In An Alternate Universe, How 20th Century Fox Could Have Responded To Wolverine Leak

from the just-calm-down... dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in the story of how an early version of the movie Wolverine has leaked online, well before the movie goes to theaters. The NY Times even describes this as unprecedented and eats up the movie industry's claim that this is some huge problem. Not surprisingly, the NY Times article was written by the same reporter who recently wrote an article basically repeating unproven movie studio claims that piracy was damaging its business -- a point disproved weeks later in the same NY Times (by a different reporter) noting that the movie business is seeing a huge surge in attendance.

As has been pointed out over and over again, there's very little evidence that movie "piracy" cannibalizes film attendance. That's why the most "pirated" films are also the biggest box office hits. It's not too hard to figure out why: people go out to the movies for the social experience, not just for the content. And putting in place smarter business models can help drive more people to the actual theaters, even if they saw the content online first.

But, of course, that's not how the industry sees it, and 20th Century Fox has wasted no time in going after anyone sharing the film and trying to hunt down who leaked it. That is, of course, the company's right. But, it does seem that its resources might be better spent focusing on giving people a real reason to go see the film in the theaters.

If anything, it seems the real fear is that the version that's been released isn't very good -- and that's what will keep people away from seeing the film in the theater. That "early word of mouth" that studios have been blaming for bad box office turnout. And, certainly, you can understand why it would be upsetting to the studio to have an unfinished version out there (especially if it's missing many of the sound effects and special effects). But, even so, instead of going all legal and threatening, the studio could have responded in a way that built anticipation to get people to actually go see the movie.

Why not be straightforward about it, saying, something along the lines of:
Hey Wolverine fans! We know that you're all looking forward to the release of the movie next month. We're excited too! By now you may have heard that an early totally unfinished version has been leaked online. It's missing a whole bunch of stuff -- including some amazing special effects -- and honestly, this version isn't a finished product at all. We think you'll get a much better overall experience by waiting for the full finished product, but we certainly understand that some of you just can't wait (trust us, we feel the same way!). If that's the case, please, feel free to check it out, but please remember that this isn't even close to the final version. If anything, think of this as a "behind-the-scenes" peek of just what a movie looks like before all the real "movie magic" gets put in there. If you do check it out, we hope you'll join us May 1st to check out the finalized version as well on the big screen the way we intended for you to see this awesome movie. It's just a month away!
Sure, I just made that up on the spot -- but if Fox had released a statement like that, just think of the reaction among the folks who this unauthorized version would likely reach. Rather than being treated like criminals, they'd be treated like fans -- and with a bit of honesty. Personally, it would make me a lot more likely to want to go (pay and) see the movie when it came out. Would it really have been that difficult to do that? It certainly would be a lot cheaper and more effective than "spending the day demanding that copies of the film be removed from the largely anonymous swath of Web sites that swap movie files" as the NY Times reported folks at Fox Studios did.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:33am

    ...think of this as a "behind-the-scenes" peak of just what a...

    Peek, not peak. (Trust not your spell-check.)

     

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    Mike (profile), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    Peek, not peak. (Trust not your spell-check.)

    Oops. Fixed. Thanks.

     

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    Matt, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:48am

    reality

    Ah Mike, you know how it works. Even if you tell them how to run their business successfully they won't do it. You know, you have to support their business models in order to possibly speak against them, etc.

     

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    Botch the Crab, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Actually, to be fair...

    ...they kinda did release a similar statement:

    Last night, a stolen, incomplete and early version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was posted illegally on websites. It was without many effects and had missing scenes and temporary sound and music.


    Of course, then they go on to the legal threatening you mentioned:

    We immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed. We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it. The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - the courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts and the last person who committed such a crime is still in jail. The FBI and the MPAA also are actively investigating this crime. We are encouraged by the support of fansites condemning piracy and this illegal posting and pointing out that such theft undermines the enormous efforts of the filmmakers and actors, and above all, hurts the fans of the film.


    from http://www.aintitcool.com/node/40609

     

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    cjmpe, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Times isn't the only guilty paper...

    The Toronto Star reprinted, without comment, an article from Bloomberg that said piracy cost the industry 18+ billion in 2005

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:06am

    B

    In before WH!

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:11am

    And who leaked it?

    This wasn't some goofball sitting in a theater recording with a camcorder. This was leaked from the inside. So the blame rests on those who had access to the film, namely the people employed at the studios. So if anyone is to blame it is 20th Century Fox for hiring the ingrate that leaked it.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:16am

    this is one of those things where regardless of how you feel about copyright, patents, file sharing, whatever, you should be brilliant enough to realize that this is a crime, one that could cost the studio involved millions of dollars, and can impair their ability to properly market their product. The movie was stolen, period, no infinite horsecrap here. Someone stole it.

    Making a statement that would in many ways encourage people to go looking for the file and treating it only as a "preview copy" is just not the way to go. The studio has probably 100 million dollars or more on the table to make this movie, and they shouldn't be expected to cow down to thieves. To try to spin it to minimize the theft is just wrong, plain and simple.

     

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    mike42 (profile), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Conspiracy Theory

    Maybe the studio got the hint, and DID leak it on purpose. Then they issued these statements as a cover-up for the moron on their board of directors who happens to be CEO for some anti-piracy corp.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:22am

    Re: B

    this isn't /b!

    on that note though, should we come up with a chant, song or haiku to keep WH away?

    "Harold was a mighty troll
    everyday posts
    flames and buttered toast"

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    Harold was a mighty troll
    everyday posts
    flames and buttered toast

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Re: Conspiracy Theory

    and perhaps the moon is made of green cheese.

     

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    JB, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Re:

    WH,

    So it is better to spend another million+ dollars to turn willing fans away from your 100 million dollar film? How is it ever feasible to attack your fans (if they weren't fans, they wouldn't be sharing the movie) when someone from your own company/subsidiaries leaked the original. Also, once it's out there on the internet, it will never go away. The shareholders should be up in arms at the course of action taken by 20th Century FOX. They are essentially wasting money to make less money. How does that make good business sense? Sure, the original person that leaked the film should be punished, but FOX should face the fact that the copy is out there and should use it as free promotion for the feature film thereby making more money by 'spinning' the theft.

     

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    Matt, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Re: Conspiracy Theory

    This has been well known in Hollywood circles for 30+ years.

