Why All Filmmakers Should Speak Out Against SOPA

from the you-can-never-stop-the-signal dept

There are many reasons why SOPA and other legislation like it should never be passed, e.g., it fundamentally changes how the internet functions, but here are just two things that should get you thinking:
  1. In 1999, I was vehemently against media piracy. It was wrong, I felt, to "rip off" artists without their permission.
  2. In 2011, I can say with absolute conviction that I was the one who was flat out wrong.
I've worked in the film industry for two decades as a screenwriter, director, assistant director, script supervisor, production assistant... I've seen a lot of change in the film industry in the last decade and realized at some point that I was witnessing a transition arising from the internet; the same transition that happened to the music industry in the 90s. For many of us in the music and movie industries, media piracy was a looming threat on the horizon, a planet killer whose orbit circled ever closer.

So I spent seven years trying to figure out the root causes of this transition and finally grasped a singular truth: media piracy was impossible to stop because -- in the longer lens of history -- media piracy was merely a symptom of a new technology (the internet) that many haven't yet understood how to monetize. Movie studios that built their empire on selling DVDs as units were threatened by the rise of the internet -- after all, how can you sell units if those units could be copied with impunity? But these were the same people who felt threatened by VCRs and those weren't the weapons of mass destruction they thought they'd be, were they? In fact, selling and renting video cassettes turned out to be a huge revenue stream for many, many years.

My 1999 self would have backed SOPA 100%. And that would have been a huge mistake. If I could go back in time, this is what I would have told my 1999 self:

  1. SOPA won't even affect its target group. Those who infringe content have their own private networks outside the reach of prying eyes. So even if SOPA successfully took down a few sites, infringement would simply move elsewhere to areas more difficult for law enforcement to find. Not only that, the more important problem is that stopping file sharing doesn't encourage customers to buy.

  2. The net sees censorship as damage and reroutes. The internet was created by DARPA. Being built by the military, its primary design was to allow a web of information to fix itself as network nodes were destroyed by nuclear blasts. Take out the Eastern seaboard? No problem. New pathways automatically arise to keep information flowing. This is the defining part of the internet. It's why we love it, why we use it, why it's vastly improved our lives and why it's created an entire industry that supports it.

    Okay, so here's the sucker punch: censorship -- or DMCA or SOPA takedowns, call it whatever you want, the internet sees it all as the same -- is interpreted as damage to the network, and automatically finds new pathways to get that information flowing again. By "automatically", I'm not just talking about the network itself -- its users are part of the internet that pro-actively makes their information (illicit or no) available if it's ever suddenly removed. Take down one web site and a mirror site emerges elsewhere. Kill that mirror site and another pops up. That's whack-a-mole on a global scale... and the moles posting illicit content far outnumber the whackers. Moreover, if the studios think piracy is bad now, wait until our current generation of kids -- now accustomed to "sharing" media online -- grows up and implements increasingly easier tools to circumvent egregious DRM. Software DRM is regularly broken within days of a software's release... and last year, Ubisoft's DRM was broken in only one day. That trend is only going to get more acute, not less.

  3. You can't miss a future you don't yet know. Mike had a great post about how we can't anticipate what kinds of new jobs are created because we don't fully understand how new technologies will become integrated into society. Whenever something radically new comes around, it disrupts everything we understand about how things are supposed to work. Human nature is always to resist change unless there is a clear benefit, but with new technologies, that benefit is rarely clear. And for incumbent businesses whose profits are based on the benefits of old technologies, there is no clear benefit. To them, media piracy is a threat that needs to be quashed because it endangers the status quo. Everything they've built their studios on has come from a business model swiftly becoming obsolete. Of course they want to defend that -- who wouldn't? And so they pine about the good old days when they could make movies and just sit back on the money they made from box office ticket sales. They miss that.

    But what if they embraced the future and used the best attributes of the internet to create more opportunities, more jobs, more new content? Then they'd look back on all of us today and wonder what took us so long to make the switch. History shows us over and over that people resist change, then adopt change, transition to it, and finally laugh about how they used to love riding horses, or copying manuscripts, or listening to town criers, or reading newspapers... The future holds incredible possibilities, but you don't know what those possibilities are yet, so how can you say it could be the end of the movie industry when you don't even know what that future really is?

    In 1906, John Phillip Sousa testified before congress about the "threat" of phonographs:
    These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy... in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.
    Sousa hated phonographs so much that he sometimes refused to conduct his orchestra if it were being recorded. In retrospect, it's painfully clear how misguided Sousa was: the music recording industry enabled more music to be brought to more fans and reinvigorated music worldwide. Now, our smartphone culture has morphed into recording everything. If it's not recorded, it's lost forever. Like Sousa's orchestra.

    Sousa couldn't have seen our future, but had he traveled here to see how our lives have been permeated with music because of the phonograph, upon returning to his own time, he probably would have missed the future.

  4. Piracy is a symptom of a new technology. You can't stop piracy any more than you can stop spam. Everyone agrees we should stop spam or mitigate against it, right? So why not stop and/or mitigate against piracy? Because at least with piracy, there's a huge opportunity to create value by expanding your fan base. Spam has no such upside potential.

    Movie studios fear how media piracy will disrupt them, and with good reason. Studios look on with dismay as their once iron-clad monopoly on controlling digital content degrades, their bottom line shrinks, and some industry jobs are lost. They try to convince us that SOPA will save those jobs -- saving jobs is an intrinsic good, isn't it? -- but many jobs in legacy industries are lost as newer technologies gain prominence. Sure, I'd love my script supervisor's union to lobby studios to keep my cush job at $40-$50/hour pay... it's hard to argue against your own fat paycheck if it's putting food in your kids' mouths. Yet we'd all see that argument differently if I were lobbying the government for harsher legislation to protect my job as a horse buggy maker, a town crier, or a manuscript illuminator. Not all jobs deserve to be saved. The market does a pretty good job of sorting out which jobs need to be saved, and which jobs need to be excised.

  5. "Piracy is a service issue, not a technology issue." This is perhaps the most important point of all... because it's actually been proven. It's frequently invoked by Gabe Newell, the man who runs Valve Software. Despite claims that the PC market for games has rampant piracy and it's impossible to make money in that market, Valve's software platform called Steam has done phenomenally well from selling digital content to PC users. When Valve was thinking about wading into the Russian market, they were told, "you’re doomed, they’ll pirate everything in Russia". Did Valve lean on Russian lawmakers for harsher anti-piracy laws? Nope. Instead, Valve offered a service better than what people were getting from pirates and Newell says that "Russia now, outside of Germany, is our largest continential European market." You'll never see Newell lobby for stricter legislation like SOPA because Newell understands how the internet works, why people pirate, and how best to compete with piracy.

    Only the movie studios who grok the true nature of the internet -- the ones who use the net to drive sales of valuable scarcities that consumers want to buy -- will restructure and thrive while those who don't understand how to compete with piracy will die off like the dinosaurs that they are. And good riddance to them. We should all be rewarding the smart ones who understand what the internet really is -- a global sharing network. Regulating it with overwrought legislation will just turn that precious resource into a dumbed down Chinese firewall. Harsher legislation will never stop piracy -- quite the reverse, piracy will get even harder to monitor than before -- but harsh legislation will cripple the internet as we now know it. No, thank you.

    The internet is already a highly litigious place for copyright infringement. SOPA, and all the other internet regulating legislation like PROTECT IP and E-PARASITE, will just transform the internet into something even more litigious. That's not a future any consumer or content creator should want to live in. If you get how the internet works, you can make gobs of money. If you don't, you should die off and not make everyone else's lives worse by passing laws that make everyone's online lives that much harder.

  6. On the road to innovation, you remove roadblocks -- not add more. Think for a moment what life would be like for all filmmakers (and consumers) if YouTube had never gone online? Today we all accept YouTube at the center of our video lives because it instantly offers a huge array of content at our fingertips. The problem with SOPA is that it shifts liability -- massive liability, in fact -- and a ton of compliance costs onto internet companies like YouTube. In a post-SOPA world, the people behind YouTube look at the numbers and talk to their lawyers and wonder why they should assume so much more liability and extra costs. BLAM. There goes YouTube. BLAM. There goes Kickstarter. BLAM. There goes a bunch of other internet companies that used to provide the tools we needed to create, distribute, promote and monetize content. If this is all starting to sound like patent law gone mad, you're not far off.

    Thus, while SOPA's objective may be lofty, not only will it not accomplish its objective, but SOPA will actually end up hindering or stopping the kinds of services we need as storytellers and filmmakers. The net result: SOPA won't stop piracy, but it will make things much much worse for filmmakers by making all internet companies too gun-shy to create cool innovative technologies that we need. SOPA may help the big studios who like to think they're the only ones who can provide these kinds of services, but for all the rest of the filmmakers out there, SOPA is an awful idea.

    If SOPA had been in existence five years ago, we might not have had a YouTube today. Mull on that.
That's what I would have told my 1999 self. I doubt he'd have listened, though. After all, it took him seven years to come around.



Reader Comments (rss)

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    hold on there - apes had tails?

     

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    lucidrenegade (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Waiting for the inevitable "pirate Ross" comments...

     

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    Privateer Pirate, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    HAHAHA!

    I always laugh at these laws. They have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes, and just how useless their laws are.
    But don't anybody tell them. Let them make the lawyers rich, and waste their money on useless endeavors. It is more amusing that way.

     

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Ripping them off is still wrong

    Making a digital copy, however, is not ripping them off.

     

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    anonymous, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    as long as the entertainment industries get what they want, they are not interested in the slightest who gets hurt. eventually, they will realise that they have done a massive amount of damage, through sheer pig-headedness, as they have done in the past but that damage has had severe adverse affects on them a well. if ever there were a bunch of morons, here they are. they never learn. as soon as the 'new kid on the block' appears, out comes the artillery. just in time to shoot themselves in the foot, again and again. why there is always this fear of losing something, before giving the new thing a chance to prove itself beneficial, i'll never know. such a truely sad state of affairs that fear of the future can instill so much total blindness, fear and hate. i just wonder what the next industry will be that wants special laws passed and government intervention to keep it going? shoe makers, carpet makers, what? after all, how could they be denied? once the precedent is set, the band wagon can easily become 'open house'. my god! think of a future where there is no single justice system, but one that changes, on a daily basis, depending on which company or industry happens to be involved in the so-called 'crime'! in fact, it really is unthinkable!

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "media piracy was impossible to stop because -- in the longer lens of history -- media piracy was merely a symptom of a new technology (the internet) that many haven't yet understood how to monetize."

    Neglecting that minor error, JUST TELL US HOW TO "MONETIZE" the Internet for a movie that cost $100M, then, per Mike's example. -- You can't. There aren't enough "scarcities" possible to recover a $100M in "sunk (or fixed) costs" unless the movie is extremely popular. That's the central problem: you guys DON'T have a "new business model" that works in this environment.

    YET you blithely assert that movie studios throw aside "old" methods that have been working AND STILL WOULD in absence of large-scale piracy. Well, they're NOT going to until you demonstrate NEW methods that DO reliably work. -- Ball's in your court, time for a "hail mary" pass, and hit a home run. JUST TELL US THE NEW, DON'T RE-HASH THE PROBLEM!

     

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    Anon, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Piracy just continues more underground

    In Japan, where those who upload content illegally may be arrested, they use, in large numbers, P2P programs which are design to hide who has which content, and continue to migrate to more secured programs. They began with Winny, then went to Share, and are now migrating to Perfect Dark.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    What is your obsession with a $100 million movie?

    Have there not been movies that were hugely successful for less than half that? Less than a fourth that? Heck, less than an eighth of that?

    Some of the biggest hits of the past decade, or better said surprising hits (as in what they made compared to what they spent to make), were made for under $5 million. Some of the biggest surprises in the past 2 decades were made for under 1 million (in some cases, far far less than 1 million).

