Heads Of Major Movies Studios Claiming They Just Want To Help Poor Indie Films Harmed By Piracy

from the must-be-the-new-talking-point dept

I'm beginning to sense a trend. Just last month, we talked about a top exec at Paramount claiming that his "real worry" about movie piracy online was how it was going to harm indie films, since, as a big company, Paramount could take it. Then, just a week or so later, Sony Pictures' boss, Michael Lynton, also started talking about how fewer movies were being made due to piracy. Unfortunately, he was wrong. In the past five years the number of films being released has more than doubled and the major studios are making more money than ever at the box office. And yet... they keep trying. Dark Helmet points us to the news that the CEO of Fox Films, Jim Gianopulos, is the latest to claim that movie "piracy" is harming independent films the most (while saying it's harming everyone in the movie business, despite no evidence to support that claim). He made this statement while suggesting that the US needs to follow France in kicking people off the internet for file sharing accusations (not convictions).

It looks like the heads of the studios have all received their talking points from the same source (MPAA?) on this one. They're going to talk up the supposed harm to indie films, even as the indie film market appears to be figuring stuff out on its own (in part due to smart indie film producers embracing file sharing as a better means of distribution and promotion). My guess is that the strategy is a response to the realization that those massive box office returns don't look good when the major studios argue for more draconian copyright laws, so just as the RIAA makes up stories about "protecting the up-and-coming artist," the major studios and the MPAA are now using a bogus PR strategy of "protecting the indie filmmaker," when all they really want are more laws to offer additional protectionist policies for the next blockbuster.


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  1.  
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    an experiment, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:57pm

    lets see how france is in 5 years

    my vision in 5 years is that all those people that used to pirate on the net will have moved off it and hand bomb the pirated goods, YUP you can't stop FREEDOM. and all this does is take the cash away from the ISPS that did little to nothing and i bet OVH won't exist in 5 -10 years due to no one needing any of those 100megabit or gigabit servers for anything.....

    so let em have there laws and watch fewer people watch indie films via bit torrent then goto a place to pay to see that film.
    YUP the end is nearer then they think.

     

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  2.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    ROFL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:08pm

    You did the "smart - dumb" thing again Mike:

    in part due to smart indie film producers embracing file sharing as a better means of distribution...

    How do you know they are smart? Have they traded millions later for thousands today? Why label them smart when we don't know the outcome?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    President Obama's ACTA Tent Party

    Linton is going to be at Obama's ACTA Tent Party.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:17pm

    Re:

    You did the "smart - dumb" thing again Mike:

    Yes. It's called having an opinion.

     

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    Nathania, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    If big studios are really so worried about smaller films - why don't they just produce these films?

     

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  7.  
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    Donald Schall, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Re: President Obama's ACTA Tent Party

    Has anyone told these guys that they need to re-develop and re-grow their customerbase? Companies blind expectations of handing money over isn't that simple anymore?

    Why isn't Stephen Colbert invited? Why isn't Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig invited? Why isn't OneRepublic invited? These are just a few of the real heros of today. Today's heros of entertainment are not old WWE entertainers, people claiming retirement like Oprah, or people like Mike Linton with vast, unprofitable distribution chains.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    "If big studios are really so worried about smaller films - why don't they just produce these films?"

    That was the question I asked on the submission page as well. We've got Fox Movies telling us that piracy hurts indy films the most....with no explanation as to why they care in any way....and no suggestion that they ought to just assist those indy producers by, oh i dont know....FUCKING HIRING THEM!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:31pm

    Re:

    As opposed to the stupidity that comes with looking no further than one's own nose.

    Copyright will be rendered obsolete in the near future.

     

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  10.  
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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    We don't know the alternative outcomes, but we do know what actions each took and what they said, specifically the "indie" Jamin and Kiowa and the "major" Jim Gianopolous.

