Sunday, July 26, 2009

Piracy!

It happens to be one of the ticking time bombs threatening the long-term viability of MovieLand:

"I think at the moment it's a strange time to be a filmmaker, because there's a sense of depression in the industry," [director Peter] Jackson said Friday ...

"Studios feel DVDs are down and piracy is up, and the entire industry is being as defensive as they possibly can, which leads to movies not being as exciting as they possibly can be ..."

Excitement won't count for much if motion pictures get downloaded digitally and sold as pirated DVDs. TAG's mother international (the IATSE) has been pounding home the message that directors, actors, writers and below-the-line filmmakers will be screwed, blued and searching for alternate employment if the DVD market goes the way of recorded CDs (which even now are halfway to the dark oblivion of vinyl records. CD sales are down 20% over the last year alone.) IA President Matt Loeb said:

"Pirated DVDs are being sold by the trainload, costing the film industry hundreds of millions of dollars, costing film workers thousands of jobs. It would be a disaster if entertainment conglomerates end up like record companies, suing twelve-year-olds for downloading songs. Studios, unions and guilds have to work together to stop the theft now occurring around the world ..."

A couple of things to keep in mind: broadband is moving to more areas of the country and globe, making feature motion pictures as easy to swipe as music MP3 files.  And counterfeit DVDs are easy to churn out and sell. This isn't a problem that's diminishing anytime soon, or going away.

Ultimately the solution regarding purloined films could be to tax the delivery systems -- internet and blank disks -- to collect royalties due to companies and workers. Since we live in a corporatist state, it seems like a simple and natural solution.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

What happens when you walk into a Best Buy, pick up a nice HDTV, and try to walk out without paying?

Oh...you get ARRESTED! I am all for tracking down people who steal stuff via the web (music, books, other people's art, movies) and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.

I'm also for Creator's Rights (much like France has).

THAT SAID, there are plenty of educational sites that offer free information of all kinds. The Prelinger Archives is a wealth of terrific video info.

Anonymous said...

Its funny that this crying about piracy and "the studios getting the shaft" gets trumpeted in an almost biweekly rate and yet you don't hear much about consumers getting the shaft from the media.

how many choices do you have for cable tv and internet in your neck of the woods? unless you are the one person out of twelve, you have ZERO choice. you pay a premium for a cable system with an infrastructure already established and a puny cost to upkeep. Your cable bills don't reflect that. In fact, the price of internet and cable aren't a reflection of any tangible market factors.

The price you pay has everything to do with how much the monopoly in your area code wants to screw you. Maybe its $170 a month for cable and internet. Nevermind that that is coming close to a freaking car payment, you are supposed to swallow it or go without because media deregulation authorized these cable companies to rule whole markets without any competition. The absence of a free market.

Media is a an industry that has spared no effort in wringing out every last cent from customers.

But that issue won't be raised on capitol hill as quickly as the hysteria of movies being downloaded on the internet. I remember when I used to go rent movies from the local video store... but then blockbuster moved right next to them (as per their predatory expansion practices) and put them out of business. Blockbuster then failed to provide a library of video that weren't exclusively the big(crappy) pictures the studios wanted them to push. Memberships plummeted and they went belly up. Now there is nowhere to rent a movie on the way home.

Pardon me if I take matters in my own hands and download an old Vincent Price movie(that the studio won't release on DVD anyway).

Bottom line:
The studios don't give a damn about the consumers and you are actually surprised that consumers are showing that many of them don't give a damn about the studios?!?

Here is a great way to boost profits in movieland -
MAKE BETTER MOVIES.

Short of that, technology always wins and the consumer can download what they want. Cry me a river. This is the evolution of the market.

Anonymous said...

Cable companies may have a consumer-screwing monopoly, but what does that have to do with the studios? One doesn't have much to do with the other, except in the most tangential of ways. Sounds like after-the-fact rationalizing for piracy.

Anonymous said...

Actors getting screwed? Are you serious?!! Surely I don't have to remind you that top actors get *millions* of dollars.

