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Rights Holders See Little Point Creating Legal Content Sources

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the regulatory-capture-has-only-just-begun dept.

Piracy 417

aesoteric writes "Six weeks after Hollywood lost a landmark internet piracy case in Australia, it appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy. Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available. The results appear to support the studios' policy position that legislation is a preferable way of dealing with the issue." The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.

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Sounds right (4, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189185)

I don't even bother turning on the TV, using Piratebay to steal the shows is easier (on the West Coast, so TV shows are available at about the same time). Of course the same is even more true for DVDs or movies. There's no possible business model better than piratebay, the only alternative is encouraging people to feel guilty for piracy, or criminally prosecuting pirates.

Re:Sounds right (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189405)

There's no possible business model better than piratebay

How about a tracker\site that isn't total shit and has uptime greater than 50%?

Re:Sounds right (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189673)

You mean demonoid.me?

Re:Sounds right (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190521)

More like eztv.it. Demonoid's tracker is up fairly often, but their website is terrible.

Re:Sounds right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190571)

piratebay is just shorthand, like Kleenex or Coke. There's a million of them.

Re:Sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189611)

using Piratebay to steal the shows is easier

How do you "steal" shows from ThePirateBay?

Content Paradox (5, Informative)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189197)

When no legal methods exist for consumers to obtain content in a way they demand, of course the only option left for them then is to illegally obtain that which they desire.

Re:Content Paradox (5, Insightful)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189479)

According to J.Michael Straczynski (jms), just because the viewers demand content in a certain format or certain time (immediately rather than wait 1 week for the USA-to-BBC feed), does not mean they are entitled too it. He thinks we should stop infringing on his copyrights, as that means he (and others) don't get paid.

According to me, JMS is a stodgy old man who may be internet-literate (using it since the early 90s), but doesn't understand the old "scheduled TV viewing" model is dying and being replaced. If ye put the show on Hulu I'll watch it... even if I have to wait a week (the FOX & Syfy model). But if ye refuse to put the show on Hulu, then yes I'll go find an illegal copy. I am not going to bend-over backwards waiting for a rerun 4 months from now.

And as long as ye keep insisting "DVDs are not returnable for refund or store credit", then I'll keep downloading them too. I have a right to make sure I don't waste my money on feldercarb.

Re:Content Paradox (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189711)

Felgercarb.

If it's unavailable for the foreseeable future (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189879)

According to J.Michael Straczynski (jms), just because the viewers demand content in a certain format or certain time (immediately rather than wait 1 week for the USA-to-BBC feed), does not mean they are entitled too it. He thinks we should stop infringing on his copyrights, as that means he (and others) don't get paid.

If, for example, Disney isn't selling DVDs of a given movie and has no plans to within the next decade, then Disney makes no more money off me if I don't pirate than if I do. What's the sound public policy behind keeping such a work out of the public's hands if it isn't being distributed or even prepared for distribution?

Re:If it's unavailable for the foreseeable future (5, Insightful)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190543)

According to J.Michael Straczynski (jms), just because the viewers demand content in a certain format or certain time does not mean they are entitled too it.

If, for example, Disney isn't selling DVDs of a given movie and has no plans to within the next decade, then Disney makes no more money off me if I don't pirate than if I do. What's the sound public policy behind keeping such a work out of the public's hands if it isn't being distributed or even prepared for distribution?

Two fine examples of the "Soup Nazi" attitude of the Copyright Industry. While the fictional character has a physical product that's in limited supply to sell, the Copyright Industry sells nothing more than an arrangements of bits, a.k.a. Extremely Large Numbers. Once this number has been published, it effectively becomes unlimited in supply and at near-zero cost.

The only thing that would stop someone to partake from the horn of plenty would be a moral code. Adhering to this code would be a lot easier if one were able to obtain a copy conveniently, cheaply, and at a fair (in the eyes of the consumer) price.

Displaying an attitude of "you can have a bone, when we decide to throw you one, and you better show some gratitude!" is not going to help encourage people to adhere to that moral standard.

Re:Content Paradox (2)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190057)

P.S. Forgot to add that JMS is the guy who wrote 80% of Babylon 5's episodes, and the overarching "novel for TV" storyline which he said extends across 2000 years of fictional history (circa 1200 to 3200 AD).

And Babylon 5 used to air at midnight where I lived. Back then I had to use a VCR to timeshift the show & watch it the next day. If Hulu or piratebay had existed, I would have watched it online (to the annoyance of the MPAA, rights holders, and local stations). Perhaps they should schedule this stuff at a decent time, not midnight, so as not to inconvenience the viewers.

Re:Content Paradox (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190265)

So the choices are basically (1) consume the media in the format / context as mandated by the content cartels, (2) consume the media illegitimately (bittorrent download, usenet download, etc.), and (3) do not consume the media at all.

Only choice #1 results in the producers and artists receiving any sort of compensation (however little it may be). While I sympathize with the desire to make money off of one's own works, JMS needs to realize that if he cannot give people what they want legitimately, then they will either go to a torrent site or just not watch it at all. Both of which will ultimately deny him compensation.

It's really immaterial whether people chose either #2 or #3 as an alternative - JMS will lose either way. If he cannot realize that, then it's a basic failure in his reasoning skills.

Adapt to the market or die.

Re:Content Paradox (4, Interesting)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190659)

as that means he (and others) don't get paid.

jms isn't getting paid regardless. B5 has a wicked case of Hollywood accounting.

JMS on rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, Feb 26, 2005

That's the great irony of the situation. The criteria told to us right up front while we were producing B5 was that each of the series on PTEN had to show a profit *in that year* in order to stay on the air and be renewed. So we'd have these meetings with studio heads who were congratulating us on how much money the show was making for them (again, while we were still making for it), and then look at me, realize what they'd said, and hurriedly add, "Though technically we're
still in the red."

The show, all in, cost about $110 million to make. Each year of its original run, we know it showed a profit because they TOLD us so. And in one case, they actually showed us the figures. It's now been on the air worldwide for ten years. There's been merchandise, syndication, cable, books, you name it. The DVDs grossed roughly half a BILLION dollars (and that was just after they put out S5, without all of the S5 sales in).

So what does my last profit statement say? We're $80 million in the red. Basically, by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits..

Re:Content Paradox (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189533)

Which leads me to the assumption that these content companies don't give a rats-ass about the content, what they really want is
to gain legal control the internet. That would be worth trillions, where as the average movie earns a few million. They are using
content as a loss leader, a poker chip, in a high stakes game to grab control.