    (i) Neither intentionally pushed their film(s) out for piracy
    (ii) Jamin and Kiowa reacted to the news of piracy by (a) recognizing the exposure it gave and (b) thanking all fans for their support, including those that after viewing the pirated version, came to see it in a theatre.
    (iii) Jim Gianopolous reacts by attempting to misinform people "It is important to show them that there is a connection between what they're doing and theft" and "Internet service providers can track down subscribers".

    Yeah no problem, they just can, no costs, no worry, they'll just do it magically and always accurately identify what's illegitimate. Oh and it's theft, of course.

    In my stated opinion, I think it's pretty clear that recognizing free exposure and thanking your fanbase is smarter than spreading lies. I think spreading lies is dumb, but that's just me, and just my opinion.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Spreading lies is inherently dumb but that's what you get by following a playbook from the last century.

    Authenticity is so much better than bullshit.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: President Obama's ACTA Tent Party

    You've been watching that new music video from OneRepublic that has the band playing on stage while the little kid goes around all the rich people asking for donations, haven't you?

     

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    astroturtle (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    Oh man... Talk about industry reasoning that doesn't hold water for even a second.

    Big studios don't give a _rat's ass_ about small independent productions. Mike himself posted a shinning example of that a few weeks ago when discussing Paramount Pictures CEO's own reaction to "Paranormal Activity" [http://techdirt.com/articles/20091104/1213426797.shtml]

    I'm paraphrasing but... "A low budget film that actually made a little money? Hmm... *lightbulb goes off* I know! Lets make a a big budget sequel!" Holy cow Philippe, could you have missed the point any harder?

    Then there are the number of examples (posted here for example!) of lesser known (and even some well known) musicians and film makers turning more and more to those pesky "pirates" to generate some noise and momentum around their work by "leaking" or releasing their material for free.

    So question is... Why are these creative people who put blood, sweat and at times, everything they own into their work, more and more siding with the very people who are supposedly "stealing" their content? Gee, could it be because _that_ is the lesser of two evils? Seems that more and more artists are figuring out their own contracts bone them way harder than an internet full of 16 year olds with a fast connections and a torrent client ever could. Speaks volumes about the whole darned industry doesn't it?

     

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    lavi d (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:59pm

    Technology Giveth...

    ...and technology taketh away.

    The same digital technology that has given (and still gives) studios billions in profits from the sale and rental of DVDs is now evolving to shrink that very same market.

    The studios had no problem with digital technology when it was flowing cash only towards them. Now that the flow is lessening, they want government to step in and help them out.

    You know what MPAA? If you don't like people making copies of your recordings, DON'T RELEASE RECORDINGS!

    It just cannot get any simpler.

     

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  15.  
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    Donald Schall, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: President Obama's ACTA Tent Party

    The one with the orchestral reprise containing the lyrics "Yeah, We're Going Down"

    You know it. It should be the theme song for The President's ACTA Tent Party!!!

     

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  16.  
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    Doh, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    I smell a rat

    Wow - and I thought the big movie studios were worried about the competition from the indie movie people and here they are supporting them ?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Technology Giveth...

    Great logic. Sort of like "if you don't want to get shot walking down the street, stay home". Perhaps addressing crime rather than treating the innocent as criminals would be a better way?

     

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  18.  
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    Nina Paley (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    smart

    I think I'm smart, but I'm biased.

     

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  19.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    "He made this statement while suggesting that the US needs to follow France in kicking people off the internet for file sharing accusations (not convictions)."

    ISPs will be kicking users off the internet...

    ...so, should I start investing in companies involved in wireless mesh networking?
    get enough people on board, and we will have our own internet, no more monthly fees.

    gotta love how the internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it.

     

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  20.  
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    timlash, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    I'm soooo tired

    I'm so tired of reading the same lame entertainment company excuses supporting their herculean efforts to plug the damn against ceaseless innovation just to maintain the status quo for their benefit and my detriment.

    Mike, don't you get tired? Or discouraged?

