Hollywood Continues To Make Up Facts; AP Continues To Parrot Them

from the evidence-please? dept

So, the MPAA’s latest target for crackdowns on camcording appears to be India. You may remember that it went through a series of questionable claims about camcording in Canada and the US, where if you looked at the math, none of it added up. Apparently, the same thing is happening in India and the reporters at the Associated Press don’t feel the need to investigate bogus Hollywood numbers. In this AP report about the MPAA’s new “crackdown” on camcording in India, the reporter says that camcording is to blame for 90% of “pirated” movies:

A year in the making, the coalition to fight film piracy in India will work with movie theaters to crack down on camcorder piracy — the source of 90 percent of all pirated DVDs — with police to tighten enforcement, with Internet service providers to fight Internet piracy and with politicians to create more effective laws.

With these big professional reporters, you might think they would try to fact check a claim like “90% of all “pirated” DVDs come from camcorded movies.” They might have trouble doing that, because the actual research suggests something quite different. A study that we wrote about a few years ago found otherwise. Specifically, it found that “77% appear to have been leaked originally by industry insiders.”

But, of course, we need to save the AP, because they do real fact checking, right?

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Comments on “Hollywood Continues To Make Up Facts; AP Continues To Parrot Them”

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Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: seriously?

Also, it seems that it is difficult for people to secure the best seats. Sometimes it is recorded from the sides. The result is that the projection screen appears as a trapezoid that doesn’t fit the camcorder viewfinder.

Other funnies:
– when subtitles appear, and the dude needs to quickly aim the camcorder down to get them in his frame
– people talking around the camcorder
– people walking in front of the camera
– terrible sound quality for the entire duration
– shaky cam holding
– double shaky cam when b/hollywood uses a “handheld effect” and so does the camcorder guy. Could these cancel each other out?
– the guy needs to keep the camera discreet, so lowers it when an usher comes around

I’ve seen one of these movies at a friend’s house in Spain. I saw all the problems above by 20 minutes into the movie. I stopped watching, and rented the film at Blockbuster when I got back home.

Watching a film involves two expenses: the price, and my time. The price of free was acceptable, but I am not willing to spend 2 hours of my time on so poor an experience.

In fact, I almost think Hollywood should seed bittorrent with camcorder versions…people would rapidly learn to avoid the poor quality methods of getting content!

Another User says:

Re: Re: seriously?

That is a great idea. If Hollywood would just release all of there movies online for free at a much lower resolution then it may even bring more people to buy the movie due to wanting to see it in much better quality. There are many movies that go through theaters that I never see nor do I rent but being able to see a lower quality free version may change my mind.

The Mighty Buzzard says:

Re: Re:

Speakers too. It’s trivial to turn a small speaker into a microphone.

Plus there’s a long history of guitarists using their ears to violate the songwriters’ copyrights by making a copy in their brains and then their fingers to reproduce the work publicly. We should probably get rid of ears and fingers too.

Flakey says:

Camcords are laughable

As usual numbers are convenient when they support what you want to present and particularly damning when they don’t and you’re wanting to sweep them under the carpet. This is the problem with numbers when it comes to the protection industries.

Camcords were never something desired for downloading. Almost anyone I’ve talked to sort of snickers at the questionable “quality” of a camcord. I suppose it’s alright if you’ve no objection to the shadow of someone standing up during the movie or the lack of any quality sound. Even the image itself is not very good in these days of high definition.

When the RIAA and calhoots were in the process of trying to get the anti-piracy measure of making it illegal to camcord in Canadian theaters, why the total of illegal camcords coming out of Canada and out of New York were better than 100%. I guess my high school math failed to teach me proper mathematics as I learned 100% was all of anything and there was no more. Yet I learned from the RIAA and calhoots, that’s not true. You can have more than 100% of anything…who knew?

It amazes me the lengths that facts will be stretched out of proportion to support a stance and even more that time after time it is proven that the news reporters no longer write the news. They get it from the corporate feeds and claim it news. I often wonder if there are any lights on in the news room anymore. There sure doesn’t appear to be anyone in the news fact checking room remaining because it looks like most have fired them in the interest of cutting costs.

PEBKAC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Camcords are laughable

Cahoots from California?

Doesn’t India have its own rather booming movie industry? I could be mistaken, but don’t they also have rather stringent rules for what’s allowed to be shown in films (regarding nudity, swearing, etc.)? So US films (some) would be harder to see in the first place, possibly resulting in a thirst for bootlegs…but US movies might not be even permitted to be shown and hence camcorded if they’re found to be violating those rules…

Whatever. India has internet too. Camcording is hardly the easiest way to obtain unauthorized copies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Camcords are laughable

>>What are calhoots?

Calhoots is shorthand for a famous sorority that is primarily made up of students attending the Univ Southern California Film School. Being a new soririty, The Calhoots House is actually not on Sorority Row. It is across the street from a well known wing shack, hence the name “CalHoots”.

Calhoots has a recent problem of people sneaking camcorders in, and patrons not buying wings…

Joe says:


Ok – not to defend the MPAA which, as Mike says, is somewhat math challenged at the best of times, but from my reading, I think they are talking specifically about dvd’s found in markets. I’ve gone through many many Indian and Chinese markets and seen loads of Hollywood (and I’m sure Bollywood) films that were just burned from a cam and then place a photocopied cover on them. (as an aside, the mangled plot synopses on the back of them were better than many of the movies).

Given that microcosm, I think that, yah – a huge number of them are pirate cams. Probably not 90% but definitely up there. I think this is actually a result of the international release windows as much as anything else. But given the huge amount of piracy, is Bollywood suffering? Aren’t they making 10x the amount of films that Hollywood puts out?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Couldn’t the quality of the recording be considered fair use, at least if you weren’t attempting to profit from it, obviously.

What happens, in the future, when you can resample a movie to make it look like a stylish animation? Add some artistic flair to the whole thing through a computer program?

“Our live-action 100GB-esque blockbuster movie is being stolen! What do you mean the live-action element has been replaced by animation? The voice acting replaced by HawkingVoice 4.0 and the end file size is only 13MB? That’s not fair! They’re stealing from us”

Anonymous Coward says:

Look to the Inside Hollywood.

If someone were to say, download movies online, every once in a while they might find a movie that has text pop in every 15 minutes or show saying something like “This release for Award consideration proposes only, Copyright blah blah blah”. Yeah, that wasn’t leaked by someone in the film industry at all! The same people who cry about piracy taking away from the “common film workers”.

Richard (profile) says:

I for one support the MPAA in cracking down on the horrendous trade in camcorded movies. I wish them all the best at removing this blight from the world. And think of all the extra benefits that will come of it. No more will you download a movie, only to be disappointed that your “dvdrip” was really a “shonky cam”.
Although this reminds me of an article I read last night about people recording live concerts. They spend the entire concert with their phone in the air, looking at the concert through the tiny screen. In one case, the girl spent the entire concert facing 90 degrees away from the performer, because she was recording the big screen. I just can’t imagine that you’re getting the “full experience” watching an event through your phone, or in this case, a camcorder. Does that mean that Joe Pirate then goes back and buys another ticket, just so he can actually watch the movie properly?

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