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Indie Film Distributor Spends Half Her Profits Sending DMCA Takedowns, But Is It Worth It?

from the a-deleted-link-does-NOT-equal-a-'gained-sale' dept

An interesting bit of information was uncovered and pointed out by Baldaur Regis and an AC in the comments of Mike's post detailing the not-so-crafty work of an industry shill who posted three comments as three different people from the same IP address.

The original Wall Street Journal article quoted Kathy Wolfe, a filmmaker and head of Wolfe Video, who said she spent a surprising amount of money battling piracy.

Last year, Kathy Wolfe, who owns a small independent U.S. film-distribution company, Wolfe Video, found more than 903,000 links to unauthorized versions of her films, which she sells around the world for $3.99 per download. She estimates that she lost over $3 million in revenue in 2012 as a result of stolen content from her top 15 titles. On top of that, she spends over $30,000 a year—about half her profit—just to send out takedown notices for her titles.
$30,000 is a lot to spend fighting anything, much less something as nebulous as piracy. The fact that it was "half" of her profits was even more surprising, leading this AC to point out an easy way she could double her money.
Wait. You mean she could double her profit by just doing *nothing* ? That's actually a riot.
While it isn't quite as simple as that, there is some truth to that assertion. This piqued my curiosity. If someone was spending half their profits having links taken down, they must have seen something that justified this expenditure. A business doesn't just throw half their profits in a hole unless that same hole is throwing money back. I assumed there must be a corresponding sales increase, and a noticeable one at that. So I emailed Kathy Wolfe to get some details on her anti-piracy efforts.
I'm Tim Cushing and I write for techdirt.com. I was wondering if you might be able to answer a couple of questions about your ongoing fight against piracy. What really got my attention was the fact that you're spending nearly $30,000/yr. sending takedown notices. (via WSJ and Digital Music News)

While I understand your interest in preventing your films from being distributed in this fashion, I'm having trouble believing that this expense is generating a worthwhile return on investment. I was wondering if you could shed some light on that area.

Are you seeing a positive return in terms of sales increases?

Is it enough of an increase to offset the $30,000/yr. in expenses?

If it ISN'T generating the additional sales needed to justify the expense, what is the rationale for continuing this effort?

Thanks in advance for any information you can provide. I'm looking to put together an article addressing the expense of your anti-piracy efforts, so if there's anything you'd rather withhold (exact sales figures, etc.), I can understand. What I'd really like to hear before I write this post is your take on this very expensive anti-piracy venture, especially any benefits you've seen, financial or otherwise, since you began this pursuit.
Her first response was blunt and anything but informative.
Hi Timothy,

I would be happy to discuss with you. Basically, without the take down effort I would be out of business. I have over 100 films to protect.

Kathy
On one hand, she said she'd be happy to discuss this. On the other hand, the middle sentence sounded like the conclusions had already been drawn and the door three-quarters shut. I sent an email back pressing for more details.
Thanks for responding.

What I'm actually wondering is whether this effort has any correlating effect on sales. I imagine the discussion shifts into "rhetorical" at this point. You're spending $30,000/yr. on this. If you dialed it back and spent $15,000, do you feel sales would drop to half their previous level?


What had you noticed before you decided to pursue these anti-piracy efforts? As you say, without issuing takedowns you would be out of business, so there was obviously a very noticeable sales drop. Did you start with a smaller effort and see no improvement and then decide to scale up? Or did you put as much as you could (financially) into this effort from the beginning?

Again, I'm very curious as to whether there's a noticeable increase in sales. To ditch the takedowns altogether would put you out of business according to you, but would scaling it back reduce your sales? Have you ever scaled back efforts temporarily and observed any increases or decreases in sales?
At this point, Kathy became suspicious and asked me to explain who I was and what I was going to do with the information (pretty much exactly in those words). So, I explained myself again, breaking it down further.
What I'm trying to do is get your perspective on this issue. You obviously feel that spending $30,000/yr. on anti-piracy efforts is a worthwhile investment.I'm assuming you have put together some data over the years that shows that this expenditure is paying off.

I'm putting together an article dealing with anti-piracy efforts. I'd like to have your input before I write this post because I'd actually like to hear your view from the inside. All I can do at the moment is speculate. I've rarely seen anyone come out and quote an exact figure on anti-piracy expenditures, so this potentially makes for a very interesting article. We all hear that major studios spend "millions" fighting piracy, but numbers are rarely provided as to what effect those efforts are having on sales. If anything is provided, it's an equally vague aggregate.

I don't have any interest in tearing down your efforts. You're the rights holder and you're doing what seems best for your business. But as a business owner, I have to believe that you've adjusted this plan over the years in order to see the highest return on your investment -- and those are the numbers I'm interested in.

I'm also curious as to how you arrived at the "$3 million lost" in 2012 via piracy (as quoted in the Digital Music News article about your efforts), but that's of secondary interest.

So, if you think I'm after this information to belittle, demean or otherwise harm you, nothing could be further from the truth. As I said, I'm on the outside and can only speculate on the rationale and sales fluctuations driving this business decision.

Once again, thank you for your time.
That was eleven days ago. I fired off a quick message to bring me back to the top of her inbox, but received no response. That's a shame, because I'd like to believe that, as a business owner, she's weighed the cost of her efforts against the return on that investment. But she seems unwilling to discuss anything other than the amount she pays out ($30,000) and the amount she's "lost" to piracy ($3 million).

First things first, Kathy Wolfe and Wolfe Video has been around for 28 years, long enough to have witnessed large-scale changes in film making and distribution. Staying in this business as an indie filmmaker, who deals almost exclusively with a limited market, is impressive.

Also impressive is the fact that Wolfe Video isn't limiting itself to just a few large outlets. Wolfe is distributing her films through pay-per-view markets such as Comcast, as well as other major internet players such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and, just last year, Wolfe Video's own platform, Wolfe On Demand, which allows customers to rent or buy directly from Wolfe. Wolfe on Demand is a worldwide service, allowing these films to reach otherwise underserved audiences around the globe.

Wolfe Video seems to have explored a variety of markets and seems interested in making the most of the web's positive aspects. Now the question turns to the anti-piracy efforts. Does exchanging half your profit for DMCA takedown notices really make sense?

Wolfe feels this is effort is necessary to protect her business, as can be seen in her first reply to my emails. But is this outlay recovered with increased sales? That's a harder question to answer without any data to examine, but there are a few inferences we can draw. Despite her massive anti-piracy expenditures (and wealth of distribution options), her business is suffering.
"It's changed us," Wolfe said, while pointing to drastic company chops and cutbacks. That includes the trimming of 11 employees, a 50 percent reduction in Wolfe's marketing budget, and a major impact on new projects. Wolfe has even stopped paying herself a salary.
There are three possibilities here:

1. $30,000 is what's needed to sustain Wolfe Video at its current pace. Not great, but better than going out of business. This assumes the deterrent efforts generate enough sales to keep Wolfe Video (barely) in the black. If this theory is correct, one would expect $50,000 worth of deterrent to increase income by a comparable amount.

2. $30,000 is not enough, but it's all Wolfe can afford. If so, then Wolfe Video is on the way out. Escalating the amount spent would likely not generate enough revenue to offset the expense, or at best, keep the company barely in the black and decrease profitability.

3. $30,000 isn't showing any noticeable impact, one way or another.

Of the three possibilities, the third seems most likely. This may seem like a broadsided slam against Wolfe's efforts, but she does make a few statements that lead me to believe this effort is mainly "faith-based" and hasn't been measured in terms of correlation to increased sales.

One of the indications is Wolfe's estimate of income lost to piracy. She states Wolfe Video lost nearly $3 million last year because of file sharing. How does she arrive at this number? I can't say for sure, but multiplying 903,000 links by $3.99/movie (Wolfe's quoted price per download) gives us $3,602,970. Perhaps realizing that not every link equates to a lost sale, the number was revised down a bit to the nearest round number. (Only most links equate to lost sales, apparently...)

Another indication is her blunt response to my first inquiry: "Basically, without the take down effort I would be out of business." This sounds like someone who has already decided that piracy can only be fought, and only with a ton of time, effort and money. What this doesn't sound like, however, is someone who's considered taking a more targeted approach, or backing off completely and measuring any corresponding sales fluctuations.

Then there's this quote (from a pro-SOPA editorial Wolfe wrote for the Huffington Post) which describes the futility of her efforts, while simultaneously making the claim that she's "forced" to send out thousands of DMCA notices.
As a distributor, I've been forced to devote resources to searching for and removing pirated copies of our films online (by sending DMCA notices). It is a time-consuming and expensive process. On one recent weekend, we removed over 300 links to a newly released title from a U.S. based cyber locker (each link can represent 1000s of downloads). The next day another 180 new links for the same film appeared on the same cyber locker. We found another 100 links to the film on a gay movie blog (a site which features free download links for more than 2,000 titles). This is just in the U.S., where sites are required under current law to take down links when they receive infringement notices. Multiplying that problem by a factor of 10 would not begin to cover the volume available via offshore sites, which are currently out of the reach of U.S. law.
The implication seems to be that if she doesn't keep emptying this ocean with her $30,000/year teacup, no one (or hardly anyone) will purchase her company's films and support her business. This can't possibly be true. Piracy is an option for nearly everyone connected to the internet, and yet musicians, filmmakers, video game developers, etc. are all selling their output every day.