    But for some reason you just HAVE to spend 100 million. And regardless of what you spent, that's irrelevant to the public. I don't care if you spent 100 million or 300 million. It is not my duty or anyone else's to make sure you get back what you spent on making it. That's irrelevant to me and the average movie viewer. What you spent is your problem, not mine.

    If you're dead set on spending 100 million to make a movie, perhaps you should rethink your priorities. Do you really need the big name actor/actress? Do you really need all those special effects?

    You can make a movie literally with $50 grand and 4 walls and have it be a hit (Cube). If you've got an interesting story and good characters, that's all you need.

    Blue, I feel sorry for you that you can't think "outside the box" for a moment. Exactly what failure did you make that cost you $100 million? I'm curious to know. That way I can see it for myself (I'll pay of course) and then come back and tell you why I think it sucked (assuming it does) and where you went wrong.

     

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    If *you* want to restrict what I can do with technology to protect your business...then the problem is in YOUR court.

    Besides if the media industry really is as 'creative' as it says it is, they can find ways to monetize just about anything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    wow, you're soo good at explaning things out_of_the_blue. Maybe you should make your onw site, www.out_of_the_blue_explains_it_all.com/slashes/slashes/slashes/I.LOVE.SLASHES/.retard.com

     

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    gorehound (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:22pm

    SOPA is a piece of toilet paper that has been used.
    I am an Artist and I freely share my music on P2P sites.I seed 6 albums of mine and I will continue to do this.
    Washington, DC can suck my dog's ass.I will not stop promoting my band and being heard in any way I SEE FIT !!!
    Go TPB Go !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    "SOPA won't even affect its target group. Those who infringe content have their own private networks outside the reach of prying eyes."

    Let's start here. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and well, wrong.

    First off, no solution is 100% - success won't be measured by piracy disappearing entirely nor is failure measured by some level of piracy still existing. Since the days of the reel to reel tape, there has been some piracy and there always will be. Arguing that some piracy will exist is like arguing that the sun comes up - everyone knows it.

    Second, the issue of piracy today isn't the determined few, it's the masses with easy access. Move piracy underground, and the masses won't be there (otherwise it wouldn't be underground, would it?). Secrets can only be kept by small groups. So, seeing my first point, accepting that there will be some piracy (probably private groups, or sneakernet) doesn't preclude the new laws from having a positive effect on reducing piracy

    Third, networks are never entirely outside the reach of prying eyes. As soon as your transit your ISP, you are at least somewhat exposed. You can try to hide it all you like, but almost every time of traffic has patterns, which given time, can be deduced and dealt with - and that would be only if there wasn't an acceptance of point 1, that there will be some and it will be tolerated.

    Finally, you have to remember that most of the ripping of DVDs and Blu Rays are done by a small group of people, many of them doing it for social brownie points. Remove the social, remove their desired results, and they are likely to give it up or slow down their activities.

    Making it harder to pirate in public rips down huge amounts of infrastructure, makes P2P pretty much passe, and shifts the public's perception and access to pirated materials. Those are the people who are the targets, not the rippers or the hosts specifically.

    Understanding the social as well as economic implications are key. Without it, you can go off on a rant that goes nowhere, and one that doesn't really do anything except rake the same tired list of gripes out over again without anything new.

    Oh, and will you go back 20 years and tell yourself that you don't have a job anymore?

     

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    OOTB - GREETARD EXTRAORDINAIRE, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "Neglecting that minor error, JUST TELL US HOW TO "MONETIZE" the Internet for a movie that cost $100M"

    Entitled much? Just like a greedtard, Doesnt want to do any work and have everything handed to them.

    Thats why you are stupid animals that need to die off, and let the next generation have a go.

    Turn around to look a your tail.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Huh? The idea isn't to monetize "the Internet", it's to monetize the movie as a whole. If you can work with theatres to improve their experience and cultivate their social experience, you get money from theatre tickets. If you make the movie available for streaming in a high quality release with a minimal/zero window, you can get people to pay for that (a la Netflix). If you can also still sell some DVDs in the theatre after the movie, you can monetize that. If you can sell movie schwag, you monetize that.

    Your assertion that modern day $100million movies can't be monetized is disproved by the well-monetized $100million movies (discounting nonsense Hollywood accounting), even in this era of super-piracy....

     

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    Alan, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Piracy and Internet

    I don't buy the piracy is a product of the internet. Mass piracy of films was a product of the VCR, and it pushed sales up. In the 1980s we spent some time fighting game piracy before realising we were shooting ourselves in both feet.

    - It cost money to fight
    - The people who were going to buy it would do
    - We got sales from groups who clubbed together for a copy and pirated it themselves
    - The people with no money weren't going to buy it anyway

    So there wasn't a vast amount of lost real revenue, and some of it came back with people buying later releases. Piracy in part was market segmentation. Instead we played the market, tweaked stuff to keep pirated copies sufficiently annoying (you need some back pressure but not a lot). Some games companies were even releasing cracking guides to their *own* software by the late 1980s so that as the sales and buzz died they could re-ignite it.

    Ever wonder how games magazines used to get lists of infeasible to discover pokes to turn on game extras. I can't think .. 8)

    The film industry can also learn a few things from the games world today. Tying games to services is a great anti-piracy move. Films that have serial numbers that unlock online extras (for the first user of the serial only..) etc can do wonders I am sure

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Coming from someone who apparently makes a portion of his living on a website called "Infinite Distribution" you've got a lot of balls telling people who actually make content what they should do. Most people who rely on the film industry to make their livings are in favor of PROTECT IP. A few bottom feeders and wannabes from the periphery feel otherwise, but few full-time, known filmmakers do. Masnick must be desperate to have you recycle all of this bullshit, as he is the author of most of it.

     

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    robin, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    Second, the issue of piracy today isn't the determined few, it's the masses with easy access.


    And preventing customers and potential customers from doing what they can is always a successful and endearing business strategy. Oh, wait, I forgot..........the MPAA is loved and adored......by billions.

    Making it harder to pirate in public rips down huge amounts of infrastructure, makes P2P pretty much passe,...


    Well, at least you're honest in your goal: stop the internet from working and destroy the DMCA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Explain how cable TV is able to make billions a year for everyone involved charging $0.20/month per channel not content, that is like $0.09/day.

    So there you go, you provide a fraking great service that people want to use and charge them ridiculous small fees that everybody on earth can pay, with a global system that is not paypal or credit cards that didn't learn how to make use of fractions, the first institution that charges people a quarter for a month and lets you do business in fractions of a dollar will be the next big financial king.

    You see, nobody cares about quarters, they spend those without thinking, but when it is a dollar then you get a problem because it adds up quickly.

     

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    David Muir (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re:

    I'd be interested in hearing your analysis of this: http://questioncopyright.org/promise

    Taking a completely different angle from the author of the original post, where he has decided that the Internet is an inevitable technology, the linked article points out that copyright itself is not an inevitable or natural right -- far from it. If you start from that mindset, all of your points are invalidated.

     

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    robin, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    Most people who rely on the film industry to make their livings are in favor of PROTECT IP.


    Citation please.

    Polling methods, statistical analyses, mean deviations, all will contribute to anyone calling lying bullshit on this statement.

     

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    Douglas Vaughn (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    The tech industry should step up to the plate

    Instead of complaining that copyright is stifling competion, the tech industry should act. It's time the tech industry started heavily investing in original content. Google, via it's YouTube property, should start it's own movie production company. They have the resources, and high quality original content would give YouTube a competitive advantage over its rivals.

    Instead of fighting the system, become part of the system and change it from within.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Your war on piracy is even more unwinnable than the war on drugs. At least with the war on drugs, you have a physical, finite product. All SOPA will do is show the pirates the point-of-failures with their current systems and they will build around them, which is already happening by the way, and has been thanks to such past martyrs as Napster, Grokster, Kazaa. You and your ilk are just too stupid to look beyond the present to realize you can't defeat the future. You have an entire generation up and coming that views your industry as oppressors. Ask the people in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc what they think of oppressors. Just remember, you started this war. Don't be surprised when the next generation overthrows your corrupt regime for making them buy your "product" at gun point.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Washington, DC can suck my dog's ass.

    For the right sized check they will gladly do this for you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    He consults with people concerned about piracy. What's wrong with that?

    You've got a lot of balls coming here and telling people what they can and can't say.

    Just because you can't deal with the fact that you've lost control of distribution entirely doesn't excuse your attitude. Figure out how to make a buck like the rest of us or move on!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re:

    I have read through it before. His analysis could be applied to any property right, right of ownership, right of leasing or lending, or many other of the basic constructions of of free society and it's rules of ownership and business.

    If I start from that mindset, the US would likely not exist.

    Copyright is actually a pretty nature state of affairs, where we as a people have come to a system that allows our artists, musicians, and such to actually do that sort of work, and allow the people to provide small payments that become meaningful when combined - basically paying the artists to keep being artists.

    The only other system tried in the last 1000 years or so of human history was the patronage system, where wealthy people directed the great artists of the day to amuse them. That was a great period where the masses didn't get much in the way of benefit at all.

    So you can think of it as unnatural if you must, but the other options presented don't add up to much - and the original post proposes little to change that.

     

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    AJ (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    "Second, the issue of piracy today isn't the determined few, it's the masses with easy access."

    The problem isn't the masses with easy access, the problem is you.

    You think throwing up a wall around digital content is both possible, and the future. You insist on degrading the value of media with DRM in order to protect it's non-existent value. You think that legislating/lobbying your customers into being criminals is how you protect your legacy business models.

    I suggest you pull your head out of your ass. These masses you speak of are your customers, and they fucking hate you. You have bigger problems that file sharing Mr. Media. File sharing is just a symptom of a much bigger problem, that problem is you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: The tech industry should step up to the plate

    Google loves it's money, and it won't waste it on actual content. Their business models just don't permit it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    It's Sad

    Under the law as worded, I'm afraid simply running a forum will make me liable if a user publishes something bad.

    I, personally, will be shutting my forums down if this law goes into effect. And I'm sure it will. *sigh*

     

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  29.  
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    Douglas Vaughn (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: The tech industry should step up to the plate

    Google heavily invests in web2.0 content, think about Google Maps, it's information content. They employee thousands of drivers to generate content for their streetviews.

    This would be on a grander scale, but it has the potential to be hugely more profitable. Imagine a YouTube produced feature-length movie franchise, available on almost every device for free. How many page views would something like that create? Can you imagine the ad impression income?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    No solution is 100% but SOPA is more like a fraction of nothing.

    When you come with a solution that stop me from copying DVD's, Blurays, CD's, radio, TV, cable, Hulu, VEVO please show me so I can text your brave solution, it probably won't hold up minutes though.

    About networks, people network, there is already an underground network that you can't see that people use everyday, is called family, friends, work and so forth, people can use secure channels to communicate and exchange information without you ever knowing about it, and it is getting easier, just to make the point clear, I ripped 10 movies today and I'm distributing it to everyone and their dog that knows me, heck I even go the extra mile and found all relative art(i.e. disc art, box sleeve), why again do need to you? To prove that without a doubt just look at Japan, where filesharing scares politicians and they passed laws in complete secret and still P2P can even be found in government offices it is pervasive, it is everywhere and the Japanese are one of the cultures on earth that have tremendous respect for real property.

    Ripping down the infra-structure that supports P2P also rips down your own infra-structure that you will need to make money in the 21th century, so go ahead fuck it up for business everywhere and see what happens just don't fraking complain when things start to get really ugly, the same tools being used today against others will be used against you in the near future, I just heard that China is opening a TV station on US soil, it will be wonderful to see the Chinese use those absurd laws to go after American business everywhere, then you will long for the days of the wild wild west when growth was unlimited and no limits where to be found to what one could do or achieve in a true free market space.

    The iPod is killing portable gaming Nintendo and Sony lost billions, are the Japanese going to pass laws that forbid smartphones in Japan?

