Yet Another Study Shows That Hollywood's Own Bad Decisions Are Increasing The Amount Of Infringement

from the and-again-and-again dept

We've pointed out over and over again that the real way to stop infringement is to offer compelling legitimate services that are reasonably priced. Time and time again, throughout history, it's been shown that the real reason there's widespread piracy is because the content isn't available legally at all, or is available in a limited or inconvenient way. Make things easy, not locked down, convenient and reasonably priced, and tons of people pay. Books have been written about this. Studies have been done on this. And just the success of things like Netflix and Spotify show how this works wonders.

Now there's a new study, once again, showing the same thing. Professors Michael D. Smith and Rahul Telang (from Carnegie Mellon and Heinz College) have added some more evidence -- and it again suggests the "problem" isn't that the law isn't strong enough or that enforcement isn't draconian enough. It's that the industry still refuses to give customers what they want:
Our research suggests that Hollywood is leaving money on the table and is in turn failing to address a root cause of piracy by preserving its separate release windows. Based on our analysis of seven large nations, we find that in most countries, every week customers have to wait before they can buy a DVD translates into, on average, 1.8 percent lower DVD sales. Given that good-quality pirated versions are available close to 14 weeks before the legal versions, the losses can be in the millions of dollars. Not surprisingly, a 14-week delay also translates to a 70 percent increase in pirated movie downloads in those countries.
The study basically found what many of us have been pointing out for ages: making things not available doesn't drive sales. It drives infringement. This is such a fundamental point, and it seems so obvious to many of us... but those in the industry still refuse to believe it. Now, some of the problem with the delays come from the theater owners, who flip out at any attempt to shorten windows, even if the "competing" options are priced ridiculously high.

But the studios themselves are frequently guilty of this same self-defeating thinking. Many are really pushing for rental delay windows, such as denying new movies to Netflix or Redbox until 28-days after they go on sale. One studio has broken ranks here: Paramount. That's the only studio that has made it clear that delaying movies doesn't increase sales. The other studios, though, still don't seem to get it, and don't realize that for people who want to see a movie, but are stymied due to a stupid release window, that they do have a few other options: (1) simply go away and forget the content entirely or (2) go find the content elsewhere. Neither scenario is good for the studios.

But the professors make the key point that the studios are going about this entirely backwards based on the data:
Together these results suggest that delaying content in the presence of digital channels is likely to cause consumers to lose interest in the product at best, and lead consumers to alternate pirated channels at worst. A better strategy would be to do the opposite: Make it easier for consumers to buy the content in physical and electronic channels. For motion picture studios this might mean selling content in theaters, on DVD and on digital services at around the same time, perhaps at different price points.
Shocking. We've only been arguing for many years that you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched as you walk out of the theater (and if you show the ticket, you get a discount). It still amazes me that this is still not really being done -- even as the evidence piles up that moves like that would increase, not decrease revenue.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 10:59am

    "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    SO that everyone those initial movie-goers know WON'T HAVE TO pay to see it? -- And you're SURPRISED that's not adopted?

    Copyright exists because content can't be locked up any other way.

     

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    rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    SO that everyone those initial movie-goers know WON'T HAVE TO pay to see it?

    People pay for the theater experience, not just the content.

     

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  3.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    SO that everyone those initial movie-goers know WON'T HAVE TO pay to see it?

    You're acting like this isn't already the case. Why not offer that option and pick up some extra cash, rather than "locking" it up (because it's already out there) and making nothing from the initial movie-goers?

     

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  4.  
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    fiestachickens (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Wait, what? If they are an "initial movie goer" didn't they just pay to see it? And if you mean they can just rent the movie, aren't they still paying to see it? All of it is revenue and the movie watchers are paying, what are you getting at?

    "Copyright exists because content can't be locked up any other way."

    Isn't that the heart of the matter that we're discussing at Techdirt? If you lock up your content too much, then nobody can get at it, so they are forced to go to infringing methods.

    And we're starting with the assumption that content must be locked up so you can profit from it. Explain that to open source companies, such as Red Hat, who don't sell the content, but instead things surrounding the content. As discussed previously, for movies that would be the theater experience or limited physical goods that you purchase with the DVD / Blu Ray. For music it is the merchandise and the concerts.

    And, finally, people actually do pay for content when it is user friendly and easy to get to.

