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Why Internet Pirates Always Win

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the they-make-their-enemies-walk-the-plank dept.

Piracy 360

An anonymous reader writes "Nick Bilton writes in the NY Times about how the fight against online piracy is 'like playing the world's largest game of Whac-A-Mole.' While this will come as no surprise to Slashdot readers, it's interesting to see how mainstream sources are starting to realize how pointless and ineffective the war on piracy actually is. Bilton writes, 'The copyright holders believe new laws will stop this type of piracy. But many others believe any laws will just push people to find creative new ways of getting the content they want. "There's a clearly established relationship between the legal availability of material online and copyright infringement; it's an inverse relationship," said Holmes Wilson, co-director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit technology organization that is trying to stop new piracy laws from disrupting the Internet. "The most downloaded television shows on the Pirate Bay are the ones that are not legally available online." The hit HBO show Game of Thrones is a quintessential example of this. The show is sometimes downloaded illegally more times each week than it is watched on cable television. But even if HBO put the shows online, the price it could charge would still pale in comparison to the money it makes through cable operators. Mr. Wilson believes that the big media companies don't really want to solve the piracy problem.'"

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Because, (4, Funny)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885491)


Re:Because, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885507)

and besides, they have like cannons and shit, and are the best sword fighters since they practice a lot by taking over other ships.

Re:Because, (5, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885531)

I was a pirate once, till I took a bullet to the knee.

Re:Because, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885583)

...PARROT to the knee.

Re:Because, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885861)

The wounded knee joke is a Indian joke. (American, and red dot you can make either work)
Jeeze Tina.

Re:Because, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885877)

That's what peg-legs are for, ya landlubber.

Re:Because, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885883)

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr I be an Intarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnet Pirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrate. All modems ahoi! Set baud!

Wrong wrong wrong wrong and I'll explain why. (5, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886119)

HBO is owned by Time Warner cable. HBO costs $15 a month. Time Warner won't let HBO do a standalone subscription online because they would lose the sweet money from cable subscriptions and partner agreements.

If HBO were allowed to charge a subscription fee for access to HBO GO without subscribing to cable, I would pay it as would many others.
The reason they won't do this is because HBO GO relies on the delivery infrastructure of cable and satellite providers exclusively.

I have never seen a company so unwilling to sell their service to a market of people willing to buy.

This is why we need communications regulations and a stronger FCC.

drugs also (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885503)


drugs also (4, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885587)

Good point! When you outlaw something you make everybody who uses that something an outlaw. I believe history has proven that making popular things illegal simply does not work in the long run. The US, being focused solely on quarterly profits and all, will probably never recognize this fact.

Re:drugs also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885703)

But if pirates weren't illegal, would they still be popular? Or pirates?

Re:drugs also (2)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885705)

I'll drink to that ;)

Re:drugs also (4, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885759)

Making things illegal usually increases the profit margins.

Re:drugs also (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885825)

Only when supply is limited and transport and distribution is perilous.

There is a finite (albeit large) supply of drugs at any given time and the transport and distribution is expensive and the penalties are severe. By contrast, since data is copyable, there is an unlimited supply, and while there are some perils in distribution in the form of law firms attempting to find the most egregious pirates, the average software pirate is unlikely to face peril even if known.

Re:drugs also (3, Insightful)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886197)

Without copyright producing content would be back down the the profitability of sweeping crumbs off tables. The real argument is how the profits are split, right now the distribution is the pipe creators (device makers, telecom companies, studios) get the vast bulk of the money, a few stars (who are products of the pipe system) get a small amount which is vast compared to what a person wants, and ordinary creators get subsistence to less than zero.

The present copyright regime allows for strip mining of public demand and turning it into bonds and equities, it does not pay creators for the most part, except to the extent they are advertising delivery vehicles.

Re:drugs also (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885765)

And if you look at the numbers, prohibition pushes those profits up very nicely. POV means a lot here. If prohibition didn't work, we wouldn't be living under it.

Re:drugs also (3, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885779)

If prohibition didn't work, we wouldn't be living under it.

In this context the verb "works" requires an object.

You can't talk meaningfully about whether or not prohibition works unless you specify for whom.

As you pointed out it's working for somebody.

Re:drugs also (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885849)

It works for anybody with the power to enforce it. It's not really about 'prohibition' in absolute terms.. no money in that. It's about controlling the market.

Re:drugs also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886309)

it works for everybody but the enduser. suppliers and dealers make more money because of the risk. police, prisons, lawmakers make money fighting it. enduser pays more because it is illegal.

Re:drugs also (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886013)

that's why i support legalizing rape, outlawing rape doesn't stop it, it just turns rapists into outlaws!

Re:drugs also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886133)

Well, I don't see the problem as long as you legalize killing rapists. Heh.

Re:drugs also (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885605)

The thing the article didn't mention is the collateral damage done by these "wars".

The fight against Internet Piracy brings along a whole lot of government corruption, privacy loss, wasted government time and money, etc.

Re:drugs also (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885697)

Hence the proverb "prohibition is countereffective."

First rule... (1)

digitalaudiorock (1130835) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886187)

The article did however carefully observe the first rule of usenet.

Re:drugs also (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886241)

You got this the wrong way around. The thirst of control from the corporations and governments is the cause, corruption is the collateral damage.

Piracy is just the cover up.

Same story with 'Dexter' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885539)

Idiots at Showtime won't take my money, so The Pirate Bay it is. Yo, ho, ho.

Re:Same story with 'Dexter' (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885721)

I, for one, am not willing to wait a year until a badly dubbed version of season 7 appears here where I live. Fortunately, I can download a rip and watch it without violating anything, but even if I did, it still would have hardly stopped me. There's hardly any damage to be done by this.

Re:Same story with 'Dexter' (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885843)

"There's hardly any damage to be done by this."
Yes there is. the CEO of Showtime cant buy yet another gold plated Audi.
How dare you deprive the ultra rich! Under president Romney we will nuke your country for such crimes!

Re:Same story with 'Dexter' (1)

geoskd (321194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885887)

Under president Romney we will nuke your country for such crimes!

I live in the USA... Go nuts.


Re:Same story with 'Dexter' (0, Troll)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886029)

I live in the USA... Go nuts.

You're right. Under president Romney, we would want to be put out of our misery. :P

Re:Same story with 'Dexter' (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886209)

Yes there is. the CEO of Showtime cant buy yet another gold plated Audi.

My action or inaction in this matter has no bearing on that.

