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MPAA Opens Anti-filesharing Website 775

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-of-annoyance dept.
PontifexPrimus writes "The MPAA's new advertising campaign against movie piracy has a home on the internet. Did you know that 'Network users have a back door to your hard drive while you're online, thereby seeing your personal, private information, such as bank records, social security number, etc.'? Learn about the dangers of filesharing!"
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MPAA Opens Anti-filesharing Website

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  • by OwnerOfWhinyCat (654476) * on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:37PM (#6602204)
    ....your Microsoft O/S is completely secure [securityfocus.org].
    • ....your Microsoft O/S is completely secure.

      I think it's funny you're responding cynically to their FUD-laden scaremongering about backdoors and viruses being spread through file sharing programs with equally FUD-laden scaremongering about security holes in Windows.

      Though I'm sure the irony will be lost on you.
      • by God! Awful 2 (631283) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:21PM (#6603097) Journal
        "Network users have a back door to your hard drive while you're online, thereby seeing your personal, private information, such as bank records, social security number, etc."

        Hmm... there have been e-mail viruses that randomly send personal files to your friends. How long before viruses start placing your personal files in your shared folders?

        I'm sure some /. readers would care to speculate on who would like to write such a virus...

        -a
  • One word. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by James A. A. Joyce (681634) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:37PM (#6602205) Journal
    The be-all and end-all word: FUD.

    Need I say more?
  • So. (Score:5, Funny)

    by emf (68407) * on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:38PM (#6602206)
    I ran a file share app, someone "hacked" my computer and put those .mp3's there. It wasn't me. ;)

    Anybody mirror the site yet? ;)
    • Slashdotted (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nycsubway (79012) on Monday August 04, 2003 @08:25AM (#6604772) Homepage
      Woooooooooo! they've been slashdotted..

      Anybody mirror the site yet? ;)

      Mirror their site? Absolutely not. If they can't keep their own webserver running, I dont think anyone should help them get their message out. After all, their message is to not share information
  • by AndyFewt (694753) * on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:39PM (#6602216)
    For those of you who *always* wondered what happens When you download movies illegally:
    #1. You're cheating yourself.. absolutely, I divorce myself!
    #2. You're threatening the livelihood of thousands.. just the MPAA member company shareholders/execs
    #3. Your computer is vulnerable.. avi/mpeg/mov can carry a virus? Learn something new everyday!
    #4. You're breaking the law.. >:]

    The best part of their site was their "Music Games & More" section where they say "Did you know that you can download the latest songs", I wonder what the RIAA would think.

    "Don't cheat yourself (the poor shareholders/execs) out of the magic (new yacht/ferrari). Movies - They're worth it (HONEST!)!"

    I don't know about other people, but I know that all of the movies have downloaded in the past I had actually paid to go see them before/after I had downloaded it and/or bought the dvd if I thought it was good. Not even Kazaa can beat Dolby 5.1 and a dvd picture :)
    • by The Mayor (6048) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:43PM (#6602240)
      Actually, the Windows Media Player has had several known buffer overflow problems. A carefully chosen media file could therefore exploit this buffer overflow to execute malicious code after the buffer overflow error is encountered. Although I am unaware of any such bugs in other media viewing software, I am sure that they exist.
      • by AndyFewt (694753) * on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:54PM (#6602308)
        I personally don't use Windows Media Player, never had. But like you said, it requires a carefully chosen media file which would exploit it, execute the code and do this without anyone suspecting it. I believe MS said that they had no evidence anyone had exploited it. The bugs probably do exist in other software but whether they will buffer overflow and execute the code you want is another matter. But either way, the virus in any file would probably be crafted for one specific problem in one specific (popular) media player.
        • by Ho-Lee-Chow (679844) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:05PM (#6602367)
          There is a more serious MP3 buffer exploit [microsoft.com] in the Windows Shell of Windows XP (including SP1). All you have to do is hover the mouse pointer over an MP3 or file with a corrupted ID3 tag to trigger the exploit. Sure, that may not be the easiest way to spread a virus or a backdoor trojan, but what about code that simply formats your hard drive? I'm sure there are plenty of trojan EXEs that will gladly re-format your HD; now what if hovering your mouse over an MP3 could have the same effect? That would be a great method for "destroying" filesharers' PCs a la Senator Orrin Hatch.

          Microsoft is quite innovative in the field of security. They find ways to open up exploits in all kinds of data formats that were previously thought to be safe: MP3s, WMAs, E-mail, etc. (Okay, that was a bit of a troll and extremely unoriginal, but what the hell.)
    • Reason #2 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CrowScape (659629) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:49PM (#6602277)
      With movies taking in more money every year and with DVD sales growing by leaps and bounds, if those thousands of Industry employees aren't getting enough money I would think the problem does not lie with illegal downloads.
    • by Robber Baron (112304) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:51PM (#6602290) Homepage
      "Don't cheat yourself out of the magic. Movies - They're worth it!"

      I know there's a plan to run commericals in theatres that are along those lines, but the last movie I saw in the theatre (T3) had a commerical for one of the local broadband providers with the tag line "listen to music online". Talk about mixed messages eh?

