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Hollywood Studios Fuming Over Indie Studio Deal With BitTorrent

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the steam-shooting-from-ears dept.

Movies 187

silentbrad sends this quote from TheWrap: "'It's a deal with the devil,' one studio executive [said]. 'Cinedigm is being used as their pawn.' Cinedigm announced this weekend that it would offer the first seven minutes of the Emily Blunt-Colin Firth indie Arthur Newman exclusively to BitTorrent users, which number up to 170 million people.... Hollywood studios have spent years and many millions of dollars to protect their intellectual property and worry that by teaming up with BitTorrent, Cinedigm has embraced a company that imperils the financial underpinnings of the film business and should be kept at arm's length. 'It's great for BitTorrent and disingenuous of Cinedigm,' said the executive. 'The fact of the matter is BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they're not in it for the health of the industry.' Other executives including at Warner Brothers and Sony echoed those comments, fretting that Cinedigm had unwittingly opened a Pandora's box in a bid to get attention for its low-budget release. ... 'Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers, ' Jill Calcaterra, Cinedigm's chief marketing officer said. 'How people use it can be positive for the industry or it can hurt the industry. We want it help us make this indie film successful.' ... 'We'll be working with all of [the studios] one day,' [Matt Mason, BitTorrent's vice president of marketing] said. 'It's really up to them how quickly they come to the table and realize we're not the villain, we're the heroes.'"

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187 comments

and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (5, Insightful)

d00m.wizard (1226664) | about a year ago | (#43562741)

really?

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43562799)

I'm astonished that the studio executives own intestines didn't spring forth and strangle the man for such blatant hypocrisy. I'm astonished that politicians aren't on television right now saying "Yeah, that's some pot/kettle 'black' shit right there. I'm astonished any reporter he was talking to didn't kick him in the balls. I mean, I probably would have done all those things. Simultaneously in fact.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562847)

That's simply because gutless worms have no intestines.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43562861)

Yeah, that's some pot/kettle 'black'

More like pot calling the refrigerator black.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563553)

Or the nigger calling the monkey black.

Captcha: cottons

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (4, Funny)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#43563189)

I'm astonished that the studio executives own intestines didn't spring forth and strangle the man for such blatant hypocrisy. I'm astonished that politicians aren't on television right now saying "Yeah, that's some pot/kettle 'black' shit right there. I'm astonished any reporter he was talking to didn't kick him in the balls. I mean, I probably would have done all those things. Simultaneously in fact.

That's a television show, all to itself, if you can actually pull it off without hurting yourself. I'd DVR that.... Or maybe D/L the torrent if I forgot. ...Shit, even if you do get hurt, the audience would be mesmerized...

MES-MER-IZED!

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (5, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43562823)

The Screen Actors Guild is really uptight about making sure that every actor everywhere is in their union, to the point of fining its members if they perform in the same piece as an actor that isn't part of that union. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to kill this either, namely because indie studios might be more likely to stay away from that union because they can't afford to pay what any of its members demand.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43562863)

The Screen Actors Guild is really uptight about making sure that every actor everywhere is in their union, to the point of fining its members if they perform in the same piece as an actor that isn't part of that union. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to kill this either, namely because indie studios might be more likely to stay away from that union because they can't afford to pay what any of its members demand.

If that leads to a series of entertaining films coming out that don't contain any members of the Screen Actors Guild, they're really going to be up shit creek.

Matter of time (1)

mrops (927562) | about a year ago | (#43563453)

Film industry is going to go redundant sooner or later, bittorrent as a distribution channel is already mature, stuff like blender is maturing. How long before a talented bunch of individuals are capable of making high quality movies without the industries backing.

Re:Matter of time (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#43563905)

How long before a talented bunch of individuals are capable of making high quality movies without the industries backing.

What? You haven't seen Star Wreck? [starwreck.com] Hilarious and better than half the dreck from hollywood. And it's a free download! DUDE!!!!

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43563093)

That's how unions work. If you don't have to be in the union to work a job then it greatly weakens the power that the union has to protect the members and advocate for better compensation and conditions.

