88-Year Old Man Caught Taping Avatar With A Camcorder

from the at-least-they-let-him-go dept

There's this impression out there, among some, that copyright infringement is just something that the young do. The truth is, of course, that plenty of people infringe on copyrights all the time, for perfectly natural reasons (even some of the strongest copyright supporters do it as well). And the reasons they do it is because they don't even realize they're infringing. Our natural inclination to share something we like outweighs an arcane set of laws that still haven't been shown to actually encourage greater creation of quality content. Case in point: an 88-year-old man in Australia wanted to go see the movie Avatar with his wife -- but she was unable to make it to the theater. So the guy brought along his camcorder (and his walking stick) to record the movie and share it with his wife, so they could experience it together. Now, for any compassionate human being, this is a tale of sweetness. What a thoughtful thing this guy wanted to do for his wife.

But the industry doesn't see it that way. To them, it's still "piracy" and a problem. To be honest, if the movie industry stopped with its silly "windowing" concept, this wouldn't have been a problem at all. The studio easily could have released Avatar on DVD at the same time as the movie came out. Tons of people would have still gone to see it in the theater (it's the type of movie that many people very much wanted to see in the theater -- especially where there were 3D or IMAX options). Hell, if they had made it an option to buy the DVD on the way out (perhaps giving a discount if you had a ticket stub), I'm sure plenty more people would have shelled out for the DVD, as well. And, the 88-year-old man in Australia could have simply bought or rented the DVD and shared the whole experience with his wife.

Instead, the studio forbids that sort of thing, and so the thoughtful husband becomes a criminal. Thankfully, while the police were called, it appears they chose not to arrest the man. They just deleted the film from his video camera, and then let him stay for the rest of the film.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Rob Etler, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:33am

    Heaven forbid the old man's wife watch the movie without having paid the $15 to see it!

    Seriously, this kind of story makes me wonder how movie companies are going to cater first-run films to people who can't make it out to the theater. Obviously, accosting octogenarians is bad for business, so I'm sure sooner or later someone is gonna go around the Theater Gestapo.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:36am

    This was an attempt by the Pirate Patry to put the Movie Studios in a bad light ... oh wait ... they can do that all by themselves, never mind.

     

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    Bas Grasmayer, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Ah! So this is how it all ties in with organized crime and terrorism. Good thing ACTA negotiation are well on their way. This type of evil practices need to be stopped...

    LOL. The entertainment industries are bringing themselves doooown.

     

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    Sirhc (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Monetizing

    If they cannot monetize in a particular market, get out of that market just like you would do in ANY other industry. If they cannot figure out how to make it work, find a new line of work and leave my rights and privacy alone. Go out of business I DO NOT CARE, maybe I could find something more constructive to do other than stare at a stupid lighted box filling my brain with ads that cost me money and make it for others. Aaaanyway...

    At least the outcome for the old man was reasonable unlike the jail time that has happened here in the states during birthday partys and such.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:19am

    What has this country come to...

    when cops won't enforce the laws because they're smarter than studio executives?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:31am

    Re: What has this country come to...

    cops won't enforce the laws because they're smarter than studio executives

    That's not saying much.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:36am

    You mean some authority actually solved a problem without instigating violence, confining someone to jail, or costly and tiresome court proceedings? They actually used discretion, and common sense? Amazing....

     

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    dirtyharry2, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:36am

    perfectly reasonable

    The gentleman was camcording a movie. The entire world knows that's not permitted, and there's signs up in the theatre. It's a criminal offence (at least here in Canada). Yes, his motives were pure. That's why he wasn't punished, and they simply removed the recording. There's no news here. The industry does lots of bad things, and is easy enough to put in a bad light without resorting to stories like this one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:37am

    I wonder if a younger person in good physical shape did this same thing for a wife who couldn't make it; would the outcome be the same?

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:45am

    While I generally agree, why couldn't the husband have just waited several months for the home DVD release? Why did his wife have to see Avatar NOW? Other than she may not be alive when it reaches DVD?

    The article doesn't mention this, but did the guy purchase a ticket for his wife? I would feel much more compassion for the situation if the man bought TWO tickets for the movie, one for him and one for his wife who would be watching the recorded version remotely later.

    Then, he would have paid the price of two tickets, and two people would have seen the movie, albeit one of them at a greatly reduced level of quality. And if the copy was destroyed after that viewing then there would have been no contribution to piracy and the theater & movie studios would have sold one more seat (in fact, they could have double sold it).

