Of Course: New Fox Delay Means More Unauthorized Downloads Of Fox Shows

from the this-isn't-rocket-science dept

Back in July, when the Fox Network announced plans to block or delay many of its popular shows from going online, we predicted this would increase the number of unauthorized downloads. This just seemed stupid. People want to access it online and they will access it online. Why not offer it to them in an easy and convenient manner that can be monetized. Of course, when others pointed out the same thing, the geniuses at the MPAA threw a hissy fit about how even admitting that Fox's stupid business decision might increase unauthorized file sharing was the equivalent of praising "stealing."

So, um, I wonder how the MPAA's brilliant strategists will respond to the news that, in the first week of Fox's delays alone, unauthorized downloads of some of its most popular shows increased massive amounts, doubling or tripling what they were before. In fact, that article notes that many of the people viewing it through unauthorized means left comments about how they tried to watch via legal channels, but couldn't.

So I'm wondering how the folks at the MPAA might explain this. Are they going to throw another tantrum and blame "reality" for supporting file sharing? Or will someone there finally buy a clue and recognize that not providing consumers what they want is a bad business decision. I guess that would require someone at the MPAA to actually have experience in business -- but they all seem to be lawyers or political flunkies.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    The eejit (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Mike, you're forgetting one thing: reality has a liberal bias.

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    In the steps of Stephen Colbert...

    I think a new term is required here: "realitiveness"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    'Or will someone there finally download a clue and recognize that not providing consumers what they want is a bad business decision.'

    Fixed that for ya.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Bets on them pointing to this as a reason they need more powers and laws.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      That. I'll try my MAFIAA legal trolling skills:

      "The recent surge in online piracy has dramatically surged in the last week putting the economy at risk and jeopardizing creativity. It is clear that current laws are insufficient to tackle the problem and reforms are needed. The Protect IP Act, while does provide improvements needs to have capital punishment added to it along with the removal of safe harbors from the DMCA and the inclusion of filters to prevent access to rogue sites that will be listed by MAFIAA and its affiliates."

       

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        Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Recent surge has dramatically surged was an err but it actually emphasized the thing and had a fine trolling tone to it. *thumbs up for drunken typing skills*

         

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Jeez, Mike

    The cause is obvious. It's your fault.

    If you (and Roettger, et.al.) hadn't told the world that it's OK to download illegally, people wouldn't have done it. Socialist freetard!

    It can't possibly be anything Fox did wrong. 'Cause they're, you know. Experts.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    The Truth Will Out

    Making your customers hate your guts is a lousy business model.

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Fox is going to react to this by increasing the delay to 28 days.

     

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    Matthew (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Buy a clue?

    "Or will someone there finally buy a clue..."

    Why would they buy one when they can get them for free online? Clue piracy is single-handedly destroying the clue market. Mike and the rest of the freetards here who are giving clues away are a big part of the problem. If they aren't stopped soon, everyone will have a clue and they won't have paid a dime for it. Tragic.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    MPAA Irrelevant

    By this point I feel the groups like the MPAA and RIAA are pretty much irrelevant to the public (aside from their attempts to pass bad laws). I am more interested in how Fox themselves is going to respond to this since it is their shows. They now have direct evidence of what happens with windowed releases.
    I wouldn't expect an organization such as the MPAA or RIAA to change their talking points because A) their income from memberships depends on there being a problem that they need to fix, and B) big groups about never ever admit they are wrong. Most individuals have a hard time admitting they were wrong, let alone such a large collection of said individuals who depend on their comments being right (reality be damned).

    Of course, a great possible outcome out of this for Fox is to say, "Hey, we see you guys don't want to wait so we will no longer delay the release online." The best would be for ALL in the video entertainment biz to look at this, and all other evidence such as the mountain of studies, and to just remove windows entirely on everything. I would love to see them try that for even just a quarter of a year, and to see the piracy numbers then. I bet they would drop by quite a bit. However, I will not be holding my breath for such an outcome.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:23pm

      Re: MPAA Irrelevant

      The problem is even in the face of something like this, they are afraid to break from the pack and try it.

