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At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-or-someone-you-know dept.

Movies 392

ThinSkin writes "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans. A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female. Kaan Yigit, director of the study, observes, 'There is a Robin Hood effect — most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal. The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services — otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive.'"

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hey (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760286)

Apocalypto.DVDSCR.XviD-iMBT
Employee.Of.The.Month.DVDRip.XviD-iMBT

Just downloaded them last night ;)

18%? (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760300)

I suspect the number is higher. Free is very attractive. Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive.

Combine these two and you have a huge motivation for people to do this, regardless of their ever watching the movie.

It may be too late to stuff the genii back in the bottle. The result is that this becomes an "entitlement" that people expect. We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

Re:18%? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760338)

Actually, I think 18% sounds too high. I think you overestimate the intelligence of the average US movie-watcher.

Re:18%? (2, Interesting)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760386)

Dude. Bearshare. Ares. eMule. BitTorrent. Do you need to be smart to use any of these?

Have you ever one of their union books? (2, Interesting)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760354)

I can't speak for the Californian ones, but having looked over a friends here in Vancouver, that's an industry that desperately needs to trim the fat.

Re:18%? (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760442)

> Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive.

Really? Is that actually a motivating factor in most people?

Man, am I out of touch with the world.

Re:18%? (1)

Chr0me (180627) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760446)

Then maybe the "stars" need to tighten the belt and trim a couple mil or so from their cut to help out the studio grunts.

Re:18%? (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760454)

18% actually seems a little high to me. I don't download full-length movies because it takes too damn long (unless the quality is really crappy), and when I decide I want a movie, I don't want to wait all day for it to download. If DVDs cost 50 bucks a pop, maybe things would be different. Maybe I'm the only geek who thinks like this, I dunno.

I'd really like to know more about the way this study was conducted. It says it was at least partially done online, which opens up the possibility of a selection bias toward people who spend a lot of time online, who would naturally be more prone to this sort of activity.

Re:18%? (3, Insightful)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760848)

18% actually seems a little high to me.

I'd say so, too...unless they are counting porn.

I think the movie industry is really overstating their case here. A recent study [npd.com] claims that P2P downloads are 60% porn, 20% TV shows, and only 5% full-length movies.

So what are they so worried about? Consider the fact that porn is by far the most downloaded copyrighted content, and it's probably safe to assume that pirated porn represents a much, much larger percentage of porn consumed in comparison to "legitimate" movies, and thus their "losses" are far higher. Can anyone honestly claim that porn is dying from piracy?

Re:18%? (1)

Kwiik (655591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760922)

There's two broadband ISPs in my city - one ADSL, one Cable - on either, using the proper sources, I can get nearly any movie I want within an hour or two.

So that movie I don't feel like paying 20$ for to see at a theatre (After considering the cost of snacks and the ticket) turns in to me downloading it while I'd otherwise be waiting for it to start - me and all my friends -each- save 20$. And it's still playing on a projector. We can be as loud as we want, laugh as loud as we want, and get as drunk as we want. Liberties we don't have otherwise.

I won't bother to mention sites, but especially some members-only torrent sites that force you to have a "Respectable" share ratio work well.

Re:18%? (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760492)

Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

Dwindling profits for Hollywood's major studios is probably for the best. Obviously Hollywood has been incapable of producing--among popular blockbusters--a decent percentage of truly fine artistic achievements in spite of their huge profits. Meanwhile, in Europe studios haven't always been capable of turning a profit, but have been supported by private patronage or government subsidies for the arts, and look at the results: such money turns out to be enough to keep workers employed, and in spite of limited budgets it has given us monuments of world cinema. Just look at most of Ingmar Bergman's films, for example.

Re:18%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760530)

I would be surprised if the number was actually that high. Most people don't like long downloads and crappy quality. Why bother when you can buy or rent a DVD cheaply?

Re:18%? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760648)

The Criterion Collection editions of Ingmar Bergman's films retail starting at around US$40, and are not usually found in neighbourhood video rental outlets. But I can download them for free. While I plan on buying all eventually, as I enjoy having a collection and the bonus features are useful, why shouldn't I download them if I want to watch them right this minute?

Ditto for a number of auteur films. True, there might be no real need for the gainfully employed to download the latest Hollywood blockbuster that was ordered in the dozens of copies at his local video rental place, but for those who like more obscure cinema, Bittorrent is a marvel.

Re:18%? (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760924)

Or you could rent them online. Blockbuster online has Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light and The Silence Criterion Collection films. I'm sure Netflix has them too.

