60 Minutes Puts Forth Laughable, Factually Incorrect MPAA Propaganda On Movie Piracy

from the no-sense-of-history dept

31 years ago, in 1978, the television program 60 Minutes put on an episode about the awful threat of "video piracy" to the movie industry. Featuring the MPAA's Jack Valenti, the episode focused on how the VCR was going to destroy the movie business because anyone could copy and watch a movie in the privacy of their own home. Of course, in retrospect, that episode is hilariously wrong. You would think that, given how wrong they got it thirty years ago on this particular subject, 60 Minutes would be a bit more careful taking on the same subject again.

No such luck.

CBS's 60 Minutes has made itself out to be more of a laughingstock than usual when it comes to "investigative reporting," putting on an episode about "video piracy" that is basically 100% MPAA propaganda, without any fact checking or any attempt to challenge the (all MPAA connected) speakers, or to include anyone (anyone!) who would present a counterpoint. The episode is funny in that it contradicts itself at times (with no one noticing it) and gets important (and easily checked) facts wrong. And, of course, it basically mimics that old episode that history has shown to have been totally (laughably) false.

The report opens with the claim that counterfeit movies is where organized crime is making its money these days. Fascinating. Except they don't show any proof whatsoever that organized crime has anything to do with movie piracy at all. They just claim it, talk about Mexican gangs, and then assume it must be true. But, of course, most of the report actually focuses on the internet and file sharing of movies -- which completely goes against the claim that organized crime is "making its money" off of video piracy. After all, reports have shown that online file sharing has actually been putting DVD counterfeiters out of business. You would think that the "journalists" at 60 Minutes might have noticed this contradiction.

A big chunk of the episode is taken up by director Steven Soderbergh, who has come out in the past touting the MPAA's line before, so it's no surprise that he does so again. He claims that "piracy is costing Hollywood $6 billion a year at the box office." Does he mention that Hollywood has been making more and more and more at the box office every year the past few years? Oops. No. Did the reporters at 60 Minutes look into this fact and bring it up? Of course not. The entire story appears to be an MPAA press release, so you don't want to cloud it with pesky facts that prove they don't know what they're talking about.

Next up, Soderbergh claims that fewer movies are getting made thanks to movie piracy. Uh huh. Another checkable fact. Another one wrong. It was recently summarized, according to the movie industry's own numbers:
2004 Total Movies Released: 567 Total Combined Gross: $9,327,315,935
2005 Total Movies Released: 594 Total Combined Gross: $8,825,324,278
2006 Total Movies Released: 808 Total Combined Gross: $9,225,689,414
2007 Total Movies Released: 1022 Total Combined Gross: $9,665,661,126
2008 Total Movies Released: 1037 Total Combined Gross: $9,705,677,862
2009 Total Movies Released: 1177 Total Combined Gross: $7,596,626,766
(2009 figures incomplete, total movies scheduled to be released, gross to date)
So, actually, more than double the number of movies are being made today than just five years ago. Hmm. That's the sort of thing that a real journalist at a show like 60 Minutes might bring up to a biased director like Steven Soderberg, right? Nope.

The article mentions how to go to the movies these days, some people have to go through "airport-like security. Their bags are searched for cameras and they have to check their cell phones." Does it point out that this might be a pretty serious reason why people might not want to go to the movies? A reason why people might actually give less money to the industry? Nope. Why bother with details like that?

And then, 60 Minutes brings on our favorite industry spokesperson: Rick Cotton, NBC Universal's general counsel, the guy who warned that movie piracy put corn farmers at risk because people watching pirated movies eat less popcorn (never mind the fact that the corn industry is thriving, that people watching pirated movies still eat popcorn, and "popcorn" represents an infinitesimal part of the market...). Cotton was also the guy who thought it was a good idea to push people who wanted to watch the Olympics to pirate it rather than watch the crappy official online channel. Cotton is asked how many movies are released in the US:
"Ballpark, 400 to 500 movies are released in the United States."
Except, as we noted above, he's off by about 600 or 700 movies. Again, this is the sort of "fact" that a reporter, such as those employed by CBS and working on a television program like 60 Minutes might be expected to check, right? I would guess that most viewers of 60 Minutes expect the show's reporters and legions of other employees to do such basic fact checking. So, given that 1177 movies are going to be released in 2009, doesn't it make sense to, say, push back on Cotton's bogus number? Apparently not.

Random aside: I wonder how much money CBS makes from the big studios buying movie ads? That can't be important here, can it?

Most of the rest of the program is Soderbergh making a bunch of totally unsubstantiated statements, such as saying that no one would make The Matrix today. Why? No explanation. It's just that Sodergbergh says.

And, of course, beyond failing to fact check the most basic facts, no one at 60 Minutes thought to talk to anyone outside of the studio system to see if it made sense. It didn't talk to any one of the growing number of people who are making movies and embracing file sharing to help get those movies seen. It didn't talk to moviemakers who are embracing new business models. It didn't talk to copyright experts and consumer advocates who have shown how ridiculous the MPAA's claims are. In other words, it presented an MPAA press release as if it were news. Thirty years after it did the same exact thing and got the entire story wrong. It didn't even go back and note that earlier episode. It just repeated it with modern stand-ins.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:22am

    Besides old people who like Andy Rooney, who the hell pays attention to 60 Minutes anyway?

     

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  2.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:30am

    welcome to why

    nobody watches 60 minutes anymore. It's all fearmongering with the exception being andy rooney. Honestly I've had to watch it with my parents for years and the only part of actual interest nowadays would be the parts with Rooney.

     

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  3.  
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    Robb Topolski (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:32am

    Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5485313n&tag=related;photovideo is a clip from that story. It shows this MPAA representative participating in a BitTorrent swarm as a demo to CBS. But he's not just downloading, he's uploading content as well. Note the graphic showing chunks flowing FROM the center to the red connected peers on the edge. That's uploading content TO the swarm.

    Nice.

     

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  4.  
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    John Doe, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:35am

    I saw that...

    I generally don't like 60 Minutes, but did happen to see that last night. It was very predictable in its lopsided coverage. It was fun to watch a "respected" journalist get played like a puppet by the MPAA. So much for real, unbiased investigative journalism.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:40am

    Is that show still on?

    I stopped watching "60 Minutes" after the Three Mile Island episode, where they showed a Geiger counter in a lady's window with the cooling towers in the background. The wind blows in the window and the Geiger counter speeds up. Gee, what range was the counter on? What would have happened in an area where there was no nuclear power plant?

    "60 Minutes," which may still tell some valuable stories, has fallen into the yellow journalism trap that so many other "news" sources have fallen into just to gain viewer attention.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Hey, guess those copyright extensions worked!

    Boldrin and Levine claimed that copyright extensions did not work because output did not increase after the last (1998) extension. Guess they were wrong. Looks like output is waaaaayyyyy up. Guess those copyright extensions have driven movie makers to increase their output by a bunch.

     

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  7.  
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    eyeworks (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:45am

    incredulous

    my favorite part of it though, was when Stahl feigned incredulous disgust that a man would take his family, along with a baby in a stroller into a theater with a camcorder and record the movie.
    What a pile of crap, I wonder if Hewitt would have ever allowed such a load of pure shit to air.
    Gee, wikki CBS and see their film industry connections, including their new feature film venture, CBS films.

     

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  8.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    "Note the graphic showing chunks flowing FROM the center to the red connected peers on the edge. That's uploading content TO the swarm. "

    Yeah, that's always the first thing I think of when the industry says that they'll only go after uploaders.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:53am

    The movie numbers you quote Mike need to be explained a bit further:

    First and foremost, how many of those "releases" made it more than a handful of screens? How many "hollywood" movies were released, and how many low budget fillers hit a limited number of screens for a few days run? Some stuff is running only a single day or weekend now.

