Does Hollywood Deserve Its Own Patriot Act?

from the uh,-nope dept

We recently covered the White House's recommendations for new IP enforcement laws, which all too frequently went way too far -- such as in trying to make streaming a felony and in allowing the feds to get wiretaps for copyright infringement cases. Thankfully, some folks are speaking up about this. The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), who has a history of standing up for consumer rights and against censorship, has responded harshly to Victoria Espinel's plan, noting that it's nothing more than a "Patriot Act for Hollywood."
The government has shown how its zeal leads to carelessness in its unprecedented efforts to widely seize domain names for IP enforcement, which ICE undertook this year. Sites were wrongfully shut down based on allegations the user was engaged in criminal conduct deemed lawful by their courts. We are concerned the same low threshold will be used in making decisions to spy on U.S. citizens.

Some in Congress and the White House have apparently decided that no price is too high to pay to kowtow to Big Content's every desire, including curtailing civil liberties by expanding wiretapping of electronic communications. Even the controversial USA PATRIOT Act exists because of extraordinary national security circumstances involving an attack on our country. Does Hollywood deserve its own PATRIOT Act?
Furthermore, the CCIA points out that there are serious issues around this that it makes sense to focus on -- such as counterfeit drugs and counterfeit military hardware -- but this plan clearly goes beyond those real problems. Basically, the CCIA warns that these important ideas have been co-opted by Hollywood to shove through its own agenda:
The legitimate desire to address some serious counterfeiting abuses -- such as medications or industrial components used in defense products -- has been hijacked to create draconian proposals to alleviate the content industry of the burden of protecting its own interest using its own extensive resources. The government's role in protecting the public's right to safe medicine and component parts should not be allowed to morph into supplanting the responsibility of private companies to use existing legal remedies to remove possibly infringing content online and bring legal action against those involved.
Indeed. Of course, doing things like this is nothing new for the entertainment industry, which has a long history of lumping together totally unrelated things in order to get protectionist and anti-consumer laws passed. It's too bad the White House is now appearing to be complicit in such deceptions.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    It's sort of like lumping together the few real legal uses of P2P as a justification for all the piracy that goes on.

    Carry on.

     

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  2.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Close the revolving door

    Any takers on a bet that Espinel takes a high paying job in the entertainment industry after she leaves the government? Personally, I think that people like her should be barred from working for any industry that they helped regulate or whose interests they promoted while in an official position, for at least 3-5 years after they leave government employ. To do otherwise is a blatant conflict of interest.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re: Close the revolving door

    So you want government workers to have less rights than normal people?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    "So you want government workers to have less rights than normal people?"

    Well, I certainly don't, but there needs to be something done with regard to the strange routine our public officials have flitting in and out of positions between business leadership and the government groups that regulate them. That Donald Rumsfeld was at any point able to have influence over the FDA after he left Searl is an absolute joke, yet that type of thing happens all the time.

    Perhaps some govt. flavor of a non-compete is in order?

     

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    Anonymous a-hole, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Absolutely!

    They should be investigated as people are for "terrorism" - in secret, thrown into prisons with no regard for the constitution and tortured.

     

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    Joe Publius, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    I agree

    Although the collusion between some of these people and businesses they come to lobby for smacks of the unethical sometimes, it wouldn't be right to restrict a person from persuing any legitimate career that they wish.

    We'll just have to settle for calling them out as shills whenever it's appropriate.

    As for one more large public organization with the ability to violate the privacy and or speech of individuals on demand sounds pretty par for the course. We keep this up, and I'm sure all of this criminality will stop. /sarc

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    Would that be different from people moving from one company in an industry to another? Non-compete clause contracts don't really seem to hold much legal water.

     

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    cc (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    Yes, those people don't typically get to write the laws...

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: #3 AC Re: Close the revolving door

    Why do you specifically differentiate between "government workers" and "normal people"?

    Oh, I get it: if one works for the government, one can't possibly be normal.
    Sort of like if someone uses P2P, they must (a) be a pirate or (b) fully support piracy.

    Ohhh-Kay.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    It's sort of like lumping together the few real legal uses of P2P as a justification for all the piracy that goes on.

    No it's not. What you are doing is labeling a tool (P2P, torrents, whatever).

    It's still the user who decides to use that tool in what ever manner they choose. I can choose to use my car to get to work or I can choose to use my car as a getaway vehicle in a robbery.

    Carry on with your carrying on.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    Few? Please inform yourself better. P2P networks have an important place in today's world.

    How else would you distribute massive amounts of data over to millions of users without flooding your own network?

    And let's face it: Games use Bittorrent (WoW), and other forms of P2P. Skype uses a P2P architecture. Heck, even governments and the film industry use P2P.

    So, I don't see your point. It certainly does not justify piracy, but it does not justify killing those technologies either.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    "Would that be different from people moving from one company in an industry to another?"

    Of course it's different. In one instance you're talking about two entities that compete w/each other. In the other you're talking about a public org. that is supposed to regulate the private company for the public interest. World's of difference there.

    "Non-compete clause contracts don't really seem to hold much legal water."

    Agreed, but with regard to elected officials I see no reason you couldn't give them some teeth...

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    Maybe if we just get a little law passed that equates "screwing the public from a position of governmental authority" and "treason" so at least the assholes pulling this stuff will have some spicy spicy danger to go with their shilling...

     

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    rubberpants, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    So you want government workers to have less rights than normal people?


    Yep. It's called public service for a reason. Just like those in the military give up some of their rights.

    Hypothetical: When you take a position in government, you agree that you can't work for any industry that lobbied you for a period of x years.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    Cannot work with, near, for, under, around, over, and/or within any industry which lobbied your AND any industry which is in any way, shape or form connected with aforementioned prior industry.

    (There, fixed it for ya.)

     

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  16.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    It all depends what level of proof that you want

    This blog keeps repeating this basic argument: the prosecutors/plaintiffs don't have enough proof. Perhaps you expect that all of the movie and record guys will slap their head and go, "You know, Mike is right. Let's just fire everyone and start putting up cat videos on YouTube."

    As that's not going to happen-- the consumer demand is too high for good, professional content from people who know what they're doing-- the pros are going to protect their marketplace. That means suing.

    If you continue to poke at every lawsuit and invent increasingly sophistic rationalizations to help the lazy, cheapass couch potatoes weasel out of pulling their weight, the cops are going to do what you ask of them. They're going to get better proof and that means more extensive wiretapping.