    Only the stupid think that making it easier for one group of business to harm all others is a good thing.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    "Spam has no such upside potential."
    Those who spam obviously disagree... the reason spam exists is exactly the same conceptually as the point you just made about piracy - wider audience yields better results (controlling several other factors).
    Other similarities include: people see both spam and piracy as a problem, people try to shut down pirates and spammers, and pirates and spammers will always exist.

    I don't enjoy or appreciate spam, but I felt the need to correct your statement.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    Thanks for your thoughts Ross, I hope you don't get blacklisted for speaking up

     

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  33.  
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    Douglas Vaughn (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Does TechDirt maintain web server connection logs? The ones that record the IP address of all connections? Something that could be subject to subpoena? You might want to be careful of mentioning illegal activity in a public forum, especially one so well known to IP protectionist.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "I refuse to adapt to the future until you show me a way to adapt that will give me the exact same profit margin as 1993. This time machine must go back only as far as the early 90s because prior to the 70s my profit margins were also shit. But then the last couple new technologies I freaked out about turned out to be extremely helpful in allowing me to make obscene amounts of money. I don't want to hear about success stories of people like Kevin Smith or others who embrace new technology to find new revenue streams, i don't want to embrace anything I just want to profit off it. Until you show me exactly how I can continue to do the same things but with your new tech I will come here and yell the same shit everyday. Please make the internet into broadcast TV immediately"

    ftfy

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    Not necessary.

    Everything written there is just the same regurgitated bs that's already been debunked thousands of times.

    Bottom line is that people want something but don't want to lose the ability to take it without paying,

    That's it. At the end of the day, every time, that's what it's about.

    All the other misdirections and rationalizations are just putting lipstick on the same old pig.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "There aren't enough "scarcities" possible to recover a $100M in "sunk (or fixed) costs" unless the movie is extremely popular."

    you answered your own question ootb, if you are going to spend a 100M on a movie you have to make sure its good enough that people will actually want to see it. Sorry its not the pre-internet days when you could sell a crap movie to the masses with a decent add campaign. Stop spending 100M on shitty movies and you wont have to worry about people not paying for your shitty movies.

     

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  37.  
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    AJ (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    "ou insist on degrading the value of media with DRM in order to protect it's non-existent value."

    Bah.. brain outran fingers... should read..degrading the usefulness of media....

     

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  38.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Look at the budgets for Transformers 3, Avatar, or the Harry Potter movies. Then look at their box office receipts. Huge profits all around for well-over $100 million movies. And that's just theatrical revenue.

    Just what is piracy hurting here?

    They make more selling Transformers toys than they'll ever make from Transformers DVDs. The movies is just a commercial for the merchandise. A big, expensive commercial.

    Not to mention that the United States is the only country that spends outrageous amounts of money making movies. Other countries do it for much less, and tend to make better films.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Why should art be forced to become dumbed down just so you can take it without paying?

    Sorry, no thanks.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    Re:

    Third, networks are never entirely outside the reach of prying eyes. As soon as your transit your ISP, you are at least somewhat exposed. You can try to hide it all you like, but almost every time of traffic has patterns, which given time, can be deduced and dealt with - and that would be only if there wasn't an acceptance of point 1, that there will be some and it will be tolerated.

    You're about a decade behind the times. Use of encryption, steganography, spread-spectrum transmission, tunneling and other technologies makes detection very, very, VERY difficult. And those of us who care about the future of the Internet are working on upgrading that to "impossible". We'll succeed, of course: we have superior minds and decade of experience. We built this network, and we're not about to let mere governments tell us what to do.

    You're also operating on a presumption that's in the process of becoming false: you are implicitly presuming that an ISP is involved. Why should it be, when my wireless device is proximate to another wireless device?

    Part of the future of file-sharing isn't over increasingly-monitored, increasingly DPI'd, increasingly throttled, increasingly expensive ISP networks. It's my laptop talking to her tablet talking to his phone, all of them sharing data P2P without any intermediaries. We'll share data in the coffee shop, on the bus, in the apartment building, at the concert, heck, even cruising down the highway at 65 MPH. And you are absolutely, utterly powerless to stop it.

    Sing it with me: "Son, you were mistaken/you are obsolete"

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    If the tech industry really is as 'innovative' as it says it is, they can find ways to make their money without illegally utilizing someone else's content.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    You want someone else to work for free and entertain you for free. You are quite clearly the greedtard. duh.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Nobody cares...

    ...if the movie industry can or will ever again make any movies that require $100M in "sunk" costs.

    Wake up and smell the coffee!

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

    ...and so on...

     

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  44.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Please don't use the term "greedtard." Let the other side do the demonizing, pigeonholing and name calling.

    Rise above.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Says the freetard who steals peoples work everyday. You're such a scumbag pirate, the only reason you post here is to pretend you're not. Well its not fooling anybody, freetard.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    Who cares about Pirate Ross?

    We have XKCD

    http://xkcd.com/488/

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    "When you come with a solution that stop me from copying DVD's, Blurays, CD's, radio, TV, cable, Hulu, VEVO please show me so I can text your brave solution, it probably won't hold up minutes though."

    You are falling for the magician's flash paper again, looking at the wrong part. Sort of like looking at a dog from the back and wondering why anyone would want a shit machine.

    You can rip them all you like - but when the infrastructure to move them from person to person isn't so open, it's so obvious, isn't so easy, you are down to sneakernet and you immediate offline social network as your sources. The speed of piracy would drop, and the availability of stuff would drop as well. Presented with the choice of subscribing to Netflix or waiting a few weeks to see if anyone you know MIGHT have the movie you want to see, the subscription to Netflix seems like a good alternative. Heck, paying $3.99 for a PPV is probably a better choice some of the time as well.

    The idea isn't that piracy goes "poof" and disappears. Rather, that the ability to share a file with millions of people easily disappears, and that changes everything.

    P2P isn't the money maker - with the cost of bandwidth continuing to drop, the P2P network is itself against the very nature of the internet, to do things in ways that are both efficient and quick. P2P isn't quick, and it isn't efficient. It is slow and persistent, which is good under certain circumstances, but less and less as time goes by (one of the reasons why much has moved to file lockers).

    A true free market includes respect for the creators and their works. Without it, they don't show up at the table (or at least not as often) and then you have less to pirate.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    If you don't like his articles (or Mike Masnick's), then stop reading them no one is forcing you or "people who actually make content" to do otherwise.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: The tech industry should step up to the plate

    Nope, that isn't content as much as it is just data - something they can use to get in the middle of more transactions. They don't make "end content", they just want to be your single point resource for finding things, so they can show you more ads. Making movies or publishing books just isn't in their future.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re: It's Sad

    Show us your forums. I would be interested to see why you feel you need to shut down.

     

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  51.  
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    robin, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Any half decent CMS (I run several full disclosure) keeps a record of the IP address, author name and URl (if provided) for every comment posted. Typically in a MySQL database. And that's just the beginning.

    Actually, running an operation like this carries some fairly heavy responsibilities on the owner in terms of privacy and respect therefore.

    Doesn't matter though as speech is not illegal, and "I ripped a DVD" is too vague to pursue.

     

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  52.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright is actually a pretty nature state of affairs, where we as a people have come to a system that allows our artists, musicians, and such to actually do that sort of work, and allow the people to provide small payments that become meaningful when combined - basically paying the artists to keep being artists.

    ... What you're describing is a serfdom. Why can't artists do that for themselves with the newer tools the internet provides?

    The only other system tried in the last 1000 years or so of human history was the patronage system, where wealthy people directed the great artists of the day to amuse them. That was a great period where the masses didn't get much in the way of benefit at all.

    I'm sorry? There were some benefits to the masses such as the Great Cathedral by Michelangelo, the concerts of Mozart, or even Shakespeare's plays. We don't even need a patronage system nowadays because artists have more tools through the internet than copyright. So... What exactly is the problem with piracy that has so many people riled up?

    What piracy seems to signify is a market failure. There's demand that is not being met and countless studies have supported this view. So why is piracy to be stamped down when it exemplifies an industry problem to give out legal alternatives?

     

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  53.  
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    robin, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    At least you're honest: "break the internet, that's my goal".

    A true free market includes respect for BOTH commercial opportunities for a creator AND the benefit and interests of the voting public. It however does NOT guarantee a return on a creators investment.

    The current privatization of copyright law ignores the latter half of that equation.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re:

    And that would be the sound of you totally missing the point of what was said in the article.

    Congratulations, you and the industries have one thing in common, the ability to not get "it" even when it's pointed out to you, simplified and explained, etc.

    No one in this article has said anything about getting something without paying. Besides yourself so far. At the end of the day, every time, that's NOT what it's about. But go ahead and pretend it is. It makes it easier to ignore everything that's pointed out to you. It's just as effective as covering your ears and saying "la la la la I can't hear you la la la la".

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jay, how exactly do those artists "make money" now?

    The artists are using, remarkably, the rules of the road of the copyright system to sell their music online. They are granting a more open license much of the time, but it comes to the same thing - they are operating within the system.

    Those who choose to give it away also do so "within the system", because even a creative commons license is just a way of expressing rights that exist under copyright.

    Coyright is pretty much the natural state of affairs, it offers a framework under which the artists (or their rights holders) can choose to operate in many different ways. Key is that the big labels can operate one way, and the indies can operate another way, and both ways are acceptable within the copyright system.

    "What piracy seems to signify is a market failure."

    I think that piracy today more signifies opportunity combined with technology and anonymous traits of the "current" internet coming together to embolden an entire generation that otherwise would never steal, shoplift, or make off with anything without permission. They (like you) don't feel any guilt or remorse in online piracy, and that is really the situation. It's not a market failure, that is a red herring. Most piracy doesn't involve what is not available, it involves what is available, but at a price - and a whole generation has learned to not pay the price, and not to feel guilty about it.

    All the legal alternatives in the world won't change the basic issue - they expect it for free, and until you meet the expectation, or change their moral perspective on it, nothing will change. SOPA is an attempt to rock the boat and change the way many look at content today, and perhaps that will be the method of changing minds.

     

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  56.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Do artists have a special right to make money when they create a work that consumers don't to care to buy at the offered price?

    Sorry, they don't.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re:

    So your neighbor doesn't want you shooting mosquitoes in your yard with a shotgun. Maybe it's not the mosquitoes he trying to defend.

     

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  58.  
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    Douglas Vaughn (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: The tech industry should step up to the plate

    Why would they be "wasting money" on content. Without content all they have is a player. Regardless of whether that content is user submitted or produced in-house, the draw is the content not how it is delivered. People don't send me links saying, "hey, check out this awesome web service". They do send me links saying, "Hey, check out this hilarious video."

    Ordinary people are not concerned with the technology used behind the scenes, all they care about is where can I see the Numa Numa guy or where can I go to stream "The Social Network". The ultimate winner in internet-delivered video will be the option with the best content at a reasonable price (and ad-sponsored free is reasonable as long as the ads aren't too obtrusive - I'm looking at you Hulu).

     

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  59.  
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    Gordon (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    -Copyright is actually a pretty nature state of affairs, where we as a people have come to a system that allows our artists, musicians, and such to actually do that sort of work, and allow the people to provide small payments that become meaningful when combined - basically paying the artists to keep being artists.

    The only other system tried in the last 1000 years or so of human history was the patronage system, where wealthy people directed the great artists of the day to amuse them. That was a great period where the masses didn't get much in the way of benefit at all.-

    Seeing as you just have to keep saying artists in your post I'll bite.

    The problem with your comment isn't in what it's saying (completely) but whom exactly your talking about in it.
    You keep mentioning artists but the true benefactor in all this(if it even works, which is in itself highly questionable that it will....wait...no, it won't) will be the Labels, the Studios, the RIAA, the MPAA et al, NOT the artists as you and your ilk keep claiming.

