Wil Wheaton Explains Why Hollywood Needs To Compete With 'Piracy'

from the nicely-done dept

An anonymous user pointed us to this nice quick video of actor/geek Wil Wheaton discussing how the entertainment industry needs to catch up with the 21st century when it comes to dealing with "piracy."
It starts out with Wil saying: "As soon as the entertainment industry provides an alternative to Bittorrent or an alternative to piracy, that makes it just as easy for honest people to get access to the programming, then the piracy dries up." Of course, plenty of us have said this for years, but it's nice to see another actor speaking up about this, even if it's one as "in touch" with the tech world as Wheaton. Wheaton goes on to quote Gabe Newell, to explain how the industry is too often focused on pirates who will never pay, and to talk about the ridiculousness of him not being able to watch videos he had legally purchased while travelling in Canada because he was outside the proper territory. The whole (short) video is completely worth watching. He notes that it's difficult to pull the entertainment industry into the modern era and suggests that they're just about reaching 1997 right now.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    When was this video shot? Wil says he is impressed that Syfy releases their shows online, yet they are only doing it 2 months or more after the episodes first air on television. This is a huge contrast to their policy just a year ago when the wait was only a week after airing.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    I can always look forward to taking business advice from someone who walked away from the best acting job in his life.

     

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  3.  
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    blaktron (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    In what way are the studios approaching 1997? I would say that by 1997 anyone with any know how already knew that anything that could be digitized would be, and infinitely copied. People were already trading mp3s on IRC back then...

     

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  4.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    And I can always look forward to taking business advice from anonymous trolls on the internet.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re:

    I always look forward to getting business advice from TorrentMike's flunkies.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Apparently this guy hasn't heard of Hulu or Netflix.

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Take your pills AC. You seem to be in need of them ;)

    Discredit everyone and anyone that does not share your opinion is as effective as it's new.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    Apparently you haven't heard it's only available in the US. Both of them.

     

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  9.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    1997 was an euphemism. I'd say they ran backwards enough to be in the 1900's.

     

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  10.  
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    Prisoner 201, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    Yeah, thats why he mentions netflix in the video.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Wait, Wil comes from Afghaniraq?

    Or is there some other place that is not USA?

    *confused*

     

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  12.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    As refreshing as it sounds it'll be ignored by the MAFIAA and he might even get put in the sidelines. Honorable attitude I'd say.

    The shills will ignore the fact that he's part of the 'creative process' and will try to discredit him because of [insert random reason here]. Oh, they already did.

     

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  13.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Not exactly, netflix is available is a few other places, but of course the licensing restrictions fubar it all up so it has to work "differently" in each place.
    They also have very limited selection compared to the pirates'.

    They are a good example of at least a decent attempt to compete with piracy, though. Thats why the movie industry wants them dead.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Rich, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Re:

    Really? Is that why he mentions Netflix in the interview?

     

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  15.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re:

    And yet the MAFIAA is successfully using hideous licensing fees and broad interpretations of the law to prevent these businesses from flourishing. Good job MAFIAA! Good job in encouraging piracy more and more =)

     

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  16.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    or the MPAA at least

     

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  17.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They are a good example of at least a decent attempt to compete with piracy, though. Thats why the movie industry wants them dead.

    I'm gonna engrave that in a steel plate and send it to MAFIAA.

    As for availability, it means not with laughable selection of content and all the access restrictions other countries face.

    I'll stick to file sharing for now.

     

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  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Wait 2 months to see it on TV or download it now from TPB. Oh the dilemma...

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    Dude, if I was you, I'd take ANY advice I can get. Even a Magic 8-Ball would help: You are so lost and spaced out that even randomness would be an improvement.

     

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  20.  
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    Scooters (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Yeesh.

    He's starting to look like "Number One". To grow up looking like Frakes. Must be scary.

    Now, in the lighter side of the news, doubt this young man's opinion is going to sway anyone, especially when the other guy came in and basically make a mockery of his interview.

     

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  21.  
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    Greg G (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I can only think of

    Stewie saying Hwil Hweaton anytime I see Will's name anywhere.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    TorrentMike

    That's catchy.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    W.W. looks good rockin' the beard. Bearded geeks unite!

     

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

  24.  
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    blaktron (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Im a pretty hardcore 'pirate', I dont even pay for a cable tv sub, but I do pay for netflix. Its the first pay service I've ever thought held a candle to grabbing stuff my own way, and thats because its so fast. They proved its possible, now if the TV studios would start selling their shows like this I would sign up for them all.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They're both available in the US, so why isn't piracy at zero in the US?

