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Director Attacks MPAA Piracy Claims

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

Movies 417

dipfan writes "Alex Cox, the writer/director of cult classic Repo Man and punk movie Sid And Nancy, writes today in The Guardian's media section that the movie industry's real pirates are the Hollywood studios and the MPAA - for squeezing out independents. He rejects the widespread claim that Spider-Man suffered from widespread net piracy, and asks: "Are [the MPAA's] claims of lost billions even credible?" (In a strange coincidence, Cox has another article in the same newspaper today, where he defends using 35mm film rather than digital cameras a la George Lucas, saying digital cinema gives too much power to the distributors and studios because the technology is less portable than 35mm.)"

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Digital less portable?! (1)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590784)

Ha ha ha! Although the piracy claims are bullshit, as evidenced by the box office figures.

I love the Sporks :-) (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590817)

is it me or is this, today ?
2 news since this morning, and hardly ones that matter ;-P

Re:I love the Sporks :-) (0)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590864)

It's not just you, heh. But I thought they were good stories. Since the MPAA managed to buy front page coverage about the eeee-vil piracy of Spiderman on P2P, it's only fair that we get equal time. As if someone would spend a freaking day and a half searching for and downloading a crappy VCD copy of something they could just go plunk down $5 and see in the theatre. Unless the MPAA really pissed him off . . . uh, never mind.

Anyway, greetings and 88, Adolf!

Re:I love the Sporks :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590926)

>they could just go plunk down $5 and see in the theatre

That was 15 years ago. Its now $9.

Re:I love the Sporks :-) (1)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590934)

Heard of matinee?

Jack Valenti-Interesting Coincidence??? (2, Interesting)

YOND R BOY (463829) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590942)

Did any of you happen to catch the History Channel special on the Kennedys Sunday night? One of the interviews was with the special assistant to LBJ at the time of the Kennedy assasination - a man named Jack Valenti who coincidentally looks _exactly_ like the evil Jack Valenti. I wonder if this man who once had the highest security clearance in the US government still has any friends/connections in government. Not that it would explain anything...

Re:Jack Valenti-Interesting Coincidence??? (1)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590965)

I had seen another Kennedy bio and had the same epiphany. And of course, it seems that none of those who value freedom have that kind of access to presidents and kings these days.

Re:Jack Valenti-Interesting Coincidence??? (3, Insightful)

YOND R BOY (463829) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590984)

RMS for attorney general!!! Imagine how the M$ trial would have gone down if George "Oil" Bush and John "I am the worst terrorist of all" Ashcroft hadn't been around. Maybe this is idealistic but picture this one:
K&R - president and vice prez
Stevens - sec of state (if he werent dead)
RMS - attorney general
Jordan Hubbard - dir. of central intelligence
Alan Cox - technology special advisor
*pardon my shameless namedropping*

Hes a loser. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590789)

He makes crappy films, and no-one likes to work with him. Check him out. His opinions are about as relevant as...i dunno...Katz?

Re:Hes a loser. (2)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590798)

But the fact that this appeared in a major British newspaper is important: it may represent the fact that public opinion is stronger than we have judged and there may be a consumer backlash against the "content moguls".

Or not...

And if you think a mogul is a thing out of Final Fantasy, you're wrong.


It's easy to prevent all this... (0, Flamebait)

WetCat (558132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590792)

Just make copyright unassignable!
Make laws that you cannot assign copyright to anybody.

MOD PARENT -5 COMMIE PINKO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590808)


Re:It's easy to prevent all this... (2)

iapetus (24050) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590820)

And this helps how, exactly? Given that most copyright isn't actually assigned, but licensed (in the case of books and music, at least, AIUI...)

Re:It's easy to prevent all this... (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590859)

AFAIK, the scheme is that artist ASSIGNS his/her copyright to **AA and then **AA distributes the content under license. Artist already has no copyright here.

That is the whole point... (2, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3591001)

If copyrights cannot be transferred, they remain with the artist or author, and have to be licensed from them by the publishers. Currently it is the other way around: artists often have to sign over the rights to their own work lock stock and barrel, to the publishers. Already, record companies have succesfully prevented artists from distributing their own work through alternative channels such as the Internet.

If publishers have to license rights from the authors and artists, the creative rights remain where they belong, with the creative people.

Spiderman suffered? (5, Insightful)

roXet (95005) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590793)

They think that spiderman *suffered* from internet piracy? Jeezy Creezy how many box office records did it break?

Until a "sure thing" like Spider Man or Attack of the Clones sees *wide spread* piracy on the net and then flops like a Michael Bay crapfest, they have nothing to say. Maybe then they can cry foul, I have no sympathy for a movie's suffering when it was the fastest to hit $100 million (!!!!) *ever*.

Re:Spiderman suffered? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590850)

Yeah, what was it, like $113 million in the opening weekend? Yes, yes, they're losing money hand-over-fist on that one... of course, didn't the production company for 'Titanic' claim that it didn't make money either?

I'm sure that the same thing will be said about Ep II, which only made $114 million or so in the first weekend it was out....


Re:Spiderman suffered? (2)

flacco (324089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590868)

They think that spiderman *suffered* from internet piracy?

If I'd had the opportunity to preview Spiderman on the Internet, I wouldn't have wasted the time and money to see that worthless, interminably boring piece of crap.

Re:Spiderman suffered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590949)

Yeah, I think that may be what they're afraid of. Same with the RIAA; if you had the chance to hear the tracks from most CD's these days (Not just the half-decent of best ones on the disc, either!), would most people go out and buy them? I know I wouldn't!

