Hollywood Threatens To Stop Selling DVDs In Spain In A Push To Increase Unauthorized File Sharing?

from the confused dept

Robert Ring points us to the news that Hollywood studios are now threatening to stop selling DVDs in Spain, and are blaming “piracy.” Specifically, Michael Lynton, of Sony Pictures, the guy who insists that nothing good has come from the internet, is claiming:

“Spain is on the brink of no longer being a viable home-entertainment market for us.”

I’m really curious how Lynton keeps his job when his response to a market challenge is to leave the market entirely, shifting the unauthorized rate from whatever it is all the way up to 100% by choice. This is the same guy who claimed that the internet was killing the movie business, in the midst of a year with more movie releases than ever before and the largest box office take ever. He’s also in charge of the company that wouldn’t even support one of its own movies for the Oscars because it was afraid that the Oscar reviewer copies would end up online, even though the movie was already available for download.

This is a CEO who seems to want to blame everyone else for his own failures in giving people a reason to buy. He’s blaming the internet when the real issue is his own inability to figure out how to provide scarce value that people want to pay for. I can’t imagine how the board meetings go: “Hey, so how are you capitalizing on this massive increase in movie interest?” “Ah, well, we’re dropping out of markets because the kids download.” How do you manage to lead a company when your response to a boom in interest in your business is to take away one of the reasons to buy and then to blame the people who want your product? It’s astounding.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Hollywood Threatens To Stop Selling DVDs In Spain In A Push To Increase Unauthorized File Sharing?”

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40 Comments
Hephaestus (profile) says:

Question

Why dont the studios set up RedBoxes type units at groceries and a netFlix instant access for movies online? Then they could compete with infringing material. Mix that with the laws on the books and people might actually pay if its being offed at a fair vaule. Use an Amiee street type of model to determine fair value. Start at 25 cents and make the price fluctuate up and down based on demand.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Question

“They want the public to pay for shiny plastic discs at an average price of $14.99. “

Yes and this goes back to about 80 years of monopoly, entitlement, and corporate bureaucracy. The corporate bureaucracy trying to make money short term is one of the biggest problems. Windows and wanting to maintain the profits will kill the TV and Movie industry. They already have two examples of what is to come, South Korea, and Spain. This is history, this is fact, this is what will happen in other countries ACTA or not.

You know they should hire me and give me a real budget for a year and I will give them a new set of revenue streams.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Question

“They don’t want to compete. “

What competition I dont think there is a redbox or equiv in spain. At 2000-4000 USD per box, 200-400 movies per box, figure a 30% rental rate. With 200 DVDs thats $60 USD per day, $4000 USD per box, 66.67 days for each box to pay for itself. Even with location rental thats less than 3 months to recoup the investment.

Now lets go and build a P2P style boxee for video downloading. P2P to keep the infrastructure, server, and hosting costs down. Once a movie is out on the Spain Boxee it gets distro’d P2P and never downloads from the servers at corporate unless its not out in the wild (P2P land, Spin Boxee) or there is high demand. Cloud hosting of media reduces infrastructure costs. Encryption is easy so encrypt each spain boxee with a different set of keys. Dont worry about piracy because its going to happen no matter what you do.

Done …

COEmoney says:

Re: Question

well that would make sense..
Its just that the CEO’s are paid all that $$$ to not think .
They have mastered the technique keep their head sooo far up their own a$$ that they are now masters at it – this alone is worth big $$$$ – run a company – keep up with technology –

ha ha small potatoes …

Svante Jorgensen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Question

I’m waiting for this.

Why can’t I download and watch any movie I want instantly? The technology is available, why pretend that it doesn’t exist?

With a high speed Internet connection this has been possible for years.
high speed ‘net + torrent client + torrent search engine = all the movies you could ever want, before you can buy them on DVD/BluRay.
Hell, you can even set up a RSS feed for a release reviewing site like http://www.rlslog.net and be notified every time a new movie is released, so you don’t even have to stay up to date with the newest movies.

The only drawback is that there is no easy way to support the people who make the movies you like. The studios have made that practically impossible, DVD’s/Theaters or not.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

And another thing ...

” How do you manage to lead a company when your response to a boom in interest in your business is to take away one of the reasons to buy and then to blame the people who want your product? It’s astounding.”

Some one should tell this idiot that if he does this there is no going back. Once people become acustomed to downloading they wont stop even if there is a non-infinging alternative. Nothing good will come of this “I am taking my marbles and going home” attitude.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: And another thing ...

“Some one should tell this idiot that if he does this there is no going back.”

