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Slyck Interviews the MPAA

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the fireside-chats dept.

Movies 139

An anonymous reader writes "P2P community and news source, Slyck, interviewed vice president Dean Garfield of the MPAA. Topics covered range from the MPAA's thoughts on BitTorrent, Limewire and DRM. Garfield acknowledges that they do not have much of a grip on the file-sharing world as they would like to believe."

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Uhh (4, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325871)

The motion picture industry is working aggressively to take advantage of wide array of digital distribution platforms

He misspelled "ban".

It's not a misspelling.... (1, Redundant)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325873)

as much as a mis-translation from legalese.

Misread you (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14325884)

I've misread what you wrote as "The moron picture industry".

Sorry.

Re:Uhh (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326225)

The spelling as well as the grammar throughout the entire article is awful.
The interviewer had no problem adding (sic) throughout the answers, yet
did not even bother reading his own questions to realize that "the affect"
is not a word, and there's no such thing as "a primarily concern".

Not too sure who wrote all that down but there has clearly been no proof-reading.

Actually (2, Funny)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327067)

He accidentally wrote "working aggressively" instead of "failing to".

Grip on the filesharing world? (5, Interesting)

TheUncleD (940548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325885)

It's hard to have a grip on anything p2p these days, since most p2p users have more than a single client depending on their interests/needs. Sometimes, bit-torrents come in handy, other times people resort to eMule/limewire and the various sorts of softwares available. Big deal. Kazaa really did it best when they got into the market and spread like wildfire before the competition. Their use of advertising helped give them a profit and in turn, feed back into making them a stronger company. And now with skype, what a landslide that was... The future of p2p is going to be up to the communities of people and their needs. It's not enforcable like it once was, shutting down warez servers one at time like the old-days. It's everyone and everywhere these days and gripping the market as a whole is next to impossible. Good luck

Re:Grip on the filesharing world? (0, Troll)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325895)

They sure got a good grip on the file sharing world!

Or maybe not ... [thepiratebay.org]

Re:Grip on the filesharing world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14325897)

https://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/home [trustedcom...ggroup.org]

Yeah, sure dude.

Re:Grip on the filesharing world? (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326148)

How right you are. If they really wanted to do something about it, they'd try to get some new legislation passed. Oh wait...

Open Source? (4, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325894)

Given that few would support commercial piracy, and given the poor publicity over the use of DRM, how much of their problem is directly caused by commercial piracy?
Garfield: "We are studying that issue, but do not have a real answer. Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage.


Eh? Where in that question did he infer the interviewer was talking about open source anything? This sort of ridiculous statement about the open source by a clueless muppet with no idea what open source is, let along how it works, just makes him look like a jerk. The interviewer clearly meant commercial piracy as in a person selling what they make with a DVD duplication system in their garage as opposed to someone sharing something they've downloaded either through a P2P network or giving copies to their mates.

Gah. Idiot.

Re:Open Source? (4, Insightful)

Ilex (261136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325950)

Yes I noticed this rather statement myself. The way I interpret this is Commercial == Far eastern bootlegs / car boot sales, for profit. Open Source == P2P Little Johny in the bed room, personal use.

This shows a worrying mindset in the entertainment industry. They believe that Closed proprietary systems (Microsoft) is good and Open systems (Linux) is bad. Of course this isn't new, we've long suspected this. Now the entertainment industry have pretty much admitted it. So don't expect future legal media formats to be able to play under Linux.

This will result in Linux users having to resort to illegal bootlegs further reinforcing the Open Source == Piracy perception which may hamper the commercial adoption of free and open systems.

Re:Open Source? (1)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326140)

Perhaps he recognized that open-source and free operating systems like GNU/Linux posed a significant challenge to implementing DRM solutions that movie studios could live with. Perhaps they think that an open-source DRM solution would be easily hacked. Or that a significant/important segment of their customer base can bypass DRM with free software is a problem. Or, as is more likely...he simply doesn't have a clue.

Re:Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326101)

'Given that few would support commercial piracy' I wouldnt be so quick to jump on people just because you've posted in a slashdot website. If you read the portion you were referring to then you would see that he was referring to commercial piracy as non open source... Which it isnt (generally)..

Re:Open Source? (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326236)

Calm down! What he said is that studies regarding open source versus proprietary software aren't particularly easy to interpret, and that p2p/piracy/DRM relating to sales drops studies aren't any better.

Re:Open Source? (1)

egjertse (197141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326298)

Mr. Garfield keeps using the word "source" throughout the interview, and from the context I believe he is referring to sources of digital media, not source code. By "open source" I assume he means non-commercial, non-DRM'ed sources of digital media (i.e. P2P networks like LimeWire etc).

Re:Open Source? (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326844)

Is it possible he's trying to seperate between closed source P2P apps like Kazaa/Napster and OSS products like Bittorrent/Gnutella? I don't think it is obvious what the interviewer meant.

Maybe he misunderstood Slyck. I think a fair interpretation of 'commercial' would be: P2P programs that are supported by advertising.

I wouldn't necessarily get my panties in a bunch.

I think it's just bad wording (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327362)

I think he didn't mean open source was a problem, but the task of getting accurate numbers on OSS usage data. i.e. how many Linux installations there are vs. the number of Windows installations. (Due to the nature of Linux distribution, there is no accurate way to count exactly how many are using it.) I think he's saying they have the same problem with P2P vs. legit distribution - they have no way of gaining any remotely accurate statistics about exactly how many people are doing it. In short, he was using the example of getting accurate statistics on open source usage to illustrate the sort of problems with trying to get accurate P2P numbers.

Loses credibility here... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14325896)

How much of their problem is directly caused by commercial piracy?

  Garfield: "We are studying that issue, but do not have a real answer. Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage.


Last time I checked, 'open source' and casual piracy were not synonymous.

Re:Loses credibility here... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14325909)

Umm, what exactly is casual piracy.

is that when you are all smooth and you just wander, all nonchalant, onto a P2P network and download whatever strikes you.

Casual piracy, way to minimize there buddy.

How about casual rape, or casual stock fraud, or casual murder.

A crime is a crime is a crime.

Casual nothign asshat.

Re:Loses credibility here... (1)

manojar (875389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325938)

Yeah, there are thousands of lives ruined/lost because casual piracy!

Re:Loses credibility here... (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325948)

Piracy is only a crime if it is the High seas type . Other than that it is a civil offence in most countries , as for the morality of it .. well I leave that up to you .

Re:Loses credibility here... (1, Insightful)

KtHM (732769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325968)

Casual piracy is more akin to casual marijuana use. It's not legal, but it's not hurting anyone.

Re:Loses credibility here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326025)

Ummm, sure, except casual marajuans use still supports drug dealers. Perhaps not hurting anybody directly, but most certinaly directly helping somebody who is on the wrong side of the law.

Pick another example. One that is not just plain wrong.

By the way, we have had 6 marijuana related mureders here this year, and I live in the boonies.