    Second, the numbers tell the real truth: The inflation adjusted "real dollar" movie sales, if the industry was flat, should be about 10.9 to 11 billion. instead, it has been flat compared to previous years, which means it is losing income at the rate of inflation. Remember, the costs to make the movies have gone up at least by inflation, but sales have not.

    Please don't go on a rant about "expecting to get paid" or "have a right to get paid". It's straight up about comparing 2004 dollars to 2009 dollars. Adjusted, the movie business is behind about 15% or so.

    We won't even get into the adjustments made for worldwide sales, considering that the US dollar has dropped in value against almost every other currency.

    Also, the numbers don't seem to indicate what is considered a release. That would be helpful.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re:

    Totally agree. I see Mike's point but who cares?

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    "It's straight up about comparing 2004 dollars to 2009 dollars. Adjusted, the movie business is behind about 15% or so."

    You do realize that there was a bit of an economic adjustment over the past year and change, don't you?

     

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  12.  
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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re:

    "60 Minutes" is only watched by people gullible enough to believe stuff they see on "60 Minutes". Kind of a vicious circle.

    The MSM continues to be become irrelevant. Not only do most people not watch the news shows of the old "big 3 networks", I doubt few people under 30 have _ever_ watched them.

     

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  13.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Re:

    I don't know enough about the economics to respond to what you are saying about the numbers specifically - but this is exactly the point. The numbers are complicated, and good journalism should include a meaningful analysis of these numbers that helps viewers reach conclusions, not just cursory statements by someone with an air of authority.

     

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  14.  
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    thublihnk (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:10am

    Re: Hey, guess those copyright extensions worked!

    Correlation=Causation FTL.

    Idiot.

     

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  15.  
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    ctromley, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:12am

    60 Minutes never had any credibility

    60 Minutes is to investigative reporting as "reality" shows are to the real world - totally made-up pablum for the stupid. Always has been. Remember the Audi 5000 with its demonic unintended acceleration? That episode nearly destroyed a fine car company. (Real story - drivers were stepping on the wrong pedal.) Remember the "Point/Counterpoint" segments, which were far more appropriately parodied on SNL with Dan Akroyd's "Jane, you ignorant slut...."

    What's the next newsflash - that Rush Limbaugh said something that's not true?

     

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  16.  
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    thublihnk (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Boldfaced lies and propaganda. I like how they focused so much on camcorders. Cam recordings are so rare, I'm surprised they were even mentioned.

     

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  17.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re:

    right about 15% or so, I might add. :D

     

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  18.  
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    LumpyDog (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:18am

    I watched the whole segment vacillating between thinking, "What utter garbage!" and "I can't wait to see what Mike says about this tomorrow."

    The worst was when they trotted out the French "3 Strikes" law and implied that the U.S. wasn't doing its part by not enacting similar legislation.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Well of course no one would make "The Matrix" today. they would be rightfully sued into oblivion for copyright violation. On the other hand lots of people are making movies like the matrix today. It is easyier and easier to have impressive visual effects that support telling a story.

     

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  20.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    "On the other hand lots of people are making movies like the matrix today."

    You mean "like the Thirteenth Floor?" Or "like Tron?" Or "like Alice in Wonderland?"

     

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  21.  
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    Michael, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:29am

    Re:

    "Second, the numbers tell the real truth: The inflation adjusted "real dollar" movie sales, if the industry was flat, should be about 10.9 to 11 billion. instead, it has been flat compared to previous years, which means it is losing income at the rate of inflation. Remember, the costs to make the movies have gone up at least by inflation, but sales have not."

    Ok, but we are talking about copyright here? That thing about needing it as an incentive to create new works? Well, apparently new works are being created and the incentive is not being taken away by the recent file sharing.

    Now, an industry that has a business model that is not making as much money as it used to? That is simply a dying business model. Propping this up under the guise of trying to give artists incentive to create new work does not make sense. Call it what it is - some parts of the entertainment industry (not all of it, mind you) wants a bail-out because the world changed and they cannot make the kinds of money they used to.

     

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  22.  
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    Another AC, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:30am

    They should check their comments area

    There are as many shills in the comments on 60 minutes as there are here.

     

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  23.  
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    edt (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:30am

    60 minutes

    60 minutes is tv which seldom delivers a message with any regard to truth or facts... All tv = entertainment including the so-called news...

     

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  24.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Yeah, and no one would make an expensive, sweeping Sci-fi epic like Avatar either... oh, wait...

     

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  25.  
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    Dragonish, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re: Is that show still on?

    Um, there is research that shows that people living near nuclear power plants experience more radiation than is present as normal "background." They also have higher rates of cancer.
    "Leukemia death rates in U.S. children near nuclear reactors rose sharply (vs. the national trend) in the past two decades, according to a recent study.

    The greatest mortality increases occurred near the oldest nuclear plants, while declines were observed near plants that closed permanently in the 1980s and 1990s. The study was published in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Cancer Care."

    "Study authors were epidemiologist Joseph Mangano MPH MBA, Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project and toxicologist Janette Sherman MD of the Environmental Institute at Western Michigan University. They analyzed leukemia deaths in children age 0-19 in the 67 counties near 51 nuclear power plants starting 1957-1981 (the same counties in the NCI study). About 25 million people live in these 67 counties, and the 51 plants represent nearly half of the U.S. total)."

    Citation: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13825

     

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  26.  
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    interval, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re: welcome to why

    If Rooney is your only reason for watching 60 min. then you're easily amused. Talk about a snore fest. "I hate buttons. You can never open them one-handed, and if you ever lose one you're forever consigned to missing-button hell." Oh KILL the sonofabitch already.

     

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  27.  
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    Headbhang (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    "Second, the numbers tell the real truth: The inflation adjusted "real dollar" movie sales, if the industry was flat, should be about 10.9 to 11 billion. instead, it has been flat compared to previous years, which means it is losing income at the rate of inflation. Remember, the costs to make the movies have gone up at least by inflation, but sales have not."

    You might have a good point there, though more info than that is still needed to prove it. One thing the numbers DO show, is that the average gross per movie has definitely shrunk. The number of movies produced has doubled, whereas the revenue has stayed about the same. We don't know what the distribution of that revenue is, though, so the "average" doesn't say too much.

    To gain more insight about it we also need to know the statistics of the average (and the distribution) of the investment made per movie. You assume here that the cost has stayed the same, adjusted by inflation, thus indicating a "loss", but the fact is that we don't really know how valid this assumption is. It's entirely plausible that the investment has shrunk at the inflation rate, thus negating any "income loss" related to it.

    Even if there HAS been a relative loss, it is still far for conclusive that it is due to filesharing without controlling for other factors. With the experience of going to the cinema getting more annoying for several reasons (including piracy hysteria) and the experience of watching movies at home becoming ever better (home theaters and HD), it's hard to know how much of any revenue "loss" has been due to illegal channels instead of shifts in the market caused by legal phenomena.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:05am

    yup, and most are pointless garbage not worth renting let alone going to a movie theater for.

     

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  29.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:06am

    From one of the comments on CBSnews.com

    This says it all ....

    "In fact, the internet is probably more important to the long term future of all Humanity than any of the above groups and the vile little cretins who want to twist it to their perverted and banal ends for thirty pieces of silver."

    I had not thought of the internet that way before .... weird when you have a moment of enlightenment, it made me smile ... a Big Ole GRIN

     

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  30.  
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    John Doe, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:06am

    Re: 60 Minutes never had any credibility

    The Audi thing is what turned me against 60 Minutes many years ago and I was a teenager then. If a teenager can figure out that 60 minutes isn't real reporting then why is it still on the air?

