MPAA Follows RIAA Into Lawsuits

from the yeah,-that'll-work-out-brilliantly dept

No surprise here, but apparently the MPAA has learned absolutely nothing from the RIAA. After quite a bit of talk, the MPAA has decided to sue about 200 people for offering movies on file sharing networks. I'm sure it will work out just as well as in the recording industry, where file sharing is up these days and shows no sign of slowing down. In other words, these lawsuits cost money and good will while doing nothing to stop file sharing. The movie industry is especially clueless because they actually have it easier than the recording industry. Movies are a social experience. People like to watch movies with other people. If the industry focused on making the social experience of watching movies more enjoyable, then it wouldn't matter if every movie was available to download online, because people would still want to experience "going to the movies." As for DVD sales, it's still quite clear (Netflix anyone?) that delivering movies over DVDs in the mail is more efficient than over a broadband connection for the time being. But, even as broadband connections get faster, the ability to offer more content at reasonable prices keeps DVDs in the game. Instead, the industry is wasting its time and money on pointless lawsuits. You would think such a "creative" industry would have slightly more creative business people. Instead, they have lawyers.

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  • identicon
    Ben, 4 Nov 2004 @ 12:30am

    MPAA follows RIAA

    The movie and recording industries throwing tons of cash and time into trying to stop pirating is like the government's war on drugs - lot of talk, a couple of busts, and not a chance in hell they're going to win. What the MPAA will learn, which the RIAA has yet to learn, is that your audience will hate you more and pirate more, the greater they feel that the suits are acting like the corporate bad guys who are bilking their customers to begin with. The best thing the two organizations can do is try to make people think it's the right thing to do to support the artists/films you like by paying for it and not making it feel like it's heavyhanded.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RJD, 4 Nov 2004 @ 7:06am

    Lose Lose Situtation

    I agree with you that this sharing thing isn't going to go away regardless of the lawsuits.

    However, the music and movie industry rake in enormous amounts of money from distribution and distribution rights. They see, correctly, that this is an attack on that part of thier business to which they haven't got a good response and perhaps no response to. So when in doubt, sue! You may not stop the process, but you may slow it down enough to formulate a winning plan of your own.

    And it's hard to get pissed at something as nebulous as the MPAA or RIAA ... they hardly 100% represent the views of everyone associated with them.

    Though let me pose a hypothetical. You seem to believe that they should embrace sharing (music , video, whatever) because it's going to happen regardless; even though it's illegal ?

    Putting this same thought process in action for another common activity, exceeding the speed limit. Everyone does it and it's going to happen regardless of what the authorities do. So should the police embrace this ?

    And no, I'm not a RIAA or MPAA flunky; I simply believe the law is the law until it is changed. And yes, I do believe in change. It's good as old laws often can not be logically applied to new technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 4 Nov 2004 @ 8:22am

      Re: Lose Lose Situtation

      Putting this same thought process in action for another common activity, exceeding the speed limit. Everyone does it and it's going to happen regardless of what the authorities do. So should the police embrace this ?

      No, that's not a good analogy. The police are in the business of public safety. The MPAA and the RIAA are in the business of making money. Pissing off your customers by suing them tends to not help you make money.

      Historically, every new technology that made the entertainment industry feel "threatened" eventually turned into a huge money maker for them once they finally gave up and embraced it. Look at recorded music, radio and VCRs as three quick examples.

      So, my argument is that by embracing file sharing, not only will they make their customers happy, it will open up more opportunities for them to make money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Nestor, 8 Dec 2004 @ 5:37pm

      Re: Lose Lose Situtation

      It's hard to change laws when the corporate interests outweigh the interests of the people. Elected officials hardly have the people's interest in mind--what matters to them is how that next campaign is going to be financed. As long as the RIAA, individual record companies, multi-media conglomerates and other industries who have a vested interest in profiting (unfairly) can override the will of the people through cronyism in the legal process the natural tide of free idea exchange will be limited. Ponder this: Disney-- is a thief, but it was "legal" when they took as theirs ideas that were in the public domain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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