Maybe I could take these sorts of arguments more seriously if the paychecks started to reflect the hard work and talent that people put in to making a film. Consider those dedicated hardworking people behind the scenes, who don't get their own trailer and personal assistant.

Once studios start paying people sensibly, I'll have more sympathy to their complaints regarding piracy.

Anonymous said...

Here is a great way to boost profits in movieland -
MAKE BETTER MOVIES.


That's not totally fair. You think people only steal the "bad" movies? I guarantee you "UP" was being downloaded online left and right. It doesnt matter how good the movie is, people shouldnt steal.

How Ice Age 3 performs in theaters affects my bonus, so if people dont go see it in theaters, and just download it, if affects me profoundly, and Im just a lowly studio employee.

I think they should invent some type of technology that prohibits cameras from being used in movie theaters. I dunno, infrared something-or-other. Stricter protection of DVD would be helpful too. I think the solution is in technology...stay ahead of the criminal...

Anonymous said...

Adapt or die. No sympathy for big media here. Although I'm no advocate for the Pirate Party, I believe the change is ultimately a good thing. Unfortunately for labor, they're along for the ride by default since media plays victim at the negotiating table and gives them the 'we go down, you go down' line. Ultimately, it makes labor just as impotent. Everything must change.

First poster - seriously, you start breaking down Johnny's door over a bloated-budget overrated Michael Bay bullshit film, you've got bigger problems in your utopia.

Charles K. said...

In fairness now Steve, stronger copyright laws will only place further restrictions on the law-abiding public who are paying for the content in the first place. The handgun ban in Washington DC didn't seem to stop criminals carrying them around.

As for the blank media tax, I think we should also start taxing the roads, so that royalties can be collected and distributed to the engineers who designed it, such as myself. It seems like a simple and natural solution.

Neal said...

Piracy is a reality that will be very difficult to eradicate- the cat's out of the bag, it's only going to get easier to capture, reproduce and distribute media online. New ways will always be found, new technologies that work around any attempted controls. 

I do think that this has a more serious impact than many torrent-happy downloaders realize. Sure, big companies will find ways to continue making money, and big stars and top talent will also earn a nice living. But as has been said above, it's the thousands of artists earning an average wage that might see their pay or even jobs cut to reduce costs, their royalties dwindle. Some say- "well, the industry has to change, die and be reborn with a new model" - but when quality movies are dropped in favor of the most profitable movies, and when costs are cut more and more, we might just find ourselves without the kinds of films we love.

I'm not sure what the best solution is- locking down the internet is a terrible idea, locking down content ends up infuriating consumers, and I don't know about adding a piracy tax to everything.

All I can say is- go buy some movie tickets, and a couple DVDs! Tell your friends! 

   

Anonymous said...

"Pirated DVDs are being sold by the trainload, costing the film industry hundreds of millions of dollars, costing film workers thousands of jobs...."

How much then, are they being sold for?

Pricing on legitimate DVDs could (should) be lowered to a more competitive level.

They are holding on so tightly to the goose that lays the golden eggs and are in serious jeopardy of strangling it!

One other thing to consider (and now that our President is talking with China.) Go after the unimaginable amount piracy that goes on in plain sight day after day throughout the Pacific Rim. The people involved in that trade are the REAL big fish!

Anonymous said...

Piracy is a scapegoat because it can't be quantified. If a film does bad the studios blame piracy even though there is no way to prove that piracy prevented $500 or $5 million worth of sales. And how many of those pirates who downloaded the movie would have paid $12 to see the movie anyways? One download does not equal one lost sale, and sometimes it even promotes sales for people who see the movie and decide it is worth buying or taking friends to see.

Wolverine had a pirated copy leaked and announced on nearly every news outlet, yet the film still made $88 million in its first weekend (even with terrible "early" reviews). If a highly publicized pirate copy of a terrible movie can't dent the opening grosses of a major movie (it still exceeded even the studio's expectations) how much are they claiming is being lost on other movies due to piracy?

