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For-Profit, Illegal Movie Download Sites Threaten MPAA

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-luck-shutting-those-down dept.

Crime 387

vossman77 writes that BitTorrent is no longer the MPAA's enemy number one. They are now more concerned about illicit, for-profit movie download sites. This reader adds, "Just a thought, but maybe if the studios offered a low-cost, for-profit, legitimate download site without DRM, they could receive the profits at the expense of the cyberlockers." "Movie fans downloading free pirated films are no longer Hollywood's worst nightmare, but that's only because of a newer menace: cheap, and equally illegal, subscription services. Foreign, often mob-run, businesses aggregate illegally obtained movies into 'cyberlockers.' Cyberlocker-based businesses operate from Russia, Ukraine, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, and elsewhere. ... Hollywood movies are made available via illegal for-profit sites within days of theatrical release, while the advent of global releasing now allows the proliferation of individual titles into an array of language dubs within the first month of a theatrical debut. ... When movies are released on DVD and Blu-ray disc, the sites upgrade the quality of video offered from camcorded images to pristine digital copies. 'Sometimes these sites look better than the legitimate sites,' Huntsberry said. 'That's the irony.'"

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387 comments

argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina free p (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656788)

argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina has a free pass to US IP.

Oops I farted... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656796)

I'm sorry. I farted in your cornflakes and ejaculated in your nostrils.

Re:argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina fre (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656852)

this sounds interesting.
tell me more.

Re:argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina fre (2, Informative)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657044)

I do remember something about the US screwing over some small country recently so WIPO issued sanctions saying that they wouldn't be expected to enforce US copyright law in that country for a period of time. Essentially they have the approval of the international community to pirate whatever they want from the US and they don't have to pay licensing. It wasn't Argentina though.

Re:argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina fre (1)

Kelbin (1787356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656880)

rofl, yeah right. That wont save you if you get caught even if it is coming from Argentina cause the IP doesn't belong to the US but to the individual groups.

Re:argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina fre (4, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657038)

argentina ones are not Illegal as argentina has a free pass to US IP.

Yeah... that would be Antigua [boingboing.net], not Argentina.

Obligatory Homer Simpson quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656798)

Sometimes these sites look better than the legitimate sites. That's the irony.

Hey, don't call the MPAA an iron.

No companies listed... (2, Interesting)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656806)

I wonder, are sites like MegaVideo part of that list? I have a friend who told me about that they canceled their tv subscription and bought a MegaVideo subscription instead since they can watch even more and when they want. Wonder which sites are most likely to be a part of this list?

Re:No companies listed... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657398)

Yeah, Mega Video is way worth the price.

A legit one, with ads would be worth the price too. The industry needs to come up with a plan to:
1) make money
2) pay the people producing value
3) allow all you can eat monthly subscription for less than a cable bill

I am sure it is possible, but would require a total reworking of the system.

I would happily pay $20/month for access to what is on megavideo (room mate pays that much a quarter already, and I pay $.33/GB for usenet). If it were totally convenient (like mega video is), and legal, I would pay as much as $40. Mega video is better than cable, unless you like sports, or need to watch something sooner than 3-6 hours after it airs. It's like on-demand, without shitty slow menus to navigate.

And, since I am not sharing copies, not particularly illegal either.

Crime Pays (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656820)

Torrents higher quality and are better than legal downloads and are more useful since they don't have DRM.

Weed is better than alcohol because it doesn't leave you hung over.

Amphetamine is better than caffine because it takes much less to keep you awake and focus. And it's better to take speed as needed than every single day as it is usually prescribed.

The bottom line: the best things in life are illegal.

Re:Crime Pays (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657122)

You forgot: Hookers are better than wives because you only have to pay when you get laid.

Re:Crime Pays (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657238)

Torrents higher quality and are better than legal downloads and are more useful since they don't have DRM

I'm not sure which torrents you hit, but a significant amount suck/mislabeled, etc.

Weed is better than alcohol because it doesn't leave you hung over.