    I'm discouraged and frustrated by the thought that they make legislative gains every day. Limitations on what's technically possible. Protective copyright extensions with no rhyme or reason. Continuing schemes to charge for infinite goods. I see no light at the end of the tunnel.

     

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  21.  
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    NullOp, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 7:28pm

    Oh yeah...

    Big movie companies can say what they want but its about the money. And as far as they are concerned the money is theirs, they are entitled to it. They don't give one red-rats-ass about any indie production company. Its simply greed disguised as concern and no more!

     

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  22.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Technology Giveth...

    More like 'if you don't want to get shot, don't sell guns', although I struggle to find any fitting analogy along those lines.

    The only reason people aren't free to share films and the like given no agreement to the contrary is because the law says so. The reason people aren't free to shoot each other is because it is inherently harmful. Trying to draw a comparison between a criminal law based on peoples inherent right to live and a civil law based on a botched idea of economics is disingenuous at best.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    "the CEO of Fox Films"

    and we all thought that fox was for free market capitalism. What a lie.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    Re:

    and let me ask, how much has fox et al helped indie films? These people don't help indie films, they never have. They have always harmed indi films by demanding monopolies on airwaves and infrastructure (and on the ability to build new infrastructure) and trying to broadcast mostly commercials, lies, and proprietary work on those infrastructure so that the only people who are known are those who are signed and give a huge percentage to the rich and the powerful and hence they're the only ones who make it in stores. They're the ones making it such that almost all music and content outside the Internet is only available at monopoly prices. These people are liars, they do not care for indi musicians who have often even released their music under creative commons licenses over the Internet. They only care to stop the competition in any way they could and make sure that everything that is sold is ONLY sold at monopoly prices. and the fact that they will play favoritism to only one side of the issue while often censoring others is just an indication of their dishonesty.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I wish this were true but, short of huge protests, I do not see intellectual property going away any time soon. The rich and the powerful are too selfish and evil to let something like that go and the government is doing little to serve the American people and most of their actions are unilaterally for the sole benefit of the rich and the powerful.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There are three things that can't be hidden for very long; the sun, the moon, and the truth.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    Re:

    "..so, should I start investing in companies involved in wireless mesh networking?"

    Good luck with that, there are laws making that very VERY difficult.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    Re: smart

    Is that you featured on WSJ? Good for you, Girl!


    A previous comment you made had me chuckle--
    "No, Hollywood accountants know that 2 + 2 = 0. Oh my God there's no money!!!"

    So true, so true.

     

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  29.  
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    MediaLibMan (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:24pm

    MPAA is not concerned about Indie..

    I can tell you as an academic media librarian who regularly has conversations with independent film makers and educational film makers that the studios are not concerned with protecting their rights. Instead, the "big 5" studios - who are all a part of major media conglomerates - have witnessed how their peer organizations in other content industries have fallen victim to ineffective innovation and are trying to hold on for dear life until they can work a sustainable business model (it's hard to compete with free).

    In the meantime, they will continue to push against consumerist-centered innovation (see RealDVD & Redbox/Netflix), misinformation campaigns and exploiting DMCA take-down notices about legal fair use applications (not every YouTube video with commercial content is necessarily breaking the law), and push for legislative-circumventing international treaties (thanks ACTA).

    In due time (sooner than you think), they will come up with a business model. In fact, I am betting within 2 years or less, you will start to see an announcement to the effect:

    "As a Comcast/Time Warner subscriber, you now have access to all of the Warner Bros (fill in the blank studio) back movie catalog freely streamed digital online, to your non-Apple portable or to your TV in amazing HD 1080i. For an extra $9.95 a month ("the movie bundle"), you can get all the new releases*, playable once a month for 24 hours." Just wait, it won't only be movies. You will also be able to get the news bundle (access to Wall Street Journal), the music bundle (access to Taylor Swift - Walt Disney), even the social media bundle (access to cats playing the piano - woot, only 4.95!).