     

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  31.  
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    Marshall, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:09am

    The medium is the message

     

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  32.  
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    TW Burger (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:15am

    60 Minutes is in FAIL Mode

    I watched the MPAA, I mean 60 Minutes, segment yesterday and it was possibly the worst example of journalism I have ever seen. Stahl did everything but kiss Soderbergh's behind on camera. There was absolutely no counter-argument presented and 60M just 'reported' what it was spoon fed. If I was in charge of CBS programming the producer of that segment would be fired.

    In support of 60M and the movie industry (since I, as a part time journalist in the past and do present both sides) I would like to present these points:

    The theater bag search was only at an exclusive premier, not a regular showing.

    60 Minutes is in competition with entertainment programming and needs to catch the viewers attention. For every "OMFG Rome is burning" segment like this they do put together several real and important reports.

    There is movie pirating happening and the industry does lose money from it. However, the numbers the MPAA comes up with are ridiculous and unsubstantiated. I would like to see a 60M piece on how the movie industry has special accounting rules that allow it to pay almost no taxes.

    Anyone that takes the time to download a bit torrent movie and burn a DVD, which can take hours and hours, either has no money and would not buy the movie any way or has no life and is a techno-weenie just doing it because they think it's fun - and would not buy the movie any way. If I want to see a movie I go to the theater, rent it from Block Buster, pay the $20 for the DVD, or wait for it to show on cable. I waste my time by pretending to be an authority on stuff I know almost nothing about by writing up rants here at Techdirt.

    I like Andy Rooney best, if he presents nonsense he makes sure you know it's nonsense.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:17am

    It is times like these I would ask... What would Jesus do?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry guys, I pulled inflations january 2004 until september 2009 (thanks to wolfram alpha). The number for that time (including the current downturn) is 16.x%. It still doesn't take into account the adjustments that industry has seen on a weak dollar either.

    So yes, I realize there has been a big adjustment in the last year, and remarkably, it's in there already. Without it, the number might be more like 20%.

     

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  35.  
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    Jason, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    or Avatar.....

     

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  36.  
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    TW Burger (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re: WWJD?

    His Dad's got HBO and Show Time.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re:

    Even if there HAS been a relative loss, it is still far for conclusive that it is due to filesharing without controlling for other factors.

    This is true. However, considering some of the conclusions drawn here on Techdirt on various subjects with way less than complete data, I would say that they are probably into something.

    the experience of watching movies at home becoming ever better

    It's even better when you download a ripped copy of the dvd from someone and don't have to pay - which is the point of the discussion.

     

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  38.  
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    Marshall, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Or is that massage?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: incredulous

    Think of the children!

    They smuggle cameras in diaper bags! Diaper bags! Do you know what that would happen if even a little of that camera touches a baby?

    It sickens me just to think about it.

    /sarcasm

     

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  40.  
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    Rev1, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:30am

    what about the cost to see a movie?

    My wife, mom and I took my son to see Ice Age 3 in 3D. An afternoon showing. Cost $43. 2 popcorn and 4 drinks: $30. Total cost for 1.5 hour movie: $73 for 4 people. Sure makes BluRay look affordable to me, even at Best Buy's rip you off price.

    I have a 100' screen in a dedicated theater room at home, with stadium seating. I can seat 7.

    A $20-$30 BluRay movie can be watched un-limited times, something the toddler set REALLY enjoys.

    They wonder why fewer people go to the movies...look at the ticket and food prices.

    I seldom go to movies at theaters and when I do I'm hit by the high cost and quickly vow not to return.

    I'd be willing to pay $40 for a first run movie on any HD format, but can I? So if I want the movie before waiting 6-8 months for the BD/DVD release, what are my options?

    The industry is failing to meet my needs, and many others like me. We have money but that doesn't mean we want to be raped to see a movie or wait 6-8 months. The torrents sure seem more attractive...

     

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  41.  
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    Gary, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Truly strange

    The problem is that the audience that buys pirated DVD-s from a street vendor will not go and pay big bucks to watch that movie in the theater. The same goes for a person downloading them.

    So I would approach the dollars numbers that MPAA puts out with caution. It is in their interest to show the most bloated number possible.

    As for the 60 Minutes story - they promised it to be about the mob profiting out of it and yet there was nothing in the story about mobsters. Overall, quite a weak and sorry report. It is possible that they were forced to do the story and presented it in such a way as to not have any credibility, i.e. sabotaging it.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Is that show still on?

    Everything you said here may be true. However, that does not excuse 60 Minutes from showing a Geiger counter in the window of a house without explaining whether there was any special significance to the reading on the Geiger counter - except for the "shock" value it supposedly had.

    As for leukemia deaths near nuclear power plants, the data missing is what leukemia deaths are near coal powered power plants, gas powered power plants, and oil powered power plants, as well as leukemia rates in areas away from any power plant.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Is that show still on?

    Though they have nice percentages in the web story you linked to, just how many deaths are we talking about? If the difference is two or three children, the error bars are probably so high as to make their percentages meaningless.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Is that show still on?

    Comment=humor

    Moron

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Billboard's take on the story

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    lol...Now, now. No sense in accusing anyone of being objective. Just like the guy dissing the comment about more movies being "proof" the copyright laws work. Taken on its face, someone could use the increase in releases as evidence that copyright extensions work. However, the reality is that movie releases are driven by a complex economic environment that likely have little to do with copyright extensions - and likely have little do do with a single explaining factor. Of course, figures lie and liars figure and anyone can creatively interpret facts to mean many things that they do not.

     

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  47.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    " It still doesn't take into account the adjustments that industry has seen on a weak dollar either."

    Yeah, what's the buggy whip industry doing these days? Adjusted for de/in/deflation, of course.

    Free markets let industries, as well as individuals, die their natural deaths. The 'record distribution' industry is a frakin' zombie that refuses to die and eats the brains of the living.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: 60 Minutes never had any credibility

    Because a lot of people like the sensationalisitc journalism of the show, regardless of how objective they are, or are not. "60 Minutes" is like the cotton candy of investigative journalism, it looks impressive and tastes sweet, but with a bit of thinking you quickly realize that there is often not a lot to it.

     

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  49.  
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    ethorad (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:51am

    6bn loss?

    Where has the 6bn loss come from if the gross takings have been flat at 9-10bn for the last 5 years? I assume that back in 2004, before widescale broadband etc, there wasn't so much downloading of movies as now so the 6bn looks far too high.

    Claiming that you would have seen a 60%+ increase in revenue if it wasn't for those pesky kids seems like something else a "journalist" should have checked.

    (ignoring inflation effects, I haven't looked into whether the numbers are in todays prices or not)

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:51am

    Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    Six to eight month release on BD/DVD? Wow, what movie was that? Movies are coming out on DVD almost as fast as they are out of theaters now, sometimes in as little as two to four weeks. If you wait long enough, they may come out while the movie is still in the theaters.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:52am

    Re: Truly strange

    "i.e. sabotaging it."

    Considering that the preceding story on the Yakuza was infinitely better I might have to agree.

     

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  52.  
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    ethorad (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re: 6bn loss?

    actually, have they just done some incredibly basic math?

    Using the numbers Mike's found in 2004 takings were 9.3bn for 567 movies
    Therefore, for 1037 movies in 2008 takings should be 9.3 * 1037/567 = 17.0bn, compared to actual of 9.7bn.

    Obviously there's been a loss of 17.0 - 9.7 = 7.3bn from somewhere. Must be those thieves online!

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Personally I wouldn't mind seeing these overpaid actors taking a pay cut to help out their employer in these hard economic times. 20 mil for a movie? Get real.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re:

    Economic adjustment or not, this is a very good point. While I thought the 60 minutes piece was terrible and that Stahl should get a dramatic emmy for her patronizing mannerisms, I am curious for more detail about Mike's numbers here. We all know about one $15,000 movie that's made millions, but most are never seen.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re:

    Gotta agree with you on this one. However, supply and demand. A very few actors in are extremely high demand, and that is where these numbers come from.