     

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    Danny, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Maybe the studio got the hint, and DID leak it on purpose.
    I definitely think this is possible. The studios know full well that this would have a viral marketing like effect of having people scouring the net up and down to find a copy of it, watch a few hundred times, and then still go watch the official release so they can compare, contrast, bitch, piss, whine, moan, and debate.

    The phenomenon of leaked content is just too juicy of a hype builder for studios to not have picked up on it yet. I would not be surprised at all if it was proven that the "leak" was intentional.

     

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    The infamous Joe, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Speaking of Alternate Universes

    Let's suppose that in one of these alternate universes I had seen this leaked version, and they are correct is saying that it is missing many special effects and soundtrack.. uh.. tracks(?)

    I also, in this other reality, discover that the movie plot line is weak, and throwing all sorts of special effects at it won't make it the movie I was hoping it would be. In fact, I would've found myself thinking that, without 100 million dollars in special effects, this movie would have been laughed off of the Sci-Fi (Sy-Fy?) channel. It might have been that bad.

    Knowing that special effects can't actually help a poor plot line, I would be far less inclined to go see this movie. That is how this could hurt business. Now real people instead of just critics can chime in and let people know their opinions of this flick, before people go out and drop $20 just to be disappointed. If the movie is let out before people are forced to pay for it without knowing anything about it, people are going to be more informed about if they should spend their movie to see it. We all know they don't want us to be informed consumers, just blind sheep.

    This line of thinking makes me wonder: If I am paying $20 to be entertained, but I'm not entertained, why don't I get my money back? If someone pays me to build a robot and I give them a stuffed animal instead, they're definitely going to want a refund.

    In any event, in this alternate reality where I saw this leaked movie, I would have thought it kinda cool to see what a movie looks like before it's all polished up, but would still be very disappointed in the shoddy scripting/plot line.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    It doesn't make sense. If they were going to do that, they could just leak the first 5 or 10 minutes, or a single scene, or even some outtakes or something, and not give away pretty much the whole product. Minus the special effects, you still get to see the entire movie and know the ending, which makes going to a theater to see it after much less likely.

     

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    Kevin (profile), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Terminology check

    @ Weird Harold - No, the film was copied, not stolen. Stealing implies a loss of an object by the rightful owner. Fox still has possession of the movie. One of their people copied the film and dropped it into the internet.
    One of the major problems with the copyright hounds is that they purposely fudge their words and terminology to confuse the issue. Someone released an unauthorized copy. No one stole anything.

     

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    Adam_v1, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:42am

    You know the only way i can see this leak of the movie hurting the studios is if it well and truly sucked. Any time you have more attention and interest drawn to your product it can only be a good thing.

    Anyone who liked the leaked version is that much more likely to tell friends about it and see it in the theaters themselves.

    Even more interesting is that Brandon Sanderson (the guy whos working on the next wheel of time book) is actually purposefully making unfinished copies of his work available for free to drum up interest in the final product. Check out http://www.brandonsanderson.com/portal/Warbreaker for the link to the ebook.

     

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    Dixie Rector, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re:

     

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    Dixie Rector, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re:

    Here's an idea. Why don't you make your blog a paysite? That way you can get people to pay for your valuable opinion. Why give it away free every day? You can't ever make any money with "Free". Why not just post a sample of your post? "and perhaps the moon is made of green..." That would make people curious to see the rest of it. Voila! You made your content more valuable as people would have to pay to see the whole thing.

     

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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Assumptions as Facts...Again

    ...the NY Times article was written by the same reporter who recently wrote an article basically repeating unproven movie studio claims that piracy was damaging its business -- a point disproved weeks later in the same NY Times (by a different reporter) noting that the movie business is seeing a huge surge in attendance.

    Sigh. Once again, we're confusing assumptions and opinion as facts. The NYT story about increased attendance in no way "disproves" anything about the harm caused by piracy. There are any number of other reasons why attendance is up, and the Times article cites a number of them, including actual interviews with people about why they're going to the movies (it's often cheaper than some other entertainment options). It is only your by assumption that piracy always equals "promotion" and never affects tickets sales that you can make this claim. It's a baseless claim with no backing evidence.

    As has been pointed out over and over again, there's very little evidence that movie "piracy" cannibalizes film attendance. That's why the most "pirated" films are also the biggest box office hits.

    There is very little direct, concrete evidence that piracy harms ticket sales because there has been very little research in this area. If you're going to claim as bogus industry figures that piracy costs the industry billions of dollars because there is little actual research, just assumptions, you really shouldn't engage in the exact same sort of leaping logic. At least the industry can point to the number of downloads and calculate what should have been paid for those downloads. That figure may be inaccurate, but at least its a figure.

    And your statement that piracy helps films because the most pirated films are the biggest hits is laughable. It would be more accurate to say that the biggest hits are the most pirated films because those are the ones that pirates most want to see without paying.

    If anything, it seems the real fear is that the version that's been released isn't very good -- and that's what will keep people away from seeing the film in the theater.

    Of course it is! How could it be otherwise? This is the most frequent self-serving assumption I see here in comments. If leaked content is successful, it can only be because piracy helped promote it. If leaked content is unsuccessful, it can only be because the product isn't very good. There is no possibility that piracy reduced demand at the theater. Once again, taking assumptions as fact.

    If you don't think studios should go after criminals--and keep in mind that pre-release copying or "sharing" isn't just civil infringement, it's criminal infringement--what other criminal acts should we just ignore? Let's let Bernie Madoff out, too, while we're at it.

     

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    hegemon13, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re:

    "...which makes going to a theater to see it after much less likely."

    Except it doesn't. Many blockbuster movies have had fully finished copies leaked prior to release. Dark Knight was one of them. I don't think you could say it damaged people's willingness to see it in the theater. People go see action and special effects movies multiple times in the theater because of the viewing and social experiences that a theater offers. If Wolverine is a crappy movie, sure this will keep people away, and rightly so. If it is a good movie, people will go either way. Half the reason you watch a movie like Wolverine is the special effects. No one goes just to see the ending.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Re: Terminology check

    Oh gawd, give it a freaking rest. Someone obtained something they shouldn't have, with absolutely no legal way to have it.

    IT'S FREAKING STOLEN!

    If they made a copy in the building and then walked out with the copy (in any format) they stolen it.

    if they caused a copy to leave the building, they stolen it. All copies (even ones made at the moment of the theft) are automatically the property of the copyright holders at that moment - even a digital copy.

