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Hollywood Gone Mad: Complaining That Oscar Nominated Films Downloaded More

from the think-this-through,-people dept

With the Oscars going on last night, it seems that some people just can't keep things in perspective. For example, check out this bizarre article from Variety, saying that the wonderful attention bump from being nominated comes with a downside: that it also increases the frequency of unauthorized downloads:
Oscar nominees typically enjoy a box office bounce. But Hollywood increasingly has to reckon with another award-season ritual, one that could best be described as the piracy plunder.

The attention that an Oscar nomination for best picture bestows on a title also triggers a spike in illegal downloading.
But why is that a problem? The only reason those films received this additional attention was because of the Oscar nods, so complaining about the similar bump in unauthorized downloading seems bizarre. Seriously, if you are getting a bunch more people paying for the movie, are you really that concerned that another group is viewing it in an unauthorized manner? It's as if some people actually believe that every unauthorized download is a lost sale.

It's pretty simple: if you're getting downloaded more, it means there's more interest in your film, and it's your job as a film producer to figure out how to make money from that interest. It's not something to complain about.

The article also highlights, as we've discussed at great lengths, how the producer, Nicolas Chartier of Voltage Films, of last year's Oscar winner for best picture, Hurt Locker chose to sue 5,000 fans of his film for unauthorized downloading. Of course, it leaves out the part where he also called someone a "moron" and a "thief" for explaining to him, quite politely, why such a strategy might backfire. The reporter asks Chartier about the backlash, and he suggests that nobody knows who produces what films, so he doesn't care if he gets a bad reputation: "I don't think anyone is waking up saying, 'Let's boycott movies made by Voltage.'" Apparently Chartier doesn't use the internet much. There are, in fact, efforts by people to get everyone to boycott Voltage films because of his actions.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Solution: only nominate crappy movies. If what the studios say is true, then those movies will enjoy a boost in revenue and illegal traffic will be diverted to those crappy movies.

    More traffic in crappy movies == less pirating of "better" movies. Also, pirates might become demoralized from watching crap movies and stop pirating altogether.

     

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  2.  
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    Ben (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    "it's your job as a film producer to figure out how to make money from that interest"

    Excuse me for stating the obvious, but the pie chart of 'reaons people download' likely includes a large proportion of people who can't be bothered to wait for the DVD release.

    How are those windowed releases working for you now Hollywood?

     

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  3.  
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    Ben (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re:

    "Solution: only nominate crappy movies."

    Wolverine FTW

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Can't stand these award ceremonies and stopped taking them seriously when I was about 9. It's just industry backslapping and public masturbation.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re:

    Ben they work fine.

    $10 movie tickets, or $1 redbox rental. Which one do you think makes more money? You only have to sell 10% of the movie tickets to make the same money.

    Plus remember: It isn't like people are taking legal alternatives. They are breaking the law to get a movie they want so much, they can't wait. That says everything right there. If you hate the studios, stop pirating their stuff.

     

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  6.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re:

    By its definition, there can be no legal alternative to a monopoly, right?

    Maybe pirates like big Hollywood studios but hate monopolies?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re:

    "$10 movie tickets, or $1 redbox rental. Which one do you think makes more money? You only have to sell 10% of the movie tickets to make the same money."

    How many people do you know that are willing to spend $10 apiece to watch a movies (+ having to walk/drive there + popcorn + lousy experience)?

    How many people do you know that would pay $1 to watch a movie? The math is easy here.

    "Plus remember: It isn't like people are taking legal alternatives. They are breaking the law to get a movie they want so much, they can't wait. That says everything right there."

    People are taking what they have. Give them better alternatives and they'll take them. Plus, it's not like piracy is killing the studios. If anything is killing them is the studios themselves. I mean, I just saw an advertisement for a Yogi Bear movie on tv. WTF man? I thought that lousy show was dead and buried ages ago.

    I think the biggest crime would be to PAY to watch that mess.

     

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  8.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Re:

    You say it like public masturbation is bad or something.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But there is no monopoly. Anyone can buy a camera. Anyone can open a movie theater. Anyone can get all the parts and pieces required. Anyone can learn to edit, learn to make a movie. Anyone can run a popcorn machine.

    There is no monopoly. Just a very, very successful business model.

     

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  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re:

    "$10 movie tickets, or $1 redbox rental. Which one do you think makes more money? You only have to sell 10% of the movie tickets to make the same money."

    Wow. Way to just pretend that the contracts and costs involved in the two methods of delivery are entirely equal. Unless you can show me evidence that a movie studio makes the same percentage off of a movie ticket as they do a Redbox rental, that statement is kinda meaningless, isn't it?

    Plus, for the average movie, which do you think has more sales over the lifetime of the product: ticket sales or rental sales (honestly, I don't know for sure here, but purely from a longevity standpoint, it HAS to be rentals, right?)?