      I don't know about other people, but I know that all of the movies have downloaded in the past I had actually paid to go see them before/after I had downloaded it and/or bought the dvd if I thought it was good. Not even Kazaa can beat Dolby 5.1 and a dvd picture :)

      I'm the same. If I think it's going to be good, I'll see it in the theatre. If it's exceptional, I'll buy the DVD, even after I've downloaded it (after seeing it in the theatre). On the other hand, if it's a steaming pile of shit like Pearl Harbour (Thank heaven I didn't pay to see that abortion), I'll delete it immediately and contemplate sending a bill the the studio for the wasted time/bandwidth/disk space.
      • by Sven The Space Monke (669560) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:14PM (#6602418)
        I just saw American Wedding on friday (I'm not gonna give any opinions - I'm not a movie critic). They had one of these commercials just before the previews. This pne "starred" a set designer talking about how much he loves movies, and how he met his wife on the set of The Big Chill, and how "not everybody invloved in the production of a big movie makes 6-figures". and a lot of other stuff to put a human face on the MPAA side ('cuz Jack Valenti isn't human enough). It seems like they pulled out all the stops on this one. "Touching" music (sounds almost like something Williams would do), "artistic" font design, etc. This guy rambles on about how much he loves movies for what seemed like forever before he got to the point. Once he did, it became rather apparent that the plan backfired. The theater was packed (opening night), and several people started laughing openly at this guy say how stealing one copy of a movie online steals his ability to make a living for his family. I heard a guy behind me say to the person next to him that he was going to start pirating movies if this was the "sh*t these assw*pes are gonna make me sit through before they get to the f***ing movie". The person next to him agreed.
        • by Tim Doran (910) <timmydoran@ro[ ]s.com ['ger' in gap]> on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:19PM (#6603085)
          Jack Valenti isn't human at all. He's a high-performance killing machine sent from the future to wipe out filesharing -- and with it, all hope for humanity's future.

          Jesus, I think I should go to bed.
        • by Danse (1026) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:42PM (#6603197)

          Yeah, I went to a preview of American Wedding and they showed it then too. I cracked up. Aren't those guys all union members anyway? I don't see them taking a pay cut anytime soon. The only possible way that movie piracy could affect them is if people simply stopped going to movies and just downloaded them instead. I would have to happen on a scale that caused the industry to just stop making movies (and thus not hiring all those union guys). That ain't gonna happen. The quality is generally (very) inferior and you don't get the big screen/big sound system effect either. Sure, some people have home theaters worth more than a nice car, but they're few and far between. Then there's rentals. I could possibly see this impacting those, but even then it's a long shot. You don't get all the extra features and stuff that a lot of people like (and one of the few things that the movie industry is doing right). So I think the poor guy will still be able to put a crust of bread on the table for his wife and kids for a long time to come. Hollywood needs to handle this a lot differently and quit pissing people off. If they would simply create good movies and keep improving the package deal you get when buying a DVD, then they should have no problems.

      • by NanoGator (522640)
        " I saw in the theatre (T3) had a commerical for one of the local broadband providers with the tag line "listen to music online". Talk about mixed messages eh?"

        Not really. Go download Winamp and you can listen to streamed music legally and for free.
      • by necrognome (236545) *
        Slightly OT, but you have no idea how bad ads can get in the movie theatre. At one of the theatres in NYC, the UA Union Square to be precise, there is something called "The Twenty." It's this "hip, new" (their words) reason to come to the movies early to see (sit down) twenty minutes of ads, music video and TV show previews, and "short films" that are really ads for television networks. Imagine twenty minutes of commercials, BEFORE the previews, coming soon to a theatre near you.
    • by erasmus_ (119185) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:54PM (#6602311)
      Just the MPAA member company shareholders/execs? Since you sound very knowledgeable about the topic, can you explain exactly how actors, directors, cinematographers, writers, or even key grips get paid when you pirate a movie and don't pay a dime for it? Or how about computer people just like us, who work on the special effects, or just install and support the computers for the people involved with a movie? You're going to save me a lot of guilt from downloading, so I await the answer anxiously. Thanks!
      • hey, FUDster (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alizard (107678) <alizard@ec i s . com> on Sunday August 03, 2003 @09:38PM (#6602878) Homepage
        can you explain exactly how actors, directors, cinematographers, writers, or even key grips get paid when you pirate a movie and don't pay a dime for it?

        With the exception of the few who are "important" enough to get cut in on a percentage of the net, these are union people who get paid by the hour and get paid rather well while work lasts. Their payment does not depend on whether or not the movie sells or is pirated.

        You are saying that no more movies are going to be made if somebody downloads a low-quality copy of the next Matrix movie? What are you smoking?

        The RIAA argument you're trying to make also requires you to demonstrate that significant losses in sales are occurring due to broadband downloads of movies.

        EVIDENCE PLEASE, other than studies paid for by the MPAA to PR firms.

        Your argument also, carried to its illogical conclusion says we have a moral obligation to buy even movies we don't like or these poor, starving industry employees will be out of work. Do they have the obligation to buy software from companies that employ us whether they like it, want it, or need it?

        Or how about computer people just like us, who work on the special effects, or just install and support the computers for the people involved with a movie?

        You either expect to make enough from your share of the profit to afford to take the risk of their not being any or are getting the certainty of a pretty good paycheck. Either way, you are not my problem, any more than any failed dot.com I wasn't personally involved with is.

        • Nothing you say can change the fact that pirating movies is illegal and immoral, even in spite of your typical Slashbot anti-corporation mindset that somehow justifies things for you.

          With the exception of the few who are "important" enough to get cut in on a percentage of the net, these are union people who get paid by the hour and get paid rather well while work lasts. Their payment does not depend on whether or not the movie sells or is pirated.

          Yes it does. If movies don't sell, those people won't ge
    • by Ninja Programmer (145252) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:09PM (#6602386) Homepage
      #1. You're cheating yourself.. absolutely, I divorce myself!
      Well, if you were bisexual ... oh never mind.