It probably does leave you something... but you just CAN'T remember it. You just know you want to do it again and soon.

Amphetamine is better than caffine[sic] because it takes much less to keep you awake and focus.

This explains you being proud of your small wanker. Besides, I try to not to listen to Philip Glass fans.

Re:Crime Pays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657286)

Torrents higher quality and are better than legal downloads and are more useful since they don't have DRM

I'm not sure which torrents you hit, but a significant amount suck/mislabeled, etc.

Noob using shitty public tracker.

Re:Crime Pays (1)

mopower70 (250015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657312)

Very simple solution then: buy the DVD then download the torrent. There is nothing inherently wrong, immoral or illegal about filesharing. There is a great deal wrong, immoral, and illegal about downloading something that someone deserves to be paid for and not paying them.

And really? Amphetamine is better than caffeine? I mean, I'm all for legalization of marijuana, but if you're going to try and defend crystal meth as a safe alternative to coffee, please take your support some place else.

Re:Crime Pays (0, Troll)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657370)

Why do you think your drug should be legalized and mine should not? Why are you any different than the bible bangers who want to go back and outlaw booze? The only logical and reasonable stance is complete decriminalization of any and all drugs, even the ones you don't like. Sorry bud, but as an adult and a US citizen, I do not be believe it is the government's business what substances I choose to ingest into my body.

hunter hunted (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656822)

as simple as that. i would like to see mpaa, riaa take on russia.

Re:hunter hunted (oblig) (2, Interesting)

Lundse (1036754) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656892)

In Soviet Russia, the government takes on the RIAA and MPAA!

Which is more or less what the article is saying, for a sufficiently cynical view of corruption and the current political situation over there...

Re:hunter hunted (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657192)

But the public needs to know that with such pirated convenience comes the risk of... problems with spyware contamination are even more common.

Spyware contamination like XCP? [wikipedia.org] Sony Pictures is part of the MPAA, is it not? It looks to me like ANY RIAA/MPAA offering is just as dangerous whether you get it from the Russian Mafia or legally through the studios. In fact, the safest route is BitTorrent.

Equally illegal? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656824)

While both illegal, I think most people would agree that selling copyrighted stuff you don't have the rights to is worse. In that case it actually is a little closer to stealing because they are taking money from people who pay for the movie that might otherwise have payed for a legitimate copy.

Re:Equally illegal? (1)

fluch (126140) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657214)

I do not share any sympathy with people or organisations which sell (!) copyrighted material. So what ever the RIAA/MPAA does against this organised distribution channels is fine with me.

However: I do not feel pity for the RIAA/MPAA. Their rude, unthoughtful ... nearly criminal way of treating people makes it impossible for me to feel any sympathy for them. So MAFIAA, enjoy your fight against the real Mafia, I guess there you found a proper opponent!

Where is the popcorn?! ;-)

from the good-luck-shutting-those-down dept. (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656836)

It used to be the **AA vs Jammie, now it looks like the **AA vs the Mafia. Fighting somebody their own size, playing by their same rules, is probably something they won't enjoy.

Re:from the good-luck-shutting-those-down dept. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656878)

Good. Now it's MAFIAA vs. Mafia.

wait till a few mpaa people start going ....missin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656916)

lol haha

Re:from the good-luck-shutting-those-down dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657080)

Is it just me or does "MAFIAA vs Mafia" sound like a great name for the next GTA-based game from Rockstar?

One can only hope... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657106)

... that they start putting contracts on each other, then in the end the world would be a better place without them both.

Re:from the good-luck-shutting-those-down dept. (1)

chstwnd (1751702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657100)

I don't know if you'd call it the "same" rules. I'm no fan of the RIAA, and I think they might just pee their collective pants - and unfortunately pick up a few tricks - when they start trying to steamroll more senior criminals that aren't afraid to take out a hit on someone who annoys them slightly too much.