Removing links may generate a few sales, but certainly not enough to offset an effort of this magnitude. Some file sharers will never purchase anything, and if they can't pirate a Wolfe film, they'll simply find something else to download. Others will purchase something after an illicit "preview." Taking away the link they might have utilized simply sends them looking for other links... or other movies. Generally speaking, a failed search for a "free" movie rarely results in the sale of the same movie.

Wolfe Video is doing the right thing by diversifying its distribution across multiple services and, even better, by running its own in-house digital rental/download platform. These efforts will do more to increase sales (and profits) than $30,000 worth of takedown notices. It's hard not to view illegal downloads as "lost sales," but entertaining that notion results in deterrence efforts that far outweigh the benefits.

The fact is that removing illegal options won't generate sales. Removing a negative ("lost sale via illegal download") doesn't create a positive ("gained[?] sale"). It simply levels off at $0. Positive efforts will tilt that scale back towards the creators. Negative efforts max out at $0, at best.

As I stated in my email to Kathy Wolfe, I have no desire to paint her as someone who tilts at windmills to the tune of $30,000/year. She strongly feels this effort needs to be made in order to protect a business she's run for over 25 years. I can completely understand that. My concern is that this effort is over-funded and a long, hard look should be taken at any connection between the takedown effort and corresponding sales fluctuations.

Could the same be accomplished at half the price? How about $10,000 per year? Or $0? I think some experimentation is called for. Back all enforcement efforts off for a few months and watch for any signs of a sales decline. If the drop is precipitous, scale the efforts up and see if the numbers respond. But rather than intensify the efforts, slowly escalate until you find a balance between deterrence and sales that works out best financially.

Kathy Wolfe has obviously worked hard to keep Wolfe Films running for more than a quarter-decade quarter-century. She deserves a salary and I hate to see that money flowing into an effort that's not paying off.



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:41am

    "The fact is that removing illegal options won't generate sales. Removing a negative ("lost sale via illegal download") doesn't create a positive ("gained[?] sale"). It simply levels off at $0. Positive efforts will tilt that scale back towards the creators. Negative efforts max out at $0, at best. "

    That is the single most important paragraph in this piece. You can have all the copyrights you want and attack infringing downloads all you want, but all that is effort, time and money NOT spent in convincing me to give you my money in exchange for a worthwhile product or service. Take it to a hypothetical extreme. You've removed all infringing links from the internet, such that the only method of obtaining your work is through you. Obviously what would happen is that at best your sales would still be more or less untouched. More than likely, they would have tanked, as news of all the effort you've gone to stop piracy translates to potential customers as "S/he cares far more about stopping us viewing for free than s/he does about creating a quality product/service. So, why should I give him/her my money then, if her offering is obviously going to be subpar?"

     

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    Atkray (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Interesting

    By writing this you have pointed out the turd in her punch bowl.

    She now has a couple options.

    She may now tell you she has performed an extensive cost/benefit analysis and this is truly keeping her in business.

    She may say wow I never looked at it objectively and tried to run the numbers, and will now do so.

    Unfortunately, she will most likely say, But Piracy!

     

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  3.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 9:42am

    Re: Interesting

    Or she can go Streisand and threaten Tim with a lawsuit, send bogus DMCA notice and hire Prenda =D

     

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  4.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    This is what it sounds to me.

    But really this would be the perfect way to perform some experiments. If I had the monies I'd offer to cover for any decrease in sales plus some advertising to boost up at the end of the study.

    I'll risk what would happen if she completely halted her anti-piracy efforts:

    - She'd see her profit more than double right away
    - She'd see increased revenue resulting from increased exposure

    And that with zero efforts to make the file sharing component to work for her advantage. But I"m fairly sure for the tonne (as Tim noted) that she's stuck in her religious faith that she must do it. Like paying for her place in Heavens.

    I wonder if we could crowdfund this study?

     

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    Tim K (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:09am

    In the wrong business

    $30K for sending probably mostly automated DMCA. Which does nothing because as she stated, after taking down links more popped up the next day. So you have ridiculous money, one would assume not much work after the initial setup of your DMCA bots, and guaranteed work because people will just keep reposting links, and content owners will continue throwing money at it hoping that they are actually doing something that helps.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    TIM, you forgot to ask her the most important thing...

    ...who the heck is her barber?


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    If Mike supports copyright, why are the pirates here? They take him same as I do: PRO-PIRACY!

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    This is classic Techdirt: an academic attempting to advise someone ACTUALLY in the business! What chutzpah you guys have! MAKE YOUR OWN MOVIE AND PUT IT OUT, YOU SILLY KIBITZERS!

    And clearly, your emails are nothing but an attempt to solicit some numbers to better tell her "you're doing it all wrong!" She and anyone is quite right to stiff arm you.

    HERE'S THE FACT: "without the take down effort I would be out of business."




    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Where fanboys assert that working industries are doing it all wrong!

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    Re: TIM, you forgot to ask her the most important thing...

    Ah, imitation. This is Techdirt.


    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Be careful to not give personal details: only targets fanboy ad hom.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    This post is comical.

    The woman spelled out in no uncertain terms the economic hardships caused by piracy (which everyone understands, except the denialists at Techdirt- although most people suspect they're even lying about that as well...), then when she doesn't respond to you (after no doubt paying a visit to this train wreck of a blog), you're surprised?

    Too. Fucking. Funny.

     

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    Tim K (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Saying something is a fact does not make it so. Hence the desire for the actual numbers/research she used to come to that conclusion

     

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    S. de la Fuente, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Techdirt is actually in the content business

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    @"So, why should I give him/her my money then, if her offering is obviously going to be subpar?"

    YOU WOULDN'T PAY FOR IT, ANYWAY! You'd just shift your argument so your conscience is clean and the money remains with you.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:36am

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Fact? No. It's the claim. Tim asked her if she had done any analysis. She refused to respond in the affirmative. That doesn't mean she hasn't done the analysis, but it doesn't give me much confidence that she has.

    Here she had an opportunity to vindicate you. She could have shown the numbers that she's run, provided her analysis and shown that everything you claim is true. Yet she didn't. Why don't you complain that she had an opportunity to prove you and the rest of the copymites right, but she didn't. Here's the opportunity, blue. Get her to respond and prove you right. If she has irrefutable evidence that her DMCA notices are working, she has only to show it. We can't argue against facts. Let her show us the facts. I don't want to hear her claims if she's not willing to put facts behind it. Email her yourself. Tell her to vindicate you. We're all waiting. Waiting for the data to back you up.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    @ "Tim K": "Saying something is a fact does not make it so. Hence the desire for the actual numbers/research she used to come to that conclusion"
    ------------

    Saying something is NOT a fact does not make it not a fact.

    Cushing has no right to the numbers, NOR is he working for her interests: she spotted an enemy and ignored him.

    Let's get some facts about who pays Tim Cushing and Mike Masnick so we can decide on a) whether they deserve it b) whether their time wouldn't be better spent in other ways c) what interests drive their views.

    See how easy impertinence is?

     

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    bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Everyone who's tried to file a DMCA notice with Big Search or any of the other leeching billionaires knows that these guys make it as hard as possible to file a DMCA notice. It takes seconds to pirate something with YouTube but hours to figure out their scary notices wrapped around the DMCA process.

    This is just more proof of how Big Search is a creator hater who wants to make life impossible for the artists. If the artists make money, there's less for the billionaires at Big Search.

    Big Search is quite happy to lock down their network when it suits their interests. If you want to upload something to their compute engine, they want you to link your cell phone to your account. They want only real names who can be tracked.

    They could use the same rules for YouTube but that would cut off the source of all of their material that they use to sell ads.

    They could also make it possible to file a DMCA notice with one click. You can flag objectionable content with one click but not copyright infringement. No. That would hurt the bottom line.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    @ "Chosen Reject": "Let her show us the facts."

    Geez, another fool with the same lame notion that you've a right to double-check this business owner. I repeat from above:

    Let's get some facts about who pays Tim Cushing and Mike Masnick so we can decide on a) whether they deserve it b) whether their time wouldn't be better spent in other ways c) what interests drive their views.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    You find it funny that someone had the opportunity to prove techdirt wrong and you right, but then refused? I typically don't find it funny when someone who has the power and opportunity to vindicate me chooses instead to let me whither on the vine, but to each their own. Maybe someday, someone else will give us the data you so desperately believe is out there, yet seems so elusive to find.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    "Everyone who's tried to file a DMCA notice with Big Search or any of the other leeching billionaires knows that these guys make it as hard as possible to file a DMCA notice."

    No point in reading further.

    Google has the process so streamlined, it is ridiculous, and this is a well known FACT.

    I challenge anyone who's suspicious to visit Google's page about DMCA takedowns and see for themselves.

     

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  19.  
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    Robert R, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Micro-Licensing & Digital Fingerprints Might Be In Order

    Publishers of digital content who are truly concerned about piracy use micro-licenses and digital fingerprints to track the initial downloads of their content. Pirated content has an original origin. With unique fingerprints embedded in each licensed download, tracing pirated copies back to the original licensee is pretty easy and far more cost effective.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:45am

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Well, for someone that accuses others of using ad homs, you sure don't shy away from them, do you?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:45am

    Perhaps she is contractually obligated to pursue copyright violations. If I were say Netflicks, I'd like her to reduce the other supplies of the videos.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    YOU WOULDN'T PAY FOR IT, ANYWAY!

