Hollywood Narrow-Mindedly Sees Google Fiber As A Threat, Not A World Of New Opportunities

from the glass-half-full dept

Most reasonable people and businesses are excited about how Google Fiber is shaking up the uncompetitive broadband industry, and bringing new opportunities to a select few cities. That doesn’t include Hollywood (with its deep love of Google in tow), which apparently thinks Google Fiber is a bad thing because it might spike piracy rates. Leaked data suggests that Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures Entertainment launched a survey back in 2012 to track piracy rates before and after Google Fiber deployment in Kansas City. About 2,000 individuals between the ages of 13 and 54 were asked about Google Fiber, piracy, and their media consumption habits.

Unsurprisingly, more than half of those surveyed said they were interested in signing up for $70, 1 Gbps connections (or Google’s 5 Mbps connection, which is free after a $300 installation fee). Of those survey participants who said they pirated content, roughly a third stated that they’d likely pirate more often with a connection of that speed. In traditional entertainment industry logic, each instance of infringement is counted as a sale loss, and therefore the survey magically concludes that Google Fiber would be responsible for $1 billion in additional piracy losses annually:

The survey continues and ties piracy rates directly to downstream broadband speeds, proclaiming this is “another indication that piracy becomes more attractive with Google Fiber”:
If you haven’t come to this conclusion yet on your own, all of this logic is utterly stupid, given that faster speeds result in an overall increase in all online behavior, including the use of legitimate content services. Everything becomes more attractive with better broadband connections. The survey even notes this, 39% of the respondents stating they would use paid streaming subscription services more, and 34% stating they would rent and purchase online videos more frequently. Unsurprisingly, the entertainment industry doesn’t bother to calculate these potential sales, nor does it calculate the potential sale opportunities created by offering better services that would only work on ultra-fast connections.

It’s yet another example of the entertainment industry’s ridiculously narrow thinking when it comes to, well, everything. A reasonable businessman (or woman) would look at those ultra-fast speeds and see opportunity. The entertainment industry looks at these same connections and can only see menace and bogeymen.

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Comments on “Hollywood Narrow-Mindedly Sees Google Fiber As A Threat, Not A World Of New Opportunities”

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Anonymous Coward says:

You should fear far worse than Google fiber

I happen to have access to a ferocious amount of bandwidth. And I do download things here and there — most of which I’ve already bought twice (vinyl, CD) already, and am not going to buy a third time.

But you know what? I just checked my logs for the past several years and I’ve downloaded one (1) movie. Just one. Oh, I could: I could pull down as many as I want. But I don’t. And I won’t.

I simply can’t be bothered any more. Congratulations: the combination of your strident anti-piracy pronouncements, your vicious attacks against the Internet, and the profoundly low quality of your output have combined to render me disinterested. Apathetic. Uncaring.

I could watch just about everything you create for free and I can’t even bring myself to do that.

And that should frighten you to your core. Because today it’s just me. Tomorrow it will be two more. And next week it will be five more. You’ve done your best to create this future, and now it’s arriving: you have doomed yourselves to irrelevance.

No doubt you will deny this. And then you will blame piracy and Google and blogs and smartphones and and and. Doesn’t matter. You’ve worked very hard to bring this about and now, like a snowball rolling downhill, it’s unstoppable.

Happy New Year.

Ed Allen (profile) says:

Re: You should fear far worse than Google fiber

Whoever wrote the original article is either unable to read or is deliberately lying to panic his readers.

The St. Louis answers differ by no more than 5% which tells me that speed has nothing to do with peoples’ behavior.

They will not lose nor gain very much no matter what happens.

This is another case of Copyright owners claiming a disaster is coming in hope of getting lawmakers to get a new
technology squashed or at least delayed rather than changing themselves.

They always do the same thing and Politicians have been willing to pander to them because they can help a
reelection campaign.

That YouTube is having 100 hours of video uploaded per minute shows how far away from the public taste they
have strayed. They are losing control of the public and they know that means Politicians will wander away too.

Anonymous Coward says:

…Wow, these clowns think that it’s all Google’s fault that infringers download really fast! No,l it’s the fact that I can’t watch the things I like, when I like, as soon as it’;s available.

Stop with the windowing bullshit (especially on TV serials), make it convenient to watch, and make it valuable to the consumer.

But no, let’s ignore reality and fuck it up for everyone else instead.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Connection speed is NOT imporatant

In my half vast experience using torrents, it is not my connection speed that matters, it is the health of the swarm.

I, probably like many other torrenters (is that even a word in the lexicon yet?), do not use their entire bandwidth, but some part of it.

