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Why I Steal Movies (Even Ones I'm In)

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-not-me-him dept.

Movies 753

Jamie found a link saying "Like a billion other people, I download things illegally. I'm also an actor, writer, and director whose income depends on revenue from DVDs, movies, and books.This leads to many conflicts in my head, in my heart, and in bars."

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Why?? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236294)

Because with ripped movies you don't have to deal with those annoying previews that on some dvds, you can't skip.

Oh, and its cheaper.

Re:Why?? (5, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236326)

Its not the previews that bother me.

Its that 'you wouldnt steal a car' advert which cant be skipped.

I would if it meant i wouldn't have to see that stupid advert.

Re:Why?? (5, Funny)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236392)

I'd be very much inclined to believe that the author of the article would agree with you. He's been in the IT Crowd a few times, which was the source of this [youtube.com] .

Re:Why?? (4, Insightful)

mldi (1598123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236532)

Its not the previews that bother me.

Its that 'you wouldnt steal a car' advert which cant be skipped.

I would if it meant i wouldn't have to see that stupid advert.

Yes, and unskippable previews. There's been a few DVDs where I've had to sit there a good 15-20mins before I could even start the movie I paid good money to OWN and watch as I please, not after endlessly getting previews of some shitty movies that have been out for awhile. Now, if there's a movie I actually like (very rare), after my RedBox $1 rental, I'll buy it on the cheap, then "pirate" it as this is the only way I can watch what I paid for in the fashion I want to.

Re:Why?? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236796)

Yes, and unskippable previews. There's been a few DVDs where I've had to sit there a good 15-20mins before I could even start the movie I paid good money to OWN and watch as I please, not after endlessly getting previews of some shitty movies that have been out for awhile.

Despite the number of times I've seen comments like this over the years, I have NEVER come across a single DVD where I couldn't skip the previews by either using the track skip button or by pressing the DVD menu button. Sure, there are a handful of screens that can't be skipped no matter what (FBI/copyright warnings mostly), but people saying they have to sit there for 10-15 minutes simply aren't pressing the right buttons. And no, I don't have a fancy player that bypasses the "don't skip" codes. You'd think that after 10 years of using Netflix heavily that I'd find one of these "impossible to skip the preview" discs...

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236606)

What if you stole a car to go to the cinema? Would they mind that?

Atleast then something has actually been stolen, as in taken from the original owner, not just spun off another copy.

Re:Why?? (2, Interesting)

Hatman39 (1759474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236704)

Well, that. Also, let us assume that

1) Car theft was a legal minefield like downloading copyrighted material is.
2) The chances of getting away with it are rather good.
Now, add to that the notion that one would not deprive the previous owner of his car. Yeah...how many people would steal a car? For an example, look at the Bosten police strike:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Police_Strike#Strike [wikipedia.org]

With the chances of getting caught going to zero, the incidence of crime skyrocketed.....I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

Re:Why?? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236868)

Now, add to that the notion that one would not deprive the previous owner of his car.

However, in the case of pirated movies, the owner is the person who holds the copyright. And 'copies for viewing' that are sold are essentially just licensed permission to watch the movie. So the correct analogy to a car would be if you stole the car and prevented the owner from collecting the revenue from renting it to somebody else.

I know, I know. Complicated abstract constructs. Just the kind of thing everybody else here engages in....

Re:Why?? (5, Insightful)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236628)

If I had a replicator that took raw materials and energy and was able to recreate anything I desired you can bet your ass I would be using it, especially to replicate "luxury" items like expensive cars or high-tech gadgets.

Re:Why?? (-1, Flamebait)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236756)

If I had a replicator that took raw materials and energy and was able to recreate anything I desired you can bet your ass I would be using it, especially to replicate "luxury" items like expensive cars or high-tech gadgets.

Seriously? Your first instinct was "expensive car"?

Only in Slashdot.

P.S.: And possibly in religious forums, where they think there's more to a human being than its materials.

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236688)

> Its that 'you wouldnt steal a car' advert which cant be skipped.

a better anaology would be 'you woudn't hitchike'

Re:Why?? (4, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236408)

I pirate because:
1) I run Linux and therefore it is illegal to have a FLOSS piece that can playback some DVD's and most Bluray discs. Ripping takes too much time so... Well then, you fscking retarted industry... If you don't like me to have legal playback so I can become a customer than I'll just FSCKING DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE?!?!
2) A series is not out on DVD yet in my country. So how about releasing games and vids simultaniously everwhere?!
3) DRM. You want me to not enjoy my games if I buy them, while you could easily for less money make me not have to activate it and you won't have to run expensive servers for it? Well then... I'll just download it! Too fscking bad...
4) Sometimes I just want to watch a video on demand and only once... And I do not want to get my ass all the way to the mall the next day so I can enjoy the video as early as the next day.
5) Sometimes games/vids are too expensive. Seriously... I buy PSP games all the time because they are 20 euro's or less. No problem. Steam showed that halving the game's price results is more than twice the sales. Which in the end means more profit. But instead it must be so goddamn expensive.