Just because you can justify it, doesn't make it right.

-dave

Re:18%? (2, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760540)

"Doing something that is perceived as "criminal" and getting away with it is also very attractive."

It is even more attractive when doing something that is legally criminal is morally the high ground. Then you are not only gaining, but protecting others too.

"We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the stars, but ..."

I disagree. The need for people in media will always be there. When you kill the copyright cartel, that will force the market to center around information services instead of information controls. It's just like Linux. Linux taking over the datacenter space caused all that money that was being directed toward Microsoft, to be directed toward software related services. It was a painfull adjustment, but it still caused a boom for developer demand in that sector.

Re:18%? (2, Insightful)

jenkin sear (28765) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760668)

No frickin way is it 18%.

Broadband reports [websiteoptimization.com] has US broadband penetration at 47%.

You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run... sure, they could be downloading quicktime movies or WMV files, but any of these combinations is equally challenging to your mom, your grandpa, and your brother in law- 1 person out of 5 is a hell of a lot of people.

The US population is roughly 300MM. 18% of this is 54 million people. There's no way that there are 54 million people actively downloading 4GB movie files...

Free is attractive, but it founders on the seas of technical illiteracy.

Re:18%? (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760870)

There's no way that there are 54 million people actively downloading 4GB movie files..."

well, since you backed that up quite logically...

Now, if you had read the article:
" U.S. online population"
and then noticed the head line says 25 million.
Any one of these would indicate to someone of average or greater intelligence that it's not al Americans.

Based on the actual artical, 18% seem pretty reasonable a number.
Now if broadband is at 50%(adjust for easy of math), that mean 150 million americans have
broadband. Pretty cliose to 18%.

Please. Try. To. Think.

Re:18%? (2)

bfields (66644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760878)

No frickin way is it 18%.

Broadband reports [websiteoptimization.com] has US broadband penetration at 47%.

You're saying that half of all broadband users...

Woah! Check your units--the 18% is "percent of the US online population"--so that's only 18 percent of people (or households? I'm not sure) that are online.

Whereas that "penetration" number appears to be a percentage of *all* (online or not) households.

Re:18%? (3, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760908)

You're saying that half of all broadband users are capable of downloading a bit torrent client, running it, finding divx, installing it, and getting the movie to run...
Why would you pay actual money for broadband if you didn't know how to use it?

Re:18%? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760728)

and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

No loss there then. Those asshats can go and get a productive job instead. The less marketers and "promotions" types in the world the better. Then we can shoot all the lawyers...

Re:18%? (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760864)

We are looking at a lot of people being out of work as a result. Not the "stars" but the studio grunts and the folks in the promotions and marketing departments.

Really? Even if there were no copyright laws and the US basically had piracy like China there would still be multi-million dollar movies made because they still make more money than not making movies.

Come to think of it... There have been a great deal of large scale movies coming out of China/Hong Kong lately. Like "The Promise" and that other that I can't remember its name right now but was made by the same group that did Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Re:18%? (1)

allaryin (564427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760912)

Genii? That's like multiple geniuses or something, ne?

It's Still Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760348)

You can use any number of people all you want to justify it, but the fact is that it's still illegal and in my opinion, wrong.

It's just the ability to copy DVDs, and no fear of repercussions that make this so widespread. I doubt that any significant fraction of these 25 million people also shoplift movies out of Best Buy, which is what this is tantamount to.

Re:It's Still Wrong (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760434)

I doubt that any significant fraction of these 25 million people also shoplift movies out of Best Buy, which is what this is tantamount to.

Not at all. When you take something from Best Buy, you are removing a physical object that the store can no longer sell to someone. When you download a movie, no physical object is involved.

Re:It's Still Wrong (0)

Drowledrow (1055820) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760556)

Slashdot: The Movie Ready war-over-whether-or-not-copying-data-is-as-bad-as- stealing-it Que war-over-whether-or-not..

It's Still Wrong-"/." technicalities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760928)

*sigh* Typical slashdot. You guys should be lawyers. You'll get everyone off on a technicallity while still missing the main point.

Here let me point it out for you. Regardless of physicality, the attitude behind both acts is the same. It's about benefitting at the expense* of others.

*And I put this down here just because I know you're going to pull a "technicality" on me about the word "expense." Expense isn't always about economics, and people can lose more than just money. Try this on for size. Invite over to your house all the people you've "borrowed" from, and download in front of them. See how well that works out.

Re:It's Still Wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760466)

I think there is a point where something 'illegal' can be considered 'legal' because a high amount of people does it.