    So, what would she lose? Her focus should be on the ones who would. But she's focused elsewhere.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Really? I wouldn't pay for it? I a guy who has repeatedly linked to his Steam account with what must be a couple hundred games and who has paid for boxed sets of TV shows on several occasions wouldn't pay?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re:

    Copyright enthusiasts have they head so firmly stuck into their asses that they assume that what they know (whatever it is) must be common sense.

    Any one that doubts it is either stupid or a thief.

    I see no other explanation for refusing to debate the problem.

     

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  25.  
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    S. T. Stone, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    YOU WOULDN'T PAY FOR IT, ANYWAY!

    So, where’s the lost sale, then?

     

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    Jeff Rivett (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    The simplest explanation

    Tim obviously didn't want to go there, but I will. I think that the most likely explanation for her unwillingness to provide data is simply that she has none, and the numbers she talked about ($30K, millions) came out of her ass. If those numbers had any basis in reality, she would have provided them. It's not that I don't sympathize, but based on her statements, I have serious doubts.

     

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    Adam, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Pretty great article on an indie distributor's failing anti piracy efforts. Piracy will happen. It's unfortunate that an indie organization, despite utilizing accessible and affordable methods, still runs into this problem, but a pirated copy does not equal a lost sale. IMO she should try talking to her audience.

    I'm reminded of the 4K film, TimeScapes, where the director commented on the film's torrent on Pirate Bay, "Greetings. I am Tom Lowe, the person who spent two years of his life living out of a Toyota pickup truck to make this film. If you enjoy it, please consider buying a copy from our website at TimeScapes.org or at iTunes, or maybe giving it as a gift to a friend, so we can recover the money we invested in the film, and then make some more films for your enjoyment. :)"

    I don't know how his film did in terms of revenue, but I can tell you this method really connected with people. In the end, people who pirate your film just want to watch your film. Why treat them like the enemy with a DMCA takedown, when you can start a conversation and connect with your audience?

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    How is Cushing an enemy? An enemy would be one who is out to harm you. How? Is asking for clarification on someone's business model now seen as harm?

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    "Let's get some facts about who pays Tim Cushing and Mike Masnick"

    Well for one I do, hence the Insider Badge on my profile. They earned my money by writing articles that interest me...so where does that leave your implications?

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    It takes seconds to pirate something with YouTube but hours to figure out their scary notices wrapped around the DMCA process.
    Too true. I just google "youtube DMCA" and within 2 seconds was on this page. It took me 3 seconds to read and then click the "Submit a copyright complaint" button which took me to this page. I ran through the form as an exercise. It took me roughly 20 seconds to fill out completely. Seeing as it's a simple html form, I could probably take about 5 minutes to write up a script that would make it automated, reducing the time to submit down to couple of seconds.

    Now let's add up all those numbers. Let's see:
    2 seconds to search for the form
    + 3 seconds to read and click
    + 20 seconds to fill out and submit
    -----------
    26 seconds to file a DMCA notice.

    We'll assume you don't write the script. Now, I just did a search for "bob" on youtube. There were 22,400,000 results. By your claim, file names and descriptions are all you need to know if it's infringing, so more math:
    26 seconds
    x 22,400,000 bob videos
    / 3600 seconds per hour
    / 24 hours per day
    / 365 days per year
    -----------
    18.5 years to file DMCA notices on all of the obviously infringing files on youtube.

    Wow, you were right. Better learn some scripting skills.

     

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  31.  
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    sorrykb (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    $30,000?

    I'm wondering how they arrived at this number. Does Wolfe Films pay another company to search for links and file DMCA takedown notices, or is the $30K an estimation of Wolfe's employees' time value spent on this? If it's an outside vendor, then I'd guess it's the vendor who told Wolfe Films that they'd be out of business without their service.

     

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  32.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    They could also make it possible to file a DMCA notice with one click. You can flag objectionable content with one click but not copyright infringement.


    Ok, I think your proposal of a DMCA notice button is silly since only the rights holder could legally use it. Why would they put a button that 99.999999999999999999999% of users can't use?

    But, if they did, would you find it acceptable that if you filed 6 or more invalid DMCA notices that Google would only then accept snail mail DMCA notices from you from that point forward? You know, kind of a six strikes program for copyfraud? Seems fair to me.

     

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  33.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    I was a Video Store Worker at Videoport in Portland, Maine for 18 years.The owner Bill Duggan is my friend and I was the main person in the Office for all of that time.Hopefully others will see this as well as you.
    Wolfe Video mainly Caters to the LGBT Crew and I am very familiar with their Products.From Apr.1993 - July 2011 all these vids had to go thru my hands.
    None of these films ever made him a big return but Videoport does Support many causes and I am proud to say both Bill and I Support the LGBT Community.I still have some LGBT Friends and my punk Art has some LGBT Fans.
    I do not believe her story one bit.

     

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  34.  
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    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Re: TIM, you forgot to ask her the most important thing...

    I think its like this guy. Is he having any impact, is this costing him to post this on every article. Would he be better of breathing deeply and going outside?, No , yes, and yes, but still he does.

    She could double her bottom line by doing less work. Companies that don't take advantage of this situation wont be around for long.

     

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  35.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    You've really got to wonder if the money would be better spent on marketing. Even adding ads to self-seeded torrents could be a more effective approach. The idea probably should be to encourage buyers rather than to suppress moochers.

    Once you've eliminated all the piracy, you still have basic business challenges.

     

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  36.  
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    Michel Billard, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    What else

    As always it seems a person's conviction is making them do the wrong thing, I can certainly understand her feeling (people are enjoying my work without paying), but it's a battle she can't win.

    Numbers would be great, but what's interesting here is how much more money she could make by spending that 30k on creating, on doing the thing she actually loves.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    I for one would welcome, with open arms, such data. The reason I hold to more or less the same views as Mike Masnick is because he provided me with data that backed up what says. You don't. You just accept it as gospel truth that she is being harmed by piracy, and accept it knowing that she hasn't provided a source.

    Wasn't that what you and your ilk were going on about a couple articles back? That Mike "never backs up" his articles? Well...here we have exactly that going on. Yet somehow you're not calling her out on it?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Ignore me guys, I don't understand the concept that when a statement is made to the public, backing up that statement with actual facts is needed to lend any kind of truth to said statement.

     

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  39.  
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    S. T. Stone, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    HERE'S THE FACT: "without the take down effort I would be out of business."

    How can we accept this as fact without Ms. Wolfe backing up her claim with actual proof?

    She can assert the claim that she would go out of business without takedowns, but I don’t accept that claim without an offer of proof. As Mr. Cushing pointed out in the article, a large number of artists from varying fields ply their trade on the Internet every day, and a good portion of them do so to a successful degree.

    I don’t buy for a minute that she’d go out of business if she stopped sending takedowns because she still makes money even with piracy of her films running so rampant that she spends half her income on fighting it.

    You can’t offer a single claim with a basis in fact that Ms. Wolfe would go bankrupt if she stopped sending out takedowns, and judging by her lack of response to Mr. Cushing, neither can Ms. Wolfe.

     

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  40.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    "Everyone who's tried to file a DMCA notice with Big Search or any of the other leeching billionaires knows that these guys make it as hard as possible to file a DMCA notice. It takes seconds to pirate something with YouTube but hours to figure out their scary notices wrapped around the DMCA process."

    The reason you think it takes hours is because you're so pathetically stupid it takes you that long to go through what must be the most streamlined way of sending a DMCA/DMCA style notice. Again, you've only got yourself to blame when people know that your IQ can be measured in the single digits...and that's if we disallow negative IQs.

     

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  41.  
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    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    What she missed was a great business opportunity to increase her income for less work. Its academic, but successful businees employ this tatic all the time. In fact, we call it increased efficiency.

    You sure are interested in what these guys are doing? Perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    You missed one possible option, $30,000 a year is removing sales, because it s stopping people looking at the films to see if they want to buy.

     

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  43.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    "You can flag objectionable content with one click but not copyright infringement. No. That would hurt the bottom line."

    Oooh right...you're the one who doesn't in the abuse of the current DMCA system.

     

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  44.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    We have the right to double-check anyone.

    That is Democracy.

    These people want to attack individual liberties and subvert the law to suit their agenda. They certainly should be expected to back up their claims when it comes to matters relevant to public policy.

    Your "appeal to authority" is an obvious fallacy.

     

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  45.  
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    AB, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Your response indicates that you are one of those people who would prefer to steal so long as they can get away with it. Not everyone has the same moral codes as you do. In fact most research indicates that your attitude is in the minority.

    While there is still insufficient evidence to make the conclusions empirical, all the studies done so far have found that the majority of people _will_ pay a fair price for something they like, even if it is available for free.

    Then again, making blind assumptions about other people is a good way to make yourself look stupid. Perhaps that was your intent?

     

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  46.  
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    Dude, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    typo

    "Kathy Wolfe has obviously worked hard to keep Wolfe Films running for more than a quarter-decade."