    Now, if he had only bought one ticket, then it'd be harder to play the sympathy card.

     

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  11.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    "LOL. The entertainment industries are bringing themselves doooown."
    No, they're not. As long as consumers continue falling over to their will and buy their products, these actions will continue long after we're all gone.

    I mean, as touching as this story is, the couple could have easily waited until the DVD was out, which will be rather quickly given the cash it's already earned.

    It's the consumer mentality of wanting it yesterday which will never bring these industries down.

    Ironically, I made a post on forum regarding the Matrix DVD menu horror, and the response I got wasn't "I totally agree!" but "OMG! What, you don't buy because it takes a whopping few minutes out of your time?"

    Those responses, for the record, is damn good proof people just don't give a damn so long as they can view/listen/read whatever they want.

    Screw 'em all. Consumers and the entertainment industry both.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Mike, I'm usually with you, but not this time. While I'm glad nobody drug the old man off to jail in handcuffs (that would have been incredibly stupid), I don't want to pay good money to see a movie and have to be distracted by the lights from someone else's electronic or mobile device flashing up in the dark. I don't give a damn about the copyright holder. Lighted gadgets in dark movie theaters are distracting to the people around you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Uh...my guess is that when you're in your late 80s and your wife is so sick she can't leave the house waiting 6-10 months for the movie to come out on DVD isn't a wise option.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Re: What has this country come to...

    Cops are our last line of defense against bad laws.

    I say what has this country come to when cops blindly follow the law with disregard to circumstances or appropriate levels of force.

     

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    Joe Movie Watcher, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Try closing the windows

    Videotaping a movie is illegal, but isn't that a given in this conversation. I'm more glad that the police were level-headed enough to deal with it in a discreet and sensible manner.

    I think the main point of the article is good. Media launch windows tend to be dumb. So what if the movie companies wouldn't be able to get the same rents from cable and On-Demand? I think it's possible that it could be quickly made up by DVD sales. I mean, while I'm not among the throngs of die-hard Avatar fans, if I could have gone from the theater to the store to buy a copy, I would have.

     

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  16.  
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    Dirk Belligerent (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    TechDirt is getting dumb as dirt.

    "To be honest, if the movie industry stopped with its silly "windowing" concept, this wouldn't have been a problem at all. The studio easily could have released Avatar on DVD at the same time as the movie came out."

    Some geezer stupidly tries to record a movie so the missus could see it without paying for a ticket and it's the MOVIE STUDIO'S FAULT for not having simultaneous DVD release?!?!?!? Are you daft?!?!?

    I understand criticizing stupid corporate decisions like record labels forbidding embedding of their advertising videos for their artists or video game publishers imposing Draconian DRM restrictions on their paying customers, but what you're doing is slamming a studio for not catering to every foreseeable instance where someone could infringe.

    If you can't afford concert tickets, why can't your friends take a Flip and record the show for you? If a book is too expensive in hardback, why not download an eBook copy since those greedy anti-consumer publishers didn't cater to the public by making a cheaper paperback immediately available. Why should anyone sell their goods in the manner they choose if it doesn't suit Mike?

    Why isn't a DVD available at the popcorn stand? How about because it will be in stores in 4-6 months? Sure, this old guy and the wife may not live to see the home release at their ages, but so what? How are the theaters supposed to make money if a theater goer can buy a ticket, then buy the DVD, and then that DVD gets passed around to 20 friends of that purchaser? Money earned: One ticket and DVD sale. Money lost: The 20 tickets NOT sold because instead of saying, "You guys have got to go see [movie name]. It's awesome!", that one guy says, "I just saw this awesome movie! Check out the DVD!"

    It is insipid twaddle like this that gives those who want REASONABLE copyright rules a bad name because of the snotty, entitled attitude expressed by the likes of Mike. No, Mike, the studios aren't wrong to put their movies in theaters exclusively before eventually selling DVDs of them. It's not silly; it's business, and business is not automatically evil.

     

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  17.  
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    Known Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    88-Year Old Man Caught Taping Avatar

    Movies are released on DVD and cable in the Philippines at the same time, or a couple of weeks after theatre release. Not months for some major movies here. It's part of the greedy deal between movie companies and theatre chains.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:20pm

    Business isn't evil...and neither is making a copy of a movie.