      They fear new, they fear each other.

      They keep trying to dribble the content out a drop at a time, making sure they extract every possible cent. Then they gather up what was dribbled out, and try putting it into a new bottle and try again.

      They keep repackaging the content, and then wonder why the super secret special edition that is the 4th version in 1 year isn't selling well.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 10:55am

        Re: Re: MPAA Irrelevant

        They keep trying to dribble the content out a drop at a time, making sure they extract every possible cent.


        I disagree here. If they were trying to "extract every possible cent", they wouldn't be dribbling it out or making it harder for fans to pay them.

        That's all this really is - Fox is trying ways to make it harder for their viewers to give them money. How is that *ever* a good business decision?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    It all goes back to a horribly misguided sense of entitlement. If the product isn't available legally for 48 hours, then TAKE A CHILL PILL AND RELAX. This isn't an open invitation to pirate stuff.

    It's amazing how people feel entitled to have it now, regardless.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      I like how they threaten to break the law if they don't get what they want immediately; it's like someone being proud that they're taking someone hostage...

       

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        Ben (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Taking a hostage is like loaning something, you can always give it back as long as it's not damaged

         

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        PRMan, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:01pm

        Re: Re:

        It's because the laws are not respected. If you can't see the difference between depriving an innocent bystander of their freedom and watching a show when their schedule permits (with a williness to pay), then there's simply no discussion to be had here.

         

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:04pm

        Re: Re:

        I like how some ACs think that telling people to "TAKE A CHILL PILL AND RELAX" [sic] or comparing it to taking someone hostage will change anything. Wake up and smell the shit you're shoveling. Your fantasy world is never coming true. It's time to accept reality as it is and work with it.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Except it's nothing like that for a number of reasons not the least of which is that hostage taking is a crime and downloading an episode of a TV show is not a crime.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 4:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Uh, yeah, it is. Welcome to reality, indeed.

           

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            Any Mouse (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 5:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Is it a crime? Show me the criminal statute being broken? (Hint: Broad difference between 'criminal' and 'civil.')

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 6:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Criminal copyright infringement requires more than a download of a TV show used for personal use. It's a tort, not a crime. There's a difference, a rather large one.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 6:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 506. Criminal offenses

            (a) Criminal Infringement. ó

            (1) In general. ó Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed ó

            (A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

            (B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

            (C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution."

            A and C obviously don't apply which leaves section B which only applies if the total retail value of the episode being copied is over $1,000.

            Don't lecture others on 'reality' if you've got no fucking clue what it is yourself.

             

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              mike allen (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 3:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Give people what they want like NOW. you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, In your case mr AC please get hit by a bus tomorrow BTW along with MPAA and RIAA PRS ETC ETC.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 9:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Um... IANAL .....
              but I'm pretty sure you don't get to apply the whole criminal statute if only one little piece of the requirements is met....

              Someone downloading a show with a retail value of more than $1000 for them to 'time shift' the show they missed on TV does not make them guilty of criminal copyright infringement.

              There is no commercial advantage or financial gain involved, and there is no commercial distribution...

              Don't lecture other on 'reality' if you've got no clue where to download it yourself.....

               

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            rubberpants, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 7:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Did you see how you were totally wrong? I only bring it up because I didn't see you mention it in a reply.

             

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      Ben (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      It's not entitlement, it's availability. You don't wait a week to read the next chapter in your book. When you buy a DVD box set you don't watch one episode a week. It it's there people will want it. If they can get it legally, great. If they can't but can get it in an illegal way which has become socially acceptable, they'll do that instead.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      Why can't we if we had till recently? Why place artificial restrictions?

      Feel like trolling?

       

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      el_segfaulto (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      I'll bite... It's a sense of entitlement borne of reality. It simply doesn't make any sense to the public that a show already broadcast isn't available online. It's an artificial scarcity that can no longer be maintained because of the very nature of the internet. Saying information wants to be free is like saying that water flows downhill. It's not trying to excuse IP law violations, it's simply describing an observable fact.