    Shown very clearly over and over that the artists are getting screwed over and over by the ACTUAL holders of rights. Again on that note you keep saying artists and rights holders like they are in fact the same, they're not and you know it yet still keep throwing this lie out there probably hoping that just one uneducated soul is out here reading your tripe.

    Sorry, I'm educated and have read and looked at both sides in this debate with objectivity, and found that you're wrong.
    People don't want to pay $50 plus to take the family out to the movies, not when they could go see the biggest thing out there in the 80's for less than $2 per person at the matinee.

    My 2 cents.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Jay, how exactly do those artists "make money" now? "
    simply working their ass as any normal people not just making one song and wait for all the money to come

     

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  61.  
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    Lauriel (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    The biggest difference is that the wider public view spam as a pain in the rear end. The wider public view piracy in an entirely different light. That is why piracy is so difficult to combat - the general public recognise a direct benefit to themselves, unlike spam. The only way to defeat piracy is to remove that benefit - either by crippling laws that are increasingly problematic, or by following Valve's example and offering services where the benefits are comparable, or exceed, that of services who rely on piracy.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The tech industry should step up to the plate

    Oh boy, if you believe Google is bad, imagine what you would think if Microsoft was in charge.

    Google did have no interest in producing any content and that is a good thing, the moment they choose to start doing their own you gotta start getting afraid, because then they will not need you pathetic people, all they wanted was to be the platform the service provider not the gatekeeper.

    But then again stupid people can't see a good thing when they see it, others will come along maybe some types like Zynga or Facebook and they will start making their own content and screw you a thousand times over, you think Apple is bad right now, wow you saw nothing if something with the scrupulous of Zynga comes along then you will see how Google was not that bad.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    In a hundred years, how much of today's evolutionary thinking will seem ridiculous like this?

     

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  64.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    They do... and tech industries make a lot more money and contribute a much larger % towards GDP.

    Tech companies do not utilise someone elses content.

    This isn't a Content Industry VS Tech Industry, this is Content Industry VS The People. Restricting access to websites on the say of some corporation without going before a court of law is censorship.

     

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  65.  
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    ECA (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    still need

    OK,
    I know that the Corps love to group things as widely as possible.

    Piracy for PROFIT. is theft.

    Piracy to share..(no profit, no money) is????.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Sell the movie in HD online with no DRM, worldwide (and cheaper than DVD, since it costs you absolutely nothing to package it) so we can use it on whatever device we want.

    You say it won't work? That's what they said about unencumbered MP3s, and yet they're blowing away CD sales...

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Sorry, you had me until the end. But do people really think foreign films are better than US? Please.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    But I hardly know anybody right now who pirates. At work, it's about 3 people out of hundreds that I know about. And we've even gotten 2 of them to stop.

    People pirate because they aren't being served properly, not because they don't want to pay. If it were available to buy, you would make more money.

    Stop listening to partners and start listening to customers and the problem would largely go away.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:
    A true free market includes respect for the creators and their works. Without it, they don't show up at the table (or at least not as often) and then you have less to pirate.


    This must be the dumbest thing I ever read, true free market has nothing to do with respect and everything to do with capabilities the most able people flourish and the others flaunder, there is no respect involved except the one earned on the battlefield with a thousand scars to prove it and content owners didn't earn anything they were given a BS monopoly.

    Quote:
    P2P isn't the money maker - with the cost of bandwidth continuing to drop, the P2P network is itself against the very nature of the internet, to do things in ways that are both efficient and quick. P2P isn't quick, and it isn't efficient. It is slow and persistent, which is good under certain circumstances, but less and less as time goes by (one of the reasons why much has moved to file lockers).


    You are just full of shite, if P2P wasn't efficient can you explain why the most powerful supercomputers on earth use that crap?
    You are not a tech guy, why are you opining into something you clearly don't understand?

    Quote:
    You can rip them all you like - but when the infrastructure to move them from person to person isn't so open, it's so obvious, isn't so easy, you are down to sneakernet and you immediate offline social network as your sources. The speed of piracy would drop, and the availability of stuff would drop as well. Presented with the choice of subscribing to Netflix or waiting a few weeks to see if anyone you know MIGHT have the movie you want to see, the subscription to Netflix seems like a good alternative. Heck, paying $3.99 for a PPV is probably a better choice some of the time as well.


    Dumbass I don't use P2P LoL
    And I pretty much doubt that any government will want to make their entire population vulnerable to outsiders by outlawing secure communications.
    Here stupid try to block this.
    retroshare.sourceforge.net
    or this:
    http://www.i2p2.de/
    or this:
    http://www.omemo.com/

    There are hundreds of internet overlays already with more being developed and somehow you are saying that all that will stop?

    You wanna know where most of those come from?
    From countries that have draconian internet rules, Franch, Italians, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, people keep putting out ways to bypass any BS you can come up with.

    I know for a fact that you could close down the internet and it wouldn't change a thing in my life, I still rip you off just the same and you wanna know why?

    Because is fun, because it drives you people crazy and the more you flail around the more damage there will be, the sooner this IP nonsense will collapse and the sooner we can go about our normal lifes again, this is now war, you wanted it right? you want to use force to mandate your whims upon others the thing is you have no power, you just can't touch this. You are not the boss of me in my home, here I'm God and you are just an annoyance.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Re:

    So sayeth the embittered, failed musician.

     

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  71.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The artists are using, remarkably, the rules of the road of the copyright system to sell their music online. They are granting a more open license much of the time, but it comes to the same thing - they are operating within the system.

    Misleading statement about copyright. Copyright is given automatically. However, you can't say everyone is using copyright to make money. Copyright has no meaning unless you enforce it. Something which a lot of artists are anathema to do. In essence, copyright is a retroactive law to punish for infringements. But there are far more artists willing to release music "into the wild" and make fans through that, than there are copyright enforcers trying to take away platforms that help artists gain independence.

    Those who choose to give it away also do so "within the system", because even a creative commons license is just a way of expressing rights that exist under copyright.

    And even Lessig has stated the fact that if copyright weren't such a hassle to let go of, more people would be able to do so. If we could go back to the 1907 standard, it may do us a lot better than what we currently have.

    Coyright is pretty much the natural state of affairs, it offers a framework under which the artists (or their rights holders) can choose to operate in many different ways. Key is that the big labels can operate one way, and the indies can operate another way, and both ways are acceptable within the copyright system.

    No it's not... Bolivia hasn't had copyright in 20 years. Our copyright system hinges on the Berne Convention of so long ago, and it's only been ratcheted up since then. We don't NEED copyright to progress knowledge and learning and it's becoming more apparent that copyright is more a hinderance to the system than a benefit.

    I think that piracy today more signifies opportunity combined with technology and anonymous traits of the "current" internet coming together to embolden an entire generation that otherwise would never steal, shoplift, or make off with anything without permission.

    No, piracy fears have been around since the 70s and will continue far after the fight for SOPA, ACTA, NET, PRO-IP, and all the other fights against the public.

    It's not a market failure, that is a red herring.

    *rolls eyes* Piracy. Serious Business...

    Most piracy doesn't involve what is not available, it involves what is available, but at a price - and a whole generation has learned to not pay the price, and not to feel guilty about it.

    Then why does the manga industry continue to grow and make new audiences able to translate Japanese and Korean?

    Why does Valve's business model disagree with your statement?

    Why is it that everytime anyone shows you that piracy is a market failure such as windowing, regionalization, or bad marketing, you continue to beat the drum of piracy instead of looking at reality? People have choices to pay reasonable amounts for products. But the industry seems to think that if they lower the price, they lower sales. Price isn't perfectly elastic as the industry wants. It's what the consumer wants. I highly doubt most in the movie or music industry have run experiments to find out where consumer demands lie. They just believe they're entitled to people's money for the same products. Have they tried different bundled packages? A pay what you want model (like Napster used to be)? Streaming services? Bittorrent services? Incentivized downloading? Rebates?

    No? Then how can you continue to say that piracy is the problem when it's the industry's own fault?

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    You can make a movie literally with $50 grand and 4 walls and have it be a hit (Cube). If you've got an interesting story and good characters, that's all you need.


    99 times out of 100 you end up with a piece of shit like "Sita Sings The Blues". If you think Hollywood studios spend money for the sake of spending money you simply don't know what you're talking about.

     

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  73.  
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    Lauriel (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    Re:

    First off, no solution is 100% - success won't be measured by piracy disappearing entirely nor is failure measured by some level of piracy still existing. Since the days of the reel to reel tape, there has been some piracy and there always will be. Arguing that some piracy will exist is like arguing that the sun comes up - everyone knows it.


    This goes two ways. Most criticism of new business models that attempt to compete with piracy is that they don't combat piracy. You can litigate, or compete, but neither will totally eradicate piracy. The consideration must then be how much collateral damage they do - and here legislative options lose. No new business models that I'm aware of have included censorship or attempted to circumvent civil rights.

    Second, the issue of piracy today isn't the determined few, it's the masses with easy access. Move piracy underground, and the masses won't be there (otherwise it wouldn't be underground, would it?). Secrets can only be kept by small groups. So, seeing my first point, accepting that there will be some piracy (probably private groups, or sneakernet) doesn't preclude the new laws from having a positive effect on reducing piracy.


    The problem is that this is only one scenario - and a rather idealistic one at that. Other scenarios include the one posited by Techdirt - that SOPA will have minimal effect on piracy while having a hugely detrimental effect on legitimate services. Another scenario is that, as this article suggests, it may have moderate success in fighting piracy, but will cripple any future directions technology and internet services can go. Imagine 20 years down the line and still being tied to the massive overheads currently existing with CD and DVD production compared to low cost distribution methods that are developing thanks to the internet? Just because the pirates got there first, doesn't mean that it is an irrelevant process. Again, Valve is a great exemplar - and they aren't going broke due to piracy.

    Third, networks are never entirely outside the reach of prying eyes. As soon as your transit your ISP, you are at least somewhat exposed. You can try to hide it all you like, but almost every time of traffic has patterns, which given time, can be deduced and dealt with - and that would be only if there wasn't an acceptance of point 1, that there will be some and it will be tolerated.


    Third, creative content is never entirely outside the reach of prying eyes. As soon as your transit your creative work, you are at least somewhat exposed.

    You can try to control it all you like, but if it is made public, it is open to piracy. I'd argue that the better option is to make legitimate copies valuable, and worth the cost of paying for.

    For starters, good will still exists. Many fans want to support the creators, and all those who help the creator get the content out. Speaking personally, I want to contribute to help creators continue creating stuff I'll enjoy. What I don't want is to be told I have to pay for it, even if I don't want it, don't enjoy it, or can't afford it. Paying for something isn't necessarily monetary - don't break the internet, limit usage or availability of forums and blogs like Techdirt that I enjoy spending my time on, simply to enforce payment of a couple of products. There is simply no good will generated there.

    Secondly, people will pay for quality and reliability. If a creator's product is neither as good a quality nor as reliable as the pirated version, the issue is theirs to deal with, not mine. If thier content is both of a good quality, and reliable (no viruses, easy to locate, works every time on any platform), then payment is a lot more certain.

    Oh - and if I just don't like it, I won't pay. Both talent and what's "good" in creative terms are subjective. Payment, or lack thereof, may simply be an indicator of that subjective quality, not of piracy.

    Driving piracy further underground will affect none of the above. If content is released to the public, it is able to be pirated. Driving piracy underground will make little difference. The wide availability of pirated copies isn't the issue - it is the ease of making it available that is. That is the issue I would like to see content creators start to address, by making their own products equally easy to access, at a fee that I can comply with.

    Finally, you have to remember that most of the ripping of DVDs and Blu Rays are done by a small group of people, many of them doing it for social brownie points. Remove the social, remove their desired results, and they are likely to give it up or slow down their activities.

    Making it harder to pirate in public rips down huge amounts of infrastructure, makes P2P pretty much passe, and shifts the public's perception and access to pirated materials. Those are the people who are the targets, not the rippers or the hosts specifically.

