Movie Industry

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
file sharing, movies, oscars

Hollywood Gone Mad: Complaining That Oscar Nominated Films Downloaded More

from the think-this-through,-people dept

With the Oscars going on last night, it seems that some people just can't keep things in perspective. For example, check out this bizarre article from Variety, saying that the wonderful attention bump from being nominated comes with a downside: that it also increases the frequency of unauthorized downloads:
Oscar nominees typically enjoy a box office bounce. But Hollywood increasingly has to reckon with another award-season ritual, one that could best be described as the piracy plunder.

The attention that an Oscar nomination for best picture bestows on a title also triggers a spike in illegal downloading.
But why is that a problem? The only reason those films received this additional attention was because of the Oscar nods, so complaining about the similar bump in unauthorized downloading seems bizarre. Seriously, if you are getting a bunch more people paying for the movie, are you really that concerned that another group is viewing it in an unauthorized manner? It's as if some people actually believe that every unauthorized download is a lost sale.

It's pretty simple: if you're getting downloaded more, it means there's more interest in your film, and it's your job as a film producer to figure out how to make money from that interest. It's not something to complain about.

The article also highlights, as we've discussed at great lengths, how the producer, Nicolas Chartier of Voltage Films, of last year's Oscar winner for best picture, Hurt Locker chose to sue 5,000 fans of his film for unauthorized downloading. Of course, it leaves out the part where he also called someone a "moron" and a "thief" for explaining to him, quite politely, why such a strategy might backfire. The reporter asks Chartier about the backlash, and he suggests that nobody knows who produces what films, so he doesn't care if he gets a bad reputation: "I don't think anyone is waking up saying, 'Let's boycott movies made by Voltage.'" Apparently Chartier doesn't use the internet much. There are, in fact, efforts by people to get everyone to boycott Voltage films because of his actions.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Dealing with piracy

    1) there is no profit in piracy. When your business is entirely based on the thing that is getting pirated, any piracy is a negative to your bottom line, directly or indirectly.

    2) Ignoring your business being eroded by illegal actions would be stupid. What should they spend their energies on, making even better movies for people to rip off faster?

    3) It can't be stopped. It can be slowed, it can be tamped down. It's a question of time, of government action, and of a moral shift in the population. Right now we have a generation of people who think taking things for free is okay, acceptable, and good. No long term view, they are just looking at what they can take, take, take without respect for others. That lack of respect is a horrible sign, because in the end, much of a freedom loving people is the respect of others and their tolerance of things. Once that is lost, you are headed down the toilet.

    Make your product as difficult as possible to get. Alienate your fan base and let the rest of your business rot away

    This is critical. Are movies hard to get? Are they not available on theaters, then on PPV, then to buy, on rental, free to air on network TV, on your cable movie channels, and so on? What is so freaking hard about getting a movie? The only reason you find it hard is because you want it some way it isn't currently being sold, and you want it NOW, no matter what. Whiny, childish ways of looking at things, and you think for some reason this justifies taking it without paying. That is a horrible answer, horribly disrespectful. It's sad.

    If you can't understand that, and you can't understand that your action are bringing on the very problems you complain about, you need to stop and think for a while.

    *shakes head*

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