Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



New Zealand Media Claiming That Huge Local Film Success Story Is Being Harmed... By 200 Downloaders?

from the say-what-now? dept

Reader Matt Perryman points us to a bizarre story down in New Zealand, which he claims is all over the news. Apparently, a local movie, called Boy, has been a huge success -- having the third most successful box office of a New Zealand film ever. Not bad, right? But, months after the film has been out in the theaters, it's now been leaked to the internet, and suddenly the media frenzy is about just how much this is "costing" the filmmakers. No evidence (at all), is presented. They just claim that a leak like this will cost a million dollars. Even more amusing, at the time these reports came out, they said that the movie had only been downloaded 200 times. But, if you look at the comments on that article, a ton of them are thanking the publications for letting everyone know the movie was available for download. Of course, many of the commenters are also pointing out that they don't live in New Zealand, and there was no way for them to see the movie otherwise... meaning that those downloads aren't losses at all. But, it seems the reporters never bothered to mention that rather important fact.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    "No evidence (at all), is presented"

    Just like your post about an expired patent holding back research. Pot meet Kettle.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re:

    "Just like your post about an expired patent holding back research. Pot meet Kettle."

    Douche meet Bag.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Just Another Moron in a Hurry (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    Evidence that Patents hold back research? Alright.

    What about Myriad using patents to hold back breast cancer research?
    What about the Patents on Oil Eating Bacteria, holding back research on ways to utilize them?
    What about the company StemCells using patents to stop a Children's Hospital from researching Brain Cancer for 3 years?
    How about the concerns about Craig Vetner's pantent for sythetic biology, and the delays it will cause for research?
    Or take a look at MPEG-LA's use of patents to hold back an open standard for Video?
    Take a look at the Smartphone patent thicket, and see how fast research can be done for improving that industry?

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    best comment on the article:

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: best comment on the article:

    oops.

    here's the comment:

    Thanx, A 9, V 10 will seed till 1:1 ratio

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Notice how the cited story has finally disabled comments... XD

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Keven Sutton, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    Choice of story....

    Yes, the impact of the downloads is much less than the author of the story has made of it.

    Yes, many of the downloads are outside of New Zealand and are therefore only going to increase the demand for the movie.

    Yes, it had only been downloaded 200 times.

    But that doesn't drive site hits. The author of the article is most likely trying to get as many eyes on the story as possible. Going to the extremes of what the facts can support is what a lot of journalists do in an attempt to drive more traffic (not even an attempt to drive an agenda). Lots of news sites do this with even more mundane things like sports, where the emotions are already charged. Ignoring these facts is probably bad journalism, but in a world where people want bad journalism, journalists write poorly supported pieces.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    in the end, what this story reveals is how nasty and vengeful file traders are if they think people are trying to stop them. it is nasty, it is ugly.

    just for clarity, there is no indication that 200 file downloads cost 1 million, only that previous movie leaks have caused that type of damage. considering the movie might have a future overseas, that future might be hurt or lost if the movie ends up widely distributed online for free. distributors might not be interested in putting up the time and money to promote or distribute a film that is already widely available for free.

    thanks to piracy, those of us who might have enjoyed this movie some time in the future are unlikely to get the chance, unless we too choose to "borrow" a copy from the internet. perhaps more than anything, this is perfect example of the damages done, especially to smaller movie makers.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Re:

    I blame the internet.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    duffmeister (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Re:

    So 200 downloads can stop an international release? Maybe we should all start pirating Ewe Boll movies so he will not get distributed? {/sarcasm}

    Please site a case that stands to scientific standards and reason (not one the GAO has said uses no solid science) that shows even a causal effect of this magnitude for any movie. I am unaware of any at all and I'd love to see them.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Devonavar, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Can you say publicity leak?

    Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    I think the only chance they would find out so promptly and announce it so loudly is if they posted it themselves. 200 downloads at the time of printing? It just stinks of a publicity plant.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Nzer, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

    they feel left out..

    ..and want to feel like they are part of the big bad world.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    4, count em, 4 "mights" in your response. Bottom line, 200 people owe the rights holder $10 for the movie. Nothing else can be proven or matters.

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Drew (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    "... only that previous movie leaks have caused that type of damage."

    Where your evidence?