In the end, laws are made by people with the morals of society as a base.

Re:It's Still Wrong (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760514)

Agreed. Let's not forget that copyright is a recent notion, proposed by a few people in Western Europe only a few hundred years ago. It did not exist in antiquity--Roman poets such as Martial had no problem with their works being copied and sold as long as they were given credit on the title page--and even today most of the world finds it a nonsensical concept.

Re:It's Still Wrong (1)

PoliTech (998983) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760672)

There are always those who insist that anyone participating in civil disobedience is simply a criminal regardless of whether or not the law being disobeyed is a good law or not.

While most people believe it's usually right to obey the law, most people would probably agree that there are some cases in which it's right to disobey it - especially if the disobedience takes a non-violent form.

To draw on an obvious but compelling example, few would suggest that African-Americans were wrong to protest segregation in the South by sitting at whites-only lunch counters and refusing to leave, or by refusing to move to the back of the bus.

Time will tell if civil disobedience of the DMCA and/or DRM is justified or not.

Re:It's Still Wrong (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760754)

Civil disopbedience is very often criminal in nature. Criminal means Againsts the law.
So those blacks were legally wrong. However, sometimes you need to break a law to fix an injustice.

Of course, they were morally right, but that is different.

Re:It's Still Wrong (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760806)

There is no equivlancy between propoerty and "intellectual property" other than a stupid name. It's wrong that it's illegal, which is why it's not only a right to copy, but IMHO a duty.

You could say the emperor has no clothes. They go around pretending that their monopoly control over information distriubtion is the physical and moral equivilancy as any property right. It's not only immoral, but outright vicious against progress in the information age and spit in the face on "real" culture vs hollywood manufactured culture.

We are NOT CRIMINALS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760350)

we are FREEDOM fighters.

Movies are binary encoded Information.

And Information Wants To Be Free.

It is our right and our duty.

Re:We are NOT CRIMINALS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760898)

Indeed you are not a criminal you are retarded.

Just because you don't want to pay doesn't mean it is right to steal. Downloading movies is stealing goods and/or services. The argument that downloading is only making a copy is specious. The downloader is stealing the services of everyone whose job it was to make the movie. At least shop lifters who lift a DVD from Best Buy have guts.

The phrase "information wants to be free" is pseudo religious nonsense.

25 Million Pirate Movies?? (5, Funny)

siufish (814496) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760360)

and I've only seen one last year! Where can I find the others? :)

Re:25 Million Pirate Movies?? (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760422)

and I've only seen one last year! Where can I find the others? :)

Americans, or movies?

Too lazy to go to the library? (4, Insightful)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760364)

Are these folks just too lazy to go to the library and rip DVDs from there? Young people today!

Re:Too lazy to go to the library? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760750)

Library? Netflix delivers them right to my door to rip and save!

It's easier! (4, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760382)

One of the reasons I personally pirate movies is it's easier. I don't have to mess around with anything, I just find a torrent (easy as pie), click 2 buttons and I have it within a couple of hours (on a good torrent under 1 hour). Why ever would I goto the cinema or to a shop to buy something I can get for less effort and money?

Re:It's easier! (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760432)

"Why ever would I goto the cinema"

Why? To enjoy the theater experience. You know, flying popcorn, being kicked by the idiot behind you, cell phones ringing, babies crying, people talking endlessly.

Thats why!

And you guys wonder why the politicians listen ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760472)

the *AA?!

Why ever would I goto the cinema or to a shop to buy something I can get for less effort and money?

And when the MPAA gets Congress to pass a law requiring the ISPs to charge a Anti - piracy Tax to be paid to the movie makers, you folks will be bitching and moaning on how UNFAIR and what CROOKS the MPAA is/

Re:It's easier! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760484)

Why ever would I goto the cinema

Hmmm interesting. You must be older than the most typical age of downloaders if you know what a "goto" is :)

Re:It's easier! (1, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760608)

Funny, I find downloading movies to be way more work than it's worth. Trying to find a functional torrent, alone, is a huge pain, and then you have to wait hours for the damn thing to arrive. And all so you can get a crappy Xvid transcode of something I could've gone to Futureshop and bought for $15, or gone to the video store and rented for $5.

That's not all... (4, Funny)

TobyRush (957946) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760398)

Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past

...and roughly 34 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded the first few minutes of a full-length movie, then cancelled that download to try to find a faster one.

Smart (2, Insightful)

Monoliath (738369) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760404)

The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services

That's the smartest thing I've read throughout this entire entertainment industry / piracy fiasco. Treating the root problem, instead of the symptoms is sheer brilliance.