     

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  19.  
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    LOL Man, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:20pm

    from the who-gives-a-darn department

    Good. I am glad he was arrested. TFB about his wife not getting to watch "Avatar". Like she can't go ahead and die without it. Watch another movie on DVD.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    That's not my problem. Nor is it the responsibility of the media companies (who I agree are more or less run by greedy fat neanderthals) to supply free entertainment to anyone. My one unfilled life dream is to see Jimmy Buffett live in concert, and I only want the best seats that money can buy. Well, I made some damned piss poor life choices, and now I'm 40 years old, and my chances of seeing Jimmy Buffett perform live dwindle with every passing year. It's my fault. I don't expect anyone to record a bootleg video of the concert so I can watch it at home.

     

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  21.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Yeah, I don't know Mike....

    This seems like a pretty clear cut case of the old guy doing something wrong. His motives were fine, and I'm sure he wasn't planning on uploading the cam vid to The Pirate Bay....but c'mon, you can't go walking into a theatre and tape the movie.

    Old folks gots to follow them laws too....

     

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  22.  
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    ant anti mike, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    @ 12 and 19

    @12:ive sat right next to a cammer and didnt have any problem watching the film
    NOW an 88year old trying it wold actually be more fun then the movie
    HAHA
    @19 you don't seem to gt it, i am sure if they said hey you don't pay the extra he would have ponied up OR if he knew he could do this legally. I am betting of course he knows its wrong, but also is making a statement that everyone is pirating so you hollywood fuckers can piss off.

    notice tam now posting under new nicks everyone....he gts paid to be a shill.
    and so what he paid 15$ for a crappy movie over hyped and MY god id rather watch space:1999 ...
    AND if by 88 he dont deserve to get it free then another screw you. the fact his wife cant come might be shes ill you ungrateful wretch.

    this is how unsympathetic actors and musicians that work for hollywood are. WE should take health care away from them and get baseball bats and really show them who the bosses are.
    FUCK YOU HOLLYWOD

     

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  23.  
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    Yakko Warner, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

     

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  24.  
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    LOL Man, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    get a clue ant anti mike

    @22 - You're barely literate, you fool! I could care less what this old geezer thinks or what kind of a statement he hopes to make. Chances are that he just wants a free copy of the movie. It's not his god-given right to have a copy of this movie. It's pathetic to think of rallying support for this dude over a stupid movie.

    But perhaps you think he should be able to walk into a market and just take some food. Or go get a little petrol without paying too. What a great world you must live in. What if this old guy walked up to your house and took all of your weed. Is he entitled to you whole stash, you slacker?!

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    interesting point! can people put the global good in front of the instant gratification?

    Can ppl stop using priuses (or any battery based products) since it indirectly results in conflicts? most brand chocolates? bananas? cheap t-shirts? 3 per dollar tube socks? .................

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    I hope someone downloads a copy and burns it to dvd for them.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Re: TechDirt is getting dumb as dirt.

    Dude, you don't really have to go out of your way to make sure we understand you're a douche. The first sentence was enough.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: get a clue ant anti mike

    Jerk is a jerk. Nobody will cry for you when you die alone with the smell of urine as your only companion.

     

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  29.  
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    Big Mook, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 12:55pm

    Re: TechDirt is getting dumb as dirt.

    While I'd agree with you if we were talking about some crappy melodrama or chick-flick, you are dead wrong when it comes to films like Avatar, and other action-adventure-fantasy-scifi films. These films are best viewed in the theater, and even if I'd seen Avatar on DVD, I'd still have wanted to see it on the big screen in 3D.

     

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  30.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Re: TechDirt is getting dumb as dirt.

    If you can't afford concert tickets, why can't your friends take a Flip and record the show for you? If a book is too expensive in hardback, why not download an eBook copy since those greedy anti-consumer publishers didn't cater to the public by making a cheaper paperback immediately available. Why should anyone sell their goods in the manner they choose if it doesn't suit Mike?

    Not me, but the market. If you don't cater to what the market wants, you fail. That's basic business principles. Are you denying that?

    And are you honestly suggesting that a flip cam video of a concert is a substitute for actually going? Have you ever been to a concert?

    Why isn't a DVD available at the popcorn stand? How about because it will be in stores in 4-6 months? Sure, this old guy and the wife may not live to see the home release at their ages, but so what? How are the theaters supposed to make money if a theater goer can buy a ticket, then buy the DVD, and then that DVD gets passed around to 20 friends of that purchaser? Money earned: One ticket and DVD sale. Money lost: The 20 tickets NOT sold because instead of saying, "You guys have got to go see [movie name]. It's awesome!", that one guy says, "I just saw this awesome movie! Check out the DVD!"