      There are plenty of ridiculous laws on the books, and just like laws requiring ducks to wear long pants, many IP laws are ignored not because people are inherently immoral, but because they don't see an ethical problem with what they're doing.

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:08pm

        The secret is out....

        The genie is already out of the bottle. Entirely too many people have too much understanding of the underlying costs and challenges. Too many people know how cheap it is to fab a DVD in lots of 100. Too many people know how trivial it is to take something from the air and seed it on bit-torrent.

        This is especially funny for anything that is broadcast in the clear over the public airwaves.

        Anyone is free to snatch it and either burn or upload it.

        People realize that they can expect better.

        You just can't ignore the customer like that and get away with it. This will only get worse, not better. Nip it in the bud before "doing for yourself" becomes an entrenched norm.

         

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re:

        "is like saying that water flows downhill."

        No, you're just a FLOWTARD!

         

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:12pm

      Re:

      Reasonable Pirate: I watch x show on the network Fox station faithfully at 8pm every Thursday. My kid was up puking his guts out and I didn't get to watch the show this week.

      Before delays: I'll just load up Fox.com and watch it Saturday. Then, when Thursday rolls around, I can pick up the show without missing a beat.

      After delays: Since it won't be online for two weeks or ever I will just have to now watch the rest of the season on a two week delay online on my computer or buy/rent when it comes out on DVD since I don't want to keep watching when I could have missed something important. Or, torrent, watch, delete, and back on the couch next Thursday.

      Who is entitled here?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:10pm

        Re: Re:

        You missed it entirely. You feel entitled to your "Saturday routine", even if it is no longer available to you. Rather than accept that the situation has changed, you instead feel entitled to continue it. So you torrent.

        That is a sense of entitlement.

        Now, if you had half a brain, you would get a pvr, and record the show on Thursday, watch it on Saturday, and not waste your time (and effort) torrenting and breaking the law.

        Oh wait, you want it on your schedule, you want it now, and you don't want to have to make an effort to get it.

        I understand. It's called entitlement.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You spelled reality wrong.

           

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          HothMonster, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          yeah, watch it when you want because you tapped the live feed with a 200$ box. You can't watch a legitimate stream with add revenue for the producer the next day with your 500$ box because......well for no good reason BUT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!

          guess what, people don't buy that. Give it to them in a manner you make money or don't they are still gonna watch it. Whether they are entitled or immoral doesn't matter, its gonna happen.

           

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          Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hey, I am just looking at this from a reasonable point of view. You obviously have no reason since you resort to name calling. No wonder your industry is failing. You hate your customers, call them stupid, assume they are thieves, throw up artificial barriers, and expect them to pay more for something that costs less to produce and distribute then before, and expects the tech industry to figure out how to keep the same old money coming in for them.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's called being the customer.

          Totally Serious Question Alert: Are you retarded?

          Because only a person with a severe learning disability can't see this for what it is. If I went to a car dealership to buy a vehicle and they didn't have the color I was looking for do you think the sales person would say:

          "God, you have such a sense of entitlement. Just take a chill pill. We have silver cars and silver is just as good as red. Get over yourself."

          Or do you think they would get me the red car?

          TV is entertainment, it isn't a necessity. Idiots like you take that to mean entertainment can be MORE restrictive about how, what, where, and when but in reality it means that people fit entertainment into their schedules at their convenience. So, here we are, you vs. reality. My money is on reality.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 5:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Oh wait, go to Youtube know and search for "badger commercial" or "badger ad", there is this one ad about a badger trying to sell cars and in this one scene he tells the client "we have a variety of colors" and she starts asking and he starts saying "no, that one is out", "no, that one out too" LoL

             

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What is the difference between recording it for myself and watching it later and having someone else record it for me so I can watch it later?

          Before you say anything about ads, keep in mind that everyone skips them on a DVR, which is perfectly legal.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In actual execution torrents and 'pvr[sic]' represent no difference to the end user in result because the result is the same: they get to time shift their shows to a point that's better for them. The only one that's acting 'entitled' is Fox, they feel they are entitled to the viewership and advertising numbers they used to enjoy before new technologies like streaming came of age so now they're fighting against the new technologies rather than embracing them for the good of their own customers.