At 99cents per download/view you could easily make back the production costs of most tv shows.

Re:Content Paradox (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189833)

When no legal methods exist for consumers to obtain content in a way they demand, of course the only option left for them then is to illegally obtain that which they desire.

Uh, really?

DVD/Blu-Ray

HBO/Showtime/Cable TV/Pay-per-view

Netflix/Hulu

FYE/GameStop

Wal-Mart/Target

Amazon

How many other legal formats do you need?

Sorry if I have a hard time believing we have "no legal methods" in existence today. How the hell we ever legally entertained ourselves before the precious almighty Internet came about is apparently a fucking unsolvable mystery to the point where we "need' to steal everything.

As far as obtaining content in a specific way, I can't help it if people are too damn lazy to figure out how to take a legal alternative and convert it to any format they "demand". Not really an acceptable excuse there, especially when legal conversion products are available.

And to address those of you bitching about movie release dates varying across the world, get over it. That shit has been going on for a very long time, and isn't going to change anytime soon. Learn to find something called "patience" again and wait one more week. Patience IS a valuable asset.

Re:Content Paradox (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190019)

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Clue time: Sell me what I want, when I want, or somebody else will.

Re:Content Paradox (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190069)

How many other legal formats do you need?

Just two. format shift and preview.

See, I go to bittorrent for these two reasons. First, it's silly to have to go to a crappy theatre and deal with all the drama and baggage there, pay for the movie and the extortion food, only to find it sucked and be out my money. Instead I torrent it and see if I like it. If I don't, I throw it away. If I like it, I buy it when it comes out. Best example: Bridge to Teribithia. The previews they put in the theatres and online looked like it was going to be very similar to Narnia, which came out just before it. Tons of great CGI, a positive plot. When I torrented it to see, I found that the preview was made by taking ALL the CGI in the entire movie (what little of it there was) and throwing it together. There was nothing new to see in the full movie, and it was a depressing drama show not an exciting adventure as the preview suggested. If I had gone to the theatre to see it, I would have walked out halfway through and demanded my money back.

I don't delete it though because the aa-tards have prevented me from ripping the bluray I legally bought to watch on my computer or on the go. So I go back to the torrent I downloaded to watch. Actually, taking a movie like avatar for example, I've watched it maybe three times on the big screen in the living room, and probably a dozen times on my computer.

So ya, give me that and I'll quit torrenting. Right now all it's doing is encouraging me to help the pirates, because my torrenting is sharing the content with people that have zero intention of buying. They can't get this through their thick heads though.

They're just a bunch of "I want to have my cake, and eat it too, eat your cake, and charge you for the privilege" people. They insist on calling it "theft" but then when I ask why I can't do what I want to with it, they tell me I DON'T OWN it, I'm licensing it so they can tell me what I can and can't do with it. Can't have it both ways. Either sell it to me or stop telling me I'm stealing it.

Re:Content Paradox (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190147)

How many other legal formats do you need?

Just one more format, this time without any DRM, so that the people who actually pay for the content get an experience that is as good as the experience obtained for free by people who download it with BitTorrent. As long as the available formats mean that people have to use legally dubious tools if they want to take that Blu-Ray and make it available through a home media server, viewable on an iPod, etc., then the content industry has constructed a situation in which there are no legal ways to get the content at all in a usable form. You either break copyright law by illegally downloading it or you violate the DMCA by ripping it. If you're going to violate the law either way, the cynic might ask why anyone would willingly pay money for the right to do so?

Re:Content Paradox (4, Informative)

zakkudo (2638939) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190203)

You make the invalid assumption that what I want is actually going to be available internationally. I could import it, but the content is licensed for viewing in specific regions. That means I am not legally allowed to view it no matter how I get it.

Re:Content Paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190317)

None of those are available here in China. Expecting us to fork over the cost of international shipping and wait time is absolutely ridiculous.

Back home in the US I'd stopped pirating materials years a go, but around here that's really the only viable option.

P.S. fuck you for being so damned focused on the US.

Re:Content Paradox (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189839)

When no legal methods exist for consumers to obtain content in a way they demand, of course the only option left for them then is to illegally obtain that which they desire.

But that's just it: They will never release a product that has broad consumer appeal. If they had DRM that used signatures instead of encrypting it, only allowing playback on certain devices, with an internet connection that's always on, etc., they'd have a lot better sell rate. But the truth is, the product is overpriced and heavily restricted to the point of being useless. If I could make a 1 time payment and get a license to watch A Movie(tm), and to play it anywhere, anytime, on any equipment, in any format -- for personal use... I'd do it if the price was reasonable. But that's the hideous evil about their marketing: They'll never give you that kind of a license. That's what you were buying in the 80s, and since we've gone digital, it's easy to create the extended edition, directors cut, ultimate, super, 1.5 version, diddledodedo edition -- and then we're going to release it on vhs, itunes, dvd, bluray, youtube, netflix, and in 23 different regions, at different times and price points... and you're going to have to PAY PAY PAY if you want to use any of them. Who cares if you already bought it and it's sitting on the shelf -- fuck you, you have to buy a slightly different version just to use it on your new streaming internet player, plus pay your ISP to stream it, plus pay the stream provider, along with the cost of the equipment, oh -- and every time you pay, we're right there, mouths wide, waiting to take a bite out of everyone else's sandwich.

I'm a pirate and proud of it. Because I'm not just doing it because I can, but because there's no other choice. The business model is corrupt, it doesn't serve the public interest, nor does it serve the artists interests, nor does it really even serve the industry as a whole; It serves about 150 people who are middle men for a dying industry. The only reason bluray has any traction at all is because our internet connections are shit and we can't download it or stream it on demand. There's no reason for optical drives anymore; even mechanical hard drives are going the way of the dodo bird. But these guys are pushing their distribution model onto the world and passing laws and crap thinking it's going to save them. It's just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Bitches, ship's going down -- and the pirates already hopped in a life boat, cast off, lit a big fatty.. and now they're waiting for the artists and wondering what'll happen to those poor bastard consumers in 'economy'.

RIAA and the MPAA are middle men. Middle men don't add value: They don't produce the product, and they don't use it. They're worthless. Fuck them. Get the consumers to the life boats (teach them how to torrent and bypass torrent blocking), and let the artists and the middle men figure out whether they want to drown together in each other's cold, unfeeling arms, or get on the goddamn boats and end this crap.