As for indie studios, unions negotiate with the studios and ultimately the union isn't just a one dimensional entity. Having more roles being available for members is something that they also have to worry about along side having the best working conditions and compensation.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563179)

Unions are in it for money, you can just stop there. They don't give a rat's ass about conditions anymore.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43563217)

That's how unions work. If you don't have to be in the union to work a job then it greatly weakens the power that the union has to protect the members and advocate for better compensation and conditions.

Because we all know that screen actors are working for slave wages.....

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43563283)

Because we all know that screen actors are working for slave wages...

Many more than you might imagine work for "scale".

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563517)

Possibly not, but many actors are having a hard time getting their deserved money. Hollywood banking is one son of a bitch.

Re:and WHO are the movie studios in it for, us? (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43563547)

Non union actors need better conditions and better wages?

Next Up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562755)

This is like watching the Hale Bob folks watch someone decide not to drink the Kool Aid. Here comes the clue train media companies: your distribution model is 20 years out of date. Embrace it or die trying.

Re:Next Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562841)

So putting what's basically a trailer up for legal torrent download shows the majors that their model is out of date?
 
While this is significant, it's really not that significant. Get a hold of yourself.

Honestly? (4, Insightful)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about a year ago | (#43562763)

Honestly? A deal with the movie studios (or any of the recording studios) is a deal with the devil.

I applaud Cinedigm for giving an alternative a shot.

Re:Honestly? (3, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | about a year ago | (#43562887)

Well and, what exactly is wrong with this even if it's true?

fretting that Cinedigm had unwittingly opened a Pandora's box in a bid to get attention for its low-budget release

Isn't that precisely what you're supposed to do for your project? Get attention and as many eyes on the product as possible?

Besides, we're talking about 7m of content here. It's not like they're relying on BitTorrent to sell and distribute a feature film. Though with external mechanisms, that's entirely possible. It's not like we don't have private trackers and such, and guys like Louis CK have demonstrated that a little good faith effort can make non-DRM'd content a financially viable product.

Re:Honestly? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562995)

It's an indie flick. The big studios want it to fail no matter what.

Re:Honestly? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#43563365)

"guys like Louis CK have demonstrated that a little good faith effort and a career developed on for-pay and ad-supported television can make non-DRM'd content a financially viable advertising platform for his subscriber-supported HBO show."

FTFY.

Re:Honestly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563885)

I disagree. I was on pirate bay and bought anodyne on a whim from promo bay. I thought it was awesome and spread the word to my friends. It isn't cut and dry what harms the industry and what helps it. I don't think any one knows what will work going forward to make money. That scares the traditional media industries like crazy. The stupidest thing though is the fighting of the change. You just alienate your user base.

Re:Honestly? (3, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43563619)

Goliath (Hollywood) is simply worried that David (indie) may create a slingshot.

Re:Honestly? (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43563875)

Goliath (Hollywood) is simply worried that David (indie) may create a slingshot.

Actually it was a sling [wikipedia.org] with which David killed Goliath (well actually David knocked him out then cut Goliaths head with his own sword.) not a slingshot [wikipedia.org]. The sling is a weapon thats been around since the paleolithic era, the slingshot has been around since about the mid 1800's.

Cinedigm gets it! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562773)

It's not the technology, it's how you use it!

Re:Cinedigm gets it! (4, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#43563481)

It's like owning matches makes you an arsonist in the *AA's eyes. If you have bittorrent on your computer, you're a pirate, plain and simple.

A 7 minute trailer distributed by bittorrent (After all, that's about all it will be equivilent to) gets the *AA up inside themselves? Good deal.

I'd support Cindigm even if its a crappy movie (3, Insightful)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#43562787)

I probably won't like the movie but I respect them for trying to incorperate technologies that are uncommon in that industry.

Re:I'd support Cindigm even if its a crappy movie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563171)

definitely...do not INCORPERATE those technologies....