So industry... Do something about you stupidity because you are making it realy hard for me to be a customer. Removing copy protection might result in a single copy to a friend of mine, but will also result in more than twice the profit. Which means you'll satisfy you stakeholders a lot more, because they only care about money.

But no... That would be waaaaaay too easy...

Royalties (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236598)

Steam showed that halving the game's price results is more than twice the sales. Which in the end means more profit.

Not necessarily. Sometimes the publisher of a video game based on a licensed underlying work is required to pay a fixed royalty per copy to this underlying work's copyright owner. This means that whether the game costs $20 per copy or $10 per copy, the underlying work's copyright owner still gets its $2 or more per copy.

Re:Royalties (2)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236610)

This is just the result of the industry as a whole not thinking about how to do it. If the copyright holder also halve his profit by simply requiring a percentage then the copyright holder will also in the end make more money.

Re:Royalties (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236732)

If the copyright holder also halve his profit by simply requiring a percentage then the copyright holder will also in the end make more money.

A percentage deal would be tantamount to licensing all fan works that are priced at $0.00 for free redistribution over the Internet. In the view of copyright owners of underlying works, such as a movie on which a video game is based or the music used in a rhythm game, these fan works would unfairly compete with commercial works.

Re:Why?? (4, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236654)

Ripping takes too much time so... I'm lazy.
A series is not out on DVD yet in my country. So how about releasing games and vids simultaniously everwhere?! I'm impatient.
DRM. You want me to not enjoy my games if I buy them, while you could easily for less money make me not have to activate it and you won't have to run expensive servers for it? Well then... I'll just download it! Too fscking bad... You don't buy the software, you buy the disc.
Sometimes I just want to watch a video on demand and only once... And I do not want to get my ass all the way to the mall the next day so I can enjoy the video as early as the next day. I'm lazy and impatient.
Sometimes games/vids are too expensive. Seriously... I buy PSP games all the time because they are 20 euro's or less. No problem. Steam showed that halving the game's price results is more than twice the sales. Which in the end means more profit. But instead it must be so goddamn expensive. I'm lazy, impatient, have a sense of entitlement AND a cheap-ass.

(This was an exercise in what a *IAA rep might think when reading your post, not my personal thoughts on pirating content. FTR, I share a lot of your frustrations. I see no reason why movies and games aren't released world-wide at the same time. We have extremely fast communication between most countries in this world, how hard is it to do this? Answer: Not that hard)

Re:Why?? (4, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236750)

Well, almost all consumers are both lazy and impatient which is why there's entire industries built around that (Fast Food anyone?) so you'd hope the industry would consider that.

Re:Why?? (2)

Elbow Macaroni (315256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236686)

Try Netflix. It's legal. Everyone can have tons of reasons they break the law. It doesn't make it okay though. Just because you don't get caught doesn't mean you won't ever get caught.

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

davepermen (998198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236710)

ripping a dvd takes some minutes, ripping a bluray around 20min. i want your internet speed if ripping is too slow for you :) but yeah, even while my stuff is legal (and that, even while downloading would still be legal in switzerland), i rip it to get rid of all the surrounding crap. turn on the beamer, and chose the movie, and it just plays. the way i want my content: select it and play it. i can't stand the menus, the intros, the warnings, the trailers, all the crap of dvd's and blurays.

Re:Why?? (4, Insightful)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236746)

An opinion that seems very prolific on Slashdot is that consumers have a right to consume anything that has been created. They don't. The right to consume is not recognized by law, nor should it be. If a company doesn't want to sell you something under reasonable terms, tough shit. It's their loss as much as it is yours but it doesn't change the legal or moral standing of the interaction.

A justification that I see fairly often is that if someone couldn't possibly buy a product then piracy of that product is ethically neutral because you can't be causing a loss of sales. I disagree with that because it is still a violation of the right that the copyright owner has to control the distribution of copies; however, I think that that argument is much less central to the issue of piracy than the perceived "right to consume" that does not exist.

I know that much of Slashdot thinks that such a right should exist and I ask of you: why should such a right exist? Why should a right to consume trump a right to control the distribution of your ideas. Personally, I respect the right of creators to own their ideas more than I respect the right to consume because I respect creators more than consumers. It takes ingenuity to create but none to consume and I think that the "right to consume" culture is a by-product of having too few creators in our culture.

Re:Why?? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236826)

It seems there is a section of society that thinks that stealing from the public is fine as long as they can make money at it.

The same section thinks that there is a right to profit and that, once having made a profit, the law must be changed so that they continue to make a profit even if the situation changes.

And that same section thinks that just because someone else is making money off "their" product, whether they are making money off it is irrelevant and that they should be allowed to take all the money made AND MORE from this entrepreneur who found a market and worked to make it happen.

This section then thinks it odd that after all their stealing and justification of said theft has led to others justifying their theft...

Re:Why?? (5, Insightful)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236840)

You ask why the right to consume should exist. I ask why should the right to own ideas exist?

