(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
camcording, movies, mpaa, uk


MPAA Moves On To Making Up Stats About Camcording In The UK Market

from the gotta-earn-those-lobbying-bucks-somehow dept

After successfully bullying Canada into passing stricter anti-camcording laws, using bogus stats, it appears that the MPAA has moved on to a new country: the UK. TorrentFreak lets us know that MPAA chief Dan Glickman has crossed the pond to warn UK politicians about the horrible "threat" of camcorded movies. Of course, he's still making up stats and still ignoring what's actually happening in the industry. We've already seen that while Glickman gets paid big bucks to hype up the threat, these laws don't seem to stop camcording activities at all. However, more importantly, camcording doesn't appear to be much of a real threat to the industry. Remember, first of all, that the industry is bringing in record revenue, despite the increasing availability of movies online. Second, the problem isn't from camcorded movies. Most of the movies you find online are studio prints leaked by insiders. Third, even with these laws the movies are going to end up online... and all it takes is one movie getting online for it to be infinitely available. Stopping just a few of those recording the movie is absolutely meaningless if a single one gets through, and it always will. If the movie industry spent a fraction of the amount of money they're wasting lobbying for these useless laws on improving the movie-going experience or offering additional incentives to purchase, the industry would be doing even better than it already is -- and no one would even worry about some movies being available online.

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  • icon
    boomhauer (profile), 6 Sep 2007 @ 6:19pm


    the only time i download camcorder rips is if one is mislabelled as something else :) cam rips are annoying as @#$@ to watch.

    but really, most movies nowdays not only arent worth watching in the theatre, they arent even worth renting. so how you gonna stop people from sharing the vids once they come out for rent? hmm? your film aint that great, so i can wait ;)

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

  • identicon
    Alex, 6 Sep 2007 @ 6:50pm

    Oh please, movies are released here 3-6 months after their american releases. Not a single pirated movie in the history of piracy originated in the uk.

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

    • identicon
      mike allen, 6 Sep 2007 @ 10:44pm


      A good point as it is here there was some debate on stopping people filming in public places ie the street or the park or anywhere now this will bring that crap up again

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

  • identicon
    Tim, 6 Sep 2007 @ 7:30pm


    Yeah, you know what, why bother passing laws against rape? If just one happens, someone's going to get hurt - so why bother? And why get married? The divorce rate is so high, we probably shouldn't trust people at all.

    I know that's extreme, but recording the movie _is_ a crime and if you're caught, pay the fine, do the time.


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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 6 Sep 2007 @ 9:49pm

      Re: Yeah

      Yeah, you know what, why bother passing laws against rape? If just one happens, someone's going to get hurt - so why bother?

      Wow. Can you be any more confused? With a rape, someone is specifically harmed by that specific action. The whole point here is that there is no additional harm done by a single camcorder. First there's little evidence that cammers cause any harm, and secondly with leaks coming from insiders the harm has *already* happened. In rape, you're talking about *additional* harm being done. If you can't see the difference you need serious help.

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

    • identicon
      matt, 6 Sep 2007 @ 11:02pm

      Re: Yeah

      lets take this one down to a more logical level
      piracy is not physical

      lets compare this more to "does someone have the right to take a picture of you walking down the street?"
      the answer is, you might not like it, but yes, they can. some people are so scared of being seen they even sue calling it a personal/emotional damage to be caught on a camera. God forbid.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Sep 2007 @ 11:05pm

    I'm completely against MPAA and RIAA, but people who decide to film movies with a camcorder deserve to get the book thrown at them.

    The next person I see with a camcorder in a movie theater that distracts me from watching a movie I paid to see is getting ninja kicked in the back of the head. I go to the movies for the experience and no bootlegging cheap@55 is going to get in the way of that.

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

  • identicon
    Enrico Suarve, 7 Sep 2007 @ 2:39am

    Waste of my money

    As a UK taxpayer - if this gets any serious consideration i'll be complaining to my MP and I suggest others do likewise

    Piracy is already a crime - we don't need a law specifically regarding camcorders in cinemas. With all the time in the house, readings and legal advise surrounding new laws they are very expensive. New laws should only be enacted where they make a real difference to society as to do otherwise is a waste of taxpayers money

    Mike's right - camcording is a tiny fraction of the piracy 'market'.

    If someone takes a camcorder into a cinema and records a section of the movie laws already exist which enable the cinema to call the police, have the offender arrested, have evidence siezed and have them charged. Why would we need another law that specifically states this is a particular crime with its own definition?

    The answer is simply advertising - this is the MPAAs way of advertising that it's a bad thing to do

    Fine - but don't use the money I give the government to fund schools, healthcare and genuine benefits to society to do it

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

  • identicon
    Nobody, 7 Sep 2007 @ 9:39am

    Great post

    You guys kick ass. Great post.

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

  • identicon
    John, 7 Sep 2007 @ 11:19am

    Red herring

    Here's a thought: what if all this talk about "camcording is hurting the industry" is just a red herring? Follow me on this...

    As anyone who's downloaded movies knows, the quality of "pirated" movied can vary, with the worst coming from "camcorders" and best coming from near-DVD quality "screener copies".
    And, as people actually watch the camcordered version they download, they quickly realize it's crap. Very quickly, demand for camcorded movies drop. And if there's no demand, the supply will dry up.

    The arrest of the girl who shot 20 seconds of a movie on her cellphone was seen as big victory for the industry, yet anyone with any knowledge of p2p software could find that same movie in DVD, DIVX, or evem HD-DVD quality for download.

    However, if Glickman focusses on the camcording issue, he doesn't have to discuss the real reasons that high-quality copies get leaked:
    1) Either by someone on the production team of a movie or someone who knows someone.
    2) Promotional copies given out to reviewers and critics that are encoded and uploaded.
    3) Or promotional copies given out to people like the Academy Award voters who pass it along to their "techie" friends who upload a copy.

    Like you said, all it takes is one copy, coming from any of these people, to start circulate.

    Going after camcorders is like airport security: it's highly visible, but doesn't address the underlying causes or the bigger picture.
    Instead of going after camcorders, the industry should be trying to figure out how and why a movie can hit the p2p sites (in DVD quality) sometimes *before* it's released in the theaters.

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

  • identicon
    sharingislegal, 7 Sep 2007 @ 8:55pm


    I laugh at the **AA's.

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

  • identicon
    Neverhood, 8 Sep 2007 @ 4:23pm

    Look at the real world.

    All these attempts by the industry to stop cam cording in theaters and so on seems laughable when you know what little direct effect they have except burning money.

    This is until you look at the real world and realize that many many people are buying into their crap. Concerned mothers cut off their children's internet if they see them download movies or music, and people start mimicking a-hole industry spokespersons, saying things like "Downloading is stealing" and "If you download, poor artists will die from starvation".

    This FUD campaign has to stop!

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

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