Re:from the good-luck-shutting-those-down dept. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657332)

The MPA already takes on the mob selling bootlegs in places like Hong Kong. I doubt they are going to be scared like you think.

why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656838)

isn't the point of piracy to NOT pay for it?

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (0, Troll)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656858)

It helps them to justify not paying the people who wrote, directed, produced, starred in, etc the movies.

"See, I am paying for the movie! I'm not stealing it like my neighbors."

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (2, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656956)

Right, because record breaking box office numbers and DVD sales aren't contributing at all to those who wrote, directed, produced and starred in said movie.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656898)

No, the point is to get a product you want for a price you'll pay.

If the official marketplace doesn't deliver, a black market forms.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656930)

Most people pirate movies and music to get it conveniently and inexpensively. According to the article some of these sites allow unlimited downloads for $5 a month. The Entertainment industry has these problems because they keep trying to charge the same amount they did when copying and distributing their products was expensive (relatively) and difficult.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657282)

I absolutely agree with you, but I would add that the illegal sites will always be able to provide the same (or better) product for less. The distribution costs will remain similar, but only one side also has to pay for the film's production.

That said, however, the current crop of legal products on the market still leave a huge amount to be desired. I think many people's ingrained sense of morality would push them to pay a little more for legit content, but if and only if it's also available instantly, of equivalent quality, plays on pretty much anything (standard Xvid encoding is good), and doesn't self destruct (no DRM for purchase, or completely transparent DRM to enforce time limits for rentals).

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656944)

They probably didnt know any better and thought it was the real thing. It seems playing the stupid card is the way to go in the US to get hand holding and settlements, never mind that it also creates a nanny state of over regulated everything as the gvmnt tries to babby proof the world.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656976)

isn't the point of piracy to NOT pay for it?

Of course not. If the point was not to pay for something, the solution would be to not buy it. So-called piracy is what other people call sharing useful information. Of course people are willing to pay for useful information, if it's offered in a sane way. That just hasn't been happening much lately.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (-1, Flamebait)

mopower70 (250015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657202)

Your so-called "so-called piracy" is what other people call theft. For an honest person, the solution to not wanting to pay for something would be to not buy it. For a thief, the solution to not paying for something is to steal it. These are people who either believe they are buying something legitimately or guilty thieves who assuage their guilt by paying a pittance.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657256)

Your so-called "so-called piracy" is what other people call theft.

Who cares? That's not the definition of theft, so they're simply wrong.

For an honest person

Sorry, you don't get to call other people dishonest because you disagree with their beliefs. I stopped reading at this point.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (5, Informative)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657272)

Your so-called "so-called piracy" is what other people call theft.

And they are incorrect. Call it copyright infringement.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657330)

As to the "theft" title, if I don't want to pay for your chair, but I buy some wood, glue, tools, and replicate your chair... am I stealing your chair?

I stopped "replicating chairs" as I got older, but it was never "theft".

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656980)

People pay for the access to top sites. P2L, or Pay to Leech. Its seriously frowned upon in the scene since it attracts undue attention and you are going against the principle of free exchange of information. But people will pay money for access to 200 TB sites that have 16gbit fiber. I have heard of sites that have an auto dl feed on since 93. Essentially you are paying for access to any digital content that has ever been released online. Also you don't have to seed back and put yourself at risk, by seeding back, since typically you will download it via sFTP or FxP. I don't agree with P2L but I could see the temptation of a site op to do it.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657026)

isn't the point of piracy to NOT pay for it?

Not necessarily. Down here in Brazil, people often purchase pirated DVDs and games for PS2 or Xbox360. When it comes to games, it is not too hard to find a store that sells PS2 games for R$10,00 (equivalent to US$5,00).

The reason is price. Pirated DVDs and games are a fraction of what you find in stores. Some would rather pay for the convenience of not having to download it and burn it to a DVD (the pirated ones even come with nice-ish covers). Others simply don't know that you can download everything for free, or even don't have a Internet-Connected PC.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (1)

Prikolist (1260608) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657048)

Ask that question of the dozens of people selling camrips and illegal copies of dvd's whom I see in the streets all the time. I guess people (customers) figure that this way they are breaking much less laws than the guys who actually bring camcorders to the cinema, burn the dvd's, or put them online for streaming - and do that with hundreds of titles instead of a couple. Which means they would be less likely of a target. And this articles proves them right.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (0, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657120)

You must be new here.