      #3. Your computer is vulnerable.. avi/mpeg/mov can carry a virus? Learn something new everyday!
      ASF files appear to be able to carry executable activeX content. (I can't be 100% sure since Microsoft cease and desisted VirtualDub from reverse engineering the format, but I have run ASF file which popped up a web page from an URL contained in the binary of the file in MBCS format.) The problem is that often an ASF file will be renamed (I have noticed this from ASF files I obtained with Kazaa-lite) with an AVI or MPG file extension. Windows media player will detect the file by content, not by file extension, and after warning you about a mis-match, will go ahead and play it anyway.

      #4. You're breaking the law.. >:]
      Someone should inform them that price fixing, payola and anti-trust is also breaking the law. Though that applies more to the RIAA than the MPAA.
    • by shird (566377) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:20PM (#6602451) Homepage Journal
      2. You're threatening the livelihood of thousands.. just the MPAA member company shareholders/execs

      I had a look at the video and the general theme of their site and realised theres a bit of a fault with their reasoning. They claim that although it might not affect the producers and actors etc because they earn so much, it will affect the 'small' guys like set painters etc...

      but... if the movie makes so much as they admit, theyre not going to pay the 'set painters' etc any less because, as they admit, they still will be making more than enough money to pay these guys. They are probably contract workers and will only do it for an acceptable fee. WTF.. shut up you stupid MPAA wankers.
  • Reminds me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:40PM (#6602223)
    ...of the movie "Truman Show" where Jim Carrey is in the travel agency, and one of the posters on the wall shows a jumbo jet being hit by lightning. The caption on the poster read "This could happen to YOU!"

    LOL! Sometimes FUD is funny.
  • by Hertog (136401) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:41PM (#6602229)
    Have they, besides seeding the P2P networks with bogus files, also started spreading virii?

    I wouldn't be surprised a bit.
  • by The Analog Kid (565327) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:43PM (#6602235)
    learned about the dangers of the slashdot effect.
  • by bdigit (132070) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:43PM (#6602243)
    Posting an article on slashdot is a new method hackers are using in order to carry out DDoS attacks on websites they dont like. Will you be next? Protect your site today!
  • by groove10 (266295) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:44PM (#6602248) Homepage
    Only produce movies starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, that way... No one will want to pirate them because they suck so bad!
  • I'm safe! (Score:5, Funny)

    by worst_name_ever (633374) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:44PM (#6602251)
    I was worried when I read this article, until I remembered that I am immune to this kind of thing ever since I bought the software that prevents my computer from broadcasting an IP address. I'm so glad I clicked on that popup ad!
  • by Megor1 (621918) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:45PM (#6602254) Homepage
    You also become a distribution source for illegal downloading of movies, music and more, which makes you just as responsible if you had downloaded the movie yourself.

    So the riaa should really sue the riaa since they were offering songs for download when their website got broken into?
  • by error502 (694533) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:46PM (#6602258)
    Most of the time, the movies available for download on the Internet are obtained when someone sneaks a camcorder into a theatre and illegally records the movie up on the screen. The sound isn't right, the picture isn't in focus, people are walking in front of the camera, and scenes are missing. Is that any way to experience the magic of the movies?

    Is what any way to experience the magic of the movies? Free? I think it's a great way.

    Only 4 out of 10 films turn a profit.

    6 out of 10 films suck.

    Do you really want fewer movies to choose from?

    Gladly. Maybe they'll be forced to make movies that aren't complete shit.
  • Glad? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sporty (27564) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:46PM (#6602261) Homepage
    Am I the only one that is glad that my well being, that "cheating myself" is so much more important than "breaking the law"?

    I won't bother debunking 3 or even talking about 2... but don't you love how they try and manipulate priorities?
  • Cheating myself? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xerithane (13482) <xerithane.nerdfarm@org> on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:46PM (#6602264) Homepage Journal
    Here's an idea MPAA. You can use this one for free, and I'm putting it in the public domain for you. Because you have such high opinions of movies such as "TITANIC" and "SPIDER-MAN" and "JURASSIC PARK", I have some news for you: Don't make movies that suck.

    There is nothing that compares to the silver screen. Well, there wasn't, but home theaters are starting to come close. So, make movies that don't suck and people will still go to see them.

    4 out of 10 movies don't recoup their investment because they suck. Gigli isn't going to recoup it's investment because it sucks. 4 out of 10 movies are going to suck. The other 6 are just going to suck less. Stop automating your script-writing, and be more stringent with what movies you actually produce and then people will still go see them in the theater and you will still make money. People will still pirate them, but so what.

    The biggest thing people use pirated movies for: To find out if it is worth the $8. If it sucks, it isn't worth $8. I'm not cheating myself, I'm saving my damn money.
    • by swordgeek (112599) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:51PM (#6602291) Journal
      Just a minor correction.

      "4 out of 10 movies don't recoup their investment because they suck."

      Correct.

      "4 out of 10 movies are going to suck."

      INCORRECT!!!

