I'd love to claim that I had to hack into a classified government database to track him down, but I just emailed D-Man2010 through his site, identifying myself as a journalist. He promptly replied, agreeing to be interviewed by email for this issue of The Escapist. Here are some of our exchanges. (D-Man2010's answers have been edited for ease of comprehension - even in emails, he Caps Every Word.)
The Escapist: Can you tell me a bit about your background?
D-Man2010: I came from a poor family, and had an addictive personality for the mere tedium of hours & hours of uploading on the Amiga scene/skid-row releases/films -you need it. Also had a satirical sense of humor and was competitive.
TE: What's your life situation? How do you balance a job and the site?
DM: I have a legal income and Film Update List doesn't on paper make a profit. All Done For Love. (& if you believe that u believe anything!!!!). Takes hours and hours. Often I'm sitting at 3/4am (allegedly) uploading.
TE: You started out on the Amiga hacking scene. Do you still play videogames?
DM: No. Only games I play are in bed.
TE: If so, what are some of your favorites?
DM: Back in the day I loved Elite and Yie Ar Kung Fu. On the Amiga, Power Drift & Stunt Car Racer + anything Skid-Row released (of course).
TE: The site's tone - bullish, energetic, a little arrogant - harks back to your Skid Row days. Is D-Man2010 a larger-than-life character?
DM: I'm pretty much an angry person. Back from when I wrote Lamer News, for all the scene wars that were going on when I was a teenager, I always went for the attack rather than compromise.
TE: Do Film Update List users regularly get in touch?
DM: I get about 120 emails a week. Everything from death threats to marriage proposals.
TE: What annoys you about other pirate movie sites?
DM: Nobodies who wouldn't know an upload if their life depended on it. Any one of the dumb Canadian moderators on the new movie forums who have banned me for life because I dared to question the sense in stopping mild swearing and any criticism of anything. For god's sake it's a pirate movie site, not a f**king 4th rate council office!
TE: Why do you have the Anti-Piracy Museum on your site?
DM: Someone needed to say it. It just angers me beyond belief that you have an anti- piracy "Industry" getting rich with ex police officers who see it as an "Easy Ride" or a "Golden Handshake".
D-Man2010's anger on this point is vehement. In our correspondence, he repeatedly returns to his belief that aging police officers, often without any relevant experience, lead UK anti-piracy initiatives and target those "right at the bottom of the food chain".
This anger is deeply linked to D-Man2010's experience of being charged with piracy. It turns out he's happy to talk about it, but it's a complicated tale, one that involves three different UK agencies pursuing three different charges - including "Telephonery Fraud" - none of which stuck due to lack of evidence (D-Man2010 claims he has no criminal record). During these explanations, there's a lot of blazing invective aimed at John Loader, the head of what was then FAST and one of the seven people who apparently burst into D-Man2010's bedroom to arrest him when he was 15.