Piracy is bad, it is illegal, it prevents sales (but no one knows how many) but in the end it is not as large or rampant as the studios claim it is. There are other factors at play here:

1. People are spending less on movies. It is the recession after all.

2. There are too many movies to choose from. No one movie will sell as many DVDs as blockbusters 5 years ago.

3. Not all movies are worth owning. "Make better movies" and they will sell. Look at Dark Knight sales, or the inevitable Star Trek sales.

4. Blu-ray is moving in. People are wary of buying a possibly obsolete version of a movie when a better version will come out soon. Or they are waiting on a cheaper BD player and then buying movies.

5. On Demand movies make purchasing movies obsolete. Why buy a movie you may watch once in the next 9 months when you can browse an extensive catalog at home and pay $2 to play it on demand. Wanna watch it again? Pay another $2!

6. The newest generation doesn't need to own physical media to be happy. This is a generation who grew up buying music on iTunes and never an actual CD. They are happy with On Demand and iTunes movie choices.

7. The world is changing, find ways to change with it instead of fighting it. The movies studios tried to kill betamax/VCRs because it hurt their business. Now home purchasing IS their business. There will always be pirates but pirates won't stop a good (or mediocre, ie Wolverine, Transformers) from making a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Instead of spending millions of dollars trying to stop piracy and creating technology that hinders regular consumers like DRM, spend that money on creative outlets like creating better movies or paying your artists a living wage.

Pirates will always find a way to break the next DRM code and more people will pay good money to see a well made movie. Studios will make far money making better movies (or keeping your employees happy and stable) than studios will save by "preventing" piracy.

Neal said...

"People are stealing our movies! What can we do?"

"Make better movies. Pay your staff more."

What?

It's a complex situation, sure- and you can't blame piracy for every economic change in an industry. But I think the film industry is slowly catching up to where the music industry is- downloading a movie for free is just so easy, it's socially accepted, and it's only becoming more so. I don't know what the solution is, but when people are used to and expect everything for free, better movies isn't the answer (though of course I'm all for better stuff!).

And when the studios feel the squeeze, the first thing they cut are 'better movies', in favor of bigger, tentpole-sized sequels and remakes. If The Dark Knight or Star Trek are your pinnacle of cinema, then you probably have nothing to worry about- that's probably the only kind of movie they'll bank on soon.

Anonymous said...

If you're the owner of a store, and people are coming in and stealing the merchandise, no rational person would suggest that the solution is to "pay your employees more, and sell better quality products." That's just stupid--a downloader's rationalization for what is, in the end, indefensible behavior.

The fact is, technology has made movie piracy easy, and anonymous. Many are riipping DVD's, because there is no possible personal consequence to it. Most of us don't want to think of ourselves as immoral thieves, and so we invent ways to justify what we are doing.

But yes, the truth is that piracy is stealing, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Someone I know at my work downloaded "Kung Fu Panda" off the internet while it was still in the theaters. I scolded him for it, but didn't turn him in. Still, it made me mad. Theft is theft, and unless you're starving and have no alternative, there's no excuse for it.

Steve Hulett said...

Up in my hotel room this past week, I've been reading a fat biography of Charles Dickens by Peter Ackroyd. It's a fine read. And note this:

Despite his friendship with various Americans, it is clear that [Dickens] still distrusted the country as a place were "smartness" vied with financial malpractice as the chief household god ...He had never really mastered his anger at the wholesale pirating of his novels in the United States ...

Sure is good that things are a whole lot better a 131 years later, innit?

Anonymous said...

Please force the IP owner to find an agreement with the distributor(s) and the producer(s). I am getting sick of the huge collusion between politicians and the entertainment industry. Since when it is alright to bully the consumers? I am perfectly happy to pay a subscription for my household to get to watch films streamed from an online website. But I don't want to be restricted in choice nor do I want to have to pay twice!

Anonymous said...

Stop considering electronic pieces of data (that are inconsistent by nature) as material goods. Give me your email address and I'll forge it. give me your ip and you will be arrested for piracy if not worst.

The interweb is NOT the real world. This is the new world. That fact goes way beyond a whole bunch of people. We do not need to recreate nationalism and fascism over there.

