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)

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

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

     

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

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ^
            |
            |

            Speaking of "transparently stupid"...

             

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            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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              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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              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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                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.

                 

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                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.

                 

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                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.

                 

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            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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              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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                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).

                 

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            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."

             

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              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?

               

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                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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                  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.

                   

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

          Re: Re: Re:

          or the MPAA at least

           

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

      Re:

      Yeah, thats why he mentions netflix in the video.

       

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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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      Rich, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

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

       

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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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      AO1JMM, Aug 10th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

      Re:

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

       

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      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.

       

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    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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      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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    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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      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.

       

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

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

     

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      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...

       

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        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.

         

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    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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    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.

     

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    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?

     

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    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

     

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    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.

     

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    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

     

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

    kudos Mr Crusher

     

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

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

     

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

    BAZINGA!

     

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