You can search through the comments of older articles and find where slashdotters have said they would pay (some would pay MORE) for an unauthorized copy than give their money to the MPAA.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657244)

1) Apparently simpler than bittorrent.
2) Apparently a better price point or availability than a legal DVD.

Re:why would anyone BUY an illegal copy? (5, Insightful)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657348)

This is evidence that most of those who engage in piracy aren't looking for a freebie, but merely looking for a product at a fair price delivered in a format they want, to be played at a venue of their choosing. Its capitalism biting the MPAA right in its behind.

People now understand that pressing copy of a DVD could sell for $10 rather than $20-30 and still make a profit for the producer. People also know that extra digital copies can be made at virtually zero cost to the producer...yet the industry still insists on charging you $30 for that product.

People also understand that their is no longer a scarcity of these works of art. Why pay such a high price to watch a blockbuster movie when its plot line has been recycled in other films 13 times last summer?

Anyone can have a nice site without paying actors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656840)

Or writers, editors, lighting guys, best boys (whatever they are), directors, stuntmen, casting directors, etc.

Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656848)

The allegation that these sites are "often mob-run" is just pretense for a soon-to-come crackdown on the internet.

Re:Propaganda (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656922)

Because mobs are never smart enough to profit from the Internet?

Re:Propaganda (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657062)

Effective propaganda is plausible, not necessarily true and always emotional. Is there a reason why "mob-run" is mentioned in the context of movie downloads? If movie downloads are OK, should we still do something about them if the mob profits from them? If movie downloads are not OK, will we refrain from doing something if the mob is not involved? No and no. The allegation is purely there to create emotional aversion. It's propaganda.

uneven competition (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656854)

illegal sites "for profit" sites will always have an advantage of lower price compared to whatever MPAA is ready to give up in markup in their hypothetical "legal" sites.

That and zillion of "free with ads that are not in the video itself" sites.

That does not mean though that MPAA should not do those sites, because those "legit" sites have an advantage of their users not having their asses randomly fried.

Mega video next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656856)

Megavideo watch out, your days are numbered. I wounder what happens when the MPAA gains access to all megavideos access logs?

This is the Real Threat (5, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656862)

This is what Hollywood should really be worried about. People downloading movies and music likely would never have bought those media if they hadn't had access to free versions of them. But these mob-run pay-sites are funneling money from customers to their illegal operations. Unfortunately the RIAA and MPAA seem to be more interested in punishing normal people than actual criminals.

No different from the "legit" studios (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656866)

From the summary: "Foreign, often mob-run, businesses aggregate illegally obtained movies into 'cyberlockers.'" In a way, that reminds me of the mainstream movie industry.
  • Foreign: Sony Pictures is a foreign (Japanese) business, as are the foreign companies that produce films to be distributed by MPAA affiliated distributors.
  • Mob-run: The mainstream Music And Film Industry Associations have been compared to the mob [mafiaa.org].
  • Cyberlockers: Netflix is a cyberlocker secured with a cyberlock backed by the DMCA.
  • Illegal: You'll see once Hollywood accounting methods [wikipedia.org] become better documented.

Re:No different from the "legit" studios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657032)

I can think of one pretty important difference. The fact that "legit" studios MAKE FUCKING MOVIES.

Re:No different from the "legit" studios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657182)

Mob-run: The mainstream Music And Film Industry Associations have been compared to the mob [mafiaa.org].

Being compared to the mafia isn't the same as being mob-run. Hell, the fact that the comparison is made doesn't even imply that it's accurate.