      9 out of 10 movies are going to suck. 5 of those 9 will actually make a profit, despite that. (and the tenth, that one movie that doesn't suck, isn't likely at all to make back its costs)
    • I have some news for you: Don't make movies that suck

      I have some news for you. We are dealing with a common denominator here. The general American public will purchase just about anything and it does not matter the qualtiy. Lemme see if I can think of some examples: In the movies we have "Rob Schneider is (x)" People go to see that! And it must make a profit, because they keep making these Rob Schneider films. In the computer business we have Windows. And people continue to purchase Windows. Tak
  • by PaddyM (45763) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:49PM (#6602281) Homepage
    I just saw 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. 'Sometimes the right path, the right course, requires a little piracy'
  • by Limburgher (523006) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:52PM (#6602300) Homepage Journal
    Or, if you want, try this link [respectcopyrights.org].
  • Worst part (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:53PM (#6602305)
    A lot of the public will hear this tripe and it will slow down file trading a little... but I doubt in the long run if it really puts too much of a hamper on file sharing, since what they are talking about is lies... if anyone is intellegent enough to be file sharing at the level the MP/RIAA is worried about, they will know that you can't get viruses from movie files... It's a sensible attack though, especially targeting us teens... and it will work marginally.. but this will only help slow the bleeding.. the damage has been done, they are going to die still, IHMO of course..
  • by Stinky Glen20 (689507) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:54PM (#6602307)
    If I were sneaky, I'd log the IP of every comment made. Then go check out everyone who leaves an RIAA sucks to see if they were "sharing illegal content".

    That would be a nice way to prioritise the millions of lawsuits.
  • Read it again... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:56PM (#6602315)
    They don't say that your system is insecure "while filesharing". They say that your system is insecure "while online". While some would call me a nitpicker for pointing this out, I think it indicative of the general anti-technology fears that the MPAA/RIAA "higher-ups" (Valenti/Rosen/etc.) hold.
  • by Robawesome (660673) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:57PM (#6602321) Journal
    Yet another reason to prefer the MPAA over the RIAA. At least when the MPAA's profits go down, they try something new, like adding content to dvds and varying release dates. When I buy a dvd in a store, I don't feel like a complete sucker. WHen I looked at buying a CD, I felt like an ignorant "consumer". Yeah, pay $30 for 1 hour of content, 8 minutes of which I like. When I bought the extended version LOTR dvd, I got:

    1. The theater cut movie + deleted scenes
    2. 5, count'em 5, seperate audio commentary's
    3. Something like 8 hours of additional "making of" video
    4. around 2000 production photographs.
    I got so much content in those dvds I have not even watched it all yet. Whereas with a CD, you are done in one hour, tops.
    The MPAA may be doing some unsavory things, but at least they are trying, without ripping me off or treating me like a criminal. I am boycotting CD's, but I still enjoy movies, and will pay money for the quality and experience.


    "$DarlMcbride"==false
  • by AntiOrganic (650691) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @07:59PM (#6602333) Homepage
    Apher, Benjamin, Backdoor, Duload, Fizzer, Hantner, Klez, Neuer, Nimda, Livra and Magic Eightball

    Good to see they include viruses/worms that have no history of spreading via P2P, like Klez and Nimda. Hey, why don't you put Code Red and Slammer/Sapphire up there too?
  • by FsG (648587) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:02PM (#6602351)
    Did you know that 'Network users have a back door to your hard drive while you're online, thereby seeing your personal, private information, such as bank records, social security number, etc.'?

    Nope. Nor did I know that I can get music and movies online for free. Thanks for informing me, MPAA!

    - Joe User

  • by Cordath (581672) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:03PM (#6602355)
    You know, I bet MPAA lawyers could make a good case for sueing anybody who mirrors their slashdotted site. Hey, it's copyright infringement isn't it?
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:06PM (#6602375) Journal
    OK, it's fairly simple stuff here.

    1) The MPAA would recoup its investment MUCH faster by encouraging people to come to the movies more often, and by reducing costs. How can they do this?
    a) Reduce ticket prices. Lower tickets mean more movie-goers.
    b) Quit paying the stars so fucking much money!!! Ben Affleck made TWELVE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS for Gigli, one of FOUR movies released this year that he starred in. In other words, he made roughly one THOUSAND times as much as a skilled professional with a post-secondary education. (Notice that the MPAA site doesn't link to any stars' opinions--just the grips and the stuntmen, making a thousandth as much as the stars)
    c) QUIT MAKING MOVIES THAT SUCK BADLY!!!

    How many times do you need to hear it? How many brainless sequels to brainless movies do you need to make before it sinks in that you SUCK, and that your movies SUCK?

    Imagine this: A movie where stars are treated as skilled employees and paid roughly $200,000/year (hey, their careers aren't as long as some of ours--they deserve higher salaries for that), the writers are required to come up with original and innovative ideas to earn their pay, and the tickets are $5/seat, with affordable popcorn.

    Why they might actually make a profit, and DESPITE all of the file sharing (that doesn't take away a single ticket sale), get people out to the movies.

    As an aside, you might ask how does this NOT relate to the RIAA?

    1) The RIAA actually is hurting (some) from filesharing. Most people are as happy with a burned MP3 as they are the original quality song, whereas nobody would seriously miss a good theathre movie just because they had a really crappy camcorder copy they can watch on their TV.

    2) The artists don't get paid millions--they get paid SHIT. They get about a tenth as much as the tech staff, instead of a thousand times as much.
  • homophobic (Score:5, Informative)

    by TerraFrost (611855) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:11PM (#6602398)
    it seems as if half of the MPAA / RIAA's case against piracy is that everyone is out to rape you. after all, all p2p apps are really trojans designed to steal personal information, and even your own friends are out to get you. that last part is refering to the RIAA holding parents, grandparents, and roommates [yahoo.com] responsible for piracy committed on their computer, even though they may not have been the source of it.

    also, the respectcopyrights.org website was mentioned sometime ago on slashdot:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=72066&cid=6504 160 [slashdot.org]

  • by jrockway (229604) * <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:13PM (#6602414) Homepage Journal
    > 'Network users have a back door to your hard drive while you're online, thereby seeing your personal, private information, such as bank records, social security number, etc.'