Make it east for people who want to play fair (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885547)

I am a Netflix subscriber in UK, yet I get less than half of the content that a US subscriber gets, even though I pay the same. Even when I want to watch the content that is available to me, it is not always easy. For example, I commute to work and that is the best time for me to maybe catch up on a TV series or a film. Yet, there is no easy way for me to access the content that I am already paying for as part my subscription. Streaming doesn't work particularly well on the intermittent 3G connection I get while commuting, so ability to play offline is an absolute must. Yet I find that there is no way for me to do so short of buying the same DVDs that I are already included in my subscription.

On the other hand, I could just pirate the content and it would work everywhere I need to play it without a hitch. So tell me again, how are you doing it right?

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885687)

I'm in a similar position. I spend a lot of time working away from home. I have a portable media player that I can plug into a television, and a large number of files in a DRM free format, mostly illegally acquired. Works great for me.

If I could download them for a fee, then I might, but I want the same level of flexibility otherwise the service is useless to me.

The only downloadable media option I've seen was the "triple play" offer on certain blu-rays. This seemed to be completely worthless. I'm genuinely curious as to whether anyone found this option worthwhile.

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885903)

This is the problem. There is no DRM-free solution for videos currently. iTunes, Amazon all the providers just give you streaming or DRMed downloads.

Internet pirates do not win, they have no choice. Especially since the companies still ignore the old continent (I have to wait a year to even see it on TV!), wait ages to release BluRays/DVDs and do not provide an _easy_ solution. Why would anyone pick buying, when you can't even watch it when you lose connection? I've got a better collection with subtitles, instant availability across the globe and high quality compared to any other service.

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (4, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885989)

American companies ignore you guys. In both directions. We don't get to see stuff from the old continent unless it's either rebranded, or old and made by a government grant to nigh amateurs. Before netflix, it was only the first option, even...

Surely, in a continent of 700 million people, you have media companies of comparable technical capability.

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885717)

isn't it interesting that so much of those illegal downloads were made via the internet services portion of the verysame cable companies? hmm. why shouldn't that simply increase the viewship numbers?

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886263)

I want to buy music in Canada. My only reliable source seems to be iTunes. I do not want to use iTunes. PureTracks doesn't always have what I want, and I have yet to find another store with the same breadth of content as iTunes.

On the flip side, a little hop onto BitTorrent gives me high quality MP3s or FLACs of all the music I want, quickly.

Why should I go through the hassle of dealing with shitty websites or horrible applications again?

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (-1, Troll)

AmazingRuss (555076) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886319)

...especially when you have to pay for the songs! What a ripoff!

Re:Make it east for people who want to play fair (3, Interesting)

Abreu (173023) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886321)

I am a Netflix subscriber in UK, yet I get less than half of the content that a US subscriber gets...

You are lucky to get half of US Content. Here in Mexico, Netlix started out almost a year ago and for a monthly fee of $100pesos (about $7.40 dollars) we only get old movies and tv series, all of them dubbed (nothing earlier than 2 years old).

But oh boy, we have the entire Televisa catalog for free! Thousands of telenovelas from the eighties and nineties! (Yuck)

Attention Jew hating hippies. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885553)

First, take a bath. Then read this:

1. Are you aware that the Disputed Territories never belonged to the “Palestinians” and only came into Israeli possession as a result of the 1967 six day war in which Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon all massed forces at Israel’s border in order to “push the Jews into the sea”. The Arabs lost and Israel took control of the land. Do you agree that if the Koranimals don’t want to lose territory to Israel, then they shouldn’t start wars? Do you agree that there is justice that Israel, who as far back as 1948 has always sought peace with her far larger neighbors, should live in prosperity - making the desert bloom - while the residents of 19 adjacent Arab countries who are blessed with far more land as well as oil wealth live in their own feces?

2. Did you know that the “Palestinians” could have had their own country as far back as 1948 had they accepted the UN sponsored partition plan which gave Israel AND the Palestinians a countries of their own on land which Jews had lived on for thousands of years before Mohammed ever had a wet dream about virgins? The Arabs rejected the UN offer and went to war with the infant Israeli nation. The Arabs lost and have been whining about it ever since. Do you agree this is like a murderer who kills his parents and asks for special treatment since he is now an orphan?

3. Can you tell us ANY Arab country which offers Jews the right to be citizens, vote, own property, businesses, be a part of the government or have ANY of the rights which Israeli Arabs enjoy? Any Arab country which gives those rights to Christians? How about to other Arabs? Wouldn’t you just LOVE to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, or Syria?

4. Since as many Jews (approximately 850,000) were kicked out of Arab countries as were Arabs who left present day Israel (despite being literally begged to stay), why should Arabs be permitted to return to Israel if Jews aren’t allowed to set foot in Arab countries? Can you explain why Arabs can worship freely in Israel but Jews would certainly be hung from street lamps after having their intestines devoured by an Arab mob if they so much as entered an Arab country?

5. Israel resettled and absorbed all of the Jews from Arab countries who wished to become Israelis. Why haven’t any Arab countries offered to resettle Arabs who were displaced from Israel, leaving them to rot for 60 years in squalid refugee camps? And why are those refugee camps still there? Could it be that the billions of dollars that the UNWRA has sent there goes to terrorist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, El Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, or Hezbollah? How did Yassir Arafat achieve his $300 million in wealth? Why aren’t these funds distributed for humanitarian use?

6. Did you know that the Arabs in the disputed territories (conquered by Israel in the 1967 war which was started by Arabs) and who are not Israelis already have two countries right now? And that they are called Egypt and Jordan?

7. If your complaint is about the security fence which Israel is finally building in the Disputed Territories, are you aware that it is built solely to keep the “brave” Arab terrorists out so that they can no longer self detonate on busses, in dining halls or pizzerias and kill Jewish grandmothers and schoolchildren? Why are the Arabs so brave when they target unarmed civilians but even when they outnumber their opponents they get their sandy asses kicked all the way to Mecca when they are faced with Jewish soldiers? Why do Arab soldiers make the French look like super heroes?

8. Please explain why you are so concerned about Arabs, who possess 99% of the land in this region and are in control of the world’s greatest natural resource, which literally flows out of the ground? Can’t their brother muslims offer some of the surplus land and nature’s riches to the “Palestinians”? Or is it true that Arabs are willing to die right down to the last “Palestinian”?