     

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  11.  
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    Kevin (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If its so successful then why did this post even have to be written?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How many people do you know that are willing to spend $10 apiece to watch a movies (+ having to walk/drive there + popcorn + lousy experience)?

    How many people do you know that would pay $1 to watch a movie? The math is easy here.


    As an "either / or" situation, it's a no brainer. You only need 10% of the people to come to the theater to make the same money. To make the 150 million at the box office for a few weeks would require that ever man, woman, and child in the US rent the movie and see it, in groups no larger than 2. It's a fail.

    The reality is that a percentage of the population wants to see the movie now and will pay $10 to see it, a percentage will pay to see it as a PPV, and everyone else will either buy a copy or see it on Netflix type options when the time comes. If those were the only options (and they are the only legal options) people would select the one they want or select not to see the movie at all. It's a very workable system.

    But when you add piracy in the mix, you upset the apple cart, especially if the movie hits the web before the movie makes it onto DVD. At that point, some of the people who would pay money stop paying money, particularly those who would netflix it or rent it locally.

    But all that doesn't mean remove windows and satisfy them early, because the studios would likely have to give up a percentage of what is made in the theaters now to change the structure. They would give up $10 tickets ($20 for two) and trade that for $1 for at least some of the potential movie goers. The bottom line result is poor, it just isn't there.

    Basic economics. Even Mike knows this, which is why he stopped pushing his amusingly silly idea of selling DVDs of the movie at the Theaters.

     

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  13.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:38am

    Dealing with piracy

    It seems to me that there are three ways a business can respond to piracy:

    1) Profit from it, or at least use it to your advantage.

    2) Ignore it because you can't stop it. Spend your energies on things that will improve your bottom line.

    3) Become obsessed with something that you can't stop. Use all of your political capital to fight it. Put a lot of financial resources into snake-oil companies who tell you that their DRM solution will make the problem go away and let you turn the calendar back to 1985. Make your product as difficult as possible to get. Alienate your fan base and let the rest of your business rot away.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re:

    Hollywood is heavily dependent on the home video market, and depending on the genre, some movies are going to make more on the home video market than they do in the box office, like those awful "____ Movie" movies.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If its so successful then why does Hollywood keep going to governments of the world to have laws changed to save their business?

     

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  16.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re: $10 vs. $1 AC

    Of course $10 makes more, provided people are willing to pay $10. Of course, 10x as many people may be willing to pay $1 but they can't because of release windows.

    Would Hollywood rather have x% of the rentals or 0% of the $10 that people aren't interested in paying? Along with being unable to create a new business model, the major studios (along with the major labels) still haven't figured out multiplying by 0.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re:

    I found this wonderful quote in an old book.

    What one fool can do, another can.
    (Ancient Simian Proverb.)


    Don't worry, many people like me have stopped a long time ago and still don't buy anything from those people, the good news is that there are legal free alternatives that keeps getting better all the time.

    The bad news for the industry is that, technology keeps advancing and they can't protect anything anymore so copyright is in fact optional for anyone.

    Also I want to point out that charging $10 bucks reduces the number of people who actually buy anything, so while 10 people may pay that price a hundred more would have paid $1. Now, in the end who do you think makes more money? Further recent releases are not $10 they cost $50 over here and I'm not paying that and honestly I wouldn't pay even if it was one cent, I really don't like the industry.

     

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  18.  
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    dev, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    I would be willing to accept the fair compromise of cancelling the Oscars indefinitely.

     

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  19.  
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    Kevin (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re:

    "$10 movie tickets, or $1 redbox rental. Which one do you think makes more money? You only have to sell 10% of the movie tickets to make the same money."

    Well thinking about it you have to assume that the theater turn the whole $10 directly over to the studio (which I do no believe to be true). Additionally that the $1 from Redbox could not match the proceeds the same way..... So lets look at rentals then. Redbox had to BUY the Blue-Ray and the DVD to rent it in the first place, Blockbuster charges like $6 for each rental and they have to BUY the Blue-Ray and DVD too. That leaves Netflix which has to BUY the Blue-Ray and the DVD AGAIN in order to rent it as well.

    I personally believe that there will always be pirates, but a better way to beat them is to turn them into customers by stopping the Gestapo tactics in dealing with them. That does not mean that it all has to be free, but it needs to be convenient to the consumer with a fair price and within a timely manner.

     

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  20.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But when you add piracy in the mix, you upset the apple cart...

    So basically, somebody moved your cheese. Quit whining, adjust your business model and stop blaming everyone else for your failure to adapt.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If it is so successful what are you complaining about then?

     

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  22.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re:

    $10 movie tickets, or $1 redbox rental. Which one do you think makes more money?

    The cost of providing the cinema experience is much higher so it isn't as obvious as you seem to think.

    However, they are different markets even without windows.
    In my experience people go to watch a film in the cinema because they want to watch a film in the cinema.