    Understanding the social as well as economic implications are key. Without it, you can go off on a rant that goes nowhere, and one that doesn't really do anything except rake the same tired list of gripes out over again without anything new.


    So remove the overheads of DVD and Blu Ray, offer content in an accessible digital format, download or stream, either ad supported or for an access fee to a service, and promote the social rewards for going legit.

    In education, research has proven that people's mind disregard the negative, and latch on to the concrete. If you tell a child "don't run", their mind disregards the negative "don't" and latches on to the concrete "run". They might stop running for the immediate moment while you are there, but the word "run" is what is imprinted on their mind. Try it yourself, right now. If I said "don't think about the blue monkey" - what did you do? Stop thinking about the blue monkey? Or did you start wondering exactly what is a blue monkey, what would one look like? Or even, what the hell is she on about?

    In short - promote the benefits of the legitimate services. Win social approval of legitimate services by telling us the positives. This doesn't exclude cracking down on the negitives (in education, there are still penalties for breaking the rules, of course), but the rewards for doing the right thing need to outweigh the punishment for doing the wrong thing. Harsher punishment is only one side of the equation. The only catch is that they have to live up to the promotion.

    Oh, and will you go back 20 years and tell yourself that you don't have a job anymore?


    If I've been sitting there for 20 years wondering why a job hasn't fallen in my lap, I probably deserve to be unemployed. Equally, if I've been employed in an industry for 20 years and haven't been educating myself on how the changes that policy, technology, economics, and public needs have been impacting that industry, I probably shouldn't have the job. I definitely shouldn't be surprised that I'm no longer relevant to the industry. Looking at changes over a 20 year period and then blaming piracy is, to put it bluntly, complete lunacy.

     

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  74.  
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    Renee Marie Jones, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:37pm

    Why there is piracy

    You missed an important reason, and it is one that the supposed "free market" lovers really ought to be able to see by themselves: piracy exists only because content producers charge too much for their product. They charge far more than the fair market value of their product. "Fair market value," by the way, is defined by supply and demand, not by what the author "thinks" his work should be worth. When you try to use law to force people to pay far more than the fair market value, all you do is create piracy.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    I wouldn't have been able to convince my past self either

    I wouldn't have been able to convince my past self either, which is why I don't expect to actually convince anyone else. Still, it's good to speak truth for its own sake. It contributes to a language of change that helps others articulate what's happening, if/when they come to similar realizations on their own.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    And 99 times out of 100, you end up with Hollywood producing a shitty remake of a Japanese/Korean horror film, too.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Dumbed down art can cost a lot and take a lot.
    Avatar is not the most highbrow piece of art ever.
    It was the most pirated movie of 2009.
    Avatar of course, also, broke all box office record.
    It's dvd and bluray sales both, broke all dvd and bluray sales records.
    Not to mention, of course, that it made more money for the producers than any other movie ever did for anyone.
    Levels of sales have nothing to do with whether there is piracy or not, level of return on investment has nothing to do with whether there is piracy or not.
    The likelihood is that most of the "pirates" are also paying customers.
    It is only in the imaginary version of the world that piracy is destroying any industry, as things stand a good rule of thumb for how to know whether a title is selling well or not is the level it is being pirated at.
    High levels of piracy go hand in hand with high sales volumes and low levels of piracy go hand in hand with a title that is barely moving.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Some are. It's just that Hollywood has this nasty exporting business that's locked up with geolocationism, so people literally cannot pay them for their product.

    Also, the three highest-grossing (box office) films in the past ten years are all on the most-leeched list in the rankings. Perhaps consider that people went to see the movies after seeing the films for free, and then went out and recommended it not only to their friends, but to themselves - again and again and again.

    The issue is not a content issue, it's very clearly a business model issue. Look at the highest-grossing Total for Cars; it has a higher margin than any other Pixar film. And it's not because it was a good film: it's because it was a massive marchandise collective after it.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    yes.

    Not all of them, but for people who watch them they are generally a breath of fresh air.

     

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  80.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

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

    Technically, piracy fears have been around since the late 19th Century, but hey. :)

     

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  81.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Content in the US is not a free-market, nor is it actually based on free-market principles: if it were, then Hollywood would probably not exist.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

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

    ". But there are far more artists willing to release music "into the wild" and make fans through that, than there are copyright enforcers trying to take away platforms that help artists gain independence."

    Okay, let's start here. Why is this a problem of copyright? If they choose to release their music into the wild (ie, grant an unlimited license) then so be it. That doesn't preclude the other side from doing business their way. You seem to think that you have only one right answer, and the other side is not allowed to follow their desires within the law.

    "there are copyright enforcers trying to take away platforms that help artists gain independence."

    Nothing is further from the truth. What they are trying to work against is "platforms" that are used to make the above choice for them, forcing them to have to do business the "new" way (or not at all) because someone else decides it for them. Artists can have all the platforms they like (and I am sure there will be some great legal sites out there), but they need to stop forcing everyone to do business their way (aka, piracy is good, okay?)

    "No, piracy fears have been around since the 70s and will continue far after the fight for SOPA, ACTA, NET, PRO-IP, and all the other fights against the public."

    You are confusing concerns with reality. Technology is always a challenge. The effects of the internet are different from concerns, and you are being rather misleading to try to take the discussion away from the point - piracy today is exponentially a bigger problem than it was 15 years ago - and that is all internet, anonymous, and so on.

    "Why is it that everytime anyone shows you that piracy is a market failure such as windowing, regionalization, or bad marketing, you continue to beat the drum of piracy instead of looking at reality? "

    Fuck me, how many times do I have to repeat it? If it's a failure, let it die of it's own accord. STOP PIRATING! If the content sucks, or the marketing sucks or whatever, and you can put out a better product, you will drive them out of business. If you can't do that, then your entire business model was hinged on piracy, and that doesn't work.

    Don't you get it? Stop forcing people to do it your way - if your way is so much better, you can beat them in a fair fight. Why do you insist on supporting piracy and illegal acts just to try to somehow make it fair? That doesn't seem like your ideas are very powerful at all.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Heck, paying $3.99 for a PPV is probably a better choice some of the time as well.


    Or they get a friend that has a 4TB HDD full of content and copy it, I don't think people use the internet to share terabytes of data today is just not that practical.

     

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  84.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: It's Sad

    Because, unlike your corporate overlords, that person will be ruined in court and out of it if even ONE person posts a link to potentially infringing content.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "99 times out of 100 you end up with a piece of shit like "Sita Sings The Blues". If you think Hollywood studios spend money for the sake of spending money you simply don't know what you're talking about."

    I think Hollywood studios spend money because they think the more they spend the better the chances of success. But spending money DOES NOT guarantee success. Look at the past decade. Some of the biggest movies (as in how much was spent to make them) barely broke even (not counting Hollywood accounting). Not all, but more than a fair share. Movies that were supposed to be huge hits were flops or mediocre at best. The past two decades have proven that spending a ton of money is not necessarily the way to go.

    And "piece of shit" is subjective. What you think is a piece of shit, I might think is an amazing movie. What you think is amazing, I might think is a piece of shit. (Of course, you just had to throw that in there didn't you. So you could take a swipe at "Sita Sings The Blues". You're one of those ACs who hates this site and Mike and Nina, but you can't stay away. Do the words "you don't have to keep coming here" mean nothing to you?)

    I would rather watch Cube, which was made as I said with $50 grand and 4 walls than watch Transformers 3.

    To be honest, I don't think you know what you're talking about. It's easy to dismiss things, as I've said elsewhere, out of hand based on your own opinion. But your opinion IS NOT a fact. It's just YOUR opinion. Much like mine is mine.

    Clerks, Mallrats, Cube, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Pi. These are but a handful of movies that went on to became major successes. All were made on shoe string budgets. But I'm sure you'll consider them all pieces of shit, just because hundreds of millions dollars weren't spent to make them. Which is funny, because they've made hundreds of millions of dollars in their own right without the huge budgets of other films. (This is an example of quality over quantity. You make a quality product and you don't need to spend a fortune to do so to get people to want it.)

     

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  86.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    Re: still need

    Theft, rape and pillaging...of their bottom lines.

     

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  87.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's not enough UEFI for that.

     

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  88.  
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    Ed C., Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    What, and you think that most label artist are actually successful? Well, some maybe quite successful, but mostly for the label though.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re: I wouldn't have been able to convince my past self either

    you and me both sister.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re:

    It doesn't matter. The "film industry" is, in its entirety, expendable. I would cheerfully burn every studio to the ground, fire every employee, and see NO films made, ever...rather than sacrifice the Internet, which is vastly more important.

    Society would miss new films, to be sure; but it's a small price to pay for an unencumbered, uncensored Internet.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    You know how we can tell you're an industry shill?

     

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  92.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Yes, the price tag of Transformers proves that we need to shut down half the internet to protect our movies from being "dumbed down".

    /facepalm

     

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  93.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who would subpoena him? It would have to be a rights-holder, so which rights-holder owns the copyright to the non-specific movies he admitted to copying?

    Don't know? Neither does the right-holder.

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Lol. That has to be the funniest and most insightful comment I've read in general in quite awhile. Well done sir.

     

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  95.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    A true free market
    ...doesn't include government monopolies, which copyright and patents are.

    Try again.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "Clerks, Mallrats, Cube, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, Pi. These are but a handful of movies that went on to became major successes. All were made on shoe string budgets. But I'm sure you'll consider them all pieces of shit, just because hundreds of millions dollars weren't spent to make them."

    Nope. But you know the theory, even a blind mouse scores cheese now and again, and a broken watch is right twice a day. Exceptional cases don't make the point, because there are literally thousands of movies made every year on shoestring budgets that are in fact pieces of shit. To put it terms you might understand, they are so bad that you wouldn't be bothered to download them, let alone seed them!

    The deep down problem you all have to face is that the content you want for the most part comes from Hollywood, and the rules you are trying to force hollywood to follow are those you might apply to a film student with no budget and nebulous skills.

    If your new business models are so great, go for it. Just don't force everyone else to use them to satisfy you, and don't use everyone else's content as the attraction to get them to take a look at your "shit". It's just so wrong!

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Gordon, the labels, the studios... they have nothing without artists who make the content. The artist sign away some or all of their rights in order to get the exposure they want and to get promoted to the point where they can make money (often huge amounts of money) selling the scarce tickets and whatnot. The artist benefit from their label or studio arragements, so what is good for the labels and studios is in fact good for artists. It might not be as good, but the artists are in the same position as a farmer selling a crop - they don't get to make the money on what is made from the crop, they get paid for their crop. Artists don't make all the money, but then again, they didn't put all the money on the table either.

    Artist are the one selling their rights. If that is wrong, offer them a better alternative that makes them more money, that gives them more control, and makes the more popular, and I am sure they will be all over it.

     

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  98.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "because there are literally thousands of movies made every year on shoestring budgets that are in fact pieces of shit."

    Golly gee Mr.Ebert. I'm sure glad you're here to tell us whats good and whats bad. You're well written and researcher summation of all the movies ever produced, and how they're all shit compared to the high-budget explosion extravaganzas made exclusively by the big players (that never seem to make a profit for some reason, or so we're told) We average citizens can't decide for ourselves.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Directors Guild Of America, Screen Actors Guild, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Teamsters, American Federation of Musicians are the unions that represent the overwhelming majority of professional filmmakers. Not wannabes, hobbyists, phonies or hacks. Professionals whose careers are dedicated to the craft.

     

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  100.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    See, you get an opinion too. Isn't it amazing?

    All average citizens can judge for themselves. They overwhelmingly pick hollywood movies to see in theaters, to watch on PPV, HBO, etc, and to rent, buy or otherwise consume. They also overwhelmingly choose them to pirate.

    What proof do you have to the contrary?