    Dammit! Did I put my_ssn.txt and my_bank_records.txt into ~shared AGAIN!? Damn the insecurity!

  • by Bradmont (513167) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:14PM (#6602417)
    (from the "music, games & more" page)
    Browse the links below to discover a whole world of entertainment available to you - legally - right at home.

    Gotta love how they don't link to project Gutenberg on the books page. :D
  • by crankyspice (63953) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:16PM (#6602431)

    Remember who these ads and websites are aimed at. The average /. reader knows the "truth" about back doors in software, and, more than that, knows how to share directories with granularity. The average computer user, I would posit, does not. Don't believe me? Hop on KaZaA, Gnutella, whatever, and do a search for '.xls' or '.wpd,' etc. See how many personal documents you uncover. We did that once and found a CEO's copy of the salary breakdown for his dot-com... No names to protect the clueless (and shareholder value ;)). So, it's FUD, but it's (if there is such a thing) justifiable FUD.

  • fuzzy math (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ender77 (551980) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:24PM (#6602471)
    OK, Movies are making more money than ever(the good ones anyway), DVD's are selling like hot cakes, and the movie indistry is losing money HOW? Even if they were losing money, I can't feel to sorry about it when you hear about the leading actor(s) making 6 to 8 million dollors to star in it. Here is an idea, instead of getting some famous actor and paying them all that money how about trying out some NEW actors to play the part.
  • by scarolan (644274) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:36PM (#6602543) Homepage
    First of all they have a built-in protection from piracy in the HUGE file sizes that have to be downloaded. Any dialup user can grab a few albums worth of MP3s if they leave their connection on all night. It can take DAYS to download half a movie on Kazaa, even on a broadband connection.

    Secondly, most of the releases that come out on IRC, newsgroups, bittorrent or whatever are crappy cam recordings that people don't like anyway. Who wants to watch some washed-out version of a movie with bad sound anyway? If it's any good you'll go see it in the theater to get the real experience.

    Third, most of the movies you find on the internet are in divx or some other format that generally only plays on a computer. Most people are not savvy enough even to burn a VCD to play in their DVD player, what to speak of building a dedicated home theater pc to play the divx movies. Most people do not want to sit in their computer room in front of a 17" monitor to watch movies. They would rather see it on the 42" widescreen in the living room, or in the theater.

    Finally, movies is a social thing. People take dates to movies, they take their kids to movies. They like to eat the candy and sit in the theater with the big screen and surround sound.

    So MPAA, take a chill pill. We're not going to drive your poor key grip and dolly boys into homelessness. WTF is a 'key grip' anyway???

    • by glitch23 (557124) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @09:52PM (#6602953)

      So MPAA, take a chill pill. We're not going to drive your poor key grip and dolly boys into homelessness. WTF is a 'key grip' anyway???

      He holds the car keys of all the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jags, Lexuses (Lexi?), and Mercedez-Benzs for the actors and actresses while they are filming so that no one can steal their car.

    • I'm a Key Grip! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Frogbeater (216054) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:03PM (#6603008) Homepage
      As a Grip, Key Grip actually, one of the "artists" listed on the site as being against the piracy of films, I am all for piracy as long as the studios aren't offering an alternative.
      (Notice they didn't use actors as the artists that are being harmed by piracy? What, you don't feel sorry for Ben Affleck?)

      I have to innovate to keep my job. The producers demand more efficiency from the crews and the "creatives" demand more creativity from the crews or I am not hired on the next job.

      I can't sue someone that is doing a more efficient or more creative job than I am like the MPAA/RIAA are.

      Fortunately "Respect Copyrights" reeks of "Just say No to Drugs."
      We know how well that worked.

      BTW-A Key Grip is the Head of the Grip department. The Grips are in charge of on set engineering. We build cranes to fly the camera, munt cameras on cars, fly lights from the tops of buildings, string light controlling cloth over a city street, etc.
  • by jeffkjo1 (663413) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:37PM (#6602546) Homepage
    Notice how baseball seems to be suffering the same problems as the RIAA and the MPAA... inflated salaries, and less and less return on their investments (Only one major league team turned a profit last year... one) but MLBA can't claim piracy is causing their losses, because... well, that would be retarded.
    Interestingly, however, the reasons for baseballs, and the RIAA/MPAA decline are identical:
    1. Overpriced... seats/cds are too expensive.
    2. Salaries, stars seem to want more and more lately...
    3. THE MAJOR REASON: Recession! People don't buy cds, movies, or go see baseball games because THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY.

    Baseball is adjusting, because it has to, RIAA/MPAA are fighting tooth and nail for legislation so they can retain their current business model....

    STFU RIAA/MPAA.
  • by Keeper (56691) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @08:47PM (#6602595)
    Most of the time, the movies available for download on the Internet are obtained when someone sneaks a camcorder into a theatre and illegally records the movie up on the screen. The sound isn't right, the picture isn't in focus, people are walking in front of the camera, and scenes are missing. Is that any way to experience the magic of the movies?

    Funny, I could swear the last time I went to see a movie in a real movie theater that ...