    Once they get a monthly subscription out of people they will drop the copyright shenanigans (lobbyists are expensive after all), just in time for ACTA to take effect! But by then fair use would have withered anyways, and the average user won't care because they won't be too inconvenienced.

    Oh, yea and concern for the Indie movie maker, prey tell where the studios will be for them then. Simple, where they are now - nowhere.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Artists are the antenna of humanity." - Ezra Pound

    "They're not going to see this coming." - Malcolm Reynolds

     

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    vyvyan, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:59am

    If they (Big Five) really want to help indie film makers, the best they can do is to close down their own studios/productions. Frankly, in last 2-3 years, the best movies are indie movies. This is just a personal opinion but I think a lot of will agree to that.

     

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    catullusrl, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 5:10am

    Legislation works !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 5:22am

    So, indie movies (and music) use the internet to distribute and advertise their wares (some of it free) and the big old MPAA (and RIAA) folks do not like the competition - what do they do? They pretend to act supportive by destroying what their competition uses against them.

     

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  34.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Re: Legislation works !

    Did you read the whole article?

    FTFA:
    Opponents of the British proposals are quick to point out that the Swedish sales rise coincides with the emergence of new legal digital services such as the popular Spotify.

    Indicating that it may not be for the reason you want it to be. Not to mention that:

    Figures from the record labels association IFPI Sweden show revenues rose 18% in the first nine months of this year,

    Yes, because these organizations have shown their math to be infallible. I am very likely to not believe a single math stat they put out. Maybe if it came from somebody else but they have used extremely fuzzy math just a few too many times. Such as their double (or more than twice) dipping and all the other crazy methods they have used to inflate numbers.

    And lastly, you are linking to an article about music to claim that the original post here is wrong .. when the original article is about movies. Brilliant.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:15am

    Re: Legislation works !

    Oh, and down towards the end of the article you linked to:

    "At best, the Swedish system has hastened the migration from P2P. The development of better legitimate models is very welcome and it probably explains the uptick in sales. But it seems highly implausible that it is legislation which has prompted any reversal of fortune," he added.
    In Sweden many artists came out in support of new legislation, says Werner. But many opposed it as counterproductive.
    Alex Jonsson, the keyboard player in Maze of Time, a Swedish progressive rock band, describes the new law as "absolutely horrid", partly because of the privacy implications, but also because he believes many bands have benefited from filesharing.
    "If I could, I would put everything out there. The way the music business has developed means that spread is much more important than short-term gain … It's a changing climate and you have to look at new ways of getting your music out, such as the live scene and bundling music together with other services and so on," he said.
    "I do get a smaller piece of the pie but the pie is getting bigger. People in Kuala Lumpur would never have known before about a band in a suburb of Stockholm."


    Smarter musicians don't try to fight what can't be stopped.
    I am more inclined to believe that the legal and reasonable offer draws more people in than any threats from law.
    I am also left wondering if you even read the entire article since it doesn't seem to solidly support what you claim it does.

     

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  36.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "They're not going to see this coming."

    Yes they are, its a high speed train heading straight toward them. Instead of trying to get on the train they are just standing in its path waiting to be run over....

    The MPAA is distracting the movie industry with methods of saving their industry that historically didn't and aren't working for the Big Music Labels. The MPAA exists to justify its own existance. They blow sunshine up the skirts of the exec's in the Movie industry, so badly they probably all need SPF 50 rectal sunscreen. They tell them every thing is going to be just fine. Tell them we can solve this for you, with out you having to adapt to a changing market place.

     

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  37.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re:

    ". We've got Fox Movies telling us that piracy hurts indy films the most....with no explanation as to why they care in any way"

    Dark Helmet - It goes something like this ... "It not about us, its about these poor indy film makers" ... hmmm where have we heard that before .... Oh yeah .... "Its not about the record labels, think of the artists". Its a very standard way to say we care about xxxxxx and not yyyyyyy. In this case its "we care about the artists not our bottom line". Which is a distraction and a lie. JMHO

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Legislation works !