     

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    HFC, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    What movies are coming out 2-4 weeks after being removed from theatres? I'm not saying you're making that up, I'm just not aware of any general release movies being released on DVD or Blu-ray that quickly.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: welcome to why

    umm, interval, Andy Rooney is unintentionally hilarious. I'm not saying I'd tune in to see it, but that's funny.

    He's like the crazy old guy living down the street who hates everything. If he had a weekly web series, I'd subscribe.

     

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  58.  
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    Gary Bauer (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Is that show still on?

    Well, here's the thing. Yes, people experience more radiation and higher rates of cancers. When compared to diseases caused by the particulate matter produced by coal fired plants, I wonder if the disease rates are comparable.

    Then compare the mining related deaths and injuries for both coal and uranium.

    Then factor in the ton(nes) of CO2 released by hydrocarbon fuled plants.

    Radiation is a concern - invisible, etc.

    On balance, I prefer radiation to the alternatives

     

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  59.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We all know about one $15,000 movie that's made millions, but most are never seen."

    The surfeit of Hollywood cash actually get in the way. That particular one was slated to be remade with a gigantic budget, but was thrown out there as a panic move.

    Guess which was the 'wiser' decision?

     

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  60.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Re: Billboard's take on the story

    And that, right there, is why no one takes Billboard seriously any more.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:31am

    Some day I can only hope to hate an industry as much as some of the regular commentors on this site. I soon hope that bitterness will fill me and make me deaf to any contray believe. In the name of Mike. Amen.

     

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  62.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    First and foremost, how many of those "releases" made it more than a handful of screens? How many "hollywood" movies were released, and how many low budget fillers hit a limited number of screens for a few days run? Some stuff is running only a single day or weekend now.

    Perhaps. Doesn't change the fact that both Soderbergh and Cotton lied about how many movies were being made and released. They didn't ask how many blockbusters there were. And the fact that more movies (by a huge amount) are getting made certainly shows that the "incentive" to make movies hasn't gone away, as implied by both.

    Second, the numbers tell the real truth: The inflation adjusted "real dollar" movie sales, if the industry was flat, should be about 10.9 to 11 billion.

    Says who? You do realize that inflation is not an across the board thing that applies to all industries equally, don't you?

    Remember, the costs to make the movies have gone up at least by inflation, but sales have not.

    Actually, that's not true at all. It's significantly cheaper to make, distribute and promote a movie today than it was just a few years ago.


    Please don't go on a rant about "expecting to get paid" or "have a right to get paid". It's straight up about comparing 2004 dollars to 2009 dollars. Adjusted, the movie business is behind about 15% or so.


    And, as you well know, you don't compare a single industry to across the board inflation.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    One example, but there are more:

    The original "Transformers" movie was in movie theaters July 2, 2007. The movie was released October 16, 2007, when some theaters were still playing the movie. At the time, I believe it was the fastest release on DVD from time of movie release of any movie.

    However, that time frame appears to be much more typical of newer movies. The theory is that more people will buy if the release is closer to the appearance in theaters because it will be fresh in people's minds. I wonder whether movie theaters might one day start selling copies of the DVD (at a huge mark up, I would bet) at the showing of the movie?

     

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  64.  
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    steve stevens, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    Transformers, the biggest hit of the summer was released to DVD in October. It is very much a trend to shorten the trip to the store shelves while the momentum is still there.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Is that show still on?

    My thought is that some people forget there is radioactivity in coal. Some people claim more radioactivity is emitted from coal than nuclear power plants.

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Strange-Traditional-Power-Plants-Emit-More-Radiation-Than- Nuclear-Ones-73995.shtml

    http://solveclimate.com/blog/20090714/west-virginia-redefines-dirty-ener gy-alternative

    True or not, focusing on nuclear power plants without analyzing other plants is like analyzing deaths from flying. Flying looks incredibly dangerous until you compare flying to virtually everything else, then you suddenly realize flying is safer than walking down the stairs in your house.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    Amazing that you and I should pick the same example. However, "Transformers" was in entertainment news a lot at the time because of how fast it was released on DVD.

     

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  67.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Hey, guess those copyright extensions worked!

    Actually, the MPAA's argument that copying has become rampant since around 1995 is at least as relevant as the copyright extensions you mention.

    Basically, despite any copyright extensions, the market's ABILITY to copy, share, and distribute content has increased by leaps and bounds over the time period considered.

    It is in this era of increased copying that the industry has produced increasing numbers of films. Same for music industry.

    While no causation is proved by my argument or yours, at least mine deals with the real world observation that content production has increased during an era of increased copying.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Imported buggy whips start at about $20 or so. However, there are buggy whips hand-made in the U.S. that can exceed $100 in price.

    I have no idea how much buggy whips cost 100 years ago, but I would bet they were much less than $20.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Makes no diff

    They will always be against us no matter what.. Until they can have every penny you own (then just a little bit more) they will not be happy. Boycot them, download for free.. Cut them a check... In any case we will still be the losers. And broke ones at that. Someone needs to pull out the Wetherb 400 and let them know how we really feel.. ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Hey, guess those copyright extensions worked!

    My comment was a joke. I knew full well that copyright extensions had little or nothing to do with the number of movies being made.

    What likely has a bigger effect on movies is the public's appetite for movies, both in the theater and, more importantly, on DVD and on cable/satellite. Combine that appetite with the ability to make and distribute movies faster and more cheaply than ever, and you get an impetus for making lots of movies regardless of whether the movies earn a dime in the theater.

    The copying and sharing is an aspect of the technologies that make movies cheaper to make. Whether that also increases the desire for more movies, I have no evidence, though there are some studies that suggest that might be the case.

     

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    Old Man, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Oh, please...

    60 Minutes is entertainment, not news. Why expect real jouralism?

     

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  72.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    er, pardon?

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Billboard's take on the story

    That is just weird... do they not realize it is a bad thing to leave out opposing viewpoints?

     

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  74.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I have no idea how much buggy whips cost 100 years ago, but I would bet they were much less than $20."

    Well, at the time I'm sure. But bully that there is still a striving Buggy Whip industry.

    What would worry me is if there were a BWIAA.

     

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  75.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Billboard's take on the story

    "And that, right there, is why no one takes Billboard seriously any more."

    http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2009/10/23/01

    The Billboard problem was amply illustrated there. Weirdly, the Billboard Guy is way more defensive than the RIAA Guy.

     

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    lavi d (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re:

    Some day I can only hope to hate an industry as much as some of the regular commentors on this site. I soon hope that bitterness will fill me and make me deaf to any contray believe. In the name of Mike. Amen.

    You might want to start by hating whatever school system it was that left you with such a terrible inability to write clearly.

     

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  77.  
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    Lucretious, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    God forbid we shouldn't take the industry line as gospel like mindless lemmings.

    Tell me, how SHOULD i feel about an industry with as much Washington lobbying power as Hollywood does pushing for legislation to throw citizens off the WWW without so much as a hearing? The again, the web is just a luxury nowadays, right? It's not like anyone depends on it for their livelihood....

    Once that's done maybe we can tackle the drug problem by throwing people off all phone networks for calling their dealer for a gram of coke.....

     

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  78.  
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    treetaxi (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    60 minutes of agitprop

    This is one of the first shots across the bow in another battle against internet freedom.

    Net neutrality is currently being debated, and here they come with a report linking movie piracy with BitTorrent (which only works well if a large number of people already have the file in question -- useless for centralized distribution). Followed up with the claim that "speed bumps" have to be put in place FOR EVERYBODY.

    This is equivalent to the claim that terrorists are using the postal service and concealing their communications in an envelope, so we have to ban sealed mail.