    They watch a film on DVD because they want to stay at home and watch a film.

    They don't choose based on what films are available (as you arrogantly assume) they choose based on how it fits their personal schedule.

    If the DVD was available earlier then many people would go to the cinema watch a film that they had already seen on DVD. The fact that they can't do that at present is a dead loss (based on your relative revenue assumptions.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because like any successful business with a desirable product, they have to watch out for those who would choose to take the product without paying, giving it away to others and hurting that successful business model.

    Remember, ticket sales are down, and dropping consistantly (per capita) in the last 10 years (the time since piracy began).

    Do you think that other industries suffering from "taking without paying" should just shut up and live with it? Do you think that shoplifters should be let go, that dining and dashing should be an acceptable way to work, or that perhaps people should just be able to get on an airplane and go somewhere without paying because "the plane was going there anyway?"

    The logic of people on this site sometimes is frightening.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    o basically, somebody moved your cheese. Quit whining, adjust your business model and stop blaming everyone else for your failure to adapt

    Nope, nobody moved the cheese. You cannot easily adjust a business model that is "selling X" when people are taking X for free. What do you want Hollywood to do, sell lots of t-shirts? Come on. Movie makers have even less options than musicians when it comes to income outside of their recorded works. The movie is the product, there is nothing "after the product".

    Move everything to $1 rentals, and the same people would still pirate. What good is that?

    Nobody moved the cheese, but a few people seem intent on taking a dump on it.

     

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  25.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The reality is that a percentage of the population wants to see the movie now and will pay $10 to see it,

    Wrong!

    The reality is that a percentage of the population wants to see the movie in a cinema and will pay $10 to see it in that venue.

    Timing is not the issue.

     

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  26.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But all that doesn't mean remove windows and satisfy them early, because the studios would likely have to give up a percentage of what is made in the theaters now to change the structure. They would give up $10 tickets ($20 for two) and trade that for $1 for at least some of the potential movie goers. The bottom line result is poor, it just isn't there.

    Basic economics.


    Faulty economics actually.
    You are assuming that you can hold constant things that you can't hold constant.

     

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  27.  
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    Shadojak (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    good god.....

    WHERE do these people live?!

    I Don't wanna move there, lol. $10 for a movie? If the ticket price is over $7, I don't go to see it

    Because, for SAME price it totals out to for one person, I wait 3 months, and EVERYONE I know can see it, and we OWN it afterwards.

    Unlike some of the people here, I don't have a job that lets me go "Oh, it's only $25 bucks per head to see this great movie!"

    Being a troll for the MPAA must pay great :).

    Where do I sign up?

     

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  28.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:15am

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

    Because like any successful business with a desirable product, they have to watch out for those who would choose to take the product without paying, giving it away to others and hurting that successful business model.

    The problem is that the cost of "watching out" far exceeds - what you recover by doing it. (Especially when you factor in the bad public image created by the process - since those "camcording warnings" started appearing in cinemas I've basically given up on the idea of going to a cinema - I don't like being treated like a criminal )

    This is why Hollywood is trying to push that cost onto the taxpayer - which of course includes everyone who never pirates or watches a film - and would be quite happy if the film industry just stopped.

     

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  29.  
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    Shawn (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:16am

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

    "You cannot easily adjust a business model that is "selling X" when people are taking X for free."


    Who said it is supposed to be easy?

     

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  30.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:20am

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

    Nobody moved the cheese, but a few people seem intent on taking a dump on it.
    and you intend to stop this how exactly?

    You need to remember the serenity prayer - you know the one about changing the things you can change (your business model) accepting the things you can't change (piracy) and having the wisdom to know the difference.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:32am

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

    Funny you say that because I remember in the 80's theaters complaining about the same things they complain today, but in those days what was killing them was VHS.

    The industry is always falling but miraculously they manage to make a billion dollars more every year WTF!?.

     

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  32.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:32am

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

    Do you think that other industries suffering from "taking without paying" should just shut up and live with it? Do you think that shoplifters should be let go, that dining and dashing should be an acceptable way to work, or that perhaps people should just be able to get on an airplane and go somewhere without paying because "the plane was going there anyway?"

    The logic of people on this site sometimes is frightening.


    All of those cases involve a real loss to the supplier.

    Physical goods in the first case, physical food in the second and physical fuel in the third. Piracy on the other hand involves no physical loss. The fact that you can't tell the difference is frightening to me.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:34am

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

    Be grateful they just want to take a dump, I would spit and vomit and make a big fire not necessarily in that order maybe I start the fire first to then dump, spit and vomit next.

     

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  34.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    They already are. 90% of the movies that win/get nominated I hate and so do most of the people I hang around with. I used to like watching them but now its so predictable who will win what.

     

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  35.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:38am

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

    Who said it is supposed to be easy?

