An Infographic Showing Just How Frequently Hollywood Has Cried Wolf About 'Piracy'

from the sky-is-falling,-the-sky-is-falling dept

A few folks have sent over this excellent infographic about the frequency with which Hollywood insists every new technology will destroy the movie business. It’s based on the list that Steve Blank put together of Hollywood being totally wrong on lots of things:

Figured some folks here might appreciate this…

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Comments on “An Infographic Showing Just How Frequently Hollywood Has Cried Wolf About 'Piracy'”

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wvhillbilly (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So you think its better to burn your barn down to get rid of the rats, rather than to send in a cat to dispatch them? The rats will just go elsewhere and set up shop in another barn and you’ll be out yours.

I read a story just last night about an author who invites all and sundry to pirate his book, and guess what? He’s sold 12 million copies. Why? The piracy gave his book lots of exposure. Had he kept it all to himself and sued every person who made his book available on the Web guess how many he would have sold? Probably zero, or very few.

Get over it!!! Suing your customers is not going to bring people in breaking your doors down to buy your product. It’s only going to make them mad and drive them away.

Got it?

Scote (profile) says:

Re: Re: Valid Criticism

“(but it works just as well for AC moron #2).”

No, it really doesn’t. Your snark doesn’t work at all on AC 2 (Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 10:50am). AC 2 made a valid, if brief, observation on the usability and usefulness of the infographic, one which you haven’t rebutted in any way with your snark.

Are you really going to claim the infographic is easy to follow, or summarizes the issue at a glance? Because you’ll have a really hard time doing that since the graphic is an attractive but muddled mishmash with no flow and no clear message sent by a quick scan. It looks like someone barfed orange clip art on the screen. The infographic makes the information it summarizes *harder* to read and understand than if it were just well formatted text–which is the opposite of what an infographic is supposed to do. Infographics are supposed to make information easier to understand through visualizations. This infographic fails utterly to do that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Valid Criticism

“Are you really going to claim the infographic is easy to follow, or summarizes the issue at a glance? Because you’ll have a really hard time doing that since the graphic is an attractive but muddled mishmash with no flow and no clear message sent by a quick scan. It looks like someone barfed orange clip art on the screen.”

Try scrolling the enlarged piece, boy.
Makes a great poster, btw.

Scote (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Valid Criticism

I’m not seeing any actual rebuttal by you. Sure, the infographic makes for a pretty poster, but not for a clear and useful infographic that helps you visualize the data at a glance. An infographic is supposed to make the data easier to glean, not harder. A text outline would be more useful than this pretty clip art explosion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: It's Me. I'm the Moron from the OP

I guess you weren’t implying it, since you said it outright, but my brain didn’t parse that far.

I forgot my question mark, fulfilling the expectations both of being a moron and including an obvious error in a post about not being a moron.

Here is the post where I blame you, the viewer, for the misunderstandings caused by my first post and the errors in my second.

wvhillbilly (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I didn’t have any problem figuring it out. Pretty straight forward to me, it just gives a brief summary of all the various new technologies the entertainment industry has tried to shut down, and which they have greatly benefited from once they accepted them. The Internet is no different in this respect.

If Hellywood would learn to work with new stuff instead of fighting it, suing people back to the stone age, making wild and unsubstantiated claims it’s going to put them out of business and lying about and grossly inflating loss claims, it would greatly benefit everyone and save all of us a lot of grief.

bob (profile) says:

Why is clear that they cried wolf?

Perhaps the industry flourished because it took piracy seriously and the copyright law allowed it to be contained. The only way you can say they were making false claims is if we passed no laws at all and piracy never took hold.

It’s like saying that the world has been crying wolf about drunk driving because there’s been no explosion of alcohol-related crashes. Wrong. It’s because we took strong measures and put punishments in place.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?



Are you serious?

Believe it or not, every time a “free port” is established–one which pretty much ignores tariffs & treaties & imaginary property–it flourishes. Every industry which roots there grows like a rampant weed. And yes, that includes media industries.

So, in short, “NO”. There are numerous historical proofs that your assertion is most provably false.


bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

Uh, no. Absolutely not. The free ports flourish when they enforce property rights. If they don’t, the industry doesn’t flourish there.

