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TV Torrents — When Piracy Is Easier Than Purchase

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the wow-guess-i'll-just-not-pay-you-then dept.

The Almighty Buck 474

An anonymous reader writes "NBC's recent withdrawal from the iTunes store leaves the millions of Apple's customers who have Macs or iPods without a legitimate way to purchase and watch NBC's content. Online media stores such as iTunes, Amazon and Walmart have never been able to compete with the pirates on price, or freedom and flexibility — as the content they sell is typically wrapped in restrictive DRM. The one advantage that legal purchase offered was ease of use. CNET looks into the issue, and discovers that with mature open-source media players such as Miro supporting BitTorrent RSS feeds, it is actually trivially easy for users to subscribe to their favorite shows. Want to wake up to the latest episode of The Colbert Report, Top Gear or any of hundreds of TV shows automatically downloaded and waiting for you? CNET offers an easy three step guide."

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Tor like oatmeals! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593043)

Tor like oatmeals!

No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593077)

Turn on the fucking TV you stupid fucking asshole.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593127)

Fuck you bitches.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593251)

Cunts.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593271)

Mod Insightful. One could look at this as that NBC has withdrawn, and therefore will lose relevancy in pop culture -- oh wait -- they never had it to begin with!

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (3, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593197)

1. I have no working TV.
2. TVs with resolutions comparable to my computer are expensive.
3. I don't have a sound system for a TV.
4. I don't have cable.
5. I don't want to dick around with HDMI and whatever other crap I'd need to get a HD signal to said TV.
6. I'm at work quite often and at odd times. Tivo costs money.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (2, Interesting)

im_mac (927998) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593425)

Last season NBC & ABC had most of their shows on their website. You didn't have the flexibility of a torrent but they were great for people who couldn't watch the broadcast. As I'm currently without cable, I plan on watching Heroes & Lost this way. Other shows that I can't get this way... well maybe I'll find a torrent or crash on my friend's couch - at least until I move again & get cable.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (4, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593467)

1. you have a computer
2. nbc.com has their shows available to stream, on-demand
3. enjoy.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (4, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593687)

All the things you list are no excuse for you to steal their content. Think about it: you probably cannot afford a Citroen C Metisse either, but that doesn't mean you get to steal it.

The only question here is whether your downloads constitute a lost sale (and therefore a loss caused by theft) to the publishers, or not. I believe it could be shown that people would buy at least some of the stuff they download illegaly if the illegal sharing were shut down, so they are indeed thiefs, but one might argue differently.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (0, Troll)

Pope (17780) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593817)

Man you people are whiny.

1. Get one cheap, or a tuner card.
2. Most TV shows are usually lower res than computer screens, so no loss.
3. TVs have had these wonderful things called built-in speakers for a very long time.
4. You don't need cable to watch TV, there's these things called rabbit ears that have worked for years.
5. It's one simple fucking cable from the tuner to the TV for HDMI, or a triple set for component. It's not exactly rocket science.
6. VCRs are dead cheap, or you can install MythTV for your tuner card.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (0, Troll)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593895)

>>1. Get one cheap, or a tuner card.

Which would cost me space, time and so on.

>>2. Most TV shows are usually lower res than computer screens, so no loss.

I can get rather nice HD downloads.

>>3. TVs have had these wonderful things called built-in speakers for a very long time.

And are crap usually compared to the speakers my computer has.

>>4. You don't need cable to watch TV, there's these things called rabbit ears that have worked for years.

Worked being a relative term.

>>6. VCRs are dead cheap, or you can install MythTV for your tuner card.

Yet more time and annoyance wasted to get it working.

Re:No legitimate way to watch NBCs content? (4, Insightful)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593845)

While I do think that free TV content should be freely available on the internet, none of the reasons you've given above justify downloading material illegally. Just because you don't want to spend the money doesn't mean you can steal their shit.

Our time is better spent convincing the media execs why making their content available is a Good Idea.

Uh, OK... (0)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593087)

Welcome to 3 years ago, I guess...

first? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593097)

first?

please

Zonk (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593103)

Check your grammar retard.

Re:Zonk (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593209)

Check your grammar retard.

Ok - I just checked on him, and everything looks fine. His water bowl is full, he's got a fresh copy of Roget's Thesaurus and he's dressed in his "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" pyjamas. Am I missing something?

