I'm not really clear on what the resistance is to this. The moviemakers are publishing original content to the web that does not appear in the movie. This content enhances and expands upon a popular science fiction universe. Even if the viewer had no intention of seeing the movie, these scenes expand on the Firefly series in a way that anyone who has watched the show can appreciate.
This is less like Linus selling paper cups, and more like Linus releasing a mini-distro. It is geeky, it is interesting, and it is free. I, for one, am quite glad that this news made it to Slashdot.