MPAA Claims That Anti-Camcording Effort Made People Go See Spider-Man 3?

from the logic?--in-la-la-land,-we-don't-need-logic... dept

We know that the MPAA is really into trying to stop camcording of movies these days, even though it’s a tiny (and shrinking) problem for the industry, but it’s really a bit bizarre to hear MPAA chief Dan Glickman claim with a straight face that it’s because of these anti-camcording efforts that Spider-Man 3 had such a huge opening. For the type of fans who go out to see such a movie on opening weekend, the download isn’t a substitute. If anything, it’s a complement. Just like when the last Star Wars film came out, fans download the movie, but still want to enjoy the experience of seeing it in the theater with a huge group of other fans. Plus, of course, basic logic should tell you that the camcording crackdown had nothing to do with the large opening. Whoever was doing the camcording couldn’t have done it until the movie opened anyway. On top of that, as soon as one decent camcorded version made it to the net (as at least a few did), then it’s infinitely available and it doesn’t really matter if the industry stopped every other camcording attempt. However, this is the MPAA we’re talking about, and if they can’t get their math right, I guess it’s no surprise that their logic skills are weak as well.

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Comments on “MPAA Claims That Anti-Camcording Effort Made People Go See Spider-Man 3?”

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Mark says:

Audible Sigh

I’ve viewed some of the big movies that were recorded via cam in a theater. Due to the 20 minutes I watched of each of the movies, I’m glad I didn’t pay to see them on the big screen.

I know my taste doesn’t speak for all, but there have been some shite “big” movies the past 7 years.

CamFan says:

Re: Audible Sigh

Did it ever occur to you that part of the negative experience you had with those movies might have been the result of seeing a camcorder copy? Movies, even “shite” ones, always present better on the full size screen.

The size doesn’t necessarily make them better, but clearly, viewing a film meant to be shown on a 40ft wide screen, taped by someone holding a camcorder under his arm is hardly going to provide the same experience.

Julie says:

I'll have what they're having!

I want to live in the same fantasy world as the clowns in charge of anti-piracy efforts at the MPAA and the RIAA! If the movie doesn’t suck, I’ll pay the twelve bucks to go see it in the theater. Movie tickets and DVD rentals are cheap enough that I don’t need to endure watching a third-rate camcordered copy of a movie.

And Mark was right. Most of the so-called hit movies of the last decade have been real shite and not worth the price of admission. Make some good movies and the customers will line up at the movie house door. Or you can keep dishing us out horse trailer crap and then keep whining about movie pirates.

dink says:


Thats a good one. What’s better, *most* Americans believe anything companies tell them. Just listen to any older person talk about how much safer traveling is now due to 9/11. And the exec’s at Enron didn’t do ANYTHING wrong with millions of Americans money… Everyone believes everything, until it gets so big its impossible to believe it anymore. Unfortunately in this case, these stories never get big enough to change the general publics mind…and the MPAA will continue to assume everyone is with them.

P.S. Spider-Man 3 wasn’t anything to write home about. I was forced to see opening weekend because my girlfriend liked the series. It was decent, but not 150million good. It was a huge success, in my opinion, because there weren’t any other blockbuster movies out at the time, not because it was such a awesome movie.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t know of a single person who enjoys watching a cam-corded movie. Sound quality = the suck. Picture quality = the suck. It’s hardly worth downloading and watching because you can’t get it to a decent resolution to play on your TV or projector.

Plus you pick up all the ambient noise like cell phones ringing and audience members coughing.

Some times I think the MPAA is way out of touch with reality. Maybe next week they’ll come out with the discovery that the earth is the center of the universe.

Anonymous Nerd says:

huh that's interesting to hear

MPAA says that anti-camcording boosted SM3 ticket sales?

Yet I was able to watch a good version of SM3 on the internet within 12hours of it’s theatrical release….

Maybe the big ticket sales could have something to do with the fact that everybody is calling this movie the BEST of the trilogy? I mean come on.. VENOM WAS IN THE MOVIE, why wouldn’t people go. That IS Spiderman… Venom!

I love stupid people….

Fluffy McNutter says:

The context is very very odd and out of place.

This is probably the weirdest article I’ve read in a long time. It makes me question the underlying motives of the release.

I am going to guess that this was just a part of some sort of leveraged strategy on MPAAs part. It seemed like this was more of a public “Thank you” to whoever helped get that camming law passed.

The MPAA must be getting ready to make another ask. In any case, grab your knees, and get ready to loose more consumer rights!


dsterbd says:

f the cam corded movies

f the camcorder movie version, I usually just download the high quality version before the movie hits the big screens. Why would I wait for someone to make a crappy camcorder version after the movie is already out???? seems pretty stupid to me, kind of like the MPAA. Do they really think people still watch cam-corded movies? Do they really think their own movies suck so bad that the only way people will go and watch them is if they crack down on the two people who still try to cam cord them? Im sure the good turn out has nothing to do with the quality of the movie and all of the people who really want to see it in theaters. movie turn out is obviously directly proportional to the amount of people cam cording it. That must be why people don’t go see really sucky movies, because more people must cam-cord those. As usual, Great Job MPAA you all are some real smart m***** f******!!!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Wtf are you talking about Ric?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That basically says you can’t be searched in your home if they don’t have a good reason. It has literaly nothing to do with camcorders and movies.