    That seems to be a root problem with all this. They are expecting everyone else to fix this for them, the government, the ISP's, the tech companies, paid shills on blog sites, etc..

    Leads one to believe that there is a whole boatload of movie business executive types out there that are not earning their 6 figure incomes.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:39am

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

    "ovie makers have even less options than musicians when it comes to income outside of their recorded works. The movie is the product, there is nothing "after the product"."

    That is a lie. I'm glad they fail if they think that way.

    There is at least one thing they can sell, which would net them big bucks if they did not fail miserably at it: the social experience of going to the movies.

    People flocked "en masse" to see Avatar because it was in 3D. If the studios kept innovating and kept making the experience of going to the movies an enjoyable one, piracy would not be a problem. But it is a lot easier to whine, I guess (which goes well with the cheese).

    "Move everything to $1 rentals, and the same people would still pirate. What good is that?"

    Some people is better than ALL people. Be thankful it works that way.

     

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  37.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re:

    When I was in grad school in Texas it was $5 ($4 with a student ID) to watch a movie. We did it all of the time. Now that I'm back on the west coast I've rediscovered how much it is to go to the cinema. For $12 a ticket it simply isn't worth it, and because all of the local theaters are owned by the same company there is no competition on price.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:44am

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

    Wether they like it or not kicking and screaming they will need to change or be terminated.

    There are more powerful people out there with more money that can pick up the torch and may do a better job since they already are the ones making money on the new environment.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:54am

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

    Some people is better than ALL people. Be thankful it works that way.

    Hard to take your comments seriously. If pirace was "all people" there would be no hollywood movies, you would all be pirating Nina's latest and greatest movie. Once that is done, you can pirate all the "man hit in balls" videos off of youtube.

    Understanding the situation is just slightly out of your grasp.

     

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  40.  
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    BigKeithO (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: $10 vs. $1 AC

    I'm not sure the $10 makes more anyway. That entire $10 isn't going to the studio, the theater is taking a cut of that as well. Plus the $1 rental is Redbox's money, in order to rent that movie out in the first place doesn't Redbox need to buy the damn DVD?? Last time I checked they weren't buying the DVD for a $1.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Dealing with piracy

    1) there is no profit in piracy. When your business is entirely based on the thing that is getting pirated, any piracy is a negative to your bottom line, directly or indirectly.

    2) Ignoring your business being eroded by illegal actions would be stupid. What should they spend their energies on, making even better movies for people to rip off faster?

    3) It can't be stopped. It can be slowed, it can be tamped down. It's a question of time, of government action, and of a moral shift in the population. Right now we have a generation of people who think taking things for free is okay, acceptable, and good. No long term view, they are just looking at what they can take, take, take without respect for others. That lack of respect is a horrible sign, because in the end, much of a freedom loving people is the respect of others and their tolerance of things. Once that is lost, you are headed down the toilet.

    Make your product as difficult as possible to get. Alienate your fan base and let the rest of your business rot away

    This is critical. Are movies hard to get? Are they not available on theaters, then on PPV, then to buy, on rental, free to air on network TV, on your cable movie channels, and so on? What is so freaking hard about getting a movie? The only reason you find it hard is because you want it some way it isn't currently being sold, and you want it NOW, no matter what. Whiny, childish ways of looking at things, and you think for some reason this justifies taking it without paying. That is a horrible answer, horribly disrespectful. It's sad.

    If you can't understand that, and you can't understand that your action are bringing on the very problems you complain about, you need to stop and think for a while.

    *shakes head*

     

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  42.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:01am

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

    Of course, ticket sales dropping would have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that 10 years ago, a family of four could go to the theater for around $35 and now it's closer to $100. Cumulative inflation over the same time (Feb 2001 - Jan 2011) period is around 25%, so movies have gotten progressively more expensive. Add in the increasing quality of home theaters, the increased number of rude people (talking, cell phones, etc), years of mediocre choices (25+ "sequels" due in 2011 alone) and it's no surprise ticket sales have fallen.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:07am

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

    "If pirace was "all people" there would be no hollywood movies"

    Another lie. DESPITE the fact that piracy is at an all-time high, and respect for copyright is at an all-time low, studios are still making an insane profit with their flawed business model.

    Care to explain that? Because, according to you, studios should be poor and miserable by now.

    Also, you forgot to address my other point. But that's cool.

     

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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    It can't be stopped. It can be slowed, it can be tamped down. It's a question of time, of government action, and of a moral shift in the population.

    It can't be even tamped down in a cost effective way.

    Don't force your costs onto the rest of us (uninvolved people who don't either pirate or care about the film industry) by involving the government.

    Stop worrying about other people's morals and pay more attention to your own.

    Please take the serenity prayer to heart.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:13am

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

    If pirace was "all people" there would be no hollywood movies

    Talk about hard to take seriously. I would discuss this with you, but phrases like "Once that is done, you can pirate all the "man hit in balls" videos off of youtube" make me 89% certain you're not actually here to discuss anything.