     

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    Ben, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Pleasing their corporate masters!

    Just like Congress, the Senate and all the crooked little multimillionaire slimes in the Gummermint!

     

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    urza9814, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re:

    "First and foremost, how many of those "releases" made it more than a handful of screens? How many "hollywood" movies were released, and how many low budget fillers hit a limited number of screens for a few days run? Some stuff is running only a single day or weekend now."

    Well duh, do the math. You have 1000 releases over a year. 365 days a year. My local cinema...one has 4 screens, one has 2. Ok, so we'll say 4 screens, so that gives you an average of...just under 11 days per movie. So if you wanna have a big blockbuster there for 3 weeks or more (which they do fairly often), then you've got to cut something back. The more movies that are being made, the shorter time they can be in theaters. Basic physics.

     

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    Todd H, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Re:

    RE: "Second, the numbers tell the real truth: The inflation adjusted "real dollar" movie sales, if the industry was flat, should be about 10.9 to 11 billion. instead, it has been flat compared to previous years, which means it is losing income at the rate of inflation. Remember, the costs to make the movies have gone up at least by inflation, but sales have not."

    In you calculations have you subtracted the fact that there is close to a 10% unemployment? Of those that are employed, a large number of people didnt get raises or, are making about half of what they used to. Add into that the increased costs of everything else. Most people are trying to survive. I know I am, and spending $40 on a movie and popcorn are at the bottom of my list.

    So, the industry profits staying somewhat steady is amazing in itself. We all should really shed a few tears for thier grief.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:18pm

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

    lol...Somehow I do not see buggy whip makers applying for a government bailout because they were supplanted. No BWIAA, that I am aware.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    Well given that they're allowed to distribute movies, wouldn't that make it an Authorised distribution?

     

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    Josh R., Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Yep.

    My buddy was telling me about this earlier today. He told me how he was watching it with his parents in the room, WHILE torrenting, and was trying to convince them to change the channel. His parents know that he torrents, you see, and he doesn't want them to think badly of it.

    Anyway, I love Stephen Soderbergh. In fact, he's one of only a few directors who I would refuse to pirate, instead insisting that I give him his money's worth.

     

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    Dawger (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:35pm

    News

    I guess this just goes to show that CBS is not a true news organization and should be ostracized by the public and the real news networks and by the White House.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    Some day I can only hope to hate an industry as much as some of the regular commentors on this site. I soon hope that bitterness will fill me and make me deaf to any contray believe. In the name of Mike. Amen.

    lol

    Although that last word shouldn't be "amen" but rather "baaaah!"

     

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  87.  
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    MCR, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Since Congress enacted the copyright extensions, illegal downloading has increased dramatically. Therefore, the longer we make copyrights last, the more illegal downloading there will be.

    If copyright duration was shortened to zero, there would be no illegal downloading.

    I think I've solved the problem. In order to stop the illegal filesharing, we remove copyright. Genius.

     

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    Brandon, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    LOL

    I was sleeping on the couch and woke up, for some reason this was on TV. My favorite line was when the investigator guy was saying what gangs do during the week "monday drug trafficing, tuesday human trafficing, wednsday underage sex ring, thursday money laundering, friday movie piracy."

     

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  89.  
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    chillienet (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    The movie they are downloading on the show is Angels and Demons which imdb.com says is a Columbia Pictures Movie. The MPAA has the follow members associated with it:
    Paramount Pictures Corporation;
    Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.;
    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;
    Universal City Studios LLLP;
    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and
    Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    Now i could be wrong but I don't see Columbia Pictures in that list, my understanding is that this in NOT authorised distribution.

     

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  90.  
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    Joe j, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    60 shills, I mean minutes, has always been a propaganda machine. I'm glad we have the internet now, so people like you can call them out on their BS.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re:

    There you go again.

    Doesn't change the fact that both Soderbergh and Cotton lied about how many movies were being made and released.

    Taken out of context, who knows? Were they talking about Hollywood studio releases? Were they talking about Hollywood studio movies? There are probably tens of thousands of movies "released" every year, most of them into the vacuum of nothingness.

    Art in it's many guises isn't only done on the basis of "incentive", but often as a hobby or as something people feel the need to do. The releasing companies in the last few years have taken on more and more independant and low budget films and given then short, regional (or even local) runs to see if there is any interest in them. This often leads to the movie being sold "up the chain" to a major studio, maybe redone or touched up, and released nationwide. Again, without knowing all the numbers, your comments could be as much of a "lie" as Soderbergh or Cotton.

    You do realize that inflation is not an across the board thing that applies to all industries equally, don't you?

    Yawn. Time for another twisted economics lesson from Mike.

    Inflation doesn't apply anywhere equally. But in making a movie, you touch everything from technology, to people, to gas, to food, props, raw materials (to build sets), transport, leasing, and all sorts of other things. In fact, as a business, it touches almost every one of the major categories under which inflation is generally figured.

    Basically, income is flat, but inflation has moved 15+% in the same amount of time. Does it EXACTLY mean 15% for the movie business? Nope? Could mean 10%, could mean 20%. It is just an indicator, like any of the other indicators you look at. Again, it only has to apply to the expense side, and not the income side, and the gap is still there.

    Sorry, but this is a very basic economic concept. I am sure you can Masnick Effect it into being unimportant, but more than a few people in this thread already caught on.

     

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  92.  
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    PaulT (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    Columbia is a subsidiary of Sony.

     

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  93.  
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    Luci, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Taken out of context, who knows? Were they talking about Hollywood studio releases? Were they talking about Hollywood studio movies? There are probably tens of thousands of movies "released" every year, most of them into the vacuum of nothingness."

    OK, I have to ask:

    Who cares if they're "Hollywood" or not? What constitutes "Hollywood"? Does it really matter if a movie is produced by a major studio if it's successful?

    Let's put it another way: Does Paranormal Activity (independently made but distributed by a studio) count as a "Hollywood" movie or not? If so, would it still count if it hadn't gained traction after its initial 12 screen run? Does the fact that it expanded to 2,500+ screens make a difference to it's "Hollywood" qualifications? What about Moon, produced in a similar way but only distributed to 252 screens? Is that more or less "Hollywood"?

    As for "released into the vacuum of nothingness", there are numerous major studio releases that you can say that about. Remember 2008's major studio production "The Hottie And The Nottie" (released to only 111 screens, made less than $28,000)? I don't think there's any independent production that did quite that badly in the same year...

    If Hollywood studios prefer to ignore independent successes to further their own agenda, that doesn't mean that the rest of us should ignore them. Either Soderbergh et al were lying or they were ignoring a large part of the film community - especailly annoying given the way Soderbergh tried to buck the system with Bubble.

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:47pm

    Great logic!

    If copyright duration was shortened to zero, there would be no illegal downloading.

    I think I've solved the problem. In order to stop the illegal filesharing, we remove copyright. Genius.



    If endangered animals were hunted into extinction, there would be no more illegal poaching.

    I think I've just solved the problem. In order to stop poaching, we hunt the animals into extinction. Genius.


    If human lives were shortened to zero, there would be no murder.

    I think I've just solved the problem. In order to stop murder, we need to shorten human lives to zero. Genius.

     

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    Freedom is Freeloading, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Sorry, but this is a very basic economic concept. I am sure you can Masnick Effect it into being unimportant, but more than a few people in this thread already caught on.

    lol

    "Masnic Effect" as a verb is great.


    Remember 2008's major studio production "The Hottie And The Nottie" (released to only 111 screens, made less than $28,000)? I don't think there's any independent production that did quite that badly in the same year...

    Are you really saying that you don't think there was any independent film in 2008 that made less money than $28,000 bucks? Because if you are, that's incredibly and laughably ignorant. Or did you mean theatrical? And If you meant theatrical, did you mean wide or limited release? Or did you mean straight to DVD? Or did you mean gross or net? Are you beginning to see why these distinctions matter?

