Blockbuster Says Choice Would Eliminate Counterfeit Movies
from the still-won't-happen... dept
The head of Blockbuster Video in the UK believe he has an easy way for the movie industry to wipe out a large percentage of the unauthorized copying of movies: release all movies in all formats in all locations at the same time. That is, put it out in the theaters, on DVD/VHS and on the internet all around the world at the same time. Obviously, this would benefit Blockbuster, giving them access to movies when they get the most publicity, but the idea really does make some sense. While some people want the counterfeit or downloaded movies because of the lower price, there is also a large component of it being people who just want to watch the movie in the easiest way possible. If the industry provided that at a reasonable price, plenty of people would pay. The folks who are only looking for free aren’t likely to bother anyway, but if people can be convinced to have a regular Netflix-style subscription plan, and the movies are available immediately, then there isn’t much of a reason to go after the unauthorized versions. The industry, of course, recoils in horror at the thought, believing that if DVDs/internet versions of movies come out at the same time as in the theater, no one will ever go to the theater. This is, of course, wrong. Certainly, some people will prefer to watch at home — and that’s their choice. Giving them what they want means it’s more likely that they’ll actually spend something on the movie instead of just letting it go away. However, for many people, going to the movies is a social experience. You get a group of people together and go out to the movies and enjoy it on a bigger screen with a better sound system than you have at home. If the industry worked on making the theater-going experience more enjoyable then more people would go to the movies. It’s not just about the content, but the overall experience. The fact that the industry still doesn’t realize this is somewhat surprising.