    Look! I can make up numbers too! Money earned: 20 extra tickets sold, 20 extra DVDs sold because people had a choice to view the movie how they wanted to and had extra incentives to go to the theater and to buy the DVD! Money lost: 1,000 tickets not sold because people don't want to deal with the theater hassle to see a movie that probably isn't any good anyway.

    Do you see how silly your argument is?

    There is plenty of economic evidence that providing a reasonable number of choices for how people consumer your product can massively increase your bottom line. Why ignore that?

    It's not silly; it's business, and business is not automatically evil.

    Whoever said that business is automatically evil?!? We were talking about ways they could make more money. I don't see how that means we think they're evil.

     

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  31.  
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    Simon, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    ...the couple could have easily waited until the DVD was out, which will be rather quickly given the cash it's already earned.

    The guy is 88, I'm sure he appreciates your optimism, but maybe he didn't want to take that risk!

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: What has this country come to...

    I say what has this country come to when cops blindly follow the law with disregard to circumstances or appropriate levels of force.

    You mean like the drug laws that cops blindly enforce? (Well, not exactly blindly. More like with zeal and glee.) Well then, go ahead and say it: what has this country come to?

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re: perfectly reasonable

    There's no news here.

    Yeah, happens every day.

    The industry does lots of bad things, and is easy enough to put in a bad light without resorting to stories like this one.

    Please Mike, don't run stories like this. The copyright industry looks bad enough already. You're just making it worse.

    /s

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    While I generally agree, why couldn't the husband have just waited several months for the home DVD release? Why did his wife have to see Avatar NOW?

    If she's that old and sick, there's a good possibility she's dying.

    Other than she may not be alive when it reaches DVD?

    Oh, I see you thought of that, you just didn't care.

    And if the copy was destroyed after that viewing then there would have been no contribution to piracy and the theater & movie studios would have sold one more seat (in fact, they could have double sold it).

    That's not the way the law works.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    I don't want to pay good money to see a movie and have to be distracted by the lights from someone else's electronic or mobile device flashing up in the dark.

    Or have to sit beside some wheezing old geezer, eh? "Ewwww, gross!"

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re:

    "That's not my problem."

    You know, normally if I were to come across someone all alone and bleeding to death, I would probably try to help them. But in your case I just might say "That's not my problem." Maybe even with a smile on my face.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Try closing the windows

    Videotaping a movie is illegal, but isn't that a given in this conversation. I'm more glad that the police were level-headed enough to deal with it in a discreet and sensible manner.

    That probably wasn't the reason. I imagine the police would have been happy to arrest him if the theater had wanted to press charges. But the theater recognized what a public relations nightmare that would be and decided it would be better to just have him officially warned.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: get a clue ant anti mike

    @22 - You're barely literate,

    LOL Man, you can't even spell your own name right: it's spelled "Shill Man".

     

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  39.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    There's this impression out there, among some, that copyright infringement is just something that the young do

    name me three people......

     

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  40.  
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    chris (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    You mean some authority actually solved a problem without instigating violence

    i'm as surprised as you are. i though for sure this story was going end with a tasing.

     

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  41.  
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    JB, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Wearable Computers

    I wonder what would happen if I were to go see a movie whilst donning a wearable computer that includes computer-mediated/augmented reality and the capability to record what I see with my own eyes? Such devices will become commonplace in the very near future (it's been a while since the last update, but check out the website eyetap.org or the relevant wikipedia entry). What if the person was using the device in place of corrective lenses, would they be forced to remove the device and not be allowed to experience the film? This is like asking an amputee to remove their prosthetic limbs simply because they have the potential of recording the sensations.

    Copyright infringement, inappropriately labeled 'piracy,' is going to happen no matter what obstacles are put in place. There is no way to stop it unless you compete against it in the marketplace NOT THROUGH LAW. Those 'pirates' will always find a way to skirt the law.

    How is it that capturing a film is punished more than shoplifting? With shoplifting, something was stolen; with 'piracy,' something was copied. Look up the definitions and you will notice that the two are not the same. Some lawyer came up with the phrase 'copyright infringement' to try and bridge that gap and turn copying into something it was not. Here, I could fall back into the argument of theft versus 'piracy,' but it has all been said. All I am getting at is that doing something that seems perfectly natural (i.e. taping your sister's birthday party, trying to share your experience with others, etc.) should not cause devastation so great that the person's civil life is revoked.