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re:

    ...minus the number who wouldn't have seen the movie to being with, and those who may have requested a refund from the movie theatre.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Jeremy7600 (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    in the end, you should know that file traders have been around since the beginning of the internet, and they will always be there. it is fact. it is truth.

    just for clarity, a lot of movies made in the last 5 years have leaked to the internet even before they hit the theater. that hasn't stopped any one movie from going to the theater or from being put out on dvd. studios will get money from the release no matter what happens on the file sharing sites.

    thanks to piracy, those of us who had never heard of this movie have definitely heard of it now. the publicity the movie gets from this will make sure it gets seen by a wider audience. perhaps more than anything, this is a perfect example of the promotional value of file sharing.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    uhh, 200 downloads X $10 = $1,000,000

    you really can't argue with the math. it's mathematical.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    Two Things -

    1. A reporter repeats something somebody said - a guy from the so-called "New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft" (no agenda there) estimated that some other film that was leaked "lost" a million dollars. And they toss this number around like it's a fact. Prove it. Publish your financial statements. Let's see the facts that prove you were going to make $X from your movie, and that because of it being available on the internet you made $X - 1,000,000. Bring on the data that differentiates between the people who downloaded it and didn't buy it because they thought it was crap, and the people who downloaded it and then went to the theatre or bought the DVD because they thought it was good. Surely you must have this data handy or you wouldn't glibly toss around million dollar estimates of losses, would you? 2. This movie is one of the highest grossing New Zealand films of all time, has been released for three months, and it still is not available internationally or on DVD?? What are they waiting for - all interest in the film to completely die off? The internet is doing their promotion for them - getting the film to people who can't see it in the theatre or buy the DVD. And those people want to see it; they want to buy the DVD and they can't. If this movie loses anything, it will be because of they have under-served their audience. A potentially world-wide audience wants to see it, and they put all their effort into making that difficult, and complaining when a few people take the initiative and seek out their locked-up movie.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re:

    I think you meant TAM meet Pon

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Two Things -



    not making a million dollars is the same as losing a million dollars, just like standing still is the same thing as walking backwards.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Chosen Reject, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    Re:

    You mean like how the leak of Wolverine before release caused all distributors to walk away from it? And like the Dark Knight's leak 5 days before UK release caused no one in the UK to see it because no distributor would pick it up?

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    lucas, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Here in Brazil the same happened.

    The biggest success of the local movies was leaked 2 months before the theaters showed. It was a huge success (and was a cheap movie, actually).

    But the media blamed the 'piracy' to some reason that no one really understands. The movie was the biggest success in the brazilian history and, problably, if nobody downloaded the movie, would be a giant fiasco - since there wasn't a big producer or a big budget for ads.

    (sorry about the english.)

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    JC Carter, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    they aint hte only ones

    The NZFAT.... oops, misspelt, have been spamming their garbage around NZ for ages. Like any industry linked body, they make many claims that would be laughable if they didnt have the ears of the empty headed politicians attempting to force US style IP garbage onto NZ via ACTA or their own three strikes bollocks.

    The fat heads interview on Cambell made him look like the bad guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks, without hte talent or the fuzzy animals.

    that just leaves a retarded scammer

    oh, and Perryman is a drunken mexican

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Matt P (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    The worst part is that the link above is just part of it. It was on every evening news broadcast, in the papers, etc.

    One of the local news shows did interview the director, and he was actually moderate about the whole thing. He said he expected it would happen and in some ways was flattered that people wanted to see the film.

    It's NZFACT making the usual garbage claims, and we have few if any public outlets down here to rebuke them, so the "millions of dollars in losses" are just thrown out like an absolute truth.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Blatant Coward (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Hey, there's a movie I never made, who can I sue for my lost revenue of trillions of dollars?

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Two Things -

    not making a million dollars is the same as losing a million dollars, just like standing still is the same thing as walking backwards.

    Let me fix that for you Hollywood style:

    making a 500 million dollars is the same as losing 500 million dollars, just like standing still is the same thing as walking backwards and this movie lost 500 million dollars and funded the following:

    terrorist
    organised crime
    prostitution
    paedophiles
    communists

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Two Things -

    not making a million dollars is the same as losing a million dollars, just like standing still is the same thing as walking backwards.

    Let me fix that for you Hollywood style:

    making a 500 million dollars is the same as losing 500 million dollars, just like standing still is the same thing as walking backwards and this movie lost 500 million dollars and funded the following:

    terrorist
    organised crime
    prostitution
    paedophiles
    communists

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re:

    "Take a look at the Smartphone patent thicket, and see how fast research can be done for improving that industry?"

    But smartphones make incredible progress quarter to quarter, with the patent system alive and kicking? Phones from November 2009 are quite outdated already.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re:

    "What about the Patents on Oil Eating Bacteria, holding back research on ways to utilize them?"