    PS- Movies about getting hit in the balls are good money makers in this country. I sincerely hope you try it out. :)

     

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  46.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:13am

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

    If pirace was "all people" there would be no hollywood movies

    Talk about hard to take seriously. I would discuss this with you, but phrases like "Once that is done, you can pirate all the "man hit in balls" videos off of youtube" make me 89% certain you're not actually here to discuss anything.

    PS- Movies about getting hit in the balls are good money makers in this country. I sincerely hope you try it out. :)

     

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  47.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:14am

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

    Damn you, evil twin! You said you would let me post this!

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:16am

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

    CULTURE HARD!!!

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    free to air on network TV

    Okay freetard. Like that can work.

     

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  50.  
    icon
    Planespotter (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    How about the movie studios collectively getting together and a week after release at the theatre, which is enough time to maximise ticket sales, they release standard scene sized releases of their films at SD+HD quality and charge something reasonable?

    Lots of people pay someone to access the files they download, whether it's an admin to keep a tracker running or a usenet server company to access the alt.binaries, the only reason the studios don't get a slice of that money is because they don't offer the services that people in this century actually want.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:39am

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

    Another lie. DESPITE the fact that piracy is at an all-time high, and respect for copyright is at an all-time low, studios are still making an insane profit with their flawed business model.

    Care to explain that? Because, according to you, studios should be poor and miserable by now.


    Actually, the studios in general are much worse off than they were before, comparatively they are having to spend more money to make less money, and income has only gone up because of increased ticket prices, not because of increased attendance.

    The point however is that you cannot take the current situation and assume it remains the same if piracy continues to increase. You only have to look at the recorded music industry to see where it goes. Down 60% in a few years, and sinking rapidly even with itunes and other digital platforms. Music piracy is reaching an all time high, movies are only starting to feel the pinch as more and more people get reasonable download speeds. If movies follow the same trend as music (and there is no reason to think not) it will be only a few years until the vast majority of viewers are paying nothing, and fewer and fewer people venture out to the theater or actually buy a DVD. If you drop 66% of the current movie revenues (as has happened with recorded music), the Hollywood movie industry would pretty much disappear.

    Movie piracy is still really in it's infancy. In the next couple years it will mature and become common place.

    It's amazing that you can't see it. Why so stuck on today?

     

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  52.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    When your business is entirely based on the thing that is getting pirated, any piracy is a negative to your bottom line, directly or indirectly.

    Corollary: When your business is based entirely around an infinite good, it's tough, but not impossible, to trick people into giving you money for it.

    Ignoring your business being eroded by illegal actions would be stupid. What should they spend their energies on, making even better movies for people to rip off faster?

    Yes, spending it on lawyers will certainly make people want to give you money. Suing people won't make them go to the movie, or buy DVDs. Scaring people into giving you money is not a sound, legal business practice. (It seems to work okay for organized crime. Hmm...)

    It can't be stopped.

    True. So, what percent is acceptable? This is a real question.

    It can be slowed, it can be tamped down.

    Citation required.

    It's a question of time, of government action, and of a moral shift in the population.

    It's about stopping technological progress to keep a business model from becoming obsolete. This is the wrong answer.

    Right now we have a generation of people who think taking things for free is okay, acceptable, and good.

    No, we had a technological advance that resulted in an infrastructure that made it trivial to cheaply pass large amounts of digital information quickly around the globe. If we set up an infrastructure that allowed people to move cheaply and quickly around the globe, would you rally around the then-unnecessary automobile industry to attempt to stop and then reverse that progress? Would you demand that people keep buying cars even though they were unneeded? Advancements in technology have resulted in the death of many industries-- but also in the birth of new ones. It happens. Deal with it.

    No long term view, they are just looking at what they can take, take, take without respect for others.

    Sounds like certain big media businesses I know.

    That lack of respect is a horrible sign, because in the end, much of a freedom loving people is the respect of others and their tolerance of things.

    Yes, indeed! And to preserve that freedom, we should allow our ISPs to watch what we do online, right? That will certainly help! Doublespeak much?

    The only reason you find it hard is because you want it some way it isn't currently being sold, and you want it NOW, no matter what.

    The only reason *I* find it hard is that there is zero reason I can't have it the way I want it, except that the people peddling it are unwilling to give me what I want, hoping that they can trick me into buying the same thing multiple times. They had a good run, but that run is coming to an end. I have no doubts they will continue to make profits creating movies, but those profits may not be quite as impressive as they once were.

    Whiny, childish ways of looking at things, and you think for some reason this justifies taking it without paying.

    In a free market, the customer is always right because without the customer, you are nothing.