    * The sound was off (too much treble, no bass)
    * Lots of "muching" sounds by people in the audience pigging out on snacks
    * Random noise/chitchat
    * Cell phones/pagers going off
    * The picture wasn't in focus (it was slighly out of focus until the last 15 minutes)
    * People would walk across my field of vision (in order to get more snacks or to use the bathroom)
    * I missed scenes when I went to the bathroom

    Now, what am I gaining by going to an actual movie theater? They need to come up with a better arguement than the one they're using, that's for sure...
  • by SharpFang (651121) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @09:05PM (#6602687) Homepage Journal
    "Imagine that someone had spent two years writing a book. It would not be fair to let someone else make their own copies of the book and sell or give these copies to others without paying the writer. And unless the writer was very wealthy, she probably could not afford to spend so much time writing unless she could get paid for her work. In fact, very few people would ever create books (or movies, or songs, or paintings) if they could not earn a living from their work. If everyone copied the book and sold them or gave copies to others without paying for it, it would be hard for the writer to earn a living from writing, and ultimately that would mean there would be fewer creative works for us to enjoy."

    What a piece of crap. So what about libraries, where you can borrow the book and read it for free? What about all that stuff like Project Gutenberg? What about millions of people who make a living by other means and spend years writing books as their hobby?

    I just released a webpage. I spent 3 days on it, with breaks for sleep and food. It's a detailed instruction how to make a rope halter, best kind of halter/bridle for a horse ever. The page is available for free. The instructions are very foolproof, everyone should be able to follow them. The halters are available on sale for $30 or so. I'm definitely NOT a wealthy person - but I don't ask for money for accessing my page. I decided this thing is good for horses and it would be good if people used it instead of different cruel stuff they use, for free. I put a small notice at the bottom - "if despite these instructions you can't make that halter, email me and I'll make one for you for quite low price."

    That's about it. Information can be free. I may be paid for work I put in things. Not for allowing someone to own them, while I lose nothing. I spent 3 days for making myself feel better - for making life of hopefuly several hundreds horses slightly better. Now if I sacrifice a hour of my time to make one of such halters and mail it to whoever is too rich, lazy or all-thumbs to make one themselves - I may charge them for my time and effort.

    Copyright? Doh, if someone else starts making that halters and selling them, using my instructions, I'd be happy! Because I did it for certain idea. Not for money. But that's far beyond imagination of small brains of MPAA employees.
  • by Valen0 (325388) <valen@nOspam.escom.us> on Sunday August 03, 2003 @09:07PM (#6602694)
    [Since I have never downloaded a full length movie from the Internet, most of this information is second hand. Some of it may be inaccurate. My comments are in braces.]

    YOU'RE CHEATING YOURSELF
    Most of the time, the movies available for download on the Internet are obtained when someone sneaks a camcorder into a theatre and illegally records the movie up on the screen.

    The sound isn't right, the picture isn't in focus, people are walking in front of the camera, and scenes are missing.

    [Most movies on the Internet today are high quality rips from the original. Point invalid.]

    Is that any way to experience the magic of the movies?

    Only 4 out of 10 films turn a profit. If people take the films for free and the Studios can't recoup their investment, they may not be able to make the big summer movies we all enjoy so much; the TITANICs, the SPIDER-MANs, the JURASSIC PARKs. So, not only will the creators lose, in the end, you, the consumer, will end up with fewer choices at the multiplex.

    [Slippery Slope. The Jurassic Park series is the only series in this list that I believe is decent. Spider Man is just not my type of movie and Titanic is a movie that should have never been made. The MPAA has no one to blame but themselves for their lousy sales ratio.]

    Do you really want fewer movies to choose from?

    [Seeing the current state of the film industry today... I'd love to see fewer but better quality movies.]

    YOU'RE THREATENING THE LIVELIHOOD OF THOUSANDS

    The entertainment industry isn't made up only of familiar actors, actresses and directors. It is made up of over 500,000 everyday working people that bring the magic of the movies to you.

    [And most of those 500K people don't see most of the money. Plus, the MPAA is assuming that every download would translate into a movie sales. This is not true for some people.]

    But, when movies are illegally downloaded from the Internet, these are the people that suffer the most.

    It's the woman who does the make-up, the guy who rigs the lighting, the sound technician, the costume designer, the set decorator and the caterer.

    [Wrong Answer. It's the stock holders, the executives, and all of the people that make a profit from sales that suffer the most. Most people working on movies do NOT get any of the profit from movies.]

    Do you really want these people to lose their jobs?

    [Slippery Slope. I honestly don't think filesharing is going to cause the movie industry to go bankrupt. They seem to be doing just fine, even though the economy is in a depression.]

    YOUR COMPUTER IS VULNERABLE

    Have you ever had your computer crash and had to replace it or reinstall all the files due to a virus or other such problem?

    [Never had a problem with viruses... That is what Norton Antivirus is there for.]

    The nature of "peer-to-peer" file sharing sites like eDonkey, Gnutella, KaZaA, etc., open your computer to destructive viruses and worms and annoying pop-ups.

    Common Viruses:
    Apher, Benjamin, Backdoor, Duload, Fizzer, Hantner, Klez, Neuer, Nimda, Livra and Magic Eightball

    [Appeal to Fear. All of those viruses are easily detected by Norton Antivirus and other virus detection software.]

    You also become a distribution source for illegal downloading of movies, music and more, which makes you just as responsible if you had downloaded the movie yourself.

    [Unless you don't share any of your downloads. Then you are not "just as responsible".]

    Network users have a back door to your hard drive while you're online, thereby seeing your personal, private information, such as bank records, social security number, etc.