Re:No different from the "legit" studios (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657320)

To be fair don't legit studios, you know.....make movies from time to time?

just a thought... (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656884)

"Just a thought, but maybe if the studios offered a low-cost, for-profit, legitimate download site without DRM, they could receive the profits at the expense of the cyberlockers."

just a thought, but maybe some consumers will always pick the lowest-cost, for-least-profit distribution channel, which will almost certainly never be the original studios as their business model concerns first recovering a large investment.

i'm finding it hard to believe that people actually pay to pirate movies on the internet... wouldn't it be just as hard to find the movies freely downloadable?

Re:just a thought... (2, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657368)

some consumers will always pick the lowest-cost, for-least-profit distribution channel, which will almost certainly never be the original studios as their business model concerns first recovering a large investment

Every consumer always picks the lowest cost, that's what they call the "market". The studios business model concerns greed, that's all. A successful movie recovers the investment in the first week at the theaters, everything after that is profit.

The problem with the studios is called "Hollywood accounting" [wikipedia.org]. Since so much of their costs is services, paid to companies in the same cartel, they can juggle the accounts in order to pay less to artists and outside investors.
 

Reminds Me of AllOfMP3 (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656888)

In college, a friend of mine had found AllOfMP3.com and diligently purchased hundreds of dollars worth of songs. When albums are ~ ten cents and legit, why not? He had assumed that because technology was so wonderful, someone had finally figured out how to eliminate all the middle men in the process of making digital music. So I investigated and showed him where the servers he downloaded from were located (Russia and Germany) and then pointed out how their local laws allow them to do this without rewarding the artists in anyway. He stopped using it but, like the article said, claimed it was worth the extra money to get the real thing with correct track labels and a perceived level of legitimacy. Like, he saw himself as not at fault legally ... the seller is the one who should get punished.

Sure opened my eyes to the problem of global and local laws surrounding copyright that over reaching blankets like ACTA have tried to address. Basically people see file sharers being sued but they don't see these users being sued. So you get on newsbin or something where a service takes a small fee from you and basically makes itself the target for the lawsuit. You aren't buying a license for the media, you're buying insurance in case the RIAA/MPAA come down on the service you're using. If they do, you lose only the fractions of the cost you put in and the site owner takes the fall. That's raw capitalism for you!

Re:Reminds Me of AllOfMP3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657184)

and then the bop-a-mole shows up under a new name once the site is gone.

Re:Reminds Me of AllOfMP3 (5, Informative)

thue (121682) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657274)

As I understand it, AllOfMP3 was offering to send money back to the artists, as required under the Russian broadcasting law it was operating under. Hence it should not be a surprise that the servers were in Russia. It is not clear that buying music from AllOfMP3 was amoral or illegal, IMO.

It was just RIAA which was refusing to accept the money, because RIAA though they were entitled to more money.

Ironic, eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656900)

someone, strum a guitar...

'That's the irony.'

"it's just a little toooooaoaoooohhhh ironic,
It's like the MPAaaaaayaaaaaaaah,
can only make sites that look fake
and then the freeieeeeee sites,
that you wish you could pay,

...and who would have thought, they're lawyers?"

Oops, the RIAA probably has a thing or two to say about my unauthorized humming of the original song while thinking of that parody. crap!

Yeah, sure.... (0, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656924)

low-cost, for-profit, legitimate download site without DRM

Copies of which would end up on every file sharing site within minutes thus destroying the market for said DRM-less downloads.

Seeing as most people using the internet do not respect copyright, why would the MPAA think anything other than that would happen?

Re:Yeah, sure.... (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657148)

I think the keyword here is "service". No more "seed plz, fuckers", no more hunting for best quality, all in one place and perhaps other good stuff.

Re:Yeah, sure.... (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657306)

So, what the pirates do is download the DRM-free copy and then "share" it as being the DRM-free copy from the service.

Re:Yeah, sure.... (2, Insightful)

masterzora (871343) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657190)

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but copies of high quality DRM-free movies are already available on every file sharing site. It's not as if the MPAA offering the same would change anything with regards to that. But it would offer them a way to get a slice of the potential profits here, from the people who pirate just because they think $20 is too much for a film, or the ones who want to watch a film now and don't want to wait or whatever.