    As an aside: Have you noticed that the only markets really complaining about piracy are the same markets that require you to pay for the product, without a chance of a refund, regardless on if you are satisfied with the product or not. For example: I buy a steak and don't like it. I can send it back for a refund even though the business loses money. If I buy a song and it turns out to be, say, edited for profanity, I have no way to return that song. Or if I buy an album from itunes and it turns out that 2/3 of the songs are crap (crazy, I know!) then I am stuck with those songs even though I don't want them. To make matters worse-- returning a digital good does not result in an unusable good-- the business has lost nothing. Does that seem right?

    I wonder if there is any data on piracy rates of Android apps when the window to return apps was dropped from 24 hrs to 15 mins.

    Food for thought.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:51am

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

    But, but, logic, we can't have that in our industry.... Stop the directors and actors that are paid millions for being human parrots might hear you and start thinking....

     

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  54.  
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    Kevin (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:53am

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

    They would make more money if most of the movies they threw millions at didn't suck.

     

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  55.  
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    Ess (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    You and the movie industry fail to understand something and that is Economics.

    1) Piracy is what happens when prices are too high it is the ultimate form of price discrimination (like what airlines use for tickets)
    2) You can often lower prices and make more money (Wal-Mart)
    3) Something pirated is very rarely if ever a substitute for something sold i.e. The choice is not piracy or purchase, it's piracy or nothing. Thus piracy enables people to watch more movies that would not have otherwise watched.
    4) This distribution leads to word of mouth and site marketing for those people who do have the funds to purchase movies (such as parents). Studios seem to be aware of this when they leak screeners.
    5) The avant-garde film producers (even under major studios) release pirated copies of their movies to spark such buzz (often in secret) and in equally in secret may credit such distribution to their success at events such as the Oscars. (N.B. Most Oscar judges 99-100% will not have paid to watch the film)
    6) Stop sounding a like a government prosecutor, we need to abolish criminal copyright infringement, our government shouldn't be using our money, or the money we give to studios, to put people in prison or fine them. Copyright damages should be about actual damages caused with no punitive, and then in this case we'd get to the heart of the issue. At present all it teaches is disrespect for the rule of law, alludes to a corrupt system, and constitutes and injustice. As MLK said, "an injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere."

    Viva stupidity, viva corruption, viva piracy. (sarcasm)

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:00am

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

    Yet to your point the MUSIC Industry (not the selling plastic disk industry) is up over all, more money and more people finding away to do what they love and make a buck...
    but the Plastic disk people are the ones screaming and making noise because they had many years of getting fat, DUMB, and happy selling over inflated discs of plastic...
    Time to do the same, (I have not seen a movie at at theater in 3 years because the prices go up and the quality and experience got a dump taken on it).

     

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  57.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    You summed up the problem well.


    >>3) It can't be stopped. It can be slowed, it can be tamped down.

    Can it even be slowed? The last ten years of attempting to stop/slow/tamp down the problem have done nothing but allow the problem to accelerate. In fact, many of the actions intended to slow the problem down have made the problem worse.

    >>It's a question of time, of government action, and of a moral shift in the population.

    Time? Really? The only time the problem would have been fixed was in the nascent days of Napster when the music industry picked the worst possible alternative. Now time is working against those who fight piracy.

    Government action? Where has that really worked? The industry got basically everything they wanted in France, and Hadopi has not stopped/slowed/tamped down piracy. It has, on the other hand, been a boon to companies selling VPN services. Government action cannot fight off basic economics forever.

    History has shown that the only laws that can be enforced in free countries are the ones that the people choose to follow. I think it might actually be possible to craft an IP law that people would follow and even enforce with social pressure. However, the industry isn't going that way. They want more draconian laws that are further alienating people. If the industry gets everything that it wants from government, jury nullification would probably follow right behind.

    Moral shift? Go talk to young people. They are shifting, but in the opposite direction. As you say in your original post, we have a generation that doesn't believe that piracy is wrong. So is it going to take another 20 years to raise a generation that spouts the RIAA/MPAA message? How do you plan to do that? The industry has tried some information and misinformation campaigns targeting young people, but they have not been anymore effective than any other "Just say no" campaign. I deal with a lot of students who have gotten disciplinary notices that the school is required to give out when the industry thinks they are downloading illegal material. The ones actually doing the downloading shift IP addresses and keep doing what they are doing. The ones who are wrongly accused (and there are a LOT of them in that group) get angry.

    The bottom line is that the movie industry doesn't have 20 years and them music recording industry doesn't have 5 years to enact more draconian laws or educate a new generation about the glories of paying $15 for a shiny music disk, or waiting patiently until the windowing system opens up to allow them to legally view the movie they want to see.

    You can shout of moral outrage. But eventually morality is set by society, not corporate lawyers. If societal norms are turning against your business, then it is a good time to consider changing your business. You can go to church on Sunday and talk about moral depravity, but in the Monday morning board meeting you should probably concentrate on the bottom line.