    Think you mean century.

     

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  47.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    "without the take down effort I would be out of business."

    Without any evidence to back this up, I'd more willing to assume she's just having financial issues...like every other company.

    It seems like piracy is just an easy excuse.

     

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  48.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    It's not just this business owner. You and the rest of the copymites claim that it's necessary. We claim it's not. The ones claiming it's necessary are the only ones with the data necessary to vindicate their claims, and yet none are willing to show that data. All we need is one to show us the data, and then it'd be us who are left with saying, "Yeah, but that only works with bands that have done the analysis".

    Yet, here we are, with story after story of those who don't fight infringement being willing to show us their data, and those who fight infringement, making claims of "necessary this" and "need to that" not showing us the data that supposedly backs up their claims. Vindicate yourselves. Here's Tim, going out of his way to prove his detractors right, and they won't let him.

    Show us the data. There have been those who embrace piracy and other business models, and they are willing to show us their data. But none who make the claim that fighting piracy is necessary are willing to show us their data. Again, none. Not a single one. Show it to us. Prove us wrong. Silence us once and for all. Vindicate yourselves. Surely there is one who is willing.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    yeah, its a piece of cake. no problem. I do a few a week.

    Bing is a little more difficult than others, but there just backwards.

    Google is fast and reliable.

    Its not the search engines that are the problem (well bing a little), its some of the hosts that can be difficult.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    "HERE'S THE FACT: "without the take down effort I would be out of business.""

    Things don't automatically become fact just because you utter them.

     

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  51.  
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    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Micro-Licensing & Digital Fingerprints Might Be In Order

    what would be the benefit in the end?

     

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  52.  
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    trish, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    the lady is not taking a salary. She is losing money to piracy, not because freeloaders got it for free, but because she spent 30K to try to stop it. If the 30K investment isn't bringing her any additional income (return on investment), then she'd be better off buying herself expensive shoes with the money instead (and you know, paying for living expenses).

    She works hard for her money as Tim mentioned, and then throws half of it away because she has a visceral emotional reaction to the piracy. That's bad business my friend. Repeating over and over that her "business would be destroyed" doesn't make it true, and her unwillingness to back the statement up with numbers proves that it's all based in emotion, not business sense.

    Spending your business's money on a futile wild goose chase? THAT'S how you destroy a business.

     

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  53.  
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    bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Sure. Go read it. The last time I waded through their endless stern warnings about perjury, it took me half a day.

    Now compare it to how long it takes to upload pirated material to YouTube.

    They could make it as easy as flagging inappropriate content but they don't for one reason. It's all about the billions baby.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    I would love to see whether her movies are worth buying. How do I do that now?

     

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  55.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Going further, the people who file DMCA notices need to file them with much more seriousness than those who flag something objectionable. I can claim every video on YouTube is objectionable, and the only penalty Google could give me is to ban my account, though most likely they'd write me off as a kook and just ignore me.

    Copyright claims, though, come with the weight of a penalty for perjury. Whether that penalty is ever carried out is rather irrelevant; it still has that penalty as a possibility. Google is just making sure you're following the law and understand the ramifications. And just as well, the law is the law, right?

     

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  56.  
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    bob, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    A few a week? That's pretty slow. And you can tell from the huge amount of pirated material that no one can keep up with the tide.

    But you're right about the other sites. They're often much, much worse that Big Search. But that's not a reason to let Big Search off the hook for their complacency.

     

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  57.  
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    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    The fact

    "without the take down effort, I could grow my business to even bigger"

     

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  58.  
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    Arthur Moore (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Good troll bob. It got a chuckle out of me.

     

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  59.  
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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Somebody made him very angry. I don't think he'd understand, given all the time he spends on here trying to convince us people shouldn't try to sell their work and should focus on making sure people don't see it.

     

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  60.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Wait...you actually READ the parts about perjury? Then when you fire off a notice, you do understand that you are liable for (when not if) its wrong?

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    "Everyone who's tried to file a DMCA notice with Big Search or any of the other leeching billionaires knows that these guys make it as hard as possible to file a DMCA notice."

    bob, as I've pointed out before, Google (aka Big Search) provides an easy to complete "form" to fill out. Basically it ask you 3 multiple choice questions, after which you enter your contact information and links to the infringing links.

    That's it. So either A. you think answer multiple choice questions and entering you contact information is "as hard as possible" to do or B. you're an idiot.

    My money is on B.

    "It takes seconds to pirate something with YouTube but hours to figure out their scary notices wrapped around the DMCA process."

    False. It takes seconds to find something to pirate. It doesn't take seconds to actually pirate it. Bandwidth speeds vary, so it can take minutes, hours, days, weeks. All depending on the popularity of the material. Less popular means less seeders means slower speeds.

    Again, it takes literally 5 minutes tops to fill out the DMCA notice form. If it takes you "hours to figure out" then you're doing it wrong or an idiot. Or both.

    "This is just more proof of how Big Search is a creator hater who wants to make life impossible for the artists."

    Which is exactly why Google isn't going into talks with the labels to start a subscription music service and exactly why they aren't giving money to creators to start their own YouTube channels, which will both (the music service and YouTube channels) be available to customers as ONLY paid options. Oh wait, they are doing all of that.

    They also SELL allow creators to sell their books, music, TV shows and movies in the Play Store.

    All of which is a far cry from making Big Search "a creator hater who wants to make life impossible for the artists".

    "If the artists make money, there's less for the billionaires at Big Search."

    Again, false. Because if people consume the content Google wants to put on the Play Store, all of which must be purchased, it keeps people in that Play Store atmosphere. Meaning giving the artists AND Google their dollars. Making money for everyone involved, the artists and Google.

    "Big Search is quite happy to lock down their network when it suits their interests."

    You mean lock down by allowing anyone and everyone FREE access to any of a number of useful services? Yeah, sounds very locked down.

    "If you want to upload something to their compute engine, they want you to link your cell phone to your account."

    Uh, no. They don't. If you want to upload something to any of their services (YouTube, Google Drive, etc) they only require that you login with your Gmail account. WHICH DOES NOT HAVE TO BE LINKED TO YOUR PHONE NUMBER. (Unless of course you want to link it for password recovery purposes. But that is purely optional and up to each user to do or not do.)

    "They want only real names who can be tracked."

    Which is exactly why they ask for birth certificates and social security numbers when you sign up for their services, so they can verify identities. Oh wait, they don't do that either.

    You can literally enter any name you want.

    "They could use the same rules for YouTube but that would cut off the source of all of their material that they use to sell ads."

    Not too mention the fact that taking down all that material would be one less source of revenue for artists and copyright holders. Lest you forget Content ID, which was created and funded entirely by Google and ACTIVELY monetizes any infringing content with the funds going back to the rights holder.

    "They could also make it possible to file a DMCA notice with one click."

    Yes, because three clicks (on three multiple choice questions) and a wee bit of typing is so difficult. /s

    "You can flag objectionable content with one click but not copyright infringement."

    Well, considering even rights holders have a hard time determining what is or isn't infringing, that's a plus. And one for the rights holders as well, lest they take down their own content.

    Oh wait, they've done that on numerous occasions through the more onerous and "difficult" method of filing DMCA notices (3 multiple choice questions and a contact information fill out).

    "No. That would hurt the bottom line."

    Their bottom line is to get eyeballs on ads. Nothing more, nothing less. They don't care how it gets done as long as people click ads then Google makes money. That you don't understand what their bottom line is or how it's achieved is testament to your lack of intelligence.

    You should take a trip to the library some day. Oh wait, you think they're grifters. Nevermind. Can't have you getting a clue, now could we?

     

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  62.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    If it took you half a day to read through their endless warnings of perjury, you're illiterate. Plus, you only have the law to blame. Perhaps you should lobby to get falsified "objectionable video flagging" as punishable by perjury also. Then those would come with the same half-day-to-wade-through warnings[1] as well.

    [1] There are 5 by the way. I hope this doesn't bring techdirt to a halt as every commenter busies themselves reading this long list, but at least we'll know bob won't make another comment for 12 hours:

    By checking the following boxes, I state that:
    ∗ I have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
    ∗ This notification is accurate; and
    ∗ UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
    ∗ I acknowledge that under Section 512(f) of the DMCA any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be subject to liability for damages.
    ∗ I understand that abuse of this tool will result in termination of my YouTube account.

     

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  63.  
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    jeff, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:12pm

    erm

    Hang on - she halved her marketing budget, sales are down, and the problem is ... pirates?

    Maybe shuffle 10k
    from the dmca
    to "buy this today"
    whaddya say?

     

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  64.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Yeah bob because treating matters that could be used in litigation "easy" is a smart move for a company that's already been sued by Viacom for copyright infringement.

     

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  65.  
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    AB, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    It would be an interesting test. Personally I don't believe zero effort is the best option either. There has to be some anti-piracy efforts or people will begin to forget that the artists also need some cash. It's not about morals, but studies do show that people can get lazy like that. I think making them work for the download does help. However all that takes is a few shots over the bow to keep the pirates heads down. I'll bet between $1k and $5k is more than enough to do the job.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    I was thinking the same thing.