    [Appeal to Fear. No real backing in the real world.]

    Is the theft of your personal information worth the free movie?

    [Sorry, most of the filesharing community has seen right through your FUD and know you are wrong.]

    YOU'RE BREAKING THE LAW

  • Keep that dirty old Senator out of your hard drive! He might be trying to look at those naked pictures you took for your wife!
  • by sillivalley (411349) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yellavillis>> on Sunday August 03, 2003 @09:12PM (#6602724)
    The risks of attending movies in theatres -- exposure to disease (SARS, tuberculosis, other airborne pathogens), risks to your sanity (insipid "previews," the idiot behind you with the cell phone, the gaggle of girls talking through the whole thing, bad sound and worse pictures), parking lot mayhem, $6 for a bucket of popcorn that's coated with the same stuff they spread on the floors to give them that wonderful, MPAA-approved tacky feel...

    But then you didn't expect a balanced presentation, did you?
  • Bad move, MPAA... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:09PM (#6603034) Homepage Journal
    The MPAA is missing the same opportunity that the RIAA ignored. Years ago, the RIAA should have noticed people downloading music and looking into why people do it. They then could have provided a better service and made a profit off it. Nope, they labeled it as thievery and attacked. Now they face a massive boycott. Lovely. That boycott will do more damage than P2P piracy ever could.

    The MPAA has a little more time, seeing as how movies are 700 megs or so. Upload caps are still at 256k roughly so they've got some time to come up with their own service. And to an extent, they do. I found a site last night where I could 'rent' movies to watch on my computer. Damn cool really. I've been aching to watch Terminator again, and that'll only cost me $3. I won't even have to worry about returning a tape!

    They're going to need to do more, though. The on-line equivalent of HBO would be nice. Pay $10 a month and get access to some movies. Heck, I'd pay my $30 month cable bill to a VoD service. Maybe more if their selection is really good, even with commercials.

    The point is that if movie downloading is so popular, despite how painful it is, they need to look at WHY. Are prices too high? Are people obnoxious in theaters? Do people have time to sit and watch a 2.5 hour movie? Do people want to spend $8 to watch an iffy movie? (Sort of like the prices are too high, but it did suck that Star Trek Nemesis fell to the bottom of the heap when Two Towers, Harry Potter, and James Bond blew a gaping crater into people's movie budgets.) Can college students even make the time to go see a movie?

    With the answers to these questions, the MPAA could do something shocking, like provide supply for the demand. Who'd want to download a movie off of P2P when they could spend $5 and get the Hulk streaming down like right away? I know that in my house, a good deal more money would go into watching movies. Right now I have to pick and choose a movie in the same way I pick and choose a new computer. That sucks.
  • by macemoneta (154740) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:27PM (#6603128) Homepage
    Our group (5-22 people, depending on the movie) has been going to the movies weekly for about 15 years [geocities.com]. The experience has definitely been going downhill.

    The theaters are so filthy, we go there early to find a clean seat. We used to be able to hold a conversation before the movie. While the theater showed a slideshow accompanied by music, it was quiet. Now, there's 20 minutes of commercials, followed by 10-15 minutes of trailers before the movie, and it's so loud you can't talk over it.

    The sound systems are always broken or set improperly (front speakers only). The movie is never in sharp focus (no, it's not my eyes). If there's a problem, you have to wait 15 minutes for the projectionist to show up. We recently watched part of a film burn up, because there was no one in the booth. When there is a problem, they skip ahead to keep the movie on schedule, so you miss part. Sure, if you complain they will give you another ticket, but that's two hours of your time.

    I've called the THX number and emailed the theaters to complain, but nothing is improving. Of course, the admission price is going up. It now costs less to buy the DVD than it costs for my wife and I to see the movie in the theater, and we get several hours of extras on the disk.

    We obviously loved going to the movies, but with the increasing cost and reduction in quality, it's hard to justify. I can see why people are bootlegging the movies.

    If the MPAA wants to stop the bootlegging, they should just release the DVD at the same time as the movie is in the theaters. Let the market decide how they want to see the film.

  • by SuperBug (200913) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:43PM (#6603207) Homepage Journal
    MPAA is as responsible for content being pirated, as are those who pirate after the fact of an initial illegal copy hitting the 'Net. I say this because apparently the MPAA is ignoring the fact that *TEST* coppies of movies which wound up on the cutting room floor actually make it to the 'Net before the final production release. Are you telling me that it's *our* fault, and not the keygrip, or the sound man, or whomever that works on the movies that are at fault for that as well? It seems a blind eye is turned to that by MPAA maybe? I mean, how is it possible that many of these movies they complain about are actually released on the 'Net *days* before the actual release date? How's that I ask of those bastards at the MPAA!!
  • by smelroy (40796) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:44PM (#6603209) Homepage
    The one thing about movie piracy is that it is not very easy to reproduce the whole theater experience. Downloading music and burning it to CD is just as good as buying the original (minus some album art) but downloading a movie just gives you a pixilated file to watch on a 17 inch monitor. Granted some people get high quality rips and burn then to DVD, but not all of us have DVD burners. I imagine some people also hook they computers up to a tv or home theater.. not most of us either. So the way I see it, a night at the movies always has the upper hand.
  • rebuttal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by erikdotla (609033) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:52PM (#6603243)
    I have painstakenly researched each of the viruses mentioned on their site, and written a rebuttal on my site. There is a weak connection at best between P2P software and these viruses. It's almost laughable that they even chose some of them for the list at all.