Re:Content Paradox (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190253)

If they had DRM that used signatures instead of encrypting it, only allowing playback on certain devices, with an internet connection that's always on, etc., they'd have a lot better sell rate.

No, they wouldn't. I wouldn't pay a penny for media that tracks when and where I watch their movies. It's only one small step from there to charging per viewing, and we rapidly retreat towards a rental model. Besides, if they didn't encrypt it, there would be no way to usefully restrict playback anyway.

Besides, when I'm sitting on an airplane trying to watch their movie on my laptop, iPad, etc., there's no Internet connection. When I'm in the back seat of a car watching a movie, there's no Internet connection. When I'm sitting on a train in the middle of Iowa, there's no Internet connection. A movie rental that requires an Internet connection is utterly unacceptable for anyone who has kids or travels. It would go over like a lead balloon. In fact, it pretty much did [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Content Paradox (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190443)

I'm a pirate and proud of it. Because I'm not just doing it because I can, but because there's no other choice.

Other than not watching it you mean? Or were you so blinded by your sense of entitlement to the works of others that that option didn't occur to you?

Re:Content Paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190697)

You have a choice. You can watch any of thousands of free videos... Or nothing at all. You demand studio product, however. Your argument is "I want it, therefore they must give it to me."

Re:Content Paradox (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189895)

Right on. It is not just about the content itself, but also about how that content is obtained. For some people, the latter is just as important as the former. With studios often playing games regarding delivery, it is no wonder that a sizable group becomes irritated enough to turn to piracy. It is just a heck of a lot easier.

In the studios' defense, it is their content. They get to set the rules if you want to watch it. Nobody will die if they miss their favorite program. Having said that, we live in a world where rules are often bent and broken. It is a fact of life. The studios need to take that into account when they create their rules.

The second article mentioned staggered release dates on a per-country basis as a source of irritation for impatient customers. Some people just can't wait, while others take offense to being second or third in line. Multiple publications have recommended against the practice, correctly saying that it is a motivator for piracy. Yet the studios continue to do it.

Another practice is to give a single rental firm an exclusive contract, either for a limited time or in perpetuity. If I'm subscribed to streaming service X but the film went exclusively to streaming service Y, I might be motivated to pirate. Same deal if I live near brick and mortar store A but instead the film went to store B which is some distance away. I'm sure that piracy of films distributed by Starz has recently jumped due to their contract issues with Netflix.

Then there is the content itself. For some time, rentals from a local brick and mortar store where failing to play on my Toshiba DVD player because it was incompatible with the ARccOS protection system. I had to rip the discs and then burn them onto DVD±R in order to watch them on my main television. Why are the studios deviating from existing optical disc standards? The good part was that I was able to omit all of the non-skippable trailers and warnings. When I have to sit through 15 minutes of ads because track skipping and fast forwarding are blocked as a NOP, you just gave me 15 minutes of incentive to pirate.

It isn't just enough to provide a legal service. When that service is degraded or difficult to access, people will pirate. Studios are failing to abide by the KISS standard (keep it simple, stupid). The problem is that studios are going to legislators and saying "we're providing legal avenues, but people still pirate". Legislators either never hear about or fail to care if those avenues are substandard. Legal is legal. That is a big problem because it fails to motivate content providers to drop the games and improve the experience of their product.

Re:Content Paradox (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190511)

I think there are two very important things that you're misinformed on:

1. "Content" as studios like to refer to it is actually information. In many cases, information, or lack of access to it can and will be lethal. Great examples include pharmaceutical companies and HIV drugs causing millions of deaths due to initial costs.
2. No one "owns" content. This concept is coined by media because of their interest in it, but they do not in fact legally own information. They own COPYRIGHT to the information only. The difference is of astronomical proportions

Re:Content Paradox (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189937)

When there's no congenial, copacetic, or reasonable, way to get desired content, then there's a problem.

Worse, when over-inflated egos are accorded exorbitant amounts (voice of Bart Simpson, e.g.) or when the primary focus of compensation is on distribution when that amounts these days to the cost of electrons, some server racks, and Internet access, ... hell, reasoned arguments are un-needed. Fuck'em. Pay for talent, skill, accomplishment. (We'll vote with our dollars. Witness Humble Indie Bundle, i.e.) Everyone else, suck hindmost.

When Castenada wrote "A Separate Reality" he at least had a point or three to make. These [deleted] in La-la Land, not so much.

While I think of it, for all the importance given Nielson [for establishing ad revenues, budgets, etc.], et al, they've far less relevance these days. Coming up with much more realistic sampling methods might could make sense. Reform, retire, or die - along with the rest of the "industry" given over to things that no longer apply.

Did I say "Fuck'em" already?

Re:Content Paradox (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190193)

By "consumers to obtain content in a way they demand" you mean "without paying for it".
People still pirate music, its never been easier buy buy albums and individual tracks.
The cost per track have in real terms never been cheaper.
The number of "excuses" people use increases.

You are NOT entitled to have anything at the price you want, the time you want, the place you want.
That has NEVER been one of your "rights" and never will be.

Re:Content Paradox (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190699)

You are NOT entitled to have anything at the price you want, the time you want, the place you want. That has NEVER been one of your "rights" and never will be.

This is true. However I would also point out that, the producers have no right to my wallet if I say so. Nor *should* they have the right to destroy hundreds of years of creative social commons. There are certain species of antisocial psycopaths which don't believe in any kind of sharing or commons, full stop -- and they run some of the largest corps extant. I know good and well that they would love to charge for every instance every time a movie or CD is played. Too bad, I would like world peace also.

Of course, thieves will try to keep the stolen (5, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189217)

Over the years, the social contract between publishers and the society that has created the copyright monopoly has been abused to such extent, and has created such disproportionate amount of wealth for the few lawyers that run the business, that it is hard to see how they are going to accept a scheme that potentially cuts deep not only in their revenues, but in the justification of the existence of copyrights in their present form.

Of course... (4, Insightful)

sidthegeek (626567) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189229)

It's not about piracy. It's about control. Control of the networks is more valuable than any of the content they produce.

Re:Of course... (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189551)

Exactly my thoughts posted above [slashdot.org] . Ant the network they are interested in controlling is the internet.

Treat humans with equality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189603)

It is about human equality (human copyright violation) that can be delivered and is not. That is all those citizens ask for. They feel it is dis-respect that certain programs are not available to them. They are just proving that equality is possible.

Re:Of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190687)

It's not about piracy. It's about control. Control of the networks is more valuable than any of the content they produce.