And as for the stealing argument you can just bypass the internet: you can just as well do that by ripping any (and I mean any) dvd you want: your friends and family, the local library or even from a rental. Have you ever stolen something then ? No, obviously not. You have just got yourself a copy that is not packaged as the original and for which the quality is at best the same. It won't prevent the original from being destroyed though, without any possibility for the owner of that copy to get it back unless he (she) pays again for it.

Anonymous said...

You know, one thing that hasn't been brought up here is that the pirates actually provide a superior product:

No adds / trailers before you can watch your movie / show.
No region encoding (Why would people in China wait 6mo / whatever to watch a film they can watch immediately, and cheaper?
No DRM (play/watch where ever/whenever/ with whatever device you want)
No worry that a remote entity will remove media (A new worry, Thanks Amazon).

Crying 'piracy' and pouting that the public doesn't want to fit into legacy business models isn't helping anyone.

Anonymous said...

This post has obviously brought in people who have never been to this blog before. The entitled piracy kiddies will be swarming the comment sections before you know it.

Anonymous said...

This post has obviously brought in people who have never been to this blog before.


no. it hasn't.
its a touchy subject so people don't use their names. a post above has someone talking about turning in their friends for crying out loud.

I post here all the time - and i download movies when they are out of print, or not available, - or altered from their original release because ASCAP/BMI is asking too much for the rights to the songs used in the film ("Slapshot")

media in this country is a friggin joke with huge conglomerates fighting with each other at the cost of the consumers.
so i'll download what I want to see and I won't feel bad about it at all.

check your cable bill brainiac and then tell me how you "feel bad" for multi billion dollar studios.

the dead wood is being burned, just like it was in the music industry.

Anonymous said...

At the root of all conglomerates are hard working people like me.

So...thanks a lot, jerk. Hope I can pay my mortgage this month. But hey, at least you're enjoying your downloaded movies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I will enjoy them.

I'm certainly not going to keep myslef from seeing "Phantasm II" on account of you, or Universal Studios who are too busy trumpeting the stinker "Land OF The Lost" than to release films from their library on dvd.

You're a victim of technology. stop looking for someone to blame. Or, you can blame the idiots you work for. when they have the power to adjust price, they use it to the fullest extent.

Now fans can do the same. Funny how the worm turns...

Anonymous said...

>>check your cable bill brainiac and then tell me how you "feel bad" for multi billion dollar studios.<<


What exactly is the connection between studios that make the movies and my cable bill?

As someone who writes/sells (animation related) software, this whole piracy rings too close to home. Never mind the big conglomerates. Piracy hurts the small guys too.

Anonymous said...

The pro-piracy pirate has certainly come up with numerous laughable non-sequitor rationalizations that all fail the logic test.

As if when Universal released every film in their catalog on DVD, this would somehow compel him to stop what he feels is his god-given right to steal that content without paying for it.

As if a lower cable bill would somehow dissuade him from taking what isn't his.

When called to explain his supposed connection between the studios and his cable bill, he quickly ducks and weaves into new non-sequitors, finding slippery ways to avoid actually explaining his position in a rational, logical way.

Face it dude. You're just a thief using technology to steal without paying, and pretending that it's all okay because the studios are big, soulless multi-national conglomerates. You fail both logic and morality.

Those movies ARE products, just like clothing in a store. If you knew you could get away with it, would you steal shirts from a clothing store? A big, soulless, multi-national chain clothing store?

Steve Hulett said...

Piracy impacts everyone, top to bottom.

You can say: "The congloms deserve it." But it still slams workers.

Even so, I'm way past the point of railing against it. Lots of people have the tools to access content for free, and they're going to do it, whether you or I like it or not.

The question is: How can piracy be countered and combatted so that content creators can still earn a living?

Maybe there's a better answer than taxing distribution channels to recapture revenue (similar to European levies). I just can think of one.

Anonymous said...

http://www.creativityspot.com/painting/Mona%20Lisa%20%28Gioconda%29%20by%20Leonardo%20Da%20Vinci.html

There you go!
I have just ruined your trip to France!
Now you don't need to PAY stinking ticket for Louvre!
You've seen it already!

OR is this picture from the link STOLEN, like HDTV from the store?