    Read the Anti-FUD on the front page:
    http://erik.la [erik.la]
  • by dfj225 (587560) on Sunday August 03, 2003 @10:55PM (#6603253) Homepage Journal
    is the way they complain about money. I could see arguing that it is morally wrong or that it is illegal, but saying that a company that makes $50 million on a good movie on opening weekend doesn't have enough money to pay its workers because of p2p apps is just rediculus. If they really can't pay the lighting crew, maybe they should stop paying the "stars" $30 million a pop for a crappy job.
    • by Reziac (43301) on Monday August 04, 2003 @02:22AM (#6603962) Homepage Journal
      In my several years in the business, I never once saw a production company fail to pay its crew every cent they were owed -- probably because between powerful unions and the ability of even a non-union crew to stage a sit-down strike on the spot, they wouldn't dare short 'em.

      However, extras are generally paid out of petty cash, and at that level, there's lots of pilferage (mostly disappearing into producers' pockets. Universal is so bad about this, that I got so I would not knowingly work on a Universal production, because it was a given that we'd get screwed out of part of our pay, one way or another.)

      Frex, Darkman -- big budget, big name director and star, major studio behind it (Universal!) -- yet somehow they couldn't find it in their petty cash to cough up the *legally mandated minimum* for extras' meals, so the extras' food wagon made do with stale noodles (WW2 surplus, I kid you not) and hotdogs**. But somehow the rest of the cast and crew still ate well. (On-set food is normally both *good*, and the same meal for everyone.)

      Mind you, this is all money that's spent the same whether the film in question ever makes it to the box office -- and many don't.

      ** Fresh hotdogs only appeared because I personally bitched to the A.D. about the hideous quality of the food, until he finally checked it out and deemed it unfit to eat. If they'd fed the main cast and crew such slop, there'd have been an instant riot.

  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Monday August 04, 2003 @01:49AM (#6603865) Journal

    The Studios may at any time revise these Terms and Conditions by updating this posting. You are bound by any such revisions and should therefore periodically visit this page to review the then current Terms and Conditions to which you are bound.

    They could revise the terms at any time and I'd be bound to them!

    Yikes!

    I'd better take their advice and periodically go back and get a fresh copy of their terms. What do you think...is every 100ms is periodic enough? Of course, if they could change them at any time I might miss a short lived change. Maybe I'd better check back every 10ms.

    -- MarkusQ

  • by Jason Scott (18815) * on Monday August 04, 2003 @01:54AM (#6603882) Homepage
    Well, good to know someone has a parody site up at DISRESPECTCOPYRIGHTS.ORG [disrespectcopyrights.org], huh?
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday August 04, 2003 @10:21AM (#6605588) Homepage
    1. Producer decides that he needs to build a bigger swimming pool. This can happen for many reasons, but most often because he needs somewhere to bury all the dead hookers he's been stashing for Ben Affleck.
    2. Producer approaches other producers who need bigger swimming pools. They all agree that they should have bigger swimming pools, but they need to find some rubes to pay for them.
    3. Producers look at what films were popular last summer, and decide to do exactly the same, but with more explosions and titties.
    4. Producer picks either a director, scriptwriter or actor that was in a profitable film last summer, but who hasn't done anything since, and allows the "talent" to plead for the chance to get in just one more movie before everyone forgets who they are.
    5. Producer instructs "talent" that they'll be doing exactly the same as they did last summer, only with more explosions and titties. Talent gibbers and moans in pleasure.
    6. With one talent safely secured, Producer approaches increasingly less desparate cast and crew, and gets them onboard one by one. This is much like the communist "domino theory" of the 1950's, only with more explosions and titties.
    7. With some talent secured, Producer now approaches studio and sells them the film based on it being exactly like last year's film. Studio demands something more. Producer promises more explosions and titties. Cocaine and hookers all round!
    8. Studio approaches theatre chains and offers them the movie. Theatre chains demand to know why they should take it. It's explained to them that it's exactly the same as an already profitable movie, only more so. Theatre chains commit to taking it.
    9. The movie is made. Does it suck? Who cares! The chains have already agreed to take it. The Producer gets his new swimming pool, Ben Affleck's dead hookers get buried, the studio gets to buy the "coffee" output of a small Central American country. Everybody wins!
    10. The movie opens to crappy reviews. The theatre chains have to suck it up, because they've already paid for it. People go and watch it anyway, because it's the least bad thing on, and they've got used to making excuses. The movie makes money. The cycle of life continues.

    This doesn't always happen. Sometimes movies go into production before they've been pre-sold to theatre chains. Those are the movies destined for "straight to video/DVD" status, although very occasionally, a small film is picked up by theatre chains to fill a hole where a pre-sold movie hasn't made it out of post-production in time, usually because some snotty director mistakenly believes that it matters that it sucks. When this happens, we tell ourselves that the system works, and that it's vitally important that it continue to work in just this precise way, for ever and ever, otherwise society will fall apart, cannibalism will ensue, cats and dogs living together...

    And nobody ever asks what happened to all the music hall performers when movies came out. Nobody cares what became of the movie theatre pianists when talkies appeared. We don't recall the MPAA saying that the VCR would spell the death knell for the movie industry. We don't wonder whether movie theatre box office takes might be being transmuted into DVD and home theatre sales. We don't dare to consider that people will spend exactly the same amount of their disposable income on entertainment, but that they'll spend it in different ways.

    We just accept the line that the system works, that it's always worked, and that it must go on working exactly the same way - whatever the MPAA declares that to be - until the end of time. Or it will be cats and dogs, living together...

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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