Re:Zonk (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593593)

he's dressed in his "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" pyjamas

Niiiiice attention to detail there.

See kids, that's why you can't set your comment prefs to ignore the ACs. They leave all the best comments.

comma (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593227)

Check your grammar, retard.

EZTV + uTorrent + XBMC (4, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593113)

I simply use EZTV [eztvefnet.org] to find the torrents and RSS feeds, uTorrent [utorrent.com] to download them automatically with its built in RSS reader, and XBMC [xboxmediacenter.com] on my Xbox to watch them comfortably in my living room.

Illegal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593287)

Mr. Noe,

We have your address and we will be arriving shortly. Please do not flee as this will be an admission of guilt.

The FBI

Re:EZTV + uTorrent + XBMC (1)

wyip (914072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593551)

You can also use TVersity to transcode your video files in real-time to play it on an XBox 360 - no modding required. It's good for HD content that xbmc can't play well (I think the xbox only has a 733mhz PIII CPU or something?).

Re:EZTV + uTorrent + XBMC (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593601)

I only have a regular Xbox right now, but I would definitely do this if I had a 360. There's starting to be more and more native HD content available.

Fox has there shows online with less ad's then on. (5, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593141)

Fox has there shows online with less ad's then on tv and it download a lot faster then an torrent.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (1)

lelio (1156443) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593343)

when using good ratio sites I consistently max out my cable connection. about 700k/s . And of course all commercials are edited out.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (0, Redundant)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593375)

Fox has there shows online with less ad's then on tv and it download a lot faster then an torrent.
Fox has their shows online with less ads than on tv and they download a lot faster than a torrent.

you're welcome!

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (2, Funny)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593525)

You forgot to put ads in bold.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (1)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593915)

thank you.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593541)

'less' should be 'fewer'

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593705)

How about fewer comments regarding Joe's spelling and grammar.

There'd be a lot less noise on Slashdot if this were so.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593919)

What if English is not the poster's native language? You might want to cut the guy some slack unless you're certain.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593383)

Dear god,

Could you please have 'Joe the Dragon' reply to this post explaining that English is not his first language?
If English is Joe's first language, could you please help him out?
That would be great, thanks!

Love, Me

P.S. In case god isn't listening today, try:

"Fox has THEIR shows online with FEWER ADS THAN on TV and they can be downloaded a lot faster THAN A torrent."

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593761)

I'm pretty sure Joe was just trolling for spelling and grammar nazis. Mission accomplished!

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593409)

I count seven errors in twenty words, good effort.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593439)

Even faster than that will be the spelling and grammar Nazis on your post. And mine.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593713)

If you're in US. Otherwise, bittorents it is... It's funny that physical borders are off and we can travel wherever we want, but now we have to fight legal borders.

Re:Fox has there shows online with less ad's then (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593813)

It's funny that physical borders are off and we can travel wherever we want, but now we have to fight legal borders

Some of us are more worried about illegal boarders but that's another story.

I dunno about Fox being faster than torrents ... more consistent maybe for older shows, but I've never been impressed by Fox's servers. On the other hand, I usually pull anywhere from 2 to 10 mbit/sec out of any reasonably active torrent.

Tonight at 11 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593149)

CNET is accused of secondary copyright infringement and sued for $486785498557474566 due to allowing people easy access to copyrighted tv shows.

Re:Tonight at 11 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593891)

I'll watch the torrent in the morning.

Usenet rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593177)

Newsgroups are far faster. A 45min program takes roughly a day for me via BT. It takes around 11min with a multi-threaded newsreader.

Re:Usenet rules! (4, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593311)

Newsgroups are far faster. A 45min program takes roughly a day for me via BT. It takes around 11min with a multi-threaded newsreader.

Usenet? What is this Usenet? There is no Usenet. You do not talk about Usenet.

The truth of the matter is, kids, that newsgroups are old-fashioned, slow, full of spam, and incredibly fiddly to use at all. And nobody really does any more because we're all Web 2.0 nowadays. Don't bother with it. Go back to thepiratebay. Nothing for you to see here. Nope. Nothing. Really.