Re:Yeah, sure.... (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657270)

So, you think making things quicker and easier for the pirates will get the MPAA a slice of the profits? I don't think so, and more importantly, the MPAA doesn't think so.

Pay attention to the site names (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32656934)

If you are a subscriber to:

Sorny.com
UniblersalStudios.com
Fox.com

You are probably getting ripped off by the mob.

Nobody's going to pay... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32656978)

Nobody's going to pay for a movie obtained from a camcorder in a movie theater.

They might for DVD quality, but then there's no incentive to get the movie early, since the DVD-quality copy isn't going to be available until months later.

Now, if the movie is DVD quality and "released within days" of theatrical release, then Hollywood has their own problem they need to sort out. It's not the "pirates" getting the new movie out there.

Someone on the inside is letting the DVD-quality copy out early. But then, we already knew that, didn't we?

Re:Nobody's going to pay... (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657140)

Well it does happen occasionally that blockbusters get put out on DVD early in Region 5 (wherever that is) in an effort to stamp out rampant piracy in those areas.

Naturally those DVDs put out to "stamp out rampant piracy" end up on the interwebs days after they are released.

But this does actually cost them money (4, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657022)

People who are willing to pay money for an illegal download would obviously pay at least something for a legal download. Some people probably believe these are genuine sites.

Now, I'm pretty neutral about people downloading movies for free. I don't think it does a lot of harm although the sense of entitlement a lot of downloaders have irritates me. These guys on the other hand, are directly profiting from someone else's work. Sure, the MPAA could compete pretty well if they dind't have to make the damn films in the first place.

This is exactly the sort of thing copyright law was intended to prevent. It's a system that has worked reasonably well for quite some time. I'm surprised there's so much sympathy for criminals.

Re:But this does actually cost them money (4, Insightful)

masterzora (871343) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657290)

This is exactly the sort of thing copyright law was intended to prevent. It's a system that has worked reasonably well for quite some time.

This attitude here is how we got where we are today. Copyright law was intended to promote culture by creating a temporary artificial monopoly as an incentive to create new things, which would, after a short and reasonable time, become the property of the public. Notice how that term is no longer short and reasonable and how the only works newer than the 1920s to enter into public domain have been only done so by specific requests of the authors (and rarely, at that) and you'll notice exactly how the system is broken. Now, I'm not here to root for the pirates (though I'd be lying if I said I didn't root for them at least somewhat in general), but it's clear that the copyright owners refusing to adapt are a far larger problem than the pirates.

Much closer to home: Craigslist (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657024)

Every month I see some twit post an ad in the computers-and-tech section of my local Craigslist branch, advertising a disk drive or Flash media pre-loaded with hundreds or thousands of movies or MP3s, and in every instance the asking price is far more than the value of the media itself. Those people, too, are profiting from it; whether they are vacationing members of one of these shady foreign cartels I can't say.

Its funny (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657054)

when the criminals can give you better customer service then the legit manufacturer/vendor. If the MPAA/RIAA always bitch about how every download is a lost sale image how much they would be racking in if a new movie was available for $2-5 for digital download. You would be stupid to download it illegally when you can get a brand new release for the price of a coffee. Oh lost the file in a crash oh well its only $2 to download it again. At that point I wouldn't even bother hitting the the pawn shops few days after new releases to get them for $3 when I can save time by buying it at home and let it download. Now give the user tons of payment options even pre paid cards for people who can't set up paypal or credit cards and you're brought your business int the 21st century. Its amazing what you can achieve when you work for the customer.

Don't get mad RIAA/MPAA -- Get even instead (5, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657056)

Back when I used to play games online, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was "If someone plays a dirty trick on you, don't get mad, remember it and use it on someone else the next time!". Like TFA says: If they offered an inexpensive, legal, DRM-free service, they'd put the pirates out of business.