The typical example is a port like Hong Kong, which flourished because it kept government costs low. Did movie making flourish there? Did it become Hollywood west? Was there a burgeoning publishing business? No. They were happy just to pirate western sources and so no locals bothered to go into the business.

The industries that flourished there were the ones that were protected by the rule of law. The design work, the content creation work, and the story making work were not protected and so they didn’t flourish.

AB says:

Re: Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

What are you talking about??? Creativity did flourish in Hong Kong, and despite the restrictions of low budgets their movies were more original and had better story lines then what Hollywood produced during the same time frame.

Did it become Hollywood west? Of course not, it didn’t have the marketing power. What does that have to do with flourishing creativity? Why does it need to be ‘Hollywood west’? What’s so great about Hollywood? Personally I think the average standard of living across this continent would be significantly higher without it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

You do know that Hong Kong pretty much has zero protections for business right?

It takes 15 minutes to open a business in Hong Kong, business suing business is practically anathema for the courts there, they don’t care and don’t give a fuck, they are primarily concerned with taxes only if you pay your taxes you can pretty much do anything you want and that includes stealing all the ideas from your competitors.

Hong Kong Business Leaders: Fashion, Supermarket Proprietor Anthony Keung

Apps you will never see in the US ever!
Hong Kong IT Entrepreneurs iMusicTech and ESL on Road to Success

When there is no protections for old BS business people make it big.


It is incredible easy to set up business in Hong kong it took less than 24 hs to setup a corporation, taxes are easy to understand. I am a great believer that the less the government can do the better business can be

Starting from Scratch

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

No. Just because the VCR continued to exist doesn’t mean the industry didn’t get what it wanted. It just said essentially, “We can’t exist in a world where people will use the VCR to make infinite copies of movies without contributing the cost of creating them.”

And that ended. The hardware industry added copy protection tabs and ensured that the copies degraded. Voila. It was enough of a compromise for the industry to flourish.

The industry got everything it wanted.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

Perhaps the industry flourished because it took piracy seriously and the copyright law allowed it to be contained.

That argument could almost be construed as intelligent – if you squint really, really hard and smack your head on brick wall a few times in order to forget the simple fact that Hollywood was founded in California in order to avoid paying Thomas Edison fees for his intellectual property rights (patents) on the movie-making process.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

“…the simple fact that Hollywood was founded in California in order to avoid paying Thomas Edison fees for his intellectual property rights (patents) on the movie-making process.”

So, Hollywood is composed of the descendants of pirates?
Quick, arrest them!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

…and you realize that the publishing in the US was founded on piracy as well. The US did not recognize the copyright of any other country and anything in a foreign language was up for grabs for republishing in English.

When US politicians and diplomats were questioned on it, they avoided the issue completely.

It was in this manner that the US publishing industry got it’s start, sort of like Hollydud got it’s start later.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

They are making false claims. They claimed all these technologies would destroy their businesses…but it didn’t happen. Instead, the opposite happened! They flourished BECAUSE of the technologies.

“If we passed no laws and piracy never took hold” That statement…is actually correct, but not in the way you mean it. Piracy, or copyright infringement, is what happens when someone breaks the law. If there were no laws, there would be no piracy, because how can you break a law that doesn’t exist?

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

Hi, bob. Hope you’re doing well. We missed you last week at the bowling social. Try to make it next time… it’s just not the same without you.

Just had a quick question about your argument… If you could just point out a single instance where copyright law ever had any impact whatsoever on piracy I’d really appreciate it. It seems like there are a lot of people here who read your comment and think it was the product of willful ignorance or insanity (you are still taking your meds, right?), and I think it’s important to show everyone the credible research you found that backs up the assertion.

Also, Google has recently been trying to solve the drunk driving problem with cars that drive themselves. Soon our pretend autopilots that get us home from the bar will be real! Via la vodka! Tell the mister we all said hello, and dog bless you.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

Wow. Just one single instance? Perhaps if you take a look at the recent MegaUpload case you’ll see how copyright enforcement shut down a pirate haven. And who quickly changed their ways? Most of the major sites with similar business models. Suddenly, they figured out that it might be smarter not to let people share files willynilly.