Re:I'd support Cindigm even if its a crappy movie (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43563259)

I don't give a shit if it is the worst movie I've ever seen. I'm going to buy the blu-ray edition when it comes out. I hope they sell more copies than any movie ever. With a little luck that will cause some of the movie execs to die from apoplexy.

Re:I'd support Cindigm even if its a crappy movie (4, Funny)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43563663)

someone should stick the 7 minute clip at the start of a pirated copy of the latest hollywood flick and then spread that throughout the torrent world... that would help with marketing for the indie film and really piss the mpaa off... two birds, one stone :)

Bittorrent != piracy (5, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about a year ago | (#43562805)

What we need is to stop the delegitimization of torrenting as a file transfer method. Equating torrents with piracy is ridiculous on it's face, it's nothing more than a means of transfering ANY data that's use legally all over the place. i haven't downloaded a linux distro the normal way in years, steam uses torrents, the list goes on.

Re:Bittorrent != piracy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562975)

replace http with BitTorrent and repost it elsewhere.

Re:Bittorrent != piracy (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43563067)

A lot of commercial applications use torrents to run their automatic updates but it makes no difference because in the eyes of the studios the entire internet is synonymous with piracy. Coincidentally I was watching a satirical political show last night on ABC (Australia's answer to the BBC). They were taking the piss out of some US diplomat that said people shouldn't download a particular US TV show, the comic's answer was - "I'll make you a deal America, you stop making that shit and I will stop downloading it". The comic was quite good, admitting that he probably wold "steal a car" if he could do it with a couple of clicks on his computer. My point about the comic is that all this bullshit no longer affects just the nerds as it did 10yrs ago, it's now worked it's way into mainstream parody.

Re:Bittorrent != piracy (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#43563933)

Seconded. I'm torrenting half a dozen files right now, mostly Linux distros, and my first book (only available at the pirate bay; I put it there myself).

I don't get it (3, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#43562819)

It's the first seven minutes. That is, it's an ad for the movie, not the movie.

They could have just used YouTube, which would probably get them a lot more eyeballs, and has social-networky features to try to encourage others to watch it. You _want_ people to watch your ads, for free; you'd pay them if you could. I can't imagine why they'd use BitTorrent, aside from the fact that BitTorrent gets you a few headlines.

This isn't any skin off Hollywood's nose. Well, maybe a little: by acknowledging that BitTorrent isn't universally evil, it cuts into their deranged "BitTorrent = piracy" campaign. But I can't see anything more to it than that.

If they were using it to distribute the film, the studio might have some kind of point, though that point would be "How the heck can you distribute a movie on which you spent a minimum of $10 million just on the two lead actors (and probably more) via a medium you can't charge for?"

Re:I don't get it (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43562881)

"How the heck can you distribute a movie on which you spent a minimum of $10 million just on the two lead actors (and probably more) via a medium you can't charge for?"

Merchandising?

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

chilvence (1210312) | about a year ago | (#43562973)

Why does no one ever consider the possibility that perhaps $10 million for a lead actor is a slightly over the top wage for the challenge of 'looking pretty while pretending to be someone else in front of a video camera for a few months'?

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

chilvence (1210312) | about a year ago | (#43562987)

I mean seriously, it's no wonder no one has any shame about robbing hollywood, they've been robbing everyone else for decades :)

It isn't really that hard to piece together the big picture is it?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43563083)

It falls along the line of game developers whining that we need to pay more than $65 (tax inc) for video games, because some of them cost $200m or $300m to make. Don't blame me because of your shitty budgeting and hundred million dollar advertising budgets for $100m-$200m games.

Re:I don't get it (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43563103)

Why does no one ever consider the possibility that perhaps $10 million for a lead actor is a slightly over the top wage for the challenge of 'looking pretty while pretending to be someone else in front of a video camera for a few months'?

If I were a filmmaker I'd *insist* on using unknown actors. I'd want viewers to see Indiana Jones, not Harrison Ford. (Or whatever.)