The Mafia (1)

JxcelDolghmQ (1827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657084)

I'm not usually a big fan of organized crime, but I love that this is happening. Hopefully it results in some successful mob hits of MPAA/RIAA lawyers and executives and discourages others from wanting to work for them.

That's right. I am wishing death upon those that dare pursue a career with the MPAA or RIAA. About the only people lower than you are the kiddie porn peddlers.

Many do not think it is illegal (5, Insightful)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657086)

My uncle has a VERY large collection of movies he gets from one of those places. For whatever fee it is he pays per month he can get up to 10 a month and then a fee for everyone after that. They are fairly decent quality (cost more for the HD versions). He thinks it is legal since he is paying for it, the website is professional looking, and the cost/access rules are what he expects for a legit company.

Indeed, he was lamenting to me a few weeks ago about not being able to find a blue-ray player that also plays his DIVX's. He commented that as easy as it is to get them off the internet and as fast as they come out he didn't understand why all the players just didn't mostly move to that format. I, once again, explained that it was illegal and few companies are going to be going about making your illegal downloads work easier. He looked blankly at me and said "Oh" - it was about the 50'th time I've tried to explain it. It is amusing that he refuses any of the ones I download for free but will happily pay someone else for the same thing so "He knows he is legal". If something were to happen and he end up ripped off (I suspect that if they are getting ready to be shut down many would be all over some credit fraud) or something happen and him go to court he would be one of the ones perputally confused that such a nice company dd it too him. I suspect that letters would be written to movie studios and no amount of being told "It is *illegal*" will ever sink in to most.

Really, with as many people that *do* use them the MPAA ought to just bite the bullet and enter that market - were it legal I woud most likely pay the fee (I'm not about to give someplace pirating anything credit card or bank account numbers even if I were willing to pay for something I could get for free). My uncle (and those others I know that use these services) still go to the movies just as often, the MPAA is just missing out on the profit he is sending to an operation in another country that may or may not be legal there.

For myself *this* is the type of piracy they ought to go after. I have no sympathy whatsoever for selling copyrighted information that you do not have permission to do.

Just a thought (2, Insightful)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657126)

You guys have to stop expecting free media! Sheesh. Have you ever watched a movie's entire credits? Its like a small city put that together. Cheap and DRM free is not going to happen if that small city is going to eat and dress their children. Media pirates are not Robin Hoods. Robin Hood only stole which was *wrongly* taken. All these people who make want is a liveable wage. Not eevry one involved is a mega star or executive.

The economy needs money to be exchanged, to flow. As long as you refuse to pay for the media you consume, the economy will suffer.

Re:Just a thought (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657292)

So how do they show them on tv?
I can get them cheap and basically DRM free in the stores. Is target selling pirated DVDs?

Re:Just a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657296)

have you ever heard of advertising? or product placement? there are lots of ways to make "free" media pay that doesn't include suing people out of their pants.

Irony Of Ironies (0, Offtopic)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657146)

'Sometimes these sites look better than the legitimate sites,' Huntsberry said. 'That's the irony.'

Irony [wikipedia.org] is one of those slippery words that seems to have be given meaning by Humpty Dumpty. Merriam Webster [merriam-webster.com] provides the following:

1 : a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning --called also Socratic irony

2 a : the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b : a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c : an ironic expression or utterance

3 a (1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2) : an event or result marked by such incongruity b : incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play --called also dramatic irony, tragic irony

I'd rather just go to Humpty Dumpty [wikipedia.org] in 'Alice Through The Looking Glass':

Humpty appears in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass (1872), where he discusses semantics and pragmatics with Alice.

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't--till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master that's all."
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.
"They've a temper, some of them--particularly verbs, they're the proudest--adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs--however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"

Re:Irony Of Ironies (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657250)

Let me simplify it, irony is "the opposite of what you expect". An ironic situation (as this one is) is one where you would expect the legitimate content publishers to be the ones creating convincing, effective distribution methods but it is instead those that steal the content that produce the most compelling distribution methods.