Re:Spiderman suffered? (1)

heyeq (317933) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590883)

It doesn't matter what *actually* happens to revenues.
The MPAA has the voice, and it has the means of making itself heard through its media and lobbying machine. Moreover, it can do this very very quickly, whilst the rest of us send letters to congressmen and make posts and rants on /.
Until the voice of opposition (whoever that completely un-coordinated and completely disorganized voice is) has the same lobbying might that the MPAA (and RIAA even) has, it won't change.

Re:Spiderman suffered? (4, Insightful)

sien (35268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590921)

If you look at the simultaneous global relase of AOTC I think you can actually see a reaction to *wide spread* piracy.

Episode I was released in the US months ahead of the European, Australasian and Asian releases. The result was that a demand was created, and fulfilled, for high quality pirated net copies were available within 24 hours of the initial release. I was in Europe at the time and faced with waiting for 3-4 months for a release and watching a lower quality film, the lower quality easily won out.

In the European holiday belt from Spain to Greece, pirated videos of Episode I ran all summer before the official relase.

The film presumably did quite well at the box office regardless, but it is interesting to wonder if the altered release for Episode II was designed in part to combat piracy, and in particular internet piracy.

Re:Spiderman suffered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590955)

What was "altered"?

Re:Spiderman suffered? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590970)

altered release plan - released globally all at once instead of regionally over time.

Re:Spiderman suffered? (2)

gorilla (36491) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590928)

But there have been many 'sure thing' hits which have flunked in the past. here [] are 10 movies which lost over $30 million each, and all of them are before the Internet could have made any difference. Even if a movie flops, that doesn't mean that it wouldn't have flopped without any internet unauthorized copying.

Re:Spiderman suffered? (1)

roXet (95005) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590941)

you are very correct Gorilla. My post did sound a bit like I was saying that the Internet *would* be to blame if a "sure thing" blockbuster flopped. That is definately not what I wanted to say.

I guess it could really come back to the age old piracy argument "if they stop putting out shit, then I will pay for it."

Re:Spiderman suffered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590936)

>Until a "sure thing" like Spider Man or Attack of the Clones sees *wide spread* piracy on the net and then flops like a Michael Bay crapfest, they have nothing to say.

If you're not careful they'll make Waterworld II just to prove you "right"...

Re:Spiderman suffered? (1)

actor_au (562694) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590954)

Have you not heard of the movie Battlefield Earth, that movie was a sure fire hit according to all the major studios involved with the project, as well as all the actors and a whole bunch of other 'impartial' sources.
But people like me and my friends, we al went out and downloaded a high quality CAM of it, and the poor studio lost all that money. The investors behind it now need to get about a thousand more drones..I mean members of their alien cult.. I mean oh what the hell drones, to help pay for that epic master-piece which was crushed by all of us.

Seriously, all the MPAA have to do from now on is claim that any movie that fails does so because of internet piracy, then they can claim any BS case they want and further push back technology.
Its evil, insidious and the saddest thing is one day they will probably make a movie out of it.

Why can CS see my Network but XP can't?

Re:Spiderman suffered? (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590983)

Piracy only fueled the need to see it in the theatre. I saw the movie in the theatre w/in 2 weeks of its release (I never have money when it comes time for something important ;) but I had already seen it on the computer.

The quality was eh. I saw it, I knew what it was, but I wanted to see it again.

My roommate not only saw it on the computer, he also saw it *twice* in the theatre.

Movie piracy is working just like music sharing. Same results.

Fuck you MPAA/RIAA.

You've just got to wonder... (2)

jcostom (14735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590795)

Do those DLP projectors have firewire outputs? Hmm.. Let's see, grab a couple of 100G firewire drives, a powerbook and final cut pro... Maybe I'll go get a job in a theater.. :) Heck, even S-video or composite would do.

Correction (1, Troll)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590861)

It's 1394. People who use real computers call it 1394. Thank you.

Re:Correction (2)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590873)

To be totally correct, it's IEE1394 but firewire trips off the tongue much easier...

Since we're being pedantic (2)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590885)

IEEE 1394

Re:Correction (0)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590900)

Say it with me: eye-triple-eee-thirteen-ninty-four. Rolls off quite nicely, and doesn't make you sound like some kind of Mac-worshipping newbie :).

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590929)

Ha. Overrated. Pussy moderator. At least have the balls to take the chance that one of my 5 karma capped IDs will meet you in carousel.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590944)

But, but, if I use "Troll," there's a chance that I'll be metamoderated and lose a point of my precious karma. Waaaaaaa.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590980)

Actually, you're both completly fucking wrong. Underrated & Overrated now show up in Metamod just like any other mod. But you didn't know this, the guy above you didn't know this, and the best bit is, the moderator probably thought he was being a clever cunt by using it, because he didn't know either Ha!

Direct beaming (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590796)

In the second article, he writes: "However, once the new technology is installed, Corelli will be beamed direct to screen one for the duration of its scheduled run, and will play to empty houses"

Could someone explain to me where he gets the idea that all movies will be directly beamed to the theaters at run-time?

I've always heard that the movies get shot in to mult-gigabyte hard drives.

Re:Direct beaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590805)

i've heard they wanna build a world wide fiber glas network for this...

Re:Direct beaming (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590904)

One possibility could be that each projector has some sort of key, and each instance of the movie beamed to a particular theater is encrypted (or otherwise coded) to only display on that projector. You know, so screen 2 doesn't "pirate" screen 1's movies.