    I contend that copyright exists not because it is the only way to lock up content, but because people are too afraid to find alternative methods to making a successful business.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Oh come on. Here's a study that tells the various media industries how to make MORE money and cut down on that horrible piracy. And you have a negative comment??

    You need a 12 step program for your inability to resist being a Troll. I'm sure there's a reasonable person hiding in there some where...

     

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    TheStupidOne, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:17am

    In a Financial Context ...

    "Together these results suggest that delaying content in the presence of digital channels is likely to cause consumers to lose interest in the product at best, and lead consumers to alternate pirated channels at worst."

    If you compare those two options, aren't they the exact same outcome for the studios trying to sell DVDs? In both cases they don't get my money.

     

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    blaktron (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:21am

    Why hasn't anyone pointed out the obvious?

    That the more they defend their current business practices, the more they prove that their primary purpose is to make money, not art. Which means they shouldnt be covered by US copyright as written in the constitution at all.

    If the primary purpose is to create art, then the money is secondary and the discussion should be centered on how to create more art, not how to create more money...

     

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    Machin Shin, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    So you are saying that you would not go to a theater to see a movie if you can watch same one at home? I know I would still pay to go to a theater to see a lot of old movies. Something to do with the fact that I do not have that big a screen at home and I sure don't have that kind of audio at home. Going to the theater is a lot more about the experience for a lot of people than it is about the movie.

     

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  9.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    You have got to be kidding me! That doesn't even make a damn bit of sense. You must be waiting for that check to clear before you go full on corporate shill again? Copyright is why this is happening. These companies may think that they own a product, but what they are doing really is locking up our culture and keeping it away from the people that want it. What the internet has done has leveled the playing field against these assholes. Now they have to work on our level, not us asking them to please let us see it. They have two choices.

    1- Work with us and companies like Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix. All the content to be seen when and where WE like for a reasonable price.
    2- Die a slow painful death at our hands, while we still watch and listen to what we want and where we want.

    Its up to them to get paid or have it pirated. Sticking your hands over yours ears going "NO NO NO, IM NOT LISTENING" is not going to change anything. Making it a felony with unrealistic penalties is not going to change it. Its just going to change how it gets pirated.

    People have a strange way of not liking be told that they can and cannot do something because some company exec says so. They like it even less when that same company buys new laws to that same end.

     

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    MrWilson, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    "Copyright exists because content can't be locked up any other way."

    Please cite anywhere in any copyright law where this is the stated purpose of copyright.

     

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  11.  
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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    I'm in a really shitty mood today.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Hmm... I wonder if the folks at Steam would be interested in going into the movie distribution business?
    ...Nah, Hollywood'd never give them the latitude they'd need to make it work. "They only pay ONCE, and they get to watch the movie anytime, on any computer, forever?! Are you INSANE?!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Why hasn't anyone pointed out the obvious?

    They are less interested in making money as having the illusion of control and being able to puff out their chests and brag about things like opening weekend grosses.

     

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    Kevin H (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    So shitty I replied to the wrong post that wasn't even mine. Wow today is awesome.

     

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    Matt (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Wait, doesn't this support the maximalists?

    With due respect, isn't this the statistical support the maximalists have lacked for so long about the economic harm of infringement? The study says studios are losing 1.8% per week on DVD sales due, at least in part, to the availability of infringing digital versions of the content.

    As represented in the article, the study does not suss out how much of the 1.8% is due to downloads and how much is due to loss of interest. But this at least provides _some_ basis for the claims of serious economic loss.

    I do understand the point of the study - it doesn't matter how much harm can be traced to infringement, the fact is the infringement will occur. Thus, studios can either come to terms with that and fix their practices to deal with it, or keep running headlong into walls with their eyes closed.

     

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  16.  
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    John Doe, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Copyright exists because content can't be locked up any other way

    Apparently copyright can't lock it up either.

     

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    John Doe, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Exactly, I can get a Redbox movie for $1.05 or a Netflix movie for about $2 (I get about 4 per month with my $8 montly fee). But I still go see about 8 to 12 movies a year at the cost of $25 for my wife and I. The only improvements in the movie experience in the last 30 years has been better sound systems and stadium seating. There has been no other innovation in the theater business.

     

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    Dude in Florida (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    3rd option

    (1) simply go away and forget the content entirely or (2) go find the content elsewhere. Neither scenario is good for the studios.

    or (3) wait for the delay for the rental to become available.