Smart-"It's all YOUR fault! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760786)

"That's the smartest thing I've read throughout this entire entertainment industry / piracy fiasco. Treating the root problem, instead of the symptoms is sheer brilliance."

Is it? People demanded "try before they buy", and that still didn't stop people from pirating. The problem with your proclemation is that everyone both on and off this forum will quickly forget how "brilliant" it was when the problem still continues, and we move on to the next "well you should have done this". Maybe we'll be that "wise" species that we like to think we are, when the blame game runs out of "victums" and we're forced to look within for the "root" problem.

Sampling Frame? (3, Insightful)

FST (766202) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760414)

In a study of 2,600 Americans polled via telephone and online


The sampling frame would have an inherent bias towards a higher percentage, as those without internet (ie. those who weren't part of the sampling frame, and those who are very unlikely to pirate) weren't even asked. No mention of accounting for this in TFA. Flawed study. Nothing to see here, please move along.

Re:Sampling Frame? (1)

JRubatino (731786) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760564)

Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population...

Re:Sampling Frame? (3, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760624)

Hence why the summary starts out with "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. [b]online[/b] population..."

Jealousy, That is all it is. (2, Insightful)

naoursla (99850) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760418)

And it has absolutely nothing to do with $10 tickets at the theater.

Re:Jealousy, That is all it is. (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760488)

All the people who I know who download movies enjoy a good theater movie. Spending $10 to get to see a movie on a giant screen with no compression artifacts and an awesome sound system is still a reasonably good deal. The thing that downloading really replaces is DVD rentals, which are strictly a bad deal compared to 2CD XviD releases.

Convenience (4, Interesting)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760424)

This is what the MPAA doesn't quite get. Most people I know over the age of 21 hate going to the theater. It's a fucking hassle.

So when a blockbuster is released like LOTR the options are:
a. suffer in the theater
b. wait half a year for the DVD
c. download the torrent

Just make the first runs available for download and guaranteed the piracy problem will be minimized.

Re:Convenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760710)

Lord of the Rings was one of those movies which is, at least in theater release, safer from being competed with by piracy. Big epics like that call for big screens, not 15 inch LCD with terrible pixelation.

Re:Convenience (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760812)

I like the cinima. I don't know where you people live that makes it hell, but I sure dno't want to go there.

I seldom hear a cell phone, crying baby or anything like that.
Of course, I don't go to the 2 dollar mantinee, so maybe that's the difference.

Re:Convenience (1)

flight_master (867426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760890)

Convenience is right. The closest theater to here is a 260Km (that's ~156 miles). It's just not feasible to drive that far, catch a flick, and drive back... However, I don't pirate moves - I get them off of the iTunes store. Sure, the quality isn't the same as at a theater, but it's a much better deal!

I don't believe this. (1, Insightful)

davidc (91400) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760440)

I really can't believe a figure of 18% of the US population. That's something like 60 million people. Considering scads of folks are still on dial-up, they must have been downloading the darned things for DAYS (only to find the crc is bad at the end of the download anyway...)

Re:I don't believe this. (1)

davidc (91400) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760474)

Oops, didn't RTFH properly. Make that 25 million people. I still don't believe it though.

Re:I don't believe this. (1)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760758)

Agreed, it's way too high. I just can't believe that 18% of the US population has the know-how to even install BitTorrent, much less download several gigabytes worth of movies.

Study of the obvious... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760448)

Gee, I wonder why people do not think that this is stealing. Maybe because loss of potential sales does not equal stolen product?

The reality is that these groups hate to admit that technology is devaluing their product. Basically, for the first time, these groups have realized that they are unable to set their price to whatever they like. Now that a consumer is able to download their product readily, their product is not as valuable as it once was. As hard as they try, this will not change because it is a structural issue...

Bandwidth (1)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760460)

It would seem the next generation of bandwidth rollout predicates the true boom of pirating, considering that official services aren't likely to drop you and can usually keep a good data rate. P2P and the like are too unreliable for downloading a huge movie to be worth the hassle to most people.

Eighteen Percent?! (3, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760462)

Unless the phone poll was conducted exclusively in Silicon Valley, this seems way too high if you ask me. Last I had heard, the U.S. was at about 60% coverage of the population having broadband. I think it's reasonably to say that, bar a few insanely patient people, only broadband users download movies. That breaks down to 30% of the people that reasonably can download movies, have, and I think it's totally absurd to say that a little under 1 in 3 broadband users have pirated a full-length movie.