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

Grieviant (1598761) | about a year ago | (#43563373)

I think Harrison Ford would actually be in complete agreement with you. I recall an interview with him where he was recounting his early career and how he eventually became a big name actor. Basically, in a minor role as a bus boy, he had been pulled aside by a movie exec and told that he didn't have the 'star power' required to make it in Hollywood. The exec cited another popular actor of the era and said that he was easily recognizable as a star, even in a similar minor role. Ford replied something like "I thought the audience was supposed to be seeing a bus boy, not a movie star".

I managed to find part of the interview here:
http://www.biography.com/people/harrison-ford-9298701/videos [biography.com]
Relevant bit starts 40 seconds in, but unfortunately it does not include Ford's rebuttal to the exec.

Re:I don't get it (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43563123)

Sigh, I take it you've never worked as an actor or studied film in any meaningful way.

$10m is a lot of money, but with top rate talent that can easily translate into a much larger profit than going with a nobody, even after you pay the huge salary. What's more, it's not just 'looking pretty while pretending to be someone else in front of a video camera for a few months." There's often times a ton of work that goes into learning not just the lines, but how the character reacts to the situations that he or she has been presented. To make the film come alive.

There's the incredibly uncomfortable scenes at times where you're hot or cold or having to have sex with somebody that you probably don't want to have sex with. The endless stalking by the paparazzi and random fans. The TV show appearances during the media blitz and the loss of the ability to do normal things like going to the beach without people staring.

To say that the money is being paid for a few months work is really only applicable to minor actors, anybody being paid that kind of cash is doing a lot more work than that. And what's more potential actors are a dime a dozen, Hollywood would not be paying that kind of scratch if it weren't the most profitable way of doing it.

Re:I don't get it (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43563693)

> $10m is a lot of money, but with top rate talent that can easily translate into a much larger profit than going with a nobody

You are paying $10M not for talent but for a big name that's expected to draw an audience regardless of the quality of the work or their performance.

That can also translate into a big fat flop as you fixate on bean counting and forget about art and craftsmanship.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563827)

What's more, it's not just 'looking pretty while pretending to be someone else in front of a video camera for a few months." There's often times a ton of work that goes into learning not just the lines, but how the character reacts to the situations that he or she has been presented. To make the film come alive.

All of which can be done by talented actors who dont get paid this much.

The endless stalking by the paparazzi and random fans. The TV show appearances during the media blitz and the loss of the ability to do normal things like going to the beach without people staring.

Yeah that kind of hypocrisy is laughable. They spend half of their time saying "look at me, folllow/like me" then cry when someone sees them doing something embarrassing in public. If you willingly choose a high profile public life that depends on your recognisability its idiotic to complain when people notice you.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563127)

Many of us already do - there's probably a number of this particular set also in the set who think CEO and board member pay levels are stupidly high, too.

Re:I don't get it (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#43563425)

The economic reality is that motion pictures are a star-delivery system -- people pay to see faces and people they are familiar with, more than story and any other "quality" metric. A $10 million salary is justified if the movie will make $100 million, when the reality is that if it didn't have the star in the first place, it would have only barely made its cost back. Most of being an "star" actor isn't in the acting, it's the intentional ruining of your life in order to maintain a brand or image that audiences will seek out again and again.

This is why lead actors don't generally get "$10 million," but in fact get $5 million or $10 million "against" some percentage of the producer's gross take of the box office. Their celebrity is the primary equity contribution they make to the film. Sad, and not a very nice thing to say about the intelligence of the median moviegoer, but it's the truth, particularly when the move is sold to foreign markets, where movies make the majority of their money nowadays.

The alternative would be to pay the actors flat and let the producers keep the $100 million -- this is how it generally worked before the Free Agency revolution in Hollywood the 1950s, and the system was universally derided as exploitive and biased in favor of the studios over working artists.

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43562891)

> I can't imagine why they'd use BitTorrent, aside from the fact that BitTorrent gets
> you a few headlines.

"Hmm...this one says `7 minutes`...and this one says `116 minutes`....where to click...."

Re:I don't get it (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about a year ago | (#43562919)

I was just going to write something similar. At least with, say, Comcast's onDemand, you can watch the first 10 minutes, and then pay and continue the film, if you want. This is stupid.