     

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  19.  
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    Matt (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"


    SO that everyone those initial movie-goers know WON'T HAVE TO pay to see it? -- And you're SURPRISED that's not adopted?

    Not surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised. The study (and Masnick's spin on it) suggests that the studios could make MORE money simply by doing what they are now doing but faster. Release in theaters, then release on DVD, but without the long lag in between. The issue appears to be that the studios have (wrongly) assumed that you need to have a long lag that discourages people from waiting for the DVD in order to drive up theatrical views. The study figured out that this is wrong - even without the lag, people who did not see the movie in the theater likely would not have seen it in the theater even if they thought that was their only opportunity to ever see it.

    The studios could sell the DVD at the concession stand in the theater. No ticket, no DVD. They could only sell the DVD prior to a certain date to people holding a ticket saying they had watched the movie, or as Mike suggests offer a discount to ticket-holders. They could do all manner of things other than stick their collective head in the sand and wish the world had not moved on.

    Copyright exists because content can't be locked up any other way.

    It is neither necessary nor desirable to lock up content, and in any event there most certainly are other ways to do it (for instance, never publishing it). I believe what you meant to say was that the studios have not figured out a way to make money without a monopoly on their content, and given the availability of copyright they are unlikely to do so. With that, I agree wholeheartedly. I think Mike's overall point is that that fact is a terrible shame.

     

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  20.  
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    ken (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Theater owners missed opportunty

    Theaters owners need to realize that watching a movie in a theater and on DVD are completely different experience and neither takes away from the other. In fact I would be much more LIKELY to buy a video directly after walking out of a theater than I would buying the video a couple of months later after watching it in a theater. Having the DVD available would not impact my decision in any way whether to see it in a theater and I don't think I am alone in that.

    Wouldn't it be great if theaters themselves could sell the DVD while the movie was running? What a marketing opportunity and revenue stream for them.

     

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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    "Copyright exists because content can't be locked up any other way."

    Please cite anywhere in any copyright law where this is the stated purpose of copyright.


    Article 1, section 8, clause 8 of the United States Constitution reads as follows:
    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    Other than copyright, the only way to have the exclusive use of an idea is to come up with an idea nobody else can ever think of, then not share the idea with anyone. The former is very, very difficult, and the latter makes the idea useless.

     

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  22.  
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    Joseph K (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    A business plan

    I'm going to offer the studios a business model and they can take this business plan totally for free, no need to pay me royalties. Here's what you do: when you release a movie in theater, you also release it on DVD at the same time (genius, huh?). The virtue of this is that the DVD sales get to free ride on all the millions you spend on promoting the theatrical release. Then you sell the DVD in the lobbies of the movie theaters where the movies are showing, maybe along with merchandise, like t-shirts, movie posters, soundtracks, etc. If you're worried about people eschewing the theater for the DVD, then you sell the DVDs exclusively in the theaters, and (perhaps even) only to those who bought movie tickets, encouraging people to go to movie theaters. The reason I'm willing to give you this free business model is because (and many other movie goers) would friggin' love it! Please do this now (or sooner, if possible).

     

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    rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: A business plan

    But then the theater owners would want of cut of the DVD sales. That's money the studios want. Therefore, your idea is bad. Although overall it would make pretty good money I think. But the studios can't stand the idea of anyone getting money but them. All money is theirs don't 'cha know?

     

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  24.  
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    The Logician (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Why do you assume content must be locked up, Blue? That is an irrational, illogical conclusion.

     

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  25.  
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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    As others point out, people go for the experience, not to see the movie. When I go see a Cirque Du Soleil show, I generally can buy the DVD ont he way out the door, I still go when my budget permits.

    But to make the argument worse, those friends already "won't have to pay to see it". If they want to play by the rules they just wait a few months (assuming they remember by then they wanted to see it) and borrow it from their friends then. If they are willing to break the law, they probably could have seen it illegally before it was in theaters.

    I personally would buy DVDs of some movies on the way out the door, especially kids movies since my kids would be right there then with it fresh on their minds trying to convince me to buy it.

     

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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    The purpose of copyright is in the first part, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" everything else is describing a possible means to an end and giving Congress access to that means as an enumerated power.

    "Other than copyright, the only way to have the exclusive use of an idea is to come up with an idea nobody else can ever think of, then not share the idea with anyone."