    So every time you come up with your looney arguments like perhaps maybe ninjas slipped into Jammie Thomsas's apartment and downloaded all of the files while Jammie was in the shower, the cops are going to say, "Gosh, that guy Mike has us by the short and curlies. We better ask Congress for more intrusive surveillance so we can make Mike and his fan club happy with the higher standard of evidence. Because they deserve it."

    Be careful what you wish for.

     

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  17.  
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    Bryan, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    Government employees? no. but a government or a company should have less rights then a person. At least different rights.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re:

    There is something classically funny about you doing exactly what I said.

    Carry on!

     

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  19.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "Be careful what you wish for."

    What the giant uncircumsized penis are you TALKING about? A standard of evidence needs to be met and the only way to achieve it is by stripping the rights of the average citizen? Are you completely retarded?

    You just suggested extensive wiretapping at the behest of private business interests. Do you even know what that IS? It's the very definition of fascism, you dolt.

    Here's hoping you catch syphilis and perish. Quickly....

     

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  20.  
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    deadzone (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    You and your industry should take your own advice. "Be careful what you wish for" Too dumb and shortsighted to realize that it's killing your industry I guess.

    Every reaction seems to be defensive, every decision that is made seems to be defensive. All resources are being poured into protecting a business model that is becoming less relevant by the day.

    Play offense for once and compete. Try something different for a change.

     

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  21.  
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    Steven (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: #3 AC Re: Close the revolving door

    It's not that they can't be normal. It precisely that they are normal and have a special position that allows them to grant privilege.

    We should recognize that government folks are not any special breed of people and construct the system in a transparent way so that the incentives help keep people honest.

     

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  22.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "If you continue to poke at every lawsuit and invent increasingly sophistic rationalizations to help the lazy, cheapass couch potatoes weasel out of pulling their weight, the cops are going to do what you ask of them. They're going to get better proof and that means more extensive wiretapping."

    If you continue to poke at every innovation and invent increasingly sophistic rationalisations to help the lazy, cheapass studio potatoes weasel out of pulling their weight, the consumers are going to do what you ask of them. They're going to stop consuming unlawful content and that means only supporting free content.

    Hey, it makes about as much sense as your version.

     

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  23.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Troll being troll

    Just a few pieces short of a strawman there aren't you?

    What would you do if you had a brain??

    Silly troll being silly, now back under the bridge for the weekend!

     

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  24.  
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    Steven, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    "So you want government workers to have less rights than normal people?"

    It's not a matter of government workers having fewer rights since their right to skip the TSA groping balances the total number of rights they have.

    More importantly, we have a right to protecting ourselves from government officials who give away our rights in exchange for high salaries.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Look, bob makes an excellent point. If you're doing nothing wrong then it should follow that one should have no problem attaching a government-sanctioned recording device to your face at all times.

    It's the pirates fault! They made us do it! We had no choice!

     

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  26.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    Re: Close the revolving door

    Espinel is a patent lawyer. She dealt with all of these issues for years. She's not stupid...

    She's just a major pawn in this game of blame.

     

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  27.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "As that's not going to happen-- the consumer demand is too high for good, professional content from people who know what they're doing-- the pros are going to protect their marketplace. That means suing."

    I'm going to laugh at this post when the directors and actors eventually start leaving Hollywood to find their own fortunes with their own copyrights that they don't HAVE to sign away.

    Then we'll come back to this statement and laugh as the dictatorship of the RIAA/MPAA system gives way to a more democratic, artist friendly healthy competition as artists and actors find NEW ways to produce movies, on smaller budgets and with less direct MPAA BS.

    Oh wait...

     

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  28.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    This blog keeps repeating this basic argument: the prosecutors/plaintiffs don't have enough proof. Perhaps you expect that all of the movie and record guys will slap their head and go, "You know, Mike is right. Let's just fire everyone and start putting up cat videos on YouTube."

    Um. What? If that's what anyone thinks I'm advocating, you really need to check your reading comprehension sensors.

    As that's not going to happen-- the consumer demand is too high for good, professional content from people who know what they're doing-- the pros are going to protect their marketplace. That means suing.

    You are, of course, conflating a few different issues. I *am* talking about good, professional content from people who know what they're doing, and no, that does not mean suing. I've demonstrated over and over and over again how professional content creators have benefited from NOT suing, but embracing what fans want.

    If you continue to poke at every lawsuit and invent increasingly sophistic rationalizations to help the lazy, cheapass couch potatoes weasel out of pulling their weight, the cops are going to do what you ask of them. They're going to get better proof and that means more extensive wiretapping.

    Almost nothing you say here is accurate. The "proof" we're looking for is actual evidence of impact. What does wiretapping have to do with that?

    So every time you come up with your looney arguments like perhaps maybe ninjas slipped into Jammie Thomsas's apartment and downloaded all of the files while Jammie was in the shower, the cops are going to say, "Gosh, that guy Mike has us by the short and curlies. We better ask Congress for more intrusive surveillance so we can make Mike and his fan club happy with the higher standard of evidence. Because they deserve it."

    You really don't have any clue what you're talking about, do you? I argued here that Jammie clearly did what she was accused of and that she should have settled.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20071004/011113.shtml

    Why would you so blatantly lie?

    It's pretty sad when the critics here have to make up what they think I said, rather than responding to logic and knowledge. It really shows how desperate you've become to cover your eyes and ears and pretend reality is not reality.

     

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  29.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I have given up on trying to debate with ole bob here.

    He usually ignores any rebuttal and continues on his merry way with his arguments that boil down to these:

    "But...but...what about bob?"

    "Get off my lawn, you damn kids"

    "If it's big business or the government doing it - it's ALWAYS correct and NEVER correct if it's them damn freeloading couch potato hippies (which appears to be anyone who is not on the big business/government side).

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing more cat videos on YouTube. Did you have a timetable in mind?

     

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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Laws support private business interests. If someone takes your car, the laws are supporting your interests. It seems like it's only fascism when the laws support someone else's interests. Not very fair, if you ask me.

     

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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    So you offered one post with a tepid condemnation of the strength of Thomas's case, all while larding on more amorphous criticisms of the RIAA just to make sure that your rabid acolytes don't think you've changed sides. BFD.

    Most of the blog posts are like this one:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110106/16034212566/rapidshare-ruled-legal-yet-again.shtml

    They're constantly looking for any reason to argue that we can't be absolutely sure that someone isn't breaking the law. Any weakness in a prosecution becomes a jumping off point for endless philosophical arguments about whether someone is truly breaking the law.

