MPAA Remains Unaware Of The Magnitude Of The Problem They Face

from the do-the-math dept

The MPAA and the RIAA love to put out announcements about their latest significant blow against unauthorized copying -- but never seem to recognize that for all those significant blows, there's only been more and more unauthorized file sharing. The problem, as has been explained repeatedly, is that it just takes one copy to get out and it's everywhere -- and it's impossible to stop that copy from getting out. To highlight this, the MPAA is excitedly talking about how they arrested the receptionist for an accounting firm. Apparently, the MPAA sent out advance copy DVDs of new movies to someone at that accounting firm. The receptionist took the DVDs and gave them to her cousin who would rip them and put them online. While, of course, the MPAA talks about how this shows that anyone ripping these DVDs will get caught, it should actually highlight the reverse. The number of people out there who at one point or another have access to a movie is simply tremendous. The idea that you can stop the thousands of people in the chain from letting it get into someone's hands who will upload it is simply ridiculous. So, all this announcement really shows is the magnitude of the problem facing the MPAA if they really plan to keep trying to completely stop a movie from getting online. It simply isn't going to happen -- and it's a problem worse than "whack-a-mole." It's whack-a-mole times thousands.


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  1.  
    identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 10:54am

    Inside its more rotten than out

    Of course! Where do you think all these 0 day releases of new albums and movies come from? From the studios, from the radio stations, from the editing rooms, from the promoters...basically from the staff of the film and music companies. I've worked there and I know much these employees respect the **AA and the laws they buy. Not a jot!
    These industries are so laughably outdated and out of step that the majority of their own employees don't foolow their line.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    1 MORE NAIL, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 11:15am

    I LOVE IT. KEEP DRIVING THE NAILS.

     

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  3.  
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    The infamous Joe, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 11:31am

    Two links deep.

    I have so much to say, but I'll limit myself to a few.

    Firstly, how does one become a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?

    Secondly, two links deep is this beauty: http://www.techweb.com/wire/ebiz/193401443 which, I feel, should be the real headline, because it's freakin' ridiculous.

    How many times a week are we going to see more crap about the **AA and it's futile battle? It's ceased being funny and really started getting quite tedious.

    Don't get me wrong, the two people arrested deserve it, they were peddling it on the street, which is no better than the **AA in my opinion. It cost me nothing to copy it, so that's what it's worth. Then again, that's just my opinon.

     

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  4.  
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    C. J., Dec 7th, 2006 @ 11:43am

    RE: Whack-a-mole

    Haha,

    Who was it that said, shortly after shutting down napster, this stopping this monster was like cutting off the head of a hydra?

    The march of time is becoming cancerous fellas (im looking at you MPAA and RIAA), it's about time you started to rethink things.

     

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  5.  
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    Imbeciles, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 11:58am

    Slander

    It's simply remarkable how seemingly monolithic associations like the MPAA and the RIAA, just can't put together any effective tactics to encourage their customer's loyalty, of course, maybe if they tried improving their customer relations by actually giving genuine customers a reason to feel their business is appreciated, instead of suing their potential clients, the public might not be so compassionless in their downloading business.

     

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  6.  
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    arrg, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 12:01pm

    Numbers

    I'd like to see the numbers associated with this, for example Number of people who: Go see it in the theater then download the movie. download the new movie yet go see it in the theater. never download the movie, never goto the theater, and wait for it to come out on dvd. (usually me) Just download the movie. and lastly, never watch the movie ever. I myself goto the theater less and less these days because it's getting more expensive and I'm more than willing to wait for the dvd. I'm too lazy to go though the work of downloading and figure the quality loss isn't worth the trouble. So all this trouble they are going though is a waste of time, money, and reputation. Hell, before they started suing people, I'd never even heard of the riaa or mpaa... Now I really dislike them and the industry...

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    arrg, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 12:01pm

    Numbers

    I'd like to see the numbers associated with this, for example Number of people who: Go see it in the theater then download the movie. download the new movie yet go see it in the theater. never download the movie, never goto the theater, and wait for it to come out on dvd. (usually me) Just download the movie. and lastly, never watch the movie ever. I myself goto the theater less and less these days because it's getting more expensive and I'm more than willing to wait for the dvd. I'm too lazy to go though the work of downloading and figure the quality loss isn't worth the trouble. So all this trouble they are going though is a waste of time, money, and reputation. Hell, before they started suing people, I'd never even heard of the riaa or mpaa... Now I really dislike them and the industry...

     

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  8.  
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    Angry Rivethead, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 12:05pm

    Open statement to the *IAA

    Your business model is out dated.

    Change it.

    You'll make just as much if not more due to reduced overhead.

    Get over it.

     

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  9.  
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    Wizard Prang, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 1:42pm

    Well said.

    I have yet to see anyone who refused to watch a movie in the theater or on DVD after seeing a downloaded version. Only a very small percentage of people download movies anyway.

    Indeed, an argument could be made that most of those who download do so because they have not the funds to purchase it anyway (kids, students).

    Those "loss to piracy" figures that they bandy about assume otherwise, and they assume that all sales are at full price.

    My figures say otherwise: Of all the DVDs that I have bought in the past year - literally dozens - the number of full-price purchases that I have made is....

    Zero.

     

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  10.  
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    Boyscout, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Two links deep.

    haha... love the link. i'll be striving for my anti-piracy boyscout badge.

     

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  11.  
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    Mousky, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Slander

    That would be too easy. After I received a Foo Fighters CD with DRM a few years ago, I decided that was it and have only bought one CD since (which did not have DRM). I don't like being treated like a criminal for ripping a CD and having music in a format that is convenient to me.

    The RIAA (and the music companies it represents) is the middleman. In most business models, when you need to cut costs or make a process more efficient, you cut out the middleman. Bye Bye RIAA.