    Why should anyone have exclusive use of an idea?

    Remember that copyright was never about protecting an idea at all, but the expression. Patents come closer, but even they don't really cover an entire idea, but the implementations of it (and things that are pure ideas like a mathematical formula cannot be patented.)

    It is also worth remembering that even the rights which are secured by patents and copyrights are Constitutionally limited in time (even though that time has now become absurdly long).

     

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    Joe Publius (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    It's the truth! I don't go to the theater alot, but there are definitely a handful of movies every year that I go to for the "theater experience:

    - Hanging out with friends before the movie.
    - Watching the trailers.
    - Getting to see the movie in a large, sharp screen, with good sound.

    Speaking from my own experience, I know right away whether the movie is "ticket worthy" or "worth a rental". Why make me wait months to make good on a decision that's already done?

     

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    ken (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: A business plan

    As you can see I came up with this idea first and therefore you are infringing upon my Intellectual property. Expect to hear from my lawyers at Righthaven.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Marked as funny because your pain amuses me....

     

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  30.  
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    John Nemesh, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Why hasn't anyone pointed out the obvious?

    Hollywood hasn't been interested in "art" for some time...just look at Green Lantern, JJ Abrams Star Trek, Smurfs, or any of a hundred remakes of 60s IP (Beverly Hillbillys, Bewitched, etc etc etc) to see what I mean!

    If you want art, you are probably going to be watching independent or foreign cinema, NOT the dreck Hollywood keeps pumping out!

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: A business plan

    As a retailer, the theaters would already get their cut. Quite likely, they could get a better cut than from the movie showings themselves. Although the studios could always squeeze the theaters on the DVD sales too.

     

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    PRMan, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re: 3rd option

    Ah, but once I go away, I often forget about the movie until it pops up free on my DVR's movie search.

     

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    poopdoggydogg, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: A business plan

    i don't go to the theatre that much (not enough value). but what about this for an idea: flip it around. buy the DVD, get to see what you bought in the theatre? i think of it as traffic. the theatres can only hold X number of people, and you want them to buy the DVD. let them buy the DVD first, and for those who also wish to watch it in the theatre, can (X-Y). if you just want the DVD, buy it and be on your merry way. if you want to watch it in the theatres, buy the DVD first at the ticket counter, and then go in to watch it (DVD price + nominal theatre ticket price).

    the other, much simpler plan, is to let theatres die. price gouging and people spreading their colds, crying babies, can't pause... etc. if you like the "big" screen, i suggest you sit closer to your TV at home.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Someone like me might even be tempted to buy the online version of it, whereas as it stands, I won't even leave the house to go see it.

    I remember at Christmas, we all used to go to the Theater to watch a movie, after the Christmas lunch was over.

    As the family grew older, many of the grandparents weren't able to get out anymore.

    Imagine a world where the kids still go, but the grandparents can still watch it at home, so they know what the kids are talking about when they get back.

    So what happens now? None of us go.

     

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    dan0, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    It's all the same

    I don't infringe. I don't go to theater movies much either. I don't buy movies much anymore, and if they put more restrictions on these, I'm not going to infringe, I'm going to forget the process and go outside or play a board game that won't allow profit to reach back to these idiots.

    They can suck it.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: 3rd option

    Or forget about watching movies in general.....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Re: It's all the same

    Your life will be better off for it!

    Been there and done that.....4 years running now!

     

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    DinDaddy (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    The one issue I see - movies are often barely completed in time for their release, with a lot of last minute post production work. Mastering the DVD/blu-ray as well as assembling and producing even the barebones "extras" people would expect from a DVD release (director and cast commentary audio track) cannot be done in that time frame in most cases. Especially when the major players often need to immediately go on a promotion tour for the film's theatrical run.

    I think 6-8 weeks is probably the shortest realistic window to do something like this and put out a product people won't be offended by, quality-wise.

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    The only improvements in the movie experience in the last 30 years has been better sound systems and stadium seating. There has been no other innovation in the theater business.

    Where I live, the improvements we've seen (since they still don't have better sound systems and stadium seating,) is the group of teenage girls in the back of the theater giggling and talking during the movie and the nearly constant ringing of cell-phones. They even installed a couple people with laptops in the front of the theater doing office work while watching the movie.

    And occasionally the movie projector has one of those energy saving bulbs which makes the movie hard to watch.