It's instructive to ask: Why exactly do they want the control, and what exactly do they intend to do with it?

There can be only one answer: the pursuit of more profits.

They believe that absolute control is the only way to more profits. (The control allows them to create the artificial scarcity that causes the prices to rise.)

This, it seems to me, is the true core of the disagreement. Most people are absolutely convinced that if the content industry could give up some control, they would have a much easier-to-use product and will obviously make more profits. The content industry is absolutely convinced that their profits will decline if they give up any control.

We appear to be at an absolute impasse on this point. After bickering this point for a dozen years, the two sides have nothing new to say to each other, and that's where things will stand from now on, until one of the sides goes away.

I got a better idea. (2)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189283)

How about we get some new rights holders? In particular, how about some rights holders that won't keep trying to sandbag back the ocean?

Who will front the money? (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189897)

I'll agree once you tell me who's willing to front the money to have multimillion-dollar films produced to replace Hollywood's multimillion-dollar films.

Re:Who will front the money? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190359)

Given the box office bombs of So and so Carpenter and Battleship, both of which were QUARTER BILLION DOLLAR PRODUCTIONS. I have to ask: WHY IN THE FUCK DO WE NEED MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR FILMS?

The amount of money being blown on modern multimedia productions is ludicrious, and as we've seen in the past two decades, very little of it is doing much to push the bounds of the medium, the concept, or the business. There have been a few notable exceptions to this, but not enough, especially among the big-budget movies to warrant the costs associated with them. Additionally if the production costs dropped there would be the potential to make far more profit per box office hit than the 'can't fail' attitude of budgeting currently going into many big-studio productions. Seriously, 50, 100, 200 million dollars for a movie? The sales numbers for these are as ludicrious as that red sox guy's game studio numbers. In order to pay back just the 50 million dollar movie, assuming 10 dollars of profit per ticket (these are obviously generous allowances), would require *5* million people to buy tickets just to recoup costs, 20 million if you were talking about the bit budget movies. Limiting ourselves to the US you have a maximum viewing population of what... 300-350 million? And out of that population, how many can afford to go to the theater? I'd assume maybe 75 percent, then split by demographics, between 1/2 to 1/10th, not including if multiple 'same genre' movies are released during that same month/quarter. ThAnd this is all assuming it's a hit movie that everyone would want to watch within the first month of release. After that you'll be dropping back to matinee and old release pricing, plus what, 50 percent proceeds going to the theater? Which means the average movie is looking at a maximum of 17.5x their profit if it was a runaway success across all demographics, but a more reasonable expectation of maybe 2-3x the cost of the movie, ASSUMING it's a hit, which as we've just seen is less and less likely from the current crop of tired old studios.

Put 'em out to pasture. Start with low dollar budgets and limit costs as much as possible. If this was done piracy would be much less of a concern, since costs could mostly be expected to be recouped during the initial run, with media sales supplementing it into the future, as opposed to 'helping that mediocre slop reach profitability', and with the extra monetary assets freed up due to fewer big budget films, more films could be made leading to more possibilities of hit movies, and thus more franchise opportunities.

Looking back on it I hadn't realized it, but the fast and the furious franchise was 40 million to 150 million dollar budgets. But while those were a hit (Box office for TFatF(1) was 200 million and Fast Five was 600 million), the F&F franchise was already established and given the most 'lackluster' of the series (Tokyo Drift) only managed box office sales of double their budget (85 million budget vs 158 in revenue). Given that, risking over 40 million on an unestablished franchise is ludicrious since the box office sales necessary to recoup costs require at least 1 percent of the US populace to see it in a theater. Bump it up to 200 million and you're looking at 5 percent, or 17.5 million people to watch your production. While the numbers don't seem that big, given demographics and an average of what... 8 competing shows at any particular theatre, those numbers and percentages may suck up a lot larger percentage of the available viewship to make a production successful.

Also I'm just pretty sick of having my rights trampled for a bunch of patent, software, media, and contract thieves, who given the same circumstances would do as much or worse than the average pirate, only with the benefit of having their conduct eventually codified in a bill somewhere.

- vranash

Re:Who will front the money? (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190675)

Fronting money for this? Come off it. The only reason that those multimillion dollar films are produced is to try to make more money. If you really wanted art, then you could have had it for far less.

Come to think of it, entertainment in general is and has been a bubble waiting to pop for decades. If natural economic and social forces were given a bit more free reign when it came to this bubble, then it would never be the size that it is today.

I love the moron who thinks that his life will lose meaning if no more Spiderman sequels are made. Count me as one of the folks who thinks exactly the opposite.

It's the money, stupid (5, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189299)

I just can't care about 'fair' when there's enough money being milked to make multimillionaires out of actors. Maybe the end product wouldn't cost as much if, say, an actor in a top end show made $80k/year. Maybe content producers could then produce MORE good content to get their profit.

I dunno, I guess I'm just crazy.

Re:It's the money, stupid (4, Interesting)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189381)

People have short attention spans. They can only really be fan-crazy about a small number of people at a particular moment in time. Many people go see movies just so they can see the actors/actresses they are crazy about. Therefore the industry has to create a small number of "big names". Once these names are created, they pretty much can ask whatever they want and the studios have to pay them.

The big names are rotated out over time, but at any given moment the number of "superstars" is not all that large.

It sucks, but that's part of how the entertainment industry works.

Personally I've never been one to see a movie just because a particular person is in it. But apparently I'm in the minority.

Re:It's the money, stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189751)

See it as a pre-review of a movie. You like a movie starring Adam Sandler? Go see another one he is in, and it will probably be about the same. Many actors only take on movies that they like and think they will be successful. I generally trust some actors with clout to to turn down bad movies. Lesser stars don't have the clout to do this. I know that I'll stay away from Adam Sandler comedies, but I'll take a bet on a Tom Hanks movie.

Re:It's the money, stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190557)

Why even care about Tom Hanks? Is Saving Private Ryan really so similar to Sleepless in Seattle?

Re:It's the money, stupid (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189387)

Because it's those several people that sell that movie - a few stars and the director. These mutjobs only provide the initial funding.

It's not just the money, stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189649)

It's also the sheer inconvenience of dealing with the payment methods involved (and the lack of anonymity that requires).

Even if the studios charged $0.01 per movie, I still wouldn't buy them because they'd use paypal or some other evil company who insist on charging outrageous fees and having all my details on file.

Pirating will always be easier and more anonymous.

Re:It's the money, stupid (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189663)

If a top actor only made $80,000 a year... there would be no top actors.