I suspect the studios will want to have some way to keep track of how many copies each theater has, and maintain control of when and where they (can) show it.

Re:Direct beaming (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590919)

While digital projectors may currently have hard disks, I can easily see them being removed in the future. If I provide you a movie on a hard disk, what is to prevent you from extracting the data for yourself, you pirate you :)? Since I can't trust you, or anyone but myself, I will then force you to get a dish so I can only give you the movie when you are suppose to get it. Because everyone but myself is a criminal, I will also not allow you to show the film on screens that I don't approve. After all, I may be allowing you to show the movie on one screen, but you are really showing it on two.

Re:Direct beaming (1)

jedie (546466) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590991)

I once rented a movie called "the last broadcast" [] . It was some cheap "Blair witch" ripoff, but I like low-quality movies (They're a good laugh ;)). With the video I rented I got "the making of the NJ devil" for free.
I had a blast watching the movie because it was full of crap, so I decided to watch "the making of".
It became clear that the whole movie was just intended to be a big commercial for a system that directly beams movies from sattelites to theaters (cos that's how the movie was shown for the first time in theaters.. beamed). They also show part of the systems they used and explain it quite a bit.
It's a damn shame I can't remember the exact name of the system, would love to read up on it

what's with the ugly YRO color scheme? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590801)

piss stain yellow, and shit colored brown?

c'mon, i know geeks aren't the most artistically inclined, but this is just too much.

Please Help (-1)

Jean Marie le Penis (575842) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590804)

I have a sexual problem with my girlfriend. Should doesn't appreciate that the only way I can get off is if I jerk-off while she pisses on my face. Since she's only 18 and quite unused to even straight sex, she was quite shocked at first.

The way I see it, it doesn't do any harm but she still seems to hink it's quite sick. Can anyone give me any advice?

Re:Please Help (-1)

Big Dogs Cock (539391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590843)

Keep your mouth closed.

With apologies to Emilio and Harry Dean... (5, Funny)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590810)

Bud: Intellectual Property is a sacred trust, it's what our free society is founded on. Do you think they give a damn about their Intellectual Property in Russia? I said, do you think they give a damn about their Intellectual Property in Russia?
Otto: They don't have Intellectual Property in Russia, it's all free.
Bud: All free? My ass! What are you, some kind of commie?
Otto: No, I ain't no commie.
Bud: Good. I don't want no commies in my car. No Christians either!

Re:With apologies to Emilio and Harry Dean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590836)

With apologies to Emilio and Harry Dean...

fuckin a you better apologize with that crappy attempt at humor you slashbot

Money Talks, Democracy Walks (0, Offtopic)

Bloodshot (8999) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590811)

As a Canadian, it's easy for me to say "well, our politicians can't be bought that easily because they have to vote along party lines.", but the truth is that Canadian politicians can be bought just as easily as their American counterparts. But it appears now that the current government has finally learned that people want to see some accountability. The PM fired the Defense Minister today for giving an untendered contract for CDN$30K to an ex-girlfriend, and are drafting legislation to provide much more access to who gives the government money and who contracts are awarded to.

Re:Money Talks, Democracy Walks (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590860)

The PM fired the Defense Minister today for giving an untendered contract for CDN$30K to an ex-girlfriend

Eggleton was only fired because he embarrassed the PM over the army taking Taliban prisoners. Gagliano is still the ambassador to Denmark after hiring all his friends with government money; Boudria is still in cabinet after staying over at a contractor's private chalet; Manley didn't even get a reprimand after a supporter solicited illegal donations for his campaign; and the PM's Auberge affair is still unresolved. I'm not saying that the Canadian government is corrupt -- compared to some nations it's squeaky clean -- but the firing of the defence minister gives me little comfort that problems are being fixed.

Hit the nail right on the head. (4, Insightful)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590812)

This is exactly what the real problem is. The MPAA wants it both ways: it wants to shove anyone who isn't big and bad enough to pay for their Jaguars out of the way, yet it wants everyone to love them and play exactly by their rules.

And like the author said: if Spider-Man is losing lots of money to piracy, the box office numbers sure aren't showing it.

How much longer will we have duped (or more to the point, paid off) Congressmen who let these big IP holders walk all over the rights of the American people to own recording hardware?

My God, if these people had been around 100 years ago, they would have made the ball point pen illegal since it can be used to copy books.

I seriously think that this issue will not be solved until there is a Constitutional Amendment that guarantees fair use rights for all media.

Re:Hit the nail right on the head. (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590925)

My God, if these people had been around 100 years ago, they would have made the ball point pen illegal since it can be used to copy books.
Heck, they would have made BIRDS illegal! After all, you can make a feather into a quill and copy a document too!

Who the Fuck is Alex Cox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590815)

I usually keep up with the entertainment news, but am I the only one to ask that question when this story came up? I would be more inclined to listen to these claims if he wasn't just some hack trying to break into a bigger arena.

Re:Who the Fuck is Alex Cox? (5, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590853)

> I would be more inclined to listen to these claims if he wasn't just some hack trying to break into a bigger arena.

Right, cause the only ones we can trust are the ones who've already attained financial success. It's a sure mark of intelligence, business accumen, ethics, and most importantly of all, righeousness and correctness.

It's pretty funny - on the one hand you have a huge monopoly that attempts to keep the lid on independant artists' noise level, and on the other hand, you have a generation thats been born and bred not to believe anything unless the production values are high. Talk about your catch-22s.