    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Where is the evidence (other than on techdirt, which is not evidence but opinion)?

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: best comment on the article:

    My favorite was "Pathetic downloading scum, Idiots with no thought foR the poor movie mAkers Trying to makE an honest Buck dont AnY.body Care anymOre M.akes me sick to the stomach
    V10 A10 needs subtitles"

    PIRATEBAY.COM. for the win.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    Matt P (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    If you want evidence of patents limiting innovation, all the research you could ever want is right here:

    http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/againstfinal.htm

    That's what it looks like when you cite real evidence, instead of making up numbers.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    Re:

    That's the thing. You can argue that there won't be an international release due to this, but at the same time filmmakers won't have to worry about distributors' costs or any other middleman issues. The release is happening regardless of the middlemen or lack thereof.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re:

    no, 200 downloads wont change anything. but those 200 sharing with their friends, putting it online, pushing it out, etc, could lead to (cue the techdirt theme music) an infinite distribution. once something is out in the wild, what is the chance of it getting put back away? none.

    as for the use of the word "might" in my post, unlike mike i am not going to claim to be all seeing and all knowing, and i am surely not going to state as fact the complex things that go on with a download. there continues to be no causal evidence linking downloads of a movie and increased sales of that particular movie. if anything, ever download is removing a potential customer from the pool.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re:

    you are making a classic mistake here, one mike makes all the time. there is no indication that the people who got these downloads then went to see the movie. if the downloads had not happened, would even more people have paid to see the movie, or bought a dvd? that is something that is not easy to prove either way, but there is little positive that can be found by putting your product in the market early.

    if the movies had tanked in the market as a result, the distributor probably had a way out, because a short time before a movie is released, the distributor is already contractually bound. here we are talking about a movie with a small market potential, and no signed distributors outside of their home country. sort of a different situation, no?

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re:

    and the income from it isnt happening either.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "if the downloads had not happened, would even more people have paid to see the movie, or bought a dvd"

    Similarly, if people had not been able to preview the movie, would less people had paid to see it in IMAX or bought a DVD?

    Morons like yourself only consider one part of the equation. The rest of us recognise that it's more complicated and that people actually buy things after seeing, say, a TV broadcast or a borrowed DVD.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No evidence of that either.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    [citation needed]

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "once something is out in the wild, what is the chance of it getting put back away? none."

    Yeah. Good thought. Except...you constantly support the industry's wasteful and misguided attempts to "put it back away."

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 3:53am

    Re: Choice of story....

    "Going to the extremes of what the facts can support is what a lot of journalists do"
    What facts?

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 3:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    if a movie is already a top-grossing film at the box office (like Wolverine was) how can you expect that MORE people would've gone there? There is a limit.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Open a paypal or local equivalent account. Comment on the torrent sites with a link to said account and ask for donations if people like the movies.

    Yes, it's akin to busking on a street corner, but it can net you some income. And 1 donated dollar is better than nothing.

    But free publicity is also worth something I'd say. I could say that I would like a buck from the movie company for pirating their movie, as I help promote their wares by downloading it. Any idea how expensive an ad-campaign would be?

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Drew (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I mean how many people buy boxed DVD sets of shows that were on TV, I bet that market is really small...

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Open a paypal or local equivalent account...

    nah, that sounds like work and might require the use of the internet.

    bawwwwing about piracy is much easier.

    Yes, it's akin to busking on a street corner...

    which is something that "unknowns" do before they become big time producers.

    when you are a big time producer you don't ask for money, people just give it to you, because you deserve it for being a big time producer.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I didn't mean just TV shows, but movies as well. There are many times I've watched a movie for the first time on TV and later bought it on DVD. If it was a free-to-air channel, I didn't pay for it, but if I wasn't "freeloading" the studio would not have seen my money. Ditto with borrowing a DVD from a friend or people who "pirate" a movie they would never have paid for if the freebie wasn't available.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    Drew (profile), Jun 28th, 2010 @ 7:04pm

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

    Forgot the '/sarcasm' on the end of my above...my bad.

    I routinely have either watched movies in the theater or on T.V. and later purchased them because I like owning them. To me, trying to wade through all the crap illegal content out there to find a decent copy of something isn't not a good use of my time so I tend to buy what i'm looking for instead. I look at it more in a my time equals 'x' and if trying to find stuff online or in a digital medium takes greater than 'y' i've essentially wasted my talents.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This