     

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  97.  
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    The Sad reality..., Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    I say the majority of you 60 Minutes nay-sayers on here are illegals who earn your living, by taking your families with you while you illegally record our movies and take hard earned money out of the pockets of law abiding citizens.

    Get a life you losers and quit clogging up my Internets with your useless movies.

     

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  98.  
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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Billboard's take on the story

    I mean, I appreciate their honesty about the program, but the author seems to be taking a lot of pride in that fact.

    Last night was probably the first time many Americans received such detailed information on digital piracy. And they got a very sympathetic portrayal in which no opposing opinions were presented.

    I get a knot in my stomach reading those two sentences together, proud is not the emotion I would want to portray.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    It is times like these I would ask... What would Jesus do?

    I seem to remember a bible story about Jesus copying and sharing some fish and bread. That seems kind of similar to file sharing to me.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Oh, please...

    60 Minutes is entertainment, not news. Why expect real jouralism?

    Except they claim to be "news" and "journalists". It's almost as funny as when Fox "News" claims the same thing.

     

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  101.  
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    Mike H, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 3:48pm

    video games

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the rise of video games over the period that they claim movies have lost viewers. The video game industry has grown to be huge and the gamers spend so much time playing that it must come out of other forms of entertainment to some extent. It's not just teenage boys either, the majority of gamers are adults.

    Personally, I wouldn't go to a movie theater any more. You can have a better experience in a home theater for less money. I'm actually so used to LCD screens and digital projectors that a wobbling and flickering film projection looks bad in comparison (even if the colors etc. are technically better).

    Convenience always wins, even if the image/sound quality is worse. C-cassettes in Walkmans and car players became more common than vinyl records, MP3s overtook CDs, VHS video became a bigger market than movie tickets etc. etc. Illegal movie downloads are much more convenient than trying find what you want in a theater or video store. The solution is to make a legal online store that is as good as the illegal sites, i.e. has as large a selection at high quality and download speeds, with no restrictions on what devices you can play the files.

     

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  102.  
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    Under 100, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Re: welcome to why

    You must be at least 100 years old if you think that anything Andy Rooney has to say holds any relevance whatsoever. The man gets mad at fruit, for Christ's sake.

     

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  103.  
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    chillienet (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    K. Thanks, learn something new every day. In which case no infringement.

     

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  104.  
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    mattwel, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 5:07pm

    You "get" that CBS = Viacom = Paramount, right? If so, why the surprised tone?

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Re:

    Since Congress enacted the copyright extensions, illegal downloading has increased dramatically. Therefore, the longer we make copyrights last, the more illegal downloading there will be.


    Never studied cause and effect, did you?

    What you are saying is that faster internet, better computers, more capable file trading sites, cheaper connectivity... all those things have absolutely nothing to do with it?

    Tell Mike. He'll want to know.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who cares if they're "Hollywood" or not? What constitutes "Hollywood"? Does it really matter if a movie is produced by a major studio if it's successful?

    You would have to ask the guys that Mike says are lying.

    As for the released you mention, you hit another potential source of issue: Many movies are produced every year by mainstream (and not so mainstream) companies that are "direct to DVD" releases, that never get anywhere near a theater. If some of those actually got short or limited runs (Like "hottie"), perhaps to fill a contract, did that make more total releases?

    Do total releases include direct to DVD productions? Maybe that is the number, and not just stuff that made it to the screen.

    It's very easy to call people liars (as Mike seems to have done here) without actually asking them what they mean.

     

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  107.  
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    lordmorgul, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:06pm

    Re:

    I don't mean to jump on your suggestion of adding more details to the release count, but regarding the claim that industry is losing money...

    An industry losing income proves nothing by itself (a reason why it is losing the money needs established by another means). This idiocy is one of the prime problems with the arguments made by the MPAA. They assume that increasing profit should continue at established rates... that making the same amount of money this year as last year means someone has stolen your profits! This is asinine logical fallacy to say the least.

     

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  108.  
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    Fact, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    Re: 60 Minutes is in FAIL Mode

    Disagree. Downloading a 700mb DVD rip is finished in a matter of minutes.

    With the advent of streaming players and personal laptops, burning movies to DVD is hardly the preferred method of consumption.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    Which was still 2.5 months, or 10 weeks... not 2.

     

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  110.  
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    lordmorgul, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Win.

     

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  111.  
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    No., Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:24pm

    Re: 60 minutes of agitprop

    BitTorrent works fantastically for centralized distribution.

    Other forms of P2P don't, because they are based around searching collections of other users' files. Because of the secure hashing that torrents use, as well as the centralized distribution of .torrent files, torrents are great for distributing files that most people don't have. TV shows are released over torrents - clearly large numbers of people don't have bit-identical copies of tv shows.

     

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  112.  
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    lordmorgul, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    Re: video games

    You're spot on with this comment. I am not a movie consumer anymore, with the exception of a few rentals coming in every month from Netflix. I have seen three movies in theaters this year... and I'm not poor or struggling thankfully, I'm doing comfortably well. The movie industry just does not get it: they are not servicing the needs of the market... especially the younger 15-35 adult market (those who grew up with video games as an option basically). The movie is not the only form of entertainment out there and believing it will always be the most popular is just foolish, but that is what the industry cronies believe.

     

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  113.  
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    Paul (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point of the piece is that only one side of the issue was presented. That anyone that had done a bit of background work on the topic might have challenged some of the statements made.

    You want to claim that is the same as Mike saying these folks lied, okay fine.

    But see how easy it is to challenge a statement someone makes that doesn't seem to be consistent with the facts?

    Were any of these statements placed in context? Did these movie folks get the opportunity (and seriously, if they really are on top of their stuff like you imply, it would be an opportunity) to address these issues more fully? No they were not.

    60 minutes didn't do them any favors. We are denied a REAL story, and these guys made themselves legitimate targets for those of us that were not buying their line in the first place.

    That's the point. Not that they lied, but that you CAN'T possibly tell if they did or didn't.... As in fact your defense shows, we don't know hardly what any of their presented "facts" and "figures" really mean.... Because nobody actually asked.

     

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  114.  
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    Kodo, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    Re:

    That maybe true, but how much crap does Hollywood produce as well. Honestly 90% of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood is complete garbage and it's the other 10% making up most of the dollars. maybe the figures are a true reflection because movies being made earlier were better quality and more people went to see them.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:25am

    Re: Truly strange

    No, weak, sorry reporting is Stalhs stalk and trade. 60 minutes needs to shit can her, every damn report is nothing more than her phony ass reactions (inhales and gasps.) They used to just stick her with the bullshit, human interest crap, but now she seems to be getting actual stories, and putting her "personal" stamp on them.

    Makes me ill.

     

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  116.  
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    Vivek, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 1:49am

    60%+ posts by Anonymous coward...

    I haven't seen the episode we are talking about, but I already know what the content will be. Even Masnick's article was routine thing. The most enjoyable thing here is that half the time coward is replying to himself.

    The the movies, yes! How many times, he thinks one would watch "The Hottie And The Nottie"? I bet, most people won't care even if someone is buying their tickets. In these large number of movies being made these days, most of them are such crap that no one cares if they haven't seen it. You can still find young people who would care about 40s film-noir, but you really think that 60 years from now 'young people' would watch Hottie and Nottie.

    This inflation/oil price hike all this is recent turmoil, but where were big6 not whining? They stopped caring about making movies years ago, not they are only concerned in money by bullying. And the general rant by RIAA/MPAA is just not the same as those by independent movies/artists.