    "A crackdown on illegal sites combined with the spread of legal sites supported by advertising had helped push consumers from one to the other."

    Its more than likely a combo of fuzzy math and advertising, to support-spin the further expansion of copyright. Also I would take this with a grain of salt because the Labels tend to say that everything is a victory even when its a loss.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Re: Legislation works !

    This is my favorite part of the article ....

    "But the company questioned whether piracy was on the wane. "We have almost no idea how much content is being accessed illegally because people are migrating away from P2P (peer to peer) platforms and increasingly access content via proxy servers, encryption, ripping from internet, radio and so on – all of which is undetectable," said a spokesman."

    The laws that were passed only changed the way people are actually downloading files, not the rate at which they are downloaded. What I find really humorous is that the UK's proposed laws "WILL" show the required ??70%?? reduction in illegal file sharing. Not because there actually was a drop in file sharing, but because everything will be encrypted and they wont be able to tell what is actually being shared .... Big Ole GRIN

     

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  40.  
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    catullusrl, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Carrots and sticks work better than carrots alone.

    http://www.economist.com/node/14845087

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Legislation works !

    Oops .... that was so off topic ....

     

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  42.  
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    SomeGuy (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Legislation works !

    Yes, a scathing rebuttal:

    Opponents of the British proposals are quick to point out that the Swedish sales rise coincides with the emergence of new legal digital services such as the popular Spotify. Music industry groups concede that too, but they insist the combination of carrot and stick is the key to changing consumer behaviour.

    "We shouldn't be surprised that digital revenues are going up in countries like Sweden now that new services have been online for a while. The question is whether it is necessary to have harsh enforcements," he said.

    Killock believes music companies and other rights holders are already alienating consumers. He points out that Sweden's Pirate party, which wants to legalise internet filesharing, has won a seat in the European parliament. His own group, which is running a "say no to disconnection" campaign, has seen its membership grow by 20% in the last two months, to just over 1,000 people.

    "Filesharing is not the root of the problem. It's a symptom not a cause. It's a symptom of a lack of relevant services," said Killock.

    But the company questioned whether piracy was on the wane. "We have almost no idea how much content is being accessed illegally because people are migrating away from P2P (peer to peer) platforms and increasingly access content via proxy servers, encryption, ripping from internet, radio and so on – all of which is undetectable," said a spokesman.

    "If I could, I would put everything out there. The way the music business has developed means that spread is much more important than short-term gain … It's a changing climate and you have to look at new ways of getting your music out, such as the live scene and bundling music together with other services and so on," he said.

    "I do get a smaller piece of the pie but the pie is getting bigger. People in Kuala Lumpur would never have known before about a band in a suburb of Stockholm."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    lol

    I'm beginning to sense a trend.

    Me too. Although I think we're sensing different ones.

    Michael Lynton, also started talking about how fewer movies were being made due to piracy. Unfortunately, he was wrong. In the past five years the number of films being released has more than doubled

    That depends on how far you stretch the word "release". If you streeeeeeeeetch it to include home video premiere, cable premiere, and art house films that have one or two screenings at one or two theaters and go on to be seen by one or two people before being yanked into footnote status after failing to secure further distribution -- then yes, more films are being "released".

    Perhaps we should go one step further and include all the home videos parents take of their kids little league matches? Or cell phone videos? After all, what REALLY constitutes a "movie" in this glorious age of the amateur? Surely, some Youtube-Bubba lighting his farts on fire should count as a "released film", right?

    This is the same sort of fuzzy math you derided the industry for using with its 1.5 trillion figure.

    Overall revenue is on a downward slant even as the box office continues to break records. Studios have already cut production this year it's widely held that 2010 will see a 30-50% decrease in studio output and the current production slate and release scheduling certainly supports that.

