Once Again NY Expands 'Anti-Piracy' Laws Based On No Evidence

from the but-of-course dept

You may recall a few years ago that the MPAA totally made up numbers about how big a “problem” camcording was in New York (if you added up their percentages, it came out that significantly more than 100% of all worldwide camcorded movies came from NY and Canada). But, it’s not like New York politicians pay attention to the actual facts. After all, we’re talking about the same folks who basically took an NBC Universal propaganda video and pretended it was their own. So, of course, the “anti-camcording” law passed.

As always, however, stricter laws are never enough for the folks at the MPAA and the RIAA. When those laws fail to change anything, rather than realizing that maybe (just maybe) they should be helping their member studios & labels adapt to the changing times, they instead focus on ratcheting up the laws even more. So, the news that New York has “expanded” its anti-bootlegging law to now include other forms of storage, including hard drives, flash drives and memory cards, is not surprising. It seems that bootleggers in New York were actually changing with the times (while the labels were not), and had moved on from selling bootlegs on discs.

Still, I really have to wonder if the “bootleg” trade is as big a problem as the industry likes to make it out to be. Considering all of this stuff is available online, who’s really walking down Canal Street buying a hard drive of bootleg music these days?

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Comments on “Once Again NY Expands 'Anti-Piracy' Laws Based On No Evidence”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 8th, 2011 @ 11:00pm

[I]If you have to litigate your business model into survival, you are an utter failure.[/I]

I hear there are some shops in Italy that don’t want to pay the local security people every month and they’re trying to actually get laws enforced against what they’re calling a “protection racket.” What idiots. Total failures, all of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 8th, 2011 @ 11:00pm

This is a fallacy. Yes corporations (who do terrible things like employ people and pay taxes) are entitled to the protection of the law, but so are independent movie makers, performers, songwriters,photographers, even app writers (see story last week about people ripping off ipad apps). The rule of law benefits everyone.

el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 8th, 2011 @ 11:00pm

Corporations are a disease on the modern world. They are sociopathic creatures whose only goal is to make money and to consolidate their power. The grumblingly pay the least amount of taxes that they can’t loophole though and when times get tough have no qualms of firing employees en masse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Aug 8th, 2011 @ 11:00pm

Your analogy is a failure.

Unlike your example, piracy in general could be lessened if the entertainment industries would actually listen to and serve their markets, but they refuse to do so.

Nearly 2 decades ago, the music industry chose to litigate their stagnating business model instead of adapting or co-opting the ideas and models of such as Napster. Talk about lost sales.

They spent money to sue instead of earn. That is failure on an epic scale.

They are unable, and worse, unwilling to compete because dependence upon IP enforcement has made them lazy, stupid, weak, and mean.

Anonymous Coward says:

There WAS, I don’t know what it looks like now, a pretty big market for brand new iPods loaded with your choice of music genre on e-bay. You could buy a “NEW” iPod packed with music for about $20 over MSRP. I think e-bay started cracking down on that, since the auctions actually listed the artist’s/Albums that were included on the iPod.

I’ve seen my share of bootleg MP3 CD sellers at local flea markets. (Entire artist’s catalog on 1 or 2 CDs’ as MP3’s) No hard drives or thumb drives. Yet….

This is not as far fetched as you may believe. $75 USB external hard drive with 60 movies on it for $100. Sounds about right. $25 a pop profit for just copy/paste work.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And why do offers like that have to be illegal? I buy hard drives all the time, and I would love it if they came pre-loaded with movies. So here’s a market demand that the MPAA/RIAA are deliberately saying they don’t want to sell to.
Yep, Mike is right. Not adapting to the times and actually trying to give your customers what they want would equal a death sentence for any other business.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s great to be able to sell them for $20 since they didn’t have to pay anything to get the movies made

Does the $20 go to the artists, director, writer, etc., or does 99% of it go to the distributor and get dumped into Hollywood accounting? Why does the movie cost $20 when the distributors say that most of the cost is in distribution and they aren’t paying the cost for medium. Seems like the cost is a little unreasonable given that the cost to the distributor is far less. If the $20 was going to make more movies, it would seem like a good idea, but with the money disappearing into hookers and blow, no thanks. (Then again, even though the trolls will say otherwise, my choice is, and has been to go without then to contribute to illicit activities of hookers and blow.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, it does a great disservice to our beloved flea markets for you to accuse vendors (must be all vendors) serving up the piracy you may or may not have truly witnessed.. Ok new laws come streaming in on the bases entirely from comments like yours. MPAA and RIAA will hire you to secretly video tape these people I’m sure. America the Beautiful, Innocence long gone.. Presumption of, that is.