9. Why do you not exhibit the same level of concern for say, people in Saudi Arabia who are beheaded, subject to amputation, stoning, honor killing etc.? What about women who are denied any semblance of basic civil rights, including the right not to be treated as property for the entertainment and abuse of her father, brothers, or husbands? What about the Muslims in Sudan and Egypt who are still enslaved, or the women there whose genitalia are barbarically cut off? How about the oppression of Shiites by Sunnis, the gassing of the Kurds by Iraq, or the massacre of “Palestinians” by Jordan (Black September)? Why doesn’t this concern you?

10. Did you ever stop to wonder how much better off everyone in the region would be if Arabs stopped trying to kill Jews and destroy Israel? What would happen if the Israelis gave up their weapons and disarmed? Would they live to see the next day? But what would happen if the Arabs completely disarmed? You know the answer: They would all be AT PEACE! And if there is no war to rile them up, the Arabs would be forced to look at their own repressive, pre-medieval societies. Why would they want to do that when there are Jews to kill?

11. Have you heard “People who define themselves primarily by what they hate, rather than who they love, are doomed to failure and misery”? Can you see the parallels to the Arabs, who are blessed with land and oil, but still gladly train their children to kill themselves in order to kill Jews? Have you heard Golda Meir’s words to the effect of “There will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate ours”? Why do the Arabs hate so much?

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1, Offtopic)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885621)

First, take a bath. Then read this:

Ok, well now I know why internet pirates always win. Thanks for clearing that up, it all seems so simple now.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885629)

You are very welcome grasshopper.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1, Offtopic)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885729)

You are very welcome grasshopper.

You are very clever, this is different from wisdom.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1, Troll)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885671)

I'm conflicted on which way to moderate this: on the one hand, it's oversimplified, off-topic trolling, but on the other hand, it's fundamentally correct in saying that the neighboring Arab countries shovel more shit Israel's way than vice versa, and the Israelis just want to be left in peace.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885801)

So? Take it to a board that actually cares. It's off topic. It's trolling. Pick one.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886031)

You seem to have mistaken me for someone who gives a shit what you think.

How do you like that?

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886217)


You seem quite keen to make it clear that you don't give a shit though. Makes it seem that being perceived as not giving a shit is pretty important to you.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885867)

Neither Arabs Muslims OR Jews are any better than the other and in fact are related to one another in antiquity (except Jews interbred more during their migrations worldwide, because of the laws in their talmud and that they don't take advantage of one another, but instead goyim\gentiles (non-jews only)) but being a Jew isn't so much about a breed of humanity, but a cult or religion instead.

Muslim Arabs also believe in Conversion by Fire and or Sword of non-believers, killing males that do not convert and keeping females as breeding vessels only!

Both are quite sick but since you note Jews, here's quotes from their talmud:


1. Sanhedrin 59a: "Murdering Goyim is like killing a wild animal."

2. Abodah Zara 26b: "Even the best of the Gentiles should be killed."

3. Sanhedrin 59a: "A goy (Gentile) who pries into The Law (Talmud) is guilty of death."

4. Yebhamoth 11b: "Sexual intercourse with a little girl is permitted if she is three years of age."

5. Schabouth Hag. 6d: "Jews may swear falsely by use of subterfuge wording."

6. Hilkkoth Akum X1: "Do not save Goyim in danger of death."

7. Hilkkoth Akum X1: "Show no mercy to the Goyim."

8. Choschen Hamm 388, 15: "If it can be proven that someone has given the money of Israelites to the Goyim, a way must be found after prudent consideration to wipe him off the face of the earth."

9. Choschen Hamm 266,1: "A Jew may keep anything he finds which belongs to the Akum (Gentile). For he who returns lost property (to Gentiles) sins against the Law by increasing the power of the transgressors of the Law. It is praiseworthy, however, to return lost property if it is done to honor the name of God, namely, if by so doing, Christians will praise the Jews and look upon them as honorable people."

10. Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore Dia 17: "A Jew should and must make a false oath when the Goyim asks if our books contain anything against them."

11. Baba Necia 114, 6: "The Jews are human beings, but the nations of the world are not human beings but beasts."

12. Simeon Haddarsen, fol. 56-D: "When the Messiah comes every Jew will have 2800 slaves."

13. Nidrasch Talpioth, p. 225-L: "Jehovah created the non-Jew in human form so that the Jew would not have to be served by beasts. The non-Jew is consequently an animal in human form, and condemned to serve the Jew day and night."

14. Aboda Sarah 37a: "A Gentile girl who is three years old can be violated."

16. Gad. Shas. 2:2: "A Jew may violate but not marry a non-Jewish girl."

17. Tosefta. Aboda Zara B, 5: "If a goy kills a goy or a Jew, he is responsible; but if a Jew kills a goy, he is NOT responsible."

18. Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 388: "It is permitted to kill a Jewish denunciator everywhere. It is permitted to kill him even before he denounces."

19. Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 348: "All property of other nations belongs to the Jewish nation, which, consequently, is entitled to seize upon it without any scruples."

20. Tosefta, Abda Zara VIII, 5: "How to interpret the word 'robbery.' A goy is forbidden to steal, rob, or take women slaves, etc., from a goy or from a Jew. But a Jew is NOT forbidden to do all this to a goy."

21. Seph. Jp., 92, 1: "God has given the Jews power over the possessions and blood of all nations."

22. Schulchan Aruch, Choszen Hamiszpat 156: "When a Jew has a Gentile in his clutches, another Jew may go to the same Gentile, lend him money and in turn deceive him, so that the Gentile shall be ruined. For the property of a Gentile, according to our law, belongs to no one, and the first Jew that passes has full right to seize it."

23. Schulchan Aruch, Johre Deah, 122: "A Jew is forbidden to drink from a glass of wine which a Gentile has touched, because the touch has made the wine unclean."

24. Nedarim 23b: "He who desires that none of his vows made during the year be valid, let him stand at the beginning of the year and declare, 'Every vow which I may make in the future shall be null'. His vows are then invalid."


From []

So let's not try to make jews "heros" or "saints" here, or even victims. You can clearly see what they think of all non-jews.

(Yes, non-jews are Goy/Goyim and Gentiles from above), and quoted straight from their own belief systems (their book of law, the talmud).

Think about that. I didn't say those things above, Jews did.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886045)

Of course there’s lots of history.

Please feel free to continue this discussion from the steps of the first synagogue in Saudi Arabia.

We are all waiting.

Re:Attention Jew hating hippies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886107) has been taken down.