    Spending that money for promotion and awareness might make far more difference in sales.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    As an indie you need to take it like a man, if you want kindly send a letter to the pirate site (probably a bad idea), that they are hurting you. But like most indies, you just need to grit your teeth and let things go. Your fans will support you, if you are good enough.
    As a side commentary, I remember when I used to pirate (mind you I was younger, like a kid, a minor, or just out of it), indie stuff was off-limits, we only pirated people who deserved it or could afford it. But honestly, pirates, just losing it nowadays.

     

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  68. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Why would she respond? This blog is written by buffoons and she knows it.

    Do your own 5th grade math and think about the retail price of 30k worth of DMCA notices sent. if even a fraction of them are lost sales, it's easily worth the outlay.

    You guys look utterly ridiculous on this one.

     

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  69.  
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    AB, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Actually there are quite a number of existing studies that back Tim in this. If you spent as much time read the articles here on TD as you do criticizing your betters you would already know that.

    Tim is not only informing her of existing evidence, but also offering her the opportunity to counter that evidence with her own findings.

    And don't worry, I can always tell the real ootb from the fakes.

     

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  70.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, you're an idiot. Then again, it makes sense as you seem to completely believe her claim on piracy.

    Then again, that's easy enough, right? You don;t have to improve anything if you can blame the downturn of your revenue on something you can;t control.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    There has to be some anti-piracy efforts or people will begin to forget that the artists also need some cash.

    Or she could spend more money marketing the movies and play up the indie aspect of her business. Perhaps she could even share financial data with her customers so that they have a better understanding of how much each film cost, how many copies have been sold, etc. This would give customers a positive reason to purchase (in order to support her business) rather than a negative reason to purchase (because that is the only way possible to obtain the film.)

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Wow really? Trying to argue by proving a negative? She has no data to confirm her fact. That means it is no longer a fact but a belief that she takes by faith. Turning her spending into a crusade that has no know benifit but what can be taken by faith.

     

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  73.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We'd love to do some math, but unfortunately, we haven't been provided the numbers to crunch.
    That's what we're asking.

     

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  74.  
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    Tim K (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Could the same be accomplished at half the price? How about $10,000 per year? Or $0? ... Kathy Wolfe has obviously worked hard to keep Wolfe Films running for more than a quarter-decade. She deserves a salary and I hate to see that money flowing into an effort that's not paying off.

    Yeah...What a dick

     

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    DOlz, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    I recently watched two movies I downloaded that I was mildly interested in. One blew as bad as I thought it would and the other blew me away. I bought a copy of one them (go ahead guess which one) that I would not have bought if I hadn't check it out first.

     

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  76.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    "The woman spelled out in no uncertain terms the economic hardships caused by piracy..."

    Here's a tidbit from one of her Huffington Post Articles:

    "Those who finance films generally don't view LGBT storylines as box office winners. As a result, filmmakers who want to tell these stories often turn to creative forms of financing. The process can be a long and brutal one."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-wolfe/piracy-profiteers-time-to_b_1210132.html

    So using your logic of just "assuming shit", I could say she's losing money from the possible scenarios:

    a. Indie filmmakers are experiencing economic hardships like everyone else
    b. Indie filmmakers are not going to her to have their films released
    c. Popularity of LGBT movies is in decline
    d. Wolfe Releasing is losing money to piracy

    Any one of these things could be happening and they all effect her business. There may even be a combination of events, but piling it all on piracy is asinine, especially when it feeds your anti-techdirt agenda.

     

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  77.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd like to do your 5th grade math, but I need to know how many DMCA notices $30,000/year buys you. I also need to know how many links are taken down with one notice. I also need to know how many downloads are prevented by one taken down link. I also need to know how many prevented downloads equals a lost sale. I also need to know how many lost sales are made by not being able to download first. Averages are fine. Please do provide. Until you do, I'll provide my own assumptions.

    Assume one DMCA notice costs $1.
    Assume one DMCA notice takes down one link.
    Assume one taken down link prevents 10 downloads.
    Assume 100 prevented download equals 1 gained sale.

    With those assumptions, she sent 30,000 DMCA notices on 30,000 links, which prevented 300,000 downloads (which BTW, is more than the number of households in Seattle). Since 300,000 downloads were prevented, she gained 3,000 sales. Each movie is $3.99, so she gained $11,970, for a loss of $18,030, not to mention all of the sales she lost due to preventing a willing buyer from previewing the movies. In fact, she would need to prevent 7,519 downloads that equate to lost sales before breaking even. Not downloads; downloads that equate to lost sales.

    Since she's willing to do this and to make the claim that if she doesn't she will go broke, then surely she has the data to back that up.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    The thing about a niche market is that it's a lot easier to market to and develop a brand name. That $30,000 would go a lot further if spent on marketing, festival attendance, and creating brand loyalty. Hell, just putting it on Netflix would stop me from pirating it.

    She should look at what Troma is doing, and start thinking of how piracy can be used as a marketing tool.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    But if you could only have seen them by buying them there is the possibility that you would have bought both. Alongside that, having expended money on the one that you considered to have blown, the investment you made in it might have meant that you liked it a bit more. If not you could have sold it on to someone else and you'd probably have told potential purchasers that it was brilliant. Of course second hand sales should be as illegal as piracy because they also don't put any money directly to creators.

     

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    Devonavar, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    "Perhaps she is contractually obligated to pursue copyright violations. If I were say Netflicks, I'd like her to reduce the other supplies of the videos."

    Bingo. This is the real reason why it's worth spending $30K on anti-piracy efforts. It has nothing to do with whether or not anti-piracy is actually effective at raising sales. It's all about protecting relationships and being seen as a trustworthy distributor.

    The film distribution is built on favours and horse trading, and it's all regional. Distribution rights are divvied up into exclusive sections, and distributors specialize in specific areas where they have rights to distribute.

    Piracy doesn't care about exclusive contracts. Once it's available online, it's available everywhere, and the formerly exclusive agreements don't mean squat. Now, granted, you can't stop piracy, but as a distributor, you don't want to be seen as the one who let the horse out of the barn. So you do as much as you can to be seen visibly fighting piracy, whether or not it's effective.

    Kathy isn't spending money to protect sales. She's spending money to protect relationships. I believe Tim 100% that the $30K does nothing to boost sales directly. But, he's missing what that $30K is actually buying: Credibility that will give her access to a wider variety of more lucrative film s to distribute.

     

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  81.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do your own 5th grade math and think about the retail price of 30k worth of DMCA notices sent. if even a fraction of them are lost sales, it's easily worth the outlay.

    If the fraction only "recovers" a few hundred dollars worth of sales, is it worth it? How about $1,000? How about $10,000? At what point does spending more than you're making in return start paying off?

    If she was seeing this pay off, I would imagine she'd have made a statement to that effect, like "$30K is a lot to spend, but we've seen X% sales growth and a decline in posted links." I've read multiple interviews with Wolfe and not a single one contains a statement that indicates this effort is having any impact on piracy or on her sales.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Explain to me how a search engine is meant to determine whether a page is, or contains links to, infringing materials.

     

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  83.  
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    AB, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Both history and research show that people respond well to a combination of good and bad - using both the carrot and the stick in moderation seems to work best.

    And it sort of sounds like she is already doing positive marketing, though I could be wrong.

    Of course I present all this purely my own opinion, even if there is some general evidence to support it.

     

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  84. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Digitari, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    OOTB is a fucking freetard and ADMITS it

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/12500917012/riaa-doesnt-apologize-year-long-blog-cen sorship-just-stands-its-claim-that-site-broke-law.shtml

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Kathy isn't spending money to protect sales. She's spending money to protect relationships. I believe Tim 100% that the $30K does nothing to boost sales directly. But, he's missing what that $30K is actually buying: Credibility that will give her access to a wider variety of more lucrative film s to distribute.

    That could be. It's an interesting angle. Has anyone heard of anything like this happening with distributors like Amazon, Netflix or Comcast?

    My only argument with this take is that she runs an independent studio and, with the exception of her own Wolfe on Demand, sells/streams through other platforms that simply take a cut of the sale/rental, rather than have anything invested in the films themselves. Thus, there's no real loss to these platforms if people DON'T buy or rent Wolfe's films. The effect of piracy on their bottom line isn't direct enough to be an issue.

    (I can see Comcast demanding something like this from its "partners," but only because it seems like the sort of onerous demand Comcast would make. The company hasn't earned widespread hatred by being genial and compliant.)

     

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  86.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re: typo

    I do. I'll have that fixed shortly. Thanks for the heads-up!

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    "But if you could only have seen them by buying them there is the possibility that you would have bought both."

    Not necessarily, boy.
    But since there's no longer anywhere you can rent a dvd or bluray before buying (RedBoxes offer a far too-limited choice of rentals as opposed to the volume video stores offered before they disappaeared), being able to download the movie cheaply or for free allows you to select which ones you'll seek out for the full-featured dvd or bluray.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Looked at what she distributs ... could explain why she's a target of piracy.

    From Wikipedia: "Wolfe Video is the oldest and largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films in North America. Founded in 1985 in New Almaden by Kathy Wolfe"
    Perhaps due to the nature of her product, she really IS a target of high levels and piracy

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: TIM, you forgot to ask her the most important thing...

    "Ah, imitation. This is Techdirt."