           

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          erUhm (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ..."you would get a pvr"..

          You're not really with us are you, sir? Why should I do a) when I can do b) and both offer the same result?

          The truth and reality of the situation is that if the show is over - so is your window. Embrace and adapt or chase and get slapped.

          We already know your position is a horrendous uphill battle do we not? What are you battling for exactly? Money? Can't be you're loosing it. Customer loyalty.. yeah, no. Control - going, going ... shows over.

          It would seem to me that my "entitlement" will beat your window and anything you have to offer to date. I am glad that you understand for understanding part of the problem can, at times, lead to a solution. You telling me what to do and how to do it is most definitely not the correct solution to your problem.

           

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          Mr Big Content, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 4:27pm

          Re: Now, if you had half a brain, you would get a pvr, and record the show on Thursday, watch it on Saturday, and not waste your time (and effort) torrenting and breaking the law.

          Who says stealing the show off air onto your PVR is not breaking the law? Itís still criminal theft-of-property stealing, just as much as stealing the show off a torrent. Itís only faux-ďlegalĒ through a loophole deliberately opened by the corrupt Supreme Court in Sony vs Universal.

          If there were a law to make it illegal to exploit legal loopholes, that would put a stop to this sort of corruption once and for all.

           

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            bratwurzt (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 6:34am

            Re: Re: Now, if you had half a brain, you would get a pvr, and record the show on Thursday, watch it on Saturday, and not waste your time (and effort) torrenting and breaking the law.

            is this sarcasm? because if it's trolling - it is really bad. Like "is this sarcasm?" bad.

             

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          Zot-Sindi, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 4:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          A copyright supporter talking about entitlement.

          Rich.

          My irony vat has been filled for years to come.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 5:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So copying from TV is ok but getting a copy from a torrent is not?

          I'm trying to understand that logic, I will get a free copy either way, where is the profit?

           

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          mike allen (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 3:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What is wrong with what the BBC do put it on line same day leave it up till the next episode one week later some shows permanently therefore catch up is guaranteed no need for a delay.

           

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          bratwurzt (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Remember Locomotive Act?

          The part where it said "The restrictions in the earlier act were encouraged by those with interests in the UK railway industry and horse-drawn carriages." translates to Recording industry today.

          And no, it's not alternative, the UK railway industry.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:14pm

      Re:

      I got one better for ya, I won't watch it at all, in any way, shape, or form, legal or illegal. These eyes won't view any of your content or your ads. There, better?

       

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        Lord Binky, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re:

        So.... how are they able to tell if my TV is watching Fox OTA. Downloading the show is equivalent to just watching the show over the air, they broadcast the show or commercial, I am not required to watch the commercials, They have no feedback as to whether I watched the commercials.... What the hell do they care if they are not providing it online. At least that way they know I watched the show, and likely had to hit a button after the commercial to continue, which I would think would make for a more profitable commercials since they a better chance I was there and not making a sandwich.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      And where do suggest they get a chill pill? Pharmaceutical companies can't just be handing out pills left and right. It cost near $33 billion for R&D on the Chill Pill™ and you want people taking it just willy nilly?! What kind of freetard are you? You're worse than that Masnick guy, at least he offers reasonable alternatives, you just want all the drugs for free you damn hippie.

       

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      Manabi (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      Yeah, so? Whatever the cause for it the reality is that people want to watch the shows when they want to watch them, and the majority aren't going to wait 8 days, they'll find them via any means possible, including pirating them.

      Instead of bitching and moaning (and insulting people) about this occurring and demanding people change their desires, the solution is to provide them what they want in a way that continues to make you money. Driving them to piracy (which makes you no money) is a business failure. It's throwing away money.