     

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  42.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, the people's silly mentality of wanting to have things whenever they want them is preventing them to effect the change to be able of having things when they want them!

    If only people were patient and waited until the release of the DVD, which is whenever someone else wants it, they would be able to convince the studios that they'll wait all the time necessary to buy the DVDs and that the studios can release them whenever they want!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    Ha! This is funny because it's probably going to come true.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Wearable Computers

    Copying is as natural to the human being as breathing is. But what do I know? I'm just an artist who has to have my work protected by copyright.

    No, wait! I don't. Thank the gods that the public domain is the rule and that copyright is the exception.

    The future will not be kind to the control freaks.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Wearable Computers

    This is like asking an amputee to remove their prosthetic limbs simply because they have the potential of ...

    Well, that's what they do in airports.

     

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    Recycled Bottle, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Oh come on, Tech Dirt

    I know you guys advocate piracy and have no respect for copyrights - but sheeesh - he's literally making an illegal unauthorized copy - no matter how crappy it will be.

    At some point you have to admit there is wrong-doing happening.

     

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    foxsan48 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    i think

    i think if this guy was just going to use it once it was ok, i mean come on he would still by the dvd after

     

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  48.  
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    Hope they toss the book at him, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 4:33pm

    This site amazes me

    No matter what they are doing, copyright infringers continue to be the victims on Techdirt! No one has a right to see Avatar and the guy was breaking the law. This site needs to get over it already.

     

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  49.  
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    how about you go toss yourself!, Feb 23rd, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    Re: This site amazes me

    Hey! Dickhead! Do you think that if you post under half a dozen names people are stupid enough not to recognize the same writing style. Get over yourself! When the revolution against copyrights and patents and IP in general comes, we'll be there to piss on your grave. Until then, go toss yourself!

     

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  50.  
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    Dirk Belligerent (profile), Feb 24th, 2010 @ 2:02am

    Re: Re: TechDirt is getting dumb as dirt.

    As if the original post wasn't vapid enough, now you're going to double down on your specious and ill-considered thesis? You muddle up your point about catering to customer demands with all sorts of bogus qualifiers - "It's just a sweet old man helping his wife. The movie probably isn't any good." - which speak more about your antipathy toward ANY controls, no matter how reasonable, that cross your rigid anti-establishment ideology.

    Let's see if I can walk you through your cluelessness:

    • You seem to simultaneously believe that if people could buy a DVD at the theater on release day, people would happily trek out to the show and buy a ticket so they could buy the DVD, yet they want the DVD so they can avoid the hassle of going to see the crappy movie in the first place. Huh? What?!?!? PICK ONE!!!

    • You contend that studios are losing money because they aren't simultaneously selling DVDs and releasing to theaters, but you are pulling this assumption out of your nether regions as an excuse for some stupid old coot's stupid actions. "If only those mean, greedy, anti-customer studios would offer that kindly gentleman, who only sought to bring a bit of the movie-going experience to his wife, a DVD to purchase, he wouldn't be forced to take a camera." You really don't understand how addled you sound? Really?

    Simultaneous releases of films to theaters, pay-per-view, and DVD have only been attempted a few times - Wikipedia lists three films, including Steven Soderbergh's craptastic Bubble - and been a miserable failure so there isn't enough track record to guesstimate future results. Considering that Avatar has of this posting grossed $2,464,237,048 worldwide, the idea that 20th Century Fox has foolishly left money on the table by not catering to your beloved old man with a camera is laughable. Seriously. We're laughing HARD at you because...

    • The DVD is coming on April 22. All your grandpa needs to do is wait a couple of months and he can buy and enjoy Avatar with the missus all he wants. Is that so unreasonable to ask a little patience? Do you think that the DVD is likely to have it's sales impacted adversely because so many people went and saw it in the theater? (Considering the reality deficit of your post and follow-up reply, you may.)

    • If you want to see a movie, consumers already have multiple choices as to when and how much they'll need to pay to see it. Seeing it opening night at the theater is the most expensive and inconvenient due to crowds. You can wait a couple of weeks for the crowds to die down and catch a matinee to save money. Maybe you'll wait a couple of months for the second-run "dollar show" to get it. You can always wait for the retail DVD and pay a lot the first week or rent it as a new release or wait a while and wait for the inevitable discounting or PPV copies at video stores. Have you never heard of The Long Tail? You think that unless the studios can Hoover up all the money in the opening frame, all is lost. Bub, cough syrup is not a food group.