Re:Eighteen Percent?! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760532)

Unless the phone poll was conducted exclusively in Silicon Valley, this seems way too high if you ask me

They may be counting copies distributed on the darknet after downloading. Burning a CD for a friend, that sort of thing.

Re:Eighteen Percent?! (1)

666penvzila (750427) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760554)

Actually, I'd say 1 in 3 is a little low. It's probably closer to half.

Survey says... (1)

CaptainDefragged (939505) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760478)

... that surveys suck. When will people wake up that you cannot "survey" 2600 people and extrapolate that out as representative of the entire US population. This is such a small sample that it should be dismissed outright. What demographics did they survey? The fact that the survey was online and phone suggest immediately that the survey is skewed.

Re:Survey says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760726)

That intuitively seems like it should be the case, but actually it turns out you can extrapolate a suprisingly small sample to a much larger population with good confidence, assuming the sample is representative and the survey is scientific / avoids bias. That doesn't change the fact that most "N% of Americans" surveys including this one are flawed, though.

Bullpuckies (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760506)

Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans.

Absolutely, positively false.

Any not because I consider people more honest than that - If you include people copying DVDs or even back in the days of copying VHS tapes, I'd put the figure closer to 70-80% that have pirated a movie.

But to specifically say "downloaded"?

18% of the US population either doesn't have a net connection anywhere near fast enough to download a full-length movie, or has no clue how to actually do so. The most inflated figures available only put roughly a third of the country as having "broadband", which includes quite a bit of the "anything faster than dialup" you see in rural areas, usually under 384kbps. And of those households with "real" broadband, fewer than half of the occupants actually have a clue on how to use the internet (either young parents with kids too young to pirate, or older parents who only have it for the teenager kids).

So no. 18% of respondants in an almost certainly urban area (much higher broadband penetration) have downloaded a pirated movie. The MPAA, however, needs to learn the meanings of "external validity" and "sample bias".

Have you even TRIED it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760802)

I *cough* have reliable sources, but if you have even a lousy cable modem you can click the torrent the night before and watch it the next day, or else in the morning and watch it after work.

Now, some people are going to whine "oh noes! I want it _now_!" but the trick is that you download a new movie (or TV show, etc.) every day, so you always have one or more available already while you wait for the new stuff. If you like TV shows (i.e. anime fansubs), you can have an entire series of shows in the backlog, and might only need to download once a week (say, on weekends), while you watch an episode or three each night.

Or, hell, you can even watch a lot of things that are split into 10 pieces on YouTube and downsampled in to crappy quality. But I wouldn't bother unless you're desperate.

Re:Bullpuckies (1)

Tenebrarum (887979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760860)

The MPAA, however, needs to learn the meanings of "external validity" and "sample bias".

They certainly know the meaning of "vested interest", however.

This hurts independent film makers the most (1)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760508)

This kind of activity drives the market price for movies down to nothing. The movie industry already has done much to discourage piracy. In particular, DVDs are sold at extremely low prices (with hopes of making profit based on high volume sales). But even low prices can't compete against free when quality and convenience are not at issue.

While big studios creating mass market movies can absorb much of the impact of piracy by selling large volumes to people who don't pirate movies (at least not all the time), independent movie makers are hurt by this race to the bottom. Lower movie prices make it more difficult for independents to make any profit, reducing the possibility of funding. Higher volume sales of mainstream movies fills up the time of consumers who have less reason to be choosey about they spend their money on (especially when they don't spend any money).

When justifying piracy, people ignore that their actions don't just affect the studios who they are stiffing. Their actions affect the market as a whole, promoting a culture of mass mediocracy.

Hollywood constantly loses money (5, Funny)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760516)

When I found out that Hollywood regularly adjusts their accounting practices [wikipedia.org] to show their movies all lose money, I decided to adjust my own checkbook to show that I paid for all the movies on my computer.

18% of "online population" (1)

frieza79 (947618) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760546)

What is "online population"? people online at a given time, people who have ever been "online"? Active ISP subscriptions?

I am "sorry" for all of the quotes

the real pirates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760570)

war profits up, ... arr... arr...

Numbers dont lie (5, Funny)

bedonnant (958404) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760572)

A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female
I am glad the summary thought best to inform us that all that are not male, are female.

Kaaaaaaaaaan!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760592)

Where are the nuclear wessels?