    By the way, when I do talk to young people, I spout the school line about how unauthorized copying is illegal and should not be done. I counsel against it, and I don't give any hints or ideas about how to get around further notices. But I do see how students react. The only ones that I see long-term behavioral change are people who are falsely accused. They tend to become pirates.

     

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  58.  
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    Atkray (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    "splain that one to me Lucy"

    "1) there is no profit in piracy."

    Then why the claims that sites are making so much money off of piracy?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:15am

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

    You invent me a machine that can perfectly replicate a pair of jeans infinitely using only a small amount of electricity, and I would vote that shoplifting be legal.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:18am

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

    Ticket sales are down? Then why do they keep saying profits are up? If I sell less I make more? I'm confused.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:28am

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

    Movie piracy is still really in it's infancy. In the next couple years it will mature and become common place.

    It's amazing that you can't see it. Why so stuck on today?


    Of course we all agree on that point. Where we disagree is that you seem to believe that there is something that could be done about it without massive collateral damage. (Actually I don't believe that even with the collateral damage there is anything that can be done.)

    In these circumstances smart people engage with the world as it is and don't waste time reminiscing about the way it was or fantasizing about the way they would like it to be.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even Mike knows this, which is why he stopped pushing his amusingly silly idea of selling DVDs of the movie at the Theaters.

    Hmm. Haven't stopped suggesting that, actually. Just a month ago I was in Hollywood and gave a presentation about it to indie film makers, and it got a *huge* response. People seemed to think it was a great idea.

    Not sure why you would assume otherwise.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:42am

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

    "Actually, the studios in general are much worse off than they were before, comparatively they are having to spend more money to make less money..."

    How do they "spend more" and how does that relate to piracy? Maybe if they dropped DRM they could spend less?


    "...and income has only gone up because of increased ticket prices, not because of increased attendance. "

    I think they are solving the wrong problem. They need to solve the attendance problem, not the piracy problem. That is easily fixed by dramatically improving the quality of the movie going experience.

    "You only have to look at the recorded music industry to see where it goes."

    Define "music industry". Maybe you mean that the plastic selling industry is taking a hit. No surprise there. In economics, when demand drops, price (and profit) drop accordingly. But I bet that for each example of doom and gloom you find, I can find a similar one of people that have thrived despite your so-called piracy.

    "...movies are only starting to feel the pinch as more and more people get reasonable download speeds"

    I've heard and seen movie piracy for ages. I remember people ripping DVDs to fit them in 600mb CDs. Are you telling me that the average moron that downloads a thousand songs doesn't have the bandwidth to download a movie? Even downloading an entire DVD is a cakewalk today.

    Unless you want to download 60gb of blu-ray goodness, download speeds are reasonable enough for piracy. Yet, somehow, movie studios aren't being vastly affected (according o you). Weird world huh?

    "Movie piracy is still really in it's infancy. In the next couple years it will mature and become common place."

    You fail. Movie piracy is as strong as any other form of piracy. It's basic economics: high demand and drives search for a supply, and that supply is found in piracy.

    The fact that you claim that movie piracy is in it's infancy only highlights the fact that the damage cannot be THAT great.

    "It's amazing that you can't see it. Why so stuck on today?"

    Seems to me that you are the blind one. This isn't about belief. It's about reality.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:44am

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

    "high demand and drives search for a supply"

    should be

    high demand drives search for a supply

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    In related news, the Law firm of the US Copyright Group, of Dunlap Grubb and Weaver, are now going to file a massive lawsuit against people who have downloaded "The King's Speech".

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    The only reason you find it hard is because you want it some way it isn't currently being sold, and you want it NOW, no matter what.


    Right! I am the customer, sell me what I want or I will get something else.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    kosmonautbruce (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    Just to repeat what fogbugzd said above.

    I would love to see some actual data that supported what AC says above about "slowing" or "tamping" down piracy.

    AFAIK, there is NO evidence that ANY tactic possibly pursued by the rights-holders will either slow or tamp down piracy. But I'm open to being convinced, I would just like AC to present something compelling.

     

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  68.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    I doubt it - "The King's speech" was funded by the UK film council and -

    a) They are a public body and not ( I hope) that stupid.

    b) They are being disbanded.

     

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  69.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Dealing with piracy

    Only a couple of things to add since a lot have responded to you one this one.

    That lack of respect is a horrible sign, because in the end, much of a freedom loving people is the respect of others and their tolerance of things.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but my respect is not something that is granted because you demand it, my respect is something to be earned and something that needs to be reciprocated. The movie industry does not have my respect at this point.

    Whiny, childish ways of looking at things, and you think for some reason this justifies taking it without paying.

    While I have to agree that it doesn't really justify taking without paying, calling one's (actual / potential) customers "whiny, childish freetard criminals" is most definitely one way to never earn back my respect.