    Get off your high horse. Someone stolen it.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re:

    There is a business aspect to this site, you must be new here if you don't know.

    Mike and Co. put up the blog postings for free to get their name out so people with money hire them to help develop a personalized business model for various groups. They don't need to ask for money because this blog is essentially free advertising for them

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    The acting was horrible and.....

    ****SPOILER ALERT****

    Darth Vader is Luke's father!


    And you know what, I still went to see the movie...4 times, in fact.

     

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    Hamilton Cheeseburger, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Terminology check

    "Someone stolen it."

    The prosecution rests, Your Honor.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Terminology check

    typo, with my apologies. Teacher, can I return to my seat now?

    Nitpicker.

     

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    Valkor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Terminology check

    Thanks for showing off your law background there. Stealing is a criminal offense, punishable by jail time; Infringing is a civil offense, punishable by fines and property destruction.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    In theaters on May 1st. On The Pirate Bay by no later than April 30th.

    Sad, but likely, that some weasel will break all rules and make this happen.

     

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    Mike (profile), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Assumptions as Facts...Again

    And your statement that piracy helps films because the most pirated films are the biggest hits is laughable.

    Um. I didn't say that. Nice try, though! You even quoted what I did say: "As has been pointed out over and over again, there's very little evidence that movie "piracy" cannibalizes film attendance"

    You accuse me of saying the NY Times said stuff it didn't... but then you do the same thing to me.

    If leaked content is successful, it can only be because piracy helped promote it. If leaked content is unsuccessful, it can only be because the product isn't very good.

    Um, again, we never said that. Nice strawman though.

    I love how you accuse me of falsifying what the NYT said, but then you falsify what I said. Stunning.

    If you don't think studios should go after criminals--and keep in mind that pre-release copying or "sharing" isn't just civil infringement, it's criminal infringement--what other criminal acts should we just ignore? Let's let Bernie Madoff out, too, while we're at it.

    And the coup de grace of strawmen. Let's walk this through:

    (1) I point out how the studio could spend less and get more in response to this leak (i.e., help it's business)
    (2) LostSailor claims I said a bunch of stuff I didn't.
    (3) He thinks that means we should ignore all crime.

    I didn't say we should ignore all crime. I said that there are ways the studio can respond to this in a better way that costs them less and helps them more.

    How you go from that to Bernie Madoff is beyond me and the bounds of normal human logic.

     

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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Terminology check

    Of course it's stolen, but no one around here will ever, ever cop to that.

    It's understandable, really. Most people who engage in illegal file sharing of copyrighted material still think that they're "good people". They're not thieves, they're only "sharing" music. So they'll go to great lengths to use very narrow definitions to convince themselves that it's not "really" stealing.

    They're just obtaining content to which they have no right and absent illegal means would otherwise be obligated to pay for, without authorization or payment. It's harmless, really. How could anyone, including the content creators and distributors, conceivably object?

    Of course, in this case, because the movie hasn't been released yet, it's not "just infringement," it's a crime.

    But please, don't say it's stolen! That's heresy. Pirates are people, too, you know. And their self-esteem can be hurt, too.

     

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    The infamous Joe, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Terminology check

    You are clearly very, very confused.

    We are not talking about slang here, we are using the *legal* definition of "theft" and "compyright infringement".

    Read that again.

    One more time, please.

    The *legal* definition of theft is not equivalent to the *legal* definition of copyright infringement. It never will be! When you try to invoke the emotional response of "theft" when refering to copyright infringment, you are muddying the waters and making a rational conversation impossible.

    Please keep in mind, this does *not* mean any one is saying it is currently *legal* to infringe on someone's copyrights. It's still illegal, but *not* theft.

    There is no room for your personal opinions when dealing with legal definitions. Enough with your doublespeak propaganda, already. Sheesh.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    Tell that to the producers of The Dark Knight.

     

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    Phillip, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Terminology check

    steal –verb (used with object) 1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force So let's see... All copies are automatically the property of the copyright holders at that moment - even a digital copy. Oh wait, except that's not true at all. Copies of a work are not automatically property of the copyright holder. If you buy a book, for instance, it's yours. Get off your high horse. Someone stolen it. Having already shown that the copy does not belong to the copyright holder, we can see by the definition of "steal" above that nothing is being taken from them.

     

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    Phillip, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Dangit, when I use HTML for the formatting, I always forget to use my break tags :(

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Nope, this time it is absolutely theft.

    No slang, no nothing. If a copy was made on premises, that copy was also owned by the studios. Leaving with it was theft. The actual act of making a copy leave the building is theft.

    It's the rare time where it isn't debatable.

     

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    B, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: B

    "this isn't /b!"

    Heh... I didn't know the "In Before (insert thing here)" was a 4chan original.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    On the discussion of terminology, Some day I'm going to be able to label you as an asshole. See:


    Nope, this time it is absolutely dumb.

    If an asshole was made on the premises, that asshole was also owned by the studios. Leaving it was dumb. The actual act of making a asshole leave the building is dumb.

    It's the rare time where it isn't debatable.

     

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    Danny, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Thing is though with a comic book movie the diehard fans are mainly going for the effects. How many people are going to see this movie to learn the story of Wolverine? I sure as aren't (I mainly want to see Gambit and Sabertooth done right unlike that stupid mute from the first X-Men movie) and you can bet that most people want to see this movie to watch Wolverine kick some ass. And special effects enhance the quality of that ass-kicking.

    The last bootleg movie I watched was the first Matrix movie and the quality of the bootleg was so awful plus wataching it on a pc screen aggrevated me so much I went and saw it at the movies the next day anyway.

    And like hegemon says blockbuster hits are the most likely to get leaked and low and behold they still become blockbuster hits.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Well, let's see, yes I do believe that I am, overall a good person. Yes, I do download music, not really into movies, don't like the small screen size. Now, about 25 years ago I had this thing called a stereo, which included a cassette recorder. I would record songs off the radio, or even (GASP) double deck them from a friend's cassette. So if downloading a copy from the internet is such an issue, why wasn't it such an issue 25 years ago?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: B

    WH was probably banned from there.

     

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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    I guess the U.S. Congress confused, too, when they passed the "No Electronic Theft Act" in 1997.

    From West's Encyclopedia of Law:

    Theft: A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person's consent.