Movie theaters suck (3, Insightful)

CatConnoisseur (1001802) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760602)

I think the reason people pirate (new) movies is not because that they think celebrities are already rich. Going to the theater is usually a not-so-great experience. Not only do you have to drive there, but you have to deal with annoying people, pay $8 a ticket, and suffer through ten minutes of bad trailers. Then, once you finally think you are going to enjoy the movie, the people behind you talk or chomp annoyingly loud on their popcorn. Not to mention that it seems the best movies these days often are a limited release, so your *only* option is to pirate it. Somebody needs to offer a nice service where you can buy theatrical releases for $5, that become unplayable in 24 hours.

It's about distribution (1)

blurryrunner (524305) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760612)

The real competition for online legitimate media services is the ability for them to have what I am looking for. This is why napster was so successful--you could find anything on it and get it fast.

I buy music now on iTunes, not really because I think it is the moral way to download music, but because they usually have what I want, they provide me a way to find other music I might want, and I can download it from them fast. For whatever reason, I don't get great performance out of BitTorrent. But on iTunes, I can do a search, select a song and have it downloaded in about a minute or so.

That's my $0.02.

br/

"Robin Hood" effect? (2, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760654)

What I love is that they called it the "Robin Hood" effect. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor - not to himself.

Re:"Robin Hood" effect? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760702)

That's way it's the Robin Hood effect. steal from the rich to give to the poor...themselves.

SneakerNet lives!!!1! (3, Insightful)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760656)

I've never downloaded a single movie or song... I just copy them from friends, family and co-workers. Let's see the MPAA stop me! Come on you pussies I TRIPPLE-DOG dare you to stop me from copying DVDs. Asshats.
I just counted a few days ago and estimate I have around 850 individual DVD discs, with about 60%-70% being real store purchased DVDs, the others being copies of movies, shows and the MST3K DVD collection project (every MST3K episode ever, all going to DVD).

The reason I copy is so I can take my time with the "borrowed" DVDs and to watch stuff I would never be purchasing anyway. Nor would I rent them. How the MPAA can claim that they lost a purchase from someone like myself just goes to show what a bunch of useless, greedy douchebags they are. F them, I make plenty of real purchases. Perhaps I should just copy everything and never pay for it. Their tactics make a good case for me to just go all bootleg. *Then* what? Can they ever stop sneakernet?

no.

Robin Hood! (1)

andy_fish (557104) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760660)

I like that Robin Hood analogy! Personally I was just stealing movies because I wanted to watch them but I didn't want to pay for them. But that Robin Hood thing is great, I'm going to use that sometime.

Re:Robin Hood! (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760838)

Yes, I like that too.

I've always downloaded a movie or music to stick it to Hollywood or the record companies.

Cause god nows they never stick it to us at 15 dollars per ticket to roll the dice on seeing a good movie (Maybe).

BTW, I paid that to see all of the LOTR, Star Wars, The Matrices, and recently Pursuit of Happyness and countless other blockbusters in the past. But I will not pay for SHIT if given the opportunity.

I have purchased the Led Zeppelin 5 disc box set, all of the Pink Floyd albums amongst hundreds of other albums, CD's and iTunes downloads. I will not pay for SHIT or one hit wonders, or music they no longer sell in the record stores.

In order to sell me something, you must first create a quality product, or lower the price to accomodate the product you are selling (somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 dollars for most movies). Otherwise, it's only a good use of late night bandwidth.

movie pirate (4, Funny)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760670)

That's right, I'm a movie pirate! And I like movies rated ARRRRRRR!!!

Just as I suspected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760674)

...63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female.

Showing that, for piracy as well as companionship, you can always trust a eunich.

Indicates a Much Bigger Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760680)

Regardless of whether the "real" number is more or less than 18%, the results of this survey still indicate the basic disrespect the "average person" has for laws they may not agree with. People who commit copyright infringement use the same sorts of justifications as the people who constantly violate traffic laws, throw their cigarette butts out the window or throw garbage out onto the street. They do not think it matters because it does not "hurt" anyone. It simply illustrates the basic moral decay of society. The rest of the world is hardly any better than the US and I would expect piracy rates to be higher in Asia and Europe.

I call BS on this survey (0, Redundant)

unixcorn (120825) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760686)

I don't buy that percentage. Heck, it's higher then the percentage of Americans with broadband and I am sure that most employers would NOT be happy about their bandwidth going to movie downloads so don't tell me they are doing it at work. Who did they survey, hackers anonymous?

Results are meaningless! (3, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760698)

These results are meaningless! The article states that the "researcher" estimates the error rate to be plus or minus 2.4%. If it was a statistical sample, there would be no estimate of error rate, but instead an actual error rate. If this wasn't a statistical sample, then all that can be stated is 20% of the 2600 people surveyed.