    This isn't to say that piracy is to blame for all of this but your constant need to paint Hollywood as an industry crying wolf is not in line with reality. Overall profits are sagging and production is down, layoffs, closures and quota cutting are significant. Despite the apparent boon in one sector, it is still an industry largely in contraction.

    and the major studios are making more money than ever at the box office...

    (emphasis mine)

    And it's funny how you say "studios" and then link to an article that only discusses ONE of them.

    even as the indie film market appears to be figuring stuff out on its own (in part due to smart indie film producers embracing file sharing as a better means of distribution and promotion).

    Really?

    Any sales figures to back this up?

    The only indie film sales figures I've seen you post have been flat out abysmal. That last ones you posted constituted an 80% loss of investment! (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091023/1800316660.shtml)

    So what "stuff" have these indie filmmakers been figuring out, exactly?

    How to lose money?

    How to not make a second film?

    How to subsist unsustainably?

    How to BEG for charity?

    How to crawl back to their day jobs?

    How inedible and unmarketable "torrent popularity" is?

    If that's what you meant, I agree, these Pioneer filmmakers have been learning these lessons quite well indeed.

    Where are all the copyright-ignoring, torrent-embracing filmmaker SUCCESS stories, I wonder? Affordable, 24p-capable digital cameras have been out since 2002. Bittorrent has been out since 2001. Surely there should have been some better examples by now (all these years later) than the downright pitiful, unconvincing rabble you've been forced to make do with on this blog?

    So where are they?

    Because right now, all I'm aware of is varying degrees of failure which means, as usual, the only thing you have is your theories.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: lol

    That depends on how far you stretch the word "release". If you streeeeeeeeetch it to include home video premiere, cable premiere, and art house films that have one or two screenings at one or two theaters and go on to be seen by one or two people before being yanked into footnote status after failing to secure further distribution -- then yes, more films are being "released".

    And this is a problem how exactly? It was your friends in the industry insisting that fewer films were being made. They are wrong. You are wrong. It's no shame to admit it.

    And, yes, we're using the industry's own numbers, so these are real releases.

    Perhaps we should go one step further and include all the home videos parents take of their kids little league matches? Or cell phone videos? After all, what REALLY constitutes a "movie" in this glorious age of the amateur? Surely, some Youtube-Bubba lighting his farts on fire should count as a "released film", right?

    Um. No. No one is counting those. Not sure why you'd bring that up, unless you knew the numbers worked against you and you just couldn't take it.

    Overall revenue is on a downward slant even as the box office continues to break records. Studios have already cut production this year it's widely held that 2010 will see a 30-50% decrease in studio output and the current production slate and release scheduling certainly supports that.

    Hee hee. And you're the one talking about "fuzzy math." Let's note the fact you snuck in that "studio releases" by which you mean "big studio releases" by which you mean "industry dinosaurs like the one I work for that haven't figured out how to adapt."

    More movies are being released, more money is being made. You're a blasted fool if you can't figure out how to take advantage of that.

    This isn't to say that piracy is to blame for all of this but your constant need to paint Hollywood as an industry crying wolf is not in line with reality. Overall profits are sagging and production is down, layoffs, closures and quota cutting are significant. Despite the apparent boon in one sector, it is still an industry largely in contraction.

    More output? Larger overall pie? If it's an industry in contraction it's only due to dumb management decisions. Most industries would kill for a market where there was greater demand than ever before and significant increases in revenue. Only complete idiots would complain about such an industry contracting.

    And it's funny how you say "studios" and then link to an article that only discusses ONE of them.

    I linked to articles talking about three of them. And now you can't even use your fingers to count?

    The only indie film sales figures I've seen you post have been flat out abysmal. That last ones you posted constituted an 80% loss of investment! (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091023/1800316660.shtml)

    Heh. I guess you can't even remember more than one film at a time. :) Keep searching Sherlock.

    Where are all the copyright-ignoring, torrent-embracing filmmaker SUCCESS stories, I wonder? Affordable, 24p-capable digital cameras have been out since 2002. Bittorrent has been out since 2001. Surely there should have been some better examples by now (all these years later) than the downright pitiful, unconvincing rabble you've been forced to make do with on this blog?