OR you say, I'll go to Louvre anyway! But, how do I now I will see the ORIGINAL and not some copy behind the glass?

"Trust Your Feelings, Luke!"

Anonymous said...

---
Those movies ARE products, just like clothing in a store.
---

Just like clothing from a store that's left in a pile on your doorstep. A pile that no matter how many shirts you or your neighbors remove from it will never run out. A pile of shirts that unlike 'the ones from the store' you can wear with whatever pants you want. A pile of shirts without "You wouldn't steal this shirt would you?" silk-screened all over the front.

This is where most people have a problem with the 'stealing' analogy. If I steal a shirt from the store, the store can't sell that shirt to anyone else. If I take one off the ever growing stack outside my door, the store *can* still sell the shirts it has to whomever will buy them.

I think as an industry, we need to find a away to encourage people to 'do the right thing' not call them names / punish them for 'being "thieves" and ffs, absolutely *not* punish them for legitimately purchasing our products.

Anonymous said...

A pile that no matter how many shirts you or your neighbors remove from it will never run out...

Irrelevant.

You're simply using the "it's not hurting anyone" excuse. If you sneak into a movie theater through the exit doors without paying for a ticket, you haven't deprived the theater from having more showings. But you HAVE done something dishonest, and deprived the theater (and the original movie studio) from fair compensation for its investments and services.

Downloading a movie without paying for it is exactly the same thing, regardless of the predictable protestations to the contrary. Obviously, if I have illegally downloaded a perfectly good free copy, I have no incentive to purchase a legitimate copy.

Of course, current technology has enabled you to do this with no consequence. No one can stop you except your own conscience. And you've blocked your conscience by rationalizing away the studios (which paid enormous investments on these films) as big evil entities that deserve to be ripped off. I'm not impressed.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised you're not impressed. Inability to break with a set idea / pattern is the root of the problem. Hide your head in the sand and keep chanting "theft" if it helps you make it through the night. Fewer and fewer people are listening.

---
"Downloading a movie without paying for it is exactly the same thing"
---

It's *NOT* exactly the same thing, and that's why it's *your* argument that's irrelevant.

Misclassification and hyperbole is getting the industry nowhere--- "It's ruining the industry! It's stealing! It's stealing!". It's not. It's copyright infringement. Arguments can also be made for forgery or fraud, but stealing it isn't.

The industry is coming off as a hysterical child in the midst of a tantrum. (yes, yes I see the hypocrisy using hyperbole after my early critique).

I'm too young (thank god) to remember backlash against the birth of radio. I *can* remember suits trying to halt the birth of the VCR though... and I think we're all pretty glad they didn't, as the VHS and DVD has turned into a huge boon for the industry.

My point is this: Just as if the industry had continued to fight home-viewable media rather than turn it to our advantage, if we fail to adapt our business to new technology RATHER THAN EXPECT NEW TECHNOLOGY TO ADAPT TO US, it's over. We're done, and I frankly I don't care whether or not you're 'impressed', the future doesn't require your approval.

We need to find a way to make the legitimate product better. Not threaten people that they better pay for a legitimate product.

Anonymous said...

The question of piracy is being argued on two completely different and incompatible levels, here. One, as a practical issue, i.e. is piracy hurting the industry and eroding producers profit margins to the extent that it is effecting our employment prospects? Obviously, the IA feels very strongly that there is a direct and dangerous correlation.

It sounds logical, but there are two things wrong with that simplistic cause-and-effect reasoning; One, they were sending our jobs away long before video piracy existed. Two, popular films are still doing killer international business in spite of the piracy. I'm with the "make better movies" crowd. Oops! that means hiring more expert, skilled creatives. Sounds expensive! How convenient that creeps who make cheap junk and lose money now have something logical to blame for their bad choices.

The other line of reasoning here is morality. Naughty, naughty- it's stealing! That's just plain silly and completely beside the point. Stealing someones property is one thing, but there are way too many variables to assign a specific number to projected media sales. If someone feels desperate enough to sneak into a movie theater and sit in an otherwise unoccupied seat, I feel sorry for them. To accuse them of undermining the studio' profits is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

My point is this: Just as if the industry had continued to fight home-viewable media rather than turn it to our advantage, if we fail to adapt our business to new technology RATHER THAN EXPECT NEW TECHNOLOGY TO ADAPT TO US, it's over. We're done, and I frankly I don't care whether or not you're 'impressed', the future doesn't require your approval.