    So what's the industry going to do when it runs into problem prosecuting RapidShare? They're going to say, "Gosh, maybe Mike and RapidShare's lawyers have a point. Maybe there is one user who isn't trafficking in copyrighted materials. How can we solve this weakness? How can we be absolutely sure we're not putting grandma in jail? Let's eavesdrop on every user and see what they're storing. Then we can filter out grandma."

    It's simple. You've got to choose your poison: vast wiretaps or conviction for making copyrighted material available. If you're going to keep insisting that merely making material available isn't technically breaking some law, the RIAA is going to come looking for proof and wiretaps are the only way to satisfy this higher hurdle.

     

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  33.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I'm all for the individual creators and that's why I'm such a vocal opponent of piracy. All of the P2P "sharing" endorsed by the cheap freeloaders here hurts the small guy first. The major studios have the money to make 3D films and anything that can't easily be copied by the downloaders. It's the people making the small films that can't compete when their DVD is ripped and distributed verbatim.

     

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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Neither is copyright lasting centuries but you don't see anyone complaining about that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I choose vast wiretaps and government-sanctioned recording devices attached to our faces.

     

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    RadialSkid (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Funny, considering "The Trashmaster" was more entertaining than any recent Hollywood film I've seen in the past year or so.

     

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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    That's inaccurate.

    Smaller studios benefit the MOST from filesharing. Why would places such as Nigeria, India, and China have healthier distribution systems?

    A - They promote other things despite the piracy. Google "Endhiran", "Oldboy" or look into the history of anime for more details.

     

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  39.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    ...

    Wow, I guess section 230 should be thrown out of the DMCA, where the responsibility of catching infringers falls on the plaintiff!

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Just wanted to point out

    It's too bad the White House is now appearing to be complicit in such deceptions.

    Just wanted to point out that Victoria's position only exists because that same group lobbied hard to have it created to begin with. You could pretty much have expected her to just back anything they want since they effectively gave her a high ranking government job.

     

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    Jordan (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Of course they deserve the laws they want. They paid for it didn't they?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    My having my car stolen is a private business interest? What in the world are you talking about?

     

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  43.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Inaccurate? Then why are all of the small, so-called indies in the film business disappearing?

    You can't tell much from looking at individual sales because it's impossible to tell what kind of marketing helped sell a film. This allows people to make the looney claim that people who watch a pirated version of the film are going to run out and see it again in the theater even though they know that the butler did it.

    Okay, maybe somebody released something on YouTube, sold some copies to friends, and then said it was all because of YouTube, but that's rare and getting rarer.

    You can look at the aggregate and in the aggregate the small end of the business is falling to pieces:

    http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/10/29/decline-in-dvd-sales-rampant-piracy-force-indie-wres tling-to-internet-pay-per-view/

    The indie films at Sundance that used to fetch $5m to $10m fetch $1 to $2 if they're lucky.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/business/media/21sundance.html

    http://www.indiewire.com/art icle/why_38_films_sold_at_sundance/

     

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  44.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Uh, you're a private citizen. The car is not owned by the public. The public doesn't benefit if the police recover your car, only you do.

    Now you may say that all of us need this service, but that's not really true. Many people don't own cars and many are poor people. The police fighting car theft are paid for by taxes on the poor.

    You can make the same argument for any law.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    It's simple. You've got to choose your poison: vast wiretaps or conviction for making copyrighted material available. If you're going to keep insisting that merely making material available isn't technically breaking some law, the RIAA is going to come looking for proof and wiretaps are the only way to satisfy this higher hurdle.

    Or, you know, they could realize that neither such "poison" will do anything other than poison them. And then they can adapt.

    The problem is you seem to think that we're advocating capitulation and shutting down. We're arguing nothing of the sort. We're arguing for smarter business models that would make them more money.

     

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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Ah, it won't be enough. The folks around here will start digging up "The Three Faces of Eve" and start arguing that made the infringement was done by my alter ego. They'll start the old multiple personality defense. Then we'll need to wiretap people's brains.

    It would be much simpler if people would just obey the rights of the artists. If you don't want to pay the fare, go watch cat videos on YouTube.

    If you insist on using every possible type of technology to steal content, then the content industry is going to try to find some way to regulate every form of technology.

    Hollywood is normally a very liberal place. They know that their audience likes movies that celebrate freedom. So they're inclined to hate wiretaps and be wary of government eavesdropping.

    But if you insist on such an absurdly high level of proof, Hollywood is going to work to deliver it even if that means forgoing their usual principles. They've got health insurance bills, mortgages and food bills to pay.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Uh, you're a private citizen. The car is not owned by the public. The public doesn't benefit if the police recover your car, only you do.


    Wow. Bob, I thought you just had trouble understanding what *we* wrote about. It turns out you have trouble understanding the basics of our criminal justice system as well.

    The purpose of our laws is not to protect private business interests, but to benefit society to the largest degree. Now, part of that may be in preventing the theft of physical goods, such as cars.

    The point that we have been making, which apparently causes your brain nerves to sputter out and die mass deaths, is that when it comes to infinitely reproduceable goods, perhaps the world (including the creators of those goods) are actually significantly better off without trying to lock down those things. There is significant theoretical *and* real world data to back this up.

    Now you may say that all of us need this service, but that's not really true. Many people don't own cars and many are poor people. The police fighting car theft are paid for by taxes on the poor.

    That is simply incorrect. First off, the poor tend not to pay much in tax. But even if it were true, if it made their neighborhoods safer, allowing them to be productive and contribute to the economy such that it's better off than the cost of policing, then what would be the issue?

    But when it comes to things like file sharing, the basic economics are different. That's what you seem to have trouble understanding. You have a divide-by-zero problem in your head, and if you get past it, perhaps you'll realize that you're shooting yourself in the foot by denying the value in infinitely copyable goods.

     

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  48.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I'm not sure if you've been paying attention, but piracy is a big business. RapidShare is quite happy to sell faster access. They've got a marketing team coming up with weaselly slogans like claiming that they're "anti-waiting".

    All of the USENET sites sell access and they usually charge more money than the NY Times wants to charge for their site. Yet everyone around here wants to pound on the NY Times while celebrating the freeloaders who share absolutely zero, zip, zilch with the creators. Does Mike write endless editorials asking why the USENET companies just don't get it? No. He's probably ready to knight them for being some proof of innovation that comes when you don't pay the creators anything.