Re:Who the Fuck is Alex Cox? (3, Informative)

fruey (563914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590862)

IIRC, and I may be wrong (so prove it) there was a cult screening on a weeknight on UK terrestrial TV (Channel 4 I think) which was presented by Alex Cox, who sounded more knowledgeable about the films he chose (a long running series) than any other presenter I care to remember. He let you know before the film started whether it would appeal to you, hence saving many hours where I could go do something else instead of watch a movie that's a cult classic for some reason thoroughly unappealing to me.

I have seen Sid and Nancy also. Possibly the only kind of role where Courtney Love is well cast.

Re:Who the Fuck is Alex Cox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590975) was BBC2 a long time ago ( late 80s / early 90s ) and it was brilliant. Sometimes his introductions to the films were better than the films themselves...

first post a troll, interesting info in followups (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590994)

Yep, totally. It was called "Moviedrome" I think, and included some good David Lynch films (the earlier stuff) and some other rare stuff. True that the intros made the films more exciting than they were, sometimes!

Alex Cox? (-1)

Rock 'N' Troll (566273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590816)

More like Anal Cocks!

Vinyl trumps CDs? (5, Insightful)

Kombat (93720) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590821)

Bad technology sometimes beats out good. Consider the triumph of VHS over Beta, of CDs over vinyl, of the Microsoft operating system over the Mac. In each case, inferior technology triumphed

What is this washout smoking? Who in their right mind considers CDs an "inferior technology" to vinyl records? I know of a few passionate nostalgics who subjectively prefer the sound of vinyl over CDs, but even they aren't stupid enough to claim that the technology is superior. You can't put data on vinyl. You can't play vinyl in your car, or while you're jogging. With this one, ridiculous comment, the author has lost all credibility with me, and has exposed himself as just another angry outsider who is upset that the Big Boys won't let him play with them.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590871)

The only people I know who prefer vinyl are people who DJ in their spare time. Sure, there are systems out there that let you 'spin' CDs, but what can I say... they're purists.

Good technology sometimes beats out bad, bad technology (who defines what bad is?) sometimes beats out good. Heck, bad technology sometimes beats out worse technology. Remember 8-tracks?

Sure, all digital background movies are easier to make now then they were 5 years ago. 5 years from now, they will be even easier to make. How long until Hollywood no longer even needs actors, but merely makes composites bodies and faces from features that they license?

How long until entire movies feature an all composite cast? Or a entire cast that had been dead before filming even started?


Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2)

willy_me (212994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590964)

How long until Hollywood no longer even needs actors, but merely makes composites bodies and faces from features that they license?

Check out this movie trailer for "Simone" staring Al Pachino:


Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (1)

MrFredBloggs (529276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590874)

Also, even people who claim that vinyl is objectively better (more accurate reproduction of the source material) can only do so by comparing a £300 cd player with a £3000 turntable. If you dont compare like with like, then whats the point of the comparison in the first place?

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2)

arkanes (521690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590896)

And they're wrong, anyway, unless you only play each record once.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2, Interesting)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590894)

Scientists have documentented that your body 'hears' sounds your ears do not, outside of our normal audible frequency range. These hi and lo frequencies interact with your body, thus affecting how you 'hear' the audible frequencies. (Not sure how, but I believe it .. you know how your own voice sounds different than how your friends hear it. Same kinda deal.)

Anyhow, records, as far as I know, can produce a far wider range of frequencies than the CD, who's 'inaudible' frequencies are lopped off the top and bottom end of a CD's audio data (i'm sure somebody else can provide the actual freq. range.)

So, if you're searching for the recording that most closely resembles the original recording (including frequencies your ear cannot detect), which some may contend is the sole purpose of a recording, leaving aside such issues as media size and portability, there is a grey area in which you could contend that the CD is the superior medium.

It's a tenuous claim, I'd say; if anything, most of the above mentionned technologies proved that media quality and experience alone doth not technological-adoption make. He's certainly correct in stating that the technical capabilities of a technology can easily take a second seat to factors such as product awareness, non technical factors (form factor, durability, copyability), and context (such as VHS winning over Beta due to Sony's attempt to keep pronographers from distributing content on Beta).

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (Errata) (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590903)

Er, I'm an idiot.

.. there is a grey area in which you could contend that vinyl is the superior medium ..

Thats what I meant to say. Sorry for the confusion.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2)

JordanH (75307) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590914)

These claims are all interesting, but as a technology, CDs, which never (*) degrade into pops, skips and crackles is superior, IMHO.

(*) You do get the occasional scratch on a CD that can induce problems, but it's many many orders of magnitude less of a problem as when compared to vinyl.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590996)

If you don't have a contact with the vinyl disc, it's less likely to degrade- no different than a CD. Now, a laser based turntable's not cheap, but when you start looking at things that way, the Vinyl record starts winning to at least some extent.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590932)

Dude... Your own voice sounds different to you than to others because you're hearing it directly inside your head (from your throat, through your sinuses to the "backdoor" of your ear). Other people hear the sounds coming out of your mouth, hitting a change of atmosphere (pressure )

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2)

jmv (93421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590952)

Anyhow, records, as far as I know, can produce a far wider range of frequencies than the CD...

The CD's can reproduce frequencies up to 20 kHz. Past that, the speakers won't respond anyway, regardless of the reponse of the recording device...