It's also interesting that a survey that was taken via telephone and online is used to extrapolate to the entire population. Since not everyone has a computer, then they could hardly be included in the population (statistical not US). Furthermore, telephone surveys only include people with listed telephone numbers, so again, your statistical population is skewed. Online surveys do not work if they are voluntary (ie would you like to fill out our survey?) Since there is no indication of how many people who chose not to fill out the survey.

Based on the limited information given, it appears that this is another example of using statistics to get them to say what you want. Since most people are functionally illiterate when it comes to statistics, it's very easy for people to use bogus statistical methods to manipulate the data and ultimately the readers of the article.

For any sample to be legit and extrapolated to an entire population it has to be random and representative. If it's not both of those, then the extrapolated data is meaningless.

Adult movies (2, Informative)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760700)

What they don't tell you, because the question is never asked because nobody would answer truthfully if it was, is that most downloaded movies are porn.

But It Was Out of Print (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760716)

If MGM or whoever owns the rights to it would rerelease it at a sane price, I would have bought 1984 instead of downloading it. After watching it, I decided that it was okay, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be (though whatsername...Jessica I think, looked pretty hot in her nude scene).

I definitely would not have been happy about this had I shelled out the $100 or more that the resellers on Amazon are asking for this title. This is certainly one that could use one more remake, and hopefully be a little more true to the book.

and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17760732)

"while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female," 0 percent are ...

Robin Hood effect (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#17760742)

> There is a Robin Hood effect -- most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie
> downloading as a big deal.

In the UK 10 or so years ago there was a campaign against people copying music they'd not paid for, featuring people like Paul McCartney. As you can imagine, it wasn't taken very seriously.

2,600 people? (1)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760748)

Just wondering why they surveyed 2600 people and not 6900 people. =)

Curiosity must be a factor (3, Insightful)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760778)

I've mostly curbed my blatantly piratical activities and gone back into grey-area piracy (television, backing up my own DVDs, copying CDs to my iPod, etc.), but I think that's because the novelty has worn off. Yes, I can download using a torrent, but the quality is usually not as good as what I can rip myself from the original, so I give preference to buying/renting the media. BitTorrent is useful; it is unquestionably the best distribution network available today. My initial experience with it was basically "whoa! magic!", and I'm sure that's a major factor today. Everyone I've introduced to BitTorrent is equally enthralled.

People are curious about what you can get on the wide-open Internet. Free stuff is all over the place. Downloading gives near-instant gratification (well, unless you're on a modem) without leaving your house. There is practically no competition to the ubiquity and convenience of P2P file sharing. Satellite and Digital Cable aren't IP-based solutions, so it's an extra service on top of your Internet fee. None of the major television networks allow you to pay them directly and get an Internet-based feed, nor do any of the major motion picture production houses.

I think a more sane approach to P2P piracy is to increase the rate at which people get bored with BitTorrent. Offer competing, low-cost alternatives to buying or renting the media. Provide television service on the Internet. I'm certain that I would pay money for high-quality Internet-based content delivery. I *really* want to watch live sports on the Internet. I'd love to log into my local television network and download archived copies of stuff they aired. And I'm quite willing to pay for it. I've already chosen my distribution medium, and the pirates are the only guys catering to it. Don't complain about the piracy, offer an alternative.

A Crime without victims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760794)

Easy steps to get your free DVD movie:

1) Get free utorrent cliente from www.utorrent.com
2) Sign an account to a dvd tracker:

http://thedvdclub.org/ [thedvdclub.org]
http://www.revolutiontt.net/ [revolutiontt.net]
http://www.demonoid.com/ [demonoid.com]
http://www.pisexy.org/ [pisexy.org]
http://www.bit-hdtv.com/ [bit-hdtv.com]
http://thepiratebay.org/brwsearch.php?b=1&c=202&d= 0&orderby=date&page=0&orderby=se [thepiratebay.org]
http://www.ilovetorrents.com/browse.php?cat=20 [ilovetorrents.com]

3) Choose the movie you want and click on the torrent
4) Wait until Download completes (few hours using decent bandwith).
5) Burn the movie using a blank DVD+R disc, print disc label (optional)
6) Go to www.cdcovers.cc, find the cover and print it, insert it into a DVD box (optional)
7) Enjoy!

Good Start (3, Insightful)

gatesvp (957062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760810)

18% sounds like a good start, I'd expect this number to increase to about 35-40% before the studios finally release non-DRMed versions for downloads (at lower than DVD prices).