    It goes deeper. The hardware companies hate to share revenue and they tend to see any dollar spent on content as a dollar that can't be spent on another new gadget. Furthermore, rampant piracy just encourages people to buy fatter disk drives.

    There's plenty of money at stake. Who do you think funds all this astroturfing? Look at Mike's sponsors. Then put two and two together.

    This isn't a battle between big business and the peasantry. It's between different industries over the share of the consumer's disposable income. It's between countries. The countries that make mainly hardware support piracy and those that make big budget movies don't. Go figure.

    Then go look deeper. What did Larry Ellison at Oracle say about Open Source software? It's software he can take for free without paying the creators anything.

    Face it. Strong, well-enforced IP rights protect the little guy when the big guy comes to call. The big guy may still win, but with strong IP rights the little guy gets a bigger share.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Bob makes a valid point.

    Honestly, if you want to make hollywood / mpaa / riaa / etc all suffer, stop buying their product, stop watching their products, stop using their products, and most of all, stop downloading their productions and proving they are popular.

    The whole situation is insanely funny. Everyone calls out the "big corporate IP overlords" and then laps up their products like mommy's milk.

    Bob is right. Ninja's slipped in while Jammie was in the shower. Or on her wireless, or perhaps they just magically made her favorite music appear on her computer and put it in her peering list. Yeah, that's it.

    Giant uncircumcised penis indeed!

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Why are artist's rights greater than the public's rights? Or better yet, why is it that when determining rights the public never really gets a say? Which is why we have copyright lasting as long as we do.

     

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  51.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Oh yeah, the Princess Leia argument that squeezing too hard will just squeeze more systems out of the Empire. Nah. They just rebuilt the Death Star and plugged that old hole. Want to bet that a third Death Star comes along without needing some weak link on Endor?

    And what are these models? Selling music boxes? We keep hearing about how it will all be wine and roses if the movie studios just stop suing and embracing one of these "new" business models, but we rarely see anything come along.

    It's been years since Cory Doctorow started giving away his books. Radiohead did their thing long ago. If there were any deep, long-term success to be had with these ideas, we would see others finding more success. But they tend to be small cheese.

    There's something very democratic about asking each viewer to cough up a few dollars to see a movie. Piracy undercuts this. If it becomes too easy, the honest people feel ripped off and taken advantage of.

    The industry needs a deterrent to help honest people stay honest. I wish the world didn't need locks but experience has proven that we do. All the RIAA and the honest, non-freeloaders want is a way to make sure that everyone contributes a relatively fair share to the pool.

     

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  52.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Hey, I'm not the one arguing against using the laws to protect private entities. That's someone else. I'm all for it. Go pick on Dark Helmet.

     

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  53.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    First, many people in the public are artists. Copyright protects the small and the big.

    Second, the limit is set by a democratically elected body. I personally don't think we need something as long as Congress wants to grant, but the simplest law uses time as a simple limit. So you're going to need some threshold and people are always going to be arguing too long or too short.

    The current one is a compromise already.

     

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  54.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    What did Larry Ellison at Oracle say about Open Source software? It's software he can take for free without paying the creators anything.

    That's kind of true, but it's really backwards - the creators of Open Source software are GIVING the software away - there is no "taking".

    And there nothing in the GPL license that says you can't charge for open source software if you wanted to - you just have to make sure that the source is available everyone (that's the "open" part). Plenty of business are doing well giving open source away (infinite), but charging for other things, like support (scarce).

     

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  55.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Oh yeah, the Princess Leia argument that squeezing too hard will just squeeze more systems out of the Empire. Nah. They just rebuilt the Death Star and plugged that old hole. Want to bet that a third Death Star comes along without needing some weak link on Endor?

    If you honestly think that's what's happening, you're more lost than I thought. You're not talking about plugging a few vulnerabilities in a device. You're talking about the fundamental nature of digital content. You can't undue technological progress, no matter how much you luddites want to. It's just frustrating that you end up handicapping innocent businesses along the way.

    And what are these models? Selling music boxes? We keep hearing about how it will all be wine and roses if the movie studios just stop suing and embracing one of these "new" business models, but we rarely see anything come along.


    If you think the business models I'm advocating are "selling music boxes," you failed school, bob. I've detailed tons of such business models. Just this past Monday I was at SXSW and did a discussion in the film portion, and came across a bunch of filmmakers doing cool new business models.

    If you think that nothing's happening, *you're not paying attention*. But, given your willful blindness and your desire to blatantly misrepresent what I say, perhaps that's no surprise.

    t's been years since Cory Doctorow started giving away his books. Radiohead did their thing long ago. If there were any deep, long-term success to be had with these ideas, we would see others finding more success. But they tend to be small cheese

    Heh. And, with that, Bob proves he's not paying attention.

    Keep up. The world is passing you by. No wonder you're so angry.

    There's something very democratic about asking each viewer to cough up a few dollars to see a movie. Piracy undercuts this. If it becomes too easy, the honest people feel ripped off and taken advantage of.


    Those who fail to understand economics will only serve to make the dumbest arguments around.

    Business isn't about democracy. If you can't understand supply and demand, you shouldn't be talking about business models.

    The industry needs a deterrent to help honest people stay honest. I wish the world didn't need locks but experience has proven that we do. All the RIAA and the honest, non-freeloaders want is a way to make sure that everyone contributes a relatively fair share to the pool

    If you need a deterrent to keep people honest around your business model, you're doing it wrong. But, that's no surprise, since you've clearly admitted that you have no idea how to do it right.

     

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  56.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Okay, I'll bite. Why don't you write something about these wonderful new business models at SXSW. If I search your site for SXSW, I can't find any mention. So quit insulting me and get to work.

    And remember what you're promising. You've said above, "We're arguing for smarter business models that would make them more money".

    So let's see some business models that offer to make more money for the artists. Let's see if these new models can beat some real stinkers like MacGruber ($8.5m)

    http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/12/29/lowest-grossing-movies-2010/

     

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  57.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Agreed that the open source thing is much bigger than this debate. And it's all by choice which is very different than the piracy that's constantly rationalized around here. So it's not worth going much deeper.

    I was simply trying to note that copyright protects the creators. Monty sure felt different about MySQL after Sun was sold to Oracle. He may have technically given it away, but he sure looked for every legal cudgel to deploy against Oracle so he could take it back.