     

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  101.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Robin, nobody asks for a guarantee of a return on investment. However, those who make the investment don't want to see themselves beaten out of the market by their own product being given away without permission.

    If the new systems, new platforms, and new ideas are THAT good, they should be able to kill the label dinosaurs in a fair fight, without having to rely on piracy to knock them down to size, and without having to use that pirated content to attract an audience. If it's that good, if it's that much better of a business model, then JUST DO IT.

    It seems nobody is "just doing it" because it doesn't appear to be a better model. All of the discussions about business models on the content world sort of die off when you remove piracy as a marketing tool for them.

     

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  102.  
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    haha!, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    haha!

    Everything should be free on the interwebs!

     

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  103.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Sad

    Again... show us what you got. Big talk, few examples. Step it up!

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "Exceptional cases don't make the point, because there are literally thousands of movies made every year on shoestring budgets that are in fact pieces of shit. To put it terms you might understand, they are so bad that you wouldn't be bothered to download them, let alone seed them!"

    First off, again, that is purely subjective and your opinion. There are literally hundreds of movies made every year on MULTIMILLION dollar budgets that are in fact pieces of shit. To put it in terms you might understand, they are so bad that I WOULDN'T PAY TO SEE THEM, MUCH LESS DOWNLOAD THEM. (Also, take note, you should stop assuming that every single person here is downloading movies. I for one DO NOT download a thing. Minus what I pay for from a few independent authors and musicians. Hollywood rarely gets a cent of my money, I do without for the most part. Minus when my girlfriend really has to see a certain flick, and I can't say no to her just because of my principles. I can, but that's irrelevant.)

    "The deep down problem you all have to face is that the content you want for the most part comes from Hollywood, and the rules you are trying to force hollywood to follow are those you might apply to a film student with no budget and nebulous skills."

    Again, stop making assumptions about people. No one is trying to force Hollywood to do anything. Some are just suggesting that they rethink what they currently do. I don't want anything from Hollywood. IN MY OPINION most movies released on a weekly basis are terrible and not worth my time or money to watch. And yet again, it's all opinion on what is or is not good or bad.

    "If your new business models are so great, go for it. Just don't force everyone else to use them to satisfy you, and don't use everyone else's content as the attraction to get them to take a look at your "shit". It's just so wrong!"

    I have no new business models. I was just pointing out that spending 100 million on a movie guarantees nothing (as per my original posting). Again, no one is being forced to do anything. But making a suggestion harms no one, now does it?

    Geez. Get over your bias man. Not everyone on here is a "criminal" (as I'm sure you feel they are). You know what is "just so wrong"? Making assumptions about people you know nothing about. Assuming they all want to steal your "shit" or what have you. (I only use the word "steal" to put it in a term you might understand.)

    If you're going to reply to me again, reply to what I ACTUALLY say, not to what you wish I said or think I said. I'm very clear in what I say to avoid such situations.

     

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  105.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 5:08pm

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

    Why is this a problem of copyright? If they choose to release their music into the wild (ie, grant an unlimited license) then so be it. That doesn't preclude the other side from doing business their way. You seem to think that you have only one right answer, and the other side is not allowed to follow their desires within the law.

    Because one side is trying to control platforms. That's always been the case. You can have more artists who want to license content to Napster but since ONE RIAA artist is on there, the system has to be taken down.

    How many artists license content to the Pirate Bay? How would you be able to tell? And yet, BREIN or the MPAA vilify that search engine for their own purposes instead of using them. That's the issue at stake. We talk all the time about how the trade industry is trying to control the internet. This is the problem that they want to solve: Get all platforms to instill them as the gatekeeper.

    . What they are trying to work against is "platforms" that are used to make the above choice for them, forcing them to have to do business the "new" way (or not at all) because someone else decides it for them. Artists can have all the platforms they like (and I am sure there will be some great legal sites out there), but they need to stop forcing everyone to do business their way (aka, piracy is good, okay?)

    That's called reality. It's knocking on their doorstep. They can no longer sustain their old business model. The same as Henry Ford's production line is no longer viable in the 1930's to the present. The only constant in this world is change. When a business is outdated, it NEEDS to update, not be slogged down by CEO bonuses (Viacom), or the problems of being a mini-monopoly (regionalization, windowing, etc.)

    piracy today is exponentially a bigger problem than it was 15 years ago - and that is all internet, anonymous, and so on.

    You seem to be rather confused since even the author has admitted it's not a big issue. Check out number 5 again. Also, it's ironic that you seem to criticize anonymity on the internet when you are using the AC moniker.

    If the content sucks, or the marketing sucks or whatever, and you can put out a better product, you will drive them out of business. If you can't do that, then your entire business model was hinged on piracy, and that doesn't work.

    Hence why people opt for Jamendo, dmusic.com, and Youtube over buying music. Hence why I like Vevo.com and movies such as Rosa that are great little short stories. Hence, why I like to fund Kickstarter projects and put up new stuff that has NOTHING to do with the MPAA or the RIAA and their stuff. I can sure bet if you'd stop being pedantic, look around the internet on some of these sites, you'd find that people have found alternatives while you're throwing out ad homs. There's nothing saying that I'm embracing piracy by saying that there's a way to compete against it.

    The evidence that piracy is helping to create more goods far outweighs the evidence that enforcement is creating more stuff. So take that as you will. I'm sure the next exchange is going to be yet another complaint about how piracy is killing the arts. I've yet to find any information is supporting that so try if you can.

     

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  106.  
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    Lauriel (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Artist are the one selling their rights. If that is wrong, offer them a better alternative that makes them more money, that gives them more control, and makes the more popular, and I am sure they will be all over it.


    Do you mean an alternative like a platform where they can promote and release their art for little to zero cost, to a wide audience, maintain the rights to their work, interact with their fans to increase exposure, and maybe even earn some money from their promotions while they get to the stage of earning larger amounts from ticket sales and the like?

     

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  107.  
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    Sage (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Thank you. Nuff said.

     

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  108.  
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    JMT (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Why should art be forced to become dumbed down just so you can take it without paying?

    Dumbed down? Looking at IMDB's Top 250 list, you have to go down to #9 before you get to a movie that cost more than $100M. The eight movies above it only cost $80M combined. The three million votes for those eight films belie your "dumbed down" claim.

     

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  109.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:07pm

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

    "You seem to think that you have only one right answer, and the other side is not allowed to follow their desires within the law."

    If that were only true. They are NOT following their desires within the law, they are rewriting the law to follow their desires. Rather than making business plans that best fits the market, they're making up business plans and then trying to twist the law and the market to fit them. You can contort the laws and markets all you want, but that won't fix anything when it's the business model that's broken.


    "'there are copyright enforcers trying to take away platforms that help artists gain independence.'"

    "Nothing is further from the truth. What they are trying to work against is 'platforms' that are used to make the above choice for them."

    First, it's usually the users, not the "platform", that is responsible for the infringement. Second, though you're free to choice how to market your work, you're also free to fail--and failing to follow the market usually ends in failure. Third, the labels have been making copyright claims against music that they do NOT own the copyright to as an excuse to take down services that work with independent artist. These kinds of shake downs will only intensify if SOPA is passed because they will suffer no consequences for abusing the law--they wrote the law to ensure it. Of course, you probably can't see why they would fight to shutdown non-infringing competitors.


    "The effects of the internet are different from concerns, and you are being rather misleading to try to take the discussion away from the point - piracy today is exponentially a bigger problem than it was 15 years ago - and that is all internet, anonymous, and so on."

    Of course, that's ignoring all of they ways that they can fight piracy within the market, but that would require changing their business strategy. For instance, piracy tends to drop when legal services provide better solutions for getting content, especially in regions where NO legal options existed. Again, you're free to completely ignore the market, but you're also free to fail--and the easiest path to failure is to not even try at all. Half-assed noncompetitive solutions are also a great path to failure.

    I'm sure you will just parrot the same simpleton response, "YOU CAN'T COMPETE WITH FREE!" Of course, most artist, and media execs, haven't seemed to figure out that price is ONLY one variable in the cost-benefit equation for determining consumer value. Other factors such as quality, time (how quick can it be obtained), convenience (when and where it can be used), and ease-of-use also play huge rules in the equation. Of course, there's also different categories of consumers too, each with different weights for each of the factors. One thing that is consistent is that DRM drives down just about all of them. There's no doubt that the internet has significantly shifted the factors as well. For instance, people are less likely to drive to a store when it can be downloaded, less likely to stream content on a fixed schedule when it can be had any time, and less likely to use it on a fixed device when it can be used anywhere. However, rather then adjusting there model to follow the consumer, they're trying to cage the consumer within their model. Again, you're free to say when, where, and how media is consumed, and you you're also free to fail when your plans fail to capture market expectations.

    The internet also opens new markets that couldn't be reached or didn't exist before. For instance, many Europeans understand English and have fast internet connections. Now, countries where imports were too expensive can be reached. That's millions of new customers that's willing to PAY for competitive content and services. Of course, you're free to ignore them, but they're also free use take their connections and money to someone who won't. Many also use public transportation and portable devices such as smart phones that can be used for content. That's an entire new market that didn't even exist before the internet. Then again, you're free to ignore that too, or just call them pirates, but they're free to take their devices and money to someone who knows better.


    "Fuck me, how many times do I have to repeat it? If it's a failure, let it die of it's own accord. STOP PIRATING! If the content sucks, or the marketing sucks or whatever, and you can put out a better product, you will drive them out of business. If you can't do that, then your entire business model was hinged on piracy, and that doesn't work."

    That doesn't work when the legacy media industries get to claim imfringement from even the non-infringing compeditors that don't play ball their way. They will only ever compete as an absolute LAST option. They would rather waste billions on legal, political, and media tatics than work with anyone who they can't control.

     

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  110.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not as if the labels didn't offer some benefits to the artist, but they've come to out weight the cost to the majority of them. Most major label artist do NOT get active promotions from their label, but they still have to pay huge sums out of their pitiful royalties for it anyway.


    "...so what is good for the labels and studios is in fact good for artists."

    Sure, the overturned law that would have changed the artist's copyrights into "work-for-hire" copyrights whole owned by the labels obviously benefited the artist by making them lyrical serifs.

     

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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

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

    First, it's usually the users, not the "platform", that is responsible for the infringement. Second, though you're free to choice how to market your work, you're also free to fail--and failing to follow the market usually ends in failure. Third, the labels have been making copyright claims against music that they do NOT own the copyright to as an excuse to take down services that work with independent artist. These kinds of shake downs will only intensify if SOPA is passed because they will suffer no consequences for abusing the law--they wrote the law to ensure it. Of course, you probably can't see why they would fight to shutdown non-infringing competitors

    Thank you for bringing this up. This is a huge reminder of what's at stake and why Silicon Valley is so riled up.

    I can name a ton of legal sites that people use to find new music.

    Grooveshark
    Dmusic
    Magnatune
    Spotify

    This is just a small sample. Through just THESE FOUR SITES, you can find music that is not in the ploy of the RIAA. On a basic level, Grooveshark is the new Napster but it's been vindicated. However, look at the other two sites.

    What SOPA will do, that no one else notices is make these places liable for infringement. If there's one comment that's out of place, if ONE song is RIAA inspired, then it's liable that all funding could be cut to these sites. On a mere accusation. This is why it's so problematic. We don't know what kind of requirements the AG has to do under SEC. 102 to fulfill. It might be a letter in the mail dated two weeks after a raid occurs and the site is taken down.

    Spotify is in even more danger. It can be termed a foreign rogue website at the drop of the hat. People KNOW that the RIAA are greedy and would kill this golden goose and roast it as soon as possible. Under SOPA, it has NO protection.

    SEC. 102, 107. 201 ensure it. 102 allows an automatic action through (b)(2). 107 requires a report to Congress with little solicitation from the public, and 201 says that streaming is a felony.

    How would Spotify be able to defend itself if SOPA is passed?