Pir8 Wench says:

To those claiming cams are dead, I beg to differ. I still dl cams regularly along with many thousands of other pirates (to say nothing of the millions getting them on DVD in Asia — they don’t just use high quality dvd rips you know). I don’t care about the quality, I care about free. I want everything, I want it free, and I want it now. 0-day. 0-sec. Theater experience? Pft. Sticky floors, talking, cell phones, babies whining, the sound way too loud… no thanks. I’d rather get a shitty cam and watch free, with a few muffled sounds that get through on the recording. If I want a social experience, I’ll go to a party or a bar.

whatever pir8wench says:

Re: U dont get it

why would you donwload a shitty cam copy, where there is almost always a higher quality copy available of the same movie?? I guess it makes sense if you really like shitty quality in general. or maybe since you seem kind of cheap,and are just concerned about “free” it makes sense you probably have dial up, so maybe it is because you can get the shitty cam copy downloaded faster over 56Kbps?? camcopys are dead or at least really dying…. sorry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: U dont get it

“Why would you donwload a shitty cam copy, where there is almost always a higher quality copy available of the same movie”

People are retards if they think cam jobs are the ONLY releases. There are often DVD screeners, both DIVX rips or full DVD rips plus a shit load of other copies varying in quality.

I think this myth is perpetuated by the MPAA and the masses suck it up their arseholes like God told them it was true.


SailorRipley says:

Re: Re: Re: U dont get it

(Disclaimer: in general, I pay for stuff I watch, either by going to the theater or by renting/buying the DVD)

It’s convenient to be an AC when you’re talking out of your ass…

People are retards if they think cam jobs are the ONLY releases

“Cam jobs” usually are the only releases when a movie hits the theaters, it’s only later on, closer to the DVD release, that DVD screeners, (closely followed by the full retail DVD) become available.

The only accurate part of your post is that said (later) releases are available as full DVD rips. The vast majority is also available as XviD rips, not as DIVX.


The feeling is very mutual

Tashi says:

I downloaded Spiderman 3 a couple weeks before it came out, and I went to see it on the big screen anyway. The MPAA just doesn’t get it.

BTW, I was in SE Asia in 1998 and yeah the DVDs were questionable. Low light, crap sound. But in those 9 years, some, not all mind you reproduce copies with some pretty damn stunning clarity. I have one guy I go to regularly and he hasn’t let me down in 4 years. He guarantees his dvds. If I ever have a problem I can return them, which Best Buy or others won’t even do. BTW none of my friends, not a single one buys legitimate dvds in Asia. They are 100% pirated.

But here’s the thing. I’m not a fan of piracy. I’m a fan of movies. That’s what the MPAA doesn’t get. If I had around $30 grand lying around I’d tear up my basement and put in a mini theatre. One day I will. But until then I have to put up with theatres to get a real theatre experience. So instead of worrying about piracy, how about putting your heads together with stuios and theatre chains on how to create a better movie going experience and get me in there more often. Disney theme parks has a 70% retention rate. 70%! They have an extremely anal focus on customer service and attention to detail. Take a clue from Disney’s playbook instead of just looking at the bottom line and lining your own pockets with an outdated business model.

FYI, by the time the Venom comics came out I stopped reading Spiderman. So I was into Spiderman way before Venom. They went to that storyline too soon IMHO. Yeah everybody was clamoring for Venom, but there’s Shocker, Scorpian, Kraven the Hunter, Medusa, Blackcat, etc. etc. Spiderman existed way before Venom, and Venom being in the movie didn’t fix all the problems with it. It’s not a bad movie by any means, but best in the series? I’d say it’s the worst. But I’d still pay to see it, even after the fact.

My last point. I’ve dabbled in filmmaking. It is a bloated overpriced process. Hollywood could easily reduce the cost of making movies, even blockbusters like Spiderman IF they really wanted to.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Back it up

Hi Paul,

Always nice to hear from you, as you always post something vehemently anti-Techdirt.

Can you back up your statement about “camming” being a “shrinking problem” or are you just talking out of your ass as always?

We pointed earlier to research about how camcorded movies are increasingly a minor issue, as most leaks that you find online are actually leaks from insiders at the studios. I’ll let you do the search for it, since you seem to like hanging out here so much…

Buzz (profile) says:


I knew very well that I could pirate the entire movie probably within 24 hours of its release (or maybe even before it was released). However, the experience of going to the theater with my wife/friends and seeing the movie on a big screen with good sound blows piracy out of the water.

Paul, there is plenty of evidence to back up that claim. Back in the day, many people took camcorders in order to increase the distribution rate in various regions of the country. Now, many movie pirates have retired since the Internet propagates one good copy to the whole world via YouTube and various torrent sites. I suggest you show us evidence that theater movie recording is in fact a growing problem.

PopeRatzo says:

Every summer blockbuster season, I hope this is the year we get one step closer to a total collapse of the entertainment industry. If it takes China and a bunch of teenage pirates to take it down, so be it.

If Hollywood never makes another massive special effects extravaganza, I won’t shed a single tear.

The innovators, the creative people, will figure out a way to get their work before an audience, and they’ll figure out how to get paid for it. The current system is so out of whack that nothing can save it. Anybody who’s old enough to remember the great independent movies of the 70s can tell you that the Age of the Blockbuster hasn’t brought us better movies, just more expensive disappointments. Like the music industry, Hollywood cannot be saved.

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