Math. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885589)

I thought it was because the scarcity of digital media as information, after it's created, is artificial and you can't stop Eve when Bob is Eve. []

Re:Math. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885957)

Right, so live performances and ticket sales and merchandising. We hear that tired rhetoric all the time about music. Let's apply it to movies and TV. People obviously want the content or they wouldn't pirate it. But if we don't at least try to get people to pay for it there won't be any movies or TV series for us to play on our digital devices or watch on our TVs. People seem to want the diversion / entertainment, but too many are just cheap and won't pay. For sure, a lot of the problem is also availability. Make no mistake - the content producers need to fix that. I've gone through this on many different series (such as Eureka - where I could get episodes from SyFy but only the newest couple, and anything older was $1.99 from Amazon and $1.99 is way too much for 40 minutes of entertainment). It is often very like what Matthew Inman shows here [] . However a lot more is pirated than just the "hard to get" shows. Things that are on Netflix or Hulu are pirated too - and not just by the people up above in the thread who want to watch on a train with a spotty 3G connection. It is hard to solve but I think the producers need to start working the solution by making their stuff available online at a price comparable to what they get for each show out of cable (I guarantee you that they don't get $1.99 each time I watch a show or my cable bill would be a lot higher).

No moral high ground (5, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885595)

The keepers of copyright could only "win" if they get public sentiment on their side - an attribute they have never managed to achieve and don't seem to value.

While high-profile people (politicians, the press) occasionally pontificate about how "bad" piracy is - frequently under pressure from the vested interests who pull their strings, none of the ordinary people actually believe, or care.

The biggest reason that the general public are not on the side of defending copyright is partly because of the adversarial attitude the BIG media adopt, partly because BIG media are not seen as being sympathetic to their artists - who don't get to see much, if any, benefit from additional copyright fee collections, but mostly because ordinary people can't see any benefit to themselves.

If the copyright holders were to take a more sensible, open approach and show a direct link between the copyright fees they collect and real artists (not multi-millionaire celebs) making a living from those royalties - with maybe a small "fee" taken by the media businesses themselves, then I reckon the public would view copyright fees like restaurant tips - directly benefitting the people who merit them, rather than just buying a few more snorts of coke for some anonymous fat-cats.

Re:No moral high ground (4, Informative)

punit_r (1080185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885689)

If the copyright holders were to take a more sensible, open approach and show a direct link between the copyright fees they collect and real artists (not multi-millionaire celebs) making a living from those royalties - with maybe a small "fee" taken by the media businesses themselves, then I reckon the public would view copyright fees like restaurant tips - directly benefitting the people who merit them, rather than just buying a few more snorts of coke for some anonymous fat-cats.

Agreed !

A good example of this is Louis C K [] . The best part, a Paramount Exec Al Perry [] claimed that Louis C K could have earned more with DRM !

Another example is Russel Peters, who gives a lot of credit to pirated videos (on YouTube) of his early career performances.

Re:No moral high ground (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885691)

Right! right, right right.... That's why I can find indie artists just as easily as the "multi-millionaire celebs" on bittorrent sites, eh?
The general public doesn't give fuck all about the law or the attitude of large media publishers. They know that free is a damn good price for something that they use to have to pay for and that fact alone will be what continues this trend.

Re:No moral high ground (5, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885909)

The general public doesn't give fuck all about the law or the attitude of large media publishers. They know that free is a damn good price for something that they use to have to pay for and that fact alone will be what continues this trend.

The content industries opened the door to a century ago when they didn't fight to prevent broadcasters from using advertising to pay for free transmissions. The end result is nearly a century of the general public believing that they should be able to turn on their TV / Radio / Whatever and get content for free. An entire generation is locked in against the content owners, and the irony is that their impending doom is driven by the very business model that helped make them all very wealthy.


Re:No moral high ground (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885731)

Not only that. The chance of getting caught is relatively small. Also we have been taught that sharing is a GOOD thing. Making a CD for somebody else is seen as romantic Even in movies and on TV this is projected as such.
The thing that comes closest is cheating on a test, where you copy information. However when you were ill and somebody copied the notes for you, then it is seen a good deed.

So copying in itself is not a bad thing. Sharing is often seen as a good thing on a human level.

Also do not forget that the copyright holders are interested in defending the copyright holders. The artists are just a cost they they need to deal with.

Re:No moral high ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886105)

Public sentiment as described as:

1. Artist onself creating IP
2. employer or employed in creating IP
3. Direct investor in entities that create IP
4. Retirement investor in entities that create IP

What percentage of the jury pool falls into the above?

Where the problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885597)

"... "There's a clearly established relationship between the legal availability of material online and copyright infringement; it's an inverse relationship," said Holmes Wilson, co-director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit technology organization that is trying to stop new piracy laws from disrupting the Internet. "The most downloaded television shows on the Pirate Bay are the ones that are not legally available online." ..."

Duh! When you're marketing, you try to CREATE apparent scarcity - that's what puts the price of your product up. That's why we have 'regionalism' for DVDs.

The problem for 'information marketers' (software, film, music and the like) is that the laws of economics state that the price of an object will drift towards the actual cost of reproducing it, and, once a film has been made, the reproduction cost over the net is zero. They are trying to fight basic economics. As Scotty might have said if he had done business studies instead of engineering:

Ye canna' break the laws of ....

Re:Where the problem is... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885859)

"That's why we have 'regionalism' for DVDs."

and why I made a LOT of money buying off brand china DVD players and region unlocking them. I made $150 off of a $99.00 DVD player on a regular basis LG was my favorite as it took me less than 20 minutes with a "upgrade" CD. I think half the DVD players in Dearborn,MI were ones I modified and sold.

Let the Internet be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885601)

Let the Internet be what it is: a library.
Making money is fine, but computer networks, and the Internet, were made for sharing plain and simple. I'd rather make a living working in the real world than lose that.

Piracy prevention has never worked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885619)

Trying to prevent piracy has, in the long run, never worked.

Let's take computer game piracy of the late 80s computer game software as an example.
Yes, companies did their best to try and prevent illegal copies by employing all kinds of copy protection on the media
What ended up happening was groups of crackers showed up, cracked the protection, and then spread it through online bulletin boards across the world, and even by sending disks through the postal mail.

End result was that piracy was rife, but the average computer owner still had a number of original, legal copies of programs, that for one reason or another, they bought. Or perhaps some were gifted.

