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When Will The Motion Picture Academy Take Responsibility For All That Piracy The Oscars Create?

from the questions dept

For the past few years, Hollywood and its friends have been very, very focused on trying to blame Google for their own failure to adapt to a changing business environment. This usually takes the form of ridiculous assertions about how Google can magically stop unauthorized access to copyrighted materials, combined with totally specious studies that try (and totally fail) to link Google to an increase in infringement. The RIAA and MPAA then insist that "something must be done" with that "something" usually being Google magically changing its search results and/or special laws that would make Google and other intermediaries somehow legally liable for such infringement. The key question that we see over and over again from the RIAA and MPAA is something along the lines of "when will Google 'take responsibility'?" for all that infringement.

However, with the not so surprising news that movies winning Oscar awards this past weekend saw a massive uptick in unauthorized access, a simple question needs to be asked: Why won't the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars, step up and take responsibility for its award show is clearly contributing to a massive uptick in infringement?
Perhaps it's not much of a surprise, but the day after the Oscar award ceremony the winning films are in high demand among pirates. The number of people sharing "12 Years A Slave" via BitTorrent tripled, and the number of "Gravity" downloads more than doubled.

With 7 Oscars Gravity was the big winner at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday evening. However, the Oscar for the best motion picture went to 12 years a Slave.
Obviously, I'm joking about my question above, but if the MPAAs of the world are going to run around blaming Google when the link to infringement there is tenuous at best, then shouldn't they be much more concerned with something like the Oscars, where the link between the event and infringement is so much more pronounced?

Of course, the proper response to both issues is that none of this matters if the movie studios put in place better business models that allowed them to capture revenue from the interest in those films, in a manner that viewers would most like, rather than leaving it open to alternative paths. But, apparently that's too difficult.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 10:51am

    Or they could, you know, make the movies that are nominated available at a reasonable cost through things like NetFlix and Amazon Prime. Then they could profit from all the buzz around the awards.

    It has been shown over and over that most people would prefer to obtain their programs legally and will do so willingly if they have the opportunity.

    But making the movies available would do two things that MPAA executives can't abide. First, they would give up some control. They love making those complicated licensing agreements and regional marketing schemes. The last thing they want to do is go with a simple system that gives people what they want. Second, they would have to admit that they have been wrong for so many years.

     

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    Violynne (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 11:41am

    To answer the question: the day they actually make Oscar solid gold (because they'll be able to afford it once any and all competition is removed, Google burns in hell, and customer paychecks are directly deposited into the MPAA/RIAA bank accounts).

    But that's just a guess.

     

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  3.  
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    anon, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 12:40pm

    The future

    In the future i see the studios and Hollywood as a whole demanding that Google put the results of American movies above those of all the other studios around the world even the torrents links. More and more international studios are releasing movies that are direct competition and in some cases way way better than Hollywood's regurgitation's.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 12:42pm

    Well of course they don't blame the Oscars, like they blame Google, they do control the Oscars, whereas Google stubbornly refuses to accept acting like a good little employee and doing everything they demand.

    Blaming the Oscars would be admitting that something they've done, something they control, is increasing piracy, and since that could never be true, it's obviously all just a complete coincidence. /s

     

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    Spike, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Why don't they take responsibility? The sheer amount of Oscar screener review copies leaked by insiders is astounding.

     

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  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    bob, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 1:12pm

    In other blame-the-victim news:

    * When will home owners start taking responsibility for all of the theft they cause by keeping the place up?

    * When will car owners start taking responsibility for all of the theft they cause by washing and waxing their cars?

    * When will hot girls start taking responsibility for all of the rapes they cause by just being themselves?

    Go on. Blame the victim. If you don't like the product, ignore the product. It's that simple. Yet you seem to feel that its very existence gives you the right to just take a copy. What a horrible, unethical view.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 1:23pm

    Blaming Google has been the red herring while they use that to set up numbers to bitch and moan at the government to do something. You know, something that doesn't cost the IP industry a dime other than the time to bitch.

    I often wonder just how effective all this bs would be if Google actually did scumbum to their demands. I don't use Google. I dislike their methods of tracking you and their methods of mixing ads with results. So getting Google to change isn't that effective for me without actually getting Google results.

    Am I the only one that turns a cold shoulder to Google and it's product offerings?

     

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  8.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    Holy sheet...I thought (and hoped) you were dead.

     

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  9.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:02pm

    Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    Ah good old 'the studios can do no wrong'-bob...

    So Google is somehow 'responsible' for all the piracy they facilitate and cause because... well... because the studios say so, and yet the Oscars, which have a demonstrable effect on piracy, are somehow not responsible at all. Nice logic there.

    If you don't like the product, ignore the product.

    I do, and you know what happens? I get screwed over anyway by companies and organization like the *AA's buying more and harsher laws.

    I get to watch as those bought and paid for laws ensure that nothing created in my lifetime will enter the public domain until decades after I die(if ever), an action showing complete and utter contempt for the deal that copyright was supposed to be between the public and creators.