Re:Why?? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236808)

2) A series is not out on DVD yet in my country. So how about releasing games and vids simultaniously everwhere?!

I've never understood that in a world economy why content owners think they can keep things secret from another portion of the world. While it usually doesn't happen to the US, I can think of a few instances where I've watched the DVDRip before it even came to theaters in the US.

When I saw Taken show up on a list of new releases I grabbed it and watched it. Months later I started seeing ads for it, it was released here almost a full year after it first came out. Same goes for most British made movies.

If I lived outside the US, I'd never wait for movies to come out.

Article is Worth the Read (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236448)

Because with ripped movies you don't have to deal with those annoying previews that on some dvds, you can't skip.

If only that was all you had to deal with. You should actually read the article, here we have an actor taking the role of the consumer and being forced to deal with: DRM, paying for a license multiple times, regioning on DVDs and distribution restrictions by country. In both his own work and others'. It was a great read, the whole time I was thinking, "Finally, now you know what it's like." I mean, come on. As a software developer if I coded something that was as shitty as all that and I sat down to use it ... I don't know what else I could think of myself as except a failure. The fact that publishers in the USA love to restrict free streaming online to only the USA boggles my mind. Do they know that there are far more people outside than within? "Oh no, you'd be violating some archaic distribution deal from 1977 if a Ukrainian heard The Killers." And since we signed that away for each country a separate contract for all eternity, we're kind of out of luck. Laughably ridiculous.

Re:Why?? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236504)

As he says in the article, it's often simply a question of availability. He wants a show, but the copyright owner chooses not to make it available in any form that he can use, either via format or region restrictions. I would love to see damages for copyright infringement take this into account: if it is impossible to buy something then the loss of earnings from someone downloading it are zero and so are the maximum damages. If you want to keep enforceable copyright on something, you need to keep distributing it. If you only distribute something in the USA, you only get to claim damages from copyright infringement in the USA. If you only distribute something in the UK, you only get to claim damages from copyright infringement in the UK. In an ideal world, distribution in formats encumbered by DRM would not count as distribution for this purpose.

Re:Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236828)

The reason why these licensing restrictions existed is because in the past the product was priced according to the target country.
Thats why in the past we often used to pay twice as much for things here in the UK. The internet helped change that. Now its easy to
see that something is cheaper elsewhere (even with postage costs & duty) so a lot of people aren't prepared to pay those prices
any more. I remember reading somewhere that legal DVDs often sell for a few dollars in China in an attempt to combat the piracy.
In the modern age there is no reason why a person shouldn't be able to buy something for the best price available. If someone is
selling something cheaper than my local store I should be able to buy it from them. It shouldn't matter if that cheaper place is
half a mile away, on the other side of the country or in another continent.

I really think eventually we'll end up with monthly media licenses where you pay $xx per month for access to all media.
Just imagine... Apple sells a music, film & tv license for $39.99 per month or $45.99 for HD. Amazon offers the same for $43.99 & $48.99
but it includes a free mp3 player if you sign up for a 12-month contract. Your local phone company has a deal going with one of them
and if you get their internet package you get 15% off the media cost.

Unskippable previews? Not anymore... (4, Informative)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236590)

Best DVD Easter Egg ever, and this really works on nearly all discs and all players. When you pop in the disc and the auto-preview garbage starts up, hit STOP, STOP, and then PLAY. In most players, this automatically starts the main feature on the disc. I found this info in a youtube vid some weeks ago. I'd credit it, but don't have the URL.

Re:Unskippable previews? Not anymore... (4, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236788)

http://lifehacker.com/5518076/hit-stop-+-stop-+-play-and-other-tricks-to-skip-dvd-trailers-and-warnings [lifehacker.com]

Very useful tip, also nice using something like XBMC which doesn't seem to honor a DVD's no-skip wishes and just let's you get to the main menu (almost) any time.

Nice article (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236298)

Very interesting read.
I want to check out his show now.

Re:Nice article (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236318)

And that, my fellow Slashdotters, is the whole point :-)

Re:Nice article (3, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236350)

I'd recommend Look Around You, it's (IMHO) far better than The Peter Serafinowicz Show. Of course, Shaun of the Dead (also mentioned in the article) is absolutely brilliant, and should be required viewing for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Re:Nice article (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236462)

I'm not sure how funny Look Around You would be to people who didn't grow up with the educational shows that were created in the UK in the '80s, but if you did then you will probably find it hilarious. He was also in Black Books and Spaced a couple of times, both of which are worth watching.

I didn't realise that he was the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode 1, but I guess he was young and needed the money...

Re:Nice article (2, Funny)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236612)

Darth Maul spoke? :p

Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236324)

Stealing movies is not very different from stealing medicines, food or anything else. The marginal cost of these items are very low - esp. for example medicines, compared to the prices.

Just cos he is a director, actor etc. etc. doesnt make it right - just means, he (like the whole of humanity) likes freebies.

Time we find a better way to catch such pirates - maybe even put a bounty!!