Re:Usenet rules! (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593415)

Usenet? What is this Usenet? There is no Usenet. You do not talk about Usenet.

Exactly. The #1 rule of Usenet is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT USENET.

So, are you saying that (5, Insightful)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593187)

...there are cases where piracy is not easier than purchase?

Re:So, are you saying that (3, Funny)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593453)

Usenet binaries?

Re:So, are you saying that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593767)

"Usenet binaries?"

More difficult, maybe, but definitely more fun! I love getting 137/138 chunks of a file and having to send a request for the last chunk and wait a couple weeks for it to be filled. More fun than watching grass dry... or paint grow... whatever...

Re:So, are you saying that (1)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593535)

This torrent is passworded.

Find the fifth word on the fourth page of this website:
signup.spywarecrap.com/~9393032/leadidiotshere.htm

Re:So, are you saying that (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593539)

itunes - as long as money isn't an issue

Re:So, are you saying that (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593547)

If you compare kazaa and the iTunes store, yes. Smart people have found high-quality sources for many years, but the general public hasn't. Also most people don't have a HTPC setup, they want a nice pressed disc to put in their DVD player. Preferably a Chinese one which disobeys the use restrictions, but beyond that they don't feel the DRM and the prices are quite fine. And if you extend "purchase" to record shows instead of downloading them over the Internet, it probably is if you happen to live in the coverage area. It's not like you have to struggle very hard to find examples where it's not the case though...

Re:So, are you saying that (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593901)

Smart people have found high-quality sources for many years,

This is Slashdot. We tend to be those sources.

Re:So, are you saying that (1)

Fireye (415617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593559)

Windows. I got so fed up with the constant WGA workarounds, I took the cheap way out and bought a legit OEM copy.

Re:So, are you saying that (4, Interesting)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593617)

Easier is one thing, faster is another. Honestly if the networks want to stay ahead, they should host their own torrents of the shows, in good quality, with the commercials built into the file and release them before they air. You could have the episode before it comes out on TV and thus many hours before the episode is released by other groups. Though, the folks are just going to download your ep and clip the commercials out. So you might want to imbed them in the show, or do quick ten second flashes of stuff from time to time.

I think they can stay ahead of the curve if they really need to. However, I don't think they will.

Always. (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593709)


Bauble du Jour: $49
Time to make $49: 1 hour
________________________

= Stealing more expensive than purchasing

Damnit. Preview... (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593753)

Cost $49
Time to make $49 < 1 hour
Time to steal > 1 hour

= cheaper to buy than steal

Re:Damnit. Preview... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593835)

Eh? Time to "steal" is expressed in minutes (if that).

Re:So, are you saying that (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593861)

Steam.

People who had paid for Half-Life 2 were playing the game a full day before the pirates, which was a landmark in my estimation because usually pirated versions of games are flooding the internet a full week before the discs arrive on store shelves.

My regard has changed a little bit with the Steam version of Bioshock arriving with Securom (this mystifies me).

The point of this article is? (2)

paullb (904941) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593199)

TV shows have been available on bittorrent since it came about and before that they were (and still are) on newsgroups and irc.

NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (5, Interesting)

baez (873590) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593215)

If you go to www.nbc.com there's a big ol' link right there at the top: Watch Episodes. Why would you pay for or "steal" something that they're giving away for free anyway? Works great in Firefox/Kubuntu for me as well...

Re:NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (4, Informative)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593331)

If you go to www.nbc.com there's a big ol' link right there at the top: Watch Episodes. Why would you pay for or "steal" something that they're giving away for free anyway? Works great in Firefox/Kubuntu for me as well...

Because NBC won't stream videos to foreign IP addresses, and running through an open proxy is rarely fast enough for video.

Re:NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593353)

Not only that, but last night I used Amazon's Unbox to download a bunch of NBC pilots to my tivo. It was painless and free.

Re:NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (1)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593357)

Yeah, I recall in the story about the pull from iTunes there were number of posts about how now it's "easier to steal," but not only can you get them from their own website, but you can purchase the DVD's. Sure, waiting for DVD's means you won't be able to see them the second they come out, but since when were you entitled to that right, anyway? Especially in light of their availability online through legal means.