    And what did Richard Stallman argue about MySQL? He said that MySQL needed the legal power of copyright to maintain its business advantage. Many people say that the dream of open source died when Stallman wrote that letter.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    The reason the freetards hate the movie/music industries so much is because they're jealous of their lifestyle, and are hopelessly addicted to their content.
    They also resent them for actually having a cool career that pays, while they toil away in their parent's basement contributing nothing and leeching off everything.

     

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  59.  
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    coldbrew, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    How elitist can you get? I know lots of developers that love their work. Go checkout stackexchange or hackernews. Did you see The Social Network? You sound very angry.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    He's been asked to demonstrate that numerous times.

    Instead he spends most of his time trying to say why enforcing piracy laws is bad.

    Everything is a smokescreen here. Whether it's the new business models or why piracy enforcement is bad. It's always muddled, or FUDed, to keep anyone from knowing exactly where things stand and exactly what works.

    Talk about a bad business model.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I thought it was because those industries keep getting the laws changed to the detriment of the rest of society.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    And such a lovely compromise that it pits people against people. I'm sure come 2018 Disney will be able to lobby the Untied States congress to increase the length of copyright by another 20 years, you know, for the little guy!

     

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  63.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Of course not. Disney won't do it for the little guy. They'll do it for themselves. But it will apply to your copyrights too and the copyrights of your forebearers if they happened to assign them to you.

     

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  64.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Yup. And it's protected by copyright. I hope the artists who created it are rewarded and encouraged to make more.

     

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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I understand that copyright is the reason I can enjoy a $100m blockbuster and pay only $10 to see it. Copyright makes sure that I pay for my fair share, not the fair share of the pirates too. If piracy becomes rampant, the honest people get screwed.

    So it depends upon which part of society you're in. Blockbusters like "Star Wars" aren't made by themselves. They require the work of thousands of artists who aren't exhausted at the end of the day. I think it would be a detriment to society if these guys couldn't get a honest return on their work because I like their work and I love the fact that I only have to contribute a small amount to enjoy it.

     

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  66.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    He has taken my challenge and written up some nice business models. They're perfectly good cases where people made some beer money while giving away everything. I salute them and wish them well.


    But by the same token, I'm sure that we're not seeing the tools that will allow artists to work on their art and live in a decent house, raise a family and provide them with medical insurance. This is something that the old, evil copyright regime would often allow, even after the suits supposedly took the lion's share of the cash.

    You're right that he tends to speak in dreamy terms about this shangri-la.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I guess piracy is the reason George Lucas isn't making anymore Star Wars movies.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Just so long as culture and the public domain keep getting the short end of the stick; just so long as Disney can do to the works in the public domain that others are not allowed to do to the works of Disney.

    Hey, I tried to give money to Disney for their movie Song of the South but they don't want any. The movie is locked up in their vault, apparently. What a strange thing to do to a piece of my own childhood.

    Disney: 1
    Culture: 0

     

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  69.  
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    bob, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I don't see it as imbalanced as you. Everyone is free to take stuff from the public domain, just as Disney did. You can do the same thing with Kimba or Peter Pan. Furthermore, you can copyright your work just as they did.

    Would it be nice if stuff started going into the public domain? I'm not very devoted to the long tail of copyright and I don't care so much whether it gets extended or not. If anything, I see it as a rather academic point with little practical importance because not too many people care about stuff from the 1920s. Aside from Mickey Mouse and maybe some stuff from James Joyce, I don't care.

    If anything, it could end up being a mess. So let's say that the 20s era Mickey hits the public domain. What does that mean about the newer versions that were drawn in the 50s or the 70s or the 90s? Are they distinct? Are they different?

    Sure, it would be nice if Disney released "Song of the South", but you must be aware that it really hurts some people. Those people would probably rather it disappear. It's not about money. Heck, they're ignoring your cash.

    And if your argument is about fairness, you're just as free to lock up your creations too.

     

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  70.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Okay, I'll bite. Why don't you write something about these wonderful new business models at SXSW. If I search your site for SXSW, I can't find any mention. So quit insulting me and get to work

    Did you not read what I actually wrote?

    And remember what you're promising. You've said above, "We're arguing for smarter business models that would make them more money".

    Exactly. Most of those who are running these experiments would have made exactly nothing under your prefered system. Yet, now they're making a living. I think that's pretty good.

    So let's see some business models that offer to make more money for the artists. Let's see if these new models can beat some real stinkers like MacGruber ($8.5m)

    Wrong thing to judge it against. Here's the thing, bob, under your prefered system, most filmmakers LOSE money. Under our system, those who in the past couldn't have even made or released a movie are now profitable filmmakers.

    Judging it against a single Hollywood film is, yet again, missing the point.

     

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  71.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    The reason the freetards hate the movie/music industries so much is because they're jealous of their lifestyle, and are hopelessly addicted to their content

    Yes, that's right. I'm jealous of musicians who make no money and have their labels keep all their money.

    Wow. You're really clueless aren't you?

    They also resent them for actually having a cool career that pays, while they toil away in their parent's basement contributing nothing and leeching off everything

    :) Considering you're the one who claims you're a failed musician and I'm having my dream career... think again.

     

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  72.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    I understand that copyright is the reason I can enjoy a $100m blockbuster and pay only $10 to see it. Copyright makes sure that I pay for my fair share, not the fair share of the pirates too. If piracy becomes rampant, the honest people get screwed.

    Wait, what? What does copyright have to do with you paying $10? Nothing. Movies that are offered up for free online by their creators are still able to sell $10 tickets to the theaters and do quite well at it. The most pirated movies of all times are also the ones with the highest box office take.

    Are you really so clueless to think that copyright has anything to do with you paying $10?

    Wow.

    So it depends upon which part of society you're in. Blockbusters like "Star Wars" aren't made by themselves. They require the work of thousands of artists who aren't exhausted at the end of the day. I think it would be a detriment to society if these guys couldn't get a honest return on their work because I like their work and I love the fact that I only have to contribute a small amount to enjoy it

    Why do you keep saying they can't get a return. Make a good product, and combine it with a good business model. You can still do that. It has nothing to do with copyright.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    But that's not how culture and the arts work. Exhibit A: Reality

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Make a good product, and combine it with a good business model.

    What's the good business model? People keep asking you this question and you never answer it.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Mike apparently has a certain poster's IP addresses on speed dial.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    What's the new business model?

    Feel free to clearly spell it out right here:

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Once again, please tell us what these are. We already know that digital cameras have been cheap for over a decade.