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (3, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236396)

Did you even read TFA (of course not, this is /.)? He goes through some pretty good justifications for his "illegal" downloading. This is one of the better written and most rational pieces I've read on piracy in quite a long time.

FTFA:

"Ownership" is starting to change its meaning. If you buy a movie from iTunes you "own" the right to watch it on certain devices within certain constraints. When you "own" a DVD, you have the right to watch it whenever and wherever you want. However: you must watch ten minutes of promos, trailers and anti-piracy threats. I'll take the download, please.

But often you can't do it legally: I recently wanted to show my son Disney's classic Jungle Book and intended to get it on iTunes. Unfortunately, it is currently incarcerated within The Disney Vault. So I'm afraid I simply DL'ed a pixel-clear pirate copy which arrived in seconds. My moral justification for this? I once bought the VHS. It's your own vault, Disney!

I actually disagree there (The "I'll take the download, please"). If I buy content, I want to use it when I want, where I want. I don't want artificial constraints about which devices I can use it on, or when I can use it. There has to be a happy medium between them. And frankly, the ten minutes of promos and trailers never bothered me. I simply go to the bathroom or do something else during them...

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (3, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236458)

I actually disagree there (The "I'll take the download, please"). If I buy content, I want to use it when I want, where I want. I don't want artificial constraints about which devices I can use it on, or when I can use it. There has to be a happy medium between them. And frankly, the ten minutes of promos and trailers never bothered me. I simply go to the bathroom or do something else during them...

I think that's what he meant. He said getting it from iTunes is still problematic, and I think he meant "download" as in "illegally download, not from iTunes". That's how I read it, although I can definitely see how using "download" in that last sentence might make the reader think "download from iTunes."

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (2, Interesting)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236714)

You might be contend with the restrictions imposed, we are not. I have dozens of DVDs *still in the plastic wrapping*, I just buy movies that are good but when I want to watch them again why would I go trough the trouble of finding the DVD and sitting trough the fucking adverts? The only thing I'm concerned about is if I can honestly say to myself that I do the good thing here, and I think I do. The entertainment industry (music/movies/series/games) gets shitloads of my hard earned cash, and in return I expect to be entertained as was promised in exchange for that money. Why would they care if I stick in the DVD or play the torrent, they've got their cash???

And of course I downloaded crap without buying it, but guess what: in the offline-era I might have borrowed it from a friend but sure as hell never bought. One good example: the only reason I downloaded music was because there was no acceptable unrestricted download format for years... but now there is and since then I happily purchase CD's for download as MP3. It has never been about stealing or about not wanting to pay, it's about me being a consumer and a fan who was severely disappointed in the lack of unrestricted content. It has taken the better part of two decades for the industry to start listening, but give it another decade and we might finally get what we demanded all along... And if they don't listen to our money's vote we will unite and use our democratic vote... let's see how the industry likes it when the consumers are actually represented! I for one have put down my autograph supporting the Pirate Party.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236718)

And frankly, the ten minutes of promos and trailers never bothered me. I simply go to the bathroom or do something else during them...

I do that before i sit down to watch a DVD. I then use VLC to watch it, which allows me to skip all of that rubbish (I literally shout at the TV when I'm forced to watch a DVD on a regular player). I also turn up to the cinema 15 minutes after the displayed time to start showing, as I know there will be some b-list celebrity telling me to shop the guy making a shaky-cam screener of the film, and several trailers for movies loosely related to the one I want to watch (It has a woman in it? Show a trailer for a Rom-Com). I went to see Iron Man 2 recently, and do you know what there was an advert for? Sex and The City 2. I guess the link is that they are both sequels.

So yeah, I get why people are pissy about these things, and I agree totally. Give me a DVD with the movie I want to watch and nothing else and I'll be a happy person. Skip the trailers at the cinema, and I'll be a happy person. Bombard me with region-specific releases, format shifting prohibiting DRM, and unskippable trailers and I you will lose my business.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236738)

He says he has a US iTunes account. I'm fairly sure that he shouldn't be using that in the UK, and whatever he thinks of as being a legal purchase is probably not legal at all. He's probably paying to infringe copyright because of the different licensing for different countries.

Just a thought...

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236412)

Steeling movies is very different, when you steal somethings you deprive the owner of it.
When you "steal" a movie you are not stealing it, you are copying it.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (4, Funny)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236642)

Steeling movies is very different

I agree. When you steel a movie, you are encasing it in an alloy with iron as the base. :p

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (5, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236434)

You are absolutely correct, if you go into a store and steal a DVD it is exactly the same as any other theft. On the other hand downloading copyright material is not theft. It is copyright infringement. You have not deprived anyone of the original. It seems that you have succumbed to the propaganda of that trailer, which if you watch carefully avoids saying that illegal copying or downloading is theft because they know it is wrong. It is the old association trick:

You wouldn't steal a bag
You wouldn't steal a car
Downloading videos is piracy
Piracy is against the law

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (2, Insightful)

Luther Blisset (1770282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236562)

It is copyright infringement.

Again, not always, not everywhere.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (3, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236652)

Read this [infotoday.com] .