...the CD, who's 'inaudible' frequencies are lopped off the top and bottom end of a CD's audio data (i'm sure somebody else can provide the actual freq. range.)

I'm not sure if you are refering to the "frequency warping" (aliasing) which caused problems on early CD, but the problem's been fixed a while ago with better oversampling.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590992)

records might be able to produce frequencies outside human hearing, but record needles can't.
Typical needle is good up to 20,000, or 22,000Hz. Same as a CD.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 12 years ago | (#3591005)

>Anyhow, records, as far as I know, can produce a far wider range of frequencies than the CD, who's 'inaudible' frequencies are lopped off the top and bottom end of a CD's audio data (i'm sure somebody else can provide the actual freq. range.)

Subsonic filters to protect your speakers from the various problems with records kill sounds lower than what a CD can produce.

The RIAA record compensation curve [] has a high cut [] because records display increasing noise in the upper frequency range along with their characteristic boost in level for the treble in records.

Effectively, if you want the best sound, most expensive preamps will pass through 20-20k, which is identical to CDs.

What isn't identical to CDs is the Signal to Noise ratio and crosstalk, which is poor for records (as compared to CDs).

Here's [] a little example of what one can expect from gear an average person can afford.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2)

jred (111898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590902)

He's a writer. Consider that writing is an art. So he's an artist. Artists are wacky. So he thinks vinyl is better than CD. I know artists who think barbeque tofu is better than pulled pork shoulder.

Maybe it's the crowd I run around with, but nearly every thing I see that doesn't make sense or is confusing can be resolved in three words. They're an artist.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590938)

Bad technology sometimes beats out good. Consider the triumph of VHS over Beta...
Well, duh--Beta tapes are kind of a lot larger than VHS, and harder to carry around. If I didn't mind carrying around a Beta tape I'd try to find a player for them and I'd use it.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590962)

"You can't play vinyl in your car, or while you're jogging."

Apparently you have never seen a Victorola in-car LP player. (Btw this is where the name 'Motorola' was derived from.)

I'm not saying that it's practical, but you CAN play LPs in your car. Not that I'd ever want to do that.

Re:Vinyl trumps CDs? (2, Insightful)

Saib0t (204692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590969)

With this one, ridiculous comment, the author has lost all credibility with me

[Karma burning session]
Just because I think many people in here keep making statements such as that one, I'll offer you an analogy:
If you had read Einstein's words at the time he wrote them, you'd see he wrote about a cosmological constant. You'd be the kind of person to yell "Who in their right mind would be stupid enough such a thing as the cosmological constant exists. That Einstein guy lost all credibility to me". And you'd have been very wrong...

I don't care why the person wrote that, I'll just mentally note that that part of his argument is wrong, but you seemingly see the world in black and white with no shades...

Because someone says one thing bad/wrong doesn't mean that all things that person say are bad/wrong. Everyone does make mistakes you know, I do, you do too... Don't be so fast at labeling people...

[/Karma burning session]

digital video still young (3, Interesting)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590822)

I agree with his statement...for now. Right now the digital projectors are extremely expensive, and only the largest theatres in the US and Canada can justify the expenditure to install them. However, as time and technology progresses I think that DV is the way to go. This generation's output is vastly superior to something even 2 or 3 years ago. Shows like Enterprise and movies like Dancer in the Dark don't suffer for the technology. The costs of startup are great, but you save a ton in the long haul. I think his concerns stem from the distribution mechanism for DV...the studios fund the theatres, and then become a single point of entry for new releases. Kindof like bands working with Ticketmaster to get the best venues as Ticketmaster has exclusive contracts. Also DV is a bit scary because if the DCMA is ever expanded it's much easier to cripple digital technology with required encryption and protection schemes than analog devices. Not that the encryption schemes would work in the long run, but it would act as yet another barrier to entry for the indie film maker...

Re:digital video still young (2)

Riskable (19437) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590993)

EXACTLY, the technology is young, but the MPAA is fighting the wrong battle. They think that piracy is terrifying, but it seems they have NO CLUE who their real threat is: Technology

Think about this: Eventually, some time in the future, home video cameras are going to equal that of the pros. Sure, the pro cameras will have more features/control, but some time down the line, I think it's going to be hard for people to notice the difference in the final output.

THIS is what is going to eat into the profits of the MPAA. Special effects that cost millions now will be easily replicatable via home computer/DV in the future. Actors could be generated, animated, and placed in a home-made movie (a la Jar Jar, *shudder*, bad example).

When EVERYONE has this ability, what's going to separate the MPAA movies from the up-and-coming independants?

We can already see this happening with all the great independant films coming out these days and their incredibly low costs (Blair Witch Project, Momento, etc).

The hardest part will be finding good voice actors and script writers. Will people still prefer the plotless (market researched) drivel that the MPAA makes 90% of it's profit from? Or will they go after the new comedy that's been floating around the net that EVERYONE wants to share via Outlook?

It seems to me that the only thing the MPAA has got going for it is the theatres and a giant marketing budget... But if there were enough independant movies coming out, there would be a market for more independant theatres and an even bigger market for community-driven niche websites.