Re:Loses credibility here... (3, Insightful)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326081)


Ummm, sure, except casual marajuans use still supports drug dealers. Perhaps not hurting anybody directly, but most certinaly directly helping somebody who is on the wrong side of the law.

Pick another example. One that is not just plain wrong.

By the way, we have had 6 marijuana related mureders here this year, and I live in the boonies.


Perhaps if using marijuana wasn't on the wrong side of the law you wouldn't have had those six murders out there in the boonies.

Re:Loses credibility here... (3, Funny)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326540)

If murder was legal, we'd have fewer people in jail. I know that much.

Pot != Murder (5, Insightful)

dwandy (907337) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326987)

It's nice that you move directly from a recreational activity that (might) harm the person who engages in it and no one else, to an activity that prematurely ends another's life ... good to see we all have a little perspective here on /.
I actually think the analogy isn't too bad: The only reason that pot is illegal and alcohol & tabacco aren't is pretty much an accident of history. There's no actual reason to distinguish between these drugs (and they are all three drugs, but only two are legal). ...so it's not so obious to people that it should be illegal, which is why there is relatively high use and even countries where it is actually legal... where exactly is murder legal or tolerated?

Re:Loses credibility here... (1)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326965)

Maybe if alcohol was legalized we wouldn't have all those murders and beatings in the middle of a drunken rage. And if drunk driving was legalized, we probably wouldn't have all those drunken car accidents.

Re:Loses credibility here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326269)

That's because there is nothing better to do than smoke up and start killin' in the sticks.

Or go to the ghetto titty bar and watch your little sister.

Re:Loses credibility here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327249)

>Ummm, sure, except casual marajuans use still supports drug dealers

It does? I'm wondering how watering the cannabis plant growing in my bathroom supports drug dealers? Perhaps if it grows tall enough to touch the ceiling, and somehow there's a drug dealer upstairs, well, then I suppose you'd be right.

Otherwise, wow, you really are dumb.

Re:Loses credibility here... (1)

SamSim (630795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326082)

What, you expected him to check?

Awareness through litigation? (5, Insightful)

mauledbydogs (853179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325916)

That's truly dumb. Educating parts of the market by beating people with a piece of legal two-by-four is not productive. Advertise, promote, share information and engage with the people you're trying to reach is healthier and more likely to create understanding.

No litigation against those aware? (1)

lasindi (770329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327298)

That's truly dumb. Educating parts of the market by beating people with a piece of legal two-by-four is not productive. Advertise, promote, share information and engage with the people you're trying to reach is healthier and more likely to create understanding.

And how is the MPAA supposed to deal with people who are fully aware that copyright infringement is illegal? You can "advertise, promote, share information and engage" with such people forever, and they'll still pirate copyrighted material. The Slashdot community constantly argues that if the MPAA/RIAA offer legal movie/music online stores and advertises against piracy, it will stop. It's time to face up to the fact that a lot of people out there are simply breaking the law and are fully aware of it. Copyright infringement is a civil offense, which means copyright holders (e.g. MPAA) are responsible for enforcing their copyrights; and when they do enforce copyrights, Slashdot starts criticizing them for it. I know the MPAA/RIAA has done things that are questionable to say the least (the recent Sony DRM debacle being a perfect example), but I don't see why their primary philosophy, that copyright holders should be able to enforce their copyright, is being attacked.

But is'nt the MPAA a sucker? (-1, Troll)

Guru Goo (875426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325932)

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Way to go! (5, Insightful)

Dysfnctnl85 (690109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325941)

"The motion picture industry is working aggressively to take advantage of wide array of digital distribution platforms and to provide consumers a wide array of legitimate options for enjoying movies and television shows.

Hey, way to be about 15 years late. Everyone with a half a brain realizes that Hollywood should have changed their distribution methods when the Internet usage became widespread, instead of *ignoring* the problem.

"One way to look at this issue is through an analogy. At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. However, if that technology were to automatically report the fact that you speed to the authorities then peoples perspective would change. DRM is the same. The technology is a part of a balance that is struck with the consumer."

Ewwwwwwwwwwhaaatttttt? The device doesn't curb your usage of speed; am I the only one that doesn't see how this analogy is supposed to work?

I'm going to step out on a limb and say that this war on piracy is like the war on drugs -- a glorious method of wasting resources. There's nothing you can do to keep people from *acquiring* media however they want; just as you cannot keep drugs out of America.

Yeah.

Re:Way to go! (1)

parasonic (699907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325957)

Ewwwwwwwwwwhaaatttttt?

OKAAAYY!!

Re:Way to go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326344)

YEAAAAAAAAAH!

Re:Way to go! (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326212)

You can't expect such a large industry to be so flexible as to understand, in advance, the ramifications of p2p. Even now they persist in believing that they can stomp it out if they just put enough work into it, or that they can come up with a cheap technical fix which will roll back the clock all the way to LPs, where you couldn't make copies at all without permission.

So it's not surprising to me that they seem to think DRM is an addition to their product that consumers would find to be "valuable". Not sure how it's going to pan out in the long term. I think DRM is completely impossible for the next ten years...even if they got the ability to put flawless DRM capable hardware in all new TVs, DVD players, CD players, etc, it would still take at least that long to achieve sufficient market penetration with that DRM'd hardware, and that doesn't even count the inevitable flaws and backwards compaitbility issues, as well as the fact that there is no DRM standard.

Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327232)

...or that they can come up with a cheap technical fix which will roll back the clock all the way to LPs, where you couldn't make copies at all without permission.

On the contrary, taping your LPs was legal and accepted. All of us geezers (especially nerdy geezers) did it. Bring a blank cassette to a friend's house, tape his new album.

When I bought an album, it got played exactly once, and taped as it was being played. The cassette sounded nearly as good as the LP, even on good equipment, and a lot better than the LP sounded after it had been played (and dropped) a few times at drunken partys. When the cassette got eaten, record a new one.

I do that with my CDs now; no way would I take a factory CD (especially of the limited edition indie CDs I buy) in the car.

These days they have DRM, where nobody but a nerd (or a kid with a sharpie or a finger to hold the shift key down with) can make more than nn copies of their CDs.

You should google k5 for "birth of a label sanctioned pirate radio station" (I think that was the name).

Re:Way to go! (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327003)

" There's nothing you can do to keep people from *acquiring* media however they want;"

sounds like a bit of a tough break for the poor bastards who try to earn a living by creating that media doesnt it? You really think the guys that make new albums, new TV shows, new movies and new games should not be paid for it? Clearly some uses of DRM are batshit insane, but you cant blame people for wanting to be paid for the fruits of their labours. Not every artist or software company is evil, but they all seem to be treated as such by the people illegally redistributing their products.

Re:Way to go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327169)

On the one hand, I think that the people creating movies, music, etc should be paid for it. On the other hand, there's no way in hell I'm paying more than $12 (including tax) for a movie, and the equivalent of a dollar per song for an album. Most new movies I see out are selling (or, you know, not selling) for between $25 and $30. Most cds are somewhere around $18 for nine or ten songs. At least with music, I have the option of paying for and legally downloading it online, at the exact price I'm willing to pay.