Re:NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (2, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593733)

Well, the image quality on the video at NBC's website isn't as good as what I've seen on the few random episodes of shows that I've watched on iTunes. And they do take stuff down over time. I remember there was something like a 1-month gap between NBC dropping the season 1 Heroes episodes from their website and the release of the first season DVD set.

Re:NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (1)

baez (873590) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593867)

I haven't had the image quality problem. In fact I was just watching the Friday Night Lights pilot, and I was surprised at how good it looked. Also I'm not sure if you're saying that the image quality was good on iTunes or not...? But I must say I really hated watching the episodes from iTunes (granted this was when TV eps first appeared on iTunes, so things may have changed). They were formated for the iPod, so they were only something like 320 resolution. Scaling that up to watch on my 1600x1200 PC monitor was ... painful.

Re:NBC Offers Their Shows on Their Site (2, Insightful)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593757)

"We're sorry, but the clip you selected isn't available from your location.
Please select another clip." -NBC

Also their decent shows are not available at all. They only seem to be posting full episodes of their crap shows. (no Heroes for you!)
They also seem to take longer to get their new episodes online than do the torrenting pirates. ...Also... it seems to be one of these crap flash player things. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get that to display full-screen on my TV.

Seriously, how stupid do you have to be... (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593223)

... to be a TV executive? Is there some kind of test you have to fail, or something?

Clue stick to head of NBC: Jobs knows what he's doing. Trust him. Give him your content, tell him to do whatever he wants with it, and go play golf or something.

Why don't NBC's stockholders revolt against the kind of mismanagement that throws away free money and turns content-distribution power over to pirates?

Re:Seriously, how stupid do you have to be... (1, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593567)

Jobs knows what he's doing. Trust him. Give him your content, tell him to do whatever he wants with it, and go play golf or something.
Um. I don't know about you, but if I was an executive, I'm not sure I would agree with that at all. "Shareholders, I'm going to trust our content to another corporate executive in another company, how does that sound?"

Re:Seriously, how stupid do you have to be... (3, Insightful)

Bruitist (987735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593803)

"Why the fuck would you do that?" "He's the guy who came up with the iPod" "Oh... "

Re:Seriously, how stupid do you have to be... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593587)

Narcissistic personalities. Got to be in control.
 

Re:Seriously, how stupid do you have to be... (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593631)

Didn't someone say the same thing about the bush administration after 9/11? To just give him what he wants he knows what he's doing?

If they don't like the business model they don't HAVE to follow it, they can TRY to compete, in the end it will be fruitless but we'll have, what we call, competition.

Re:Seriously, how stupid do you have to be... (2, Informative)

levork (160540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593735)

Why don't NBC's stockholders revolt against the kind of mismanagement that throws away free money and turns content-distribution power over to pirates?

NBC's stockholders have other, perhaps more compelling reasons besides this to revolt. NBC's Nielsen ratings have been terrible for at least two years. There have been entire weeks in 2006-2007 where NBC doesn't even have a top-ten show in the ratings - not exactly great for attracting advertisers, which is really what the whole business model is based on. Their top-rated show in April was "Deal or No Deal" - coming in at #23. At this point coming up with shows that attract eyeballs on television should probably be the more important priority. Yes, that still doesn't excuse NBC from being short sighted when it comes to pulling their few shows that actually are popular from iTunes.

Also: NBC's stockholders are GE stockholders, and GE has been doing pretty well [google.com] .

Ease of use... (1)

ttapper04 (955370) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593233)

You can also download a whole season of a show with torrents.

Not the issue (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593237)

I don't think most people WANT to illegally download things rather than purchasing them. However, I do think everyone has a threshold at which they'll download illegally rather than deal with the pain of buying something legitimately. For most, that pain is provided by unreasonable prices. For others, it's by formats (DRM) that force you to jump through hoops to be able to watch something you legitimately paid for. So they don't have to make it as easy as the free alternatives, because that's impossible. They only need to make it easy enough that most people will decide that their process is better than breaking the law.

Content providers need to make these downloads as cheap and easy as possible, and they will make money. The more painful it is, the more people will turn to free alternatives out of frustration. Most people that are not generally criminals will only break laws if complying with them becomes too onerous.

Right now, the providers seem to be trying to crack down on free providers and make the legitimate versions ever more restrictive. This is counterproductive, and will only push more people away.