This board (Slashdot) is filled with a virtual panoply of views on this subject. As is usual though, I think the truth of the matter lies in the nebulous neutral zone.

Let's face it, neither side has really taken the high road on this. People download and distribute movies like they were free commodities and the MPAA bullies people unreasonably and tries to make us all thieves.

I have to sit in theatre with my $12 ticket and watch the stunt double talk about his belief that stealing movies is wrong (I just paid $12 for this, talk about preaching to the choir). And then I blow 20+ minutes watching advertisements for other movies (AKA: previews). When I take a movie home, I have to watch the trailers (they lock out the buttons) for movies I may already have seen or in fact may already own. And then I can't complain and return the video b/c it's already open.

However, the vast load of downloaders are some mix of vigilantes and free-loaders, collectors and connoisseurs. So every solution proposed by the MPAA (i.e.: DRM) effectively blocks the good downloaders as well as the free-loaders.

In the end really, both sides are too stuck up to take the high road and fix the problem. So we'll just end up with 40% of people stealing music before the studios just give in. After which we'll be flooded with 5 years of low-quality movies until people start anteing up again.

Why not just skip the whole process, stop bad-mouthing everyone and figure out something that works. If I want to buy newly-released Italian movies for my family and I can't find them, then who can I lean on to get them out here? If I can't stand previews, then how can I organize around them? Can I show up late with a dozen friends and walk in near the estimated end of the previews? Can I take cell phone calls during the previews, I mean, it's not really the movie is it? You know the stunt double guy? I just stopped going to the theatre that showed him. Maybe I should start asking sales clerks about return policies on DVDs, or refusing to buy DVDs that are "not quite DVDs".

I'm a basketball fan, but I don't have cable. Once they start posting my Raptors games to the Net, then I will start buying them (so that I can watch them on the bus to work). But until then, I just don't watch them. I don't download them illegally out of some self-righteous belief that I can, I'm taking the high road and waiting for them to catch up.

Sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760824)

Ok let me see if I am cleer on this issue- they are forgetting a few things: Forign generes, Made for TV movies- of cartoons, only braudcasted in one language are 'thieves'. Yet these so called theves spend their free time vauluntarily translating these films and give them away-for free, with little to no expectation of any sort of graitude. Know how many copies their are of LOTR in Tagalog? care to guess how it got the subtitles (acurately translated? including odd cultural references that don't translate). How many translations are their of Ghost In the Shell: Inocence in languages other than Japanese and english butitles? How many copies of some the classic are on DVD (at a reasonable price) My point is that while it's fairly clear a portion of movie downloads is done without their permision because of malace or greed. However-as many for odd or forgotten fils anyway-don't-

No shit, Sherlock!!! (1)

jpetts (208163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760834)

63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female

Bloody hell, I'm glad they included the second figure, otherwise I would have been all at sea!!!

Good information here (1)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760856)

...make that 25 Million...and one.

: p

TV Shows (1)

screensaver400 (652819) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760866)

I own an iTunes season pass for the current season of 24, but generally bittorrent each episode. Why? Because the "pirates" can rip from the broadcast, remove commercials, encode into xvid, and post on thepiratebay.org 12-14 hours before iTunes can get it online. That's a problem. I own the season pass because I love 24 and want to support the show. But it's just silly that people who go against the system can make it available before the people who do, when it's essentially the EXACT SAME THING. This is different from a telesync of a movie being posted before the dvd release. Since iTunes has the blessing of FOX and all the rest, they should have their downloads available at, say, 1 AM eastern the day after each show is aired. There is no excuse.

100% (1)

slowtuna (833901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760880)

"...while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female." I guess that no hermaphrodites download, then.

Think of the little guys... (3, Insightful)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 7 years ago | (#17760906)

Most people believe that pirating movies and music does not hurt the big stars. Well, realistically it probably doesn't. But there are hundreds or thousands more people that work in/on movies than the big name stars and I'm sure their salary will be the first to be cut if the studios feel the pinch. You can save a few million by cutting salaries of all the other workers while keeping the stars' paychecks high.

Same deal when a company falls on hard times, the lowly employees get canned, raises are suspended, some salary reductions may occur if voted in (sometimes employees are given this choice instead of being laid off), but the CEO and the high-ups still make a crapload of money.

Not to say I'm a Saint or anything. Sometimes I get to thinking and realize I may be getting that one key grip laid off.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17760916)

If anyone has pirated the movie The Pirate Movie?
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