I guess I'll just sit back, relax, have some popcorn, and enjoy the show.

family? (2)

asv108 (141455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590826)

Ok is Alex Allen's [] brother or is he Courtney's? []

While I agree with the article... (2, Insightful)

GnomeKing (564248) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590827)

...I cant be the only one who is getting sick of things like this...
they have virtually no content and give no new angles on a problem that we've known about for weeks - if not months...
they only appear here because they have been written about in a "proper" newspaper

Worst of all, this particular article barely touches on facts - it is someones opinion, which appeared in a newspaper

Re:While I agree with the article... (4, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590958)

Worst of all, this particular article barely touches on facts - it is someones opinion, which appeared in a newspaper

Hehe. The angle here is that it is someone's opinion. And that person is Alex Cox. Respected film director and critic, who used to present the BBC2 cult film show back in the 1980/90s (the name of which escapes me) bringing independent films to the small screen. So for us 30 somethings his opinion is both relevant and interesting.

The Human Spider lost Billions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590831)

You've got to be kidding me? The MPAA's Hollywood drug dealers must be upping the purity of the Coke! Lets see... Spiderman was the top grossing movie of all times and here these leechs are crying bloody murder cuz a few (ok maybe a million) kids download a bad video camera copy of the movie in Divx ;-) format and watched it on their computer? Give me a break. Just another indication that the MPAA is all profit all the time. The customer be damned. I hope the average Joe starts to learn about Divx and Kazaa/IRC/Usenet and maybe one day the downloading of movie WILL put a dent in the MPAA's endless pockets.

While I'm on the rant, it's a well know fact that if a movie studio DID NOT put out any films that it would be better off money wise. A studio invests lots and lots into crap like oh... Deuces Wild only to see it's flop at the box office. When something like spiderman comes around they actually make something, but it is not enough to cover their losses with duds like Super Troopers. It's gotten so bad that the studios now use the flops as tax write offs. Now would it be great if companies oh say like Enron could write off their failures as a tax cut? Wouldn't it be great if the average Joe could?


War of the worlds (4, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590838)

From the article "Most of the rights to the book - including all US rights - had long ago fallen into the public domain. Only the British rights appeared to be privately held: by a former rock musician who hoped to turn Wells' story into a travelling stage musical along the lines of Blood Brothers or Fame."

It is amazing to me that literature as old as War of the Worlds is still unavailable for the public (at least in Britain). I mean, I used to listen to the original radio broadcast on reel-to-reel when I was a kid. The amount of quality work that has been abandoned due to continuously extended copyrights has to be non-quantifiable. Tragedy, because, although he didn't get to make his picture, the large studios bought out the rock-star and are now making it with Tom Cruise. I want to cry.

I blame SOCIETY! (1)

cdtoad (14065) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590841)

Hey what ever happened to Dick Rude? Send him and his gang after those MPAA "MELLON FARMERS!"

Huh? (3, Insightful)

gorf (182301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590849)

By Sunday, it's obvious that Correlli has tanked, and that Beckham is a hit. Naturally you yank Corelli from the larger cinema and put Beckham in there. The studios hate this, but can do nothing about it. However, once the new technology is installed, Corelli will be beamed direct to screen one for the duration of its scheduled run, and will play to empty houses.

Why, exactly? The argument about this that I've always heard is that it's the other way round. With a digital projector, there's no problem with running out of reels; it is technically far easier to copy bits that replicate a reel.

Of course, DRM may prevent the cinema from doing this, but surely it's acceptable for them to pay more for showing the film to more people, seeing as it's the ticket (and food) price that pays for the film in the first instance?

And if the cinema has a shortage of digital projectors then that's irrelevant; it's just the case of the new technology maturing and becoming more widespread. Preventing progress because new technology isn't deployed widely enough is no argument at all.

From the article (4, Insightful)

Theodore Logan (139352) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590851)

When the MPAA complains that it is losing billions to piracy, my first reaction is, so what? The Hollywood studios are already hugely wealthy

The MPAA is evil alright, but this is not the kind of objection against war on piracy that anyone will take seriously. You cannot expect any industrial body not to take up a fight when they are losing money just because they are already "hugely wealthy."

I am all for MPAA-bashing, but I wouldn't expect anyone not already in the know to care about an article the stamps some entity as evil without provding any real arguments why this is so.

Re:From the article (1)

keefebert (535583) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590945)

I agree. Being rich is not evil. The goal of a company is to make money, and when they do, everyone benifits. There are more jobs, higher wages, and increased spending which is all good. If a company is losing money, there is a problem. The real issue here is that any money lost by the MPAA is not the result of pirates. It is their own stupid fault for not embracing the technology available. I believe the MPAA is wrong just about all the time, and don't necessarilly believe they are losing money (Spiderman made more money than any movie ever its first weekend). However, being rich is not a good reason to hate them.

Sony admits piracy helped the PS1 (5, Interesting)

Darth Paul (447243) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590855)

In this article [] , the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe "conceded that piracy helped drive the popularity of the original PlayStation console".
piracy on the PlayStation had delivered some unexpected benefits, providing a "sampling value" similar to listening to music free on a radio station with the possibility of buying it later. "Some people were able to get access to some games that they either didn't know about or weren't sure were worth it," Mr Deering said.

Furthermore, he gets that one pirated copy != one lost sale.

...if people buy something, make a copy of it, and give it to a friend, the friend uses it once and doesn't give it back, that's piracy.

"Is it piracy? Really? Would that person have bought that? He might have just borrowed it for a day."

Still, I wouldn't expect Sony to allow copying anytime soon. Or even to rollback their laughingstock copy protection, for that matter. But it's nice to see somebody high profile talking sense once in a while.