     

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  112.  
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    rosspruden (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    Re:

    In an age of 1080p iPhones, YouTube, Kickstarter and Paypal, why would any indie director need to worry anymore about being blacklisted? ;)

    http://infdist.com/commentary/9k-rebel-problem-solver

     

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    xebikr (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's Sad

     

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    xebikr (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's Sad

    Oh, and btw, I was referring to techdirt.com which now has links to infringing material.

     

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  115.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    You can make a movie literally with $50 grand and 4 walls and have it be a hit (Cube).

    Best thing yet to come out of this thread: I'm reminded that I own a copy of Cube, and can watch it tonight. Thanks!

    p.s. Stay away from the sequels.

     

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  116.  
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    Karl (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    JUST TELL US HOW TO "MONETIZE" the Internet for a movie that cost $100M, then, per Mike's example.

    You know, last time I replied to you, I cited half a dozen ways that movies make $100 million right now that are not affected in the least by piracy.

    And those are traditional models. I didn't even count things like online advertising revenue, crowdfunding, etc.
    Don't ask for an answer, then close your ears when someone gives it to you.

     

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  117.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re:

    "Everything written there is just the same regurgitated bs that's already been debunked thousands of times."

    show me the citations cause i sooooooooo want to see lipstick wearing pigs (it would really make my day!)

    "Bottom line is that people want something but don't want to lose the ability to take it without paying"

    There, I took your sentence and didn't pay you. I got what I wanted and feel better about myself (thank you my overlords cntl-c and cntl-v, where would the internet be without you).

    "That's it. At the end of the day, every time, that's what it's about."

    You put your right hand in,
    You put your right hand out,
    You put your right hand in,
    And you shake it all about,

    You do the hokey pokey
    and you turn yourself around
    That what it's all about.

    (crap, I just violated someones copy write, I hope the doorbell isn't the hokey pokey police)

    "All the other misdirections and rationalizations are just putting lipstick on the same old pig."

    Keep saying that when they take you away in the, I want the world to stay the same where no one understands the basic economic theories of supply and demand and artificial scarcity, whhhhhammmmullllanceeeee.

     

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  118.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Tell us how to recover the 100m it costs to make a movie? Why don't you ask the studios that are doing it today in a world of piracy? That's how you do it.

     

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  119.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    I do.

    Artificial scarcity describes the scarcity of items even though the technology and production capacity exists to create an abundance. The term is aptly applied to non-rival resources, i.e. those that do not diminish due to one person's use, although there are other resources which could be categorized as artificially scarce. The most common causes are monopoly pricing structures, such as those enabled by intellectual property rights or by high fixed costs in a particular marketplace. The inefficiency associated with artificial scarcity is formally known as a deadweight loss.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity

     

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  120.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 9:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I read that as the old fossils who are not realizing their own irrelevancy...

     

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  121.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    99 times out of 100 you end up with a piece of shit like "Sita Sings The Blues".

    Why is it always the assholes who pretend they're speaking out *for* creators who choose to insult content?

    It's really quite a stunning trend. Whenever we talk about artists doing something amazing, one of the defenders of the big labels/big studios has to come along and mock their artwork.

    And they don't even realize how transparent that makes them. They don't care about creators or art. They care about propping up the middlemen.

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "Best thing yet to come out of this thread: I'm reminded that I own a copy of Cube, and can watch it tonight. Thanks!

    p.s. Stay away from the sequels."

    I too own a copy and think I might just watch it myself right now as well. It's one of the best movies I've ever seen in my entire life. I can watch it at random and still be as hooked/interested as the first time I saw it on cable. I have turned tons of people onto the movie as well. There's just something about it that draws people in.

    As for your P.S. too late. I've seen all the sequels. Lol. While not as good as the original, there's still something about them. On a related note, have you heard the rumor that they're going to either remake it or make a sequel? Cube 3D I believe is the name.

    Also, if you can find a copy, I highly suggest you check out "Elevated", it's a short film and was made by the same guy who directed Cube. He made that and based off that was given the go ahead to make Cube. If anything, it's even more intense than Cube.

     

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  123.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "Why should art be forced to become dumbed down just so you can take it without paying?

    Sorry, no thanks."

    I'm sorry, have you seen some of those low budget movies? Some of them were amazing. In no way were they "dumbed down". In fact, I find that movies made on smaller budgets tend to be much more intelligent than hundred million dollar movies. Why? Because the story is much more important than the effects.

    Also, who said anything about "take it without paying"? Where do you get that from what I said? I said, pretty much, spend less and make a better product with what you have. Nowhere did I even remotely say "take without paying". And you wonder why some don't take you seriously. It's because you try and put a spin on everything. I can say "I like blueberry pancakes". You'll spin that into "SEE! You goddamn thieves are always trying to justify stealing!!!!! Argh! [drops dead from rage aneurysm]"

    Also, have you seen some of these "big" movies lately? If you think they aren't "dumbed down" already then you've got a serious problem. And it's got nothing to do with file sharing, it's got more to do with your sense of perception/the reality distortion field around you.

     

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    Jonah, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:53am

    Law of killing Competitors

    Go to fry's or best buy n try buying A Voip router other than Vonage. You will not find it. Why? There are very many voice startups but Vonage has put a gagging order to not sell them at popular local stores. A marketing strategy. As we speak, Internet has been garged by baseless regulaltions especially in the mobile banking industry. However the mightiness of the power of technology eventually wins against oppressive regulations. SOPA's days are numbered.

     

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  125.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    If you dont want to pay the price don't access the content. It really is that simple.

     

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  126.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Go to BoxOfficeMojo.com and look at the top grossing movies. Then calculate the price of production in today's dollars.

    Artistic value is subjective, the popularity of a movie shows what people actually see. Like it or not our culture does not value the artistic qualities of a film as much as the critics. Our culture is defined by the media that is consumed, not by what a critic says.

     

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  127.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    You want scarce? What happens if no one can make money from making movies? No movies will be made then there would be nothing to pirate.

     

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  128.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Mike, internet distribution networks are the ULTIMATE middle man. They don't create the content, they don't fund the creation of the content, they deliver someone else's content.

     

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  129.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re: haha!

    Everything on sale in the internet should have distinct advantages and appeal to the target market!

    FTFY

     

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  130.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Mike, when a movie is held out as an example of "what can work", we have to look at it in terms of what the population would expect and enjoy.

    I highly doubt that most people would sit through Sita Sings The Blues intentionally. Some will, and I can say "good for them". But when you are looking for a replacement for mass media, the media has to be up to the standards that the population expects, or the system fails. It's the reason there is heavy piracy of Hollywood content, and barely a sniff at the other offerings.

    "They care about propping up the middlemen."

    I debate if you misunderstand what is happening, or like with Step2, that you are trying very hard to position yourself accordingly. There will always be middlemen, and that is unavoidable. Replace a record label with Google, or Itunes with CCTunes, or whatever you want, you still end up with middlemen. Even as you push to get rid of the middlemen, you are just pushing artists off to dealing with another set of middlemen, who will end up being just as greedy as the last ones - because money corrupts.

    "Whenever we talk about artists doing something amazing, one of the defenders of the big labels/big studios has to come along and mock their artwork."

    Let's make it clear - we don't mark their artwork, we mock the idea that this stuff will replace what the public really wants. It's the type of stuff that makes Cop Rock look like a really slick idea. It makes "God, the Devil, and Bob" seem middle of the road and widely accepted.

    You have to understand that the work that is put forward as the replacement, the new wave, will be measured against what is there and what people want. On that basis, while I don't like the words, it's pretty clear that what you are offering doesn't make the cut.

    It's also part of what I have mentioned a couple of times this week, as you go on ragging about SOPA. Mike, legal sites, operating with "user content" from artist and such have nothing to fear. If they want to run site to show their videos, their movies, their music, whatever, and give it away for free, they are more than welcome to do it. If the business models you push (and they are trying to use) are that powerful, they will entirely wipe out the record labels on their own accord.

    But the reality is that these models aren't all that powerful, and the only way they seem to gain even a toe hold is by using pirated content to get people in the door, to lower the ability of the labels and studios to compete. There is no great move to build a new business model that is truly exception, rather it's a poor business model that can only compete when you ransack the opposition and run them out of business with illegal acts.

    If the new business models are that good, let them compete on their own - don't condone piracy, and don't condone the networks that are built up as a result of them.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "Neglecting that minor error, JUST TELL US HOW TO "MONETIZE" the Internet for a movie that cost $100M, then, per Mike's example. -- You can't. There aren't enough "scarcities" possible to recover a $100M in "sunk (or fixed) costs" unless the movie is extremely popular. That's the central problem: you guys DON'T have a "new business model" that works in this environment. "

    Waterworld sucked, dude. DEAL WITH IT.

     

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    rosspruden (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    Hey, Kettle—you're black.

    "Coming from someone who apparently makes a portion of his living on a website called "Infinite Distribution" you've got a lot of balls telling people who actually make content what they should do."

    I'm not telling anyone what they should do, just pointing out that those who don't wake up and recognize the sea change will be swept away like those in once-dominant professions. Are you going to be the guy who cracks the code on how to make money from printing books, or that dyspeptic monk loathing how a new-fangled technology called the printing press is threatening "professionals whose careers are dedicated to the craft". Just like the monks when the printing press was introduced, we too are on the cusp of dramatic change—ye hath been warned.

    My site, "Infinite Distribution", is fiercely dedicated to assisting artists of any sort on how to make money in an age where all digital content can be and will be copied. New rules = new rulebook. But, hey, If what you're doing works so well for you, please feel free to ignore me and my little ol' web site. In the meantime, I'll be designing a business model to shred incumbent businesses like yours. After all, Blockbuster was obliterated by a business renting only 400 DVDs at first. Go ahead, keep standing proud—I'm sure you have nothing to fear from us.

    And I guess I do have a lot of balls because I put my actual name on the byline. Hypocrisy much?

     

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  133.  
    icon
    jeffmacdougall (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: still need

    Is it? No empirical proof that this is true has ever been presented.

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    Bryan O'Doyle, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re:

    is that like

    exit; or die; :)

     

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

  135.  
    identicon
    Bryan O'Doyle, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    That was a great period where the masses didn't get much in the way of benefit at all.

    Yep, sorta like the last hundred years where many artists don't see any payment from big media, even after decades of their works being distributed by the "Patrons" of culture.

    This is just all so amusing!

     

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  136.  
    icon
    Joe Publius (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    I know I don't, but some do anyways. It may not apply to all, but in that group there will be a fair number of folks who like the content, but they don't understand the price tag.

    Is the solution to this problem really to find exciting new ways to indiscriminately shut down free and legal expression on the internet due to individual bad actors?

    Maybe it's about finding new ways to reach your market that you haven't considered before?

    Maybe it is about changing the art you create so you can reach the people you want to reach.

    It might even be about realizing that your integrity prevents any of the above, and that you have to soldier on, despite the downsides.

    All of them are equally valid in my mind, because in the end the artist would never expect that anybody owes him anything for his work. He creates, and its up to consumers to choose what to do about it.

     

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  137.  
    identicon
    bullshit detector, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    "A movie that cost $100M"

    Seriously? From an industry trumpeting about Depp getting $75M for Pirates 4?

    I suggest that there is no such thing as a movie that actually cost $100M (where actually cost means able to withstand an independent forensic audit). Only films used as vehicles to bilk investors public and private alike.

    The only difference between the entertainment industry and the "economy" that Madoff creates was that in the latter case they got to send a guy to prison.

    From the Thor wikipedia page, I see they spent $150M to make $448.5M at the box office. In a time when we are lucky to get 1% return on a savings account that looks pretty damn good. What're they crying about? Where's the money going?

    Oh noes! I won't be able to get this years Lamborghini!