    The term theft is sometimes used synonymously with Larceny. Theft, however, is actually a broader term, encompassing many forms of deceitful taking of property, including swindling, Embezzlement, and False Pretenses. Some states categorize all these offenses under a single statutory crime of theft.


    For example, Federal law explicitly criminalizes the theft of proprietary business information and electronic data and expressly calls it stealing, even if it was "only" copied, not physically "taken."

    Essentially, "copying" this movie before it's released is in a very similar category, and the No Electronic Theft act criminalizes it.

    It's understandable you would want to use very precise "legal" definitions of theft and stealing so such activity can be "just copying." But, and especially in this specific case, it's just not so.

     

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  44.  
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    Common Sense, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Re:

    I beg to differ. It's only a crime if Fox can pay, I mean get, a jury to find someone guilty. Like Mike said, if it was leaked, and they sent a message out saying, "Hey, check it out if you want, but it's a rough draft so make sure you pay for the final version May 1st." I would have said, "Hey, thanks Fox, I probably will!" The way they handled it, I'm more likely to to snag a bootleg or borrow it from a friend that's dumb enough to give Fox money for treating them like a criminal, than I am to even rent it myself, never mind buy it or pay to see it in the theater.

    Think about Google, and how they release their software with extended beta testing periods and limited beta users (compare people who get invited to people who can find the leaked file, it's out there for anyone that wants it, but you've got to do a little work). When they finally release the 1.0 version, they've got such a following already that there's no chance of a flop. It's like what movie makers have been doing for years with Trailers, it shouldn't be a bad thing because unless it reveals that you're making total crap, it won't do anything but build excitement.

     

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  45.  
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    jmzrbnsn (profile), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Cow Down

    I think you mean kowtow.

     

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  46.  
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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Assumptions as Facts...Again

    Um. I didn't say that. Nice try, though! You even quoted what I did say: "As has been pointed out over and over again, there's very little evidence that movie "piracy" cannibalizes film attendance"

    You accuse me of saying the NY Times said stuff it didn't... but then you do the same thing to me.


    Point taken and conceded: sloppy writing on my part. However, I'll just note, that you fail to address the point that the NYT article in no way supports your statement "a point disproved weeks later in the same NY Times (by a different reporter) noting that the movie business is seeing a huge surge in attendance."

    Nice sidestep.

    Um, again, we never said that. Nice strawman though.

    Not so fast. Who is this "we"? I referred to the "the most frequent self-serving assumption I see here in comments." If you're assuming I said you said that you would be incorrect, but this comes up again and again in comments. See the comment thread about U2's recent album release. Heck, even if a successful content provider holds differing opinions, commenters come out of the woodwork claiming that their content "sucks" and they have not talent anyway.

    And the coup de grace of strawmen. Let's walk this through:

    (1) I point out how the studio could spend less and get more in response to this leak (i.e., help it's business)
    (2) LostSailor claims I said a bunch of stuff I didn't.


    Talk about straw. Yes, let's walk this through:

    1. you point out that the studio shouldn't treat criminals as criminals ("Rather than being treated like criminals, they'd be treated like fans -- and with a bit of honesty") because in your opinion as a movie maker it would "help" the business.

    2. LostSailor poses a question about whether you think studios should go after criminals or not, and if so, what other crimes you think should be ignored. Clearly, as quoted above you don't think the studios should, in your opinion, waste money going after criminals. I never claimed you said stuff you didn't; I posed a conditional question based on what you clearly wrote.

    3. Mike blatantly misrepresents what I wrote and twists my question into a statement that we should ignore all crime. He never actually answers the question. Again.

    As for my barb about Mr. Madoff, it's called a small bit of hyperbole to make a point.

     

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  47.  
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    AnonCow, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Funny that I would have never heard about this if 20th C. hadn't made such a big deal out of it. Streisand in the house!

     

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  48.  
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    The infamous Joe, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    I've found you can use HTML tags just fine without selecting the HTML checkbox. No break tags required, but you can still link and format text.

    Just FYI.

     

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  49.  
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    Yakko Warner, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Actually, to be fair...

    We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it.

    Potentially true, probably bluffing. :)

     

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  50.  
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    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    You guys are funny. The point of the article (did anyone actually read it?) wasn't whether the leak was a "theft" or "infringement" or whatever technical legal term you want to call it. It was about one way that Fox might handle it now that the movie is out there.

    The genie is out of the bottle, and Fox isn't going to be able to put it back in. So, what's the best way to spin it to people who might see the leaked version?

    Personally, I don't see why it has to be an either-or situation. Why can't Fox fully prosecute the person responsible for the initial leak (which I agree with WH was a criminal act) while at the same time releasing a statement like the one Mike lists in the article?

     

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  51.  
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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re:

    I beg to differ. It's only a crime if Fox can pay, I mean get, a jury to find someone guilty.

    No, it's still a crime, no matter whether anyone is arrested or convicted.

    I'm more likely to to snag a bootleg or borrow it from a friend that's dumb enough to give Fox money for treating them like a criminal...

    I get it. It's okay for them to be a criminal as long as you don't treat them like a criminal.

    Think about Google, and how they release their software with extended beta testing periods and limited beta users...

    First, it's Google's choice to release a beta, and normally the purpose of a beta version is not necessarily to draw a following but to test a product widely under real-use conditions to reveal unknown bugs and gauge how well a product meets user needs.

    It's like what movie makers have been doing for years with Trailers

    Trailers are ads. They're not the whole movie.

     

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  52.  
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    Him ThatIs, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    "The NY Times even describes this as unprecedented..."

    Just to add to the story. Back when the movie 300 was still in theaters you could go to the local Asian flae market stands near my home and buy the dvd, in the case, all official, for $10.

     

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  53.  
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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    So if downloading a copy from the internet is such an issue, why wasn't it such an issue 25 years ago?

    It was. But it was also on a much smaller scale.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Another avenue for Fox PR:

    Think of it as "Wolverine: The Beta Edition". We welcome your feedback!

     

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  55.  
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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Incorrect.

    Copyright infringement by "the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution" is specifically defined by statute as a criminal offense.

     

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  56.  
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    Danny, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Precisely. Someone made an unauthorized copy and then got it off of the premises of the studio. The copy was made without permission and then taken without permission. Something being taken without permission is part of the definition of theft is it not?