Re:Not the issue (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593515)

I want to illegally download television rather than purchasing it. Particularly at the price points offered. I'd pay a grand total of absolutely nothing to watch Daily Show/Colbert report, for example.

On the other hand, I wouldn't bother stripping out starting/ending commercials either. Of course, I don't promise to pay attention to them, and commercials in the middle of the show would definitely get me moving the slider past them.

$5/episode (2, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593253)

Sure Apple, will not be able to maintain complete control of online store pricing or terms of use. Still, five bucks per episode [macworld.co.uk] is insane for a product of lesser quality than full movies and that is also available for free with ads. It's better for Apple to drop NBC altogether than offer something that will be ridiculed by customers.

"Flexible pricing" would be more appropriate as offering some combination of episodes and movies as a bundle, at a discount compared to everything bought separately.

Since when was purchase easier than piracy? (1, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593255)

Legitimate media download:

1) Get out your credit card and enter in all those pesky details
2) Enter your address and phone number and then wait for it to verify
3) Download it and watch it in the DRM-rich environment.

Illegitimate media download:

1) Search for what you want on your favorite torrent site
2) Download the torrent
3) ?????????????
4) Profit!! (by not having to pay)

Re:Since when was purchase easier than piracy? (4, Insightful)

kailoran (887304) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593401)

You fogot step 0, that is "Find out that the show you're looking for is unavailable for legal download. Half a year later, after it gets realeased on dvd, realize it's only in US/UK/whatever and not in your country. Enjoy the fact that ordering the dvd from overseas will take 2 weeks and cost twice the already outrageous price"

Re:Since when was purchase easier than piracy? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593523)

Or on Xbox Live:

1. If you're inclined to buy TV shows, you just enter your CC info once when you set up your console. Or buy a prepaid points card to refill your account.
2. Download and watch it.
3. Save time by not having to scrounge around on the web for torrents.

Or, get a Netflix account and build up a nice little library of movies and shows.

Re:Since when was purchase easier than piracy? (3, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593711)

You have this all wrong.

Legitimate media download:
1) Get out your credit card and enter in all those pesky details
2) Enter your address and phone number and then wait for it to verify
3) Card Declined. "Bill Address Does not Match". Call Bank.
4) Bank says "You forgot to change your billing address when you had it delivered here."
5) Change Billing Address, Hang up from Bank. Try again.
6) Card "Accepted". Take Screenshot. Media does not download. Call Bank.
7) Bank says, "The charge is on hold, waiting for the vendor to verify".
8) Tell Bank "Let's do a 3-way call". Bank says "We cannot start it."
9) Call NBC. "Let's do a 3-way call". NBC: "It's not our policy to do that."
10) ... Give up in despair because Good Citizens Don't Download. Suffer and LIKE IT!

Re:Since when was purchase easier than piracy? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593853)

For most things I've seen step 1 is only done once, usually around the time you setup your account. After that it's usually 1-2 click downloads.

Wow (3, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593265)

What a fucking non-article. "Content provider decides not to allow iTMS (or indeed any, but hey, iTMS is all that's important, right?) users to buy their content online. Solution: Spin. Find ways to justify copyright infringement (look, I didn't call it piracy, I didn't call it theft. Go ahead, deny that it's copyright infringement. You lose if you say "information wants to be free" - information is sick of being anthropomorphized). Apparently it's okay to torrent things from ThePirateBay if you can't get what you want, in the way you want.

Perhaps it's a protest. "Show content owners how much you value what they have to offer - by finding ways of avoiding compensating them for their endeavors!".

I'm serious. I've downloaded movies in the past. TV shows too. But enough with the ridiculous fucking denial, the self righteous indignation of "they took away our 'right' to see their content". You want to break the law to get it, do so. But let's not pretend it's oh-so-evil-NBC's fault.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593745)

Yup, won't argue it's copyright infringement. Never said it was alright, it's still illegal. Morally, well, that's up to you. However, this past weekend I wanted to watch some old TV shows I remembered from years ago. Nowhere to be found through legit channels (DVD releases, DRM-afflicted downloads, etc), so I loaded up good ol' uTorrent and went to town. It's called, "Hey moron, I want to watch this, and you're not interested enough to try to make money off of it." I personally would rather support the content creators, but if they don't provide what I'm looking for, I'll seek other channels. This is one place that I can't really sympathize with the music pirates - nearly all the content they can get, they could acquire legally on a non-DRM CD. I legitimately own all my music - for each MP3, there's either a corresponding CD or iTunes download.