    Because his "argument" is transparently stupid.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Loki, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    I doubt he's worried about getting put on the sidelines (or he wouldn't have "walked away from the best acting job ever"). His career has been doing quite well on "the fringe", and his popularity/credibility is far more likely to be positively affected by the types of people who actually watch/read/listen to his work.

     

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  27.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ^
    |
    |

    Speaking of "transparently stupid"...

     

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  28.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It always baffles me when people say things like this.. How do you respond to people without the ability to reason properly?

    It snowed today so that disproves global warming.
    I saw a rich black man so racism doesn't exist.

    How can you even talk to these people? Life can be exhausting.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Hahahahaha. You expect TAM to actually read articles or listen to interviews? How silly.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because combined they probably hold 1% of consumable media. And both have major restrictions on the content they can offer including what devices they can be watched on. That's hardly just as easy as piracy methods.

     

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  31.  
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    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do we have police? They obviously don't work, crime isn't at 0.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    "They're both available in the US, so why isn't piracy at zero in the US?"

    Because you can get things immediately through piracy. I don't know how long tv shows take to show up on Netflix but I can get any tv show on a torrent site within 10 minutes of the showing airing. Movies take what 28 days after the DVD release or something like that to show up, I can get those same movies 1-2 months before they are released on DVD on any torrent site.

     

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  33.  
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    Karl (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    Apparently this guy hasn't heard of Hulu or Netflix.

    "In Vancouver, I can watch broadcast television from Seattle, but I can't watch shows on Netflix."

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    JS, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    Meh. Give him a break. He was a kid and it all went to his head. Something he repeatedly acknowledges in his writing and his talks.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    Going for the obvious ad hom.

    1/10

     

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  36.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They're both available in the US, so why isn't piracy at zero in the US?

    Whether you're trolling or not, its because neither Hulu or Netflix meet Wil's conditions of: "that makes it just as easy [as Bittorrent or piracy] for honest people to get access to the programming."

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And how do Hulu, Netflix, etc. not already do this in the US?

    Do you have an example?

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

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

    Do you have an example?

    How about Syfy themselves. They do not stream shows on Hulu until 2 months after the original air date. Pirates have to wait a few minutes after the show airs.

     

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  39.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly. Until authorized online viewing is as easy as "click torrent link, wait, watch wherever you like", piracy will continue to increase.

     

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  40.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

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

    And how do Hulu, Netflix, etc. not already do this in the US?

    So I can stream every show minutes after it airs for the first time? Can I download the shows in convenient formats so I can watch them later? Or take them with me on my laptop/Android/iPod to watch them away from home?

    If those answers are no, then it is not as easy as piracy.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

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

    And how do Hulu, Netflix, etc. not already do this in the US?


    Sorry, but are you *seriously* claiming that Hulu and Netflix allow you to watch downloaded content offline? (Or download - rather than stream - at all for that matter?) Or that the streams work with any and all media players and don't require a special player to work? Or that once downloaded, the stream can be scaled/transcoded to work on other devices, without having to be re-downloaded again?

    Are you *seriously* claiming that they offer everything that's available via illegal means? That any movie or TV show you want, regardless of which studio produced it, is available quickly and simply?

    Are you so completely and totally unaware of what Hulu and Netflix actually *are* that you have to ask such a stupid question?

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd be interested in seeing the infringement numbers for things that are on Netflix. Maybe a graph showing where it was before it was available streaming versus where it is now.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It snowed today so that disproves global warming.
    I saw a rich black man so racism doesn't exist."

    @crade,seriously? That was the best you could do? So I saw a poor black man so racism still exists. It didn't snow every day so Global Warming is real.

    Your analogies are flawed in so many ways. Let me help you out. I am crade, I make huge generalities about large groups of people. I am 14 and because the internet is anonymous I want every one to thing I am older and smart. Then again, how can anyone talk to you? Trying to do so I so exhausting.

     

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  44.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re:

    I was one of those people who hated his character on STTNG. I have enjoyed everything he has done since and have developed a great deal of respect for him as a person. Walking away from that job may have saved his career.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If I want your advice, I'll tell you what to say.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Yeesh.

    The other guy was Colin Ferguson, who is one of the stars of "Eureka" which Wil Wheaton is currently on. It seemed to me more like they were having fun rather than him being mocked.

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

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

    Considering thw original argument (that Wil Wheaton has never heard of Hulu or Netflix,) absurdism seems to be the most appropriate response.