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (1)

Luther Blisset (1770282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236810)

I did, and I don't see why you told me to. Also, I learned nothing new from reading it. So, care to enlighten me with regards to your purpose in having me read that?

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236664)

You wouldn't steal a bag
You wouldn't steal a car

You wouldn't steal a baby.
You wouldn't shoot a policeman.
And then steal his helmet.
You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet.
And then send it to the policeman's grieving widow.
And then steal it again!

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236682)

You wouldn't steal a policeman's helmet!

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (1)

Elbow Macaroni (315256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236720)

If you know you are going to get away with a crime it doesn't make it right. How does it feel to be a criminal?

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (1)

davepermen (998198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236730)

if i steal a dvd in the store, and worldwide all sort of copies still exist, i haven't stolen the original. i just obtained a copy. how is that theft? i've stolen a disk, and a booklet, and some plastic. but not the movie.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236794)

That's easy: You deprived someone of a physical copy. This is theft.
If you borrow said copy, and then copied it, and gave the borrowed copy back, then it's not theft, but a copyright infringement

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (2, Insightful)

Luther Blisset (1770282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236436)

Stealing movies is not very different from stealing medicines, food or anything else.

Yes it is. The marginal cost of movies is practically zero, whereas that of medicines or food, however low, isn't. Also, replicating medicines or food is not as easy as replicating a physical copy of a movie. And if it were, it would be our moral duty to replicate those medicines and food.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (1)

chadplusplus (1432889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236484)

Also consider the current backlash against the uber-wealthy (definitely in America, presumably around the world). You have movie stars and rock stars earning millions upon millions of dollars for performances not always considered worthy of the pay and a population who is apparently much less concerned about the well to do of the well-to-do.

For the music industry, a sustainable business model is to freely distribute recordings and charge higher for live performances. The availability of recordings acts as promotion for the live performances.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a comparable business model for the movie industry - unless they all want to go back to live performances.

Re:Just cos he does it - doesnt make it right (2, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236764)

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a comparable business model for the movie industry - unless they all want to go back to live performances.

Um, we already still have live performances. They seem to do very well. Ever hear of A Chorus Line? How about Les Miserables? Or Cats? Or any other live play/musical? The Tony Awards are specifically for actors and actresses (and assorted other folks) in the live performance business. Patrick Stewart (you know, Captain Picard from ST:TNG) is supposedly a classically trained actor.

No, Hollywood (and motion pictures in general) has no comparable business model. It and TV dramas are probably unique in that (I don't even think most TV shows have a live audience, just a good laugh track that's probably 10+ years old) regard.

Now I'm not defending the idiocy that the MPAA engages in by any means. Just addressing the specific point of comparable business models.

I agree (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236572)

movies is not very different from stealing medicines, food or anything else. The marginal cost of these items are very low - esp. for example medicines, compared to the prices.

You are absolutely right. The pharmaceutical industry is as guilty as the media industry of practicing an absolutely immoral pricing scheme.

That's why there are countries that ignore medicine patents [bbc.co.uk] .

You dont steal, you copy. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236358)

This constant effort in changing our language is frustrating.

When you steal something you deprive the previous owner of their copy.

Making a copy is an offense but since it doesnt deprive the real owner of their copy its a very minor offense, especially when done without economic interest and for profit.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (2, Insightful)

Luther Blisset (1770282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236520)

Making a copy is an offense

Not always, not everywhere. Remember that in your effort to change our language. ;)

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (4, Funny)

TheJodster (212554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236608)

If you downloaded "Hurt Locker" and you get a summons in the next few weeks, can you post back and let us all know how this argument worked out for you? I would pay money to sit in court and watch you tell that to a judge as a reason to have your case dismissed. I would find that quite a bit more entertaining than a movie downloaded from a torrent.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (1)

Luther Blisset (1770282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236660)

Please note that he didn't say anything about it not being illegal (even though there are places where it is legal). Quite the opposite actually, since he described it as "an offense". Therefore, I don't think he'd expect the case to be dismissed.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (3, Insightful)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236618)

Slashdot is notorious for spreading this incorrect information, and it needs to stop. Theft of time/labor is also a crime, at least in two [ky.gov] state [mt.gov] , and a Google search for "theft of labor" reveals many more citations for you to peruse.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (0, Troll)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236624)

>When you steal something you deprive the previous owner of their copy.

Ok, so when you illegally download a movie or song, you are stealing the copyright holder's right to distribute it.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (2, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236706)

So if we illegally download bad songs, the owner can't distribute them anymore, because it was stolen from them? Awesome!

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (1)

Luther Blisset (1770282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236850)

Not really, the copyright holder still has that right. The only way to steal that right would be to effectively prevent the copyright holder from actually distributing the content under any circumstances. Which is pretty much impossible.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (0, Redundant)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236698)

This constant effort in changing our language is frustrating.

When you steal something you deprive the previous owner of their copy.

I just wanted to point out that this has never been universally agreed upon, not globally.

When you steel, you get something you are not entitled to have.

