You really have to admire the movie industry's ability to stick its head in the sand and hold it under for so long. They keep churning out content that's ridiculously expensive to produce, then, instead of melding it into a wide range products that people actually want to buy, they cling to business models built on restricting consumers' access to content and drive would-be customers to illegitimate sources. So forgive me for seeing the headline "Technology 'can beat film piracy'" and assuming the story was about another harebrained DRM scheme, when in actuality, the UK film minister was telling the movie industry that they need to take advantage of digital distribution to compete with piracy by offering people more ways to pay for movies, in particular making them available to download or on-demand services at the same time they're in theaters. The idea of compressing release windows certainly isn't new, but every time it's mentioned, movie theaters and studios throw a fit. So the response to the minister from a Sony Pictures UK is rather inevitable: "At the moment it's probably not technically possible." Huh? It's not technically possible to get a movie on to multiple platforms the same day it's released to theaters? That's sort of funny, because smaller independent movie companies don't seem to have any problem figuring it out, like IFC Entertainment, or Mark Cuban and Steven Soderbergh, or Morgan Freeman and Intel (well, we'll assume they'll actually do it, instead of just announcing it again). Maybe in some sense the guy is right -- it's not technically possible for the movie studios because it requires some effort, just like all the other things they could have done to compete with piracy instead of just trying to lock their content down even further. But, on the other hand, if by "not technically possible" he means "it's not technically possible for us to release movies for download without burdening them with copy protection that makes them wholly unattractive", perhaps he was right.
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