Think of an actor that you really liked. REALLY liked. That one who completely sold you on some big momentous scene. You watched every episode of their series for years. Now, name three other series they have stared in.

The reality of acting work is that even the really good professionals are unlikely to work more than one or two really big jobs in their careers. There are a lot of reasons for this, some good and some bad, but either way it is a reality. An actor who manages a five year run on a TV show and then follows it up with similar run on another show probably represents 90% of their professional income, total. So those 10 years need to pay out in a significant way. It has many of the same economic incentive that athletics do with similar payscale effects. The pay of a successful actor or football player looks amazing until you add in all the years they will not be working before and after the gravy days.

Assuming you could force a system where all actors get paid according to your arbitrary rules the only real effect would be an end of skilled professional actors. A few young people might do it for the fun but everyone else will go get a real job rather than earn your $80,000 one year in four.

Re:It's the money, stupid (4, Insightful)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189933)

I don't know whether you have a good grasp on the scale of disparity here. Most Americans will make much less than $3 million total over their entire lives. A Hollywood superstar is making 18-20 times that per year. A top football player can get ten times that amount as a signing bonus.

I'm also not entirely clear on why choosing a certain profession means that you are entitled to stop working after five successful years and never have to work again. Sure, a pretty actress's or NFL player's first career is over quickly, but why should they be set for life at that point? When my mainframe know-how became largely obsolete in the late 80s/early 90s, I learned new PC-centric skills and got another job. Why shouldn't that apply to these people?

Re:It's the money, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190223)

My 10 years of AC for mod points.

However I do have a counter point. The same rules don't apply to you because of human nature. You sit in your antisocial left-brain cave while fit, attractive, highly skilled (as it is their job) socialites get paid far better than you and have far better benefits. Generally, people get paid by people. It is no surprise that the ones who's career is to convince people of fiction are so good at getting what they want.

Re:It's the money, stupid (2)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190319)

And when you originally went into mainframes, did you do so with the realistic expectation that your skills would cease to make you employable after a decade or so? If you went back knowing that and got to choose again would you still specialize in mainframes? Now, assuming that you are once again choosing your career path and you know that mainframes are a dead end, how much extra would a company that needs mainframe specialists anyways need to offer you in order to have you (and a reliable number of other top prospects) make that decision?

Most actors will make less than 3 million over their lives. Many much less. I'd be willing to bet that the average compensation for actors as a whole is less than the average wage in America. Go look up the IMDB page of the people that were on shows you watched ten or twenty years ago. I guarantee they are full of little bit parts and other things you have never heard of. Many do start second careers as directors and producers and other industry positions.

With few exceptions, the lack of work relates to lack of job offers, not lack of willingness. If the majority of entertainment stars people under 40, by definition you get more actors over 40 than available work. Actors get too known from one big role. No one will cast them because it is too much trouble to separate the new character from the public identification with the famous one. These are the nature of the business. Different industries operate under different realities and randomly trying to enforce the realities of one on another is simply nonsensical.

Re:It's the money, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190363)

Most Americans also take substantially less risk in their choice of professions as well. Not to mention how few people would agree to be virtual slaves for a period of time doing whatever the director requests. And often times it's not pleasant.

You're also failing to account for the damage that comes from spending time as somebody else and the incredible amount of work that it takes to learn to play the role.

Re:It's the money, stupid (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190425)

Actors and athletes take a risk. The odds of a payoff are low, and the payoff is high to make up for that. By comparison, your mainframe know-how had a very good chance of paying off, so the payoff was lower. The expected value of the two positions is likely pretty similar.

Think long and hard about paying athletes and actors and the like less. Those professions are one of the precious few remaining paths by which a person born into a poor family can become wealthy. And they gain that wealth by making a whole lot of people happy, which strikes me as a pretty deserving path. If we go back to the bad-old-days of businessmen colluding to pay athletes peanuts, that'll just be one more wall keeping the poor poor.

Re:It's the money, stupid (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190627)

Sure, a pretty actress's or NFL player's first career is over quickly, but why should they be set for life at that point? When my mainframe know-how became largely obsolete in the late 80s/early 90s, I learned new PC-centric skills and got another job. Why shouldn't that apply to these people?

Their unique contribution to the project brought in tens of millions of dollars.

Re:It's the money, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190641)

I don't think you understand, there are very few american's that have the capability to play the NFL or be a top Actor/Actress... sadly for IT it's MUCH easier to succeed in that. Why should they be set? Because that's what the market will allow them to be paid. The number of NFL players to the number of people who don't make it is severely in the people who don't make it's favor. Same with top actors/actresses most who try don't succeed in that market.

Re:It's the money, stupid (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190723)

Right, because once that actor is no longer making movies, they're incapable of doing *anything* else.

You're imagining that these actors/actresses make huge money and save and invest it wisely in order that they may live out the remainder of their years in idyllic pursuits such as looking at the wall. Seriously?

Re:It's the money, stupid (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190515)

It was my understanding that the actual talent that made the content possible were a minuscule portion of the money surrounding a production. For instance I've heard quotes such as less than $0.10 of every dollar made goes to a recording artist. If that's true then I don't really believe that's the problem. The problem is all the greedy little middle men with wayward ideas about how to monetize content.

Re:It's the money, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190591)

it's like the absurd amount professional athletes are paid for paying games. most WOULD settle for a median income to get paid for what they love doing, but they know that all the people further up the pyramid will be making much, much more off their work. that is why they demand such high payments.

Of course... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189319)

Litigation is more profitable than content creation.

-uso.

Black Markets 101 (5, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189323)

Black markets form when there exists a market that is not being serviced through legal channels. By not competing with the pirates by addressing the desires of the populous, the content companies are actually encouraging piracy. Listen up content providers. We want use our content when, where, and how we want it all at a reasonable price. Yes, there are those that pirate because they don't want to pay but most of us are willing to pay but can't without going through major headaches. Make it simple. Netflix and Hulu are prime, albeit not perfect, examples. I think most people would be willing to pay more if the selection was bigger and we could save movies offline for later when we do not have a network connection. In other words, a TV/movie version of Spotify and Rdio.

Re:Black Markets 101 (-1, Troll)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189753)

Black markets form when there exists a market that is not being serviced through legal channels. By not competing with the sea faring rapists & murderers by addressing the desires of the populous, the content companies are actually encouraging maritime rape & murderer. Listen up content providers. We want use our content when, where, and how we want it all at a reasonable price. Yes, there are those that rape, murder and pillage because they don't want to pay but most of us are willing to pay but can't without going through major headaches...