Some people think there's only a wrong if it deprives someone of something they are entitled to. But others think there's a wrong if someone gets something they're not entitled to.

I completely accept that there's a legitimate point over which people can disagree here. I do not accept that one side gets to unilaterally declare that their definition is the only valid one. Go ahead and say that what's under discussion is arguably not theft, but if you assert that it's flatly not theft, as a fact, well, I don't think you're being completely reasonable.

Re:You dont steal, you copy. (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236776)

(Now, I wonder how many people will try to have a discussion, how many will foam at the mouth and rant, and how many will specifically target my admittedly-stupid spelling errors. Wanna place bets?)

Stopped reading at... (5, Funny)

drc003 (738548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236362)

..."I live in London and many of my favo(u)rite TV shows are American. So if I want to see the latest episode of South Park or Friday Night Lights..." I threw a flag right then. If you spend your time downloading and watching Texas' version of Days of Our Lives I have no more time for you. Personal Foul. Good bye now.

Re:Stopped reading at... (1, Funny)

drc003 (738548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236416)

Flamebait? Wow! People are so sensitive now that they get worked up over a little joke about their favorite show. /. just ain't what it used to be.

Re:Stopped reading at... (4, Funny)

dwye (1127395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236564)

Obviously, they thought that you meant South Park was Days of Our Life in Texas. That certainly would be flaming.

This is Gizmodo... (1)

inpher (1788434) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236366)

... the place where copyright infringement equals theft and sometimes theft should be protected by shield laws because it is journalism.

Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (2, Informative)

damona (1182755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236370)

In case it isn't clear from the summary and you don't wanna read tfa. The actor is Peter Serafinowicz.

Never heard of him.

Re:Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236406)

He's in Shaun of the Dead. You've seen that one, surely?

Re:Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (4, Informative)

unts (754160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236424)

He was the voice of Darth Maul. He also created the fantastically funny "science" show Look Around You, and has been involved in various comedies including Shaun of the Dead.

Re:Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236488)

He is (IMO) most famous from his appearance in British comedy shows. He was in IT Crowd, Black Books, and I'm Alan Partridge (these are shows I know him from, I had not realised he was in Shaun of the Dead).

Re:Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236516)

Never heard of him.

Well, now you have.

Ta-Da!

Re:Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236632)

Unless he uses text-to-speech in his computer or somebody read TFA to him he still hasn't heard it.

Re:Actor is Peter Serafinowicz (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236592)

He was the asshole who stole Simon Pegg's girl on Spaced [wikipedia.org] . He's done a ton of other stuff too (mostly in Britain). He's one of those guys who pops up on a ton of BBC shows, mostly comedies. I had certainly heard of him, but then I've seen a lot of BBC comedies.

The Number of Times You Must License (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236384)

So I'm afraid I simply DL'ed a pixel-clear pirate copy which arrived in seconds. My moral justification for this? I once bought the VHS.

My greatest problem with copyright abuse by the RIAA/MPAA is simply how they nickel and dime you. Every decade or so a new format comes out and they roll around in new income without even doing anything (well, remastering is very little). That bothers me. It seems like the opposite of a capitalistic system where you're supposed to be rewarded for producing something--in this case entertainment content.

So let's say I roll down to a garage sale and find the band Poison's worst songs of the 1980s on vinyl for two pence (that's two pence more than it's worth). By your logic, is it okay for me to now get online and download that?

I assume that with digital downloads, all of those archaic shenanigans will end ... or perhaps that's why your employer, your publisher and your industry are fighting the final format solution. You wrote this piece as a consumer of your own product and were given a brief flash of insight yet you seem to avoid trying to reconcile this view with the view from your end, from the insider's end. And that's probably because it's irreconcilable and, as you said, you "don't understand business." More importantly, you don't understand money and the desire for more money is all that runs your industry. You've got some sort of humanity and empathy for the consumer left in you. You'd need to cast that off in order to understand the businessman who is making tons of bank on you. You'd need that to understand EMI's decision to continually restrict Hot Chip's viewership.

Good luck in your quest to utilize things like P2P for promoting, sharing and distributing as a tool to success. Your industry by and large will not assist you in the least and may even take legal action against you.

Re:The Number of Times You Must License (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236576)

or perhaps that's why your employer, your publisher and your industry are fighting the final format solution.

Perhaps it be better to call it a final distribution solution (though I am not a big fan of the word final). Online distribution methods can easily replace one format for another, and they can list all your purchases and make them available for downloading at your convenient (not saying that online distributors do this but that is not a limitation inherited in the technology). One of the things feared by the old establishment is that someone buys a product and then have, or expect to have, infinite access to that product with no chance of losing it or wearing it out; or re-selling for that matter. That and the costs of storage and distribution is significantly lower, in many regards, to printing and shipping physical media, and thus offers less chances for the distributor to legally leech money from other peoples artistic and/or entertainment products.

Re:The Number of Times You Must License (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236596)

So let's say I roll down to a garage sale and find the band Poison's worst songs of the 1980s on vinyl for two pence (that's two pence more than it's worth). By your logic, is it okay for me to now get online and download that?