    As to your exhorting "JUST TELL US THE NEW"... Quite simply no. The industry as it exists was created by the industry itself. The reinvention of that industry as necessitated by changing economic realities is *not* the problem of lawmakers funded by our money. That is just as offensive as our money being used to build arenas for professional sports teams or bailing out banks.

     

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  138.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 3:05am

    Re: Re:

    How do you know?

    Next time - think before you write.

     

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

  139.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I have read through it before. His analysis could be applied to any property right, right of ownership, right of leasing or lending,

    That simply isn't true. Property rights relating to ownership of physical objects are natural because theft of these objects deprives the owner of them. Copying of so called intellectual "property" does not do this and so ownership of these things is not natural.

    "Copyright is actually a pretty nature state of affairs"

    No it isn't - as the House of Lords concluded in the 1770's.

    http://www.copyrighthistory.org/cgi-bin/kleioc/0010/exec/ausgabeCom/%22uk_1774%22


    Yo u only think that way because you have been brainwashed since birth by pro copyright lobbying. The true "natural state of affairs" is quite different.

     

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  140.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    . However, those who make the investment don't want to see themselves beaten out of the market by their own product being given away without permission.

    If they think that way then they have no understanding of what their product actually is.

     

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  141.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Nov 16th, 2011 @ 3:56am

    pROPERTY

    Property is a physical thing of ownership..

    A SONG, as its used is learned by everyone, and the creator must make something NEW, all the time.
    Software must be IMPROVED, to make it new..

    CHANGE is the purpose of anything you cant, really OWN.

    CORPS dont make things, brick and mortar dont have hands/brains.. PEOPLE can.
    PEOPLE should have copyright, not CORPS. Then only for a short time..IF NOT in the original hands, it should be EVEN SHORTER..

     

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  142.  
    identicon
    Chris, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    This whole discussion reminds me of the auto industry, an industry that claimed it was impossible to create fuel efficient cars that people would buy and that demanded protection from "onerous" fuel efficiency requirements, yet, after the market has made this demand impossible to ignore, and they stopped looking for protection against progress and actually turned their energy towards solving their problems, lo and behold, I can now by a Ford Mustang that, with the smallest engine available (3.7 liters/305 hp/29mpg on the highway) or the largest (5.4 liter/550hp/23 mpg highway) is a far cry from my 1999 Ford Ranger (3.0 liter/150hp/19 mpg highway). If it weren't for the financial collapse and bailout forcing American auto makers to get serious and become competitive, we'd still be hearing the same cry, "It can't be done, we'll be driven out of business."

    Content creators need to get serious. The game has changed, you can adapt or die.

     

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  143.  
    identicon
    John, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Dumb Comment

    I'll find you and skin you and every other person who supports or helps make law any restriction on Internet freedom and user-ownership. You are on notice. n00b

     

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  144.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: been there, done that

    having been a part of the pirate groups, i can tell you that the pirates making a profit by pirating don't even waste the effort to laugh at laws like this, they are that worthless to impeding piracy.

    the ones doing it from a sense of preserving freedoms such as fair use, will continue to do so in the name of defending freedom, and will find ways around the technical limits that will keep the core operations underground while still providing general availability.

    trying to litigate a solution to these forms of piracy is like trying to fight a hydra, slice its head off and two more grow back to take the lost head's place. soon you have more heads than you can count, and have made no real progress.

    however; take iTunes as an example of monetizing: how much does Apple make on the iTunes store? and Apple abandoned DRM on the music downloads. the iTunes software even includes "make MP3 copy" as one of the options i use frequently for copying my music to portable MP3 players. i don't see any reports of Apple's iTunes store going bankrupt because of music piracy...

    Apple is successfully competing against music pirates, why can't Hollywood?

     

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  145.  
    identicon
    DirectVFX, Dec 9th, 2011 @ 9:12pm

    The way it is!

    Oh man! You are so incredibly spot on, and I can't even imagine what the world would be like if this law was past only 5 years ago, like you said. The internet is a wonderful platform where creativity sparks in so many directions at all times. As a filmmaker and an avid Youtube-user, I have been depending a lot on the video uploading platform for my videos, and for learning about visual effects and overall filmmaking, and if it was not for Youtube, I don't even know if I would be making films right now.
    I also come to think about all those people that right now make Youtube-videos for a living, and what would happen if Youtube.com was to be shut down. Hundreds of Youtubers would loose their job, if not more, and Millions of people would become pissed off. I am seriously afraid of what will happen now.
    I was incredibly captivated throughout your whole post, and I hope that more people read this, because you really say it how it is. Thank you for this!

     

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

  146.  
    identicon
    Pigmy Wurm, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

    Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    If you offered people the option of watching a feature film online for about $5 the day it came out I believe they would make more money. The people who want to have the theater experience will still go, but a bunch of other people who might not go would view it getting them more money. Having a lower price than the $15 that most large theaters charge would be attractive to people on a budget and being able to watch it in your own home would be convenient for people who don't want to or who are not easily able to go out to a theater. Also all of that money will go to the film company instead of the theaters getting a cut. That is why video game companies are pushing for digital downloads.

    But that is just one idea. Whether this passes or not Film companies have to come up with some way to get more money because nothing short of shutting down the entire internet will solve this problem for them. And if corporations are good at anything, it's finding ways to make money.

     

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  147.  
    identicon
    lkdsalk, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:41pm

    the problem with SOPA isn't that it blocks piracy-- it would obviously slow down file sharing, but it's the consequences of the drastic actions outlined in SOPA that people aren't okay with. so yeah, take measures against piracy-- the people who pirate content will find other, probably less convenient, ways to keep doing it, and it might stem the tide, but SOPA isn't the way to do it.

    monetizing the internet isn't so difficult, either-- just take a look at louis ck's show at the beacon theater. people want to pay to support artists they like, but if they're getting ripped off for it, then they'd rather pirate. even the video game industry is catching on. provide downloads online and they not only save on overhead like shipping and packaging, but they also potentially cut out another middleman profiting from the content.

    it always takes time to catch up.

     

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  148.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:28am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    No one requires you to buy their product. You are free to go without if you aren't willing to pay for it.

     

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

  149.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    If it's shitty don't watch it. If you're taking the time to steal it you declare it's not shitty.
    Mind you I'm not in favor of SOPA-- I'm antipiracy but I'm not stupid enough to draft the rest of the internet into that war.

     

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

  150.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Piracy does not signify economic demand-- willingness to pay. The failure of thieves to get everything they want is not a market failure.

     

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

  151.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    Consumers do not have a right to take things from people without paying the offered price.

     

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

  152.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:40am

    Re: Why there is piracy

    Why were media companies successful prior to the rise in piracy?
    Because they were charging fair market value Renee. People don't pirate because the prices are too high, they pirate because they can get the content and keep their money too.

     

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  153.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The notion that a free market does not include "monopolies" over your own creations is nonsensical. Imagine the economics of a windmill that anyone can walk in and grind their grain in without paying because the government says they can, the windmill builder be damned. How many such windmills will be built?

    The monopolies prohibited by free markets are over industries as a whole-- i.e., you can't have a monopoly over movie creation, but you can have a monopoly over the movie you created, you can't have a monopoly over steel, but you can have a monopoly over the steel factory at 154 13th st.

     

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

  154.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 12:48am

    Re:

    "people want to pay to support artists they like"
    A laughable statement.

     

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

  155.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Why there is piracy

    Because they were charging fair market value Renee. People don't pirate because the prices are too high, they pirate because they can get the content and keep their money too.

    Actually, multiple detailed studies have shown the exact opposite. Piracy is almost always a result of bad decision making on the part of the copyright holder -- whether it's pricing it too high or putting other restrictions on the works.

    As for "keeping their money" the evidence shows that consumer spending on content has continued to rise. So, um, sorry... data says you're wrong.

     

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

  156.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The notion that a free market does not include "monopolies" over your own creations is nonsensical. Imagine the economics of a windmill that anyone can walk in and grind their grain in without paying because the government says they can, the windmill builder be damned. How many such windmills will be built?

    You should look at the historical evidence concerning lighthouses. Similar situation: the economics of a lighthouse was a case where any boat driving by could get the benefit without paying. So how many lighthouses were built? TONS. Why? Because many recognized the benefits were well worth it, and so they teamed up privately to fund those lighthouses, knowing that even if there were some "freeloaders" the overall benefits outweighed not having those freeloaders share in the cost.

    In the long run, it turned out to be better, because those lighthouses actually helped drive more shipping business to the home ports of those who built the lighthouses, and thus they benefited even more *because* of the freeloaders.

    There's an important lesson here.

     

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  157.  
    identicon
    Mark M, Dec 26th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Is SOPA all that they want?

    It seems to me that SOPA is not the ultimate issue. SOPA is ostensibly, only about copyright infringement, loss of intellectual property, loss of sales, revenue, jobs and ancillary income. That is certainly true. But as the insightful piece states several times, innovators -- writers, game designers, producers, filmmakers, et al -- can find other, equal or surpassing forms of on-line promotion and distribution to make up a shortfall in revenue. Furthermore, the powers that be are trying to frame the internet debate in terms of issues of concern to Americans. The U.S. invented the internet and now it's a worldwide tool the power and pervasiveness of which was unanticipated just a decade ago. But the push for SOPA is not just about copyright, money, intellectual property, or American innovation. First, they debate and pass laws about content ownership and jobs, then about the nature of the content, then who controls the content and its delivery. From there, it's just one logical albeit giant step for the powers that be to manipulate or legislate control over the content, and the speed of the flow. As we see, the internet and its peripherals -- smartphones, tablets, GPS, etc. -- has expanded beyond "information" to having profound impacts on social discourse, politics and the very notion of government, and this deeply concerns elected rulers and their corporate partners. Listen closely and hear 17th to 20th century assumptions clashing with and yielding to the new 2012 world order, in which once-silent millions are empowered by rapid facts and instant connection. And while some internet flow is fringe noise and lunacy, on the whole this new order doesn't kowtow to the selective, repressive crap the media and GovCorp International has peddled for decades. They are genuinely concerned that the real-world equivalent of control (the Big Brother metaphor) cannot come true if the internet is unrestricted and neutralizes or replaces the official, traditional public relations and media (propaganda) arms of GovCorp. The attempt to enact SOPA could well be another step to avoid that outcome.

     

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  158.  
    identicon
    Movie maker, Jan 17th, 2012 @ 1:15am

    Re: Re: It's not "media piracy", it's "content" piracy.

    to your comment...."I don't care if you spent 100 million or 300 million. It is not my duty or anyone else's to make sure you get back what you spent on making it. That's irrelevant to me and the average movie viewer. What you spent is your problem, not mine."

    I do care- why would I invest - 300million on the next great blockbuster like - "Titanic" or Lord or the Rings"
    If I won't get a return on my investment. So better if Hollywood keeps making low budget horror films and stupid talking baby films, and more and more remakes and sequels to comic books.

    Careful what you say - many "products" go extinct due to the fact that the profit margin disappears. Some of the greatest films could never be made again - due to the cost of production - and the lower theater going audience. ART needs COMERS to survive.

     

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  159.  
    identicon
    [sic], Jan 18th, 2012 @ 10:46pm

    Re: It's not

    Because there will always be a market for blockbuster movies, but considering a bunch of college kids with computers and a 5D can create something that is top notch quality (by hollywood standards, 'ahem), maybe it's time to start wondering why certain actors get paid 16 million dollars per episode. It's stupid. If anything, they'll stop releasing crap, and start funding movies that are actually ambitious.

    Look at Valve Software. They are selling third party games for mega profits, almost all of those third parties being FOR SOPA, and Valve is against it... Valve can afford to not give a shit, because those third parties come to THEM, seeing as they offer one of the few legit ways to make money with videogames.

    Considering how amazing user edited video/music content has been lately (music mashups? Etc), I can only imagine the next couple of years not being stifled by Orwellian censorship. If it passes? Basically less and less options to "That next Tyler Perry movie!", or some sequel #4.

     

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


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