     

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  117.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 2:00am

    thank you for exposing bad journalism; shame on 60 minutes; they need new management and should hire real journalists

     

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  118.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:20am

    Re: Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    IANAL but wouldn't that count for incitement?

     

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  119.  
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    The Idiot, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:30am

    That...was biased in ways last seen on Faux News.

    WE can't account for the information unless we have detailed budgets for the films shown in those years. The MPAA will never release those because ti would invalidate their tax payments.

     

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  120.  
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    Ron E., Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:32am

    60 Minutes? Meh...

    Remember how Mike Wallace tiptoed around his buddy, liar and cheater Roger Clemens? I didn't watch it, but am aware of the controversy. I haven't seen an episode of 60 Minutes in at least twenty years. Is it still around? ;-)

     

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  121.  
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    PamN (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Re:

    Well... someone cares because it is consistently one of the top 20 programs in viewers every week. Maybe you should do some research!

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    Ummm...you are missing a point. The DVD was released 2.5 months after the movie ENTERED theaters. Given that "Transformers" was on most screens for 6-8 weeks, that yields 4 weeks from end of showing on screens to DVD release MAXIMUM, and for most screends, 2 weeks MAXIMUM. Furthermore, there were still a lot of theaters showing "Transformers" at the time the DVD was released. Therefore, you could argue that the DVD was released WHILE THE MOVIE WAS STILL IN THE THEATERS.

     

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  123.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what about the cost to see a movie?

    The question was not how many weeks after the movie went INTO the theaters, the question was how many weeks after the movie stopped showing in theaters was the DVD released. DVD's are now being released in as little as zero time after the movie exits theaters to a few weeks, and most are out within a few months.

     

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  124.  
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    Joshua, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:17am

    No Matrix

    If nobody would make the Matrix now, does that mean nobody would make the Matrix sequels either? I think Sodenberg just created a new pirate.

     

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  125.  
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    Marc Vesta, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 10:34am

    60 Minutes Pirate DVD Article

    I watched the 60 minutes episode on Sunday night and thought it was good. They made their point, pirated DVD's are illegal and are funding criminal activity. That is the bottom line. Go ahead and buy a pirated DVD, the quality sucks and you are supporting a shady person/organization. Whoever buys these DVDs are adding to the many reasons why I am losing faith in the American population and humans in general...

     

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  126.  
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    mosblest media (profile), Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 10:55am

    America's hour of journalistic incompetence

    I would like to see a show that talks about how lazy journalism has dummied down the culture. Using religious matters as an example, "trusted" news programs attempt to brainwash rather than invest in honest experiences and ideas. Where is the no spin zone in 2009?

     

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  127.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:34am

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

    It's only not consistent with the facts if you try to include things they are not talking about. We don't know exactly what they were measuring, and thus, calling them liars is a pretty big jump.

    So for Mike to jump all over 60 minutes for a report that may not include the "facts" (opinions) they he supports is a little bit silly too. The "pro-sharing" "FREE!" types are forever fronting silly numbers as well. It's the meaningless battle of studies that are actually polls, or polls that only include people who are favorable to a point of view. Neither side is lying, just working hard to be able to ignore reality.

     

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  128.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    Two words: Alar. Apples.

    That says it all about 60 minutes!

     

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  129.  
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    athe, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Re:

    Please don't go on a rant about "expecting to get paid" or "have a right to get paid".

    Ahh, but that's kind of the point of your post - you're expecting that the industries should be getting this extra 15% or whatever inflation is.

    Over the years shown, there have been more and varied other forms of entertainment come about (e.g. console gaming) that are going to be taking money that might once have been spent on "going to the movies".

    You simply can not look at these figures in isolation from everything else.

     

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  130.  
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    Anon Emous, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    Cone?

    The video someone linked to above (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5485313n&tag=related;photovideo) mentions a cone. I didn't see a cone. Only a cylinder. Where's the cone?

     

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  131.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    I watch 60 Minutes and the other similar shows just for a laugh, if I believed a word any of them said I'd have to kick my own ass.

     

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  132.  
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    sam, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Change the name of news

    I suggest we change the name of "tonight's news" to "tonight's lies" or "tonight's biased opinions by our leading sponsor"

     

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  133.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's very easy to call people liars (as Mike seems to have done here) without actually asking them what they mean.

    It's very easy to accuse people of calling people liars (as you seem to have done here) without actually asking them what they mean.

     

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  134.  
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    Ryan, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Old people?

    Those would be the baby boomers at this point right? Add those to the people who are older (and older) than them, and you get the largest chunk of people in this country. So who watches 60 minutes? Looks to me like the people who watch 60 minutes are the largest demographic group out there which happens to be the one that has there thinking done professionally by 60 minutes and other scary goons.

     

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  135.  
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    treetaxi (profile), Nov 4th, 2009 @ 3:00am

    Re: Re: 60 minutes of agitprop

    Technically, BitTorrent IS decentralized distribution.

    from wikipedia:
    "Average BitTorrent download speed is limited by the combined average upload speed of "peers" (other nodes with partial copies which are also downloading) and "seeds" (complete copies that are only uploading)."

    This is probably semantics. -- but as far as a tool for pirates is concerned, -- also from wikipedia :

    "BitTorrent does not offer its users anonymity. It is possible to obtain the IP addresses of all current, and possibly previous, participants in a swarm from the tracker. This may expose users with insecure systems to attacks.[9] It may also expose users to the risk of being sued, if they are distributing files without permission from the copyright holder(s)."

    So why was Stahl attacking BitTorrent specifically?

     

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  136.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    Reasons

    @ Comment #9 Anonymous Coward and others:

    Although it’s obvious that the PER MOVIE gross is dropping across Mike’s period, why not look at reasons WHY. Having been around movies for, oh, fifty years or so, I can propose some answers to that (in no particular order), some of which have shown up in subsequent comments.

    First, quality. Let’s be honest – if all of the movies were of equal average quality, then there should be at least some increase in income. People will go to see good movies.

    Second, sequels. It’s a rare thing when a sequel is as good as its predecessor. So, this connects to quality and dilution.

    Third, the theater experience. Even without the airport-like security measures, I stopped going to the theater because I got tired of the discomfort. Theaters became smaller and smaller as houses were cut up into four- eight- and twelve-plexes. Even with new special-built multi multiplexes, there is less and less of the “personal” feel that smaller houses have. In addition, theaters get harder and harder to get to simply because there are fewer and fewer of them. More screens, yes, but fewer locations.

    Fourth, remakes. Much like sequels, remakes often are poor substitutes for the originals. See sequels, quality and dilution.

    Fifth, market dilution. Pushing more movies into a fixed-size market means fewer people will see each movie. Economics 101.

    Sixth, cost. Over the period Mike covers, how much have ticket prices increased? How much have the costs to the theaters themselves been pumped up? I’m sure that fewer and fewer people can afford an evening at a movie, especially with the current economic situation.

    Seventh, release lifetime. There is the expectation of making back all of the cost of making a movie, plus a profit, in the first couple of weeks. After that – DVD. This, plus theater experience and cost will make more people wait for the DVD.

    Eighth, DVD. Yes, the DVD hurts gross. Why? People will wait for a DVD with extras rather than putting up with a poor theater experience at a higher cost.

    Eighth, loss of small movie houses. This factors into theater experience, cost (to the theater) and lifetime. Since so many movies move to DVD, small houses can’t compete. Costs to the houses are up, too, I bet.