    I'd much rather spend $25 to get the DVD the day the movie starts showing in the theaters and watch it at home on my 110' projector and 7.1 theater sound, where I can remove all the innovation upgrades the movie theaters add for free and watch the movie without distraction.

     

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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    I must say I am impressed to see an actual intelligent defense of this practice, so I have to commend you.

    With that said, I think the studios could easily work around all of those. I am no expert, but I cannot imagine how mastering a blu-ray in theater aspect ratios can be horribly hard when the movie is ready for theaters. The extras you mention could be dealt with by simply cutting them out for the initial "Theaterical Blu-Ray release".

    And even if mastering does take longer than I think it does, I strongly suspect that time frame could be rapidly shrunk if there was a real profit-motive to find ways to shrink it, which there would be the moment studios started trying to make Blu-Rays for sale at the theater.

     

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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Re: It's all the same

    "play a board game "

    Have you tried Go? Far more entertaining than any movie.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Kudos to you good sir! The very first time I've seen an argument in defence of windowed releases that actually is logical and takes place in reality! Then again, where there's a will, there's a way...so surely someone could figure out a way to shorten the window as much as possible.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: A business plan

    Sorry we can't have this. According to Blue, more and more enforcement is the only answer. Why, what you're suggesting is just so much garbled nonsense to him! (well it would be garbled, what with him having soldered his own hands to his ears, so as not to be able to hear anyone else). So, I apologize. Next time, come up with something where those who download either get sent to prison for fifty years or get 100 lashes. Perhaps then he'll listen.

     

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  44.  
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    Rekrul, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    Never mind new releases and delay windows, there's a ton of older stuff that can only be had through piracy because the studios don't think it's worth releasing. Or they can't release it because of the copyright mess in trying to license all the music in them.

     

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  45.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    Other surprising findings buried in the study...
    Water wet.
    Ice cold.
    Fire bad.

     

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  46.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:04pm

    Re:

    You would think they could work out a deal to get all of this taken care of, but then they are dealing with a corporation who feels their "product" is worth much more than people are willing to pay them...

    oh wow... recursion...

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Can you buy duty free shop merch without a ticket?

     

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  48.  
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    Dude in Florida (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: 3rd option

    True and that is their loss not yours. If you forgot about it, it is most likely not worth remembering anyways.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:27pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    I'm surprised by theaters not have become a sort of duty free shop already, after seeing a movie like E.T. how many people would go out and on the spot buy a hood, or a sword just like Jack Sparrow or his hat, or the many funny gadgets show in the movie.

    It doesn't even need to have a physical presence just a wall of glass showing the products like Tesco's in South Korea, with people being able to pay for it using the Google Wallet or something.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:41pm

    Here is an idea.

    Put a bar on it where people have internet access and a wall with the listing of products make it look good like the Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store, put a lot of cool vending machines in front of people and let the movie do its magic LoL

    http://www.toxel.com/tech/2009/06/08/14-cool-vending-machines-from-japan/

    There are even vending machines with facial recocgnition software already that can infer the age, gender and propose sales.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20018835-1.html

    And make it easy to buy those things using plastic, cellphone, money or anything that can be used as currency.

    http://www.google.com/wallet/

    But no, they need to go after pirates instead of selling pirate apparel directly from the source.

    How many people would have bought the hat Jack Sparrow was using on the movie after seeing it on the spot?
    And it probably would fetch more than the DVD.

    How many kids would go out and bug their parents for the Thor's hammer?

    That until exclusive contracts with manufacturer's start cropping all over the place than there would be nothing much people would want to buy, those exclusive contracts would kill experimentation and the chance to see what is being profitable or not.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Multiple release dates are common, already.

    Initial release: No bonus footage, just the movie.
    Production release: Add the bonus features.
    Special release: More stuff.

    Seriously, why do we have to do the thinking? For the people that want to see the movie closer to the release date the extras aren't that important.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Re: A business plan

    Sure, just as soon as theaters give the studios a cut of concession sales.

     

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  53.  
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    Mr Big Content, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 1:17am

    Re: SO that everyone those initial movie-goers know WON'T HAVE TO pay to see it? -- And you're SURPRISED that's not adopted?

    Your perceptivity just leaves me speechless. It's such a blindingly obvious point, overlooked by practically everybody else here: all these studies showing the benefits of looser copyright restrictions have one thing in common: they are produced by people sympathetic to the pirates.