So, pretty much, if they want to turn a profit, they need to have more competitive prices. Sure, nothing can really compete with free, but I think that most people would be willing to pay to own things legally (if for no other reason than to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit). It's basic economics, but evidently the record company/motion picture execs forgot all the economics they learned in school.

Re:Way to go! (1)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327267)

Something has to change, though. These methods that the MPAA are attempting to employ are both flawed and wasteful. There is no way to prevent people from ripping the content. If pirates have the machine that can turn a recording into analog A/V then the game is already lost. I think the solution is for the Movie studios to figure out how to offer their wares at a low enough cost to compete with pirated videos. I'm not smart enough to say that is a for-sure fix, but if I could legitimately buy a DVD without bullshit copy protection (that costs a ton of money to create) for like $5-$8, maybe $15 for a "super-deluxe" release, I'd be buying them like hot cakes. Right now I don't like buying DVDs because the fucking money I'm paying goes right into the pockets of these assholes. I wish I could pay the artist(s). I like doing that with CD's, but I realize it's far more difficult with movies due to the number of people involved.

The other issue is simply what is happening with PC games, which is that it's easier and usually safer (from a windows/dll hell standpoint) to rip copy protection right out of a game so it actually works. I've had many games refuse to install because their copy protection was either fucking up or just incompatible with my DVD drive. I had one game not let me install because my key was already in use and it wouldn't let me install it. I don't know about you, but when I spend $50 on a game and it doesn't play nice, I tend to get upset. I realize the only thing they lose is a customer, but I won't buy games like that any more. It has seriously turned me into a console gamer. Same with movies, if they make it difficult to play on your hardware, offer tons of restrictions, etc, their DRM will be shot to shit quickly by people who will rip and reburn their content in an unprotected manner.

You know (3, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325945)

I would like to say what the MPAA do have a firm grip on , though it would be considered rather untoward in polite company(Hint , it includes all of them partaking in corporal punishment of monkeys )

Re:You know (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326817)

"Garfield acknowledges that they do not have much of a grip on the real world as they would like to believe."

And for those who didn't figure it out, FidelCastro is calling the MPAA a bunch of wankers.
Go Fidel Go!

/hides from Dept. of Homeland Security.

the real issue is... (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325955)

...money. I don't see much mention of this important fact in the article. See this quote "We are also concerned with making sure we are (sic) understand and make use of the latest technological advances"...well, gee, how about drastically lowering prices on legit copies then? This is possible now, but they *aren't doing it*. How about making profit through volume sales by using the tech advances that have made digital copies extremely cheap to distribute? A lot of people wouldn't bother to "pirate" if the price of the cheap plastic disks or a legit download was just more reasonable. I mean significanty more reasonable, like a few dollars tops for a DVD movie for example, which they could do if they chose to. In years past, the actual manufacture of the physical media was very expensive, and there was no cheap effective way to distribute outside that method, but today? Someone needs to bust out of their Hollywood residing price structure and recognize that a dollar elsewhere is not the same as in zipcode 90210. It's extremely cheap to make dupes now, so why hasn't "the industry" responded appropriately?



They want all the economic advantages of the latest tech advances, but they don't want to pass those benefits on to their customers, nor even allow their customers the same tech or advantages. This is called gouging and people respond appropriately to it.

Re:the real issue is... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14325976)

I agree. For example, this year we are giving our 3 teenagers (shhh, it's a surprise) each their own Yahoo Music Unlimited accounts. At $60 for the whole year for unlimited streaming of 192Kbps content from a million track library, it's a fair price FINALLY!!! We bought one subscription last May and have been trying it out. I would say we can give it generally good reviews, though it has some rough edges (most of which were because 3 of us were using it - you can register up to 3 PCs).

Re:the real issue is... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326456)

Wait till next year when they expect you to pay for it again, or their subscription lapses and they 'lose' all the music they downloaded. The RIAA will have helped push the piece up buy then to so you'll probably be paying $120. -- No one is getting me to rent music.

Re:the real issue is... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326003)

Seriously, man. The prices on DVDs are so ridiculously high I almost never buy them. No matter how great a movie is I just am not going to pay $25 or $30 and in some cases $40 for a DVD!

Put that price down to $5 and I won't download another movie. Even $10 works.

How can a tell?

I by DVDs of Taiwan and Chinese movies because they only cost about $12 or so. These are legit copies, they just aren't America sanctioned releases i.e. the DVD menus are only in Chinese and there might not be subtitles. Sure I admit I download Chinese movies sometimes, but mostly it's better to just go to the store check out the new releases and buy a couple.

But would I consider buying the same movie in the $30 "American Release", no way!

Oh and I am slightly pissed that DVDs cost significantly less than VHS tapes to make yet the consumer pays more than twice as much!

Re:the real issue is... (1)

Itanshi (861931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326120)

eh i see 5-15 dollar dvds, shop around

not to name stores, but actually, you know what? i hate this argument of dvds costing money. I'm an anime fan, i pay the amount i need to pay for quality material even if it isnt quality. i'm under the impression you support the art by buying it even if you saw it twice before on fansubs (and i have) so enjoy your cheap lil prices of 30 dollars, they a heck lot more expensive in japan

well that's my argument, they not under the mpaa so hmm

Re:the real issue is... (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326871)

Japan is a good point. DVDs and CDs of Japanese material are easily 2-3 times more expensive than equivilent American products, and you know what? Taiwanese piracy of Japanese movies and music has never been more popular. It's not hard to see why someone would rather pay $10 for a Taiwanese professional quality bootleg than $40 for a Japanese original.It's gotten to the point where many musicians (I know of NIN specifically) have started including extra tracks in their Japanese releases to help them seem less overpriced.

Prices viewed as too high breed the black market economy, as both Japan and America show us, not that that's the only reason but it certainly doesn't help.

Re:the real issue is... (3, Informative)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326243)

No matter how great a movie is I just am not going to pay $25 or $30 and in some cases $40 for a DVD!

Name one major-release single-DVD movie (as opposed to the "super ultra limited edition 20-discs-of-commentary re-re-re-re-release in the gold-foil box with a hologram and beta-test sample animal cracker of the most annoying but cute character in the movie" versions) that retails for over $25.

Many full season boxed sets go for around $40, but a single movie? I have yet to see it.


Put that price down to $5 and I won't download another movie. Even $10 works.

So go to WallyWorld and root around in their "2 for $11" bin with the rest of the livestock/consumers. Buy used, where you usually see big-name movies for $8 or $9, and "B" movies (which sometimes include the Best movies, oddly enough) for under $5.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326295)

I have seen, at Best Buy, Disney films (Oliver and Company comes to mind), that when 1st released were 29.95$.

Granted, Disney is a greedy bunch of scum merchants, but they are (sadly) not alone.

In their "special Interest" section, I've seen National Geographic Documentaries go for as high as 45$ for a single 75 minute long DVD.