    Ninth, and most importantly, calculations. Seriously. How one calculates gross will directly affect these numbers. If “gross” is strictly “number of theater tickets sold times the price per ticket”, then the change only reflects a reduction in the number of people going to the theater. If “gross” is “the sum of all income streams”, then there is a different trend at work – an actual loss in income per movie. I strongly suspect that if the industry included the income from DVD, first and second tier (i.e. HBO vs FX) cable and digital in the calculation of “gross”, the numbers would be on the increase with a bit of flattening in 2008, simply because more and more movies are going to these arenas more and more quickly. In addition, I cannot believe that more than 1100 movies were released in 2008 unless you’re talking worldwide or unless you’re including old movies released to DVD. If the latter, then we have to consider one additional “why”:

    Number ten: Falsehood. Regardless of any other points Mike makes, it is clear that the MPAA is not above lying. They’re not above FUD. They and their counterparts in other industries have consistently shown that to them the ends always justify the means.

     

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  137.  
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    ABurro, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    Not News - Marketing!

    So called news organizations are just propaganda machines for whoever stands to make or take your money. GE (NBC) stands to make billions on the Global Warming Scam, so of course they were in the tank for Obama. I don't waste my time with them anymore. 60 Minutes became irrelevant years ago.

     

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  138.  
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    Emmet Gibney, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 7:30am

    this is why their in trouble...

    Fighting the future only leaves you in the past while everyone else passes you by. It's in times of revolution that new fortunes are made, and I think the likes of Google, Facebook, and others are just the start of the new media billionaires.

     

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  139.  
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    pethead, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    Exactly. It's an old person's show and this is just going to get grand parents all over their grand kids for something they may or may not be doing.

    Kids these days...

     

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  140.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re: Video Shows that MPAA itself contributing to Piracy

    You make it sound like the fact that he was also uploading is surprising, but he actually comes right out and says it in the explanation he gives.

    Also - cones? No. Cylinders. Right rectangular cylinders.

     

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  141.  
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    Al Winston, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    60 min has been crap for years

    What, 60 min is still on the air? Hasn't this bit of yellow journalism been replaced by more reliable reporting like Teen Beat?

     

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  142.  
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    Brad Toune, Nov 4th, 2009 @ 9:42pm

    This should be a submission to Media Watch

    I think they need a bit of a wake up call - make them apologise for misguided and misleading reporting.

     

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  143.  
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    Patrick Toolan, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:00am

    Sodenbergh claims nobody would make the Matrix nowadays...

    ...and yet James Cameron is planning to release his film Avatar in December, which he's been mulling over and working on since 1994. Is it that Sodenbergh thinks nobody would make the financial investment of the Matrix (paling in comparison to films like the Pirates of the Caribbean films in inflation-adjusted figures) or that nobody would make the time investment required for the Matrix movies - an argument rather destroyed by the production of both Avatar as well as series like the Lord of the Rings. This whole position by Sodenbergh seems complete self-serving baloney which, though it might sound plausible to people who find the industry just too darned competitive for their liking, does not hold water when examined closely with facts and figures. The US movie industry might not like piracy, but it certainly does not appear to be killing the business.

    Inflation adjusted figures based on IMDB data, at wikipedia:
    wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_films

     

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  144.  
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    The Cleaner, Nov 7th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Bottom Dollar

    It is interesting to see the hollywood income (real or imagined) stay roughly the same since 2004 - when my own income from cleaning the toilets at companies contracting to the studios is a half of what it used to be. "we have to cut costs because of the economic downturn etc etc.."
    For 12 months I haven't been able to afford the basics, let alone go to the movies - or buy a DVD. Not that the economic situation has prevented my employers from buying Bentley Coupes..

    The Hollywood income might not have increased over a couple of years - but it hasn't really decreased either - these people are paying substantially less to their employees and contractors than they ever used to.

    The money is not filtering down the food chain.

    Even if my case is not the general rule, in my eyes the industry is still paying 50% less for it's services than it did a year ago - yet still maintaining a healthy income.

    And if I object? I am replaced by someone willing to go cheaper.

     

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  145.  
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    James Carr, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: 60 minutes of agitprop

    It seems to me that the studios are scared to death of the plummeting cost of filmmaking and the competition it brings. Bittorent is in the crosshairs now because it could make distribution of indie content much more practical. Next it will be lower cost editing stations (home PCs), filmmaking software, and HD camcorders (also attacked in the piece as a piracy tool).

     

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  146.  
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    Nada Gunnasei, Nov 10th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Tellin It Like It Aint

    On 3 separate and completely unrelated occasions in my life, I have had the misfortune to be directly connected to or acquainted with the subjects of 60 Minutes stories. I was never personally the subject of a story, but I knew the facts by PERSONAL observation.

    In EACH case, 60 Minutes a) lied, or published lies unchallenged; b) ignored important facts WHICH THEY WERE GIVEN; and c) put the absolutely most alarming and sensational slant they possibly could on the story. They sell controversy and shock. They do NOT report what can fairly be termed "news." If these people were ever journalists in the sense of accuracy, ethics, balance, etc., they certainly are not acting as such in the context of that show. And a SHOW it is, I'll give them that.

    Based on my experience, I consider it a maxim that the truth on the ground is not EVER what "60 Minutes" represents it to be.

    I'm just a regular Joe. If I know their game, so do most other people. Coincidence has given me a clearer perspective than some, no doubt, but I hear skepticism towards the 60 Minutes hacks from practically everyone with whom I've ever discussed their show. I doubt they sway anyone more than a few elderly TV zombies with their propaganda.

     

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  147.  
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    Another anon, Nov 11th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Umm.... my wife and I watch it regularly. It's a great program, minus the above mistakes, and it's the reason I turn on the TV on Sunday nights. The stories are usually amazing, it only has 2-3 commercial breaks between stories (no commercials during stories to break up the flow), and it's a welcome break form the other networks providing infotainment.

    Oh yea, I'm 25 - not 70. Give it a chance, you might like it.

     

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

  148.  
    identicon
    Tom Samp, Nov 16th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    I Had Similar Misgivings

    I just found this site and it is terrific.

    After seeing this 60 Minutes reporrt on Movie Piracy, I had some misgivings, sort of a gut reaction, which your article helped support.
    Thanks for the vindication!

    http://tom-samp-journal.blogspot.com/2009/11/journal-sunday-november-1-60-minutes.ht ml

    Tom

     

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

  149.  
    identicon
    Gsm, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Gsm

    On 3 separate and completely unrelated occasions in my life, I have had the misfortune to be directly connected to or acquainted with the subjects of 60 Minutes stories. I was never personally the subject of a story, but I knew the facts by PERSONAL observation.

     

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

  150.  
    identicon
    Justin Bieber, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Justin bieber

    It seems to me that the studios are scared to death of the plummeting cost of filmmaking and the competition it brings. Bittorent is in the crosshairs now because it could make distribution of indie content much more practical. Next it will be lower cost editing stations (home PCs), filmmaking software, and HD camcorders (also attacked in the piece as a piracy tool).

     

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

  151.  
    icon
    Julian van Metre (profile), Oct 8th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Guilt-free pirate

    After I noticed wii commercials embedded in episodes of 'True Blood' on HBO, I canceled my subscription and now torrent 'true Blood', and 'Real Time' without so much as a twinge of guilt or remorse. A premium cable subscriber pays a subscription fee in order to enjoy commercial-free content.

    When HBO has a vampire playing golf with a prominently displayed wii console, and Miss Sookie the Fang-banger mentioning wii my name, HBO is broadcasting a 'commercial' and violating our contract. So now I view HBO programming for free. The revenue generated by the embedded wii commercials should off-set the loss of my business and subsidise my none-compensatory viewing.

    Corporations whine about consumers not respecting their proprietary property rights, shamelessly playing the victims with a straight face. Consumers are screwed by big corporations a hundred times a day. Taking advantage of the little people is part and parcel of every corporation's businesses model. Corporations even tamper with our government and thus democracy itself. Yeah. I feel reaaaaaaal guilty for bittorenting.

     

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

  152.  
    identicon
    Oasis Hot Tubs, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I agree! Got what you are pointing. Good example best explained.

     

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


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