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. icon
    PaulT (profile), 27 Oct 2011 @ 12:50pm

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

    So, we agree then. There's no hard figures, just assumption on both my side and yours at to what the costs vs. benefit really are. I'll simply maintain that if the pirates can supply a reasonable product for free, it shouldn't be beyond the studios to offer a legit download for a reasonable price. The higher prices simply put less adventurous customers off.

    "Making it available for download (and controlling access to the download) "

    I think you've inadvertently hit a major point here. It's not enough to offer the product, they have to *control* it too. This is a major issue. Studios want to put regional, format, device, time and other issues into digital files to try and stop piracy. It always fails, and all they do is make the product less attractive.

    If they stop trying to control product that's almost always out there already for free anyway, and offer it at a reasonable price, they might get somewhere. Instead, we're stuck with this current situation where the pirates off movies to anybody in the world in an unrestricted format, and the studios charge a premium for files that might not work at all the next time you upgrade your phone or PC. Guess why people don't like paying the premium?

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