    We've discussed a bunch. Perhaps you missed them while you were out whining about how the world just isn't fair, and they were making money.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: President Obama's ACTA Tent Party

    Oprah isn't retiring, she is getting her own network.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: lol

    We've discussed a bunch.


    No. What you've discussed is a bunch of failures, charity cases, and limited time free-to-stream experiments.

    Show me ONE filmmaker whose turned a profit (that amounts to more than minimum wage) by completely ignoring copyright and completely embracing piracy.

    I just searched your entire archives using the word "filmmaker". Here's what I found:

    "Star Wreck blah blah" -- first movie took SEVEN YEARS to complete. Surprisingly (lol) no sales figures. Second movie apparently "in the works" and will apparently NOT be "embracing free" should it ever actually get off the ground.

    "Nasty Old People" -- Colossal failure as per supplied sales figures. Hilarious spin speculating on her ability to fund future projects on the basis of her current colossal failure. Give it away and pray.

    "Ink" -- Surprisingly (lol) no sales figures. A glut lot of idealistic hype. The claim that it's "one of the top 20 most popular films in the world" is especially hilarious.

    "File Sharing Sites Team up to "help" Indie Filmmakers with new (CHARITY-BASED) Service -- Surprisingly (lol) no sales figures.

    "Rage" -- Surprisingly (lol) No sales figures. Director admits there is currently no NEW viable economic model and suggests that perhaps a subscription service is the future.

    "Movie Makers use Fake Piracy Numbers to Land Distribution Deal" -- no evidence for causal relationship in the post's title. Surprisingly (lol) no sales figures.

    "Filmmakers Using Tiered Support And Fan Support As Well -- No sales figures for the first one (it hasn't even begun filming). According to their wiki they've only managed to "crowd-fund" (i.e. "charity") about 24% of the 150k they need to make it so don't hold your breath! The other film mentioned allows people to host their own screenings and keep the profits but surprisingly (lol) the posting leaves out the fact that you have to buy the "screening DVD kit" in order to do that even though you could just as easily pirate it. EXCLUSIVE, copyright-based deal signed for DVD distribution rights.

    "Filmmaker Releases Film Via All Torrent Sites" -- Surprisingly (lol) no sales figures. Yet another example of Give it away and pray.

    "Sita Sings The Blues" (multiple posts) -- Surprisingly (lol) no important sales figures given. Hasn't even paid back 50k loan debt for licensing rights much less the $290k overall budget which is surprisingly (lol) never mentioned in any of the techdirt posts covering this subject. Nina has elsewhere expressed the virtues of filmmakers sleeping on friends couches in order to continue losing money making films and that concept pretty much sums up her worth to the future of filmmaking and filmmakers in general. Additionally, most of her net income seems to have come from charity via give it away and pray.


    So please, direct me to the shining example I've missed. I would love to be proven wrong.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: lol

    Heh. It's difficult to take anyone seriously who uses "lol".

    Anyway...

    "Show me ONE filmmaker whose turned a profit (that amounts to more than minimum wage) by completely ignoring copyright and completely embracing piracy."

    You're using weasel words "completely." No one said that we were discussing filmmakers who *completely* ignore copyright or focus on Bittorrent.

    But we have discussed folks like Kevin Smith -- a very successful filmmaker, who has stated very publicly that he's happy when people pirate his films because it could mean one new fan. And he's making plenty of money selling scarcities: seats to theaters, DVDs, books, appearances.

    I understand he's doing pretty well.

    In the meantime, I find it quite telling that you didn't respond to anything else in my comment.

    Hey, I know it's tough when the internet changes your business model. But, there are ways to cope that don't involve lashing out at those showing you the way. I offered in the past to help you out, and I'm serious. Give us a call. Would love to chat with you about your own efforts and ways to improve them.

     

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


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