You're wrong because you're missing a major point: There wasnt an unlimited amount of free VHS titles handed out to everyone who bought a VCR.

Look, jackass, I'm (we're) all for advancing technology. Downloading movies is a great idea, as long as you pay for it. But you can NOT claim that it's a good thing for people to download movies and NOT pay for them.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised you're not impressed. Inability to break with a set idea / pattern is the root of the problem...

You're right. I DO have an inability to break with the idea that those who have invested to provide services have a right to charge a reasonable price for those services. (And no, I DON'T think the price of most DVD's is particularly exhorbitant) Silly me for thinking we should just be able to take, without giving anything back, like a charity.

Your VCR analogy doesn't work at all, as another commenter already explained. Your admission that it is forgery and fraud, but not theft, is especially funny, since forgery and fraud are both particular TYPES of thievery.

The idea that the studios just need to make movies better is the most absurd of all. People aren't illegally downloading because the movies aren't good enough. In your ridiculous paradigm, it's only the "suckers" and "unsavvy" who are stupid enough to actually pay to see the thing.

I realize these types of arguments are how illegal downloaders sleep at night. But hey, I guess if you can find a way to sneak past the train conductor and ride for free, it's all the fault of the train company for not making trains "good enough," right?

Anonymous said...

>>It's *NOT* exactly the same thing, and that's why it's *your* argument that's irrelevant.<<

How exactly is it not fundamentally the same thing as sneaking into a theater and watching a movie for free? Would you think THAT was wrong? If not, why not?

w said...

You wanna watch a movie, pay for it, you cheap bastard!

Neal said...

The 'never-ending pile of shirts' analogy is the most ridiculous; true, a digital file is infinitely reproducible at no cost to anyone, but if you're entitled to grab the merchandise for 'free', who does pick up the tab for its initial creation? And eventually if everyone decides to follows that logic, no one will be paying, and then the supply really will just dry up.

Anonymous said...

If I borrow and watch my friends Spiderman 3 DVD, am I stealing?

If I borrow it, but instead download a copy and watch that, am I stealing? Even if I delete the file after I've given him back the DVD?

If he's out of town and so can't watch the DVD himself, and I download the movie, then delete it once he's back in town, did I steal anything?

If, instead, I feel it's a bad movie, and I don't watch it ever, is that stealing?

In none of these cases have I compensated the creators of the movie (or rather, the rights holders). In which cases should they be entitled to compensation from me?

Look, I'm in the same boat at Blue Sky up there, my livelihood depends on people paying for this stuff, but we need to focus on creating things people want to pay for, not making people pay for what it is that we create.

Cars is wildly successful due to the specials and the merchandise. Kids are excited, Pixar has goodwill, and one cannot download a toy.

Infinite shirts is exactly the right analogy, or a theater with infinite seats. Is it lame to take advantage? Sure. But as the goods here are non-rivalrous, it's asinine to call it "stealing."

Going back to my point at the top, since getting Netflix 2 years ago, I haven't illegally downloaded a movie. For less than $20 a month, I can watch 10-20 DVDs and hours upon hours of steaming content. Granted, I haven't bought anything on DVD, nor seen more than 10 films in theaters these past 2 years.

There is more legal, quality content that I want to watch than I will ever be able to. Much of it is "free" (Hulu is ad supported, for example). Give me an epic movie that has to be experienced on the big screen, and I'll pay for that. Give me something a dozen of my friends are seeing, and I'll tag along. Price a DVD or box set at the impulse level, package some tangible extra, and I'll buy it.

Anonymous said...

What a POS. Just so I have this straight. No film should make money unless it lives up to your standards of what is worthy?

Or maybe, because I'm having trouble following your arguments. It should only make money when selling merchandise (ala the Pixar/Cars example) or some other tangible piece you can hold in your hands and cannot be transmitted digitally?