      Why is this so hard for the copyright boner coalition to understand? Your copyright is worthless if no one wants to see/read/listen to it. Instead of doing everything possible to not give people access to it in ways they want in a manner that allows you to make money, you're encouraging piracy. Maybe you should start suing yourself for doing so, isn't aiding and abetting piracy a crime?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:27pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:53pm

      Yes, clearly the people that can't wait to see it right away (read: the biggest fans) are the problem here. It's not that Fox actively removed legal options they had become accustomed to in a blatant attempt to shore up the numbers on traditional distribution. No, it's that the biggest fans are just to into these shows to wait. Yes, that's the problem right there.

       

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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    I thought it was interesting that the two shows tracked were not "geek" type shows where you would expect a particularly online savvy audience. These were two mainstream shows that I would guess appeal to the 24-49 soccer mom set. Yet, torrent downloads still went way up.

    Is downloading torrents becoming mainstream?

     

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      A non-mouse, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      "Is downloading torrents becoming mainstream?"

      Absolutely. But besides that, I think it's worth pointing out that Fox's new delay affects Hulu users, who are probably "online savvy" to begin with.

       

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      thejynxed, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 7:26pm

      Re:

      Downloading Torrents has been mainstream since about 2005.

      Certainly, "geek-type" shows are popular downloads, but all you have to do is say, look at the most popular weekly downloads on sites that track that info such as Torrent Freak, and you will find that it's all "mainstream" pap.

      I've seen "niche" content on some sites with thousands of up/down numbers (for instance, stuff like eBooks and anime), but they were vastly outnumbered by the numbers of people down/up on stuff like Jersey Shore, 24, the latest Rihanna album or Gene Simmons Family Jewels for instance, which would be in the tens of thousands.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    The bigger question is whether or not the strategy worked; did ratings go up?

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    "Why not offer it to them in an easy and convenient manner that can be monetized."

    Because you can't compete with free, that's why.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:00pm

      Re:

      Which really means you can't compete at all.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:01pm

      Re:

      You are wrong and it takes some education to find out you can. Suggestion: search for Netflix.

       

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      PRMan, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      How many people on here would buy a TV episode for 99 cents for a current-season hour-long show if their DVR missed it or if they got into a show late and wanted to catch up on the 5 episodes they missed so far. How about 49 cents for a 30-minute show? Probably all of us.

      The problem is unmet demand, pure and simple. I don't torrent anything, but even people that do would realize that watching a nice copy from the official site (or Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, GoogleTV, etc.) for 99 cents is FAR EASIER than pirating.

      If each household in the US averaged $100 per year on this model, they would make $10 billion.

       

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        PRMan, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        $100/year is only 2 shows per week on this model. People wouldn't even blink at $2 per week.

         

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          JEDIDIAH, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:12pm

          All PPV all the time.

          People wouldn't blink at $2 per week, but they would also balk at only 2 hours of TV per week. People like that are already lost to the likes of Fox as they've given up on TV already.

          All PPV, all the time is actually a really stupid idea.

          Most people are not self-aware enough or mathematically inclined enough to realize it.

          Although the bill at the end of the month might give them sticker shock.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:37pm

            Re: All PPV all the time.

            I think the assumption is that you would still be watching most TV through normal means.

            The $2 per week is only when you miss something, want to catch up on something, don't have room on your DVR, etc.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re:

        But why charge so much more than the ad revenue, which if I remember correctly (although I am often wrong) works out around 20 cents per viewer per hour.

         

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          Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, a show that gets 10M viewers for a showing will make $2M in ad revenue. Pretty sure that covers the production cost of a 40 minute rehash of some old show that has the plot written already.

           

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      Vic B (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:49pm

      Re: Ima Fish

      That is Mike's point...you can compete with free if you are able "to offer it in an easy and convenient manner".
      I face the same issue every time I want to watch UFC fights. I'd pay a few bucks a month for last week's or last month's fights if Dana White would stream them online in a quality format and secure transaction. Instead I have to search the web for streams of free but dubious quality sites... One thing is for sure, I'm no longer willing to subsidize my other tv shows (available on the net) and my cable company $120/month just to watch UFC fights.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:58pm

      Re:

      I think you've inadvertently commented on the wrong article. This isn't an example of ratings going down when copyright violations went up, this is an example of copyright violation going up when they stopped competing with them. Clearly they were 'competing with free' with a fair amount of success or this would not have been the result of their pulling out of the 'quick and convenient' market for their own shows.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      actually you can.
      it's just that you have to provide value beyond what is free.
      Netflix is easy to use, fast, and there are cheap and easy ways to get it on the living room tv. That's why people pay for it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    I guess that would require someone at the MPAA to actually have experience in business -- but they all seem to be lawyers or political flunkies.

