by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
availability, infringement, prices

High Prices, Lack Of Availability Driving Lots Of Infringement

from the well,-duh dept

As we've seen before, if you make authorized content available in a convenient and useful manner, it can really help minimize infringement. Of course, if you don't make it available, or if you price it wrong, it just makes the problem worse. A new report out of the UK took a look at the availability and price online of some top films and found that the movie industry isn't doing a very good job, likely leading to much greater infringement.
DVDs are available for just shy of 100% of the films. But a wealth of British cultural history is simply not available through legal providers. Only 43% of the top 50 British films can be bought or rented online. Similarly, only 58% of the BAFTA Best Film award winners since 1960 have been made available.

The situation looks worse if iTunes is discounted. Excluding iTunes, only 27% of the BAFTA award winners are available, with 29% of the best British films. Only 6% of the best 50 British films are on Film4 OD or Virgin Media, with 14% available through a LoveFilm subscription and 4% through pay per view on LoveFilm.
The industry wants so badly to blame infringement for many of its structural problems. But, perhaps if it just focused on making the content available in a convenient fashion at a reasonable price, they'd realize that it really was just a business model issue all along and had nothing to do with "piracy."

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "From the sellers point of view, it really does not matter if the consumer buys a competing product, gets a pirate version or buys a sack of bagles instead -- either way they are not spending money on the seller's product."

    In the movie world, there really isn't a "competing product", because either you want this movie or you don't. There isn't 10 Avatars from 10 studios, there is 1. Buy it or don't, end of discussion. If they buy another movie, it wasn't for price related competitive issues, it was desire and want.

    If they pirate the movie, that is an issue. That is reducing the overall market (because instead of spending money on movies, they chose to break the law instead). That isn't a positive outcome for anyone, and hurts double so because not only was a sale lost (because they didn't buy), but also a potential sale tomorrow was lost (because they have pirated the movie and seen it, diminishing the "desire" to buy it).

    "So yeah, drop the prices to a competetive level or go out of business (like the ice cutters, weavers, monks and other professions erased by technology shifts)."

    It would be a good comparison if you ignore the fact that the people still want the product. Ice cutters went out of business because the modern refrigerator eliminated the need for their product. Weavers have a very small market because industrializations allows for cloth to be produced at a much lower price. But for movies, the end result is the same. The movie that cost 100 million to make before still costs 100 million to make today. The public still wants the product. They have just found a way to steal the ice and to try to force the weavers to work for free. That isn't exactly something that anyone should base their pricing decisions off of.

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