This is what you sound like to me. Protip: it's called Copyright Infringement. If you dislike their actions, why are you using the derogatory terms they invented?

"Irony" doesn't mean ferrous (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189925)

If you dislike their actions, why are you using the derogatory terms they invented?

I'm under the impression that it's called verbal irony.

Industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea (4, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189401)

Apparently "the public" controlled kill switch is more popular. The more these idiots screw the public, the less it supports them. I'm not necessary in favor of piracy, but the measures the likes of the *IAA keep developing only seem to punish me as an honest consumer. It keeps getting harder and harder to justify spending money on a movie when I have to deal with a bunch of crap people who pirated it don't. Nearly 10 minutes of un-skippable shit to watch a movie that I supposedly own is fucking ridiculous.

Re:Industry-controlled kill switch is a popular id (0)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189961)

That is just it. You don't OWN it. You own a limited rights to broadcast with 1001 clauses.

That is why you SHOULD be in favour of not paying for your content.

DRM-free movie downloads (4, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189413)

High quality DRM-free movie downloads at a resonable price. As in, $5 or so.

I guarantee you most people will switch to downloading legally.

No more "rentals" and other stupid crap like that. Most people only see a movie once, so the revenue lost by just giving them a copy is minimal.

Most people I know stopped pirating music once legal, DRM-free downloads came about. The movie industry should do the same thing, but they're too afraid.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189683)

Yeah. And if there were grocery stores that allowed people to pay for food on the honor system, I bet most people would do that, too.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (4, Informative)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189945)

Then why are online DRM-free music sales so successful? iTunes and Amazon and such are selling more music than ever, even though it's DRM free. And this is WITH music being even easier to pirate that movies; you can practically E-mail a song to someone else in seconds these days.

This argument doesn't fly. If you make access convenient, DRM-free, high quality and at a reasonable price, people WILL buy it.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190251)

Yeah. And if there were grocery stores that allowed people to pay for food on the honor system, I bet most people would do that, too.

My grocery store hands me a scanner when I get there. As I shop, I scan each item and put it in my own bags. When I'm through, I simply swipe a credit card and leave. The convenience is amazing, and I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize that privilege, so I don't slip in un-scanned items, or scan cheaper items or anything like that. The honor system works very well for both of us. I go out of my way to shop at the store that gives me that option.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190293)

In rural areas it would work. I live in Florida and when citrus ripens people with trees will put paper bags of citrus on a card table by the road with a coffee can and ask $5 or so a bag. Also when the honey bees are pollinating the crops they put out the honey in different containers with the prices and a coffee can. I've always paid and when I do there is usually about $20 or so in the can.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189687)

High quality DRM-free movie downloads at a resonable price. As in, $5 or so.

I guarantee you most people will switch to downloading legally.

Don't think so. $5 is too much. Google will already let you stream a movie for about 4 Bucks [google.com] They aren't finding it as profitable as they thought. Apple wants 15 bucks but thats Apple.

I believe the price point is closer to One dollar or Two dollars per view for a full length movie and 99 cents for a hour long tv show. That price will sell more views than theater showings, and easily earn back several hundred million dollars of production costs.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (4, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189959)

It's not profitable because streaming sucks. People want to pay for something they can download and "own". I don't want to pay $5 to watch something once, and have it hiccup if the network glitches for even a second.

Even if I only watch it once, I like knowing I have a copy of that movie on my hard drive.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190023)

It's not profitable because streaming sucks. People want to pay for something they can download and "own". I don't want to pay $5 to watch something once, and have it hiccup if the network glitches for even a second.

Even if I only watch it once, I like knowing I have a copy of that movie on my hard drive.

I believe the number of people that want to "own" a movie constitute a small minority. Very small.
Even smaller for the number that want to own tv shows.

The thing will be in re-runs on TV in 6 months, even movies will be on TV, and DVDs will be in the clearance bins within two years, well before I would want to re-watch anything produced by hollywood.

The streaming issues are easily worked around by most services. They let you save it on your device for veiwing later, even when offline, then the device deletes it after your viewing count or time period.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190049)

Where are you getting that Apple charges $15 for rentals? Rentals for new movies are usually $3-$4. They'll charge $15 or $20 for purchases of brand new movies, sure, but that's not an apples-to-apples comparison with Google's price. Outside of Netflix, I typically only purchase movies, and have been slowly building my collection from iTunes by waiting for sales so I only pay $5 per purchase.
 
That written: Like the GP, DRM is an issue for me, and it's why I never bother purchasing HD titles. You're not allowed to watch HD movies directly on a regular TV, so what's the fucking point of buying it? I have a 17" laptop and I can rarely tell the difference between HD and standard def. on it, and obviously there's no reason to have HD on my iPad. Most young people I know only own a laptop (or two), meaning most of them have no use for a restricted HD format. That particular policy annoys the crap out of me, because I've been moving cross country fairly often and yet here I am buying DVDs because the MPAA won't let Apple sell HD movies that can be watched wherever you want.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190605)

Why would I rent a single title for $4 when I have Netflix? I hand them a fair amount every month. They give me all I can consume. If content providers don't want to play with Netflix, then they lose out on my money. It's that simple.

Daddy, I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh again (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189953)

Most people only see a movie once

Of course, there are exceptions, such as single-digit-year-old children who habitually rewatch a favorite animated family film. For me, back in the day, it was The Care Bears Movie.

Re:Daddy, I wanna see Sin-duh-weh-wuh again (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190617)

That's why there's Netflix streaming for the kid, and a bottle of scotch for me.

What about iTunes Match for DVD's? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190333)

I'm almost 40 and I love iTunes Match. I have about 500 CD's I've bought over the years and it sucked having to manage them on my iTunes. But with iTunes Match they are either matched online or uploaded online. Now I have access to my whole collection. It just manages it for me with the ones I've played recently residing on my phone. Even nicer is if I had a low quality rip and it matches it will give me their best quality version. All of this for about $2/mo.

Why can't this be done with DVD's? I've bought some movies on VHS and DVD and now they want to charge me for BluRay? Screw that. Let me put my DVD's in the drive, let iTunes match it and give me HD copies available anywhere.

Re:DRM-free movie downloads (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190519)

Maybe if Hollywood made the content people want available through these services, it might decrease piracy. One of the big reasons services like iTunes and Spotify are so popular is that they have such a vast catalog of music available (and Apple in particular has been seeking out any music they dont already have the rights to so they can add it to iTunes).