In the end, despite all the piracy, software companies still made money! ...and thanks to the pirates removal of copy protection - some of these old programs can actually be archived now, as opposed to suffering from digital bit-rot as the media would have otherwise perished given its age.

This brings me to only one conclusion: People pirate things which they NEVER would have paid for anyway (or couldn't!)
Does this affect sales? Well, I don't know how you'd measure that given that the pirates would not have paid for it anyway....

Not a game (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885649)

It's not a like game, because the *AA can change the rules when they want (or at least try to)!

Re:Not a game (2)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885805)

Actually the likeness is accurate. The *AA can't change the game, but they can "cheat" by using a different mallet... However they seem to be misunderstanding how they could profit from this - they spend all their time changing the 'rules' so they get a bigger and bigger mallets, making them slower and slower and hitting less and less moles... in other words they care more about absolutely smashing the mole they target to bits than directly hitting the others. Their idea is that this will be a deterrent.

The idea of the peg-legged moles is best expressed in their own words:


But they don't HAVE any money! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885657)

The majority of Pirates pirate because they can afford to buy the products. Sure they might get their mom to pay 4EUR to let them watch one video on iTunes, but The wanna watch them all! (no pun intended) Where can they gett that kind of money? Where can I get that kind of money for that matter? I can't afford to fill an iPod with music. (I only listen to Grateful Dead so its not really a problem)

They have to stop counting pirated digital media as lost profits, they are NOT. Here is a newsflash for RIAA and MPAA; an average12-year old single parent kid does NOT have 6000USD a year to spend on music and movies!

Re:But they don't HAVE any money! (-1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885875)

"The majority of Pirates pirate because they can afford to buy the products."

This is the single most stupid statement ever. I dont know ANYONE that can afford photoshop. and all the kiddies torrenting music, really? you think all these kids have hundreds of dollars a week to spend on music?

News flash, 90% of americans dont have mitt romney levels of money. hell a full 70% barely afford their monthly bills for luxuries such as food, water, and housing.

come on back when you have a clue as to what reality is.

Re:But they don't HAVE any money! (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886053)

That threw me at first, too, but judging from the rest of that comment, I think the AC just made a typo. It's the only thing that makes sense. He probably meant "The majority of Pirates pirate because they can't afford to buy the products," intended to spell "cant" without an apostrophe and didn't hit the T hard enough.

AC should get an account, he'll never see your response.

Re:But they don't HAVE any money! (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886193)

This is the single most stupid statement ever. I dont know ANYONE that can afford photoshop. and all the kiddies torrenting music, really? you think all these kids have hundreds of dollars a week to spend on music?

Agreed. Although I'm on the inverse of that, because I really do have the extra budget to afford to go get the new music, movies and programs I seek. Why don't I? Because of two things: 1) Cost has skyrocketed and 2) The sharing model has turned against the consumer because of the mass digital medium with of distribution of it via the internet.

With the later, we, as consumers, are now 'punished' for sharing the content we purchased because Big Company thinks we need to pay for that very same content's royalties and personal use ownership copyright over and over and over again for every medium that it's provided by. I didn't see this when my friends and I were making high-speed dubs of tapes or recording a show via VHS/BETA from HBO, airwaves, PPV satellite, etc. and giving it to a friend to watch. It was all tangible distribution but a closed consumer market with 'who' they knew was going to pay for their services.

It's all greed. Because technology and the internet expanded Big Company's reach to 'everyone' in the world, their market truly is 'everyone', so they conjure up 'losses' based on what they could reach, not who they really reach as potential, paying consumers for their material.

Internet what? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885669)

What does an "Internet pirate" do? Capture IP packets and hold the bits for ransom?

An overlooked point by the US (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885681)

The pirate bay is accessible from any geographical zone. No legal provider is. Piracy is my only way to get the US-centric references on Slashdot and Reddit.

Currently, only "piracy" (it used to be called sharing) venues understand what internet is : a transnational network designed to transmit information without geographical discrimination. There seems to be no legal venue who understood that feature. I want to be able to download a drm-less version of any French, English, Japanese version of any movie that is available. I'll pay for that, but I won't pay for something that is of lower quality than what piracy can provide. In particular, I'll refuse to pay for ads. I feel this is an unacceptable "fuck you" to have unskippable ads on a support you bought.

There are lot of laws to change, but not the ones copyright lobbyists focus on. They have to make it easier to make deals for international distribution. Seriously, geographical distribution deals have no sense nowadays. If you want a meaningful frontier, separate rights of different linguistic version, but don't prevent me from getting stuff in original version at the same time that most slashdotters have them available.


Greed (3, Interesting)

SilenceBE (1439827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885709)

The problems is that those media companies are extremely greedy.

When people tend to say that the prices are high, you get the classic remark that a cost of zero is still more interesting then any price you would put onto a product. But I'm not that convinced. I'm sure there is a certain spot which you can convert people who download to paying customers.

I have about > 90 blu ray movies and a lot of box sets, but I do have my share of "free" stuff. The difference is that the things that I have bought come from sales (5 a 10€) or are imported from the UK and are the prices that I'm willing to pay.

The problem is that the "legal" way is just darn to expensive sometimes. For example I was searching for a particularly blu ray and they asked about 30 euro's for it (40 dollars) which I find way to high for 2 hours of entertainment. Then sorry I just rather take my sailboat and fish it out of the sea.

Unfortunately something that I witnessed is that the entertainment industry also seen the light and while in the beginning they dropped all the languages and subtitles on the blu ray - you know the sales argument everything could fit onto the disc - it seems they know are putting less languages and subtitles on to the disc mainly to discourage import.

Re:Greed (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886001)

It's not just about the price. There are two other factors that the media companies don't seem to get too clearly, either - convenience, which they do seem to have an inkling about, and timeliness, that is the most often overlooked. Since HBO & "Game of Thrones" seem to have been nominated as the standard case study for this, let's use that. Both of those also have a bearing on what the market might be prepared to pay for a legal download. As soon as a new episode airs in the US, the boards, forums, wikis, and everything else get updated within a matter of hours. This matters a lot for GoT, because while the overall storyline is following the books there are discrepencies that by implication rule out some of the theories people have about the way things might go based on what is in the books.