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

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

    Hey crade, those are examples (of the sort of assertions that I was saying I have trouble handling at family reunions and such) rather than analogies. You list a couple more of the same sort of examples. A simple response explaining that "piracy might not be at 0 because the argument was that it would be better to focus on providing competition that people want, not that piracy would magically insta-vanish if there ever was a product that came close to competing with it" always seems to be met with "what about hulu, they compete with piracy too" or something along those lines that makes me sad.

     

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

  49.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Nah, Wil forgot the leap year. He actually meant 1993.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re:

    WWWWHHHHHHEEEEAAAAAATTTTOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNN!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUWXjs2jPQI

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Very simple instructions in dealing with trolls

    "Your analogies are flawed in so many ways. Let me help you out. I am crade, I make huge generalities about large groups of people. I am 14 and because the internet is anonymous I want every one to thing I am older and smart. Then again, how can anyone talk to you? Trying to do so I so exhausting."

    1. Place hand in front of you
    2. Place hand on forehead
    3. Shift head 45 degrees forward. This becomes default position.
    4. Shift head 25 degrees to the left.
    5. Shift head to default position.
    6. Shift head 25 degrees to the right.
    7. Shift head to default position.

    Repeat steps 4-7 as necessary to show inanity of behavior.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

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

    Even then it may still increase, maybe not quite as quickly, but at least that way income from the authorized users should theoretically increase as well. That *should* be what they are after after all (imho).

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Jake, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Re:

    Best acting job in his life? He was playing a character that was universally regarded as the worst thing to happen to a beloved franchise since Scrappy-Doo, and getting hate mail from fans because of it! Wheaton wasn't a bad actor given what he had to work with but his career still hasn't really recovered, and he should have walked long before he did.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:08pm

    I'm sorry but no matter how compelling the argument I am simply unable to take it seriously because Wesley freaking Crusher said it.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    tracker1 (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

    Or before...

    If you're on the west coast, you can often see a show before it airs in your region/time zone. Beyond this, if you happen to like a foreign show, there may be no legal way to watch.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

    Re:

    Cant relay claim to being a bearded geek if you didnt see him rocking it in the Big Bang Theory...

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    VMax, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    The guy who comes in.

    That's Colin Ferguson from Eureka. Wil has a role as a suck up, nasty researcher. If an actor can see the problem, why can't the MPAA?

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 9:10pm

    Re:

    He walked away from Stand By Me? Really?! Funny, I thought they finished that film.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Its not that he need's to take his pills. He need's to stop drinking the content industry kool-aid. ;)

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I agree lets set up torrentmike as a place for new artists to do the open mike night thing.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 10th, 2011 @ 4:35am

    Re:

    This video was shot very recently during Comic*Con 2011.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    ferdian, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 6:12am

    Great Idea

    Excellent. Wonderful. Thanks for providing such a great article; it was excellent and very informative. Appreciate you sharing, great post. Really thank you! Continue with the great work on the site. This is the fitting blog for anybody who wants to search out about this topic. Thank you so much

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 10th, 2011 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    24/7 open mic? Sounds like a good idea. Add in a bit from turntable.fm.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re:

    Cant relay claim to being a bearded geek if you didnt see him rocking it in the Big Bang Theory...

    I've never seen it. I know him from STTNG.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Joe, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Hollywood can't compete. The internet has outmoded them.

    Hollywood is finished. They are doomed. Th internet has outmoded them. There is very little reason for people to go through a middle man anymore to get a product. Streaming video websites are the best opportunity for Hollywood to recoup their losses. If these services are not embraced by Hollywood, they can say goodbye to their industry goodbye.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Joe, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Hollywood can't compete. The internet has outmoded them.

    Hollywood is finished. They are doomed. Th internet has outmoded them. There is very little reason for people to go through a middle man anymore to get a product. Legal Streaming video websites, such as Hulu and Netflix, are the best opportunity for Hollywood to recoup their losses. If these services are not embraced by Hollywood, they can say goodbye to their industry goodbye

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Yeah. Great Gig There...

    By Grapthar's Hammer that is a really clueless way of looking at the situation.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    kudos Mr Crusher

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    AO1JMM, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Re:

    Did you even watch the video? The man talks about Netflix in the interview.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Aug 10th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

    Was anyone else annoyed by Colin butting in with his stupid antics?

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Ninja... ummm

    Dude, 1997 IS in the 1900's. Just saying.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    idk about hulu but Netflix, at least in Canada, does not have anything relatively new and a lot of the shows it lists say not available on netflix when you select them to watch. So yeah, not that great of a service unless you want to watch old B movies. I subscribe to it but most of these movies really are old.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    aka Evil Wil Weaton

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    BAZINGA!

     

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


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