What a warped view. I hope you don't represent the norm of Blue Sky workers. Pathetic.


You must be one of those people that left your prom dress tag on so you could return it the next day.

Anonymous said...

Woah woah...he doesnt work at Blue Sky. He said "Im in the same boat as Blue Sky"

Anonymous said...

If I borrow and watch my friends Spiderman 3 DVD, am I stealing?.

No.

If I borrow it, but instead download a copy and watch that, am I stealing?

Yes.


Even if I delete the file after I've given him back the DVD?

Yes.


If he's out of town and so can't watch the DVD himself, and I download the movie, then delete it once he's back in town, did I steal anything?

Yes.


If, instead, I feel it's a bad movie, and I don't watch it ever, is that stealing?

Yes.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying really hard not to get mad here, and 'jackass' isn't helping. Be that as it may...

---
You're wrong because you're missing a major point: There wasnt an unlimited amount of free VHS titles handed out to everyone who bought a VCR.
---

I haven't missed that point at all. You don't have one. No VHS titles were handed out, only the POTENTIAL for them. It's the same as downloadable movies. Movies aren't handed out with an internet connection either. Only the potential. I hope you can understand this.

---
Look, jackass, I'm (we're) all for advancing technology.
---

sigh. I'm not so sure you are.

---
But you can NOT claim that it's a good thing for people to download movies and NOT pay for them.
---

Nobody is saying that at all. Look I know you feel threatened, and that's a bummer. What I'm saying is that to get people to PAY for the movies, we need to do something that makes it preferable for them to do it. Introducing 3D into the theatres is one way of doing this. Say what you want about Monsters vs Aliens (actually don't say anything, that's a different rant), but seeing it in 3D was pretty gd cool. I went and saw it twice. There's ADDED VALUE in seeing it in the theatre, and PAYING for it.

I'm sorry if you thought that I was advocating the 'downloading without paying' model, I'm not. What I AM saying is that to get people to quit doing it, we need to provide a POSITIVE reason not to. Asking the state to protect us, while we pout and call our customers "thieves" isn't helping.

... What's the added value for a legitimate download? Hell I don't know. Maybe provide servers which can upload it faster than the illegal sites, at higher resolution. Provide the extra content that are on the DVDs. A wider variety of films to choose from? There has to be something.

Anonymous said...

technology has changed media - and no matter what you say, it will ever be changed back, no laws or outcry or hissyfit will do it.

the medium has been handed to the masses. you CANNOT get it back.

In the same manner that a bands CD cannot be the source of their returns anymore, they must focus on their performance. a band's live performance is something that will never be pirated - and the irony is that that form of income is the one thing that musicians have always reaped 100% of the income from.

Likewise, the film industry is going to have to get all of their returns from the theatrical release. seeing a film in a packed theater(a wonder of modern society btw) is something that can never be pirated.


what is interesting about both of these instances is how the content providers (music labels, movie studios) are stymied by the conglomerates that ran the small business owners out of the outlet their survival depended upon... record stores & movie theaters.

lets hope the film industry fares better. people should want to go see films in movie houses.


BUT THEN, people aren't keen on sitting in theaters with tiny screens, overpriced refreshments, filthy seats and floors, and customer service worse than the post office.

it doesn't look good for the film studios 0- and i don't care. i didn't put them into this position. they did. so if you are afraid of losing your job, look to your bosses. shit rolls downhill buddy.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if you thought that I was advocating the 'downloading without paying' model, I'm not

Sure seemed that way earlier. Im glad you changed your tone though.

technology has changed media - and no matter what you say, it will ever be changed back, no laws or outcry or hissyfit will do it.

I agree. But there's nothing wrong with defending the property while we discover new ways of distributing it.

cookiemonster said...

A friend of mine had dowloaded and watched "Wall-E" the same week it came out. I gave him the evil eye,but it didn't even register with him why I was giving him the evil eye. Some people simply don't see ( or don't want to see) why dowloading pirated movies is wrong.

But we all know they're just being cheap! No matter what their arguments are, it's theft.

r

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