     

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    superdude, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    "This line of thinking makes me wonder: If I am paying $20 to be entertained, but I'm not entertained, why don't I get my money back? If someone pays me to build a robot and I give them a stuffed animal instead, they're definitely going to want a refund."

    Southpark has already explained this, if you demand your money back Mel Gibson will hunt you down.

    On another note, since Fox stole Watchmen from WB, isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Exactly. No one here is debating the legality of what has occurred here. Copying something without permission is 100% illegal but it is not the same thing as theft. Stop being a douche and trying to twist everyone's words to act like you are a beacon of morality.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: B

    not.

     

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    robin, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    It was. But it was also on a much smaller scale.

    disagree: it was on a much slower scale.

    as a content industry spokesperson, what you're failing to admit is your hatred towards every computer that rolls off the assembly line. as it's each and every one of these computers that by their very design and nature makes capable the instant spread of copying.

    question: are you guys going after kids with thumbdrives? there's several of them in my daughters' backpacks right now. there's several of them in each of their friends backpacks right now. all color co-ordinated and filled with music files (inter alia of course).

    when and where does your assault end? i'm sure there are very deliberate and intelligent discussions about this w/in the content protection industry. mind sharing some of your insights? thanx!

     

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    Patty, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:44pm

    Wolverine Leak - Lost Opportunity

    If the studio was smart they would pay close attention to fan comments about the leaked version. Editing the final cut to reflect thoughtful critiques from the target audience would yield a better film, one that even MORE people would want to see

    The studio wouldn't have to wait until it was released, panned and a dud. They could fix it before it was too late.

    Such a wasted opportunity.

     

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    RD, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    WeirdHarold and the Art of 'TardFail

    "this is one of those things where regardless of how you feel about copyright, patents, file sharing, whatever, you should be brilliant enough to realize that this is a crime, one that could cost the studio involved millions of dollars, and can impair their ability to properly market their product. The movie was stolen, period, no infinite horsecrap here. Someone stole it."

    While that is a very emotional argument (why are you so angry btw???), unfortunately its is incorrect. This is infringement, as has been shown to you time and time again. This has a different legal standing than theft. YOU can CALL it theft, but just because you are a shill for the industry and you can hop up and down crying "THIEF!" doesnt mean thats what it is. Sorry, but the law just doesnt work that way, no matter how you might wish it did.

    If this was TRUE theft, then they WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RELEASE THE MOVIE, as they would not HAVE POSSESSION OF IT ANYMORE.

    Someday, I hope someone steals something real from you, so you can see the difference.

     

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    LostSailor, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    disagree: it was on a much slower scale.

    Okay, it was both slower and smaller scale.

    as a content industry spokesperson, what you're failing to admit is your hatred towards every computer that rolls off the assembly line. as it's each and every one of these computers that by their very design and nature makes capable the instant spread of copying.

    I'm not a content industry spokesman, but nice try. I love computers. Have several. Use 'em in business. Been using 'em for 25 years. Again, nice try.

    As for the last point, cars are capable of moving at speeds well over 100 mph. But speeding is still illegal. Just because you can do something with a machine doesn't make it legal.

    question: are you guys going after kids with thumbdrives? there's several of them in my daughters' backpacks right now. there's several of them in each of their friends backpacks right now.

    Thanks. We'll send someone right over.

    when and where does your assault end? i'm sure there are very deliberate and intelligent discussions about this w/in the content protection industry. mind sharing some of your insights? thanx!

    I haven't assaulted anyone. Personally, I'd love a deliberate and intelligent discussion. I've even had them in comment threads here, though they're not the norm.

    I'm not in the least against new business models that allow free sharing of content. But the general tenor of discussion here is that any idea or model that attempts to monetize content is shot down, sometimes viciously so.

    Most serious commenters do not advocate illegal file sharing, and Mike has explicitly said so as well. He just thinks that when it happens content providers should ignore it.

    One of my main points in many threads has been that experimenting with different business models is crucial, but no responsible business is going to change their basic model until they have some hard evidence that a different model is going to work, and work in a way that sustains and increases revenue. With all due respect to Mike, the examples he regularly touts are generally small scale and have yet to prove sustainable in a market where they are widespread.

    For example, no one is going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a film using the model of "give away the content and sell the scarcity" unless they are pretty well convinced that this model will not only recoup their investment, but make them as much money as possible. When a shift happens, it will start with smaller studios and films and grow from there.

    It will take time. But the basic tenor in these parts is that this change should be made immediately, on a wide scale, and we'll see what happens. No responsible company, especially a publicly held company, is going to jump in with both feet and hope they can leverage free content to sell enough scarcities to support their business.

     

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  64.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:19pm

    Re: WeirdHarold and the Art of 'TardFail

    Apparently you have never made a movie.

    In the process of making a movie, a number of rough cuts are made, especially now that much of the editing is done digitally. So the editor bangs out a tape (or a dvd) and those are used for viewings within the studio.

    While they are copies, they are property of the studio. If one is taken from the studio without permission, guess what:

    IT WAS STOLEN.

    Just because they have the original master doesn't mean that something wasn't stolen.

    ... as for the shill comment, well, gee, umm, nope. Just another thing you are wrong about.

     

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  65.  
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    Buzz, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    ... because Weird Harold says so?

    You can't just state "it's theft no matter what anyone else says". You clearly have failed in this debate and so have resorted to covering your ears and and shouting at the world.

    I doubt many will argue against you that piracy is inherently wrong/unethical, but continually calling it "stealing" only further demonstrates your ignorance on the matter. You have been proven wrong a thousand times, but you continue calling it "theft".

    Sure, it's wrong. It's evil. It's bad. It's a "problem". Call it whatever you want, but you seem gage how nefarious a deed is in determining whether it is "theft" rather than looking at what is actually taking place.

     

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  66.  
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    Buzz, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    It's like accusing someone of 1st degree murder because "petty theft" isn't a strong enough term.

    ...

    Nevermind the fact that no one died... We just like calling crimes by other crimes' names to make them feel worse about their evil deed...

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    If he stole a physical copy of a tape then yes it's stealing. If he made a copy on his thumbdrive and left the original intact then NO, it is not stealing. Not that complicated.

     

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  68.  
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    Fuzz, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Trailers are ads. They're not the whole movie."