Well, you already answered that in first sentence, didn't you? Thank you for not wasting the bandwidth.

Re:The Number of Times You Must License (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236672)

So let's say I roll down to a garage sale and find the band Poison's worst songs of the 1980s on vinyl for two pence (that's two pence more than it's worth). By your logic, is it okay for me to now get online and download that?

Given the first sale doctrine, yes.

And even from a moralistic point of view, yes. I bought a copy of the music (yes a copy, not a license). I can use it in any format I see fit for my personal use.

Re:The Number of Times You Must License (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236680)

So let's say I roll down to a garage sale and find the band Poison's worst songs of the 1980s on vinyl for two pence (that's two pence more than it's worth).

You seriously overestimate the value of Poison's back catalogue.

Re:The Number of Times You Must License (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236806)

So let's say I roll down to a garage sale and find the band Poison's worst songs of the 1980s on vinyl for two pence (that's two pence more than it's worth). By your logic, is it okay for me to now get online and download that?

Yes you are, as far as I'm concerned. You have a properly licensed copy of a copyrighted work (first sale doctrine in the US) which is on a medium you can no longer access. Format shifting should be listed as fair use, so you put the licensed vinyl in your loft and download the digital version. If anyone wants to argue the point, the original is no longer being used (one copy out of circulation) and the digital one is. The licensing is balanced out, and is fair. The record company, and Poison, got their money when it was sold, the original purchaser no longer has a license for the tracks (Media company is free to persue them if they're still enjoying the tracks without a license), but in a sane world you would be morally and legally untouchable.

However, sane doesn't come into the picture.

He makes a few good points. (4, Interesting)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236438)

The author of the article makes a few good points...particularly about the creators of South Park (a show I loathe) not particularly minding torrents of their stuff on the 'net...especially since there's not really anything they can do about it.

Also in that he made a video promoting a UK band, then EMI went out of their way to limit the audience of the promotional video to only UK viewers...why limit who can see a band's promotional video? Shouldn't EMI want a much larger audience?

Everyone would a lot happier if they just stopped fighting it and tried to find a way to work with it. A good example is that back "in the day" (and I'm giving away my generation here, so get off my lawn) the television stations had even tried to make off the air taping of their shows illegal (it was for a while)...then they realized how ridiculous it was to fight it when everyone did it for convenience (plus the supreme court of the US made it legal to do so). Next thing you know, the stations were finding ways to *want* you to record their shows, knowing that they were getting more viewers if they did so. That led to TIVO-type set boxes (that they've now tried to limit electronically).

If "they" would just realize that if they tried to work *with* new tech instead of against it, they could find a much much larger paying audience.

For the record, though, I'm against piracy in all its forms. People being so blatant about pirating music and games is what's led to corporations fighting it. If I have an MP3 in my collection, then I have either purchased it electronically or have a physical media of it that I've purchased.

Just my $0.02

-JJS

Interesting but... (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236460)

It's an interesting read but nothing terribly informative - it doesn't really provoke thought on the subject. For anyone who's interested in the topic, it's stuff that they've already encountered (and thus already thought about) and, for anyone who hasn't encountered these ideas, then it's almost certainly not a topic of interest. I think we're at a point where people who are interested in this subject have already heard all the arguments for/against their stance on the subject and nothing terribly new is being brought to the discussion (by either side). And others just don't care so any talk is largely wasted. Which is unfortunate because I care about this subject a great deal and would like a lot more involved and interesting debate regarding it but I just have not seen it happen in a while...

Downloading... (1)

GoJays (1793832) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236466)

I don't see the problem with downloading TV shows that have already been broadcast. I do it because I can't stand watching a show like "Lost" where there is 5 minutes of show then 3 minutes of commercials. So I would rather just download it the next day and watch it in HD commercial free.

I am not in the business of making DVD's of the episodes I download and then selling them. I just download it to watch it commercial free. I already pay for my internet connection and I pay for cable TV.

The same goes for Movies. I mostly download old movies, if I really want to see a new movie I will go to the theatre and see it on a big screen. Otherwise I am downloading old movies. What is the difference of me downloading a movie from 3 years ago, or watching it on TV? Sure the cable company paid for the rights to show that movie, but I also pay the cable company for my internet connection. In the end the cable company is still getting my money. Which in turn the cable company pays for the rights of the movie.

Re:Downloading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236566)

You realize you can watch Lost in HD the day after it's broadcast on ABC.com for free right? The commercials are only 35 seconds (the last one is 70 seconds). If you have AdBlock, you may skip the commercials (I can't explain why but back when I used FF+AdBlock I wouldn't have to watch the ads.. my roommate did.. cannot explain why this was the case, I didn't even have to wait for the countdown..results may vary)

find the right price (0, Redundant)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236476)

I recently downloaded a film I had seen as a child. I remembered it because of a link I saw on another subject, so I was curious to watch it again.