    That is the true issue underneath even the collapse of controllable distribution systems. These people aren't business savvy at all. A real business person would've yoinked the Napster model (what would Napster do about it, sue?), stuffed a series of socks in the sucking black holes howling about piracy, monetized it up, and here nearly 2 decades later we wouldn't be talking about this at all.

     

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    Some Guy, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    What other industry has the luxury of treating their customers like criminals and then raising a stink to the government when those customers stop buying their products? No other industry would have the audacity to alienate its customer base like that and expect to still be in business.

    But then again no other industry (ok, maybe wireless) has all the policitians in their pockets like Don Corleone. Oh, and screwing over your customers is a good example of non-partisan politics. Turns out that greed is universal.

     

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      Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:27pm

      Re:

      What other industry has the luxury of treating their customers like criminals and then raising a stink to the government when those customers stop buying their products

      Big pharma, major oil companies, the banking industry - you know - all the usual folks who have taken advantage of the taxpayers over the years.

       

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        Gwiz (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Re:

        And don't forget about the automobile insurance racket. Nothing more than legalized extortion. Get laws passed making everyone buy your insurance. And if the silly bastards actually have the audacity to file a claim against you, make 'em pay even more.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      "No other industry would have the audacity to alienate its customer base like that and expect to still be in business."

      Financial institutions? Airlines?

       

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    Cashie, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    I don't understand the need to log in through your isp

    The Fox show I want to watch online requires you to now log into your ISP account before viewing. I don't get the restriction. There are commercials on their internet offerings (every 10-15 minutes), so it's not like I'm viewing material that isn't earning them advertising dollars.

    What if I didn't have an ISP account? I am not allowed to watch Fox network shows?

     

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      HothMonster, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:33pm

      Re: I don't understand the need to log in through your isp

      well you can with rabbit ears depending on where you live. But they want to make extra money off the ISPs by making their cable offering "more valuable." Problem is they are not actually making it more valuable, just leaving it as it was and making it less valuable for everyone else. Even 2 year olds can call the bullshit in this move.

       

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        Cashie (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:47pm

        Re: Re: I don't understand the need to log in through your isp

        I'm talking about primarily viewing content online. I'm never home when the one show I watch is on TV, and if I don't have an ISP then I guess I'm out of luck. I say shame on Fox.

         

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          nasch (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 7:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: I don't understand the need to log in through your isp

          Not sure what your point is - how were you expecting to watch it without an ISP anyway?

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 5:12pm

        Re: Re: I don't understand the need to log in through your isp

        About rabbit ears does anyone's else TV goes down the toilet when it rains?

        I can't get a signal when it rains, the digital gets all blocky.

         

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    Jim L, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Just Stupid

    On a similar note my nephew suggested I watch a show called The League. I went to (regular) Hulu and after a couple of minutes of jumping through hoops I gave up. I went to a *different* site and started watching immediately.

    Even if you try to do things the right way they push you away. Maybe Google will help them.

    I enjoyed the show BTW

     

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    Joe Publius (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Needless to say this is all a part of the master plan of producing shows, never releasing them, and suing anyone who watches it with the understanding that the case can be settled for small amounts of money. So small as a matter of fact that people will continue to do it.

    It's like ala carte TV for the criminally nuts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    I stopped using hulu, I also hate commercials so I go to the MEGA sites for my RELEASEs.
    Filelocker download, and I'm good to go.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Yes, please...

    "Oh wait, you want it on your schedule, you want it now, and you don't want to have to make an effort to get it."

    Yes, please. It's called The Path of Least Resistance. A very human thing. Look it up and think about it the next time you want to cross the road.