    Isn't that essentially what we're still dealing with, a rather long trailer? I mean, sure, it's the whole movie, minus the sound and video effects. You know, all the good stuff. Possibly not the final edit of stock footage either. Thus it was not the actual movie that was stolen, in that it is not in a condition that they would have released it. There will be no "Extended Director's cut" setting side by side with "Crappy Unfinished version leaked on the net".

    Semantics, I know. It was their intellectual property and taken without permission. If I came to your house and took copies of all your titles, deeds, and dirty pics of your wife, you'd be a bit pissed whether i then posted them on the net or not.

    Regardless, if a trailer length section of footage were taken in the same manner it would amount to the same "crime" though I doubt that it would receive as much attention. Though I have only personally acquired empirical evidence, I put forth that humans are inherently curious creatures, and the ones I know would want to see the difference between to two, compare and discuss. Did they really add anything to it, or was it just a few worthless, albeit spectacular, explosions? Did they add a new scene, or just delete the part you were looking forward to most?

    The main point of this article, I believe, is that the situation could have been handled better. It could have, it wasn't, and I doubt there going to change their stance. Their prerogative. But they themselves alerted me to the leak with their blowing and stomping to put out what could have only been smoke and is very clearly (according to them) now a fire.

    Feel free to argue with me, I doubt I'll be back this way, was just passing through on my way to the torrent site.

     

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  69.  
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    AnOnAmOuSe, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:41pm

    Tis this a balance

    May be the Piracy/Piracy Crackdown is in perpetual balance.

    After all should piracy be totally eradicated, I'm certain the recording industry would force up prices.
    As it stands if the price of things increase then so would piracy to counteract it.
    The recording industry must always "go after" the pirates or piracy may well become rampant!

    Technlogy and piracy forces the industry into new business models (be it ever so slow) and piracy must change to compete with these new models.

    Maybe, just maybe, the Ying balances the Yang and all is right in the world...

     

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  70.  
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    Jesus Christ!!, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    Jesus Christ!

    Jesus Christ!!!!! 67 comments in and people are STILL harping on whether it's theft or not?!?!? That's not the point! Mike even says it if you would bother for one second to read the article:" ... 20th Century Fox has wasted no time in going after anyone sharing the film and trying to hunt down who leaked it. That is, of course, the company's right." RIGHT AFTER THAT he makes the point that most of you seem to have missed: "But, it does seem that its resources might be better spent focusing on giving people a real reason to go see the film in the theaters."
    It's about business, not endlessly bickering over what's right and what's wrong. Incessantly reciting "COPYING = STEALING = BAD = SUE" does nothing to further the discussion. Constantly babbling THEFT THEFT THEFT LALALALALA I'M NOT LISTENING TO YOU is the absolute least productive, proactive or constructive thing you can spend your time doing. But commenting on it and trying to explain things to people who refuse to listen is probably not far behind.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Again, wrong. As soon as he made a copy on the thumb drive, that copy was also property of the studio (and still in the editting room they are paying for) and had to be physically removed.

    It all comes to the same thing in the end.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Wow you're a fucking idiot.

     

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    RD, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    HAD IT with this idiot

    Dear Weird Harold,

    You are wrong. Again. If you cant accept it, please go bother people somewhere else. Here is why you are wrong, for THE LAST TIME:

    Copyright infringement is often equated with theft, for instance in the title of the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997, but differs in certain respects.

    Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft, holding, for instance, in Dowling v. United States (1985) that bootleg phonorecords did not (for the purpose of the case) constitute stolen property, and writing:

    interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: ... 'an infringer of the copyright.' ...

    The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use. While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.
    —Dowling v. United States, 473 U.S. 207, pp. 217–218

    The key distinction generally drawn, as indicated above, is that while copyright infringement may (or may not) cause economic loss to the copyright holder, as theft does, it does not appropriate a physical object, nor deprive the copyright holder of the use of the copyright. That information can be replicated without destroying an original is an old observation,[53] and a cornerstone of intellectual property law. In economic terms, information is not a rival good; this has led some to argue that it is very different in character, and that laws for physical property and intellectual property should be very different.[54]

    Let me point out one key part again:

    "That information can be replicated without destroying an original is an old observation,[53] and a cornerstone of intellectual property law. "

    Source: Wikipedia AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO ISNT IN THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS. This is WIDELY known law and there is NUMEROUS CASE LAW to back it up. This guy didnt "steal" anything, he infringed on the copyright. PLEASE shut the fuck up now.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re:

    "Again, wrong. As soon as he made a copy on the thumb drive, that copy was also property of the studio (and still in the editting room they are paying for) and had to be physically removed.

    It all comes to the same thing in the end."

    What about in the case of a DVD that's been legally purchased? Say I buy a DVD of Wolverine when it comes out, copy it, and then give that copy to someone? It's still copyright infringement, but can you still call it theft when it's a copy that I made of a DVD that I own and then give to someone else?

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    ...one that could cost the studio involved millions of dollars, and can impair their ability to properly market their product...

    How?

     

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  76.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    Re: HAD IT with this idiot

    I love you.

     

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  77.  
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    RD, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Thank you

    "by Rose M. Welch - Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 4:37pm

    I love you"


    Haha thank you, thank you very much. I'm here every day, twice on Thursdays.

     

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  78.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Since there are no legal Wolverine DVDs, it's moot.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    Perhaps then it's best no one invests $100 million into a market you can no longer manage your existing business model in. It's not a new phenomenon this advance leaking thing..

     

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  80.  
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    RD, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    And YET AGAIN!

    "What about in the case of a DVD that's been legally purchased? Say I buy a DVD of Wolverine when it comes out, copy it, and then give that copy to someone? It's still copyright infringement, but can you still call it theft when it's a copy that I made of a DVD that I own and then give to someone else?" - AC

    "Since there are no legal Wolverine DVDs, it's moot." - WH

    DO YOU EVER READ THE COMMENTS YOU RESPOND TO??? JESUS! No matter what the argument, you NEVER answer the question put, you REMOVE key items then answer THAT question. WTF is wrong with you? Do you have a pathological need to get the last word and be "right" even if you have to CHANGE THE QUESTION and create strawman arguments to do it? Your viewpoints have been DESTROYED here, and you keep proving you have ZERO comprehension of the issues and the legalities, and you dont even bother to respond to an actual question without changing it around so it fits YOUR worldview. Got news for you pal: just because you stick your fingers in your ears and go "lalalala" and ignore reality doesnt mean reality isnt still out there doing its thing. Time to grow up and get a clue.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 6:49pm

    Piracy loss is inflated...

