sincerity behind the question, and agree that our primary goal is to have as many people as possible watch “The Child.” However, being our primary does not make it our only concern. We will share with you several other factors that must be considered when determining our distribution methods.

1) Security

We have a responsibility to the interviewees featured in “The Child” to protect our product – and their testimonies – from tampering and perversion. To that end, we have encoded our DVD in such a way that deters downloading, and we have avoided releasing “The Child” in any format that can be easily downloaded (e.g. Youtube). DVDs burned on a personal computer do not contain copy protection and therefore make the product vulnerable to easy download and editing. Please DO NOT copy, download, or edit “The Child” without express permission from Watchman Cinema, LLC.

2) Clear Communication

Were “The Child” to be made available on Youtube or a comparable free viewing source, it would likely be available in sections, not in its entirety. “The Child” was meant to present a comprehensive overview of the status of parental rights in America, to be a visual textbook of sorts. This accounts for its length (another common complaint), as well as its thoroughness in covering all major aspects of the issue. However, to view only a section of “The Child” would likely lead to an incomplete understanding of the issue, leading to misconceptions which may hurt the cause of parental rights in the long run. As much as possible, we want to encourage viewing “The Child” in its entirety to preserve the integrity of its message.

3) Preserving the Value of the Product

As crass as it may seem, it is human nature to value what you pay for. People are simply less likely to watch something that is given to them for free, as opposed to something they purchased. As a general rule, those who are not willing to pay the equivalent of a fast food combo do not likely care enough to sit for 90 minutes and educate themselves. Of course,  Watchman Cinema is committed to providing access to “The Child” for those in financial difficulty. If you or someone you know simply cannot afford to purchase a DVD of “The Child,” send us a note at WatchmanCinema@gmail.com and we will see what we can work out.

As a side note, grassroots screenings are a great way to share “The Child” for free, because they ensure that friends who attend will actually watch it!

4) Covering Costs

This is our not our top priority, but the fact remains that a production like “The Child” incurs both initial and ongoing costs. “The Child” was not made for free, and Watchman Cinema is a valid business with a bottom line to maintain. While “The Child” was made to serve a cause, it is still the copyrighted product of Watchman Cinema, LLC. Please respect this.

Again, it is still our main goal to see as many people view “The Child” as possible, and we truly appreciate all your help and support in doing so. We thank everyone who has inquired about the distribution of “The Child,” both for asking us and for trying to help! Hopefully this post has clarified some of the reasons we are not pursuing certain distribution venues. If you have further questions, feel free to contact WatchmanCinema@gmail.com.

Sincerely, Watchman Cinema Support

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