Re:the real issue is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326386)

The problem with that is that a lot of classic, indypendent or foreign films only come in with the super deluxe 200 hours of commentary with everyone who delivered coffee to the set once. They know no one wants to watch all that crap, it's just a way to justify jacking up the price.

Re:the real issue is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326863)

Many full season boxed sets go for around $40

Hmm. I'll mention that next time i want to buy Star Trek, Farscape, Highlander, or almost any 26 episode anime. $40 sets are an exception. Off the top of my head the only low cost boxed sets are Firefly and Star Gate: SG1. And these are only reasonable at Amazon or Sams or some other exceptionally low cost store.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326890)

Anything released by the Criterion Collection, including Rushmore as well as a number of other semi-mainstream movies cost about $35-$40.

DVDs in Sweden (1)

PromANJ (852419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327339)

In Sweden DVDs might be 199-249sek for new and well known movies (currently Fantastic Four, SW ep3, Batman Begins). A sek is 7.95 usd at the moment, so that's 25-30 usd for a movie here.

Then they usually drop to 149sek and stay there if the movie is good (same with games). If they're really old or not that good, they drop to 89sek or '2 for 99sek' after half a year or so.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326775)

Don't buy 'em in the first week, and check other places. I've been buying DVDs at the local pawn shop, usually about 3 months after they hit the stores, still in the wrapper at times ... $5 each normally, some times down to $3 when I buy 5-6 at once. Still in the wrapper too for the most part. Just picked up both kill bills for $9 total. New in the wrapper. If you don't mind VHS, $1.50 each, less as you buy more.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327194)

"Put that price down to $5 and I won't download another movie. Even $10 works."

I can't sympathize with you on this. As recently as just ten years ago, VHS (that's right, the old tapes) movies were retailing for $80-120 each. Back then, I felt completely justified in going to the store to rent three movies and buy three blank video tapes.

Recently (6-8 years ago), the MPAA came to its senses and dramatically lowered prices across the board. Now a newly released A-title movie goes for an average of $20. Perhaps you're too young to appreciate the low prices we pay for movies today, but rest assured that the prices we pay today are entirely reasonable.

The movies industry is no longer gouging us on movie purchases, and hasn't been gouging us for a number of years (there are some rare exceptions). The notion that modern movies are insanely expensive at $20, and that entire seasons of TV shows are too expensive at $40-45 (on a tight average) is complete nonsense.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327334)

I agree with you completely. DVDs are quite reasonable... I don't know where the hell the OP was going to buy a single movie for $40. I've never seen one for more than $25, and the vast majority are $20. In some cases, you can get a DVD movie now for less money than the soundtrack to the same movie.

In fact, my only gripe about DVDs is that I think they should throw the movie's soundtrack in as a bonus. I'd much rather have the soundtrack to The Aviator than a commentary track I'll never listen to. But that's a minor gripe. Compared to VHS and Laserdisk, DVDs are a huge bargain.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327508)

That is why I only buy DVDS when they first come out. Usually cheaper on the first week like at Fry's Electronics and Best Buy. Pricematching helps if you can.

Re:the real issue is... (2, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326146)

"We are also concerned with making sure we are (sic) understand and make use of the latest technological advances"

I think that is the most important thing said in the whole article.

MP3s & P2P has caused them to change tactics slightly but everything is still heading exactly where they want things to go, they just need to wait a few years.

What will things be like then?

1. DVDng players will be even more restrictive than they are now, possibly only allowing a limited number of plays on certain discs. They'll need internet connections for billing, license & firmware updates.
2. The Trusted Computing version of Windows will only run approved hardware&software and anything else loaded/detected will prevent media apps from working properly. Import restrictions will be placed on non-secure hardware.
3. Tivos & PVRs will only record what broadcasters want you to record and auto-delete shows after a short time 48hrs.
4. DVDs will be sold will variable licenses. Either a basic license which allows 1 or 2 plays or a more expensive license with more 'free' plays.
5. Distributable digital media will be centrally stored on a MediaCenter WinPC. Every time a song/movie is 'transferred' to another device its no longer available from the MC PC without paying extra. If 2 songs from the same album are listened to at the same time, you'll get billed extra.

The politicians there are prepared to pass whatever laws the media companies want. Hardware manufacturers will be required to TC harden all their devices or get locked out of future windows/apple releases.

The european politicians are just as bribe-able as in the states so they'll do the same.

India will replace the east as the main source of cheaper electronics goods until china/japan/taiwan agree to make TC hardware. This will make non-TC hardware and devices harder to obtain and much more expensive.

The MPAA/RIAA are just waiting. They never wanted to release digital media until the market was ready for them.
Its not ready yet but soon.

Re:the real issue is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326153)

In years past, the actual manufacture of the physical media was very expensive, and there was no cheap effective way to distribute outside that method, but today?

Very interessant point indeed. You could now develop VOD (Video On Demand) : in the past you had to get a physical copy of the movie, allowing you a unlimited access to it, you could now get a movie via a paying official p2p system (close to 0 distribution cost) and the embedded DRM allow you to watch it for a limited timespan (kind of movie renting). In return the price would be very cheap.
Some would protest the DRM (in relation to open source) or the time limited access BUT it would add another option to the masses, you are not compelled to buy it if you prefer a costlier(?) full copy.

Here in France with the recent p2p/DRM/copyright law being discussed, such a project as surfaced and the price would be 4 euros for a new movie and 3 euros for older movies. There are limitations as you have 1 month to view the movie but once you start, you have only 24 hours to finish it. The movie will be available 33 weeks after the theatre release (delay for pay-per-view TV being shorter, DVD being longer).
The thing has to be tested, but at least it adds another option and for once the movie industry tries to find solutions rather than suing their consumers.

Re:the real issue is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326753)

..they're not making money for the Dolman-Sackville Shoe Corporation.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327017)

What about niche products though? your analysis surely breaks down there. If you are amking a movie that everyone in the street will like, you can sell it online for $5 and do fine, but if your market is 10-50k units tops, you simple can't do that. It seems that you may be advocating a market model where only the lowest common demoninator crap gets made.

Re:the real issue is... (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327641)

The current situation is a counterexample to your reasoning.
Right now most DVDs are the shittiest shit possible.
Good movies are harder to find that crappy ones, and less sold. And they don't produce them. The other day they were filming parts of a Miami Vice movie around here!! talk about crap! crap squared! And DVDs dn't cost 5 bucks right now.

Re:the real issue is... (2, Funny)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327587)

"It's extremely cheap to make dupes now"

That explains everything.

A demonstration of the problem... (5, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14325959)

At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add.

Correct in terms of a car, but that's where he (and the **AA's at large) go wrong on DRM.

When I'm going down the road, I WANT to know how fast I'm going. I don't want to wait until the nice police officer decides to pull me over and inform me of it, nor do I want to find out a bit too late that I'm taking a curve way faster then I should. Therefore, indeed, the speedometer is a value add-it's something that I, the owner of the car, WANT in my car (and in fact, even if legal not to have one, would not purchase a car without one.)