    In reality, if they're losing anything, its a $0.99 rental from NetFlix (or whoever) once the DVD is available. I'd bet those that want to go see the movie, will go see the movie, regardless of the availability on the internet. Those who would watch it and not go see the movie are most likely those who would "maybe" have rented it later on anyway.

     

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    superdude, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 6:51pm

    I think weird harold works for the RIAA or someone like that. Just ignore him, he is a worthless corporate shill out to spread FUD amongst the public in order to protect a mostly dead business model.

    On another note, if these RIAA types track your internet traffic, isn't that an invasion of privacy? I mean by finding you, they are stalking you online, and spying on you,invading your privacy. Could you not counter sue for more than the 150k? Also I do believe there are laws against ideas like the 150k per song idea. something about a 150k fine for a song being sold for like 99 cents seems illegal to me.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL What a cop out! I DID say "when it comes out," didn't I? We're talking about copyright infringement as theft! It doesn't matter what movie I use as an example.

     

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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The correct answer is: It is still theft.

    The only difference is that lifting a tape or disc from a studio is a pretty clear cut and easy case to make, the rest is a little harder, and so far has been treated under copyright infringement rather than being prosecuted by authorities as petty theft.

    That may change at some point in the future, when the copyright laws get a nice overhaul.

     

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  85.  
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    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    I am sorry

    I am wrong, I admit it, about everything. I can't keep this up any more. I have been wrong in every decision I have ever made. Excuse me as I cry myself to sleep tonight.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So it's still theft, the laws just haven't caught up with you yet. Got it. LOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 7:39pm

    Re: I am sorry

    I am also a chronic bed wetter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, just that nobody has really ventured down that road in a while. The last being Dowling vs United States, which dates back to 1985, long before mass file sharing.

    "interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright: ... 'an infringer of the copyright.' ...

    The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use. While one may colloquially link infringement with some general notion of wrongful appropriation, infringement plainly implicates a more complex set of property interests than does run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud."

    If anything, the court seems to suggest that infringement is actually more than theft, not easily defined as only theft. However, since then, you can look at the 1997 NET act:

    http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/17-18red.htm

    Which creates the term of "criminal infringement". This actually should be of interest to anyone trading copies of software like abode CS3 complete, which retails over $1000. I am not aware of any case law as a result of this law.

     

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  89.  
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    cram, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:32pm

    wonder why

    I wonder why everyone says credit card information is always "stolen" and not "infringed upon." After all, if I gain access to your credit card information, you haven't lost anything. You still have that information. How could I possibly steal it?

    Can someone please explain?

     

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  90.  
    icon
    Darren Tomlyn (profile), Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 10:48pm

    Theft - or not?

    I'm of the opinion - (note that this may, or may not agree with the law) - that acts such as copying a movie/film/piece of music etc. BEFORE it's been officially released, should not come under copyright law at all, but under TRADE SECRET intellectual property law instead.

    Yes, they may steal a DVD or CD etc. with the data on it, in which case you can do them for the theft of an object too, but if they're stupid enough to do that then they deserve it.

    The reason WHY I say it would be better and more consistent via trade secrets, is that in that part of the law, there is a clear difference between a civil and criminal offense, which I feel is exactly what really matters here as far as the sort of information media companies deal with. The reason for this, is that this sort of information, in the grand scheme of things, is simply NOT IMPORTANT enough to humanity for it to be worth getting all that hot and bothered about, and therefore for the GOVERNMENT to be involved and for the TAX-PAYER to have to end up paying for any of the proceedings - (which will happen if the accused hasn't got enough money/assets). I.e. - there's not enough ACTUAL benefit for the tax-payer in order to make it a criminal case - UNLESS, the person is making a profit from it... (Which isn't the case here).

    Yes, the media companies might reckon that without them civilization would fall apart, but of course that's a load of bullshit - given how long civilization existed before copyright was invented, (let alone media companies have existed), I think we can survive, (and maybe even benefit!) without either.

    So, how would it be dealt with as a trade secret? Well, I'm just going to point out the short section in law that defines a criminal act rather than a civil one to support my case - (with a couple of words capitalized to make my point):


    2. Elements of the Criminal Offenses

    a. Economic Espionage (obviously not affected by the matter we're talking about).

    Section 1831, "economic espionage," requires that the theft of trade secrets benefits a foreign government, instrumentality, or agent in some manner. (25) This type of misappropriation of trade secrets not only covers outright theft (26) or unauthorized duplication, (27) but also includes trafficking in stolen trade secrets, (28) as well as the attempt (29) and conspiracy (30) to commit these offenses. Section 1831 includes an intent component requiring that the misappropriation be "knowingly" committed. (31)

    b. Theft of Trade Secrets (THIS ONE!)

    Section 1832, "theft of trade secrets," applies to the misappropriation of trade secrets for the ECONOMIC BENEFIT of anyone other than the true owner. (32) Unlike [section] 1831, offenses are not limited to activities that benefit a foreign government. However, three prosecutorial limitations exist that are not present in the "economic espionage" offense:

    (33) (i) the intended benefit realized must be economic in nature; (34) (ii) the thief must intend or know that the offense will injure the rightful owner; (35) and (iii) the stolen information must be "related to or included in a product produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce." (36)

    Like [section] 1831, [section] 1832 also contains an intent component requiring that the misappropriation be "knowingly" committed. As interpreted by some federal circuits, the attempt and conspiracy provisions of [section] 1832 do not require the existence of an actual trade secret. (37)


    This last section, IMHO, would makes far more sense for the media companies to deal with when people are selling pre-release copies of media goods, (i.e. for commercial gain). Since the current distribution of Wolverine is NOT commercial, however, then it should come under CIVIL law, and not criminal - i.e. it should NOT be a crime.

    (Though, yes, if the person who copied it took a disc with it on, then they should be prosecuted for stealing the disc, but not copying the film. Of course, there's nothing wrong with the studio taking the person to a CIVIL court for damages, which is exactly what should be done - the disagreement is between the studio and the person copying their film, and shouldn't really involve the government - the government should only really be involved in commercial copyright infringement - not because of copyright, but because it's the GOVERNMENTS role to decide who can run a commercial business in its territory, and therefore it now becomes a criminal case between the government and the person/people involved, rather than a civil case between two parties).