     

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  12.  
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    NotOnlyThat, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 2:22pm

    Well Said

    "Those "loss to piracy" figures that they bandy about assume otherwise, and they assume that all sales are at full price."

    In a way, I agree. However, whenever the **AA report their losses, they are doing so ASSUMING that everyone that obtains an illegal copy WOULD HAVE bought the legit copy at full price if there was no outlet for obtaining said items illegally.

    That is complete bullshit. They can't say they lost millions of dollars last year due to illegal file sharing. How can they lose something that they never had in the first place?

     

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  13.  
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    zeroCool, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:09pm

    Production companies are screwed as well

    Contributing to this problem is the way movies are currently made.

    No movie company (Fox, Paramount, etc) will take a chance on a possible flop (which causes the shareholders to become unhappy), so they only make 'safe' movies. A safe movie is defined as starring one or more well-known celebrities and/or having a formulaic script along with a massive budget (this is called a 'big tent movie' in the biz).

    The problem, of course, is the public is tired of warmed over s--- scripts. The movie companies have forgotten why people go to the movies and are interested only in hitting their quarterly numbers. If they could churn out a 90 minute film of a pig wallowing in muck and make lots of money, they'd do it.

    This leaves the production companies (the people who actually make the movie) in a bind. You can't get a script that is new, edgy or unique, because no movie company will buy it. You can't pack your cast with unknowns for the same reason. Movie companies will throw a smaller amount of cash at "niche" films (targeting blacks or fans of country music or whatever) than they would for big tent movies; this starves the film before it even gets off the ground (no ads = no buzz = smaller box office), and then the suits use that as yet another excuse to not make niche films.The few movies that were produced on relatively small budgets (think Blair Witch Project or Barbershop) but made it big are flukes because they found an audience despite the movie company's attempts to do anything but kill them outright.

    The future is to get rid of the MPAA _and_ the big movie companies. The future is to probably get rid of movie theaters, too---many people have a home-theater system that is good enough to take the place of a theater (especially with the rising costs of tickets & concessions and the increasing presence of abominations like "the 2wenty"). Once someone figures out how to make enough (or any?) money, then we'll see movies delivered via the internet. Look at the popularity of YouTube/Google video---these sites get millions of hits.

     

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  14.  
    icon
    bmac (profile), Dec 7th, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    They won't change

    The problem is they've backed themselves into a corner. They already know they're killing themselves with their current business practices, and box office numbers are falling as time goes on, but to fix the problems they'll have to admit they're wrong and lose face in the process.

    I still think $8.50 (Memphis TN) is OK to pay for a movie ticket where I get to see the movie on a 50-80 foot screen with THX digital surround. I just have to pass on the $5 Coke, $4 popcorn and $3 candy bar. And I can only do it for the really good action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy type movie that requires a theater experience.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 6:27pm

    DEA ---> MEA

    The tobacco and booze industries paid off the politicians and got laws against the competition just as the RIAA and MPAA got outrageous lengths of time for copyrights, and turned the matter from a civil one to a criminal one where taxpayers have to pay to support their rights. The next logical step is to create a huge federal bureaucracy of administrators, lawyers, investigators, judges and prison that profile on the new laws... Maybe a Media Enforcement Agency modeled on the agency that spends billions of our money annually to track and destroy the plants that God made before he knew Congress would make them illegal.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    craig, Dec 7th, 2006 @ 6:59pm

    Went to a movie last night. First time in two years. Only the second time in almost five years.

    Why? I got a free ticket. Would have cost $10 otherwise. So I sat through about a half hour of commercials, and listene to the people talking during the movie, and braced my poor eyes against the horrible digital projection.

    And decided that I am right in boycotting movies. The movie I went to 2 years ago was digitally projected, and I hated it. I see now that things haven't improved.

    Digital projection SUCKS. The resolution is lower than HDTV, you can see jaggies everywhere, you can count the rows of pixels, and the color depth sucks.

    Its a blurry horrible mess. And the prices are higher.

    I can't be the only person who has stopped going to movies NOT due to piracy, but due to the fact that the product now sucks. (I also boycott them due to their attitudes. I hate arrogant companies.)

     

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  17.  
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    Marc A, Dec 8th, 2006 @ 12:44am

    Just have to add my 2 cents

    Since all of the mpaa and riaa and sony shit- I just cannot get excited about movies in theaters, dvds, cds, anything made by sony [especially batteries].

    I go to mom and pop eateries [actually some are quite expensive, but my money stays local], bought sports equipment, bought a pre 1971 American car, bought plants grown locally.

    Probably bought foreign when I rolled my own computers, but that cannot be avoided. avoided Microsucks and say "fuck you" to bill gates daily as I work on a computer at work that crashes daily in the middle of a major task. numbnuts will not allow me to install Linux, but that is America..................................................................
    ......................... ...................................

    I predict that someday that there will be no one able to buy the 35,000 dollar cars and other shit we sell and our infrastructure will collapse in on itself and China will be the world leader.

    Why ??? Because we will have outsourced our jobs overseas - Thinking you are talking to someone in USA when calling customer service for Chevrolet - think again.
    The American Revolution is taking place in a call center in Manila and Brazil. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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  18.  
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    patiecne, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Re: Well Said

    I agree with you. The **aa are a little to candid on saying how much they have lost if they never saw the money in the first place. BUT...they do take a significant loss because they have already spent money for promotion, marketing, advances, overhead, so they do loose some money but i dont think that the numbers are always right. the real answer lies in what angry rivithead stated," cut overhead"

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Dean, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 11:38pm

    MPAA

    The MPAA seems to be much like th Inquisition. It's time to get rid of this ridiculous and archaic institution; it's time to put something in it's place that fair and had some accountability.

     

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