Irony Alert: NYC's Anti-Piracy Propaganda Campaign Using 'Free' YouTube

from the free-free-free dept

A few weeks back, we wrote about the anti-piracy propaganda campaign that NYC has been running, paid for by taxpayer dollars, which spreads typical MPAA FUD, and concludes with the line: "There's no such thing as a free movie." However, in looking over the campaign, I just realized that the videos are hosted on YouTube... for free. In other words, while NYC and its Hollywood friends are claiming that if you get something for free, it must be illegal, they're making use of free online services themselves. Without YouTube, they'd have to pay for the hosting, bandwidth, streaming software, etc. themselves. But this way, they get it for free.

Now, it's absolutely true that YouTube could monetize the videos with ads (though, I don't see any on that video right now), but that sort of reinforces the point. There are all sorts of business models that allow you to offer something for "free" to the end user, but are monetized elsewhere. YouTube does exactly that. It offers what would otherwise be quite expensive (hosting, bandwidth, streaming software, etc.) and gives it all away for free, and has built a whole business around that. There's nothing saying that the movie industry can't do the same thing. Rather than falsely stating that there's no such thing as a "free" (to the consumer) movie, there are certainly plenty of ways that the movie industry could monetize movies that were offered free to consumers. It's just that the legacy players choose not to. And then complain. And get politicians to waste taxpayer money...

Filed Under: anti-piracy, business models, free, hosting, nyc, propaganda
Companies: youtube


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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 14 Jan 2011 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Ripe for satire.

    Damn it, accidentally hit the "enter" key...

    Ever since I saw this video, I was thinking that it's ripe for satire...

    Vendor: "Free movies! I got free movies!"

    Passer-by: "Really? They're free?"

    Vendor: "FRRRREEEE. But there's a catch... If you take these movies, this nice woman right here, loses her job."

    Passer-by (to nice woman holding boom mic): "Oh, that's terrible... What was the last movie you worked on?"

    Nice woman: "The Last Airbender."

    (pause)

    Passer-by: "I'll take ALL OF THEM."

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