I’m not sure he even actually has to follow through, I think this effect might already be done simply because of the threat.

Think about it. You’re on a basketball court playing with a bunch of people, and the guy who owns the ball keeps getting fouled by a bully. He pisses and moans, but the bully doesn’t stop. So the guy threatens to leave and take his ball with him. What do you do?

I’ve been on that playground, and I can tell you that w/o fail EVERY time that scenario happens, all the people that WEREN’T the bully tell the kid to shut the fuck up and leave. We can find another ball. Or we can play something else. YOU aren’t going to hold us ALL hostage.

Half the time the threat was enough to get US to kick THEM out….

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: And another thing ...

“So the guy threatens to leave and take his ball with him”

“tell the kid to shut the fuck up and leave.”

“YOU aren’t going to hold us ALL hostage.”

Thats the short version … and a really good point. But I go back to something that keeps getting drilled into my head by various people “Follow the money”.

Who is this going to benefit? (ACTA legislation, lobbying efforts)
Who is it going to hurt? (retailers, renters)
Is there a behind the scenes reason for this? (or just stupidity or a bluff)

Any ideas on my 3 questions

NAMELESS.ONE says:

lets see

if they just stopped everywhere then it might work BUT ya know it would backfire as the hardware makers get annoyed and ya know what this does folks
REALLY DO YOU

it creates a market for whats already out there
and it creates the HOME USER SCI FI MOVIE MAKING KIT
on sale now at kmart
only 99999.99

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s so difficult for people in Spain to cross a border and buy their DVDs from another country, right? Or buy online from a private seller on Amazon, if for some reason, the DVD they want isn’t available directly for purchase brand-new from Amazon. In a connected world, Sony isn’t going to be able to stop consumers in Spain from buying DVDs – or keep them from downloading the movies off BitTorrent.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

Hey, he's a CEO. You were expecting intelligence?

Quick – name a CEO in any of the major media companies who actually can use a PC to get work done, download a multimedia file of any type and watch it, or who can speak in anything other than a high-pitched whine about how those dirty, filthy consumers are doing them in by downloading their vastly overpriced, essentially valueless crapola for free? Didn’t think you could!

This idiot, like all of his idiot contemporaries, has a feeling of entitlement that will never be satisfied, and will keep grabbing for more money for increasingly less value, no matter how unjustifiable, stupid, or irrational. Let him whine and squeal like the tantrum-throwing child he essentially is, so that the rest of the world may be amused by him, perhaps throwing him a sweet treat once in a while, so as to encourage repeat performances. He will eventually get his golden parachute, and Sony will hire a clone of him and repeat the same trail of mistakes. Unfortunately, in the C-Suite gene pool, it has gotten very, very shallow, and it now appears that a form of devolution is well underway.

I haven’t bought any overpriced Sony garbage in either media or hardware for many years, having learned my lesson very long ago. They have been resting on their self-awarded laurels for so long that they have no hope of ever adjusting to reality, and when they are gone, nobody with an ounce of sense will miss them.

Shoo, Sony! Shoo! Begone!

There they go!

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe I’m giving them too much credit, but I doubt they really have any intention of pulling out of a national market. This is just a PR stunt, a veiled threat against legislators in the country. It’ll get brought up in congressional talks as a club (big industry wants to leave our country!) to try to push through the legislation that they want.

Daemon_ZOGG (profile) says:

"Hollywood Threatens To Stop Selling DVDs In Spain.."

And when you through in the ever-changing, flip-flopping laws on (torrents) filesharing in Spain….
Ok kids, time to dust off the in-car WiFi proxy servers, tighten up the SSH config files, and fire up your favorite torrent apps! Lets go war-driving for movies! I’m sure there’s plenty of WiFi locations to tunnel through in Spain. Especially the ones with the default router password still intact. Right! };)

Another anonymous coward? says:

Who buys Sony anyway

I haven’t bought anything Sony for years. Even before the rootkit fiasco their proprietary money grasping ways with Memory Sticks, PS region coding etc. pissed me off enough to say goodbye to them forever. I have a pretty good home entertainment system without one Sony component and not a single Sony product gets bought to play on it. Fuck ’em.

PaulT (profile) says:

I currently live in Spain and buy plenty of legally produced DVDs…

…from the UK, where it’s usually cheaper to import their DVDs than buy from Spanish sources. Also, thanks to the famously atrocious postal system, a Netflix-style system has not appeared for rentals and streaming services are conspicuous by their absence.

Of course, it’s those evil “pirates” rather than the industry’s hopeless attempts to rip consumers off and pretend it’s still 1996 that’s causing their problems…

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