    He's talking to himself.
    OotB's finally gone around the bend!

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    "Sure. Go read it. The last time I waded through their endless stern warnings about perjury, it took me half a day."

    Were your lips moving while you were reading it, boy?

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Does that mean you will stop posting? Most of what you post doesn't have any facts behind it anyways.

     

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  92.  
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    jackn, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    yes, a few a week, and that is high figure nowadays. For software, I have come up somethign for the pirates. I let the software go out and let them pirate, but the software turns itself off in 4 months or so. The hackers don't notice and post it on their warez sites, when 4 months goes by, I get a nice little bonus as a few of the piraters are interested in purchasing because they like it so much...

    photos & videos, i watermark them and don't pursue any dmca on them.

    No, you can't keep up with the tide, but there is no reason to loose sleep over it. I know what its like to see your work availible online in an nonauthorized outlet. I used to agonize over it, but not anymore.

     

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  93.  
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    Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    "HERE'S THE FACT: "without the take down effort she thinks she would be out of business."

    FTFY.

    Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Digitari, I have to ask you stop this. It's getting annoying now. Anyone who reads Techdirt even semi-regularly knows he's a freetard. And a retard too.
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to hit report on these posts.

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Yeah, righto.

     

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    Colin, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Of course second hand sales should be as illegal as piracy because they also don't put any money directly to creators.

    Reported, because that's fucking stupid.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    "I have uttered this statement."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can argue that netflix and hulu with their monthly price and an increasing archive of her films could demand some anti-piracy measures to force more people to not bother looking for piracy. As long as her future films can represent a sale for them of their subscription-months, it can be an issue for them too.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What do you mean I "believe her claim on piracy"? She's spent 30k on DMCA notices; have you stopped to contemplate just how many instances of infringement that is? Or are you just being the usual pirate douchehat?

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Assume one DMCA notice costs $1."

    No.

    "Assume one DMCA notice takes down one link."

    No.

    "Assume one taken down link prevents 10 downloads."

    No.

    "Assume 100 prevented download equals 1 gained sale."

    No.

    Spectacular job there, dude.

     

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Alongside that, having expended money on the one that you considered to have blown, the investment you made in it might have meant that you liked it a bit more.

    You're right! I don't like lima beans but at the restaurant my $50 entree came with lima beans...so now I like lima beans. You must be in full brain hemorrhage mode.

    If not you could have sold it on to someone else and you'd probably have told potential purchasers that it was brilliant.

    As industry has no problem selling turds I could see how this would be a viable option for you to suggest.

    Of course second hand sales should be as illegal as piracy because they also don't put any money directly to creators.

    Apparently first hand sales don't put any money directly into the hands of creators, either.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one is denying that she's spending $30,000/year on DMCA notices, nor is anyone denying that her DMCA notices are legit. We are simply wondering if she has the data that shows that she's not spending unnecessarily on DMCA notices.

    Is piracy happening? Sure, we all believe that.
    Is spending money on making it stop worth it? Well, we have some examples of piracy not making a difference, some where it helps, but all the people who claim it hurts don't want to show us their data.

     

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  103.  
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    PRMan, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    But since there's no longer anywhere you can rent a dvd or bluray before buying (RedBoxes offer a far too-limited choice of rentals as opposed to the volume video stores offered before they disappaeared)


    Netflix DVD has virtually everything for $7.99/month...

     

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  104.  
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    Nigel (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Movies, Music, Whatever

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/03/new-research-music-piracy-should-not-be-a-concern-for-copyri ght-holders/

    I will make the leap and clearly suggest that she is throwing cash out the window.

    Nigel

     

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  105.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh you proved me wrong. Now with all of the correct numbers you've given me, I can do the math correctly now. Thank you ever so much for providing such useful data.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    If not you could have sold it on to someone else and you'd probably have told potential purchasers that it was brilliant. Of course second hand sales should be as illegal as piracy because they also don't put any money directly to creators.

    You have encouraged someone to carry out what you consider to be piracy, Brilliant logic.

     

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  107.  
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    Dan, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Oopz... going off topic here... by the time you learn the script and automate.... you will be indicted by attorney's office under our very own CFAA BS act. LOL

    I think you haven't heard that yet. :D

     

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  108.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    So why spend money taking down links if we won't pay for anything ever anyway? She is just spending money for naught, right? Better to spend that money on marketing and connecting with fans so she can get more purchases instead of less downloads.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As she herself says she takes down 200 and 180 pop up the next day. She obviously can't stop piracy. So is spending 30K a year plugging holes in the damn the best use of her money? If I am looking for a link to her movie, according to her, chances are it's not to hard to find one and even though she takes down plenty there are plenty for me to find.

    So maybe she could spend that money in a different manner and worry about attracting more customers instead of engaging in a fruitless pursuit that you and her think (without evidence) somehow generates money despite not really doing much of anything to stop me from pirating it.

     

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  110.  
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    gnudist, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    See the post I just repied to? That's what extremism looks like.

     

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  111.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    If that takes him that long no wonder he never reads the articles.

     

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  112.  
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    Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    "The woman spelled out in no uncertain terms the economic hardships she thinks are caused by piracy"

    "The woman spelled out in no uncertain terms the economic hardships caused by sending DMCA notices, which apparently are doing nothing"

    The point is that MAYBE there's a better way to use $30,000 to increase sales. Hell, she could give the $30k to me and I'd buy like, 10 movies from her! That's what we call a win-win right there!

     

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  113.  
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    AC Unknown, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    I occasionally do, but then I realize he's pointing out OOTB's hypocrisy.

     

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  114.  
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    Dr. Rabbit, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    It seems there is a growing consensus among reasonable people that fighting piracy, at least to some degree or extent, does more harm than good.

    Just look at SimCity. No one can play that game because of its Digital Rights Management.

     

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  115.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh I know! Its a trick question! It is zero instances of infringement because someone looking for infringing links is still going to find one. By her own account if she takes down 300 links 180 new ones pop up within 24 hours. Do you really think someone is going to fail to find an infringing copy if they want one or that their inability to find one would lead to them buying the movie?

    Did you ever contemplate how that money might be better spent connecting with potential fans so they search for legitimate copies instead of infringing ones?

    Or does using your brain hurt?

     

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  116.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    She is angrily trying to protect her art like a frightened artist when she should be coolly considering the proper promotion for her product like a smart businessperson. She really needs to approach this more logically and less emotionally -- the experiments suggested in this article: dialing back on attacking the sharing and seeming what happens seems like Marketing 101 to me. She might find out that the 30 grand she's spending works, or she might feel rather foolish spending so much of her profit on something that neither increases or decreases her sales... or she might find an uptick in her sales when brand new people discover her art. She won't know for sure until she's tried it. What she is doing now does not work, demonstrably, as she is fighting the pirates to the best of her abilility, yet she doesn't ever seem to achieve the profits that should be coming to her for all that work and investment.

    Personally, I've never heard of her or her movies or her company so the odds that I'll ever give her any money for her product is zero. But if someone shared a DVD of her work with me and I loved it, I would investigate her product and there would be money going from my pocket to hers at some point. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that sharing = word-of-mouth = free PR that PR companies desperately spend mounds of cash to achieve.

     

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  117.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Looked at what she distributs ... could explain why she's a target of piracy.

    Butt pirates?



    ....sorry i had to

     

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  118.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    She would make more money trolling her copyrights.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:23pm

    She's doing it wrong

    On one recent weekend, we removed over 300 links to a newly released title from a U.S. based cyber locker (each link can represent 1000s of downloads). The next day another 180 new links for the same film appeared on the same cyber locker.


    She should ignore the links to the file locker and instead issue the takedown against the file locker itself. When they take it down, all of those links become worthless.

    Just that change alone will get her the same results with a lot less effort and expense. Also, it's more ethical to directly target the infringing content rather than those who are just pointing to the infringing content.

     

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  120.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Is that a fact?

     

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  121.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Tim's questions must have really blown the poor woman's mind. I bet she never thought of it like that and is now frantically trying to justify that waste of money,

     

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    anonymouse, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    Not again!!!!

    If she is only making 60 000 from 100 movies i feel sorry for her, they must really be crap movies especially with them being on all the movie sites that people use, I mean it does not cost anyone anything but time to watch her movies after paying their monthly fee, if she is not making money doing that then there is a much bigger problem than piracy she needs to identify and resolve.

    But hey everyone thinks they should be making more from their content, i am sure there are many movies that have made less than her movies have made, blaming piracy is crazy. I have not seen any of her movies on any of the sites i visit and in fact a lot of the movie covers on her site seem to show that her movies are rather old, not from this last decade that is.
    I would not download any of the movies on her download site, and i would not waste my bandwidth on them by using torrent either. Maybe she needs to accept that her movies have no value to anyone or to very few, maybe she needs to accept that people are watching fewer and fewer movies these days, what with the internet as entertainment that can keep people busy for hours on end.
    I would personally have liked to have seen how she justified the expenditure on fighting piracy, i would have liked to have seen how much difference her spending 30 000 made, and sadly i doubt we will ever hear from her, as she sounds like someone who is just out to blame others for her failure. A pity because as could be seen in many cases techdirt has assisted rather a few movie publishers to find the right path to generate a little or even a lot more wealth.