Some examples of content I am interested in viewing but am unable to legally acquire in Australia (except possibly by acquiring Foxtel and paying a fortune for content I dont want just to get the small amount of content I do want)
Reckless Kelly (with Yahoo Serious in it). Great film that I wish I could see again.
Many interesting documentaries from The History Channel such as Modern Marvels.
The Real Ghostbusters cartoon (I have Season 1 on DVD but whoever owns the rights is unwilling to release further seasons)
Twins of Destiny (old cartoon)
Hey Dad (other than a "best of" DVD, this is not available in any form, its a great show from a time when Australia used to produce TV that is actually funny)
The $treet, interesting show about a Wall St brokerage that seemed to disappear for no reason sometime in late 2001.

Practice can make perfect is wholesale cheap jers (-1)

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Well cant blame them for the truth (4, Insightful)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189493)

As much as I hate these sponsored researches, it's correct saying that piracy will not stop. However, it's also correct to say that murder will not stop as well if you take away all firearms and all sharp implements. There are just some things that they have to live with, not that they live in poverty over piracy.

Now, question is - how much copyright infringers will you be able to convert? I bet it's enough to cover costs.

But look, I just used the magic word at the root of it all - costs!
It costs more to serve the major segment of copyright infringes and will erode other monetization channels. What they want is to shift the costs of defending their "right to profit" to general public. Because it's cheaper to buy off a politician, than creating and maintaining something like Netflix. Remember - a movie contains a crapload of copyrightable material that requires a separate license/agreement to reproduce a derivative over the new medium - the internet. That is why they have geographical limitations - these copyrighted materials might have been bought only for creating derivative works and distribution of the derivative works in US, because it's cheaper to buy nationwide license vs worldwide.

LDA Bullet STA Foot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189555)

Industry doubles down on its insistence that its customers are thieves... thereby shooting itself in the foot. Rather than realizing piracy is an unavoidable consequence and cost of doing business, much as "lobbying", other forms of bribery and graft, insurance of various kinds, and flat-out protection-money, they've decided to treat their customers like the enemy. Maybe someone who actually understands economics, psychology, sociology and business should be running things there, rather than whatever idiots are doing it now.

I think we're actually seeing a rare business instance of what is known as "grim retribution", in which a for-profit entity paradoxically says "I don't care if it hurts me, just as long as it HURTS YOU TOO!"

Share-holders should sue.

Re:LDA Bullet STA Foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40189981)

That's the joke; Time Warner is a publicly traded company, so at least some of those thieves are the shareholders.

Make it easy, affordable, and convenient (3, Insightful)

MsWhich (2640815) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189635)

...for people to legally get content, and you'll become ludicrously rich. In the 90s, everyone was using Napster and Limewire and whatever else to download all of their music, because the other option was going out and buying CDs, which was not easy or convenient, and often not particularly affordable.

Now everyone downloads their music from the Internet legally, primarily via iTunes or Amazon. Why would I want to deal with the hassle of a file-sharing site, where I might download mislabeled files, files containing viruses, or even just files that were ripped with crappy settings so that the sound quality is poor, when instead I can pay a reasonable fee and instantly download a high-quality music file to the device of my choice? Easy, affordable, convenient. All of this nonsense about stopping piracy and using "kill switches" are just the dying cries of industry executives who don't realize the world has changed whether they like it or not.

Re:Make it easy, affordable, and convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40190007)

They are already ludicrously rich. Piracy exists, but it isn't hurting the movie industry's bottom lines in any measurable way. The last three years have been the best three box office years in history.

Stupid (2)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189667)

...it appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy. Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available.

A lot of people don't really pirate right now, or don't pirate very much. Obviously if attaining legal content were utterly convenient and totally free, no one would bother pirating. So clearly there's some terms between the current availability/pricing and "utterly convenient and totally free" at which most of the current pirates wouldn't bother anymore. Let's say, for example, you had a Netflix-like service for $20/month that had every TV show and movie ever? I suspect most people would stop pirating then.

What these industries should be studying is the trade-offs between convenience, price, and piracy that optimize both profits and customer satisfaction. They seem to be complaining that they don't think that even the optimal rate won't be profitable enough, in which case: tough beans; your product isn't worth as much as you'd like it to be.

The results appear to support the studios' policy position that legislation is a preferable way of dealing with the issue.

Preferable for them, maybe, but that doesn't mean it's good. If I'm selling paper towels for $50 a roll and not making money because not enough people are buying them, I don't get to go whining to the government to prop up my business with legislation.

Live shows too? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189991)

Let's say, for example, you had a Netflix-like service for $20/month that had every TV show and movie ever?

For one thing, that will always be a hypothetical until Disney finally rereleases the movie in which "Zip a Dee Doo Dah" premiered on DVD. For another, I noticed that that's cheaper than cable TV; does your $20 per month package include live programming such as Morning Joe Brewed by Starbucks and Monday Night Football?

Are they NOT profit motivated suddenly? (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189717)

"It appears the film studios have gone cold on the idea of helping develop legal avenues to access copyrighted content as a way to combat piracy
Instead, they've produced research to show people will continue pirating even if there are legitimate content sources available."

WTF?

I have a new suggestion for the film industry: help develop a legal avenue to access copyrighted content as a way to make money. It seems that the industry is more interested in protecting the profits of its legacy customers instead of looking after its own. Why?

Here's the business model:

Film Studio: film -> internet -> film watcher
Film watcher: money -> internet -> film studio.

Stop obsessing about pirates and start obsessing about business.

If the film studios logically applied their illogical suppositions, they would also cease distributing films to physical cinemas because pirates are gonna keep a-pirating.

WTF?

The answer? END COPYRIGHT (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189745)

Not in one step. First we halve the time to termination of copyright on all new and existing copyright material. If after a year that wasn't too traumatic, halve it again. And so on.

I'm pretty sure artists will keep producing. Movies will still be made. (there does not seem to be a high correlation between cost and financial success in the movie business. And anyhow, a large part of profits seems to come from theatre showings).

Re:The answer? END COPYRIGHT (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189865)

I have no love for the copyright terms being as long as they are, but ending copyright altogether, even slowly as you suggest, would not be a good solution... it would strongly favor the publishers who have more money, and who have a larger distribution channel.

At least with copyright, the small guy can actually stop a bigger corporation from potentially profiting from his work without compensation.

People will continue to X even when Y is available (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189803)

download:watch ads; protest: vote; wank: pretty people: ____:____?