     

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    rubberpants, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Conditioning

    I recently watched a show on Hulu after literally not having watched anything with ads online or off for over a year. When the ad first came on, I was taken aback with how annoying and disruptive it was. I felt revulsion and I went and did something else (there are a huge number of options available these days). It was a long ad. I didn't finish the show.

    I never really minded before when advertisements, delays, and schedules were a fixture, but now that I've become accustomed to watching what I want, when I want, how I want, and where I want, anything less is quite unpalatable.

    The masses know what's possible. We know what's arbitrary and what's not. Like a lion who's tasted human blood, we've got a taste of freedom and we like it. We no longer have to schedule our whole lives around when a show will come on, we no longer have to rush home to sit in front of a television, and we don't have to program the VCR when we're on vacation.

    Is it entitlement we feel? From a business perspective it doesn't really matter. People generally give other people money in exchange for something they want. If you don't have what they want, don't be surprised if they don't give you any money. What we want has changed. Will you?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    I long ago got fed up with the copyright industry and their sense of entitlement. Today, I don't own a tv. I'm on boycott and have no intention of buying a tv until things change. If that means the rest of my life, I'm good with that.

    What I don't see is these little dramas with any sort of care about them. I don't see the ads, I don't see the shows, don't even have a clue as to what shows are on the air, when they are on the air.

    I'm literally a lost customer and don't really care what they show. I won't be paying for tv service in any form. Not in money, not in attention time.

    If they want to put an episode out now and another next year, I don't care.

    After the above what is being done is stupid. You tell your customers you aren't making enough money and then shut off access? When they have other means, that isn't going to work. What it is, is denying reality with a make believe idea we can enforce whatever we wish and no one will do anything counter to that. Just as well be living in story book land.

    Those that used to run these business were entertainers, not lawyers. They understood what it took to relate to the fan and the fan responded by giving what is now referred to as the "golden days".

    Now if those businesses don't like what's going on or they aren't getting enough money as they see it, then it is sue time or there is some sort of something we can do to piss off the user. It has neither endeared the industries nor the products to the users.

    Just as I have found other things to do so have others found different things to do with their time as well.

    The economy isn't supporting this entitlement idea either. In hard times, the first thing to go is discretionary spending. All of what isn't necessary to survive on goes. PPV is definitely going to be on the list of those industries made victim by bad economic times. Trying to increase money flow by suing your customer isn't good business at all. Time will tell them that constantly jacking up rates on PPV wasn't too successful either when the economy isn't doing well.

     

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    Wizz (profile), Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    I fail to understand what they were thinking.
    They were trying "not to canibalise" their network audience with Hulu, but I don't think they really put the necessary effort into researching how their clients behave. I tend to thing they looked this over, since there isn't even a trace of concrete justification in their statement.

    I doubt that the majority of people watching the shows on TV and the ones watching it on Hulu represent the same targets/categories of people. If you're trying to avoid canibalisation, first thing to do is to find out who's using what. Then you can start to think.

    ps. My english is bad, I know.

     

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    Wolfy, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 5:08pm

    For potential merchandising consideration, Dark blue windbreakers with big white letters on the back... "MAFIAA"... so we can distinguish them from the "FBI" on raids.

     

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    Akiva, Aug 22nd, 2011 @ 10:21pm

    Major Growth Area

    Being a lawyer or political flunky has been a major growth business for the past 15 years. Crushing opportunities and regulating possibilities is now the major business of America.

    Until America collapses under the weight of regulations and lawsuits. Then it will be called...the EU.

     

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    Bill Surowiecki (profile), Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 6:10am

    We need to come up with a way to start a Class Action lawsuit against the MPAA... With that said I have no clue what we would be suing for, but there has to be something, its not like these guys are saintly.

    It just seems reasonable that if lawyers are the ones that keep all of this going, that there would be another lawyer or group of lawyers that would be willing to fight from the other side.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 8:15am

      Re:

      Every time an overly copyright-dependent industry pulls out numbers on piracy or losses or whatever while begging for more bad law, I want someone who has the power to do so to launch a federal probe of their finances.

