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 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "How many pieces do you think a 30 year old movie will sell?"

    The Thing was recently re-released with a new cover for the umpteenth time. 6 of the last 10 movies I bought were made in the 80s. Maniac Cop's just got Blu Ray released by 2 different companies on both sides of the pond - you think that didn't need work to get a release on Blu?

    Looks like some companies don't share your pessimism. Oooh... look at that. Most of those releases are being made by companies that put some effort into their releases and offer much more than just a copy of the movie. Yet, they're in business and seem to making a decent profit. Imagine that. I doubt they're millionaires, but that's not the only measure of success.

    "How many pieces do you have to produce to touch a reasonable retail market?"

    If the product is digital, a lot less than you'd think. If it was released in a reasonable way at a reasonable price, of course.

    "It's hard when you really start trying to look at an actual business model, rather than just sticking on the "technology is cheap" refrain."

    You mean, it's hard to adjust to the real world when you're making false assumptions about a market and completely failing to adequately meet the demands of a large part of it...

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