Always Wrong - Studio Executives are Short Sighted (1)

aisnota (98420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40189857)

The key here is that these executives want to feel important. Installation of a publicly mandated kill switch is a great ploy for power. The money is also key, plus think of the factor that those kill switches also may thwart competitive offerings.

Total world domination is all they care about.

Best bet is to not pirate or even watch their content but to produce your own and make it more popular to dilute their power. Do it quick before they strangle the last vestige of creativity away from the many so their few retains the media heroin pirated so much.

Actually SELL Content? That's So 20th Century (1)

mentil (1748130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190021)

The new business model is:
1. Hold onto IP
2. Wait for someone to violate it
3. Sue grandmothers and small business startups
4. Profit!

Seriously though, the article doesn't suggest that legal avenues aren't worth creating, simply that they're inadequate in eliminating piracy and that legislation is needed. The research mentioned is that 86% of 'persistent downloaders' pirate 'because of cost' although the article is unclear if this means that cost is merely a factor or if it's the biggest factor; it's even less clear if this means 'at any price'. This research was commissioned by a pro-IP group, of course, and has yet to be publicly released or validated. Incidentally, the people surveyed were Australians, the same ones frequently charged 100-500% markup for 'digital downloads' (god I hate that term).

Wrong, obviously (2)

longk (2637033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190109)

I've stopped pirating MP3's when I got Spotify where I have a paid premium account. I stopped pirating US TV-series since I got VPN access to Hulu, which would be a Hulu Plus account if they would accept my foreign credit card. I've stopped pirating movies since I discovered Netflix can be tricked into accepting foreign credit cards. Also recently discovered Crackle for free older movies.

A lot of folks I know would stop pirating if the above services were made available in their country, without artificial delays from when content is released in the US.

Really the only thing we need to stop pirating completely is to have a service where you can watch the latest cinema released. An online cinema if you will.

Clueless (5, Interesting)

funkylovemonkey (1866246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190135)

Most real pirates don't download content for free. They spend money on their internet provider, often being forced to chose more expensive options for no cap. Many subscribe to so called storage lockers like rapidshare and others which have subscription based services usually starting around $10 a month. The reason? Legal options are terrible. This was driven home to me several nights ago. My wife wanted to see the last episode of a show that she had missed last week. I said that would be easy, fired up the network website, found the episode and started streaming it. The quality was terrible but watchable. However for some reason the commercial breaks were not synced right and about a minute after the commercials the show would freeze and then fast forward two minutes. Out of a twenty minute episode we maybe were able to watch fifteen minutes of it. And then were forced to watch another five minutes of adds. Frustrated, I looked for a pirated copy of the show online, downloaded a much better quality version and streamed it to my television. No commercials, no errors in the playback, higher quality, more convenient, and it took less then five minutes to download. It seems like every time I try the legal options the experience is terrible.

Symbiosis (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190141)

The entertainment industries are the government's mouthpiece all over the world. If control of the electronic trade routes is lost, well then, all bets are off...

And as a conservative... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190165)

I say screw the big government-loving liberals that control Hollywood. They've spent the last 50 years pushing an anti-property rights, pro-tax, government-worshiping (ever notice how most non-comedic TV dramas are about cops or lawyers?) agenda. Boo freaking hoo that they're IP rights are being violated. That creaking sound they're hearing is the roof about to cave in under the weight of all of the chickens roosting on it.

Re:And as a conservative... (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190361)

The funniest thing is that the reason movies are made in Hollywood was to violate Thomas Edison's patents on movies. Edison was pretty restrictive on what types of movies that could be made. So all of the big studios you know today were started by the creative types that went West to go where enforcement of Edison's property rights were poor. There they could make the types of movies they wanted.

It's simple economics. (2)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190207)

Mr. Rightsholder, look. I'm an upper middle class guy in my 30s, I've got disposable income to pay for entertainment. I don't want or need to pirate stuff. But I'll be damned if I'm going to drive my ass out to Best Buy every time I want to watch a movie. So here are your choices:

1) You can pay billions of dollars to buy senators and push through legislation to make it illegal for me to steal your content, which I'm not doing. Then you can spend billions more watching my internet connection to make sure I don't steal your content, which I won't be doing: I'll be playing video games, borrowing content from friends, or watching your competitors' video-on-demand.

2) You can give me a legal way to pay you for your content, and I'll give you a boatload of cash.

Option #1 means you pay. Option #2 means you get paid. How is this a difficult choice?

"The Drug War" Part Deux (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190393)

This is just a sequel to the drug wars. It's all the same: there's no good reason for it to be illegal, except for all the money to be made. Entrenched power acts defensively to preserve and extend itself.

Popular, really? (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190471)

The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.

Actually, that's a bit mangled. What was actually popular was "A kill switch for the industry."

Same argument for 15 years, but too late now: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190539)

Back in the 90s, it became obvious that there was a market for digitally distributed music.

Those with clue said that the music industry could deal with it by using the tremendous savings to provide cheap easy to get portable music. And in the process get the micropayments system to have enough volume to function.

Instead, they opted to try to continue their old business model and pricing for digital music, but with the nuance that all of the distribution, inventory and production costs were massively less. Thus, they thought they'd reap massive profits.

As discussed many times here on slashdot and other places, since they were unwilling to release the music until they had DRM and controls so they could have this old business model pricing with new model costs, others fielded much of the digital distribution system before the industry did.

Not surprisingly, it was done to provide free content and fast distribution.

By delaying until they could have it on their terms, the music industry effectively trained their customers to expect free music.

Before that, a volume based pricing model without DRM would have been IMHO quite successful. But, instead they created and released a genie that won't go back in the bottle.

Now that so many people have been trained that they can get free music (and now video), (much of the time as easily and with just as good a quality as the pay content) I don't see much the music/motion picture industry can do about it.

They can try to enact draconian laws by lobbying, but the same lawmakers voting on the bills have kids that are downloading torrents (if the lawmakers themselves aren't).

I suppose they could resort to a model with government collected fees or a tax on everyone to pay for it. But that invites the very type of regulation they don't want. i.e. The government telling the iindustry what to do rather than the government telling the people the industry doesn't like that they can't use and provide free content.

They know government intervention in some form is their only hope, thus they hire high priced former legislators like Chris Dodds to lobby for them.

New config setting? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#40190671)

The industry-controlled kill switch is a popular idea all over the world.

Maybe there will be a "Do what I'm thinking button" some day after all.

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