Now, if Google fiber is synchronous, that may induce more seeding than previously, but that is because most connections are now asynchronous, with a much slower up speed than down.

Still, as argued many times in the past, if I go to the library rather than the theater, that is still a lost sale, but it does not account for the fact that if the library does not have something, I am still not going to any crusty, sticky, filthy, overpriced, obnoxious theater to get it, I will just choose something else.

Which puts the ‘AA members in exactly the same financial position, and will continue to do so until they get the congress to pass the expected ‘Protect the ‘AA’s Tax’ that is inevitable under our current system.


Re: Connection speed is NOT imporatant

In my half vast experience using torrents, it is not my connection speed that matters, it is the health of the swarm.

That’s the hidden bit of truth here. The file sharing protocol du jour is designed to make the most out of slower low bandwidth network connections.

Besides, it’s a DOWNLOAD. That means you start it and forget about it until it finishes. You don’t have to care about “download speed” at all. Viewing a download can be done entirely independent of the download process.

Your viewing experience is completely disconnected from the quality of your Internet service.

Ed Allen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Connection speed is NOT imporatant

Do not underestimate the importance of the upload speed though.

Upload speeds are currently under 2 Mbs almost everywhere. The real danger of Google is that they do not throttle uploads.

Every seeder on a Google net is like 500 on one of their pet ISPs.

That multiplier means every seeder on a Google link brings their “time till bankruptsy or change” closer and faster.

No wonder their panties are brown.

They want Washington to say that they can force Google to disconnect those seeders on a notice without going to court.

To do that they need to have a ruling that Google is liable for their users behavior. Since the courts have already said
no to that for a different ISP they need a law or a treaty which says it is.

Hence this is propaganda to give Politicians cover.

Anonymous Coward says:

anyone who still thinks that the entertainment industries aren’t trying to control the internet, think again! why else would it do nothing except complain about and put down companies that have made good on their use of the internet? these industries keep trying to find more and more ways of preventing other companies and industries from moving forward with new technology by complaining about what would happen to it rather than trying to move on with them! trying to stay back in the 60s is one thing, trying to make every other company do so as well is another!!

New Mexico Mark says:

Re: Re: Re:

You need to work a little bit on your Hollywood thinking.

They’ll assume people are driving faster and more efficiently in order to buy writable media that Isn’t Even Taxed At Exorbitant (Enough) Rates so those people can MASS PRODUCE GAZILLIONS OF PIRATED COPIES OF WHAT IS MINE, MINE, MINE!!!!

I think that’s a little closer to the mark?

mattshow (profile) says:

I notice in their Reasons For Watching Unofficial Copies of Movies or TV Shows slide, they don’t have a figure for “An official version has never been released in my region”.

Now, maybe that’s because, if the survey was being done in Kansas City, that’s not a problem for the people being surveyed. But I’d wager if you conducted a similar survey anywhere outside of the US, that would be a popular response.

As a Canadian, I can’t even count the number of times I have been frustrated in my attempts to pay money for content. It makes me feel like yelling at the TV “ALL I WANT TO DO IS PAY YOU MONEY FOR YOUR CONTENT, ISN’T THAT YOUR F**KING BUSINESS MODEL?!”

Anonymous Coward says:

The first thing I would point out in this fallacy, is there has to be a desire. Let me make very plain that I consider the major of movies and music put out today as simply not worth the bandwidth it would take, no matter the speed it comes in at. By the majority let me make plain that I consider that to be in the range of around 90% of what major studios and labels put out.

The second thing I would like to point out in this fallacy, is that this is a repeat of the VHS/Betamax controversy where the movie and labels had to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way into a more modern era. Only after it was ruled legal could those two entertainment groups find a way to make money off it. So much so that it increased their bottom line to become one of the major ways they received their profits.

As usual, any change due to technology is a horrid threat to their income. One has only to look at the DAT tape to see it in action.

Finally, this whole business is nothing but a manufactured problem by those same outfits. With minor adjustments to the tunnel vision now displayed this could open up sales the same way as the Betamax decision did. But as usual, tunnel vision does not expand peripherally to allow it to be seen as an opportunity.

I am totally fed up with the whiny, childish, mentality of the entertainment industry. So much so, I would love to see them go bankrupt totally in hopes that the phoenix reborn might have a modicum of common sense as part of the rebirth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I must also state that I have very little interest in what passes today for entertainment. What I see from time to time is just not interesting.

This business with The Interview is a good example. When I first heard of it, before it was a news item, I thought to myself it was just another dud trying to make money with subpar entertainment. What passes for comedy in major films and tv is anything but comedy. All the hype around it about Sony being hacked over the film did nothing to cause me to re-evaluate that estimation. There is simply no interest on my part over this film. Again not worth the money and not even worth the bandwidth it would take to download it for free.