      You want more law? Open up the books and prove why.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    Hard to believe that people actually violate the law because they cant wait a few days to watch some stupid tv show. For those of you who think that there aren't profiteers out there and there are no real consequences consider this:

    "NEW YORK - A Queens man, who allegedly streamed live copyrighted sporting events over the Internet illegally, was arrested this morning by agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

    Mohamed Ali, 19, of Hollis, N.Y., was taken into custody at his home and charged with one count of criminal infringement of a copyright. He was the operator of HQ-STREAMS.COM and HQ-STREAMS.NET. Both of those domain names were seized by HSI on Feb. 1, 2011, as part of an ongoing HSI investigation into websites that illegally streamed copyrighted sporting telecasts and pay-per-view events.

    The investigation into Ali revealed he made more than $6,000 in profits from online merchants who paid subscription fees to view copyrighted material. Since the seizure, both sites have received more than 50,000 hits combined.

    "Today's arrest sends a clear message to website operators who mistakenly believe it's worth the risk to take copyrighted programming and portray it as their own," said ICE Director John Morton. "Protecting legitimate business interests are a priority for HSI, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center and our law enforcement partners. We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when organized criminals traffic in stolen content for their own profit."

    According to the criminal complaint and seizure affidavit unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, from approximately February 2010 to January 2011, Mohamed Ali used HQ-STREAMS.COM and HQ-STREAMS.NET to allegedly infringe on copyrighted material from the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Ultimate Fighting Championship and (UFC) and boxing events for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain.

    Visitors to HQ-STREAMS.COM and HQ-STREAMS.NET paid a subscription fee of $6, $12 and up to $25 to click on one of a number of links to begin the process of downloading or streaming illegal broadcasts of sporting events to their computers. During the investigation leading to the Feb. 1, 2011, seizures, HSI agents downloaded portions of live and taped copyrighted telecasts of these events from HQ-STREAMS.COM and HQ-STREAMS.NET.

    Ali registered the HQ-STREAMS.COM and HQ-STREAMS.NET domain names in February 2010 and operated the websites until the time of their seizure out of his home in Hollis.

    The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 19 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

    To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.

    This case is being handled by the Complex Frauds Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Frey is in charge of the prosecution.

    The charge contained in the complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

     

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    Adam, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Fox Delay

    Unfortunately, FOX probably will not be the last to make this move. In order to stay in business they must make compromises to keep their agreements with cable and satellite providers. To get the freshly aired episodes you will need a subscription service. Thatís why Iím happy to have DISH Network as my provider/employer. They include DISHOnline.com free with your service. Already having DISHOnline.com, DISH subscribers were unaffected by the delay in programming.

     

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    The Lone Fedora, Aug 28th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Legal vs. illegal

    It doesn't matter that viewers of illegally downloaded/streamed media looked for a legal way to view the material first. If there is no legal way to view it, that is no excuse for stealing it, and in your heart of hearts, you KNOW it's stealing. Fox (and NBC, and WB, and Paramount, and every other content producer) has a right to make their materials available through whatever source they choose, and if they don't choose to make something available online, then you don't have the right to get it online, no matter how much you may want to.

     

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 28th, 2011 @ 6:35am

      Re: Legal vs. illegal

      So, let me get this straight. Fox gives it away over the airwaves and if I DVR it then and watch it later, it's fine. If *someone else* DVRs it from over the airwaves and watches it later, it's fine. However, if someone else DVRs it over the airwaves and lets me watch it, it's stealing?

      Give it a rest, you're wrong and you know it.

       

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      nasch (profile), Aug 28th, 2011 @ 7:30am

      Re: Legal vs. illegal

      1. In our brains, we know it's not stealing
      2. It is copyright infringement, and I have no idea where you're seeing anyone say otherwise
      3. As Joe explained, copyright infringement is not necessarily morally wrong.

      For example, I have a game that I couldn't find one of the install discs for. So I downloaded it. This is a game that was actually paid for and I have a legitimate license key. You're going to tell me I stole the game by downloading it?

       

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


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