DRM by definition cannot be a "value add", only a "value subtract". No consumer buys a DVD saying "Man, I hope they made it hard for me to back this thing up!" or "I sure hope this will refuse to play on my computer without installing a bunch of intrusive software".

Re:A demonstration of the problem... (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326014)

Yes, it would be more like having a car that decided how fast it would go, without considering what the driver told it to do. Some cars do have speed limiters, but only at very high speeds, much higher than any speed limit you would hope to find. That could have added value of prolonging the life of your car. Running then engine at full speed wouldn't be very good if you did it all the time. Also, disabling the speed limit, or modding it, as far as I'm aware, is not illegal, so long as your car doesn't break environmental laws.

Re:A demonstration of the problem... (4, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326072)

Heavy Goods vehicles in Europe are required to have a speed limiter fitted that limits them to 56mph. A lot of truckers are strongly opposed to these since they consider them to fail to solve the problem they are designed to prevent (accidents through speeding), and prevent any benefits that legitimately driving over this speed will offer. These are pretty much the same problems we have with DRM.

Personally, I'd be quite happy with DRM that told me how many times I'd copied something, what generation copy it is, and any other information that may be relevent.

Re:A demonstration of the problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327149)

We don't have those here in Finland. It's a rare thing to see a truck driving within speed limits. I wonder why truckers don't like limiters.

Re:A demonstration of the problem... (2, Interesting)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326227)

Interesting thought:

As punishment for the Sony Rootkit, all Sony Media employees and employees responsible for creating the rootkit should have speed monitoring devices attached to all of their vehicles. If they speed, they get mailed a ticket. They can also have all thier phone and email conversations recorded and available on the internet to the public. If they are in such a hurry to live in an Orwellian society, I say, let them have a little taste of it.

Re:A demonstration of the problem... (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327271)

At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. ... DRM by definition cannot be a "value add", only a "value subtract".

Except for dangerous roads, you normally wouldn't need a speedometer except that the police enforces speed limits. DRM can be a "value add" if there's enforcement on video copying, e.g., the recent French proposal to legalize copying if you declare your intention of copying and pay a tax on your ISP cost. If you declare you are not copying, you probably want DRM on your CDs so that if you copy them you can demonstrate you're only making legal copies. If you buy unprotected discs, there's no way of proving how many copies you made or to whom you distributed them.

Then again, it's only a "value add" because the government itself is the large "value subtract".

Re:A demonstration of the problem... (2, Informative)

RosenSama (836736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327282)

He might have been referring to the onboard instrumentation which stores your driving history. Not the instrumentation that displays info to you, but more like an airplane's flight recorder. Can be used by service stations to tune for your driving habits. Police and insurance companies would like access to these for investigations. For example http://www.expertlaw.com/library/accidents/auto_bl ack_boxes.html [expertlaw.com]

Creativity? (1, Insightful)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326035)

At the same time, we are working to make sure that people respect the creativity and hard work that goes into making television shows and movies.
Creativity in movies? What cinema is he going to? I've seen alot of remakes of old movies, movies based on books and games, but not much creativity. It seems they are running out of this "creativity". I'm not too sure about the "hard work" either, it seems the industry just substitutes thought and actual work with a big wad of cash to make shiny special effects.

Re:Creativity? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326222)

"I'm not too sure about the "hard work" either, it seems the industry just substitutes thought and actual work with a big wad of cash to make shiny special effects."

What about all the people working hard to produce those special effects? The artists making 40k, working 80 hours a week, to get the CGI up to spec on deadline?

Re:Creativity? (1)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326288)

>What about all the people working hard to produce those special effects? The artists making 40k, working 80 hours a week, to get the CGI up to spec on deadline?

If all people involved in the making of the latest cinema crapfest really worked 80 hours a week while making 40k, and not just the poor sods burning their eyelashes in front of a monitor to do the CGI, you could make a handy profit by selling DVDs at two bucks a pop. There would be no "piracy problem."

Re:Creativity? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326430)

My point was that the OP was implying that CGI doesn't require any hard work, that's all.

sigh (5, Insightful)

SmellMyTeenSpirit (207288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326062)

"One way to look at this issue is through an analogy. At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. However, if that technology were to automatically report the fact that you speed to the authorities then people's perspective would change. DRM is the same."

There are two key problems that his analogy brings up. First of all, consumers would obviously resist this hypothetical speed tracking hardware. Perhaps something like this will be implemented some day, perhaps not. But it will surely be fought, and rightly so. Until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade and we lose our constitutional right to privacy, that is.

But the real difference is that speeding is often an issue of life and death, both for the driver and for everyone else on the road. Piracy isn't even remotely analogous. Even if the industry could prove that piracy is hurting them so much, the "hurt" here is loss of profit. I apologize for not sympathizing with your pain, my rich corporate friend.

"The technology is a part of a balance that is struck with the consumer. The creative community distributes high quality digital content and the consumers accept that they can't randomly and wantonly redistribute that high quality digital content."

As a consumer, I do not accept that I can't randomly and wantonly redistribute their content. He's talking about how he wants things to be, and then he characterizes consumers as agreeing with him. Someone needs a reality check.

Although I do like his use of the word "stuck". Personally, I like to think that a bargain is only good if one side is getting shafted because they lack the legal and legislative resources to stand up for themselves.

Re:sigh (2, Interesting)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326354)

But the real difference is that speeding is often an issue of life and death, both for the driver and for everyone else on the road. Piracy isn't even remotely analogous. Even if the industry could prove that piracy is hurting them so much, the "hurt" here is loss of profit. I apologize for not sympathizing with your pain, my rich corporate friend.

I think his analogy is dead on. The kind of DRM the customer would be happy with is that which tells you whether your copy is "genuine", but no-one else. With luck that could stop commercial piracy as much as is possible, but not harm normal customers; at the very least it would let buyers be more informed.

Re:sigh (1)

Big_Al_B (743369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326708)

First of all, consumers would obviously resist this hypothetical speed tracking hardware. Perhaps something like this will be implemented some day, perhaps not.

If you're talking about the first case--of an onboard computer tracking average speed--it's here, it's normal, and it's in most mid-class and above vehicles sold today. I've personally had in-dash "trip computers" with this info in a '91 Saab, a '95 Jeep, a '97 BMW, and a 2005 Suburu. And you have heard of GPS navigation systems, perhaps?

If you're talking about the second case--remote speed reporting--it has existed in commercial vehicle fleets for some time, and is touted as a fuel and safety management feature to the fleet owner/operators. In the consumer market, GM's On-Star is a tiny babystep away from this stuff privacy-wise and people are *purchasing* that service as an optional value-add.

In short, I think your position is weakly founded.

Relatively obvious.... (5, Insightful)

Gibsnag (885901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326065)

"We are committed to making sure that the digital distribution of content is a reality."

It already is a reality, you just missed the boat by about a decade.

"For example, we are still trying to learn more about what people want for entertainment, how do the(y?) want it, and how we strike a balance that is fair and gives people choice."