Only problem, at Amazon [amazon.com] the price was way more than I would be willing to spend just to watch it and I couldn't find it at my local rental store. Therefore I downloaded it.

Distributors should find the right price, I would gladly pay $1 or so to watch an old film, but $16 is outrageous.

Use Netflix DVDs by mail (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236666)

I was curious to watch it again. [...] I couldn't find it at my local rental store.

I think you're supposed to make a list of 20 such movies and then sign up for Netflix DVDs by mail or your country's counterpart. This fails only for movies that haven't been made available on DVD, such as Song of the South.

Netflix + Handbreak / AnyDVD... (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236496)

I used to have a Cox DVR (using it was like shitting a watermelon) and I would set it to record movies of the Encore channels. The DVR was $16 a month. So we gave the DVR back to Cox and got a netflix account. We order movies, I rip them and send them back.

According to the law/MPAA the former is OK (well, the MPAA doesn't like it very much), but the latter is stealing, but in reality the only difference is one came down the wire digitally, and one came off a piece of plastic digitally. In all other ways it is identical. As long as I don't upload the file to Bit Torrent I figure the MPAA can kiss my pucker.

Re:Netflix + Handbreak / AnyDVD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236636)

The latter is illegal (assuming you are in the US, or soon-to-be-any-acta-nation), you are circumventing a copy protection device.

The difference is one has copy-protection measures, the other doesn't.

In Other Words: Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236508)

is a botnet !

Thanks in advance.

Yours In Ufa,
Kilgore Trout

The entire article is flamebait (-1, Flamebait)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236604)

Sorry gang, I have to unload a bit on this one. This entire article is some brand of flamebait/troll/etc. The Borg (tm) can assist here.

What he thinks is irrelevant. What matters is the law. However he is above the law somehow by getting explicit permission to blatantly infringe. "Hai. Thank you for your article. Enjoy the $1,000 in ad revenue. Here is your bill for $877,000 for infringements listed."

Therefore I cannot figure out exactly what is being accomplished by letting his article live. Some sort of Controlled Devil's Advocate straw man?

Re:The entire article is flamebait (3, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236716)

When the law is being paid for by people who claim to represent him, his opinion matters.

Unprincipled. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236626)

I still think a more effective way of getting our point across is to show these companies how unimportant their product is. I've said it before and I'll say it again, pirating just tells them that the demand is strong. In their minds all they need to do is find DRM that is unbreakable. That's likely an unattainable goal, but then really all they have to do is keep making things increasingly difficult to the point that a growing number of people give up and stop pirating.

But stop consuming the crap they produce and then they've got to change their ways to bring people back. Stop buying, stop pirating, organize and start lobbying hard to change things. Do you really need to catch every last episode of South Park? Come on. But then it just goes to show that people value entertainment and personal satisfaction more than they do principles.

Awesome article (3, Insightful)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236658)

By far the most reasoned treatise I've seen about this issue. Now if only we could get the MPAA, etc. to read and understand it. Or better yet, if only I could figure out how to provide 'better than free' content without billions of dollars, and thus put the archaic companies in the position to either compete or die. I-tunes has started this, but it needs to happen faster.

Piracy is so much better (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236662)

Price aside, the pirated versions of almost everything rock. I have hundreds of purchased DVD's and I've downloaded ripped 700mb divx compatible versions of damn near every one of them. It's so much more convenient that it's silly to break open the dvd case and get a dvd out. I simply stream the movie from the hard drive to the TV. I guess I could rip the DVD's but why? It's a pain and then I have to convert and compress them. So much easier just to visit piratebay and let it download while I'm sleeping. I still buy DVD's but it's more like I'm trying to encourage the studio to make more of that particular type of movie. I don't watch the damn DVD. Now though I only buy DVD's of movies I like and want to see again. No more shit.

Addicts by design (3, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236722)

Sure, the players involved all think it's real, but the whole game is nothing more than a means of squeezing an extra bit of stress reaction from the population.

TV and general media opiate is such a fantastically successful means of keeping people asleep that it will not go away until it is rendered redundant by guns, barbed wire and processing plants. The copyright thing is a means of turning everybody into a criminal, and thus gives a valid excuse to introduce those guns, barbed wire and processing plants. -Because milking the human race for anxiety is all fine and nice for the aliens, but greed and stupidity dictate the necessity for a huge whollop of energy which can only be extracted through physical trauma on a planetary scale. A couple of senseless wars here and there just don't cut it.

Have a nice day.

-FL

You're not stealing the movies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236758)

You're not stealing the movies. You're not even pirating them (unless you're selling them on). You're copying them. And currently, copying is a civil action.

Re:You're not stealing the movies (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236834)

copying isn't even actionable here.

Nor is receiving a copy.

Only when distributing a copy are you infringing.

So just as bad for artists as the rest of us (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236804)

It seems to me that what PS is saying is that the only people who think that they're benefitting from the bizarre and Byzantine system of IP we have set up (a) are the people who set up the system, rather than either of the two communities they purport to serve, and (b) probably aren't actually benefitting. Can't disagree with the assertions made.
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