If they were using it to distribute the film, the studio might have some kind of point, though that point would be "How the heck can you distribute a movie on which you spent a minimum of $10 million just on the two lead actors (and probably more) via a medium you can't charge for?"

Well, they could make it work like many private tracker sites, where if you're not a member, it won't work. Just pay at the site to get the torrent.

Re:I don't get it (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#43563495)

If they posted the 7 min clip on Youtube, the *AA would probably hit it with a DCMA takedown notice. They've done it before even on content they don't 'own'.

Re:I don't get it (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#43563747)

In a nutshell, they're just doing it for publicity, not because using torrents explicitly is going to garner them the most views. It's controversial; a movie studio embracing bittorrent in any quantity? This sort of thing sticks in minds a lot better than some tiny indie studio releasing a seven minute trailer on YouTube. Look at all the apparent good will it has garnered just in the slashdot comments? You think people would feel that way if it were just uploaded to YouTube?

BitTorrent is not what they fear (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#43562829)

But its cute to try and blame it on one particular ... protocol? I'm not sure what 'deal with bittorrent' means. I mean, I get the 'first 7 minutes to bittorrent users' but who is that exactly? People that use software from bittorrent inc? Anyone with a bittorrent client? Who are they actually talking about? Well thought out statement you have there.

Anyway, my point is that the big studios fear anything they don't completely control. They are afraid of people sharing things without them making a cut. They don't give damn about bittorrent, they care about sharing without them profiting.

You just sound stupid when you propagate the stereotype, anyone with a clue knows they are just as afraid of you downloading something from HTTP as they are with bit torrent. Its not like they let you get buy with it via HTTP but not BitTorrent.

From what I can tell from the actual article is that:

The studios repeated their default statements anytime anyone shares anything online when they aren't getting a cut of the profits.
Some indie movie is going to be put shared via bittorrent ... which isn't anything new, there are thousands of shitty indie movies on bittorrent already, thats like saying some indie movie is going to be uploaded to youtube. Contrary to what you may think: Indie does not imply that its worth watching.
No one has heard of or cares about this indie movie either.

Forget news for nerds, this isn't even news.

Re:BitTorrent is not what they fear (4, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year ago | (#43562931)

But its cute to try and blame it on one particular ... protocol? I'm not sure what 'deal with bittorrent' means. I mean, I get the 'first 7 minutes to bittorrent users' but who is that exactly? People that use software from bittorrent inc? Anyone with a bittorrent client? Who are they actually talking about? Well thought out statement you have there.

If you visit http://www.bittorrent.com/ [bittorrent.com] it will become quickly apparent what they mean, I think.

http://bundles.bittorrent.com/torrents/BitTorrent-ArthurNewman.torrent [bittorrent.com]

I imagine they're seeding it.

Whos is the Devil (2)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year ago | (#43562865)

"'It's a deal with the devil,' one studio executive" [said]. I agree with that, but I would say the devil is the MPAA and the studio executives not Bittorrent.

Re:Whos is the Devil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563467)

Who is the devil from the perspective of the Devil? God, that's who. Bittorrent is God.

Awwww, boo hoo hoo, studios. Ha Ha Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562871)

I have no clue what Cindigm is about, but this 100% guarantees that I will find a way to pay money for it.

the right technology (2)

zipoh (643469) | about a year ago | (#43562899)

Bittorrent is the right technology to deliver reams of data to multiple client. It's really good at that. I think it's about time that the media companies accept the reality. If they weren't such dinosaurs, they would have made the move along time ago. But they are dino's, so they will probably still resist to the end.

Re:the right technology (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43563009)

Emphasis there on "reams of data".

Seven minutes of video isn't reams. Youtube would probably be a smarter choice in this case... there seems little point to using bittorrent for this other than to make a political statement that loads of other people already do anyways.

Re:the right technology (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#43563531)

Emphasis there on "reams of data".

Seven minutes of video isn't reams. Youtube would probably be a smarter choice in this case... there seems little point to using bittorrent for this other than to make a political statement that loads of other people already do anyways.