I can answer that for you, we want it cheap (as in ALOT cheaper than CDs), easy to download and without DRM. That will stop a larger proportion of piracy than your existing methods of beating old and young alike with legal documents. I mean you basically have a choice, use DRM piss off a large proportion of your audience, however pirates will just strip the DRM away (don't be naieve enough to think that it won't be cracked) and it'll be shared as a clean .mp3 file, or you can deliver that clean .mp3 file yourselves, gain some good publicity from that and get more from people who'd rather buy a clean .mp3 than pirate it if possible.

Re:Relatively obvious.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327048)

Uhh... they were talking about MOVIES, not music. Although I still think your point is valid one.

Well, yes: (2, Funny)

SamSim (630795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326094)

Garfield acknowledges that they do not have much of a grip on the file-sharing world as they would like to believe.

Well, yes, as proven by the fact that file-sharing still occurs.

Christ, are they _all_ this stupid?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14326150)

Seriously, are they really that out of touch with reality or is it a smokescreen to cover up even more malice towards us?

Bad movies, bad remakes, bad ideas (2, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326161)

"We want to tell stories about fantasmigorical pirates not spend much of our resources on fighting piracy. It should come as no surprise to you that every studio is committed to making movies and television shows that people love and are willing to see. Some times we are successful, but when we are it is not from a lack of trying. No one gets up in the morning and says today 'I am going to make a really bad movie.'"

They say are committed to making movies and television shows that people love and are willing to see, but usually they have run out of ideas and just remake the television shows into movies that will make money.

For example, which one of these bombs would you say was a good idea?
The Dukes of Hazzard?
Starsky and Hutch?
Fat Albert?
Lost in Space?
The Mod Squad?
Scooby Doo?


I was not willing to see any of them, but I guess Hollywood is in a creativity crisis and the MPAA is not helping.
Nobody gets up in the morning and says I want to make a bad movie, but they DO get up and say I want to make a movie that will make a reasonable profit regardless of the insipid and tedious script.

I almost read the article... (2, Funny)

slapout (93640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326208)

...because when I first say the headline I thought it said they had interviewed Garfield the cat.

Cute (4, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326377)

Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage.

Ah, yes. Those problematic open source P2P authors.

Mr. Garfield, I like hacking on P2P software. You can sic attorneys on every visible open source P2P author, and all that will happen is you will drive people underground -- and you don't need much of an underground to write all the software that anyone could ever use. You aren't going to manage to stop the production of open source P2P software.

Perhaps you'd like to look at Microsoft, Mr. Garfield. Microsoft has greater annual revenues than *all your member studios put together*. Microsoft has *clout*.

Microsoft wasn't able to quash open source development, despite spending an awful lot of money and effort on it, Mr. Garfield. I'm going to give you *very* slim chances of succeeding where they failed.

What are you going to try? PR? Microsoft did that. They called Linux a virus. They said it exposed users to liability. They said that it was insecure, and that it was *communist*, Mr. Garfield. It didn't work.

How about legislation? Maybe, if you're *really* lucky, you can manage to pay enough legislators to vote in laws criminalizing the production of software that is used to cause greater than some degree of purported damages. I don't think that you can manage that -- you'd face opposition from a lot of tech types, and a number of legislators have noticed that people don't *like* stories in the newspaper about nine-year-old girls being sued for thousands of dollars. But let's say that, despite all that, you manage it. There are a *lot* of open source programmers overseas, Mr. Garfield, and software does not understand national boundaries. The US government made export of encryption code illegal due to national security concerns for a long time. What happened? Encryption development and distribution continued, from overseas. It didn't do any good. You can't quash software development.

You going to try to track down all the people copying software and music and movies down? Mr. Garfield, one of the primary functions of a computer is to reproduce and distribute data quickly and accurately. There is *huge* demand for this, demand which far exceeds and outweighs any demand for entertainment. They have a device which does *exactly* what you don't want. There are *too many people* that want to be able to copy around movies for this to work.

How about a technical solution, Mr. Garfield? You spent plenty of effort trying to lock up DVDs -- that didn't work (you excluded Linux from your supported platforms, which was pretty stupid and put a lot of very smart Linux-using techies and crypto types to work on the problem, but even if you hadn't, it wouldn't have lasted long). You want to try again? Well, there are a lot of security types who would love to take your money and can guarantee you the moon, but it isn't going to happen.

You want to try keeping digital data from becoming analog? Good luck.

You want to try keeping analog data from becoming digital? This is a new, interesting one. You're now trying to plug a hole that requires *one* person with *one* analog-to-digital encoding device somewhere in the *world* per movie. It makes no more sense than trying to use CSS to keep people from getting at DVD content. It's just not a feasible approach.

I know that this is a really appalling concept, and one that you probably don't want to entertain. But it is possible -- just possible -- that your only solution is to reduce costs to where the convenience and guaranteed quality of buying your product from you outweighs the inconvenience of pirating. That means that you have to trim all your excess fat. That means that maybe you can't spend hundreds of millions of dollars producing and marketing a movie. Maybe you can't *have* actors that get tens of millions of dollars for every work. Maybe you need to use CG, and can't afford to recompense people for the economic damage caused by shutting down parts of New York to do filming and so forth. Maybe you can't hire people to write custom CG software for every movie you put out.

Maybe you have to make your product a commodity. You'd have to be a lot less wasteful, and it wouldn't be fun, but maybe you have to do it.

See, nobody steals Consumer Reports's content. Consumer Reports is a *profitable website*. The reason that they are profitable is because they keep their costs low and sell an inexpensive product to a very large number of people. They don't buy masses of ads, like you do. People go to Consumer Reports instead of reading some pirated copy of their content because their price makes them *worthwhile*.

Now, your member studios have a *huge* collection of movies. It doesn't cost you anything to have those movies around, and it would take *years* for the public to watch through simply the existing movies. You could have an annual fee, and let people simply download movies from you. If you can cover the bandwidth costs (not much), everything beyond that is pure profit.

Look at Clerks. Clerks is an extreme example, true, but lets look at it. Clerks was made with what isn't even a *rounding error* on one of your movie-making budgets. It didn't have cars being blown up or military consultants, and instead of shutting down Macy's on Christmas to do the filming, it got filmed in a convenience store somewhere. But it was a damn good movie. You could sell that movie for almost nothing and make money.

What about a budget of ten times Clerks? Could you work with that?

Re:Cute (1)

tRANIS (195360) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326477)

Yes! this post says all that I was thinking as well as the rest.

There is just no way to stop it. Nothing to stop anyone from hooking up analogue outputs from something and capturing on something else. Sure it won't be "high quality" but half the time I don't believe thats a issue.
The "people" will go to great lengths to do what they are not supposed to.
Just look at those crazy people who scan entire Dungeons and Dragons books, one page at a time.
How are you going to beat that?!?

Re:Cute (1)

eheldreth (751767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327340)

Papaers which on reflect certin wave lengths, you then force congress to pass laws not allowing scanners to use those wave lengths.

Re:Cute (1)

eheldreth (751767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327360)

s/papaers/papers/, its hard to type and eat at the same time.