    • For the cheapest of cheap movie consumers (note that I didn't say "moviegoers") there are the myriad torrent sites offering up everything from crappy grandpa-taped camcorder copies to Blu-ray rips. The opening weekends of a new movie means cruddy cams and maybe iffy telesyncs will be available. When the home video release date nears, DVD/BD-sourced torrents appear allowing impatient, entitled, cheap, thieving twits to help themselves to even better quality copies. What do you think is going to happen when your desired candy stand DVDs provide clean source materials opening weekend? How in blue blazes can you seriously suggest that studios are losing money by not selling DVDs when by early Friday afternoon the Pirate Bay will be awash in "Shutter.Island[2010]DvDrip[Eng]-MAZ" torrents?

    The bottom line is that you messed up royally this time, Mike. You are trying to hitch your hobby horse team to an uncontroversial story of a stupid man doing a stupid thing and getting busted. Trying to wrap a commie-hippie poncho of blather in the form of "our natural inclination to share something we like outweighs an arcane set of laws" is specious and stupid. (Kumbayah, my Gaea, Kumbayah...) At what point does "sharing" become "removing the need to go and buy it for themselves?" That you could type that and then try to attack my point about how a person buying a popcorn DVD would share it with all their friends and thus deprive the theater ticket and concession (where the real money is) sales makes me wonder if you're aware of what's happening in your own writing?

    As I said before, drooling hippie articles like this do great damage to the cause of encouraging content distributors (note I didn't say "creators") to quit freaking out because their artists' videos are being embedded as free advertising because they seek to excuse the most clear-cut rule-breaking as being mere repression by "The Man."

    While I have frequently found common ground with most of your articles, Mike, you are 110% WRONG on this one and the fact you can't man up and acknowledge that you can't honestly defend your point as valid is disappointing. There is no excuse for what Grandpa Cam did; it isn't the fault of the studios; the current distribution isn't broken. You're just wrong. Period. Nuff said!

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    kb, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 4:56am

    I disagree

    This is one of the rare times where I find myself in disagreement with you. This was not a sweet gesture and I find myself having to side with the studios/theaters on this one. If they wanted to see the movie together, then he should have waited till a more convenient time or waited till it came out on DVD. This is not like taking home leftovers in a doggie bag.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Ron, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 5:31am

    Re: Re: Re: TechDirt is getting dumb as dirt.

    All I hear is, my business wants to squeeze all the money it can out of comsumers and I have no feelings for people because I wear a suit, went to University and I deserve more than anyone else.

    This is not the Mike fan club, everyone hear shares mostly the same opinion about you idiots and there is a lot more of us than there is of people like you!!

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Trevor, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Re: I disagree

    What part of the fact that the guy was 88 years old is so difficult to grasp? If he was 88, you can bet that his wife wasn't much younger. By the time the DVD is released, she might already be dead.

    I'm not saying that what he did wasn't illegal. What I'm saying is that the laws are absurd. I find it appalling that so many people think that laws must be followed blindly and that laws, once created, are eternal. The reality is that all laws (and I'm not talking about the laws of physics here but about human laws) are just temporary constructs. Also, what the majority of people must understand is that when laws become obsolete or unjust or disconnected from reality in any other way, they should consider it their obligation to repel those laws.

    There are some very interesting pieces of information on how and why so many people tend to follow laws blindly (and why that is a failing on their part as human beings): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Mr. Oizo, Feb 24th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: This site amazes me

    Somehow I had to think about this one: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the Marketing Division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.". It is notable that a future edition of The Encyclopedia Galactica fell through a wormhole in time, and its entry for the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation is "a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    doubt it!!!!

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    blackbeard, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    piracy?

    Why's it even called piracy? Oldman should of shot the cops with his cannon and ran off with their gold. Or maybe we should get some movie executives who have felt the hard hand of piracy and get them to trade stories with the poor buggers who have been ransomed by their Somali, speedboat cruising, rocket launcher wielding counterparts.

    Heck, I love pirates...I'm just not a big fan of killing, rapeing and some of the other requirements. If downloading Pirates of the Caribean ACTUALLY makes me as cool as Jack Sparrow, I'll be watching it with my wench by sundown!

     

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


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