     

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  123.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

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

    This is just stupid.

    It's listed right there in the above article the myriad legal services she offered her movies on.

    You realize these tropes you spew are like 10 years old at this point and stale now, right?

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

    I have a pondering rumbling around in my head.

    Have you ever noticed that a majority of the DMCA service providers were started by people with links to one of the cartels or subsidiaries? (One would point out the history of Dtecnet currently owned by a LARGE corporations after a couple acquisitions... yet providing really crappy work.)

    Have you considered that maybe to keep the deals she has, they require her to make efforts to make sure there are not places to acquire it without paying the other players? (We get a cut for the music, the band that played it, the composer, a fee for the brand of cymbals, oh you had a logo in your scene, etc etc... is DMCA fee's the newest cash cow?)

    You can join the boy scouts and do all of the work, but you still have to pay to get the merit badge...

     

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  125.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Interesting

    Is she going to mention that her correspondence with Tim is "off record"?

     

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

  126.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    Well, no wonder it takes you so damn long. You're trying to find legal loopholes so you can perjure away!

     

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

  127.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not saying it's impossible. It just seems unlikely.

     

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

  128.  
    identicon
    AB, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:12pm

    "You can join the boy scouts and do all of the work, but you still have to pay to get the merit badge..."

    That nicely describes what I consider the fastest growing problem in today's market place. Not only does everyone want a piece of the pie (that's been true for a long time), they have now come to expect it and get angry when they don't.

     

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  129.  
    identicon
    Beech, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Not again!!!!

    Well, to get technical she said it was half her "profits." So that would mean half her income AFTER paying rent/utilities/salaries/etc. So she's taking half of her NET-income and throwing it after DMCA notices, NOT half of her gross.

    So those 100 movies could all be making millions and she just had a TON of overhead.

    Also, in Hollywood you're lucky if you EVER make a profit on a movie, Hollywood Accounting and what not.

     

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  130.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    "Geez, another fool with the same lame notion that you've a right to double-check this business owner."

    She has the right to publicly claim that piracy costs her millions of dollars in sales and tens of thousands in profits. The public has the right to ask her to prove it. It's astounding that you think the opposite.

     

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  131.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    You're a fool and a puppet. Techdirt is funded by Mike's business, Floor64. Your childish and continuing attempts to redirect the conversation are not just annoying, they are obnoxious in the extreme. Your arguments, when they aren't completely off-base or off-topic, are little more than pedantic whining from an adolescent mentality.

    I urge everyone: STOP REPLYING TO THIS TROLL! He isn't amusing, he isn't informative, and he certainly isn't worth the time to even read, let alone reply to. (Yes, I recognize the irony inherent in this, but this is my last time bothering with ootb.)

     

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  132.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Spectacular job providing any correcting information dude.

     

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  133.  
    icon
    LJW (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:40pm

    It sounds to me like she has a marketing problem. I run across brand new businesses and long existing businesses alike who don't know who their audience is.

    Offering their own VOD service is a great step, but it has to be followed up with some targeted marketing. After all, if there is no market, then they have no business.

    I'm sure they have a business. Markets change, the business has to change to find them. It's likely that fans of her work would market it themselves by sharing with their friends.

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    You, sir, show a remarkable amount of intelligence and flexibility in the current markets. Kudos to you! Now if we had about 100,000 more like you....

     

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  135.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    "The last time I waded through their endless stern warnings about perjury, it took me half a day."

    Here's the short version: Don't lie. For someone with such a strong, unwavering moral compass, this shouldn't have been hard for you to work out.

     

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  136.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    actually not
    The principle arguments against piracy also apply to second hand sales, so they should be as illegal as each other.

    The statement that they should be as illegal as each other is a view I hold, but given that second hand sales are not illegal people seem to have skipped the possibility that I just might perhaps be of the view that neither should what is called piracy.

    I will admit that my tone would suggest that I would not be taking that view but words do matter.
    Might have bought is definitely not the same as would have bought, but insisting that people buy things that they will then regret buying is probably not a good business plan, not for anything other than the immediate short term and carries grave costs over all other terms.
    I don't know how valid an argument it is that people become invested in products that they have bought and then don't know that it necessarily applies to dvds or blurays - but it's not an unheard of opinion - http://thetechblock.com/the-birth-of-a-fanboy/
    So you have to allow at least the possibility.

    Others have already pointed out that it wouldn't be just the individual owner who would knowingly unload a stinker and choose to mislead the purchaser about it's quality.

    So many see what they expect to see in a comment and don't take any time to wonder if it might be perhaps deliberately ambiguous.

     

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  137.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 7:29pm

    Re:

    apparently there are loads of links to download them for free on the internet - according to her anyway

     

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  138.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

    Re: She's doing it wrong

    perhaps more ethical, definitely more sane.

     

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

  139.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 7:37pm

    Re:

    And I am seriously wondering if they want pieces of every pie.

    We often talk about how misguided the 'War on Piracy' seems to be. They create numbers, moral panics, and show how they are being left empty penniless shells... except for as long as its gone on, for as much as they claim to have lost, the simple fact is not one of them has failed.

    Who is making the money in the 'War on Piracy'?

    Not Google, they are being forced to spend huge piles of cash to service the faulty submissions pouring in at an increasing rate.
    Could this just be trying to break Google's will to create a super secret fast track system for the cartel membership?

    Not content creators, they are having to keep up with the Joneses. We see here a small indy having to pay out so much that the business most likely will fold, which would put them and the content on the auction block for pennies on the dollar that one of the majors could scoop up.

    Not the public, media costs have remained pretty much the same despite technology making it possible to deliver infinite copies of the content for pennies.

    What if we've been wrong, the 'War on Piracy' isn't about lost sales, unemployed popcorn farmers, but a handy tool to control competition and another revenue stream.
    You can't go indy, you'll end up paying everything you make to stop piracy of your work... sign here on our contract and we'll protect you. Of course the costs of protecting your work will come out of the small percentage we said we would pay you. Well yes your content did make 500 Million worldwide, but after we paid all of the rights groups in each subdivision of the globe, repaid our advertising loan to you, purchased the rights to the art for your box art, and all of these other fun things your take was 0, oh and then there is this list of fee's you need to pay so in the end you owe us $500. Of course we could roll that debt into your next project funding, I'm sure that one will do much better...
    And someone in the cartel got paid for the piracy fight.
    And someone else in the cartel got a cut of the licensing fees.
    And...

    While we spend all this time focused on the clearly insane ranting of the cartels, did we forget they exist to make money and we've not bothered to follow all of the cents they are skimming out of the numbers at every possible step?

     

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  140.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, you'd think she would mention such a requirement if it were so.

     

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  141.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Not again!!!!

    So she's doing better than Hollywood? A success story!

     

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

  142.  
    identicon
    AB, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 9:31pm

    Re:

    If her work does focus on gay and lesbianism (as one commenter pointed out - I can't be bothered to confirm that) then I'd say her biggest problem is simply changing demographics. As society becomes more tolerant, her films become less controversial which will decrease overall interest and guarantee a severe drop in sales. And let's face it, while gays and lesbians were a hot item 25 years ago they have since become pretty mundane.

     

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  143.  
    identicon
    YKDM, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

    So..

    Unfortunately she is just somebody that has been successful for decades and now cannot adopt to the new environment which has made her bitter and vengeful. But this is not the way to do business and this is not the attitude that is going to take her out of the pit. But she's just living in the past and this is where her beloved company will be if she doesn't change something. It's obvious DCMA letters are not gonna save her. How doesn't she see that is beyond me.

     

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  144.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re:

    I resent that remark.
    Very little about me is mundane.

     

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  145.  
    identicon
    DOlz, Mar 19th, 2013 @ 11:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    Nope, if I wasn't interested enough to see them in the theatre I wasn't going to risk buying them.

     

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

  146.  
    identicon
    balaknair, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    so make up some numbers on your own. That's what'creative' folks would do, as exemplified by the **AAs.

     

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

  147.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 2:06am

    An interesting experiment for her would be to release a film, make an about-face and spend no money on anti-piracy efforts as well as simultaneously uploading it to pirate-bay in perfect quality herself, and simply include a 5 second text reading "if you enjoy the movie, please consider making a donation at http://blahblah"

    It should be easy to see if the sales are unusually and inexplicably low because of the free availability. It'll also be interesting to see if you could actually politely monetize all those "lost sales".

    All carrot, no floggings. How'd that work out? I'm curious.

     

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

  148.  
    icon
    totalz (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 2:44am

    It's stupid for anyone to think a product is "must-have" and "must-buy".

     

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

  149.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 3:02am

    Re: Re:

    That. But I agree with you in a different way. Instead of going after pirates make your content very easily available (as in insert credit card number, click and get it very fast in easy to use formats). Netflix is all about making that laziness work in their favor ;)

     

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  150.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 3:04am

    Re: Re: TIM, you forgot to ask her the most important thing...

    Well, you brought it on yourself with your petty remarks. And if u register and login boom, doubt is gone.

     

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

  151.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 3:06am

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Cushing has no right to the numbers

    If we can't get numbers on how anti-piracy efforts work we can safely and rightfully assume they don't work. That's fine by me.

     

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

  152.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    Re: Re: Not again!!!!