    I get to watch as those you defend so faithfully try and screw over the public in countless ways, completely indifferent to any collateral damage, all in a desperate attempt to 'protect their profits' and avoid having to transition from the position of controlling gatekeepers they've been for so long, to enablers that actually care about real creators, their customers, and their rights.

    I get to watch as the old gatekeepers attack and attempt to destroy any new service that could weaken their control, any new service that could allow fans and creators to connect and share things without the gatekeepers being involved.

    I, and others like me, people who couldn't care less what garbage the studios threw out recently, get called criminals and pirates anyway because people like you just cannot fathom the fact that there are alternative sources of entertainment out there, other than the crap your precious studio push out.

    So it's kinda hard to just 'ignore the product', when the ones pushing it out seem so determined to screw me over in so many ways, despite the fact that I want nothing to do with them.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    It's actually a good thing that Google continues to fight against their demands, because if Google, who has more than enough money to fight back caved, then they would turn their attention to all the smaller companies/services, and using their 'win' against Google, demand that they fall in line and do what they're told as well.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:26pm

    having just read this post, i thought it may be interesting to some to check out this post on torrentfreak

    hxxp://torrentfreak.com/pirates-movie-industrys-valuable-customers-140304/

    then tell me why it is that countries like the UK are now going mad on stopping file sharing, Italy is blocking at ISP level, Germany has GEMA blocking out YouTube, etc and all the associated satellite collection agencies and law firms who just keep on coming!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:28pm

    Comically moronic, even for Mike Masnick.

     

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  13.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    how does one "take" a "copy"? please explain...

     

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    Gabriel J. Michael (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:33pm

    Two days after the Oscars, I caught Dallas Buyers Club on a two-dollar Tuesday showing at my local second-run theater. Add in the price of a beer, and it's about the same as a matinee at a first run theater. Except you get to drink beer while watching the movie.

    Given how much Hollywood hates RedBox, I wonder if they think paying just $2 for a screening is essentially piracy, and that by selling the beer the theater is making money from piracy.

     

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  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    bob, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    How sweet. Someone has to keep creating content. After I'm gone, it's all cat videos on YouTube.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    You say that like it's not an improvement.

     

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  17.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 3:56pm

    Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    "If you don't like the product, ignore the product. It's that simple. Yet you seem to feel that its very existence gives you the right to just take a copy."

    Ahh, bob, just making stuff up again!

     

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  18.  
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    squall_seawave (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    all your analogies fail in certain circuntances

    if you dont close the door it will be the home owner fault if they got a thief

    if the car owner left the keys on it will be the car owner fault the car was stolen

    if the hot girl go to a bad neighborhood in a miniskirt alone then sad as i must say she would be the one at fault

    so in that vein if your product is good but you make it harder to get it legally dont be surprised if piracy increases

    what maximalists dont understand is that people would buy the product if it is accesible and a reasonable price netflix is a great service for this reason we dont need stronger copyrights we need better understanding of your consumer base

     

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  19.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 5th, 2014 @ 4:22pm

    Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    I don't think you could have missed the point any more completely if we'd shoved it directly into your frontal cortex.

    Nice work, bob.

    Hint: try looking up satire. Might help. Though, thank you for making the point that the blame game is stupid. I'm curious, though, why you keep blaming Google for everything then?

    If you don't like the product, ignore the product. It's that simple. Yet you seem to feel that its very existence gives you the right to just take a copy. What a horrible, unethical view.

    I've never said that it gives you such a right. I've said, repeatedly, that the reality is some people will make a copy and the SMART thing to do is to learn to adapt. You should try it. It's fun.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    No, seriously, go ahead. Be "gone". You're saying that you're the only one responsible for all non-cat videos and content worldwide?

    See, you're not the only one that can hilariously exaggerate extremes, either.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2014 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    If I "take" a "copy" of the newspaper from the convenience store and I do not pay, have I committed "theft".

     

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  22.  
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    SimonB (profile), Mar 6th, 2014 @ 1:30am

    Re:

    But they do make copies available at a reasonable cost. They send out copies of the movies to the judges who then in turn put them up on BitTorrent. It seems the only restriction they put on the films is to show the words 'For your consideration' along the bottom of the screen every now and then.

     

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  23.  
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    Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 1:54am

    and there I was thinking

    that "for your consideration" was the most overused phrase in film, according to the subtitles.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    So you assert that you create all content on the Internet? That would mean that either the studios you defend are guilty of several million counts of copyright infringement, or you are, depending if all content is shared from you or if you actually created it.
    Your move, bob.

     

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  25.  
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    robert spano, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 11:06am

    ultra violet is the studio's solution

    so how does that work for everyone?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2014 @ 10:30pm

    average_joe just detests the enforcement of due process.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    "learn to adapt" = shut up and like it.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 7th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    Re: ultra violet is the studio's solution

    Ultraviolet is worthless.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: In other blame-the-victim news:

    Wow! You mean you're the entire Mindcrack team? AND the Tekkit team? AND the Young Turks? I could go on, but long story short, you are a moron.

     

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


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