    What are the new business models are that will make filmmakers more money than the current business model?

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Mike doesn't mind exposing people when it suits his purpose. Absolutely no respect for the anonymous nature of the internet.

     

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  79.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Mike apparently has a certain poster's IP addresses on speed dial.


    Once again, nope. It's just obvious who you are from your tone.

     

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  80.  
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    monkyyy, Mar 18th, 2011 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Close the revolving door

    sounds like a great plan to me

     

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  81.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Bob, Whatever you're smoking, I want double that. It must really be good because whatever you're saying is on a whole 'nother world...

     

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  82.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:41pm

    It's all in how you connect.

    It truly depends on what you're doing and it's specific to what your needs and who your customers are.

    A tattoo artist might give away katakana symbols online that he's drawn on other people.

    A song artist uses CC licensing to help sell concert tickets around the world.

    A writer gives away pdfs for $.99 while writing the entire book and selling that tangible good for $30.

    It depends on what you can do and how you want to do it.

     

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  83.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 10:56pm

    Where you see scarcity, I see opportunity.

    ... I see a vast amount of opportunity in those websites, but I'm not a promoter.

    From the first site:

    There was also a study a few weeks ago that said, because there’s so many entertainment options out there—Netflix, iTunes, Steam, Facebook games, etc.—that people simply spend less time in front of their TV than they used to.

    It’s a problem facing the whole entertainment industry, trying to figure out how to get people to pay any sort of attention to what they’re selling.


    Hint: First mover wins. More people want online streaming. Give it to them!

    Second and third links:
    Sundance has been very overrated IMO. The problem is that you get a few hotshots who think they're hot stuff and if they don't get a major deal, they quit making movies. IIRC, only Kevin Smith had the courage to stand up, say "screw the industry" and go it alone. He made a $4 million dollar film and decided to forge his own path. I can't fault that!

    But with the internet, we're moving away from the older options. People want new movies and entertainment, and we're having a TON of people in various ways find new projects, fund new projects, and do a lot more with smaller budgets.

     

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  84.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    ...

    You really don't pay attention do you?


    Rather, please explain how copyright is getting a person rewarded.

     

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  85.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Mar 18th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    In case you missed what I was replying to:

    Perhaps you expect that all of the movie and record guys will slap their head and go, "You know, Mike is right. Let's just fire everyone and start putting up cat videos on YouTube."

    As that's not going to happen-- the consumer demand is too high for good, professional content...


    Ahem.

     

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  86.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    You could, y'know, try not criminalising human nature.

     

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  87.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Pioneer One, where 95% of the money raised went into the creator's pockets once filming was done. They raised funding for an entire series in the space of a few days.

    But no, REAL examples don't count.

     

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  88.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 3:41am

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    So why haven't they gone after Girl Talk? OR any of the Mixmasters that play in clubs?

     

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  89.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So, you'll ignore his points and continue to pretend that people here are "justifying piracy" and not defending the tool itself for legal purposes? Sad, but predictable.

    Carry on? I fear you will...

     

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  90.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Mike has written many, probably in the hundreds by now, of articles addressing this exact question. But, morons like yourself keep ignoring that.

    Short answer: there is no single, one-size-fits-all, model for every movie or musician or writer or whatever. What works for one movie will not necessarily work for another. Despite "piracy", the current model does work very well for some movies. For others, a more open approach is more suitable, or at least something more creative than "this is how we're always done it". More failures can be attributed to bad marketing, bad release schedules or simply low quality product than anything directly associated with "piracy".

    It's about time that when the incorrect decisions are made, the industry examined its own practices and stopped crying about "piracy".

     

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  91.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Awww... is somebody upset because his moronic comments are being called out for being moronic?

    There's an easy fix for that - post intelligent comments.

     

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  92.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Wow, you're making a lot of faulty assertions, I'm not sure where to start. Let's go with this:

    "Then why are all of the small, so-called indies in the film business disappearing? "

    They're not. New indie production houses are springing up all the time, and a lot of them have been around for many years. Those that are failing are often doing so due to bad decisions, or by not adapting to the realities of the modern marketplace. That's sad, but not necessarily something to mourn, as their place is being taken by new talent.

    "You can't tell much from looking at individual sales because it's impossible to tell what kind of marketing helped sell a film. "

    ...and in response to this, you appear to be saying "do nothing" instead of "try everything". The fact is that there are huge numbers of ways to sell a movie, and many of them have nothing to do with the traditional methods. Many of them are extremely cheap, or even free. It's a diverse world out there, and modern distribution techniques *should* mean that anybody, anywhere on the planet can buy your work at any time. Sadly, only the pirates actually offer this for most films, but that should be enough to show that there is demand out there for producers who wish to offer such a service.

    "You can look at the aggregate and in the aggregate the small end of the business is falling to pieces:"

    Wow, what a silly and biased piece of writing in that article! First of all, it's making the blind assumption that DVD sales are falling directly due to "piracy". That may be part of the issue, but certainly not the whole story. The article even notes that people are *paying* for a lot of entertainment options other than DVD, but the moron writing it seems to ignore that because he wants to blame "piracy".

    Secondly, I don't really see what the article's trying to say. It's about a producer whose product was totally dependent on DVD, but now that DVD sales are falling he's moved a product over to pay per view. What's the problem here? You have a businessman who failed to diversify until it was too late, but has still managed to find alternative channels. This is how business works - you evolve or die. "It's not as easy as it used to be" is no excuse.

    "The indie films at Sundance that used to fetch $5m to $10m fetch $1 to $2 if they're lucky. "

    Anybody who actually pays attention to the business would realise that those previous figures were part of a bubble that began in the early 90s and has now well and truly burst. The problem here isn't "piracy", it's distribution and the fact that so few large distributors are willing to take any kind of risk on said indie product. If you read books about the independent film scene, you'll find that this isn't new, and was in fact the norm for some time before the early 90s explosion of indie film.

    Again, the question that these producers should be asking isn't "why didn't the film sell for as much as it would have done 10 years ago", but "why am I depending on Sundance attendees for distribution when any teenager in his bedroom and do it himself for free".

     

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  93.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "All of the USENET sites sell access and they usually charge more money than the NY Times wants to charge for their site."

    USENET gives access to more than the content of one newspaper. It seems telling that you choose to compare NYT to USENET, considering USENET is less of a competitor to NYT than free newspapers or aggregators.

    "The hardware companies hate to share revenue"

    Do the content providers like to share revenue?