So, what's an overseas fan (or just one who may well have an HBO subscription, but is frequently travelling outside the US) supposed to do? Avoid anything connected with GoT online between the US airdate and their regional airdate, which may in some cases be after the next series starts airing in the US, starting the cycle anew? Nope. They are going to try and download it from the 'Net (duh!), and HBO has been held up as the poster child [] as to why that isn't likely to be legally viable, so the obvious final stop is the torrents. But what's a studio supposed to do? RTFComic! It should be obvious:
  1. Make episodes available, globally, on day #1, both to air and download. It's not like you have to ship reals of film anymore; the whole world is just an Internet file transfer away.
  2. Recognise that some people might not have access to reliable cable when they want to view, and make off-line viewing possible.
  3. Make them easy to download based on having a valid account, not from being in a given location.
  4. Don't insist downloaders have a cable subscription also (is this just HBO Go doing this?). See points #2 & #3.
  5. You can charge a premium for downloads for the first few days (week?), reducing the price when the next episode airs or the DVDs etc. ship.
  6. Get non-English (or whatever language the show was shot in) sub-titled/dubbed versions out as soon as they are available.
  7. Be realistic about pricing - you are competing with free but not strictly legal. Incentivize; pay up front for the season rather than per-episode, get a discount. Offer discounts on the box-sets (there's no middleman, so why not?). How much will depend on the show, but even GoT isn't going to be able to get away with a cost of more than a couple of dollars per epsiode before too many people head for the Torrents.
  8. Feel free to fingerprint downloads so you can tie them back to an account and sue the ass off anyone who uploads their downloads to the 'Net at large. Just make that clear in the ToS and on the download page.

HBO can pretty much do all of that, today, with the infrastructure they have for HBO Go, today, albeit with a considerable amount of additional bandwidth provision being required if it doesn't work. So, why not? It's all additional revenue that they weren't going to be getting before, so does the math really work out such that the offsets in losses from people who decide HBO Go is all they need and dump their cable subscriptions will cost HBO more than all of the GLOBAL audience that they reach for no significant extra outlay? Or can't they make it work with overseas distributors? What's wrong with telling them "We'll be making GoT Season #4 available globally to air and online to HBO Go subscribers in English from the end of March 2013, so you might want to arrange any dubbing/subtitling you want and arrange your local scheduling accordingly." Seriously, I can't figure out why they are not already doing this, unless it really is that they are short sighted idiots who still haven't realised that the world changed for them about a decade ago and they'd better get with the times. Can someone fill me in, please?

Re:Greed (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886237)

Indeed they are missing out on a huge amount of hype by delaying global releases. TV and movie references all over the internet ( social sites). I haven't pirated any shows recently, but when the legal release comes in my country, I'll be like "meh". At least, there will be no sense of urgency -- if it's good TV I may want to watch it, but I can get a used DVD or soemthing.

Re:Greed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886017)

The problems is that those media companies are extremely greedy.

The bigger problem being that consumers are even more so. As in your example of "if it's too expensive by my arbitrary standards, that makes it ok for me to steal it".

Yes, the "war against piracy" will never be won. Just like the "war against drugs", "war against terror", "war against racism", "war against drink driving", "war against rape" or "war against murder"

The moral of the story being, if you can't eradicate a crime 100%, and enough people are committing the crime, then we should just give up fighting it and accept that it happens and you can't stop it. And hell, let's remove the laws against it while we're there, just for the fun of it.

Re:Greed (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886253)

Actually a socially understood rate of acceptable profit is a requirement for capitalism according to Adam Smith.

Support Arab Freedom ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885775)

Here is a cipher which can be used just with paper, pencil and a mobile radio:

don't really want to solve the piracy problem (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885781)

What problem?

I think a new tv model is needed. (5, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885795)

Before we had a handful of channels, and you could select which shows you wanted to watch from them. Then cable came out, and the variety increased, but so did the cost to the consumer, and so an increasing demand for a-la-carte channel selection came about. In some jurisdictions, recent changes have made true a-la-carte programming imminent.

But today, many people have very busy lives, and are often too busy to watch more than perhaps a handful of TV shows each week. It's far from unheard of for people to simply "cut the cord" and do without television entirely, simply because there are not enough programs on the available networks to justify the expense.

I think, therefore, the time is ripe that we need to move even beyond a-la-carte channel selection, and instead directly to a concept of subscribing to individual television programs - where you can choose exactly which programs you want streamed to your PVR, to be watched at your convenience anytime after they are broadcast (or during, of course). Why should a person pay the full price of having HBO available to them 24 hours a day, for example, if they are only ever interested in watching a single program on that station? Obviously, for anything more than a handful of shows on a given network, it would likely become more economical to simply subscribe to the entire station, but in an age where it's not very uncommon to find people who've cut off their cable entirely, simply because they found they were only watching TV a couple of hours each week, I think that this kind of model is going to make a lot of sense.

This would also have the upshot of giving tv show producers a clearer picture of just how many people are actually watching a given television show, basedon subscription figures. Instead of only monitoring which tv stations particular homes that are part of the Nielson group are tuned to at various times throughout the day, and deducing which TV programs that they are watching or recording, and then extrapolating that to deduce what the greater population is watching, they could instead know directly which programs that a potentially much larger demographic watch.

This wouldn't completely eliminate the need for things like the Nielson group, though... which would be capable of monitoring what time of day people are actually watching their televisions... information that would doubtless be of great value to both content creators and advertisers.

Just my 2c. Er... nickel. I understand Canada is getting rid of its penny within the year.

I don't think **AA believes laws will work (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885821)

They can't really be THAT stupid after all this can they? Sure, the bottom feeders with their trolling and settlements are feeding furiously and all. But if the cable companies realize they need to give it away for free to stay in business, then the MPAA also must know what they need to do to remain relevant and in business... or that they can't.

Call me conspiracy theory nut, but I see this as a pretext to criminalizing and penalizing free speech on the internet. "Of course we never hear from AnonymousX or AnonymousY any more... they downloaded music and video and got busted..." Yeah... that's what happened I'm sure.

We *ALL* do it and if a few of us doesn't it's because they are idiots. When it becomes criminal to do what everyone does, then everyone becomes a criminal. See where this is going? "Felony filesharing!! You can't vote!! You can't work!! You can't live a decent life like the rest of us superior beings... go back and work for your slave wages under our justification."

Re:I don't think **AA believes laws will work (1)

shawnhcorey (1315781) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885871)

Laws won't work. Even death by torture did stop infringement: []

95% of the people will give something back if given the chance: [] Creating laws that don't work to try to cope with 5% of the population while ignoring, sorry not just ignoring but preventing the 95% from paying you is the fast track to the poor house.