That's what irony means. Get over it.

Better than the real thing (5, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657150)

'Sometimes these sites look better than the legitimate sites,' Huntsberry said. 'That's the irony.'

He’s so close to an epiphany that it’s almost painful.

Everything about them is better. Except, perhaps, the quality of the picture, but personally I won’t tolerate a really terrible picture anyway. I’ll just wait.

The lack of DRM is better. The lack of involuntary filler content (previews and menus and such) is better. The convenience of being able to fairly quickly get any full-length feature film and watch it in the privacy of your home is better. The price, of course, can’t be beat. And apparently in some cases the websites even look better than their legal counterparts. Admittedly, being illegal is worse, but only if you get caught.

To beat piracy, they’re going to have to make the legal offering better. That’s all there is to it. Apple was very successful with iTunes (well, once they got beyond the notion that 1 song from an 8-song album should cost 1/8 as much as the album). It appears that a lot of people think iTunes is better than illegally downloading.

Do these actually exist? (4, Informative)

spamuell (1208984) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657246)

The article is hosted at movies.yahoo.com, and in turn their source is the CEO of Paramount. Is there any reason to believe that these are used nearly as widely as either claim?

This just seems like PR to try to influence people to view those involved in illegal downloading as serious criminals.

Who would give their CC # to a questionable site? (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657254)

Who would give their credit card number to a site of questionable legality? I suppose you could give a one time use CC number, but wouldn't you be in constant worry that the site might forget to pay off its local officials, get raided, and have said local officials sell all the records to the MPAA/RIAA?

Re:Who would give their CC # to a questionable sit (4, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657352)

As these sites do not look questionable, why wouldn't they?

I mean, come on, it is not like the site is named "Illegal-movie-copies.com" nor does the "about us" page say "Proud subsidiary of the Russian mob."

Re:Who would give their CC # to a questionable sit (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657396)

Excellent point. How many people verify that Amazon.com has the rights to sell the movie downloads they do?

Better bribes (2, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657318)

All they have to do is give better bribes to the FSB and the MPAA can get all the customer records from the Russian company. In fact that might be the business model:
  1. Sell unauthorized copies of movies (Profit)
  2. Get your website blocked everywhere
  3. Sell your customer information the the MPAA (Profit)
  4. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

prohibition and market forces at work.. sorta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657326)

While I do find it amusing that organized crime is better at delivering service customers seem to want than the entertainment industry, I am worried that this official, apparent switch from the 'freeloading pirates' to 'evil mob controlled, virus-infested , money we should be getting sites' might succeed in swaying the public opinion from...'meh,harmless, what else is on' to 'zomg,mob's blood money'.

Who cares? (4, Interesting)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#32657358)

This reader adds, "Just a thought, but maybe if the studios offered a low-cost, for-profit, legitimate download site without DRM, they could receive the profits at the expense of the cyberlockers."

Does anyone else feel the same way about such business model suggestions? "They know best because they're n that position" certainly isn't foolproof logic, but they definitely spend a lot more time and money and have a more realistic understanding of what impact pricing and distribution methods will have on revenue than know-nothings that always seem to recommend business practices that are in their best interest.

bigger than **AA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32657378)

I think that we are looking at an old business model against the digital era. The media will be soon memory cards/usb sticks/etc. No more plastic cases, CDs/DVDs, etc.
Also the actual generations have another perception of "time". No patience. The rate of buy-forget (consume) is very high now. I remember having a toy for a long time (months, at least!!). Now, kids receive mp3 players that are thrown away after the little movie player, that is thrown away for an iPod, and so on...
I personally think that is not a problem of "piracy"...is more a problem of controlling the market. With digital copies around, there is no control, so they can't regulate the market. Also, digital information is (not yet) taxable as Goods and Services....maybe in the near future we will have to pay tax for the amount of information we download, as for G&S...so every house will have a downloadometer digitally connected with the IRS/CRA (Im in Canada)...
Then, free networks will arise...and the battle for freedom/control will continue...

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