    "they tend to see any dollar spent on content as a dollar that can't be spent on another new gadget"

    Odd that Apple used iTunes to drive the sales of their hardware then.

    "Who do you think funds all this astroturfing? Look at Mike's sponsors."

    Do you even know what astroturfing means?

    "The countries that make mainly hardware support piracy and those that make big budget movies don't"

    That seems very ironic considering the big studios founded Hollywood to avoid having to pay patent fees to hardware manufacturers.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2011 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    If the industry has enough money for careers that pay then certainly piracy hasn't harmed the idustry, right?

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2011 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Which apparently works good enough for him. Or why else would shilltards like you show up here regularly?

     

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  96.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "Does Mike write endless editorials asking why the USENET companies just don't get it? No"

    No, he doesn't because Usenet companies aren't trying to change laws and sue their customers to defend a dying business model. They're apparently making a decent amount of money. What is there to "get" in comparison to the companies that whine about pirates offering a better service than they do themselves?

    "It goes deeper. The hardware companies hate to share revenue and they tend to see any dollar spent on content as a dollar that can't be spent on another new gadget. "

    It goes dumber... First of all, do the content companies like to share revenue? I doubt it. Then, what exactly are you talking about here? Nobody would buy hardware without some content to use it with. That's part of the reason why every country in the world makes its own content. Why would people buy iPods, hard drives and other hardware if there were no content they wished to use them with?

    You also act as though only certain countries produce hardware and only certain countries produce content. That's completely untrue, even if you don't get exposed to the output of every country yourself. Name a country, and I could probably name movies, music, books and other content to have come from that country, even if their copyright systems differ.

    "The countries that make mainly hardware support piracy and those that make big budget movies don't."

    Ah, another idiot who thinks that the budget of a movie somehow reflects its quality. Sometimes, such budgets are necessary. Sometimes, all they do is vastly increase the risk and force content to be as bland and safe as possible. Not a good thing.

    Also, what do you count as "big budget" for your comparison? Very few countries make movies that cost over $100 million, while the buying power of currencies differ. Was China's Red Cliff not big budget in your eyes because it only cost $80 million, even though the buying power of each dollar would have greatly exceeded its power in the US? If not, why not? If so, then by your logic copyright must have been important for such expenditure, even though China is a major hardware producer and certainly no friend of US-style copyright.

    "What did Larry Ellison at Oracle say about Open Source software? It's software he can take for free without paying the creators anything."

    First off, so? It's being given away for free with the express permission of its creators. Is there something wrong with that, or do you only place value on things with price tags attached? Secondly, he is of course free to take the software and use it for any purpose. He's just not free to alter and resell it outside of the terms of the licence. If he does so, it's no different to "stealing" proprietary software.

    Then, of course, you seem to be ignoring the fact that a lot of people make a decent living from such software, and that most major companies use some kind of open source solution to increase their own profitability. None of this has anything to do with "IP rights".

     

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  97.  
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    Any Mouse (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    New business model? Not my problem.

    Propping up your old business model? Also not my problem.

    The fact that you can't take the suggestions that Mike, and many others, have set right out in front of you, and have to ask us what you should be doing is telling.

    Here's a clue for you: more laws will not save you.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Hans, Mar 19th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "Everyone is free to take stuff from the public domain, just as Disney did."

    How can you possibly say that with a straight face in a conversation about copyrights and Disney? Clearly you're making up stuff to support your argument without even thinking.

    Disney has access to works in the public domain because of expired copyrights, but then argues that they need to keep their work out of the public domain through copyright extension. So while I may be "free to take stuff from the public domain", any fool can see there won't be much there except the same old stuff they used.

    "I don't care so much whether it gets extended or not. If anything, I see it as a rather academic point with little practical importance because not too many people care about stuff from the 1920s."

    You're not really thinking about this are you? The whole issue with copyright extension is that as long as copyrights keep getting extended, all there will be is the old stuff that Disney based their work on. There won't be any newer stuff because the copytards will have locked it all up through a government enforced monopoly.

     

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  99.  
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    Karl (profile), Mar 19th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Honestly, if you want to make hollywood / mpaa / riaa / etc all suffer, stop buying their product, stop watching their products, stop using their products

    ...and they'll still blame "piracy" for all of their problems.

     

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  100.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 20th, 2011 @ 4:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "Everyone is free to take stuff from the public domain, just as Disney did."

    But, the people whose work Disney took was in the public domain after having been donated by their creators when the agreed copyright period expired. Disney simply refuse to enrich the available pool with their own works. They take everything, but refused to give back. A problem, surely?

    "Furthermore, you can copyright your work just as they did."

    The issue isn't that they copyrighted it. The issue is that they gamed the system to allow decades of extra copyright after the time at which the original contract they agreed to expired - at the expense of every single one of their contemporaries at the time of their first registrations.

    "I see it as a rather academic point with little practical importance because not too many people care about stuff from the 1920s."

    Ah, the old "I don't like something, therefore nobody does" bullshit.

    First of all, a lot of people care about things from the 1920s. There was recently a LOT of interest in a restored version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. In fact, that film is interesting enough for at least one film to be directly based on it (a 2001 anime) and element of it influencing nearly a century of cinema.

    Secondly, this attitude causes works to be literally erased from history. Orphaned works, nitrate films, unfashionable content. Overbearing copyright causes older films to be lost forever, and all in the name of the almighty dollar. That's pretty sick, from where I sit.

    "So let's say that the 20s era Mickey hits the public domain. What does that mean about the newer versions that were drawn in the 50s or the 70s or the 90s? Are they distinct? Are they different? "

    Yes. If the copyright expires on Steamboat Willie, that just means that the footage used in that movie is out of copyright. The footage therein, as well as the general story can be used by others. However, if Disney retain the rights to the character itself (which I believe would be covered by trademark or some other area of copyright law), later versions would be unaffected. Early Mickey films going public domain would not affect Disneyworld or Fantasia.

    Even if they did, so what? The Brothers Grimm didn't get anything from Disney's adaptations of their works long after their death. Why should Walt get money if others decides to use his material to create something new?

    "Sure, it would be nice if Disney released "Song of the South", but you must be aware that it really hurts some people."

    Anybody who wishes to watch that film is able to do so. Just not legally. Besides, I have my doubts that anyone is actually "hurt" by the characters in the film, apart from accountants afraid to release it. Even if they are, why should that film be protected while, say, Birth Of A Nation is equally offensive but available everywhere in the public domain?