    And the simple fact that a huge segment of the population does feel that that the inconvenience factors do justify piracy - why doesn't the industry accommodate them and turn them into paying customers?

     

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  70.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

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

    "Ticket sales are down? Then why do they keep saying profits are up? If I sell less I make more? I'm confused."

    They increased the price. Sales are down, revenue and profits are up. Ofc, for all I know sales are down because prices went up.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Well thinking about it you have to assume that the theater turn the whole $10 directly over to the studio (which I do no believe to be true)."

    Funnily, an anonymous coward made that exact point in another thread to argue that big movies rely on home entertainment sales rather than cinema sales. I say funnily, because they seemed to be using it to back an argument that piracy is a problem. I hope it's not the same anonymous coward (a pointed remark about how it can be hard to take anonymous cowards seriously because they lack an individual identity).

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    AnonX, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

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

    It looks like piracy has been doing real harm. All statistics say otherwise even from the MPAA themselves....

    From the MPAA this was a banner year for sales in 2010. All records fell in 2010 as far as revenue. If this trend of beating records continues, I'm not sure how Hollywood will survive.

    http://www.mpaa.org/Resources/653b11ee-ee84-4b56-8ef1-3c17de30df1e.pdf

     

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  73.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    I thought of a way to stop people pirating...only release god-awful movies that no-one in their right mind would actually want, even for free....

    What? Someone already had that idea and a bunch of them were up for Oscars this year?

    damn there goes another get rich quick scheme

     

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  74.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Found another way to end piracy:

    make a movie so awesomely good that no-one will ever want anything else.

    I have a proposed title it's called "Corporate shills vs the woodchipper".........

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    So piracy is bad, but: "It's pretty simple: if you're getting downloaded more, it means there's more interest in your film, and it's your job as a film producer to figure out how to make money from that interest. It's not something to complain about."

    I think you're confused.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Erin B., Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    That really only works if you assume that every single download is a lost sale. I once bought a bootlegged copy of the Phantom of the Opera movie in NYC's Chinatown simply because I was a teenaged theatre nerd. I'd already seen the movie three times in theaters, I'd already bought the soundtrack (yes, a legal copy), and I'd already asked for the DVD version for my birthday (I asked for -- and later received -- the more expensive 2-disc edition, even). When I got home from my NYC trip, I shared the bootlegged DVD with a friend, who then went with me to see the movie again (my fourth, her first). And then she bought the DVD when it came out. Let's assume I'd downloaded the movie instead. That means I broke the law, but I fail to see how doing that would have hurt anyone involved in the making of the movie, studio included.

    Obviously, not every single instance of piracy is going to go that way. There are plenty of people who just don't want to pay for anything. But it's pretty hilarious and pigheaded to assume that every! single! person! who's pirating movies isn't also paying for them. Or even that every! single! person! who's pirating movies would pay for them, under any circumstances. Sure, I'll go along with the idea that it's morally wrong to take things -- abstract or physical -- without paying for them. But we don't actually legislate based on morality, we legislate based on an attempt to prevent harm.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Re:

    WHERE do these people live?!
    I Don't wanna move there, lol. $10 for a movie? If the
    UK Cinema ticket price curently circa $14 equiv.
    That pretty much explains why I haven't been to the cinema for years. That and the amount of utter rubbish being produced of course, which also explains why I now either wait for DVDs to appear in the bargain bin or don't bother.
    Easier to download now? Not really, at the time I was going to the cinema almost weekly I also had pretty much unlimited access to the same films if I wanted it through friends - usually pre-release.

    Of course prices, poor content, release windows, annoying DRM, improved home cinema experience, exponentially wider choice of leisure-spend options and a global recession couldn't possibly be even a tiny part resonsible - it's all the fault of those nasty freetard pirates plain and simple.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:16pm

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

    Are you an economist?
    I hope not because what you described is the market adjusting itself to a cycle of inflation and it does that depressing itself, you can't expect it will go up forever it doesn't it falls and that is what the numbers on the recording industry show, the market adjusting itself at a lower level that will set the stage for growth again.

    The number of sales is still strong, but the price is all wrong, it got to high and now is coming down, piracy or no piracy.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:20pm

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

    Quote:
    Movie piracy is still really in it's infancy. In the next couple years it will mature and become common place.


    You gotta be kidding me.
    So piracy it is a 40 years old child?

    Before the internet it was hard I remember mailing my floppies to friends and others to get games, we used the mail.

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I generally am logged in when I decide to post a comment. There have been a few that I wasn't, but the overall tone of those comments were about the same as the one above.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 5th, 2011 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "No, I generally am logged in when I decide to post a comment. There have been a few that I wasn't, but the overall tone of those comments were about the same as the one above."

    Apologies. I wasn't suggesting you were the same anonymous coward, but that the anon you were replying to might be.

     

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


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