Hollydud’s offerings are getting less and less interesting to even go look up what it is about, much less pay money to see. The products put out no longer rank as quality. Simply put they are duds at the start line and never age well.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

They are locked into the idea that if Google is involved it must be evil, because they still think Google is the entire internet.

Rather than ask Google or any other respected tech company to help them develop a system to sell content in this brave new world, they pay little startups who offer them snakeoil solutions. We can keep your content secure, we can offer everything, it’ll be everything you want… and they deliver systems that require you to register on 4 different websites & all of them have to work just right for you to view the content they promised… and they wonder why people aren’t jumping on this amazing system that is overpriced, underfunded, and is absolute crap.

Perhaps they should embrace what it is the consumers want.
They want access to the content, at a price they are willing to pay, when they want it, where they want it, and without 1000 limitations.
Imagine if a big studio digitized their entire back catalog, and put them up for sale for $2 a movie… imagine how much they would make vs how little they make now sitting on it hoping for a small payment when a cable channel needs to buy filler content.
You’d think if they were willing to risk, even a decades worth of movies, they would see it is not the end of the world and this could be a new revenue stream like what happened when they finally stopped calling the VCR the spawn of satan.

Ed Allen (profile) says:

Re: Re:

For that to happen they would need to change from the “its only valuable if it is hard to come by” thinking to
realizing that if nobody knows Ed Wood directed movies how will they know to rent one.

Content has no value to society without cultural links and since 1976 at least they have been doing their
best to kill off culture via starvation.

Anonymous Coward says:

We used to download movies, and also see them in the theater. Then if we liked the movies we bought them. Now we don’t download movies, we don’t go to the theater, and we buy about half as many movies as we used to. Thank you Hollywood, you have saved me quite a bit of money in the past two years. When the father of lies shows up you can kiss his ass, and maybe you will get what you think you want. Until then many other countries still believe in the freedom of information, so suck it up, tough it out, and do the best you can.

Anonymous Coward says:

The only reason

The only reason why people “pirate” media is because the “owners” of such make it impossible, and over-priced to obtain. These days, if it isn’t available for a nominal fee ($1 USD for a TV show comes to mind), then “borrowing” it is the only option. I distinctly did not use the term “steal”. Example, I downloaded the Xmas Doctor Who show because it was pretty much impossible to get “legally”. My wife and I enjoyed it, and if it was possible to get a legal copy for about $1 USD, I would have been happy to pay the BBC for the copy, assuming I would have been able to transcode and burn it to a DVD so we could watch it on our TV and not on my computer! That is what I did – downloaded it from “wherever”, converted it to an MPG-2 image, and burned it to a DVD disc. I won’t give it to anyone else – this is personal use only. I don’t get cable, TV, or Netflix, so that is the only way I can view shows I want. So, screw the MPAA and the RIAA as brain-dead dinosaurs!

ECA (profile) says:


Know what inspired piracy when I was young?
1. Availability..No locations in my area had the program, game, movie, Video, music.
2. Price..If it was Available, it was over priced. I live on a budget, a VERY SLIM budget. Low wages does not give you much choices. IF’ I had money I would PROBABLY BUY IT..
3. Store selection..Stores can not STOCK 10,000 titles. Old and new, and the STRANGE stuff, imported stuff.. And if they Do, its Over priced. A full series of Anime in Japan is $5-10, in the USA you Start at $30.

4. TODAY..Its packaging..We dont NEED the BOX, Shipping, handling, Artwork on the cover, or a STORE FRONT and the utilities and rent that it incurs..That is 75-90% of the pricing.

A company can NOW, go to DIRECT distribution, or thru smaller corps that have NO or LITTLE overhead Charges. When the MAKERS of a game are getting less then $1 per copy of a game selling for $50-70 per sale..
Think of Movie and TV, with Less overhead for distribution. What would it cost to do DIRECT distribution? IF Broadcast TV got rid of all the relay stations, and towers they need to spread a signal and just send up a satellite or 2.. They could send a signal to the WHOLE of the USA. Do they do it? NO!.
Why dont they do it? because they have control of the WHOLE system, including most of the distribution. They are getting money from every part of the system.

If you really want to understand this..
Old days the maker of a game MIGHT get $1 per copy, going thru a distribution system.
Today..A maker selling a game DIRECT, can lower the prices and make MOST of the sale price in Profit..$20 game can be $10 profit. after you pay off server time and a few other things. depending on How many people buy the game.

Movies in the Old days sent, in the mail, 12″-18″ Reels, 4-6 of them..to EACH theater..which is expensive and a PAIN..
NOW they can have a server and send the WHOLE movie over the net or even DIRECTLY thru the mail on Blue ray disks.

