I agree with you about how hard the entertainment industry has made it to pay them. Living in Australia, it is really difficult to do the so-called right thing when it comes to watching TV and movies.
In Australia, movie tickets cost the equivalent of $20USD and more and satellite TV is monopolized by one company, FOXTEL, that shows episodes that are outdated. One show I'm following is currently airing its third season in the US but there is still no legal way to watch the second season in Australia.
Finally, there is no decent On-Demand service like Netflix or Hulu. The Netflix equivalent has a terrible selection of content, poor customer service, lousy quality and is overpriced. All other On-Demand services seem geared to exploiting the money off customers, by forcing exorbitant fees or subscriptions to satellite TV.
This is just Australia, a country that the entertainment industry at least has an eye on. Goodness knows how the situation is like in the rest of the world that is often ignored by the industry. It's little wonder that the highest piracy rates come from developing countries. When I was studying in the US, I had little need for piracy because I could watch a majority of things in affordable, convenient and legal ways such as Netflix or on the official websites. Now, I can hardly imagine possibly watching anything current without the help of copyright infringers.
I agree. Disney may have shady, disagreeable corporate tactics, but they're pretty good in storytelling, especially recently. Avengers and Pixar movies also prove they can take a hands-off approach with non-native franchises.
Star Wars has been in a rut for a while now, and, while I loved the prequels, fantasy movie-making has improved drastically since Episode III aired. This is actually a great chance for Star Wars to be epic again.
Although I was shocked that a corporate monster like Disney is taking reins of Star Wars, I must concede to their movie-making capabilities and I think the future of Star Wars has not shined as brightly for a while now.
I fully agree with the claim that Hollywood movies are over-budgeted and often much of that budget doesn't show.
I was just wondering if, in a future focused more on lower budgets and better storytelling in films, there is a place for movie genres that traditionally rely on special effects, namely fantasy and sci-fi. I remember reading an article recently that TV studios are afraid of experimenting with sci-fi shows such as Star Trek because costs are prohibitive. That's why we see lots of sitcoms because they're cheaper to produce.
Are there any examples of good fantasy or sci-fi movies/TV shows made on smaller budgets?
"It doesn't really matter what word you want to use. I'm not going to spend $100m on a new movie if everyone and their brother are going to "share" their copy with their 7 billion close friends. Nor will anyone except a few loons with $100m to waste.
Copyright is essential for sharing development costs. If people can't reliably invest in a project with any hope of controlling how it's monetized, only rich spendthrifts will be artists. We'll be stuck with a bunch of cat videos on YouTube and some self-published screeds about who knows what."
I admit I'm not an economics or accounting expert, but Kickstarter at least shows that multi-million dollar projects are possible purely through crowd-funding.
Besides, isn't copyright infringement already rampant despite the existing (and increasingly draconian) laws? Yet, movies still recuperate their costs most of the time and are very profitable. I'd always argue that people who would put up with horrible camera-recorded movie files or poor quality leaked ones are really unlikely to pay for a ticket anyway, the cinema experience just isn't worth it to them.
That link is a great read! I have one question about this excerpt from that article you linked:
"Copyright is a privilege that means the holder has been given the ability to suspend your right to copy IF THEY WANT TO (but in exchange they pay the hefty attorney fees). If the holder has no issue with an infringement of their privilege then they simply do nothing, (e.g. if they really like what someone has done with their work.) This is why copyright infringement is not wrong, not even illegal."
Is it true that copyright infringement, when not suspended by holders, can be presumed to be acceptable? Not sure if I phrased that right, but I'm talking about situations when copyright infringement is silently ignored due to a mutual interest in promoting the product (such as anime subbing). The copyright holders can't officially condone it, but they don't say anything about it either.
A sad thing I have noticed is that often times when people say it's "wrong" to do something, what they really mean is that it's "illegal". I literally had someone tell me that he knew it was "wrong" to rip DVDs and circumvent the DRM on them, which was awkward because it didn't seem like a big deal to him. I guess what he really meant was that it was illegal.
Even discounting the fact they usually only offer digital copies in premium, over-priced packages, or the fact that these digital copies are poor low-res substitutes of the stuff you get in the Blu-rays themselves, the fact of the matter is that these digital copies are still DRM-protected. As such, I can only play them on a number of approved media players. They don't really seem like proper products in themselves, just a small bone the media companies decide to throw to shut detractors up.
It's a rather poor substitute for ripping your own Blu-rays.
You're right of course. The sad thing is that these restrictions, as the Techdirt community has always pointed out, do more to harm than encourage business. I currently live in Australia, but spent a few years in the United States. So often, I wanted to get DVDs only to be discouraged, knowing that the region lockout on my laptop would prevent me from enjoying said DVDs in Australia. I also wanted to gift digital music to my friends, but I couldn't because they didn't reside in the US.
It's like they didn't want my money at all.
On the other hand, something like Mojang's Minecraft was free from these regional rubbish, so I happily bought a copy for my sister and would gift it to any of my close friends who would want it. The fact that they ALLOWED my to pay them ensured they got my money.
It's been said far too often, the reason copyright infringement is so rampant is because they offer a superior product (DRM-free) at a price (free) that people can afford.
It's unbelievable that entertainment companies advertise their "licensing" as "buying" when, according to them, it is nothing like buying. When I "buy" a TV show on iTunes, nowhere, except in a super-long Terms of Service that I clicked on more than a year ago when I first installed iTunes, am I told that I am merely "licensing" it and that circumvention of their DRM goes against their terms. Same goes for DVDs and Blu-rays; I have to squint to find that clause that says that I am merely "licensing" it for "home use only".
Why do they continue to mislead the public into thinking that they own what they paid for, instead of telling them straight on that they're just licensing it? It would be more sincere and forthcoming to replace that "BUY" button in the iTunes window with "LICENSE".
How on Earth can cases and situations be arbitrarily decided as legal or illegal every 3 years? That means that tons of products produced within a span of 3 years may be perfectly legal then but suddenly become illegal due to a random change in the law? Why take something people have been doing for a while now, something that people have taken for granted as legal such as ripping DVDs, and suddenly make it illegal?