Re:Cute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327183)

*I* *really* *like* *asterisks* *!*

Great post otherwise.

WTF?!? (5, Insightful)

iolaus (704845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326561)

The proposed introduction of ICT (Image Constraint Tokens) with blue-ray and HD-DVD formats as part of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) offers a way forward, a means of limiting the quality of secondary copying. ICT would enable a user to still see content, but not in its original resolution. This way, analogue displays and other unauthorized devices can still receive and play content, just not in a rich HD format.

That is from Slyck! Last time I checked those technologies did things like disabling HD output unless you are using HDMI (with support for a no-copy flag). WTF?!? Not only are most HD displays manufactured to this date lacking an HDMI input, but such technology eliminates my FAIR USE RIGHT to make a full quality backup! What kind of a sell-out crappy-ass solution is that?

If you want to make sure I never pirate content here are a few tips:

  • Make the content cheap (a few bucks a movie, $.50 a song, etc.)
  • Make the content easily accessable (let me download it from a fast, searchable site)
  • Make the content high-quality (give me the option of HD quality video and CD-or-better quality audio)
  • Once purchased, let me use the content as I damn well please (rip it, burn it, transcode it, play it on a computer, play it on a portable device, etc).

Once these requirements are met, all my media will be obtained 100% legally because it will just make sense!
I am willing to pay a reasonable amount for convenience, quality, and flexability.

Re:WTF?!? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326904)

Since when do you have a right to make a full quality back-up?

I only ask this because I'm too lazy to go read through the Sony v BetaMax case to see where they talk about image quality.

Back in those days, making a backup (to tape) created an inherently non-perfect quality result. Even worse, that copy degraded with repeated use.

I think you're misunderstanding the relationship between the ability to make a perfect digital copy and the right to make one.

Just my 2 pennies

Re:WTF?!? (1)

iolaus (704845) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326999)

Well, if I'm only afforded the right to make a copy and not a copy with the full quality technology will allow, I'd say that's an awfuly slippery slope! If that were the case, what would stop the *AAs from restricting copies to some unuseably low quality?

Re:WTF?!? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327130)

If that were the case, what would stop the *AAs from restricting copies to some unuseably low quality?
MacroVision?

If you've ever seen a dubbed tape that has been mangled by macrovision, you'll know what I mean.

I agree with you, but it would be awfully tempting from a content provider point of view to limit copies to a lower quality and perhaps make you pay for the privelege of a bit for bit dupe.

Sorry Mr. Garfield (5, Interesting)

AnyThingButWindows (939158) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326797)

but I own a computer repair store in a town of about 5,000. I am the only one. I do not support DRM or anything with 'Trusted Computing', and NEVER will, for that matter. When someone asks what they should use to get music, I point them to Limewire. I preload Limewire, FireFox, AVG, Nero OEM, and Ad-Aware, on all the PCs I sell. I put the burdon of DRM reactions on the MPAA, RIAA, and those who sell broken music that violates my customer's fair use rights. When a customer has a Sony rootkit problem, I fix the problem, then give them Sony's number for their corporate office, and the number of a good lawyer. If a customer has music with DRM attached to it, I have tools to strip the DRM from the songs, then re-encode them into mp3 format. I now have 3/4ths of the town's file sharers on limewire, and am going strong. I don't put ANYTHING on a customers computer that restricts what they can, and cannot do with THEIR OWN machine. Untill the entertainment industry gets their act together, and stops infecting people's private property with viruses, and spyware, lobbying our elected officials, and continued cyber-terrorist activity, I will continue to recommend Limewire, and fight them with what resources, and influence I have. And at the moment Mr. Garfield, my business is expanding, fast, and vastly increasing.

ANNOTATED INTERVIEW (2, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326887)

BitTorrent

Slyck: With your outreach to Bram Cohen, it appears that you are trying to bridge the gap between file-sharing developers and content providers. How do you think this interview can bridge the gap between file-sharers and the MPAA?

Garfield: "Stereotypes are often borne out of silence and a lack of understanding. (understand us, we're greedy) This dialogue, as well as our work with Bram and others, is aimed at creating greater understanding through conversation and action. (or coercion)

"The motion picture industry is working aggressively (aka, threatening to sue people) to take advantage of ( or exploit) wide array of digital distribution platforms (aka universal controll) and to provide consumers (aka coerce into using) a wide array of legitimate (aka, we can strangle you with content controlls) options for enjoying movies and television shows. Slyck is a great venue for sharing our plans (aka siezing controll) for the digital future and gaining feedback."

Legislation

Slyck: Do you feel that the future of your industry will better be served by legislative means only or through negotiated compromise and cooperation to eliminate the sources of first run high quality pirated material?

Garfield: "Even in the movies it is rare that silver bullets truly work. (aka we make crapy content most of the time) Our strategies for addressing the promises (of total controll) and pitfalls (loss of monopoly) of the digital age are and have to be multi-faceted. In some instances our solution (coercion) will be legislative (bought off)in others it will be based on negotiated compromise (lawsuits). It is worth noting that those two principles are not mutually exclusive. It is often said that the legislative process is like making sausage - - it is a messy compromise. (no 100% monopoly) Even where we go down the legislative route there is always a lot of dialogue and compromise." (and payola)

Thinking that this implied a reluctance on their part to litigate, we then asked; Does the MPAA feel its legal actions, on behalf of its member companies, helps or deters transition P2P users to legal alternatives?

Garfield: "We think that it helps to move P2P users away from the illegitimate (ones that we can't monopolize) systems. When people understand that the risks and costs of engaging in this conduct are significant many of those people will stop. (so death threats are next) Not everyone does change their behavior and right now we are having the unintended effect of helping to move people from one illegal service to another. (oops) LimeWire has recently soared in popularity (it has? is this a trap?), because of the closure of other illegal P2P services. That is not lost on us. We are working on strategies to address that problem. (perhaps physical torture and violence?)

"Moreover, as we roll out more and more legitimate alternatives ( that we can monopolize) we will also have a greater impact (ream people for more overpriced content). We also know that many people, not Slyck readers but others, don't often recognize that downloading and posting movies via some P2P groups is illegal (they don't care) and some parents don't know what kinds of things their kids are doing on line. ( aka - consider suing the parents too) It is our hope that these suits will raise community awareness to piracy (boarding ships and murdering people? NOT! ) and its consequences (our cartel gets broken) and I think our legal actions help to achieve that goal." (to restore the cartel)

Statistics

Given that few would support commercial piracy, and given the poor publicity over the use of DRM, how much of their problem is directly caused by commercial piracy?

Garfield: "We are studying that issue, but do not have a real answer. Identifying the scope of the commercial versus the open source problem ( aka how the hell do we sneak in DRM controlls on Linux?) is no easier than discerning real data on p2p usage. There are a number of companies that report various statistics, but it is not clear that any of those numbers are derived from anything more scientific than sticking a finger up in the wind." (aka we aren't sure the lawsuits will work to preserve our monopoly)

DRM (ahh, I told you this was comming)

But the impact of Sony's use of spyware/rootkit based DRM has affected its stock values and resulted in widespread rejection of DRM as a valid anti piracy measure. What is the MPAA's position on this?

