Movie Piracy Doesn't Decrease Legitimate Purchasing?

from the set-pr-machine-to-spin dept

The head of the British Video Association says it's conducted research that found people who download movies watch just as many "legitimate films" as non-downloaders (via Boing Boing). So there's the industry's own evidence that downloading doesn't necessarily have a negative effect on their media buying habits. Well, if only they saw it that way -- the stat's only being used to justify putting anti-piracy trailers at the beginning of DVDs. The statement came as an answer to a series of questions the BBC put to people in the film industry, and their descriptions of copy-protection technology are pretty hilarious. MPAA head Dan Glickman says DRM provides consumers "guidelines for using and consuming content", and that without it, they "might eventually come to totally disregard copyright". Wow, who knew copy-protection was so helpful when all this time, it just appeared to be hampering fair use and keeping people from playing back content they'd bought in the manner they want and on the devices they want. The BVA head's answer is even more full of spin, calling DRM "a means of enabling consumers to access and use audiovisual content in a wider variety of ways that suit their tastes and habits". So copy-protection enables people to do things? Isn't that counter to its entire purpose?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Mousky, Feb 9th, 2006 @ 1:24pm

    Guidelines are not mandatory

    How exactly does DRM provide the consumer with "guidelines for using and consuming content"? Last I looked, DRM and associated EULAs are explicit in what you can and cannot do with the content, er licence. Guidelines are not mandatory. Are they saying that DRM is not mandatory?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    No Subject Given

    Hate to play devil's advocate and it is not DRM per se, but the RIAA's pursuit of Napster and then consumers using peer-to-peer file sharing does provide "guidance" by showing the Joe Consumer that this activity is "illegal" and punishable.

    I seriously doubt consumers see it that way, but if you are a music or movie exec trying to spin DRM as a positive thing (but still have piracy to blame for falling sales), it's about all you've got to fall back on.

     

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  3.  
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    N/A, Feb 9th, 2006 @ 3:16pm

    No Subject Given

    I contend that downloading doesn't effect sales because; many of the people who download weren't going to buy anything in the first place. Personally, if downloading wasn't an option, I'd just not see it. I don't like crying babies, cellphone talkers, movie narrators or $5 cokes enough to go to a theater and see it, I don't like rental stores enough to go there, and Netflix is another bill I can do without.

     

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  4.  
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    fuzzmanmatt, Feb 9th, 2006 @ 3:48pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I head into Blockbuster once or twice a week to rent a movie or three (moviepass) that don't make it into the theater. I head to the theater once a week to see a movie that grabs my attention. Sometimes I end up seeing things like BloodRayne and wanting my money back. I go to the theatre once a month to watch real people get up and act, and personally, I like paying anywhere from $5-$50 depending on the show, because it's damn good, and it still usually ends up costing less than a trip to the theater with the soda and popcorn and $8 Jujifruit.

     

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  5.  
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    Alpha Dog in Training, Feb 9th, 2006 @ 3:54pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Bravo!!
    I couldn't agree with you more.
    If they want our business so bad, why do they insist on making it so un-appealing!

    If they were to enforce a few rules at the cinema, like no phones or babies, then I wouldn’t mind paying a little bit of a premium.

    We could also go back to the days when watching a movie was a formal event. Maybe instead of spending millions on movies that aren’t worth the admission fee they could actually spend it on films that are good. I mean, who has actually watched those movies that won all those awards, and thought they deserve the awards?

    There are lots of solutions to Hollywood’s problems, but instead of innovating and changing to suit their audience, they choose a scapegoat for the BBQ.

    Alpha

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2006 @ 7:58pm

    No Subject Given

    Most recent movies are horrible, I don't buy any dvd's or go to the theater, its just a waste of my time.

    I usually rent movies that I know are good and most of them are 5 years or older and only cost $1 to rent.

    My opinion, if more jobs are offshored, more DVD's will be pirated, If big companies are stealing American Jobs, Americans will just steal big companies profits.

     

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  7.  
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    ?, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 12:36am

    !

    FUCK!

    No wonder why all these movies suck! I have been skipping over, or not paying attention to the federal warnings on the DVD covers and before the movie!

    If I had been paying attention to those notices, I would have known how to better consume the movie, and therefore, enjoyed watching it even more.

    Now I have to go back, rent all those movies again, read all the federal warnings, and then I can enjoy the "feature presentaiton" as it was intended.

    Thank you techdirt for bringing this to my attention. I don't know what I would have done without you.

    (thank goodness for NetFlix!)

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 7:16am

    My Unscientific Survey

    The people I know who are most likely to
    download movies are also the most prolific
    consumers of movies. It's like an addiction,
    they're always jonesing for more.

    The last movie theater I attended was years
    ago and only to escape the heat on a sweltering
    summer night. I don't watch TV and own only
    a dozen video tapes. I've downloaded one
    movie which was a legal transaction (Night
    Of The Blood Llama was too strange to pass
    up)

    The MPPA would be out on the street corners
    washing automobile windshields for a quarter
    if they had to make a living from my purchases.

    It's the sort of people that download movies
    buy most their crap and pay their salaries...
    they just don't get it.


     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 11:28am

    Re: My Unscientific Survey

    I'll ditto that. In the past I've downloaded quite a few movies. Still have a lot of them burned on discs. Don't know why, because about 90% of the movies I downloaded I now own on DVD. The 10% that I don't own, I hated the movies, and was glad I didn't waste any money on them.

    I rarely go to movie theaters, as I can't stand the atmosphere of the theaters.

    As for downloading movies anymore, nah. Not with the nazi MPAA and RIAA out there.
    Oh, BTW, I've never downloaded an MP3 illegally, occassionally I'll by a music CD, but radio is fine for me.

     

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  10.  
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    Merriment, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 7:18am

    So, the world has Napster. They get on, they download files. Music they like, individual songs or whole albums. They love it. Sure, some nervous parents forbid their children from going there, unsure as to whether it's legal or not.
    Then Napster goes down.
    Suddenly the world is in a panic! Oh no, the music was illegal, I've got a cumulative fine of over half a million dollars sitting on my PC. Delete delete delete.
    Then the MPAA steps in and attacks people anyway. "Destroying evidence" gets tacked onto the charges and people go to jail. 12-year-old girls get prosecuted.
    But WAIT! It's BIG BUSINESS to the rescue with legal, pay-to-download songs that are cheap and of high-quality. HELP US I-TUNES. YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE.
    Until we discover that ITunes is useless. Their proprietary mp4 format won't play in anything other than iPods and the iTunes browser itself.
    Napster, MSN Music, and more respond with MP3 downloads. Except they're all DRM protected and the copyright information, if you actually want to read it, leaves you with the impression that if you try to listen to the music at all, you'll go to jail with Jack "Mad-Dog", the homocidal maniac who's charged with murder, child abuse, and using Kazaa. He's got probation on the first two charges.
    We are in a Midas era of business. Namely, everything they touch turns to gold. The problem is that gold isn't actually good for anything besides looking pretty. It's heavy and useless. Maybe we can somehow keep corporations' grubby mitts off of stuff long enough to enjoy it.

     

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