Piracy as an Excuse (3, Insightful)

Slashamatic (553801) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590870)

We have had a stockmarket crash since last year, well maybe not a real sudden crash but between the dot-bomb of last summer and 9/11, the markets haven't been doing well and people aren't spending money (Retail figures are down). In Europe, the Euro has proved a useful excuse for everyone including the main cinema theatre chains to pump up prices.

If I produced any non-essential in such an environment, I would expect sales to be somewhat depressed. Sorry guys [] , Cinema isn't an essential. Produce a good movie, such as Spidey then we will probably go and see it. Unfortunate the industry distrubutes a lot of rubbish. I say distributes advisedly because some good stuff is produced (even ocassionally inside the studio system). However, it often doesn't get out unless it fits the business model of the season.

I want more creatives like this guy to stand up and say where the MPAA is getting things wrong when it tries for ever more content protection.

Some people may have heard about the much trumpeted Spidey raid [] in the UK. What was being (expensively) copied onto DVD? The only version I have seen listed would fit into a small part of a CD and as someone else commented who has seen it, the quality was barely worth the effort of watching. Maybe the industry itself has problems with higher quality masters escaping?

Last point in this ramble, the Gruniad article made the very good point that having a secure digital chain between distributor and projector is a great way of locking other content producers out of the theatre.

Re:Piracy as an Excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590946)

In Europe, there was an high quality telesync copy available as faux SVCD, made available by the talented group "Centropy". Cool C64 intro and the full Hulk teaser as well.

Vinyl better than CD? (1)

swollkin (78626) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590881)

From the second article: Bad technology sometimes beats out good. Consider the triumph of VHS over Beta, of CDs over vinyl, of the Microsoft operating system over the Mac. In each case, inferior technology triumphed because of huge corporate pressure.

I understand #s 1 and 3, but I don't understand why he would claim that vinyl is better than CD. Can someone tell me if I'm missing something?

Re:Vinyl better than CD? (1)

aderuwe (539595) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590967)

This is almost a just-as-good flamestarter as is 'why is Mac better than PC?' :)
Supposedly vinyl sounds 'better' (has more warmth) than CD's.
I happen to agree, but mostly because I like mixing techno, and vinyl is just more fun and better to handle.

Re:Vinyl better than CD? (4, Informative)

nagora (177841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590997)

It is a commonly held myth amongst "audiophiles" that vinyl was better sounding than CDs. Various spurious "reasons" are normally given such as harmonics which can only be achieved by pulling a diamond plough through a plastic furrow (all the damage that implies is of course ignored). Generally this argument only works when the person in question knows beforehand which of CD or vinyl they are listening to, otherwise they find it very hard indeed to tell one from the other. Even though the scratches and pops on a slightly used vinyl give it away; for some reason such tests always seem to use brand new LPs, they also tend to use £1000+ turntables.

I used to know such a person and among the ideas he had picked up from Hi-Fi mags were that it mattered which way up the mains lead went into his amp and that placing small pieces of paper (just a cornder torn off a single sheet of normal paper) under each corner of his amp would inprove the quality of the sound.

Naturally enough, it worked for him and no one else; hearing is easily swayed by what the listener expects to hear.

My brother has a large collection of vinyl LP's and singles and it takes about 10 minutes to realise that the format is inferior in almost every aspect to CDs; that's the ten minutes of listening to the care they need to be treated in just to minimise the damage caused to them by actually using them!


MPAA 0wnz and we all suffer. (5, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590897)

Thank you, Alex Cox. We'll be forever in your debt for "Repo Man" but that's another story altogether. It's a shame this appeared in the Guardian rather than in the LA Times or some other place where it will do some good.

I know I have made a big deal about "Dogtown And ZBoyz" and Sony Classics' being the distributor, but damn, man...could it have only seen the light of day if one of the distributors owned by MPAA signatories had released it? I mean, probably "Revolution OS" didn't have that kind of backing, but it didn't go into fairly wide release like "Dogtown" did.

If the movie theatres are 0wned by the MPAA, then where do the truly independent filmmakers go to show their work? I am hoping that somehow or another technology will come to the rescue as it has several times in the past. The RIAA had DAT neutered and the DAT portastudio killed because it feared indie musicians with the ability to create really good sounding independent recordings. Guess what? Thanks to cheap, huge hard drives and computer technology getting cheaper and cheaper, you can go to Sam Ash and get a portastudio with a HD capable of storing hours of 16-track audio for $500 or so.

OK, so digital filmmaking on a massive, Episode 2 kind of scale is out of reach of indie filmmakers. You can still get Digital Video cameras for a grand, a Mac "Quicksilver" minitower for 2 grand and Final Cut Pro for another large bill and have the ability to make a movie, then send it to DVD-R for distribution. I still am talking Large Bucks but it's certainly not as expensive as it used to be to make movies on film. And if you opt instead for a big-ass Athlon MP system with a firewire card and a Pioneer Superdrive, Windows 2K and Sonic Foundry Vegas Video 3, you can bring the price of the computer down a fair amount and shave a few bills off the price of software. If it is not practical now to do this, it will become practical in a few years. Right now CD-RW drives and DVD-ROM drives are selling for only $10 or $20 more for the increasingly hard to find CD-ROM only units. I can see a day coming in four or five years where CD-RW and DVD-ROM will be universally replaced with DVD-R/RW (or DVD+R/RW depending on which standard wins) and you only save a pittance by going with DVD-ROM and/or CD-RW.