     

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  101.  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 20th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    It's not clear that they're working well for him. He used to pay other writers but now he's got the only byline left.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 20th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Uh, no. I couldn't find what you wrote. I typed "SXSW" into the search box and found only a few recent articles about things like bomb plots.

    Lose money? Where ya been. Movies make tons of money. And it's only bad for the investors if the movie "loses money". The artists get paid. So that $8.5m from "MacGruber" went right into the community of actors, lighting technicians, directors, caterers, and others. It paid for health insurance, mortgages, clothes and what not for creative people-- and yes some creative accountants too.

    And it sure seems like you're changing the game here. Originally you said you knew about smarter business models that would make the artists "more money". Now you're only promising to be "profitable."

    That's not the same thing. If I work on a shoestring budget, pay my staff next to nothing, force them to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from home, record it all on a borrowed camera, edit it with a borrowed Mac, I can claim that I'm profitable after selling one copy for $5 to my Mom.

    I'm all for people doing that kind of film making. It can be fun with the right group of people. But don't fool yourself into believing that shoe string budgets and getting people to donate their services for exposure is the same thing as making people "more money." It's not.

    So come on. I'm not asking you to show us how to make more money than "Star Wars." I'm not even asking you to surpass "Black Swan". I'm asking you to just bring in more money than one of the worst grossing studio films of 2010.

    If you can't pass that bar, you have no right claiming that these cool, new plans are going to make people "more money."

     

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  103.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    He has taken my challenge and written up some nice business models. They're perfectly good cases where people made some beer money while giving away everything. I salute them and wish them well.


    Heh. Someone isn't paying attention. We've also pointed to people making millions of dollars.

    Point is: these business models let anyone *make more money than they would have otherwise*. If you could have made $10,000 under the old system, now you might be able to make $20,000. If you could have made $1 million under the old system, now you might be able to make $2 million.

    That's the point.

    The idea that it only let's people make beer money is laughably wrong and ignorant.

    But you point to the people who do make a decent living and mock them (which is, frankly, disgusting), but leave out the fact that those same people, under the old system, wouldn't be making any money at all.

    I really don't understand how people like you can so mock actual creative people for succeeding too. It's really sick.

    But by the same token, I'm sure that we're not seeing the tools that will allow artists to work on their art and live in a decent house, raise a family and provide them with medical insurance.

    Then you haven't been paying attention. Look around. There are tons of such tools and more popping up every day.

    This is something that the old, evil copyright regime would often allow, even after the suits supposedly took the lion's share of the cash.


    Bullshit. You know this is bullshit. It allowed this for a TINY percentage of people. The rest went home totally empty-handed. The new models and tools allow many, many more people to make a decent living, by which they can afford all those things you list.

     

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  104.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    Uh, no. I couldn't find what you wrote. I typed "SXSW" into the search box and found only a few recent articles about things like bomb plots.

    Keep looking, bob. I didn't say I wrote about it in connection to SXSW. I said there are filmmakers doing cool things. And they are. You know what they're doing? They're using smart business models. They're *connecting with fans* and giving them *a reason to buy*. And they're doing it profitably.

    And it sure seems like you're changing the game here. Originally you said you knew about smarter business models that would make the artists "more money". Now you're only promising to be "profitable.

    That is more money. None of the filmmakers in the room at SXSW would have made *any* money under the old system, because it wasn't designed for them.

    That's the point.

    That's not the same thing. If I work on a shoestring budget, pay my staff next to nothing, force them to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from home, record it all on a borrowed camera, edit it with a borrowed Mac, I can claim that I'm profitable after selling one copy for $5 to my Mom.


    If you believe that's what's happening, you're not in the filmmaking business.

    I'm all for people doing that kind of film making. It can be fun with the right group of people. But don't fool yourself into believing that shoe string budgets and getting people to donate their services for exposure is the same thing as making people "more money." It's not.

    Yes, bob makes up a myth and then pretends it's true.

    Pay attention bobby, the world as you know it is passing you by.

    So come on. I'm not asking you to show us how to make more money than "Star Wars." I'm not even asking you to surpass "Black Swan". I'm asking you to just bring in more money than one of the worst grossing studio films of 2010.

    Same way we always talk about. You connect with fans, and give them a reason to buy. Do that and you'll make more money.

    If you can't pass that bar, you have no right claiming that these cool, new plans are going to make people "more money.

    I did, and I stand by it.

     

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  105.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 21st, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It all depends what level of proof that you want

    "But don't fool yourself into believing that shoe string budgets and getting people to donate their services for exposure is the same thing as making people "more money.""

    I don't hear the makers of Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, El Mariachi, etc. complaining. Peter Jackson made his debut movie Bad Taste (a big hit on video) at weekends with his friends for virtually nothing. Sure, they had studio help with distribution, but that was *after* the fact, and the studios took a pretty hefty part of the profits for that help (in some cases, I'd be surprised if the makers actually saw any of the proceeds).

    So, what's the problem with suggesting other models that exclude the studios, if they're not even involved in making the film?

    "I'm asking you to just bring in more money than one of the worst grossing studio films of 2010."

    Except, you seem to be gaming things so that it's very difficult to do so. You are literally only taking examples and data from one source - US cinemas. You're not considering foreign take, DVD, TV and other rights sales, merchandise and other items not related to the box office itself. And that's just the things that count under traditional models.

    Besides, you also make the mistake of assuming that the mainstream is the only thing that counts, and take no notice of the actual profit margin. $8.5 million was pathetic for a wide release like MacGruber, which cost $10 million. It was shown on over 2500 screens in the US - including marketing, the total cost would probably be more than twice that figure, and the studios usually only keep around 60% of the gross. They probably lost between $10 and $20 million on that movie.

    But, it if had been a movie that cost $1 million to make and distribute? It would have been a major success even if it had only taken $2 million, especially once other revenue streams were accounted for - and yet by your logic it was not as successful because the dollar gross was not as high. Your method of judging success is very much skewed.

    "If you can't pass that bar, you have no right claiming that these cool, new plans are going to make people "more money.""

    So, nobody can make suggestions as to better ways to do business because he's not giving you an example of someone already using it successfully? Twisted logic, there.

    The current movie distribution business simply doesn't work for everyone. Even the major studios can lose a lot of money - sometimes to the point of bankruptcy - and they have everything gamed so that most mainstream cinemas largely only show their product. Why are you so dead set against taking those lessons and saying that there's a better way?

     

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


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