That's not the point IMO (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885845)

Yes, it's true that making content legally avaliable online would reduce piracy, but profits for content producers would be lower anyways. There're still no traditional TV broadcasters or movie producers that make more money online than with their traditional business, and there's no lack of experiments.

The crude truth is that the entertainment industry - especially movie, music and TV-show producers - simply need to realize that their profits, margins and salaries will never be what they used to be in the past. People, or "the market" if you prefer, don't want to spend the same amount of money they used to spend in the past for intangible entertainment products. It has been an overvalued industry for 70 years, with overpaid people and overgenerous investments. Now things are being rebalanced, sorry.

I find it shameful that PhDs in medicine who studied at top colleges for 10 years and save human lives make 100K a year, while drunk and drugs-addicted hollywood actors can make 10 millions per movie. It's unethical, ridiculous, unfair and now also unsustainable from a business perspective. The only sad thing is that the capitalistic system has postponed for decades what is happening now, and this proves how malfunctioning it is.

so we close the cable companies one day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40885853)

and then they start to push there content online.

One reason is... (2)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885929)

They've finally alienated the entire political spectrum. I don't know a single conservative writer, thinker or activist that supports strong IP rights anymore. They've over-played their hand to the point that mainstream opinion on the political right is that they're the quintessential corporate Fascists over things like SOPA (conservative and libertarian publications were even more strident than the left over SOPA). If anything, the fact that so many people in Hollywood support big government policies and politicians while demanding the destruction of property rights and the Internet's infrastructure in the name of IP protection has made many of them think that our country needs to bankrupt all of them.

Whack-A-Mole (4, Funny)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885931)

It's ironic how often I have to clear my nytimes cookies so that I can read their stupid newspaper. I guess a true Pirate would script that.

Here we go again ... (5, Insightful)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885965)

On one hand we have a profitable entertainment industry (that people love and feed) who want to retain their profits

On the other hand we have a large group of people with a deluded sense of "entitlement":
- i shouldn't have to wait because I'm international
- i shouldn't have to watch advertising
- i shouldn't have to buy a whole cable package
- i shouldn't be limited to what device i watch it on

So lets be honest, we (and myself included) pirate because "we want", we know there is almost no chance of being caught and view it as victimless.

The NY Times article is interesting but is not going to change any of those fundamentals ...

The one thing that will change piracy is either technological block (which is unlikely) or the music model of cheaper prices. Music piracy decreased dramatically since the Napster days because of single track pricing and better infrastructure.

Re:Here we go again ... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886191)

I mostly agree with you except one point in particular. Why can't I watch on whatever device I want? I tried to watch a tv episode that was freely available on the company's website and my device was obviously capable as I was shown an ad before the show. However, after the ad I was told my device was not supported. That makes no sense. They got the ad revenue they normally would have gotten but still refused to give me the show. Another point, what's the difference between a computer and an Xbox or iPad that is so significant that companies might choose to block anything that isn't a computer?

Re:Here we go again ... (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886285)

Since copyrights come from the consent of the governed, not from some metaphysical entity, it is clear that they have withdrawn their consent from those laws.

Touched on Briefly (4, Interesting)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885969)

While touched on only briefly in TFA, I believe the core of the issue is that casual pirates do want to buy content. They are just not given the ability to do so.

Game of Thrones is the perfect example of newer content that fits this mold, but their is much older content, and more of it, that does as well.
I went scouring Netflix, iTunes, and other sources of digital distribution for the following, and came up empty handed;

Heavy Metal - []
Wizards - []
Gandahar (AKA Light Years) - []
Better Off Dead - []
The Point - []
Transformers - []

We're A Happy Family (A Tribute to the Ramones) - []

TV Shows:
Perversions of Science - []
Family Dog - []
Ren & Stimpy (60% Available) - []
Spicy City - []
Tracy Ullman Show - []
Eerie, Indiana - []
Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension - []
Amazing Stories - []
Northern Exposure - []
Aeon Flux - []

A lot of the items listed above are now considered part of American pop culture, and yet, I, as well as many others, have no means to obtain them in any format that I can readily view. I could purchase the physical media, and rip, and then stream to another device I have to buy just to show or listen to them, but that is besides the point. We have systems in place that provide some rudimentary protection to media conglomerates and provide us some content ownership (iTunes).

If we want to discuss laws in regards to piracy, we need to consider copyright laws vs. public domain. We need an established law that states that a content owner must prove that they are making available the content they own for purchase in ALL available markets, shops, and storefronts. If a 5 year gap occurs where this is not happening (and 5 years seems like a fair time frame), then the content should become public domain.

I will also note that historical items of American culture are being withheld from America by copyright protection. The most notable example of this is the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. []

Re:Touched on Briefly (1)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885997)

Also I must add that sunset provisions should be in place for copyrighted material, to ensure growth of public domain. Content does in many ways become culture, so having a generational sunset (20 years) would ensure future generations could have available the items that shaped the current one.

Re:Touched on Briefly (1)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886261)

We need an established law that states that a content owner must prove that they are making available the content they own for purchase in ALL available markets, shops, and storefronts.

While most of your comment makes sense, this is clearly not practical ... These all seem to be available in DVD format (as the source of the pirated copies) so your argument appears to be that this is not suitable format for you - not sure if you'd dont own a DVD player or region coding is the issue.

So if I understand, you are saying piracy is okay because you dont "want" to buy DVDs because you prefer digital formats?

Or, are you are suggesting 30 year old TV shows need to be available to cater to EVERYONE'S needs:
- Betamax NTSC, various PAL, SECAM
- VHS multiple standard
- Laserdisc
- Bluray
- Digital including all standard formats (MP4, WMV, MOV, AVI, etc) and proprietary formats
- in all languages combinations
- in all digital outlets (Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc, etc)
- and god knows what else

Actually the more I type the more ridiculous it seems

Interesting point on HBO's potential revenue. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885971)

So... HBO stands to make more from airing the show on the networks, than they ever could garner from selling the show directly to a much larger audience. Interesting, I had no idea.... and I wonder why.

Is it because of the ads? Is it the g^@-damn ads again? Pardon my French, but the only thing that is starting to annoy me more than the ads themselves is the way whole economic models begin to depend on them. The same thing that gives a silly free social network site a 100 billion dollar price tag... perhaps that is the answer to HBO's revenue as well. Apparently, ads are worth a lot of money. Sure, in many cases, ads pay our way (or part of it). But I am afraid that the tremendous value of these ads will continue the drive we've been seeing for the past decades: more and more of them. See the second installment of Charlie Brooker's "Black Mirror" to see what ads and a "mediated" society can become.