Are these companies trying to make things CHEAPER?? no..

Anonymous Coward says:

Australia's Fibre to the Home dead, buried & cremated

Thanks to Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp which owns Fox Studios & networks in the USA, here in Australia he owns Foxtel, a joint venture between Telstra, legacy owner of most of the copper telecommunications network & himself. As Mr. Murdoch is not a stupid man he saw that the previous federal government’s plan to update the nations’ aging copper network with fibre to the home would do just as this report says. Plus it would compete with his Foxtel’s pay TV monopoly by allowing other newcomers to hitch a ride on the back of the new NBN (National Broadband Network) & thus deprive himself of some customers & thus money, & we can’t have that now!
So Mr. Murdoch used his total dominance of the print media (around 75%) to hound the previous government out of office & replace it with a more compliant administration keen to do his bidding.
So now we Australians are getting a dog’s breakfast of corroded copper wires from a Fibre to the Node model of bradband network. The worst bit is this will cost just about the same to implement, but more to maintain each & every year ($1 Billion), until it is finally replaced with fibre to the home at far greater cost if it is still in government hands. However the plan is to sell it off to a corporation, any corporation just as long as it is owned by Murdoch, just so we can never ever get a decent National Broadband Network that may impact on Rupert Murdoch’s profits, now or into the future.
Never mind the benefits that will come for everyone else in businesses that depend upon a faster, more reliable network, they haven’t been the ‘kingmaker’ & controlled who gets elected to office.
By the way, the saying ‘dead, buried & cremated’ refers to our current Prime Minister’s comment before getting elected on the nasty Labour Laws named “Work Choices” which got the government he was a senior minister in kicked out of office 6 years previously. However as everything Tony Abbott says has proven to be a lie we expect that “Work Choices” will come back in Zombie form to sit alongside the other Tea Party neocon policies to make the poor poorer & the rich even richer in world record time.

Ed Allen says:

Re: Australia's Fibre to the Home dead, buried & cremated

Even Rupert won’t be able to hold back the flood of nanosatellites coming soon.

They will be tiny and cheap enough to use something like a railgun to low earth orbits.

They can form their own meshnet so government snoops cannot tap the infrared lasers they will use between each other.

The up/down links will be encrypted so the vulnerable point is the launch but that can be done from ships at sea.

So unless governments are willing to execute people who teach “forbidden skills” the original vision of a net which
can route around censors and other damage will become real eventually.

Ed Allen says:

Re: Re: Australia's Fibre to the Home dead, buried & cremated

Lest somebody think that executions are unreasonable just remember that in Middle Ages France citizens were tortured to death for
the crime of producing BUTTONS cheaper than the King’s friends.

When it comes to thinking you are entitled (bet you can guess where that word comes from) the MPAA folks don’t hold a candle to French nobles. Yet.

Next decade may see that reverse.

Coises (profile) says:

Pirates -> authorized viewers

Netflix streaming costs less than a good Usenet provider, and it’s much easier to use.

Netflix streaming costs 2.5-3 times the cost of a decent VPN that will allow one to run BitTorrent in peace… but again, it’s much easier to use.

If the goal were to convert pirates into authorized viewers, I think even Hollywood could figure out how to do it.

I suspect the explanation for this paradox is somehow connected to “Hollywood accounting.”

Anonymouse says:

Piracy is NOT loss of sales

Just because a movie is downloaded does NOT count for a loss of sale. Most people who download ALSO buy the movie they downloaded when it’s available in the shops. 99% of downloads are BEFORE it’s in the shops so you can’t buy it yet.
And, those movies which they don’t but they probably wouldn’t have brought anyway.
So either way there is no loss of sale. They either buy it or wouldn’t have brought it anyway.

There are also some people that download like a demo, to try it out first.

Then there are people like a lot here in Australia who download as we have no other choice as the government banned it. So again that’s not a loss if it’s not available here.

And in the end, PIRACEY IS NOT THEFT. The original is not lost, it still gets sold. Piracy is making a copy which is NOT theft. It’s usually a poor reproduction missing things the original has. So it’s an inferior copy. Which again is NOT theft, the original is still there, untouched, sold.

JoeT says:

Have I had too much New Year's champagne?

Google fiber is a fast internet service.

Google fiber is available in KC, but not in STL.

People in STL give “my internet connection is fast” as a reason that they download movies more often than people in KC. And most of the other reasons that people pirate, STL is in the lead….

So could somebody either tell me I’ve been slipped some magic mushrooms, or does this data show that have GoFi available gives people *less* reason to pirate?

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