Can't do a DCMA takedown notice on a torrent the way you can a Youtube upload...

Indie - pendent (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | about a year ago | (#43562913)

Check me is I'm wrong Scotty but isn't "indie" short for "independent"? Can't they do what ever the hell they think is in their best interest. And why is it when studios bleed Anamation and CGI shops dry and put them into bankruptcy - that is somehow good for the industry? Fatcat and Bigwigs trying to protect their turf if you ask me.

Re:Indie - pendent (3, Interesting)

mill3d (1647417) | about a year ago | (#43563001)

I second that. We CG people sure don't get to see the kind of money the major production houses flaunt and only have our jobs shipped out of country as ultimate reward. Many would be better off if it wasn't for overly-greedy middlemen ; we might actually see more cultural diversity as well. CG work is gruesome, constant focus work with short deadlines and low salaries for the amount of skill required. If Cinedigm opens an alternate route that turns out to be viable, new life can be breathed into the suffocating US film and animation industries and add some extra fluidity to the economy as a consequence.

This should be an interesting fight.

Re:Indie - pendent (5, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#43563555)

Champions of "indie" cinema take note: Cinedigm is simply a production/distribution division of Technicolor, (yes that Technicolor), a multi-billion dollar Hollywood production service company that operates as a vendor to all the Hollywood studios. Several of the producers have ongoing relationships with Technicolor and Focus Features, a division of NBCUniversal, which is handling distribution of the film in several foreign territories. Cinedigm is the US film and animation industries.

This entire thing is just Technicolor putting up a tiny film, probably entirely produced with UK Lottery Fund money and North Carolina tax credits, as a stalking horse/advertising experiment. The film has no stars to speak of, it was probably going to die an unlamented death on pay-per-view before they upgraded their marketing campaign to full Viral mode.

Paid Studio Shill Torrenting Movie In 3, 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562915)

1... Just watch, the studios are going to try to undermine this by working overtime to seed torrents of the entire movie. Cindigm isn't the movie, by the way, it's "Arthur Newman": http://arthur-newman.com/

Re:Paid Studio Shill Torrenting Movie In 3, 2 (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43562989)

If they seed it, then they are willfully distributing it. If they do not have the authority to do this, they are arguably committing copyright infringement simply in the act of making unauthorized copies publicly available in the first place. If they *do* have the authority to do this, then any download from them would be a legitimately acquired copy, since it was received from a source that was authorized to distribute such a copy to them.

Re:Paid Studio Shill Torrenting Movie In 3, 2 (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#43563047)

hard to prove... some could have seeded from their IP, without their knowledge or consent. o wait

Holy shit, that hypocrisy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43562921)

The entirety of Hollywood is built on greedy publishers.

Every little helps... for their expensive steaks and bubbly at the end of the first half of the day.

Too bad, you are losing your grip Hollywood.
More and more of the film industry are going independent and there is fuck-all you can do about it.
Keep crying piracy, it only exists because of your greed.

As an indie filmmaker... (5, Interesting)

dex22 (239643) | about a year ago | (#43562963)

As an indie filmmaker, I understand the dilemma. Granted, I'm at the low end, and don't get to work with name actors, but the problems stay the same until you have to start worrying about territories and distribution - and this is a dispute about controlling distribution.

If I invest, say, $20,000 of my own money in a project, I need to be reasonably confident about making at least some of that money back or I don't get to make another movie. I don't have a patron or rich lover to fund what I do, so... I have to not make consistent losses.

Facing this reality, the main way I make money is through private showings in indie theaters, selling disks direct, and then when the economic potential of the production seems tapped out, sticking it somewhere accessible so at least it is seen by *people*.

That doesn't really work. I don't know what else to do. I have a couple of really fun hard sci-fi ideas I'd love to develop, but the audience is hard to reach and still get paid enough to just cover my costs... Or I can participate in the conventional distribution system and be SURE of making no money.

Unless there's some rich benefactor or wealthy single lady out there *grins* my really very specialist movies have no chance of being made or seen by a wide audience.