Garfield: "We are committed to making sure that the digital distribution of content is a reality. (aka - pulling off a sony without getting caught) Doing that will require some assurances that content that is distributed digitally is not immediately re-distributed around the world in an indiscriminate way. (translation - we must put it in hardware) We do not support the insertion of spyware (in addition to ours) into DRM technologies. (trnaslation - we want to preserve our monopoly without having to check up on you )

"One way to look at this issue is through an analogy. At present, when you purchase a car there is computer technology in the car that keeps track of your average speed, but that technology is accepted and is viewed as net value add. (for the cops?) However, if that technology were to automatically report the fact that you speed to the authorities then people's perspective would change. (they'd revolt ) DRM is the same. (so now spyware will just record activities, not send back to HQ) The technology is a part of a balance (threshold of pain) that is struck with (coerced on) the consumer. The creative community distributes high quality digital content and the consumers (will be coerced to) accept that they can't randomly and wantonly redistribute that high quality digital content. As a part of that bargain, we have to make sure that we do not take advantage of consumers and ensure that we continuously listen to their feedback." (aka - do not coerce them so agreessively, that they revolt)

We felt it ironic that the MPAA were advocating education through litigation whilst at the same time referring to a compact (or bargain) between themselves and the viewing public. Given the high costs and abysmally low rate of recovery, we asked if they had a duty to give best value to the movie viewing public:

Garfield: "No doubt about it. (we're entitled to controll them) The motion picture industry is focused on telling stories that enrich ( our wallets, and emotionally controll) people's lives. We want to tell stories about fantasmigorical pirates not spend much of our resources on fighting piracy. (see we are compairing them to murders) It should come as no surprise to you that every studio is committed to making movies and television shows that people (are forced to ) love and are willing to see (/pay) . Some times we are successful, but when we are it is not from a lack of trying (to controll the distribution cahanel). No one gets up in the morning and says today "I am going to make a really bad movie" (we just to that naturally)

We then asked if their primarily concerns lay with the distribution of high quality copies or new and pre release films, and the affect this has on the secondary market (DVDs etc)?

Garfield: "Source piracy - - broadly defined - - is one of our principal concerns. (shit we can't even controll content in our own zone) We are working on creative (threatening) ways to address camcording which is a huge source of pirated (de monopolized) material. There are also a host of other issues that matter to us (monopoly and money). Dealing with and educating people (suing and guilt tripping) about P2P piracy (de monopolizing), in the United States and around the world, is high on the list. (aka - we half to controll the world because our main market is downloading from overseas) We are also concerned with making sure we are (sic) understand and make use of the latest technological advances. Our work with Bram and Ashwin (Bram Cohen's business partner) are a part of a larger effort to find ways to collaborate with innovative technologists. (aka high technology will be required to hold the cartel together) Our industries ultimate goal is to get product to people in the (monopolized) way they want (can tolerate) it and as technology advances, we will work to make sure that happens while also working to protect the quality movies (monopoly distribution) that people expect from our studios."

But what of the alternatives to DRM, such as the emerging watermarking technology that is now being adopted by TiVo/Microsoft, which gives a clear and relatively foolproof audit trail back to the original copy, would you be prepared (in principle) to endorse its use as a standardized counter piracy measure to your members?

Garfield: "We readily admit that we are not the oracle with answers to all quandaries. (how do we lock in our cartel, without pissing too many people off) To the extent that there are new and viable technological (ways to coerce people) solutions we are open to evaluating and (imposing) discussing them. The type of watermarking technology that you described does have some problems because it creates an incentive for us to track down people and seek to take legal action against them. That is not the ideal position that we want to advance. We view technology as (a better way to controll people) creating new options."

Clearly to be effective, such a measure would entail a more controlled release situation, and that would entail a leap of faith by both sides of the equation. For instance, would the MPAA be prepared to relax its grip on file-sharers in return for a system such as this which will allow greater control over commercial piracy?

Garfield: "If Slyck's recent reports about the number of people using public P2P systems is to be believed, we do not have much of a grip on the file-sharing world. That being said, we truly are open to new solutions. (lawsuits failed, time to try DRM) We cannot, however, close our eyes to the demand side of the problem.(loss of the distribution monopoly) We are working to be responsive to the changing cultural expectations (brow beating and guilt trips) for the on-demand ubiquitous availability of content. At the same time, we are working to make sure that people (are forced to pay for) respect the creativity and hard work that goes into making television shows and movies."

The Future

Bearing in mind the gulf between the two sides, we then asked where the MPAA would like to see these discussions lead.

Garfield: "A big part of our goal is to gain a greater understanding of the cultural changes that we are witnessing. (figure out how to controll the internet and the p2p crowd) For example, we are still trying to learn more about what people (will put up with)want for entertainment, how do the want it, and how we strike a balance that is fair and gives people choice." (while maintaining our cartel)

Dean had said that there was a bargain to be struck between end users and the movie industry, but at the same time there is also a bargain to be struck with the greater general public. We asked, was there scope for further discussion, room for some future accommodation between the parties?

Garfield: "Absolutely. There is a lot that is uncertain about the world, but one thing is certain: we don't have all the answers (on how to monopolize the internet). We are open to listening and learning from others and welcome the opportunity to do just that." (but we are searching for a way to controll the internet)

NEWS FLASH (2, Interesting)

what_the_frell (690581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14326981)

Hackers and the user community are always one step ahead of the RIAA and MPAA.

Re:NEWS FLASH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327389)

(Obligatory 'The Core' Reference)


We just need to keep DVD Jon well stocked with Hot Pockets & Xena tapes.

fucK? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14327000)

BSDI is also dead, ttok precedence very distracting to a super-organised

Clean their own house. (3, Interesting)

schlick (73861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14327558)

In the course of the interview the issue of watermarking was discussed. This allows an audit trail leading back to the source of every copy that is made of media. Interestingly, Dean said that he wasn't keen to adopt any system that would give them an incentive to track down people and seek to take legal action against them.


This tells me that they don't want to persue the people in the industry who are actually leaking the content. They don't want to litigate against thier own. They'll sue a little girl, but not some lacky that works in the industry. You'd think that they'd be interested in at least tracking the propagation path. Hell I'd be interested in that.

On a different note, I'm a movie junky. When a new movie that I really want to see I want to see it on a big screen with an awesome sound system, with my redvines, popcorn, and cherry coke. My roommate actually got a pre release of Ep.1 and I refused to watch it on his 21" computer monitor at VCD quality. It would ruin the experience.

What I don't like it the whole "event" marketers try to create (one of my bigest pet peeves about Apple as well). When it is ready to release, f*cking release it!!! The artificial scarcity only makes me annoyed, sometimes pissed off enough to hold out buying it, sometimes violate copywrite as a means of flipping them the bird. Don't treat your customers like imbeciles (even if they are).
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