    Of course, this is all my idea and opinion of how it SHOULD work for humanities benefit, but of course all media companies don't care about humanity, only their own (hugely inflated) self worth...

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    You Wouldn�t Steal A Car, Would You?

    You wouldn’t fly a jet aircraft into the Twin Towers, would you?

    Then stop using bloody inappropriate analogies to justify your collapsing business models.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    robin, Apr 3rd, 2009 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    when it happens content providers should ignore it

    no sir, they should not ignore it. they should leverage the fans' excitement, not prosecute it. if i'm not mistaken, wasn't this the point of mike's alternative universe?

    For example, no one is going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a film using the model of "give away the content and sell the scarcity" unless they are pretty well convinced that this model will not only recoup their investment

    imho, you either innovate, or wait and watch it pass you by. our mutual friend mr. masnick has written on this subject i believe. check it out.

    and work in a way that sustains and increases revenue

    sustains? i agree that it's important to remain a going concern :), but having some sort of guarantee or promise up front that revenues will increase is silly. don't risk and innovation go hand-in-hand?

    It will take time....

    agreed. on the subject of immediate change, it seems to me that no successful, thus cautious, company will jump in with both feet. normal human behavior. and to their own detriment too.

    the problem we all face, company or individual, is that the tools forcing change are all out there already, being used every day, by everyone. which is a wonderful opportunity.

    Thanks. We'll send someone right over.

    cool!

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    LostSailor, Apr 3rd, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    sustains? i agree that it's important to remain a going concern :), but having some sort of guarantee or promise up front that revenues will increase is silly. don't risk and innovation go hand-in-hand?

    I said nothing about a guarantee. There is no guarantee even in the current business model of the film industry. But you can be damn sure that investors do their homework calculating the risk and the likelihood of their ROI.

    I'm all for innovation, but as an investor, I want to know that "selling the scarcities" is going to make me money before I plunk down millions of dollars to give away a product.

    The old business models aren't going away anytime soon because there's still a pile of money to be made. Maybe not as much as there used to be, but still plenty.

     

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  94.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 3rd, 2009 @ 8:20pm

    I'm not at all interested in watching an unfinished copy of a movie.

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 3rd, 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Wolverine leak

    I agree with you in principle, but I think we should look a little deeper.
    Good news is appreciated, but BAD news sells!
    If the movies said "well done"; little or no effect. If, on the other hand, they make a huge deal of it, the publicity that comes from their "stupid" actions is great - notice your comment that pirated movies sell better in the theaters. You assume that is because people saw the pirated version; I assume it is because of all the negative stuff that goes on when a movie is pirated.
    I think if I were in a position with one of the movie moguls, I would say "leak it and YELL!".

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Tactics Master, Apr 4th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    LostSailer, the Lackey.

    1. LostSailer is an investor, by own admission.
    2. LostSailer uses terms such as "selling the scarcities", which are not used in most people's daily dialogue.
    3. LostSailer is extremely bitter about this specific situation, as well as copyright infringement in general.

    Thus, we can deduce that LostSailer has a large interest in the financial rewards from movies, and most likely belongs to the corporate sector of the entertainment industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    LostSailor, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Re: LostSailer, the Lackey.

    Epic fail.

    1. was talking about investing in films in a generic sense. I'm an investor the same way most Americans are: I have a dwindling 401K. Never invested in films.

    2. Gee, as if no one on Techdirt ever talks about "selling the scarcities".

    3. Not bitter at all. Just would like folks around these parts to get their facts straight all in the greater effort to facilitate a discussion.

    Deduction is off by several magnitudes.

    Conclusion: Tactics Master is neither a master or a tactician. Epic fail. But we'll give you a "C" for effort.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    First, it's Google's choice to release a beta, and normally the purpose of a beta version is not necessarily to draw a following but to test a product widely under real-use conditions to reveal unknown bugs and gauge how well a product meets user needs.

    just want to throw it out that while that used to be the norm, it no longer is. it really is mostly just to build excitement, the bet of old a has become the alpha of new and the Prealpha of new is what the alpha of old used to be.

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    Most serious commenters do not advocate illegal file sharing, and Mike has explicitly said so as well. He just thinks that when it happens content providers should ignore it.

    No, he doesn't say they should ignore it. He says that they should spin it to their advantage instead of making themselves look like the big bad guy. think of when the motto was "fight the man" or whatever else, people did anything to "oppose the man". Now the Content industries are in the position of "the man" they can either play to the stereotype and make people hate them even more, or they can try and spin things to make them look like they really care about their customers. Alternatively they could *gasp* actually care about their customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Joshington Burness, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: LostSailer, the Lackey.

    Wow, LostSailer was just pretty much pwned by Tactics Master. Zing! Give him an A for wind-up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    LostSailor, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: LostSailer, the Lackey.

    Apparently the standards for pwnage have fallen greatly of late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102.  
    identicon
    LostSailor, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd agree, to some extent. But Google's recent release, for example, of the Chrome browser fits the "beta as testing" model.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103.  
    identicon
    dusparr, May 8th, 2009 @ 9:43pm

    so, theoretically, if i were to make a torrent that linked to my Neverwinter nights folder right now, and let people make copies of it, have I stolen it?
    NO.

    Why?
    because at no point during my torrent creation have I expressly created a copy of the data.

    Have people stolen it from me?
    No.
    Why?
    EULA says it is not mine.

    so what have I done?
    I have "facilitated the ability to create and use copies of data that were not currently in my possession."


    First, I want someone to define that.
    Second, I want to know if that makes steel companies fall into it, as steel can be made into many things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    i'm sorry, i just cannot possibly feel sorry for Fox, their wealth is abosulutly staggering, someone could steal *everything* in the building and i wouldn't feel sorry for them, they can afford it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Terminology check

    but fox has a stupidly huge amount of money, even if they lost money on the movie I can't see it hurting them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106.  
    identicon
    Kyle, Jul 26th, 2010 @ 6:48pm

    Movie replicaters are illegal too?

    So I guess if I walk into a movie store and use my Object Replicater Ray Gun to copy a physical DVD while leaving the original copy safe in the store I am now a bad guy right?

    *runs home and watches the replicated DVD of Harry Spotter er Potter before getting caught by the police right before the big ending and the replicator gun taken away then smashed)


    Psssssssssst.

    What is a "sin" may not be a crime while what's a crime may not be a "sin".

    You decide for yourself in your own soul.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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