    Once you spot that pattern, you begin to see how predictable they all are. The only way to protect yourself from being seduced by these reasonable-sounding so-called "arguments" is to keep reminding yourself how evil piracy really is. No matter what the "facts" may appear to be, never let go of this ineluctable truth: piracy is so evil, that any "evidence" to the contrary is self-evidently the product of a deranged mind. QED.

     

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  54.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 1:40am

    Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    So why not factor this in and release the movie to the theaters accordingly?

     

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  55.  
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    DinDaddy (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Funny you all think I am defending them. I actually agree with Mike as to what should happen, I just think it would involve compromises the studio won't make.

    I work for a large entertainment company, although not in their movie studio division. And I am firmly in the "reduce copyright back to 14 years" camp, as well as sharing most other positions on IP Techdirt espouses.

    But I know lot of people in the production side of film, and know something about all the bandying about for release dates. Movies are like any other short term investment. The companies that make them want to get the return on their (sometimes borrowed) money as soon as possible. Which means they target the shortest production period they can get the actual movie makers to agree to, and the best (based on many factors but largely earliest) release date date they can lay a claim to before some other film does.

    And no, mastering the movie for disk isn't a huge effort, but it does take several weeks, between mastering and encoding the video and audio, getting those masters out to a disk replication plant, the new step (studio's fault for insisting on their insane DRM) of making sure the produced disks work problem free in existing models of blu-ray players, then going to a full production run. Most decent directors also want to review this result and bless it as well.

    And none of that can happen until the movie is complete, which, as I said, is very often not until a couple of weeks (or even days) before its premiere, during which time they are also dealing with making prints for the mostly still film based theater industry.

    As for selling disks completely devoid of extras, they could, but it would require a lower price IMO, and would probably dilute some of the demand for the more profitable feature filled version down the road. Between that, and complicating their release date selection process or delaying premiere dates, I just don't see it happening in a risk averse industry like this.

     

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  56.  
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    DinDaddy (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Like I said above, I think it could probably be gotten down to 6 weeks for a bare bones release. I can guarantee that NATO (not that one, North American Theater Owners) would do everything they could to kill such a move, though. As Mike often notes, they have no confidence in their own ability to offer a positive experience that can compete with home viewing.

     

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  57.  
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    DinDaddy (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Initial releases usually have a cast and crew audio commentary. See my original comment).

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Dec 4th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    Other surprising findings buried in the study...
    Water wet.
    Ice cold.
    Fire bad.


    Shouldn't that be "Fire hot"? Fire is only bad when it's unintentional.

     

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  59.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re: "you should be able to buy the DVD of the movie you just watched"

    Would you please, please go read some history, instead of ad hominem repeats of lies?

    Copyright was not put in place to lock up content. Hell, the digital world wasn't even a distant nightmare when the Statue of Anne was passed in Westminster.

    It was passed to
    (a) make sure writers were paid. Well kinda, anyway.
    (b) much more importantly, prevent publishers from outdoing each other to release the same work by the same superstar poet of the day all on the same day. (Well, that era's version of the same day.) There was a lot of that happening then. I suppose you'd call it piracy.
    (c) to encourage education which is hardly the same thing as locking something up forever plus 16 days lest there be a single descendant of the author left alive at that time.

    I get it, you're as intellectually dishonest as well as a liar. Now please follow through on your promise and take your drivel elsewhere. I'd suggest Grocklaw but they have real life lawyers there who'd cut you to ribbons in seconds.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anony, Feb 26th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Just a concrete example of how for me, as a consumer, greater availability leads to more sales.

    A friend of me told me how good The Artist was. I thought it sounded dumb and decided to wait for the DVD or even skip it. Then I saw on in an airplane for free.

    I loved it and I've been to the theatre twice. At my second big-screen visit I brought a friend, who also thought she wouldn't like it. She loved it and is telling all her friends. I also have mentioned it to a few other friends, who say they plan to see it.

    That free viewing on the airplane resulted in three theatre tickets being bought that I know of, and possibly quite a few more as the friends we've told go to theatres.

    If I hadn't seen it in the airplane, I would have waited until the DVD and maybe forgotten about it entirely. In my opinion pitching all the products you can while the item is top of mind is a great idea. People's memories just aren't that long.

     

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


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