Now you’ll probably blather on about how the pirates just moved to a different site or created deeper, more complicated encryption schemes. But that’s not the point of the enforcement. It’s enough to make the pirated copies harder to find and that raises the cost of doing business as a pirate– and believe me, it’s a Big Business.

We don’t give up on enforcing murder laws because the murder rate doesn’t go to absolute zero. We don’t give up on enforcing parking laws because people still get tickets.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

But we should give up on monopolies though they bring no increase in wealth and actually harm economies more than they do help.

You see piracy is a scary story with one purpose, to make others believe that someone needs protection.

The fact of the mater is if piracy hurt so much, free TV should have decimated the industry already, free radio should have sunken labels a long time ago, but incredibly that is not what happens is it?

Even without zero protections markets grow and people get rich in other places, if they can do elsewhere why can’t people in a country that prides itself of being so good at solving problems can’t?

Truth be told the one thing holding America back right now is the power of certain monopolies in stopping the real entrepreneurs from rising and getting their chance.

This BS IP crap is the reason that companies can outsource jobs without suffering the consequences of doing so, because nobody else can enter the market or copy anything and take market share from some idiot that decides that labor is to expensive and we can reduce costs using labor offshore and maximize profits without actually reducing costs, it is also chilling innovation since people who are not stupid can see the legal pitfalls increasing in number and not be willing to risk everything, it is getting harder to succeed in America not easier, while in other countries mainly in Asia they are doing exactly the opposite and cashing in big time.

stever (profile) says:

Re: Why is clear that they cried wolf?

Bob. Can I say that the presenters logic is not bad however yours is terrible. The logic in the image is that when the industry says they will die due to the introduction of new technology generally they have been way off the mark. In fact as we well know the technology has largly been to the industries benefit. Your logical analogy Bob is with alcohol and drink driving and that some other group of people that said by making laws that it would help prevent deaths and accidents and that because it worked that we should listen to these other individuals that as an industry say they will go out of business because of piracy. You would admit it makes no sense wouldnt you! Now in examining the logic presented you should always consider each arguement on its own and not think that because a collective has a bad track record of predictions that everything they say will always be wrong. However you should use it more as a yard stick to cast some doubt on how likely the statements they make have a probability of being true rather than as an absolute deduction of truth or error.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, teaching people history, and them claiming that they are going to do it again in the future, so stop trying is the Masnick way. Damn them because you think they are going to do it again. Arrest them before they commit a crime, because they committed a crime in the past.

Mike Masnick: Making it up as he goes.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Your mom never hugged you did she?

They have done the same thing with the same reaction MULTIPLE times in the past. It is time for everyone else to stop listening to the sky is falling complaints of an industry that makes a habit of panic first, embrace second, make more money third, fourth make new laws to extract more money.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:3 because they MIGHT do something in the future, let's stop them now.


They?ve done it over and over and over. Not once. Not twice. But repeatedly. At some point, you have to stop saying ?let?s keep on giving them the benefit of the doubt?, and remember Einstein?s definition of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly, while hoping against hope that, this time, the outcome will be different from what it has been every single other time.

You want to join the insane ones? Your choice.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Dumbass, the ONLY point being made is that when the entertainment industry insists a new technology is going to kill them, they are usually wrong. They have been every single time – so when they insist it’s happening now, it’s kind of hard to believe them.

Look at it this way: you think I’m an idiot, because of what I’ve said in the past. You anticipate me saying more things that you consider idiotic in the future. Does that make you the fucking thought police? By your logic, apparently it does.

John (profile) says:

There is really no reason for these laws; they were established in the Copyright law which does what they want to do already. As someone earlier stated look at the case of MegaUpload.; they cut the man out of his own safe room, disregarding the fact that they could have killed him depending on the type of air ventilation that was used in the safe room. SOPA is not a law and they were able to make this arrest on foreign soil under the current copyright laws. So explain to me why we need more useless legislation to combat something there are already laws for.
Piracy would not be the problem they (and I mean they) claim it to be if a better route was made available for consumers. Take music and the old days of Napster, Ipods came out and the recording industry found that by letting people purchase individual songs not just a CD, that their profits rose. That is a free trade market that balanced itself out.
Here is a suggestion, the MPAA can take all the money they spend in Congress every year and help pay down the national debt or do something useful with it. This is all just my opinion though and may have no real basis in reality?

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