Anonymous Coward says:

External Hard Drive/Thumb Drive manufacturers could use it as an incentive to buy their drives. Cross promotion at it’s purest. Buy our 8gb USB thumb drive, get Super-8 for free. Buy our new 1TB Hard Drive, get 3 free movies.

Actually, the studios should be thinking about this now (Patent Pending) delivery method. They’ll have to license it with me, but I think they can afford my fees, even with their losses in the billions. I’ll cut them a break, and write it off as charity.

Just John (profile) says:

Funny story

If they think this is bad, I could recount my visit to Malaysia. I went to the market, and there were a few stands selling DVD’s, CD’s, etc.

The assortment of CDs were amazing. They even included the full jeweled cases, cover art, the works. It would have been difficult to point out the fakes, which I think probably all were.

The key defining factor in figuring out that the merchandise was fake was when you started examining artists, and you found compilation albums that were never made, albums that do not exist. But hey, the music was exactly what the covers said, so at least they were good quality fakes (And yes they worked, just be careful buying PlayStation games, because if you don’t have the mods, they will fail).

Analoglife (profile) says:

“Considering all of this stuff is available online, who’s really walking down Canal Street buying a hard drive of bootleg music these days?”

Are you kidding? Bootlegs are sold on the streetcorner in every neighborhood. Yes its a problem. The business model of the studios is pay lots of artists and technicians and financiers and everyone’s lawyer, and then sell the product for a few years and turn a profit. The business model in bootlegging? Steal it, move it, and move on. You don’t need many stats to know where that wind blows – more crap not worth bootlegging. Want quality, interesting entertainment? Pay those who can deliver it. At least you will have a moral basis from which to complain about that crap movie you just paid $20+ to see.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“Sponsors say the state has a serious problem with piracy from street vendors and retail locations openly selling fraudulent audio recordings and supplied by large underground manufacturing and distribution operations.”

For varying definitions of large, as the types of things they are talking about are often produced by a huge factory of a corner of a room with a computer.

Someone please explain how if the Labels/Studios can’t compete with “free” how the hell are the Bootleggers managing to do it?

Oh maybe its because they are offering something people want, at a good price, and without all kinds of insane DRM.

So once again we see real world evidence that people are willing to pay for what they want how they want it.

Hmmmm so we can keep making laws to retard the expansion of technology to keep a business model based on vinyl discs afloat, or we could stop holding their hand and push them out of the nest to learn to adapt.

One wonders if we stopped wasting resources trying to hold innovation back, what amazing things we could have today.

Nicedoggy says:


They say that deprives artists and record labels of earned profits, undercuts the business of legitimate retailers and costs New York jobs and taxes.

Should read like this:


They say that deprives artists and record labels of potential earned profits, potentially undercuts the business of legitimate retailers and costs New York lawful jobs and taxes.

Those people selling bootlegs are in a way benefiting the economy, where do those people think the bootleggers expend their money? On the Bahamas? In luxury yatches build in Europe?

Bootleggers are not the ones that hoard money and send that money outside the country to Suisse banks or some fiscal paradise in the Cayman Islands removing huge amounts of money from circulation, those bootleggers are not the ones that “repatriate” money to France, Japan and other countries, those bootleggers are not the ones that live in Ireland(Bono this is a cheap shot at you) and put all their money there not in NY.

Also those bootlegger are workers too, illegal workers that create a market and help sustain it with no protections at all on their side, which benefits the artists even if it is not a direct benefit.

How many bootlegger have a jet? How many bootleggers(street vendors) have even healthcare?

Why are NY helping other take money away from the local economy? why?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

For that matter, why be angry at Wall Street investors who wreck the economy? They spend all that money on blow and hookers, and what do you think the coke dealers and hookers spend their money on?

Or, hey, why arrest stick-up kids? What do you think they do with the money they steal? Invest it in foreign banks? Those kids are liberating that bourgeois money for the little guy!

Nicedoggy says:

Re: Re: Re:

You mean hookers can do financial transactions on their own and steal the jobs of Wallstreet types with their own means and move money inside the local economy?

Who knew.

Now the Wallstreet people took the money from every single little guy in America and put their money outside that system, why should people be grateful to them again?

If the hookers “steal” from them I wont care, if the blow dealer steal money from them I won’t care, just as I don’t care that people are “stealing” from big labels and studios.

Also why is prostitution not regulated and those workers protected from abuse?

Why is that drugs are not regulated and generating safer usage and sales?

known coward says:

in answer to your question

?Considering all of this stuff is available online, who’s really walking down Canal Street buying a hard drive of bootleg music these days??

Actually you would be surprised those guys do enough business to keep coming back and do it again day after day. If you eat a meal in china town there is a reasonable chance someone will come in the restaurant and offer to sell you a DVD.

As to the articles point, no. On the street, I have never been offered a flash drive with a movie on it, only DVD’s. Whether it is true for others or not I do not know.

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