That argument doesn't hold up when looking for obscure 1970s/80s/90s TV shows. While it's copyright infringement in the eyes of the law regardless, I personally find it non-objectionable it if there is no *legal* way to acquire the content I'm looking for. After all, if nobody's providing it, there's no sale being lost and you can't argue I'm "screwing" the content providers out of their cash.

Re:Wow (4, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593781)

Oddly, as a Pirate, that's the way I look at it.

I want it and I can get it for free easily as long as I am willing to break with my otherwise sterling principles to get it. I know perfectly well I'm "infringing" and I don't care. I want it, I don't want to pay for it, and I can get it. So I do. End of story.

Strangely, I would NEVER consider physically stealing something from the company I work for or anyone else. When I left my last job I even returned the PENS because they weren't mine. Hell, I WROTE their corporate security policy, with an emphasis on corporate IP. So I'm not a thief or a dishonest person by nature. But when it comes to TV, Movie and Music torrents I'm a complete Pirate. Go figure.

Ep!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593273)

[samag.3om] in the As 0ne of the

And those without iPods? (0, Offtopic)

PadRacerExtreme (1006033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593275)

customers who have Macs or iPods without a legitimate way to purchase and watch
And what about those that don't have iPods (yes, we exist). With only having the stuff on iTunes, I don't have a way to watch it right?

Re:And those without iPods? (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593427)

With only having the stuff on iTunes, I don't have a way to watch it right?
Nothing except that big box that's sitting on your desk running iTunes...

Re:And those without iPods? (1)

phedre (1125345) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593509)

I don't have an ipod either. I also do not own a television. Is it unfair that I cannot watch most television shows because I choose not to buy a TV? Or are you saying this because you own some other video capable mp3 player that just isn't an ipod?

Re:And those without iPods? (1)

PadRacerExtreme (1006033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593807)

Or are you saying this because you own some other video capable mp3 player that just isn't an ipod?
That was what I was saying.

Re:And those without iPods? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593519)

And what about those that don't have iPods (yes, we exist). With only having the stuff on iTunes, I don't have a way to watch it right?

You can watch it right on your computer. Of course, this assumes that you have a Windows or Mac box to run iTunes on (I'm not sure how much of it will run under WINE, never having tried it), both for purchasing and playback.

(Having done that a couple of times, I began to realize just how blurry my TV is. Playing an iTunes video at full screen on a 17" monitor is considerably sharper than watching a standard 20" TV set. I suppose I'll have to start seriously looking at HDTVs soon.)

Dehydrated grape bricks (4, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593305)

That article reminds me of the dehydrated grape bricks my dad told me about. They were sold during prohibition, and they came with a packet of yeast, and a detailed warning explaining exactly how not to add the yeast to the rehydrated grape juice.

TV Piracy is a godsend... (5, Informative)

Creamsickle (792801) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593359)

No way I could otherwise watch unsynchronized TV shows (I live in Austria), there isn't even the option of e.g. watching the Simpsons in English here (except waiting a few years for the DVD release). So much subtle nuance is lost and so many glaring errors are made in translation it's not even funny. Very frustrating. My thanks to all Americans making their TV shows available via Bittorrent.

That's why "pirated" content is popular (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593379)

Not because it's "free" (the beer kind). But because it's free (the OSS kind).

Do I mind paying a sensible price for content? No. Do I mind the restrictions imposed? Yes. Simple as that. Yes, I can afford it. Yes, I do afford it, if the supply matches my demand. Unfortunately, usually it does not. If I cannot store it on my content providing machine and display it on my TV-enabled machine, the content is of no use for me. Simply because I cannot use it. What? Oh, I could store it directly on the machine that connects to the TV? Sure I could. I don't want. You don't provide it the way I want, I don't buy. Simple as that.

What manufacturers (not only in the content business) today fail to see is that you cannot sell things to people that they do not want. At least some people will rather abstain from having something before they are forced into unfavorable contracts or conditions. You provide it the way I want it and I will buy. You don't, I won't.