Bittorrent breaks the distribution problem, but doesn't help the money problem.

Re:As an indie filmmaker... (2)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#43563035)

I'd like to think that Kickstarter would help solve the money problem. Technology has already helped solve the other side of the money problem: it's pretty remarkable that you can get a film made for $20k. (I'm an actor myself, and I realize what kinds of corners you're cutting to get a film made that cheaply. I know you'd love to hire real sound, light, and camera people, for example; they can make your film look so much better, but you've already blown past your $20k budget.)

Re:As an indie filmmaker... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43563077)

I'd like to think that Kickstarter would help solve the money problem. Technology has already helped solve the other side of the money problem: it's pretty remarkable that you can get a film made for $20k.

Technology has also solved the money problem re distribution of indie films.

But that's why we're having this conversation.

Re:As an indie filmmaker... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563119)

I completely agree here, this seems like a deal for kickstarter. Kickstarter will take care of several things right away, namely

Getting the money to do the project (most important part)
Knowing if there is an audience (simply not everybody wants everything, kickstarter will at least give you an idea if you production has an audience before you start)
Advertisement (lots of people browse through kickstarter, its not the best advertisement, but its a start)

Remember, with any project, creating the project is only a part of the job. There is a reason why most big firms have people dedicated to advertisement and other things. Its not because you don't have the funds to hire people for the job that you should not do those jobs, you just gonna have to spend some of your own time for it.

I have the feeling most indie things that fail fail because they didn't manage to reach their audience, time after time I find projects that are great but now abandoned simply because they didn't manage to reach their audience. Making sure people know you is a big part of the job.

Re:As an indie filmmaker... (1)

vanyel (28049) | about a year ago | (#43563243)

Bittorrent breaks the distribution problem, but doesn't help the money problem.

There are subscription trackers that can solve that problem as well. Many people use bittorrent because it's the easiest or only way to get content, not because they don't want to pay for it. There are those that don't of course, but they're not going to pay for it regardless, so they don't really count. Make it easy to get and easy to pay for and you'll get paid as much as, if not more than (no need to give others a cut), you will through other means.

Re:As an indie filmmaker... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43563265)

Bittorrent breaks the distribution problem, but doesn't help the money problem.

Services like kickstarter fix the money problem. Forget trying to find one rich benefactor, look for a couple of thousand regular benefactors.

Re:As an indie filmmaker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563639)

Try contacting Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. http://zombieorpheus.com/producers-faq/ http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/zombieorpheus

Delusional Nitwits (3, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43562983)

In what other business could you act so profoundly antagonistic towards your own customers and expect your business to actually be around to see the next day?

Fun object lesson: what happens when a violent animal is backed into a corner?

Re:Delusional Nitwits (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43563293)

In what other business could you act so profoundly antagonistic towards your own customers and expect your business to actually be around to see the next day?

Basically any business which has a monopoly. In this case there are two related monopolies - copyright and distribution. The studios' monopoly on distribution is fading and that's why they are shitting bricks about this. Anything that even remotely speeds up their loss of control over distribution channels is an existential threat to these guys.

The end of block by assumption (3, Informative)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#43563005)

I ditched warner bro's cable because they assumed all my UDP traffic was P2P. The went from shaping UDP to flat out blocking it. I wouldn't doubt they have hope other ISPs would follow. Anything legitimizing P2P would mean they couldn't block UDP based on assumption. Well. Considering how clue free their networking engineers seem to be, that might not be true.

Re:The end of block by assumption (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563159)

Did they really block all your UDP traffic?!

Somehow I find that very unlikely.
UDP is used in a wide variety of common internet protocols, including DNS, so I highly doubt that they blocked all UDP traffic.
If they did, you should complain to the FCC, and let the FCC give them a nasty fine and force them to change their practices, because that sounds very illegal.
I am pretty sure ISP's are not allowed to block ports or protocols.