Of course, if the Senator From Disney, Don Valenti's Made Man himself, Sen. Hollings can get one of his horrible bills passed, this all might be moot. If all computers have to have an RIAA/MPAA-approved DRM OS running and hardware copy neutering, you won't be able to do much with that newly cheap DVD recordable drive. I kinda hope that technology will figure a way to get around it, just like the Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it; and instead of DAT Tascam and Fostex used hard drives to create a digital multitrack recording device. But when computer technology itself is chained...I shudder to think of the consequences.

And actually Alex has a point...watching a movie in a theatre is way different than watching a movie on a computer monitor, on your TV, or on cable. If the MPAA has that all locked up, we are that much poorer culturally. So even if we win technologically, we lose an unique experience to the multinationals and their slaves in public office.

Millione di grazie, Don Valenti. Pardon me if I don't kiss your fsckn ring.

Oh. My. God. (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590898)

  • MPAA executive Fritz Allaway told Bobbie Johnson, "We have seen our future, and it is terrifying." I - like a lot of other independent directors and producers - would like to see the future get much more terrifying for Fritz and his pals; with a radical reform of copyright and patent law, and a curbing of behemoths such as AOL/Time/Warner, News International/Fox and Vivendi/ Universal/UIP.
  • Over the past 20 years I have attended a number of "demonstrations" of digital video technology. Often the video images produced are of outstanding quality. But, in spite of all the speeches, the brochures, the white wine and the canapes, I have never seen a video projection, analogue or digital, which looked like projected film.
    In the case of Attack of the Clones, quality may not matter much since (a) almost all the shots are special effects shots done mainly by computer, and (b) the film is shite.
    But try to imagine Citizen Kane shot on digital video (in colour, naturally), or Amelie, or Moulin Rouge. If its promoters are serious about the quality of their technology, let them put it to the test against the best work of contemporary and classic cinematographers - not against the worst.

My only regret is that we don't have the medical technology to give me a womb so that I can bear this man's children. I have never read such clear, plain spoken and informed articles about the MPAA agenda in a mainstream forum before. It makes me begin - begin - to hope that it's not too late to turn the tide of distributors controlling the very copyright laws that were originally and explicitely written to limit their ability to screw both creators and consumers. Alen Cox, I salute you.

Re:Oh. My. God. (2, Funny)

Tottori (572766) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590939)

My only regret is that we don't have the medical technology to give me a womb so that I can bear this man's children. ... Alen Cox, I salute you.
Woah there horsey! Be careful you don't have Alan Cox's children by mistake!

Come to think of it, that'd be a pretty good consolation prize. But bearded kids would frighten the neighbours.

Re:Oh. My. God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590982)

I think that Alex Cox's children would be worse!

Re:Oh. My. God. (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590979)

Alex Cox, I salute you.
So do I Alex. But I still don't forgive you for Straight To Hell []

Piracy and Theft (1)

Cpl Laque (512294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590931)

I have never made alot of money. They don't pay the military very well. So I used to pirate alot of games. I just didn't have the money to buy them I would have I did. What did happen though, is even though the pirated copies of the games are a bit buggy it gave me a good I idea what the gameplay was like and from there I would save up and get the game I liked most. I think in regards to software the "try before you buy" mentality is esssential because most of the stuff out there is crap. and most stores won't let you return opened software. So anyone could easily sick big money into just finding what they need. But what do I know I am just a dumb Jar-Head.

Re:Piracy and Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590953)

I don't know . . . but when you get your next stripe, are you going to dump your /. ID and become Sgt Laque?

New net speed record set (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3590961)

Piracy PR Company News Network, May 27th:

The half dozon hosts with Spiderman up for download in 800mb halfbakedTM quality clips have set a new internet speed record for transfering billions of $ of pirated copies in 2 weeks. 31331hax0r of Cult Of The Dead Movie says "yeah, we managed to upload the 160,000,000 gigabytes required to cost them a billion $ of ticket $ales, I even had to overclock my Pentium 266 and remove the 28k cap on my cable modem to do it". The MPAA reports empty moneybins and empty theatres all over the USA, "this is a serious trend for national security" reports Big Boss. New laws alowing the NSA to hack into piracy-terrorists are expected to be passed by congress today. "I'm afraid for the future of my children when multinational corporations can't make billions of dollars out of making overhyped movies" says a mother from Astroturf, California.

Roger Ebert's perspective (3, Interesting)

Comrade Pikachu (467844) | more than 12 years ago | (#3590989)

He wrote an article [] . on the future of digital filmmaking a couple of years back, and echoes some of Alex Cox's points regarding quality. Ebert goes on to describe a new film-based technology called "MaxiVision48". It is essentially a process designed by film-makers (not studios) which looks much better than standard film or digital projection at a much lower cost.

MaxiVision48 can switch on the fly between 24 and 48 frames-per-sec and uses a new film advance mechanism to eliminate jitter. The result is a super clear rock-solid picture. I wonder what became of it.

Stop complaining and do something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3591000)

Instead of whinging, why dont we do something about it.

We could all agree to stop watching any hollywood films with their over the top effects, poor plot lines and predictable endings, and instead only watch films made by independent film makers.

If we stop giving them our money then they would be forced to rethink their business model. In the meantime cinemas (movie theatres) would be forced to start showing more independent films and the hollywood monopoly and control would be broken.

I for one could quite happily agree never to watch a hollywood film again. There are a lot more interesting and creative things to do with your time. Perhaps reading the original books that many films are based on instead, or make your own original films with your video camera instead of wasting your film videoing your family queuing at Disneyland.
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