    That $30 000 is overhead also.

    Assuming a 40% corporate tax rate, the number could be actual dollars going out equal to $50 000, or actual cost to her is $18 000.

    Hence Tims' e-mail asking for details.

     

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

  153.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 3:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    The principle arguments against piracy also apply to second hand sales, so they should be as illegal as each other.

    Complete and utter bullshit!

     

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

  154.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Rikuo": Nicely circular logic.

    The principle arguments against piracy also apply to second hand sales

    When the stand against piracy is extended to second hand sales, copyright is being extended from control of copying to control of the copies. It then can be used to make lending, or listening/viewing with a friend also an act of piracy.

     

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

  155.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 4:13am

    Re:

    Been to the website and looked at some of the offered titles and there is maybe just maybe a reason for the 'piracy' of the titles she controls.

    Closeted LGBT people might not exactly want records of these things out there. It doesn't matter how discreetly you package your deliveries in some communities, word can and does get out.
    Then there is this whole rest of the world thing where you can be executed for being LGBT in some places.
    So those people aren't lining up to pay her even $3.99 (if the georestrictions even cover those areas) for fear for personal safety. Oh they can put that on their credit card... except with data mining that can lead to even more problems. They can't tell their friends and we think they'll tell Visa? Credit card companies who raise rates or cut limits if you shop at stores frequented by people who don't pay their bills.

    While these are unique issues, they are still valid for at least some of the consumers.

    One does wonder if there was a way to send a payment to a nondescript company name, if that subset of users would take advantage of it. When your target demographic isn't allowed to be themselves in everyday life, you need to think outside the box a bit more.

    I don't remember how much Dan Bull made with his experiment, but even giving it away on TPB he made the charts.

     

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  156.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's more likely that the relationships these efforts protect are with the producers rather than the distributors. Because of the irrational fear of piracy engrained in the minds of so many content producers, the producers will gravitate to distributors that in their minds act to protect their interests. If she ceases these efforts, they may feel that she is abandoning them and decide to take their content elsewhere for distribution.

     

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  157.  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 6:32am

    Excellent article

    Thanks Tim.

     

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

  158.  
    icon
    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, it's a lot of instances of infringement, but that doesn't mean those instances resulted in lost sales. That's my point, but you missed it because you're tangled in your anti-techdirt agenda and refuse to see the details.

     

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

  159.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re:

    But they haven't become mainstream, and probably never will. There will always be a niche market for this material, and it's a fairly easy (and supportive) group to market to. There's festivals these movies can play at and if you can cross-over into theatre you can build more of an audience, because these issues are mainstream in the world of theatre.

     

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  160.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    At what point does spending more than you're making in return start paying off?

    Let's see, divide by pi, carry the one... hang on, I can get this...

     

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

  161.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: If only DMCA notices were easy to send

    But, if they did, would you find it acceptable that if you filed 6 or more invalid DMCA notices that Google would only then accept snail mail DMCA notices from you from that point forward?

    Snail mail for everything, not just DMCA notices. Six false notices and you don't get to use email any more. After all, the six strikes program doesn't just throttle your connection for copyright infringement, it does it for everything.

     

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  162.  
    identicon
    AB, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed, but that requires adaptation. Like so many others she is relying on the past rather then progressing into the future or even just focusing on the present.

     

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

  163.  
    identicon
    AB, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    True.

     

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

  164.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Perhaps, but the evidence that even this much is true (for nontrivial amounts of growth) is pretty weak.

     

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

  165.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: To Tim it's academic: to her and employees, it's LOST income.

    Ack. I had a reading comprehension failure. Please ignore my comment.

     

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

  166.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Personally I spent over $40k on administrative funds to Nigeria. I should be expecting my big windfall from a disgraced Nigerian prince any day now.

    Anyone who claims otherwise is clearly an idiot who dares to doubt my credibility despite me not citing any supportive sources.

     

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

  167.  
    identicon
    Laura, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Re: Interesting

    I like to believe that she has been ill-advised by her legal team up to now. Most people in the entertainment business rely on their legal team to know what's going on and what is really an acceptable approach.

    Hopefully this exchange has given her a reason to go back to them and discuss how and why this enforcement is being done.

    Like Tim said, there's room for experimenting here and it could very much end up saving Wolfe a lot of money.

     

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

  168.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    Wolfe's target market: gays and lesbians who have a few bucks to spend.

    I am willing to bet money that the people that are downloading these soft core lesbian movies are men in countries or IT departments where mainstream porn sites are blocked, but soft core lesbian porn flies under the radar.  Maybe these films fly under the radar of parental control software.  Maybe it is men who are ashamed and don’t want to actually be attached to anything branded as “porn” on credit card statement that might embarrass them.  Maybe it is gay men who are trying to hide their sexuality.  Perhaps Wolfe’s films has gained a following with these types of people, and so they search for Wolfe’s titles.  I assume a similar thing has happened with Ellen Seidler of popuppirates.com fame and her film “Along Came Lola.”

    I refuse to believe that there are this many users in the core intended audience (gay and lesbian erotic fans with a few dollars to spend) who just flat out don’t want to pay for anything.  It just doesn’t seem like they would behave this way.

    If I were Wolfe I would set up a few honeypot sites to determine where the traffic is coming from.  Then I would try to figure out why they don’t want to buy the legitimate versions directly.  Then I would figure out how I can get these types to pay.  Maybe a separately branded site where payment is discrete.  except for in the case of parental control software I would ask that those companies block searches for my titles).  Maybe for the straight men looking for lesbian porn I would try to send them to something more suited to them (like mainstream straight man porn).
    Parts of the mainstream porn industry has figured all of this type of stuff out a long time ago.  It’s the old lesbians that are, for whatever reason, known for being set in their ways.

    So let’s run through a few possible scenarios from the research and imagine what the outcome might be:

    -Gays and lesbians in repressive countries where homosexuality is illegal or dangerous:
    Offer a discrete website and method of payment and see if sales increase through this channel.

    -Teen boys who have figured out a source of porn that evades parental control:
    Report all movie titles to parental control software vendors so this demographic has a harder time finding pirate copies (and I would not imagine this would increases sales).

    -Gay teen boys who don't have a credit card and can't ask for help to purchase a film because they don't want to be outed: offer alternative payment methods, ensure discrete shipping.

    -People outside the US and Canada with slow bandwidth: figure out which top countries demand is coming from and set up physical distribution there.

    When I visit wolfevideo.com to register I am only given the choice of United States or Canada for countries. However, if I go to the steaming site wolfeondemand.muvies.com I find I can be in any country. If wolfevideo.com linked people outside of the US and Canada to http://wolfeondemand.muvies.com this might help drive paid conversion. However, I am guessing some countries do not have enough bandwidth for a realtime stream, so they must download the film they want to see.

    Why are gay and lesbian movies pirated so much? Which type of movies (gay or lesbian) are being shared, and in what geographical regions? There are just a lot of questions which, if answered and recommendations made and followed, could save thousands of dollars and improve conversion.

     

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

  169.  
    icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Mar 20th, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    Wait! DESERVES a salary?

    Small business owners, no matter how hard they work, do not "deserve" a salary, they earn it if they do it right!
    But here, someone doing nothing useful (well, entertaining people might be "useful", but it is a stretch to say so!) somehow DESERVES a salary?
    What if someone actually does something useful and lasting; should we have a law giving them a salary because "they deserve it"?
    Don't think so, and I think it is outrageous to argue that.

     

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

  170.  
    identicon
    Dan Kaminsky, Mar 21st, 2013 @ 12:00am

    This is pretty facepalm-y.

    You can't just amortize the $30,000 spent across the $60,000 of profits. If there was $10M in sales, the $30K has to be considered against that entire $10M. The graph to imagine is:

    $0 anti-piracy in, $n sales out.
    $30K anti-piracy in, $n+/-y sales out.
    $100K anti-piracy in, $n+/-z sales out.

    Note that the curve doesn't have to be linear (or always increasing/decreasing) but the $30K is the input to whatever sales output she saw.

     

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

  171.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 21st, 2013 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re:

    Another thing...
    "And let's face it, while gays and lesbians were a hot item 25 years ago they have since become pretty mundane."

    Many of the films are dramas focusing on the lives of members of the GLBT community. Other than people pointing out how "gay" Twilight was there aren't exactly a long list of mainstream movies released catering to the demographic. Showing us as more than the best friend hairdresser giving sage advice to the star who can't see the right man is next to her, or laying in a bed slowly dying to as the star gently weeps to show how caring they are.

     

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

  172.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 22nd, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    So how did she make money before the DMCA?

     

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

  173.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 22nd, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Micro-Licensing & Digital Fingerprints Might Be In Order

    Highlighting that many of the 'unofficial/pirate' releases are from their own staff - which is why they won't do it.

     

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

  174.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Mar 22nd, 2013 @ 9:07am

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

    And spending half her profits just to 'convince' some nebulous potential partners still seems a bit extreme. Better to spend 10%, and write it off as marketing...

     

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

  175.  
    icon
    mortal (profile), May 25th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Any new Information - Dialogue

    Did she ever get back to the author on this with more information? I think if she got into a dialogue with the community she could be helped to find a better alternative than paying so much to take down infringing content.

     

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


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