HasHie @ TrYPNET.net

I think Louisiana has these, BTW. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43563015)

> " 'Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers, ' Jill Calcaterra, Cinedigm's chief marketing officer said"

I like Bittorrent, but this is a bit disingenuous. It's more like blaming a freeway with with drive-thru bars every 100 feet because zoning doesn't forbid it, for having drunk drivers.

Re:I think Louisiana has these, BTW. (4, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year ago | (#43563369)

> " 'Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers, ' Jill Calcaterra, Cinedigm's chief marketing officer said"

I like Bittorrent, but this is a bit disingenuous. It's more like blaming a freeway with with drive-thru bars every 100 feet because zoning doesn't forbid it, for having drunk drivers.

Seriously? You HONESTLY believe what you wrote?

I don't often bite back on such OBVIOUS BULLSHIT but you, sir are a complete ASSHAT.

The PRIMARY reason there is blatant and comprehensive copyright violation is because THE INDUSTRY HEAVYWEIGHTS (RIAA/MPAA,and friends) have a ridiculous stranglehold on distribution. And by RIDICULOUS I mean literally impossible for some customers (eg outside the USofA) to legally purchase some content.

LITERALLY impossible to purchase. In some cases literally FOR EVER, in most cases "what the hell do you mean I have to wait YEARS before I can legally purchase this content". And NO, for the record, I'm NOT only talking about "purchasing online", some content you CANNOT purchase even on "original media" (DVD or whatever) outside the US; for NO REASON other than "I control the distribution and I could not be bothered distributing THAT".

The Music/Movie distribution industry constantly sends a big FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU ALL to literally millions of customers - but STILL insists they have a right to cry UNFAIR.

Seriously folks, SHUT THE FUCK UP AND TAKE MY MONEY ALREADY.

Let me say this again, there is ABSOLUTELY NO VALID MORAL ARGUMENT IN DEFENSE OF THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE MUSIC AND MOVIE INDUSTRY.

They have literally gone out of their way, time and time again, to make it actually impossible to purchase content (either at all, or online, or they simply restrict it to some obscure almost unused format, or they excessively compress it so it's ONY worth watching on the postage-stamp that is a 10 yr old phone).

...

To be fair (and even handed) lets be clear, the MPAA/RIAA "claim" to be "the industry body" but IN PRACTICE they act in the interests of existing distribution channels (and NOT "the movie/music industry" as a whole).

All I can say to the studios is: (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43563061)

"Ha, ha."

Or maybe "neener".

Or, in the unlikely event that they actually want advice: "You picked the wrong war to fight."

Fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563205)

Is the whole article fake?
Merely put together to get views and media attention for the movie and the companies?
Is there any official statement from any company mentioned in the article or otherwise?

subject (2)

Legion303 (97901) | about a year ago | (#43563239)

"The fact of the matter is BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they're not in it for the health of the industry."

The irony is so heavy it could shift Jupiter from its orbit.

BitTorrent doesn't pirate - People do. (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43563375)

The summary make BitTorrent equivalent to Pirate Bay. Sure the movie executives believes this but nothing can be farther than the truth. Of course, their logic sounds quite similar to the one used in the gun control debate.

They believe that if they get rid of BitTorrent then it would make piracy less convenient. Little do they realize that the hard core infringers will just move on to the next tool to use.

So the "industry" is harmed. So what? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year ago | (#43563507)

> The fact of the matter is BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they're
> not in it for the health of the industry.

The fact of the matter is the studios are in it for themselves, they're not in it for the health of anyone but themselves. And that's fine, but why should the rest of us give a shit about their health? So Cinedigm's innovative move might cause movies to become less expensive and owning a studio less profitable. So what? That's competition.

In fact, if the studios have some sort of agreement not to make any of their "properties" available via BitTorrent they should be sued for engaging in a restraint of trade.

This is not New (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#43563677)

Many small time indie studios have launched entire movies exclusively through bittorrent.

If Hollywood was going to fret about Indies embracing bittorrent they should of started a few years ago.

bittorrent is NOT FOR PROFIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43563697)

In it for themselves seems a bit silly. Also, it's not like they haven't used things that are destroying the industries for their own ends before, YouTube can certainly confirm that.

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