Re:Interesting point on HBO's potential revenue. (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886043)

And as with piracy, aren't the methods for eliminating ads going to increase? I tape delay the Olympics when I watch because I HAVE to have the ability to skip the commercials. I honestly can't stand them and won't watch. YouTube has become polluted with them too and I go there less and less. Have we reached the tipping point when a half hour network show is less than 20 minutes long?

Reminds me of Millipede (1)

bgfay (5362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40885973)

I played Millipede until I ran my entire family dry of quarters. And the better I got at it, the more mushrooms appeared.

HBO is playing the same game. I wonder how long their quarters will last.

Make it more appealing for paying customers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40886069)

Game of thrones is a excellent example. Its something people very much want to watch. But the problem is cable providers charge ungodly amounts of money when most people only really want a few channels. They try to force you into bundling your phone and interet through them as well for a "discount". They have poorly priced tier packages for cable tv since most companies just having cable isnt enough, you have to buy an addition package each month to get HBO on top of just getting cable access and the majority of the content sucks. So yeah people will pirate the hell out of game of thrones because the cable companies price millions and millions of viewers out being able to justify paying for cable and paying for HBO on top of that, so they turn to piracy.

My girlfriend and I have the same situation with true blood. We love the show but we can not justify paying a 130 dollar or more cable bill a month to get our internet, basic cable and the package required to include HBO. We dont have much money as it is. So I get true blood episodes from torrents, put them on a flash drive and then we watch them on the tv in living room.

Cable companies could solve a pretty big chunk of piracy problem all by themselves and turn thieves into paying customers.

  Instead of tiering packages that have just a few good channels and a bunch of shitty ones you give all your customers all the shitty channels then only charge a small amount to ala carte channels like HBO or showtime. That way basic cable owners get a huge selection and be able to see tbs, tnt and see the more popular shows like ncis which will make them happy. Then you let them do ala carte for all premium channels at a tiny cost increase. Sure at the end of the day your going to lose money by giving more away and make less on the premium channels but youll make up for it in volume. Instead of having a monthly subscription rate of 125 dollars to say 50,000 people youll have a month rate of 60 dollars to 110,000 people.

People are willing to pay but you have to price it where they can afford it and cable has out priced millions of customers. Thats why so many people are dropping cable. Sure netflix doesnt have all the new tv shows right away but why would someone pay 80 bucks a month for cable when they can pay 7 for netflix and have movies and shows to watch?

Problem? (-1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886079)

Not that I disagree with the "theme" of the article, but the author clearly has missed some pertinent facts.

The hit HBO show Game of Thrones is a quintessential example of this. The show is sometimes downloaded illegally more times each week than it is watched on cable television. But even if HBO put the shows online, the price it could charge would still pale in comparison to the money it makes through cable operators.

Whoops. Game of thrones has been available online/streaming via HBO GO since the very first episode. It's a free streaming service for HBO subscribers. Pretty sure episodes become available right when the they air on the cable channel, too. So that whole theory about an "inverse relationship" because the show isn't available online is (to use a technical term) bullshit. The author might have been well served to visit the website of the companies he was writing about at least a single time prior to writing an article about them. It's called research if you want to use the term loosely.

BTW, Showtime (and probably most other pay channels) do the same thing. The other show the author mentioned "Dexter" is available online for showtime subscribers for no additional charge. [] []

Re:Problem? (2)

heypete (60671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886169)

HBO's online offerings are only available to subscribers in the United States who are also customers of a specific list of cable/satellite TV companies.

That doesn't really help the subscriber in Australia or Europe. Why are those customers unable to stream/download content that their American counterparts can? Why are the same shows delayed by days or weeks in non-US countries?

Re:Problem? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886233)

Subscribers can already copy the cable feed, the online access just gives them more options. On the hand, online streaming could give non-subscribers who don't want to pay for a bunch of other channels just to get HBO or who can't subscribe a possibility to watch.

sorry (1)

znrt (2424692) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886189)

OP and OA: piracy? you're talking about the somalian coastline or what?

you might indeed have something to say, but you should try to express it with a clean mouth, i.e., not one full of shit. try again. go fy in the meantime. thxbai.

They're losing (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886227)

The media industry has time... in fact, they've had a LOT of time... to get a handle on this situation. People want what they want... and people are lazy. People will pay money for something that's easier. People will even break the law if that makes their lives easier. So, as the media industry enacts more and more laws to try prevent piracy, they are completely missing the point... their real mistake is that they are making it harder and harder to get their content, so more people turn to piracy.

The technology surrounding piracy is in its infancy. It's crude, difficult for the average person to use, difficult to find the content you want. This situation will not last. What the media industry needs to do is make the legal method easier than the illegal method. People will flock to it, and piracy will fade. But that's not what they are doing. They see the "Drive to walmart, buy the movie, drive home, watch it... wait 6 months, the extended cut version is released, another trip to walmart... etc..." as more profitable. And it is, if people were willing to put up with it. But they're not. They need to partner with Netflix and be done with it. They need to push ISPs to also partner with Netflix. If they focused their legal fight on net neutrality so ISPs would be forced to properly maintain their networks, and created partnerships with netflix that allowed them to have a more profitable relationship with them, they could ensure their survival.

You pay for content eventually... (2)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40886247)

What never comes up is that most pirated content gets paid for, eventually. I say 'most' because content that is out-of-print will of course not get paid for.

But BigBlockBuster movie comes out in theatres on the big screens; if you download it, you can see it now on your smaller screen and not pay for it. I can see you do this for a movie that is mainly people talking to each other, but not for a movie like the Hobbit, Star Trek "2", etc. It's up to the creator to make it interesting to go out and see it on the big screen, not because that's the only option you have, but because it's so AWESOME. That requires quite a bit of "umdenken" on Hollywood's part.

If you have what's here the Movie Network package (mine includes HBO Canada), once that movie is premiered on TMN, you paid the creators through your subscription dollars. At that moment in time, the 'damage' is undone: you watched the movie on your small screen, and you paid for it. After that, it will appear on a premium cable channel you might subscribe to (pay or pay again). Then it will appear on the regular OTA channels (carrying fee and/or advertising dollars generated through products you buy). After that it will appear every now and then on various channels, again advertising dollars.

Unless you're really off the consumer radar, eventually some of your money will end up with the creators of content, like it or not (i.e. Uwe Boll movies on Netflix).

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