Free market at its finest.

Missing out on an opportunity (4, Interesting)

timholman (71886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593403)

Given the number of TV shows that can now be streamed directly from the networks' own web sites, why don't they take the next logical step and seed their own torrents complete with embedded commercials?

They wouldn't even have to make the torrents particularly high in quality. I suspect that most viewers would be perfectly happy with 352x480 pixel (DVD-lo) quality if it was free and legal. They're not looking for full DVD quality for archival purposes. They just want to see the episodes they missed. And yes, although the commercials could be stripped out, most people simply wouldn't bother.

Sell the higher-quality commercial-free episodes on DVD or iTunes, and everyone is happy. You're no worse off than now, bandwidth requirements would actually go down (TV torrents are invariably HD quality, with corresponding larger file sizes), and advertisers would still reach viewers. The networks could even reseed old torrents with new commercials on a periodic basis.

If only the studios could hear you (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593669)

A legitimate site with actual content - preferably high quality - that I could download and watch? Ads...bfd - if I'm going to watch it a bunch of times I might go to the effort of stripping them out, but I'll probably just tivo-skip with the player instead. One issue I have with torrents is that the older stuff never gets seeded, and it I want to find anything that's not hot, it can be days to get it, if at all. A content-owner seed would always be available, while the high-traffic seeds wouldn't overwhelm the central server.

They could even make the ads dynamic, changing the ad content to keep it fresh (and keep the ad revenue flowing). Of course it will never fly.

First line of summary is completely untrue. (1)

Animixer (134376) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593471)

>>NBC's recent withdraw from the iTunes store leaves the millions of Apple's customers who have Macs or iPods without a legitimate way to purchase and watch NBC's content.

Watch it on cable (pay) or broadcast (free) television!

"Totally Illegal" (3, Interesting)

bmajik (96670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593521)

Really?

If these are shows that are broadcast over the airwaves, don't you have the legal right to receive them? If you _download_ a show that you already have rights to watch as an OTA broadcast, how is it copyright infringement?

Has this been tested in court?

Re:"Totally Illegal" (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593923)

You are "copying" the show when you download it, that's why copyrights are involved (the waves have nothing to do with it).

tv feeds (3, Interesting)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593557)

I use azureus and some custom mininova queries to make sure that my TV shows are always delivered in a prompt manner.

That is the problem though. You never know when the new daily show will come out. Sometimes they are released around 9pm (pacific) and sometimes as late as 4am. There are also issues when multiple groups release, or someone does a crappy job with the encoding. Groups also change filenames, making it annoying to maintain a good regex that isnt going to accidentally try to download some new 1.2 TB pack of simpsons rips or something.

I make enough money to pay for a good service, but I have not seen anything (and I am not going to duel boot or something every time I want to watch a tv show). Some sort of DVR style thing would be nice, without having to pay to get a cable line installed. Hell, you could even distribute over bit torrent so the service provider wouldn't need to pay as much to keep the bandwidth up. All that and simultaneous releases with the actual content, and I would be totally sold. I am sure that it will happen eventually, but until then I think my system works fine.

a withdraw (1)

Edie O'Teditor (805662) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593691)

We does not withdrawal, we does the advancings!

if a forest falls in the trees.... (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593737)

does losing NBC content mean anything to the typical ipod user?

I've had one for years and this is the first I'd heard of NBC ever having content on itunes.

the news is the same, the sitcoms are the same, the reality shows are the same (as any other channel)

Quite simple really: world has gone to pot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593791)



If it can be stolen by YOU, it will be. It's as simple as that. There is no, "I can afford it but...". There is a hell, and it ain't Jersey. Prepare for your final destination while you watch your gotta-have-at-any^H^H^Hno-cost show.

If you have the choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20593873)

For those of us who lives in countries where you can't get any of these features, it is even better/worse. Because either you wait a year for popular series to get on TV(and maybe never for non mainstream content), or you download them.
Microsoft says they will start bringing content on the xbox to Europe by the end of the year and I am really looking forward to see that happen since it will then be the only source where I can get TV shows in (hopefully) proper quality. But since no one yet have been willing and able to give us the same choices as Americans, I am not bringing out the Champagne yet.
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